Synopsis: The last thing Rachel ever expected was to find Quinn Fabray homeless and drug-addicted on streets of New York. Years after graduation, Rachel is a Broadway star, her boyfriend is her manager, but she realizes that she's the last hope Quinn has, and that will change everything.
A/N: I don't know where this idea came from, really, but I figured it'd be fun to play around with! There's going to be a lot of drama/angst, and some annoying appearances by Jesse St. James, but this is a Faberry fanfic so I can assure you that they'll be together in the end. Here's to an epic, slightly AU story! Oh, also, the fic will feature verses in the beginning of each chapter from the song, "Breathe" by Erasure, one of my favorite bands. ^_^ The plan is for 8 chapters - a chapter for each 'verse.' POV will generally be from Rachel's for storytelling purposes, but when Rachel isn't present we'll get a bit of a peek at Quinn's experience.
Twenty-seven times I paint the city in lights,
Now I changed my mind;
I was living fast now I'm running on empty,
And I feel yeah I feel,
You're gonna go, let me go.
Rachel Berry sipped quietly at her coffee. Around her, the city was alive as usual, car horns blaring and taxis speeding by with no regard to speed limits. Behind the cover of her sunglasses, she turned her gaze to passers-by, hoping to remain anonymous at least for a quiet cup of coffee. It was really the first day in weeks she'd had off. Production for this season's run of Rent had started off smoothly. After all the years it had been on Broadway, the increasing demand seemed to surprise those involved. Yet, this year it had been recieved better than any of the following. Reviews gloated that the season's cast was comprised of the most talented since the original production. When Rachel had been in high school, this is all she dreamt of. Being a Broadway star was her only dream, and now that it had come true, it seemed as if it had lost a little bit of its spark. Not all, mind you. She still felt an unbelievable rush on the stage. It was all the little details outside of work that felt tedious and unworthy of what she'd built her dreams up to be back when she didn't know what it really meant to be a 'star.' Looking back, Rachel thought perhaps it would have been more beneficial for her to be a little more social. The one thing the now-famous Rachel Berry didn't have was friends. The only friend from Lima that remained was Kurt, and that's because he had also made it to Broadway over the years. He started in off-Broadway productions and this year had been cast in Rent as Mark, her own characters ex-boyfriend; that thought had made them both laugh over a glass of wine after realizing how ironic the casting was, how it seemed that it was somehow perfect for the two of them to end up on the same stage.
Rachel smiled a little at the thought, stirring her coffee idly, but the smile faded as soon as she felt her phone vibrate against the mug, making an annoying sound against the surface. A text message from her manager simply stated, Call me - St. James and Rachel thought how odd that it didn't bother her that his message was so completely impersonal. She flipped her phone open, peering through her glasses at passers-by, boredly drumming her nails on top of the table.
"Hello," came the answering voice on the other end. Short, cool, calm.
"Hey," Rachel sighed into the reciever, "what is it?"
"Dinner tonight, 8. Gino's."
"Cast dinner or date?"
Before Rachel could say their usual 'I love you' which was all together an unfeeling exchange, the other end beeped at her to signal the call had ended. They'd begun dating again right out of high school, having attended the same drama courses in college and finding their mutual passion again in both music and one another. Rachel had accepted the relationship easily - she loved Jesse's drive and passion for Broadway. Eventually, after graduating college, they'd gotten an apartment together - but Jesse had since moved out and gotten his own apartment. Once a week, Rachel would spend the night at his apartment. It all became a routine, and the relationship quickly fizzled. For both appearance and career purposes, though, they'd kept up the relationship. It seemed so easy to be in such a passionless relationship. Jesse was slightly more invested than Rachel was, of course, he was always more insistent than even the great Rachel Berry. Some days it bothered Rachel more than others. It wasn't easy when love had been such an ideal for her in high school. Now, as an adult, she had begun to think maybe she was only capable of loving music and not a person. In some ways, she did love Jesse.
She didn't love his constantly aloof attitude, or the way he drooled over tall blondes when he thought Rachel wasn't paying attention. She most certainly didn't love the way she was just a trophy on his arm, his famous girlfriend and client. As Rachel's manager he got more attention than he would ever get doing anything else. It was more of an arrangement than anything else, and Rachel lived a sort of quietly bitter life off the stage. She lived for her moments on stage, those moments with her cast-mates rehearsing and running over lines and songs, talking about ideas they all had for their own Broadway productions.
"More coffee, miss?" The sweet-voiced waitress seemed nervous as she looked down at Rachel, sadly hopeful as she held the hot pot of coffee.
Rachel shook her head, offering an apologetic smile, "No, thank you though," as she began to dig around in her purse for some cash to pay for her two cups of coffee and a tip, she saw a pen and paper shoved nervously in her line of vision.
"I didn't want to bother you," the waitress stumbled on her words, "or draw attention to you since I know you probably want a quiet breakfast but can you just sign this? I'm.. a really big fan." The redhead smiled nervously, looking as if she might fall apart if Rachel didn't acquiesce to her request.
Rachel couldn't help the small laugh that came out of her mouth, her fingers taking both the pen and paper, "No problem. I appreciate a quiet breakfast. Your name?" She glanced up at the trembling redhead, amused at the fact that she was clearly trying to keep herself calm and not look as if anything was out of the ordinary.
"Charlie," the girl grinned, her eyes darting around nervously, wide as quarters as they looked down at Rachel's hand.
Rachel nodded, "I like that," she stated simply before handing the autographed paper back to her. "It was nice to meet you, Charlie, and again thank you for not drawing too much attention my way." Her hand rested on the girl's shoulder, noting the way the redhead seemed to blush and nod quickly. She grinned to herself as she ducked her head and strode purposefully out of the confines of the gated cafe, the always slightly-short Rachel Berry going mostly unnoticed among the throng of New Yorkers heading to work for another typical day.
The city never had lost its charm for Rachel - it was the people that sometimes disappointed her. No, she most certainly loved the beauty of the bustling city, the buildings that seemed to touch the sky, the way nobody ever really slept in New York because they wanted to live every moment they could. Even when she'd first arrived and been unable to afford anything but a tiny, run-down apartment, she'd loved that, too, especially on nights when she could sneak out her window and sit on the fire-escape, watching cars zip by underneath her feet and listening to the raucous laughter shared as friends made their way to and from bars. She loved the way she could never see the glittering stars, she just knew they were there. And when the full moon stood out brighter than any light in the city, Rachel would lean on the railing of the fire-escape and sigh contentedly. New York had always been inside her, been in her blood. Even if she hadn't made it on Broadway, this would be home.
Four years of New York living and the city had never lost its allure. Rachel wished she could send a letter to her high-school self and tell her that she could endure the slushie-facials because one day she'd be falling asleep to the sound of New York humming its constant lullaby.
Tucking her hands in her pockets, Rachel sighed thoughtfully as she made her way back to her penthouse. That was the nice thing about Broadway - besides the recognition, the paychecks. Of course, she'd had to muddle through off-Broadway productions in the beginning that never made much money or shut down without her ever getting paid, she was now making quite a sum of money. Being on the main stage meant she was one of the top grossing Broadway stars of the day. Her talent and passion for the art had brought her to the point.
Nodding in greeting, Rachel smiled at the doorman as he opened the tall glass doors for her before making her way through the lobby. A few more nods and greetings passed by before she got on the elevator and stared at the floor-display, watching the floors tick by systematically. Idly, she found herself humming a tuneless sound before stepping out onto her floor. Her apartment door unlocked, she slipped inside and closed the door behind her.
The livingroom greeted her, sparkling clean, the maid having made her stop for the day already while Rachel was out for coffee. She found a bowl of fresh fruit on the dining-room table, and she fished out a good apple from the glass-top surface before she moved on to the balcony, hand sliding over the black leather couch just before the sliding doors.
Rachel leaned on the railing, again feeling her phone buzz. Dress nice - St. James was the message that blinked back at her, eliciting a roll of her eyes. That was always the assumption anyway, but Jesse seemed to derive happiness from calling the shots.
Despite her passionless romance and busy rehearsal schedule, Rachel Berry loved her life. For the most part, anyway. She'd spent the last four years of her life in New York, the one place she'd always wanted to be. The diva had become a star. That was all she had really wanted, anyway, right?
Rachel bit into the apple, tasting the juices splattered on her tongue, turning around and disappearing into her penthouse. She had a pretty decent life. Love didn't concern her so much anymore.
"Are you coming to dinner tonight?" Kurt's panicked voice greeted Rachel before the sight of him did. He burst into the apartment, hands flailing as he pushed past Rachel and disappeared into her bedroom, rifling through her closet.
Rachel grinned, "Hello to you too, Kurt," she shook her head as his familiar blur reappeared. "Yes, of course I'm going. Why?"
"We have to coordinate!" Kurt stated insistently as he searched through Rachel's collection of designer dresses. He tossed one down on the bed, grabbing Rachel's hand and roughly shoving her in front of the closet.
Rachel stood amusedly, biting back laughter as Kurt pressed different dresses up against her figure and shook his head every once in a while.
"My god, who would put you in this color?" Kurt looked aghast as he appraised a teal gown, recoiling as he hung it up, looking as if he was touching a worm.
"I resent that, Kurt Hummel, that is a vintage -"
"Mess." Kurt stated, arching a perfectly groomed eyebrow and sighing. "Oh, good, perfect!" He pulled out a long Versace gown, black with white pin-stripes that accentuated Rachel's figure.
"I wore that to the Tony's two years ago though," Rachel protested lightly, looking a little unsure as her brown eyes glanced up at Kurt.
Kurt shrugged a shoulder, "You know how that goes. Everyone forgets what you wore a week ago. I doubt they'll remember what you wore two years ago." He seemed satisfied as he looked over the dress, smoothing it out at the edges. "How's that manager of yours doing?" He asked idly, laying the dress down delicately on Rachel's bed.
Rachel shrugged her shoulders in a noncommital fashion, "Fine. He just texted me this morning."
"I find it uber-weird that you two don't live together anymore, much less go out on dates. Isn't that a little ... boring?"
"It works, though," Rachel looked a little guilty.
Kurt watched her with a suspicious gaze, sighing a little, "I'd love to see you in love, though." His eyes softened dramatically as he touched Rachel's hair. "You'd be so much happier."
Rachel shook her head, another light shrug of her shoulders, "Why be in love when I have the best friend in the world?"
Kurt grinned, laughed a little, and wrapped his arms around Rachel, squeezing her tightly, "Too bad for you that I'm about as gay as a gay unicorn."
Laughter bubbled from Rachel's throat and she hugged Kurt just as tightly, "You know what I mean," she insisted gently before pulling away. "Do you want a salad for lunch? I was just about to make one, and I don't want to eat too much before the cast dinner tonight."
Kurt nodded eagerly, "Oh, there's this new seasoning I absolutely have to get for you some time. It goes perfectly on a Ceasar salad," and with that he grabbed Rachel's hand and dragged her into the kitchen, sitting her down and busying himself in the kitchen.
"I was going to make the salad, you really don't have to make things every time you come over. I mean I have a maid and a chef for that if I want someone to make my lunch for me," she reminded Kurt, watching him with an amused expression.
"The Rachel Berry I remember wouldn't complain about someone serving her. Since you're a big Broadway star and all," Kurt teased as he set out two large salad bowls and began chopping up the necessary ingredients. "Really, though, when it comes to the whole Jesse thing -"
Rachel sighed, "Kurt, I know it doesn't make sense but I just ... I can't break up with him. We aren't in love and he probably just loves that he can have control, but ..."
"It's comfortable. Familiar. You're alone without being alone and you don't have to think about whether or not someone wants to date you."
Kurt's matter-of-fact tone surprised Rachel, but what surprised her more was the way she had unconsciously begun to nod in agreement.
"I know these things," Kurt stated haughtily, "but sweetie, I would love to see you really happy. Being in love makes you feel happier than any stage ever could."
Rachel's eyebrow arched slightly and she smiled, "I appreciate the sentiment, Kurt, but right now it's just not a concern. Jesse is fine for now."
"Saying 'for now' only proves my point. You plan on dumping him eventually."
Gino's was a high-class, old-generation Italian restaraunt, and Rachel couldn't help but feel like she was walking onto the set of Scarface as she made her way to the VIP lounge for the cast-dinner. Kurt was latched on to her arm, wearing a matching pin-striped suit, and they seemed to get the most looks as they passed patrons. Jesse wouldn't be at the dinner tonight, and Rachel felt guilty for the relief she felt in finding that out. It turned out that it wasn't just a cast dinner, but a cast-only dinner. Since it was their first day off, the producers had paid for a quiet evening for the cast to bond and relax over some wine and Italian food. They'd even requested a special vegan menu for Rachel, as she was the only cast member who was a vegan. Rachel took a seat somewhere in the middle of the booth, Kurt slipping in next to her.
Rachel was relatively quiet at dinner. Although her cast mates were good friends and had become so over time, she felt slightly thoughtful about the whole situation as Kurt had pointed out. Was she really happy with just being on Broadway? Would she be happier - no, could she be happier if she was in love? Could it actually happen? She had always eventually planned on breaking up with Jesse St. James. He was controlling and cold and usually only invited her over to stay the night if he wanted sex. It was a loveless relationship and often times Rachel seemed to lose herself in the feeling of not feeling anything. A numbness had made its way into her life and it by all means wasn't a fairy tale.
Money didn't always buy happiness, and Rachel lost her appetite when she realized maybe she wasn't as happy as she thought. As she glanced between Kurt and her other cast mates, her expression was a little solemn and quiet as she merely observed, occasionally laughing in response to something said or masking a frown with a smile. She was good at keeping her show-face on. That's what mattered for right now. She insisted, as her mind fought with her convictions, that it was better to just stay in the relationship and not worry about it. One day there might be a spark but until then, it didn't matter. For the most part, Rachel could be independent if Jesse wasn't hovering over her shoulder, but what was independence if you were lonely?
Rachel shifted uncomfortably now and again, but as dinner ended she found herself more than eager to go home. It had turned out to be a nice, quiet night, and the sixth wine-glass told her that she should probably call her driver so he could drop Kurt off at his apartment, and drop her off at her own. She took Kurt's hand amicably as they headed out of the restaraunt, climbing into the back seat and resting her head on Kurt's shoulder.
"You might be right."
The admission hung in the air between them, and Kurt gave her hand a sympathetic squeeze.
The next morning, Rachel awoke with a headache and managed to swallow down a couple aspirin, praying for relief before the show that evening. She didn't really know why she had drank so much at the cast dinner, but now she wished she'd held back just a little bit. Rolling out of bed, Rachel stifled a yawn with the back of her hand and stretched upward, making her way into the kitchen and brewing a pot of coffee. The newspaper had been laid out on her counter early in the morning, and she flipped through the print without really reading anything.
Her mind was still heavy with Kurt's pestering from the day before. It's nothing Rachel didn't know, but for some reason it was really starting to bother her that perhaps Kurt was right. Maybe she needed more in her life. Yet, just as she let herself begin to wander with those thoughts, her phone rang. Without looking, she knew it was Jesse, and flipped the phone open.
"Lunch at noon, something small since I know you don't like performing on a full stomach."
And he hung up. Rachel sighed, rolling her eyes. She hated that. It was always so short when he was on the phone. Even when they were spending time together, he was the same way. It was as if Rachel was a convenience, someone reliable. Always there whenever he beckoned.
Her eyes brightened as an idea dared pass its way through her mind. She picked up her phone and dialed Kurt's number, waiting as the Lady GaGa song played in her ear, a replacement for the usual ring-ring that irritated her when she called Jesse.
Kurt picked up, mid-laughter, "Hello?"
"Hey, you want to go for lunch? Manhattan, my treat?"
"Sure! What time?"
"Noon," Rachel grinned over the phone.
"Pick you up then!" Kurt stated happily before he hung up the phone, unknowing that he'd just taken part in the first step toward Rachel Berry's romantic emancipation.
Rachel bounced happily in her seat for a moment, opening her phone once more and sending a brief text to Jesse's number.
Sorry, already have plans. Stop hanging up on me, it's impolite. - R.B.
The diva rose from her seat, ignoring the incoming texts from Jesse's familiar ring-tone, and skipped into her bedroom to pick out clothes for her outing with Kurt today. It took her approximately an hour to figure out what to wear - something easy to change out of for later when they went on stage, but something nice enough in case she and Kurt were spotted. Manhattan was relatively quieter when it came to their cafes, and it allowed for some privacy, but there was always a chance that fans would gather anyway, or what was worse, the papparazzi. They were always eager and hungry for any kind of gossip or scandalous pictures. Of course, Kurt Hummel being on the cover of The Advocate every other month meant that it wasn't likely that the papparazzi would be mistaking him for Rachel Berry's secret off-stage lover.
Jeans and a cami slipped on, a decent pair of shoes, Rachel glanced at the time, marvelling at how fast it seemed to pass sometimes when she was in a good mood. The diva answered the door, her phone on silent, as Kurt greeted her happily and the pair headed out for a nice afternoon together in Manhattan. Rachel felt guilty at the amount of satisfaction she derived, knowing Jesse was having lunch by himself and busily texting her various exclamations of displeasure and irritation. She decided she'd clue Kurt in on the purpose of the particular timing of their lunch later on. For right now she just wanted a nice afternoon with her best friend.
"Since when do you stand me up for lunch plans with someone else?" Jesse fumed at Rachel's dressing-room doorway.
Rachel glanced over cooly, shrugged a shoulder, "Since I already had plans and you didn't bother to ask if I did or not. You tend to assume that I am consistently available when you can't even clear your schedule for our anniversary."
Jesse rolled his eyes, "Oh please, stop being dramatic."
"I'm a Broadway star, drama is what I do. If you don't mind, I'd like to finish taking this makeup off and head home."
"I'll come with you."
Rachel glanced over at Jesse, biting back her smirk, "Says who?"
Jesse looked completely shocked, and an expression of anger twisted his mouth into a light snarl, "I'm your boyfriend, Rachel, it's not like I'm not allowed to come over. Who'd you have lunch with, huh? Some old boyfriend in town?"
"Not unless Kurt Hummel and I have previously had an intimate relationship," Rachel rolled her eyes as she finished taking off her foundation, completely disregarding the fuming manager behind her. "And for your information I want a night to myself, so no you won't be coming over. Don't bother texting or calling, either." The short diva stood, grabbing her purse and waving in a noncommital way before leaving Jesse standing alone in her dressing room, stunned and displeased.
Kurt, who'd apparently decided eavesdropping was more interesting than knocking, bounced happily in the hall and took Rachel in his arms, "Go you!" His exclamation was filled with laughter as he pushed her gently down the hall. "Your apartment or mine, lover?" He nudged her playfully and Rachel laughed.
"Oh god, don't even, those are visuals I really don't want," Rachel stated through her laughter and wrapped an arm around Kurt's waist.
Kurt shivered visibly and frowned, "Ew, agreed."
It was on the way home that Rachel Berry recieved the biggest shock of her life. She and Kurt had been walking along the streets, block by block, laughing and sharing a late night pretzel together, when she was nearly knocked over by a head of blonde-hair streaking past them, nearly knocking them both flat on their behinds. Behind the running girl was a slightly overweight shop-owner who looked red with quite the furious disposition.
"I don't know if I should be irritated or worried," Kurt stated simply, glancing at the pair as they ran across a busy street.
Rachel frowned slightly. This wasn't really a part of the city that was prone to high crime rates. That was the first time she'd really witnessed a chase since she first moved here. What seemed stranger to her was that the criminal was female. Not that statistics didn't point to high crime rates for desperate females, but the crime rates were inevitably higher on the male side.
Kurt snapped his fingers in Rachel's face, as the brunette had gotten lost in staring down the street after them, and just as he was about to speak, Rachel gasped and her hand flew over her mouth.
"Oh my god," was all she managed to get out before they were both deafened by the sound of glass and steel, squealing breaks and angry shouts. It was the loud and sickening 'thunk' of a body hitting a windshield that made Rachel's stomach wretch. "Oh my god," she gasped out again and she looked at Kurt before dashing across the street and joining a gathering crowd of onlookers as one person tremblingly dialed 911.
Kurt's hand rested on her back as he caught up with her, "Is she okay?" He tried peering over a taller gentleman's shoulders but failed.
"I don't know," and for a reason Rachel couldn't explain, she slipped from Kurt's grasp and under someone's arm, glad for her short stature as she squeezed through the crowd. Her eyes didn't immediately register what she saw - a broken and battered girl laying on the cement, groaning in pain and rolling on to her side as she rebuffed someone's effort to pick her up off the ground. The wet road gleamed under bright headlights. The limp body on the pavement caused Rachel to gasp.
"Quinn!" Rachel cried out, confusedly, although the girl was unconscious.
Kurt had rushed forward just in time to hear Rachel's exclamation, "Oh my god," he gasped quietly, a hand over his heart, and he watched paramedics swarm around and clear the crowd.
Rachel's eyes were full of fear. The last place she thought she'd run into Quinn after high school was here, with Quinn lying unconscious and battered on the cement. She tried to keep a clear view of Quinn, praying that the ambulance would keep their lights on (it was bad news if the ambulance didn't bother to turn their lights on) as Quinn Fabray was lifted into the ambulance and shut away from the prying eyes of a concerned crowd of New Yorkers. It wasn't until Kurt tugged at her arm that Rachel numbly followed Kurt back to her apartment, stumbling a little, glancing behind her at the retreating ambulance, sirens ringing in her head.
"Her name is Quinn Fabray... she was..she was brought in last night around midnight?" Rachel questioned hopefully. She'd spent all morning the next day calling every hospital she could, trying to find out where the ambulance had taken her old schoolmate. Although they'd never really been on polite terms very much, still, this was a person she'd grown up with and known nearly her entire life. It was like seeing Mercedes or Santana splayed broken in the middle of the New York streets. Rachel couldn't help but be concerned.
"There was a Quinn brought in, but she wouldn't give us her last name. She was high as a kite and had several broken bones," the voice on the other line seemed robotic, as if they spoke of this kind of thing every day. Rachel was stung with how impersonal the woman's tone was, and had half a mind to complain.
"Blonde? About 5'4"-5'6"? Cropped haircut?"
"Sounds like her," the nurse responded on the other line. "Are you family?"
Rachel didn't know what to say. Most likely the hospital had a policy about visitors that weren't family. Yet, Rachel Berry had a moral struggle with the idea of lying to see her potential enemy. "Yes," Rachel answered before she realized, and it wasn't until the nurse asked for her name and when she'd be in to visit that Rachel realized she'd answered.
She ignored every other text and call, but did manage to text Kurt the name of the hospital and what room Quinn would be in. The diva informed him in another text that they were only letting family visit but she had lied "just to make sure she's okay." Seeing such a prominent piece of her past injured as badly as Quinn had shook Rachel to the core. This was someone she knew more than almost anyone else, even though all her knowledge had come from combative arguments and heated situations with the girl. This was the girl she'd tended to during Junior Prom, cried with, argued with, both hated and envied.
It wasn't long before Rachel found herself nervously drumming her fingers against the nurse's station, waiting to be admitted and allowed to see Quinn. Nerves twisted about in her stomach with a ferocity unmatched. Rachel couldn't focus on anything right now. She pulled out her phone, sending a quick text to her producer informing him to put one of her understudies in her place for tonight's show - there had been a family emergency, she'd said, and again wondered at the use of the excuse of Quinn being family to make sure the blonde was okay. Kurt had sent flowers to Quinn's room with a simple note, but Rachel Berry, Broadway star and diva, had shown up personally with worry etched on every inch of her face.
The nurse finally waved Rachel down the hall, and Rachel had to control herself - she wanted to run down the hall and into the room because panic was settling inside her and it was a force to be reckoned with. She settled for shoving her nervous hands in her back pockets as the nurse opened the door to the room Quinn was sharing with another patient.
Rachel wasn't ready for the shock of seeing Quinn Fabray hooked up to IVs and liquid nutrition, doused in a cold sweat from withdrawals and groaning in pain. It looked as if Quinn had been run over by a train, not by a taxi, and Rachel felt shaken to the core as she stood awkwardly in the silent room. The diva glanced over her shoulder at the other patient, who was drowsily dozing off to an episode of Maury Povich. Swallowing, Rachel wondered what she was doing here, and why.
Her eyes scanned over Quinn, face contorting gently with concern as she heard Quinn let out another pained groan, something close to a sob, but her eyes still didn't open. Rachel worried, frowned, stood nervously at the edge of the bed. She glanced over Quinn's charts, seeing the long list of injuries and diagnoses, before her eyes searched the unconscious person in front of her.
What was Quinn Fabray doing in New York? Had she really come in high? Quinn had always been one of those outstanding moral individuals - except when it came to torturing Rachel Berry - that Rachel envied for the ability to resist any kind of outlandish behavior. She'd always admired Quinn's strength and stability, the fact that Quinn would go on to do great and wonderful things with her life, find a husband, get married. So what had brought the former HBIC to this point? To this low? If rock bottom had been hit, why had it been hit? Rachel never expected Quinn to fail at anything.
Yet, here Quinn lay, experiencing drug withdrawals and injuries to boot. Rachel stayed for a little longer, keeping her unsure positioning at the end of the bed, before she rounded the side of the bed and left a simple 'Get Well' card with Rachel's number and name written inside. She was sure Quinn wouldn't care, but Rachel just wanted Quinn to know she'd been there to see her, to make sure she was okay. Rachel knew Quinn was terrified of hospitals, ever since she'd had Beth. Rachel also didn't want Quinn to think no one knew she was here. Rachel knew.
The brunette hesitated, pressed a gentle hand to Quinn's face, before she turned and made her way out of the hospital room. The nurse at the station seemed surprised to see Rachel so soon, and even more surprised as Rachel pulled out her checkbook.
"How much will her hospital stay be, in total?" Rachel stated as she began to write out a check, filling in the amount the nurse informed her of. "I'll be back tomorrow, please contact me if she wakes up." Rachel stated quietly as she offered a smile to the bewildered nurse, before making her way out of the hospital, her mind heavy and full of too many questions.
"Rach, this is ridiculous. I haven't seen you all week and you still won't go to lunch with me," Jesse whined on the other end of the phone. "I mean not only am I your manager but you seem to have forgotten I am also your boyfriend."
"Trust me, I haven't forgotten. I just need ..." Rachel sighed heavily over the phone, massaging the space between her eyes as she closed them. Her head was really starting to pound with all the stress she was dealing with, "I just need some space, alright? I'll contact you for lunch next week or something. An old ... friend," she hesitated on the word, sighing again, "got injured in a car accident and I just have a lot on my mind. I have more important things to worry about right now."
"More important than your relationship, your career?" Jesse fumed on the other end.
Rachel rolled her eyes, "I didn't think those things were mutually exclusive to one another, Jesse. Either way, yes, more important than both of those things. Once in a while, other things have to come first. I need some space and I expect you to respect that."
Jesse let out a huff, "Fine, bye."
And with that, the line went silent and Rachel laid down for the third time that day. Her head was pounding. She'd continued to check her phone all day in hopes the nurse would call to let her know that Quinn had woken up. Kurt had called once or twice to ask how Quinn had been when Rachel saw her, if Quinn got the flowers, if Rachel was doing okay (because it was highly unusual for Rachel Berry to use an understudy and miss a performance) or needed anything.
Rachel didn't have answers for any of her questions right now, and she most certainly didn't have answers for Kurt's questions, or Jesse's. She closed her eyes, and waited for the phone call. A big part of her knew she shouldn't be this worried about Quinn. The girl had made her life a living hell. Yet, without Quinn, Rachel wouldn't have been half as determined to reach Broadway. Quinn's bullying, in a strange way, had forced Rachel to focus her energy on getting out of Lima, getting free from the grasp of mediocrity.
Rachel Berry didn't rest well that evening. She lay with cell phone in hand, staring at the glowing screen in front of her eyes, praying for Quinn to wake up. It went against her instincts to care about Quinn's well-being, but then again, Rachel had never been very good at not caring about people. If her being in a relationship with Jesse St. James, the boy who'd smashed an egg over her head to humiliate her, was testament to anything, it was a testament to the fact that she was far too forgiving and caring for her own good.