A/N: My first Faberry fic, my first Glee fic, my first femslash fic period. Please review, and let me know if I completely let down or not.
This is set pre-series. I'm setting a premise that Faberry have had a distant but not personally adversarial relationship through their freshman year. Generic slushies, but no name calling yet. I'd say this begins the end of the summer between ninth and tenth grade, a month or so before Glee.
She came stumbling into the girl's room, falling to her knees at her bedside. The heavy impact against the floor gave off a loud thump, the little red numbers on the bedside clock flashing 2:00 a.m.
It was storming outside, tumultuous as rain slammed against the tin roofing above them, the violent rumble of the thunder in the distance reverberating through the air. Lightening crashed, illuminating the shadows and highlighting the blonde's pale, damp face to Rachel's view, drawing the young singer into her eyes. Her breath caught in her throat at the raw, vulnerable emotion evident in their wounded hazel, their usual spark dulled by the heartache held so poignantly in Quinn's gaze.
Quinn Fabray looked up at her with those eyes and any resistance the diva might have had to her presence collapsed in on itself, forced down without the slightest hesitance. There was no power in her to turn the other girl away.
Rachel reached out to her, resting a hand between Quinn's shoulder-blades and nudged. Quinn responded to her silent urging, struggling to her feet to sit next to the brunette.
"Quinn," her bedmate whispered, "What happened?"
The only thing that left Quinn was a soft whimper and Rachel moved on instinct, embracing her. Quinn relaxed into in the smaller girl's arms, her whole body seeming to go slack with relief at her touch. Rachel responded to the blonde's trembling by stroking her back with one hand, using the other to cradle her head as it fell to the diva's shoulder. Quinn's shaking continued, more subtle but still there, and Rachel pressed kisses to the Cheerio's temple, worry enveloping her despite her better intentions.
Quinn's arms went around Rachel tightly, careful not to crush the brunette to her like she wanted so badly, wanting her near all the same. She frowned as she felt their difference in height, feeling the urge she wouldn't let her pride openly acknowledge- she wanted to be engulfed by Rachel, cradled by her, cling to her strength and comfort as she let himself go.
Quinn was not aware of the moment she sank back to her knees, but as she hit the floor, Rachel's embrace was still there, her hand stroking Quinn's hair as her body wracked with sobs, that beautiful, melodious voice warm and soothing against her ear. Rachel held her for a long time, long after the blonde had calmed, listening in silence as she spoke, not caring as the cheerleader's words rambled and became broken or unintelligible, as she released everything.
Another fight with her father (one-sided, as he was the only one doing the 'fighting'), just as vicious and nasty as the last. Rachel's only response could be to hold Quinn tighter, trying not to let her utter disgust show at the thought of Russell Fabray. It was only times like this that Quinn allowed the vulnerability and emotion to show, and really, this was far from the first time Quinn had come to the diva in the middle of night, seeking comfort.
Rachel Berry was not sure what it was that prompted Quinn Fabray to choose her of all people to be the one to comfort, to see her at her most vulnerable. She knew for a fact that the privilege was hers and hers alone by the way Quinn's mask stayed on so firmly during school these days, marching down the hallways like she owned the place and ruled everything her eyes cast over. There were no cracks in the façade. Not like there had been before. And if Finn's kicked puppy dog expression was anything to go, Quinn wasn't exactly opening up to her boyfriend either.
Rachel had always known the face Quinn showed during school hours was not the reality, not the real Quinn. Since the first time their eyes had locked freshman year, she had been blown away by the sheer amount of pain and sadness Quinn seemed to hold inside herself. She had seen the apologetic hesitation in the blonde's gaze as she watched Rachel receive that first slushie facial. And while the slushies continued, the brunette had to note that they never came from the hands or on the orders of the other teenager.
Three months ago, the first night the other girl had come crawling through her unlocked window, she finally caught a glimpse of the hidden Quinn- sweet, vulnerable, sad, oh so fragile, Quinn. Quinn who cried with such quietness but abandon, Quinn who liked to be held and cuddled, Quinn who often stayed and talked with her in low, hushed tones, and then spent the night wrapped around her in sleep.
It wasn't easy to hold this tormented girl so close, touch her the way she did, feeling her depend on her the way she did. It had long since begun stirring up feelings the singer could definitely do without. She suppressed a groan, tired already with the echo of frustration and struggle of denial that she could never win. There could be no victory for logic or reason in her heart; it was as stubborn as the rest of her. As much as she bemoaned her fate, the tiny parts of her that wanted to want Quinn, wanted to love her, wanted to desire her, rejoiced.
Quinn could try to say she did not know what it was that drew her to Rachel, keeping her coming back to the girl night after night. But as much as she was a master at lying to herself, in these quiet, peaceful moments when the brunette's arms were around her, there wasn't any use in denying it.
Rachel had always had an effect on her. From the first time they had locked eyes in the hallway, Quinn sporting her brand new Cheerios uniform, both proud and anxious at being picked to be part of the Head Cheerio's entourage, only one of two freshmen- her, and Santana Lopez. She caught sight of Rachel Berry at her locker, looking confused as she studied a map of the school.
Quinn had tilted her head curiously, mulling over the girl's odd fashion choices. She decided on quirky, but cute, and when Rachel looked up and met her eyes, Quinn's lips quirked into a friendly smile. Rachel tentatively returned her smile and when Quinn raised her hand in a near-invisible wave, the little diva had visibly brightened, beaming at her and waving back enthusiastically.
The HBIC did not respond well to that.
She gave Rachel a precursory onceover, sneered, declared her a geek and a freak, and strutted away with an audible 'hmph'. Quinn swallowed hard against the lump in her throat as she followed after the heels of her fellow cheerleaders, pretending not to see the wounded expression that shadowed the petite girl's pretty features.
The next day, when the first slushie was thrown in her could-have-been friend's face, it was all apologies in Quinn's eyes as she stood on the other side of the hall, frozen in place as it happened. Rachel's doe brown eyes looked back at her, sad but sympathetic. It's okay, they seemed to say, I understand. And Quinn's heart ached all the more.
As should be obvious by now, Rachel had attracted her from the very start as the person she was, a gentle, caring soul who could, if Quinn let her, understand her, take care of her. Someone who would freely offer to be the support she needed. It took a little over six months of distant acquaintance for Quinn's resolve to crack.
She had to give Rachel credit. To this day, Quinn would never understand how she could act so compassionately to a classmate she barely knew, climbing through her window in the middle of the night. Did she really know Quinn that well without actually knowing her? To know that Quinn could never be there to hurt her? And then to be so trusting as to leave her window unlocked every night afterward.
Rachel gave her friendship and companionship when Quinn needed it the most, even if Quinn forced it to be in secret and darkness; she gave the Cheerio purpose and reassurance where no other made the same difference. Rachel gave her hope, gave her strength, saw her when no one else was capable of breaking through her carefully constructed defenses.
Fifteen years old, and she found her solace at two a.m. in the arms of a beautiful, dramatic little diva that made her heart feel so full. It was a gift so freely given, Quinn wasn't sure she could ever really accept everything Rachel had to offer her.
Rachel sighed, shaking her head to dispel the wandering of her thoughts. It was too late (early) for such deep thought and melancholy. The clock beside her read nearly three a.m. and it would only be a few of hours before her alarm went off. Quinn had long gone quiet in her arms, her breathing steady and deep, though the blonde made no effort to let go of her. This, at least, Rachel was familiar with, and she tugged the cheerleader up. Quinn looked up at her, and it wasn't hard to read the question in her eyes.
She nodded, yes the Cheerio could stay, yes the blonde could sleep with her, and yes Quinn could keep unconsciously playing with her heart.
Quinn slid back up, slipping out of her damp jeans, left in panties and her tank-top, before climbing onto the bed at Rachel's prompting. The brunette lay back and Quinn settled atop of her, resting her head against the diva's chest as Rachel kept up the soothing touches, fingers in Quinn's hair, caressing her back and shoulders.
A cool, tanned hand stroked against a pale forehead once more, the warmth of smooth lips pressed against the blonde's brow, a kiss to her temple. Quinn sighed, contently, and nestled against her bedmate, falling soon into an easy slumber.
It was a long time before Rachel found sleep.