Disclaimer: I do not own Facebook or Google (erm, obviously) or the characters from glee.
One day, he just flips out.
Completely loses it.
He's just not recognisable as the calm, rational teacher figure as he stands there on the edge of the stage, the veins standing up on his neck so prominently you can almost see the blood pumping through them.
The glee club watch on in shock, too astonished to even whisper conspiratorially amongst themselves, utterly speechless at his outburst.
He yells at his parents, anger flashing in his eyes, oblivious to his growing audience of the guests at his parents' anniversary party at which the glee club were asked to perform.
She doesn't know why at first, doesn't know it's because he heard them muttering about how his cousin is being totally inappropriate with that 'dirty cradle-snatching sleaze' of a boyfriend.
She catches snippets of his rant about how love is irrespective of age and gender and race and anything, and months of built up frustration come cascading out in his words.
His arms wave madly in their faces and it's more than ten minutes before he comes into awareness about what he's doing.
He freezes and his head jerks wildly around, and she hastily moves behind Finn and Sam so that his eyes can't find hers.
She wouldn't be able to hold herself together if he did, every word from his lips swirling round and round in her mind.
It shouldn't be like that, but what they're playing around with is wrong.
She knows he thinks so, knows that's why he's full of reasons he can't spend time alone with her, why he's started helping out decorate his neighbours flat, trying to put more distance between them.
She's constantly telling him that they're not doing anything, that it's perfectly alright for them to be friends, to spend a few extra hours outside of school to discuss glee.
It's technically true, because most of their conversation does revolve around music, and movies, and finding out each other's likes and dislikes…
He once let it slip, in a moment of weakness, that the apartment was always weirdly empty after she left.
Left after just dropping round to check on where it was correct to breathe in that line in that song, the one they weren't really singing anymore and so it didn't really matter and would she like a cup of tea?
It feels so forbidden, as soon as she leaves and realises that she has just spent the best part of her Friday evening on her teacher's couch, sipping green tea and laughing more than she ever has.
It was Rachel's idea in the first place.
The pseudo friendship they had (/break from going at each other's throats) had arisen since Quinn finally understood that her place was not hanging on Finn's arm like a token prize.
They'd been talking one time after glee, and Rachel had been, not unkindly, pointing out flaws in Quinn's performance.
Will, no, her eyes widen at her mental slip up.
Mr Schuester cut in and kindly suggested that he can work on her breathing whenever she wants.
She forgets about it until several weeks later, when she's driving home from the store on Saturday morning, gloomy from just seeing Rachel and Finn walking in the park, arm in arm, without a care in the world.
All that awaits her at home is the vegetables laid out on the sideboard to make soup, since her mum is out and she's the only one who never seems to have plans.
It's probably not true, but it doesn't stop the loneliness from eating her inside.
He's got a pint of milk in one hand and a newspaper under his arm, and she pulls over and jumps out and just starts rambling about a song she heard on the 'golden oldies' the night before, and how with a bit of adjustment it would be just right for someone like Tina, because she hasn't really had a solo in a while, has she?
He looks a strange kind of devastated as they have walked all the way to his apartment block, and she doesn't miss a beat, and in the hallway outside his apartment she is singing a duet of 'If I Were A Boy', with him making exaggerated breaths in the correct places, and her missing the irony of its title and his rueful smile at their unusual meeting.
His apartment is on her way home.
If that is what you would call the 3 mile detour it takes to get there.
There's nothing wrong about their friendship, but she can't help thinking that if things were different, if love could really break down any barriers, then they could be so much more.
The silence after his outburst at the party is absolutely deafening, and she stutters something about needing the bathroom and does what she always does.
She stops finding herself at his apartment after that.
He turns up to school in a hoody and he's growing some sort of designer stubble.
She misses the sweater vests and cardigans in their grey/blue rainbow.
She'll never really know what it was that made her go back.
There was no reason to, everything and nothing had been said.
She would go to Ohio State in the fall, Columbus was far enough away that it would feel like a new start altogether.
He had found her on her graduation day, told her in a hollow voice that she looked beautiful, his eyes boring into hers with a determination to stop them straying from her face.
She had thought he was just going to run away, just like they always had done.
Always avoiding facing the huge elephant in the room.
Never finding out where it was leading.
He hugged her so fiercely she was winded, and kissed her hair, and she found herself promising she would make him proud.
When he finally let go, his expression was so clouded with grief that she mustered all her courage and offered him a small smile.
"Don't forget me".
It was more of a question than a statement.
It sounded pathetic, it didn't sound like her at all.
He crinkled his nose and she left him standing alone in the choir room, left nearly a whole year of wasted opportunities and what felt like most of her feelings behind her.
She was numb.
But that was it. There's nothing to go back for, no slow motion run after her, no throwing her against the lockers and gasping breaths and awkward, fumbling lips moulding in a sigh.
So there's no reason she should be so nervous, her palms sweating and her forehead clammy, as Finn drives and argues loudly with Kurt about the choice in radio station.
She's been indirectly invited to Sunday dinner at the Hudson-Hummel residence.
She was finally persuaded after Kurt arrived, and after a long muttered chat with Finn, joined in his efforts to tear her away from her studies.
She doesn't see point any more in focusing on things other than the things that are black and white, right or wrong, like the endless questions on human psychology laid out in the text books in front of her.
She sees a guy with brown curly hair walking along the sidewalk as they pull into the driveway, and she bites her lip so hard it bleeds.
It was nothing.
They were friends.
She doesn't feel this heart wrenching guilt and wash of fear each time she thinks about her other friends.
They talk about college, and Finn's ridiculous initiation into the football team.
"We should go see Mr Schue while we're here, he told us to keep in touch", Finn suggests innocently after dinner, and Quinn feels sick to her stomach.
She's convinced herself no one will think it's weird that she has to rush back on the train to finish a report from Monday, when Finn returns from the front room with a pleased smile on his face and announces that Mr Schue is going to call in on his way home from work in about 5 minutes and is really excited about finding out how they've been getting on.
It's fine because she really only knows him as well as Finn and Kurt do.
She's pretty sure that if they thought about it enough, and perhaps had the aid of Facebook and Google, they could answer all the questions about him that she could.
And they probably think about him just as much as she does, because he was a big part of all of their lives.
And he probably doesn't remember her.
She realises Finn didn't actually mention that she was there as well when the jovial smile of greeting is replaced in a millisecond with one of horror as he steps through into the lounge to see her perched on the couch there.
He's obviously decided to stick with the hoodies, and her eyes widen at the flash of gold as he moves his head and the light catches the earring in his right ear.
It doesn't stop her being totally in love with him.
"Hi!" She manages, and the shakiness in her voice isn't really that obvious.
He moistens his lips with his tongue.
"Hi Quinn. I… I didn't expect to see you again".
Right. He wasn't completely immersed in something that could never happen and never did.
"Well I'm here", she says, with a false brightness, and pushes out past him, going somewhere, anywhere…
She sits on the swing seat in the back yard and she's barely made contact with the wooden slats when he races out the back door.
"I told myself if I saw you again I'd do this", he gritted out. "All those hundreds of times I couldn't".
His eyes flash with anger and the heat of desire bubbles inside her.
Before she can say anything, he grabs either side of her face in sweaty hands and forces their lips to collide in a stabbing, harsh kiss that is not romantic or sweet and is almost painful.
He lets go and walks away and she's left standing completely dumbfounded in the middle of the grass, touching her lips with her fingertips and barely remembering to breathe.
They leave quite late in the evening, and it's late enough for her to pretend to sleep across the back seats, and avoid the questions about her sombre silence.
There's a reading week at the end of the first term, and she makes a spontaneous decision to go and visit Rachel in New York.
It's hard not to get caught up in her enthusiasm, and the buzzing of the city.
She looks up from watching the tv, and Rachel is standing beside the couch with her face twisted in confusion, and her cell phone held at arm's length.
"Where are you?"
The phone is barely on her ear when he asks.
She stalls. "Where are you?"
"Columbus. With your roommate."
She's not sure what to say to that.
"She said you're with Rachel."
There's a long excruciating silence, and Rachel snatches the phone from her hand and rattles off the address of the apartment her dads' boss owns that she lives in during term time.
Quinn opens and closes her mouth like a goldfish.
"What the hell?" Rachel asks dangerously, "What the hell is Will Schuester doing ringing my mobile number and asking for you?"
"I'm in love with him", she mumbles, burying her face in her friend's shoulder and crying when she finally lets herself feel the words she's saying.
Their meeting is awful.
They are both completely terrified, and she's torn between wanting to shag him on the spot and needing to run again.
He rushes over to her across the crowded airport, and suddenly it's like the end of a film where they finally get together and kiss with effortless beauty.
He stops a foot short of her, breathless.
He's wearing a maroon sweater vest.
He sticks out his hand in front of him with slightly too much force, and she neatly sidesteps before taking it in a firm handshake.
"Hi, I'm Will".
"Hi", she replies shyly.
He prompts her with a lopsided grin and a nod.
"Right, sorry, I'm Quinn… erm, coffee?"
She is now.
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