Title: Rachel Berry does not sparkle!
Rating: PG13 (there's some swearing, but not much)
Pairings / Characters: pre-slash Quinn/Rachel
Spoilers: let's just say everything, because the Glee timeline and continuity is so fucked up I don't know where to put it in the timeline (but probably set some time after S02E11 "The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle", ignoring certain events in S02E18 "Born this Way"); AU obviously
Summary: Rachel has always been kinda excentric and weird, but now she is really stepping it up a notch.
A/N: More or less inspired by a post I made a few weeks back on my tumblr. Maybe I'm just stupid for thinking this way because my sisters are both vegan and vegetarian, but I decided to put my own spin on supernatural!Faberry.
Your first reaction after you accidentally cut yourself in your left index finger with a simple kitchen knife in your Home Ec class is the need to swear very loudly. However, before the drawn out "Fuck!" that so desperately wants to leave your lips even has a chance to get there, you remember you are a Fabray, and as a Fabray you have a certain image to uphold. Even though your father is long gone and the only image your mother wants to keep up is of the "I'm able to support my child and myself without the help of a deadbeat husband, thank you very much" variety. As a matter of fact you've heard her cursing more than you could count in the time since you've moved back in. Still, seventeen years of good grooming, chastity balls and perfect manners are hard to shed in the blink of an eye, even if your finger really hurts at the moment.
Instead you settle for a wince and a hissed "Darn it," before you lift your hand and put the tip of your throbbing finger in your mouth, sucking at it to get the bleeding to stop. You can see your Home Ec teacher slowly making her way from the front of the class to your table with a band-aid in her hand. (Years of teaching have probably taught her to always have a huge box of band-aids in the drawer of her desk. Too many pupils would jump at the chance to get out of this class with the flimsy excuse of seeing the school nurse, just to "get lost" somewhere between the Home Ec room and the nurse's office. Kurt would probably be the only one who'd be deadset on completing a dish before getting a limb reattached.)
A sharp intake of breath to your right reminds you that you aren't alone at this table and that you were paired off with Rachel Berry at the beginning of the class. (Which would've been horror just a year ago, but now it's not since you … bonded over certain things. Now it's nice to have an acquaintance, a friend or whatever you want to call your relationship with the other girl. It's nice to not be entirely alone in the mess that was your sophomore year and have someone beside you who gets it, gets you, although she has a slightly other perspective on the whole shebang.)
You tilt your head towards her, your finger still in your mouth, and raise your eyebrows at the frantic look on Rachel's face, her eyes flitting from the finger in your mouth to the few crimson drops of blood on your cutting board. (For such a small cut it's certainly a lot of blood, you muse.) Your teacher clears her throat, effectively gaining your attention and motions with her hand to your finger, the band-aid ready in her hand. You release the digit and lift it in her direction. Before the band-aid is put on another drop of blood slowly trickles out of the tiny wound and the chair next to you clatters to the ground. Your head whips back around and you're barely able to make out a flurry of Rachel Berry who quickly gathers her things and rushes to the door, muttering something about going to the bathroom or the nurse.
You frown as you stare after her, but decide that Rachel frantically leaving the room isn't that weird. (Maybe a bit odd, but not that weird.) Many girls can't stand the sight of blood and feel nauseous – you once belonged to that group, too – and coupled with Rachel's veganism it's maybe even worse for her. Not everybody is so lucky to have Sue Sylvester train you to build a high resistance against the sight of any kind of bodily fluids. ("I don't care if everybody vomits once the pyramid is perfected. But you better not break up the formation!")
The next time something slightly out of the ordinary happens is in Glee club.
Mister Schuester has yet to arrive and until he does, everybody is goofing around. Everybody except Rachel, that is. But still, that isn't brand new information for you. Standing either at the piano or sitting on her chair, sorting through her notes and sheet music is something she does most of the time.
A miscalculated dance step from Mike sends Brittany twirling through the free space between the piano and the raisers, directly at Rachel, who had just turned away from the instrument to get back to her seat, a stack of papers in her hands. Brittany awkwardly collides with Rachel and the momentum sends both of them sprawling to the floor, the papers flying through the air and landing haphazardly on the floor everywhere in the room.
"I'm really sorry, Rachel," Brittany apologises, trying to help Rachel up with one hand while trying to gather as many papers as possible with the other. "I didn't do it on purpose, it was an accident."
Rachel isn't paying any attention to Brittany, who just shrugs and gets back to dancing with Mike as soon as the other girl wordlessly clutches the papers the blonde has given her. Rachel remains kneeling on the floor, almost hysterically trying to get the papers back together. You swear you can hear her mutter "Nononononononono," under her breath and think that maybe that reaction is a bit excessive for a few sheets of paper that have fallen down and are now a bit crumbled at best. It's not like the floor of the room is the ocean and the music sheets would be unreadable now.
As soon as the last sheet is in her hands Rachel is on her feet and storming out of the choir room, still muttering. And you are certain you can hear the words "bathroom" and "chaos" thrown in there somewhere, even over the ruckus of your team mates.
Rachel has always been kinda excentric and weird, but now she is really stepping it up a notch.
The third time's the charm.
You are in gym class (because now that you're off the Cheerios you are required to go to regular gym class again) and your teacher has the not so brilliant idea to play dodgeball. At least he's intelligent enough to not make it girls vs. boys, because that would probably end in a few broken noses. (On both sides. One throw from Lauren Zizes and the only option to survive is to leap out of the way and keep your head on the floor, covering it with your arms while praying not to die.) Instead there are two somewhat equal teams and you can live with that.
Except a dodgeball is hitting you right in the face so fast you don't even know where it's coming from. (For an ex-Head Cheerleader your reflexes are extremely subpar sometimes, you think bitterly to yourself. But maybe that's just what happens when you don't have to use them as often anymore to get out of Sue Sylvester's way.) You stumble backwards a bit from the sheer force of the trajectory and manage to sit down somewhat gracefully on your behind. Your right hand flies to your face and you gingerly touch your nose. It doesn't seem to be broken, but you groan as soon as you pull your hand back and see blood on it.
Great, a nosebleed is exactly what you needed to lift your spirits up.
The gym teacher rushes to you and orders you to go to the nurse, duh, and assigns Rachel to accompany you. Maybe it's because he knows you're semi-friends now or because she's just standing closest to you or maybe it's because of the fact that she looks as white as a sheet and could only profit from going to the nurse as well. He pulls you up and pushes both of you towards the exit.
You make a short stop at the locker room to get both of your bags, your right hand covering your nose all the time because Rachel seems even more jitterish when she sees your bleeding nose and you really don't want her to faint on your way to the nurse. You walk next to each other through the empty hallways in silence, the only sound coming from your sneakers squeaking on the linoleum floor. A quick glance to your right reveals Rachel clutching the strap of her bag desperately, her head and eyes almost painfully tensed to look forward, muttering under her breath and you swear you can see her pulse hammering underneath the skin of her throat and sweat starting to form on her forehead. She is still extremely pale, at least for her standards. (A pale Rachel is still ten times tanner than you'll ever be. Sometimes you think you turn translucent as soon as you step into the sun. And wouldn't invisibility be an awesome power to have.)
"Rachel?" You tilt your head towards her, your voice somewhat muffled and altered because of your hand pressing down on your nose and partly covering your mouth. The other girl shows no sign that she's heard you, her eyes trained forward. "Rachel," you try again, "If you're seconds away from a panic or anxiety attack I'd rather know now so you can sit down here and I'll go get the nurse."
Rachel ignores you again and you huff. If there's one thing you really hate it's being ignored by someone who who you think is a friend. (There, you admit it.) You reach forward with your right hand instinctively, because you are right-handed and momentarily forget that there's blood on said hand. Before your hand comes into contact with Rachel, and you really don't remember if you wanted to touch her arm, her shoulder or face—anything to get her attention, the brunette whips around, stares at the blood covered hand inches away from her and in a split-second decision makes a mad dash down the hallway.
You stare at her retreating back dumbfounded for a moment before you sprint after her. This behaviour is a bit over the top, even for someone who can't see blood without throwing up. You only want to make sure that she either disappears into a bathroom or into the nurse's office, you reason with yourself as you take after her. You are friends, kinda, maybe, okay, you are friends, and your conscience would never leave you alone if you left Rachel alone now in an obvious time of need.
Although Rachel has a headstart, not that much but still, you catch up with her quickly (you were the head cheerleader, after all) just before the nurse's office – where she obviously has no intention of stopping but just sprinting further toward the school's exit. You reach forward and yank at one of her arms, dragging her through the doorway. You both come to a stumbling halt in front of the nurse's desk, panting heavily. Rachel is desperately trying to get out of your grip and the nurse looks at the two of you oddly.
"Can I help you?"
You take a few deep breaths through your mouth to calm your racing heart and lift your hand away from your nose (And when did that get back there again? Must've been a subconscious move as soon as you grabbed Rachel.) and your other hand tightens around Rachel's arm when her struggling increases.
"Yes. I had an accident in gym class, obviously, and I think this one over here is seconds away from a panic attack," you motion to Rachel with your head.
The nurse hums and orders you to go to one of the cots behind the dividers while she tries to get Rachel to calm down. You only let go of the other girl when the nurse gently grabs both of Rachel's shoulders and you feel confident enough that Rachel won't take off again. You walk towards the divided compartment and set your bag on one of the cots, moving towards the sink in the corner. You can hear the nurse trying to get through to Rachel with soothing words, most of them in the "Deep breaths, honey," and "Sit down," category. You turn the tap and begin to scrub your hands. If Rachel is that freaked out by the sight of blood you'd rather not set her off again. While washing your hands you can hear the nurse say "Take this, honey," and you can only hope she's giving Rachel a sedative.
After your hands are clean you move to sit on one of the cots, waiting for the nurse. Sure enough she's at your side in a few seconds, cleaning the blood of your face, checking that your nose isn't broken and instructs you what to do to stop the bleeding. Apparently there's a cut on your nose and there's a band-aid now adorning your face. Coupled with the bruises slowly forming underneath your eyes it looks like you're the biggest clutz known to mankind or as if you were in a fight. Well, at least it isn't broken and your nose is still as lovely as ever, albeit a bit bruised, you think dryly to yourself.
You thank the nurse and the two of you go back to the front room of her office where Rachel is sprawled over three chairs, a big grin on her face and giggling uncontrollably.
"Yeah, I think it'd be best if the two of you skip the rest of the day, it's almost over anyway," the nurse says to you, since it's quite obvious Rachel won't be following any directions any time soon. You are inclined to agree, if only for the fact that Rachel could sleep off her loopy self in her own house and you really want to take a shower and change out of your gym clothes and maybe pop a few painkillers yourself. And it's a Friday, so there will be no Glee anyway and you could really use this somewhat extended weekend.
You just nod and heave Rachel back on her feet, grab her hand and pull her after you as you make your way through the hallways to get to your lockers. You stop at yours first and get the books you need as well as your other belongings (car keys, house keys, wallet) before you gently nudge Rachel toward hers. She blankly stares at it and you have never before been more grateful for the fact that you're quite handy with a nail file, because you're not at the stage of your friendship with Rachel yet that you know each other's locker combination. The blank staring continues once it's open and you sigh before grabbing the books you think she'll need (You have most of your AP classes with her. Not all of them, but the majority.), as well as her purse. You slam her locker shut and lead her towards the parking lot to your car, help her get into it and begin the drive to her house.
You've been there quite a few times since the beginning of summer so you don't need Rachel navigating you there. Not that she'd be any help right now anyway, since she's staring out of the passenger door's window in awe at the trees and clouds racing by.
You park your car in front of the Berry house and get your bag, as well as Rachel's, out of the car. You take pity on the girl when she can't quite figure out how to open the car door anymore and help her, pushing her towards the front door of the house while simultaneously fishing in her purse for the keys. Once inside you steer her to the couch and sit her down, setting your bags down next to the coffee table.
"Okay, Rachel, do you want something to eat or drink?" You ask her, kneeling in front of her so you're not towering over her.
You've never been much of a nurturing friend, even back then when your friendship with Brittany and Santana wasn't what it is now; because Santana was always independent and always cared more for Brittany than for you and Brittany was always content with Santana waiting on her, more than once instigating circumstances so that the Latina nearly stumbled over her own feet to satisfy the girl's cravings. You've always wondered why people think Brittany is a stereotypical dumb blonde.
But you figure that this situation is different because A) Rachel is totally out of it and B) she probably shouldn't be walking in a room that is full of sharp edges and knives, like the kitchen, in her condition. If she's already having panic attacks when other people are bleeding, a small cut on herself would probably prompt her to faint.
She gives you a broad grin before slumping forward and enveloping you in a tight hug. Your arms flail at your sides because you're not exacty sure what of the things you've done warranted such a hug. You pat her awkwardly on the back even as you tense up. You've never been a tactile person. Your family never was big on giving out hugs and Santana always only hugged Brittany. Brittany, of course, hugged almost everyone excessively in return. Mercedes only ever gave you side-way hugs or made you do obscure hand gestures and your friendship with Kurt was too short-lived to evolve towards the hugging stage. Your past boyfriends certainly never hugged you just for the sake of hugging.
Nevertheless Rachel is in your arms for the very first time since you both agreed to make this friendship work and tightening her hold around you, even when the side of her head awkwardly bumps into your face and makes you wince because of the bruises you gained from trying to survive gym class.
Her face is buried somewhere in your hair and you hear her mumble something that sounds like "Iwubboo," which either translates to "I love you" or "I love kangaroos". Given the state she's in it's probably the latter. Although the first makes your heart race, but why should it be the first, really. So far you haven't done anything in your short friendship to completely redeem yourself, except apologising, like, every five minutes. At least that's what it feels like, even though she repeatedly tells you to stop apologising so much, which in turn makes you apologise again for apologising so much.
You pry Rachel away from you, because it's getting really awkward, at least for you, and hold her at arms-length.
"I'm going to get you some water, okay? Just … stay put and try not to do something stupid."
You push her back in a sitting position and she frowns at you when you stand up and make your way to the kitchen. Which is a room you've never been in before but fundamentally all kitchens are the same, aren't they? It's not rocket science. There are various cupboards and drawers. There's a knife block (and you mentally pat yourself on the back for not letting Rachel in the kitchen) and a stove and an oven and a microwave. There are pots and pants and a sink and a dishwasher, an expensive looking coffee machine and a fridge that is so big that you're sure it could be a small room. Your eyes widen involuntarily. It makes sense, in a weird, convoluted way. All the Berrys are vegan, so their fridge is probably stacked up with all kinds of fresh vegetables and other vegan stuff. Both of Rachel's dads are higher earners, you remember one of them being a lawyer and the other a surgeon, or something, so of course they'd get a high-end fridge to make sure that all of the expensive vegetables and fruits and things from the health food store don't wilt and rot as soon as you look at them funny.
You open the fridge and, sure enough, it's stacked up with everything you thought it'd be. (Sue Sylvester would be proud of its contents. She's always trying to get her Cheerios to be vegetarians. Not for health purposes, but just for the simple fact that an apple has significantly less fat than any other option in the cafeteria and she can't have or allow fat cheerleaders. Of course, her Sue Sylvester Master Cleanse is a questionable attempt to make her athletes lose weight, but you heard through the grapevine that Figgins finally managed to put a stop to it.) You spot a few water bottles and get one for Rachel and one for yourself. As soon as the fridge door is closed again you notice the magnets and papers on it for the first time.
There's Rachel's timetable, which is almost identical with yours, and a family planner with dates on it like "weekly board game night" and notes of the "get suits from the dry cleaners" and "grocery shopping" variety. There's a magnet that has a photo of all the Berrys standing in front of the Grand Canyon on it, with a paper clipped underneath it with all the seemingly important phone numbers. (Rachel's cellphone, the cellphones of her dads, the numbers of their work places and what looks like the numbers of various relatives (You desperately try to hold in a chuckle when you read "Cousin Itt") and close family friends.) There are magnets in the form of letters that form cute messages like "I love my dads" or "Best Husband" and you smile without really noticing it. The last time you saw such a sickenly sweet display of family love was years back at Brittany's place.
You frown however when you see a magnet that reads "Ohio League of Temperance, local branch: Lima" with a paper underneath it with various dates and times written on it. You bite your lower lip. That sounds suspiciously like a group like Alcoholics Anonymous. (You would know, your mom has something similar pinned on the corkboard in your kitchen and proudly showed you her little coin, or whatever it is called, for being thirty days sober.) Somehow you always thought that the Berrys are incredibly well put together and don't have such problems, but it seems that you were wrong. (Your father would snort and tell you that all gays party hard and drink excessively, so a discovery like that shouldn't be so surprising for you. But that would be the pot calling the kettle black and you never particularly listened to your father when he ranted about "The Gays" anyway.) You feel the need to kick yourself, because you of all people should know that the outward appearance of a family can always be deceiving.
You make up your mind then and there to talk to Rachel about it. Bonding over your alcoholic parents might be weird for some people, but you know exactly what it's like and it's just another thing on the long list of things you have in common. You decide it's maybe left for a later date when Rachel is not giggling uncontrollably and talking to/with the couch cushions.
You decide to wait until Rachel's fathers arrive, because you really don't want to leave her alone and your mom is at work anyway. You try to do your homework while Rachel is pressed against your side, her head on your shoulder, deeply inhaling, proclaiming her love for kangaroos at regular intervals. (Which is still a bit weird, but whatever. Apparently the sedative the school nurse gave her is still working.) After a while you decide to mollify Rachel by saying you love kangaroos, too, which earned you a pretty big smile in return and another bone-crushing hug.
Soon enough her dads arrive and look oddly at the two of you sitting on the couch, especially on the band-aid on your nose and the bruises around it and their daughter being totally out of her mind and talking to the plants next to the couch now. You explain the situation to them, they thank you profusely for keeping an eye on Rachel (though you're still a bit wary about leaving her with them, after discovering that they are apparently recovering alcoholics) and you promise them, although it sounds more like an order or a threat, that you'll be back tomorrow to check on Rachel.
You return the next day at the same moment Rachel's dads are on their way to the van parked in the driveway. (Grocery shopping, you remember that this was the activity on the family planner today. And you almost want to applaud yourself for your perfect timing.) You greet them as soon as you step out of your own car and offer a small wave when their car pulls out of the driveway.
You ring the doorbell and Rachel opens it after a short while, not at all surprised to see you. Which either means she remembers the conversation you had with her dads yesterday (you highly doubt it, she couldn't even remember Barbra Streisand's name) or her fathers filled her in. Although, appearing somewhat unannounced is something that occurred a few times over the past, both at your house and Rachel's. (And now you're really trying to remember why you desperately tried to belittle your friendship with Rachel by saying that you're mere acquaintances. You've done more friend type things with her over the last few months than over all the years with Santana and Brittany.) So maybe she just expected you to turn up anyway.
She lets you inside and you both walk up the stairs to her room, Rachel chatting away and thanking you for taking care of her (yep, her dads filled her in) and while the other girl is talking a mile a minute you catch a glimpse inside the den. The door has always been closed the other times you've been over since it's the hobby room of Rachel's dads and you made an oath to never step into it. (Your dad had a hobby room, too, and he would've killed anybody who stepped into it without permission.) However, the door is still slightly ajar and you see something that appears to be an incredibly detailed model railway layout. You shrug. To each their own.
Once you're in her bedroom you sit down next to Rachel on her bed. Now is as good a time as any, you suppose. You lightly touch her shoulder and she stops mid-rant, looking at you enquiringly.
"I know, you know."
Her eyebrows scrunch up in confusion. (Like every time they do when she sees a complicated chemistry formula. (You would know, you offered to tutor her since you take the AP class and she doesn't.))
"You know what?"
You roll your eyes. "Of your incredibly weird love of kangaroos." Now she really looks at you like you have a few screws loose. You decide to explain that later. "About your dads."
"What about my dads?"
You sigh and start again. "I know that your dads are … you know." Wow, that was articulate.
"Are you insinuating that you've only now noticed that my dads are gay?"
You exhale exasperatedly. "No, Rachel. I know that your dads are … recovering alcoholics." There is really no nice way to say it.
She gapes at you. "You … what?"
You sigh. "You know, yesterday, when you were totally out of it? I went into your kitchen to get you something to drink and I saw that magnet on the fridge that read 'Ohio League of Temperance' or something." You quickly try to reassure her when you see her eyes widen in panic. "And I don't judge you for it! It's just that it's kinda the same for my mom, only she goes to the AA meetings and I figured that this League is probably something a bit fancier than AA and I just wanted you to know that you're not alone. And you can talk to me about it, if you want to. I find that it's easier to handle this stuff with a friend than by yourself."
By now all the blood has drained from Rachel's face and you instantly begin to worry. Because you have no idea how to calm her down should she have a panic attack again.
"My dads are not alcoholics," she resolutely tells you after a few minutes of just staring.
You stand up quickly and frown at her, your voice wavering. "But it's certainly something, Rach. Were they drug addicts? I'd rather you tell me now so I can prepare if you arrive some day on my doorstep in the middle of the night with just a bag in your hands because they slipped. Because it's really not fun to have no place to go after you have to leave your home and I want you to know that I think we're close enough friends to offer you a place in my house, should the need arrive."
Rachel barks out a laugh. "No, they are not drug addicts either," she huffs before mumbling, "It's not even theirs." Her eyes widen comically and her hands slap loudly over mouth.
You blink at her owlishly. "Okay … um … so the magnet and the paper with the dates, that's yours? I … wow, I mean, uh, I think I need to sit down."
You sit down again on her bed, leaning against the headboard, just staring at her back. Isn't Rachel a bit young to be addicted to something? Shouldn't you have noticed something in all the years you've known her? Suddenly she sighs and stands up, turning on her heels to look at you.
"We're friends, right?"
"Yes," you reply confused. Didn't you just say so a minute ago?
"And we're close enough to be honest with each other, right?"
"I hope so."
Rachel heaves a sigh, both of her hands pressing shortly against her face before nervously threading through her hair.
"I'm a vampire."
The silence in the bedroom is deafening before you break into an unattractive roar of laughter.
"So, what, this is like a role playing group or something?" You manage to ask through your laughter. "Oh god, I really was worried there for a minute."
Rachel huffs and defensively crosses her arms in front of her chest.
"I'm quite serious, Quinn. I'm a vampire."
Your laughter picks up again and you have to slap the duvet next to your legs a few times to get your bearings back under control. You decide to indulge her.
"Okay, you're vampire. Do you sparkle in the sun?"
She looks livid.
"Don't be ridiculous, Quinn," she snaps at you, "Everybody knows that Stephanie Meyer got the facts all wrong."
You're still giggling but it finally tapers off and you reach up with one hand to get the tears out of your eyes.
"All right," you snicker, "No sparkling in the sun then. What about super-human speed and strength? Because I caught up with you pretty quickly yesterday in the hallway after you made a mad dash for the school exit and you couldn't even get out of my grasp."
Rachel rolls her eyes. "Do you only get your facts out of Twilight? I advise you to catch up with a few classics regarding this topic."
You're pressing your lips together to stop laughing. "Okay, no super-human speed. What else. Oh, I know. Do you, like, smell people you're attracted to and get really weird about it?"
Rachel rolls her eyes and tilts her head down. You swear you can see her cheeks darken in embarrassment. "I try not to."
You're back to a full-on belly laugh again because the whole situation is just so damn hilarious.
"What about the age-old vendetta against werewolves. Do I need to keep an eye on you and any fishy behaviour?"
Rachel huffs. "Don't be so condescending, Quinn. I have absolutely no problems with werewolves, most vampires nowadays haven't. We're all able to co-exist peacefully. Otherwise I wouldn't be friends with Noah."
The snort that leaves you is decidedly unladylike and you press one of her pillows against your face to calm down. After a while the giggles are subsiding and you put it back next to you, your eyes still closed and your lips forming a grin.
"In a nutshell: You don't sparkle in the sun, you don't have super-human abilities, you try not to smell people, which I can kinda understand because the stench at McKinley is deadly at times, and you have no problems with werewolves. I'm sorry, Rach, but was this your roundabout way of telling me you want to be a vampire on Halloween?" You snicker.
"Quinn," she sighs from her position next to you (and wait, when did she move? Maybe you didn't notice it over your laughter) and you tilt your head towards her, opening your eyes.
"Because I'm telling you I already have the perfect costu—wait, did you grow?"
You frown, looking up to her. You can see her pointing downwards with her right index finger in your periphery and you follow the motion, only to discover that she is hovering a few inches above the ground. Your eyes snap back to her face, just in time to see that her two upper canine teeth have extended and are now fangs. Your eyes widen in horror and you are convinced your heart stops beating for a moment before you're frantically scrambling towards the other edge of the bed, away from her. "Holy shit! Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck," you whisper repeatedly.
"Quinn, wait—" Rachel extends one arm towards you but it's already too late. You're falling backwards off the bed and your world turns dark when the back of your head connects with the floor.
The next thing you know is that you're lying on Rachel's bed, under the covers, with Rachel sitting next to you on her office chair, looking contrite. You groan as soon as you notice the throbbing of your head and reach upwards with one hand, gently prodding the bump that is forming at the back of your head. Your eyes widen when you remember why you are in this position in the first place and you suddenly sit up. Which admittedly is a stupid idea because the world is spinning in front of your eyes and Rachel is next to you in a flash, pressing you back down.
"It's important that you keep lying down, Quinn. You just suffered a pretty bad fall and an injury to your head. You might have a slight concussion. You should take it easy for a while."
You struggle against her but the fall took it's toll on you. "I'd rather not stay next to a vampire being completely defenseless," you grit out through clenched teeth, struggling again.
Rachel frowns but keeps the pressure on both of your shoulders, effectively pinning you down.
"I'm not going to bite you, if that's what you're concerned about. I'm vegan, after all."
"Excuse me for not taking any chances," you reply haughtily, trying to roll over and away from her. But Rachel is quite thorough in her attempt to keep you lying down. Suddenly she's straddling your waist and keeping your arms pinned to your side through the duvet and your subconscious is jeering at you that you might enjoy this position a tad too much. You refuse to blush.
"I'm serious, Quinn. The magnet you saw on the fridge? The League of Temperance is something like a self-help group for vampires who don't want to drink blood."
You snort again.
"Of course, a vegan vampire, I totally believe it now," you answer, trying to fight against her grip.
"Quinn! Stop struggling!" Rachel's voice is booming through the room and her teeth are extending in a flash, prompting you to still completely underneath her.
You swallow hard at the sight of them and whisper pathetically, "Please don't bite me."
Rachel rolls her eyes and huffs. "I'm not going to bite you. Vegan, remember? Now, I'll let go of you now and you're going to stay put on this bed, okay? I really don't want to drive to the emergency room today. We're going to calmly talk about this like the almost adults we are."
You nod mutely and Rachel releases her grip on you, sitting back on her knees next to you before climbing off the bed. You follow her movements fearfully with your eyes until she sits back on her chair again and sighs deeply.
"I'm not going to bite you, Quinn. Stop looking like I'm going to devour you like you devour your bacon the second you close your eyes."
Well, at least you have the decency to blush at this statement.
"I'm sorry," you mumble, your eyes cast downwards to study the patterns on the duvet.
Rachel dismisses you with a flourish. "It's okay. I should've expected this," she sighs. You are both silent for a minute before she picks the conversation up again. "Do you have any particular questions?"
You try to wrap your head around it. You really do. But it's not every day you find out that your close friend is a vampire.
"How does it work?" It's not exceedingly elegant but it's the only question you come up with.
"The vegan vampire thing?"
She sighs. "The outward manifestion of desire for human blood is mostly a craving for power and control. Once you shift it towards something else it's surprisingly easy. In case you haven't noticed, I bedazzle a lot of stuff, sort a lot of sheet music and my position as co-captain of the Glee club leaves me indeed with a lot of power on my hands. Even when you guys don't listen to me half of the time it's enough with the other stuff to keep that instinct under control. And I have substituted blood with herbal tea. I tried coffee at first but it made me extremely jitterish. Tea is better for my vocal chords anyway. I go to meetings with my dads as well."
You stare blankly at her. "You said your dads aren't vampires."
She chuckles. "No. I said the magnet isn't theirs. There's a difference. We're all vampires here." Your throat constricts convulsively. "Relax, every Berry in this house is vegan. There's nothing to worry about, you have nothing to worry about. My dads are really into their model railway layout and they have a certain kind of power at work."
"Uh huh," you reply a bit dubiously, unconsciously reaching to your throat and covering it with your hand.
Rachel follows the motion with her eyes. "I'm serious, Quinn. My dads have been vegan since their teenage years and I have been raised as a vegan. Being part of the League is mainly to prevent stuff from happening. It can be a bit overbearing at times when someone is bleeding right next to me, like you were in Home Ec a few weeks ago and yesterday, or if my sheet music is in utter chaos," her eyes finally dart from the hand on your throat to your eyes, "But nothing is going to happen to you here. I give you my word. I have never even tasted a drop of human blood. Or other blood, for that matter."
You nod tentatively. Rachel sighs.
"Would it put your mind at rest if I showed you my member's badge?"
"It would," you mumble sheepishly.
Rachel reaches for her bag and flips open the lid, showing you the badge pinned to the fabric on the inside and a black ribbon next to it.
"What's the ribbon for?" You know the Red Ribbon, who doesn't, and the Pink Ribbon and Rachel even introduced you to the White Knot, but you've never come across a black ribbon before.
"Normally you wear it out and proud," she chuckles at this, "To reassure your human neighbours that you're not a blood sucking vampire. It's called being B-total. But since there aren't that many vampires in Lima I opted to wear it next to my badge on the inside to be less suspicious. The last time I wore it openly I was asked if someone in my family died."
"So …" you draw the O out, trying to formulate a nice response in your head, but it's no use, "You're a vampire in the closet, then?"
She gives you a stern look and you unconsciously cower away from her.
"That's no laughing matter, Quinn. There are still people out there who've seen one Dracula/Van Helsing interpretation too many and are self-proclaimed vampire killers. So, to answer your indirect question: No, I'm not going to come out of the supernatural closet any time soon."
"Okay. I understand," you nod.
"Of course I have no problems telling you that I am bisexual."
You almost choke on your spit and double over, trying to stop the coughing.
"Uh, good to know," you wheeze out between taking in gulps of air. "Uh, congratulations. Good for you," you end awkwardly, trying to get your breathing and your more than vivid imagination back under control. A change of subject is in order. "Are there, uhm, any more supernatural beings in Lima? You know, at school?"
"It's really not my place to tell."
You snort. "You already told me that Puck is a werewolf."
"Well, as much as it pains me to speak ill of my fellow jew, it's not exactly a secret that he is a manwhore and is chasing tail left and right."
A thought suddenly hits you like a ton of bricks and you blanch. "Wait, does this mean that … Beth …"
Rachel frantically waves her arms around in an attempt to calm you. "No! No. Supernatural reproduction is a bit tricky. Both partners need to be of the same species for it to work, there are no hybrids. And I think you would've already figured out if there was a werewolf in your family. So no, Beth isn't a werewolf. I mean, there's always the off chance that she'll be bitten and turn into something else, but nowadays everyone who's supernatural is born into it."
You pale even further and your blood runs cold at the word 'bitten'. "But that means that Shelby—"
"Shelby is a member of her local branch of the League as well, Quinn. She's vegan. She has never bitten anyone, she was born into it as well. Nothing is going to happen. She is not going to bite her daughter. Of course it's Beth's own decision to get bitten once she turns eighteen. There are still vampires who aren't members of the League and drink blood, but the League monitors them."
You nod faintly and try to wrap your head around it. Maybe you just need more time. So, another change of subject.
"Can you do anything else? I mean, I saw you hover and all, but, uh …"
"Oh, yeah. I can fly. I can turn into a bat as well. It's a pretty nifty trick. But considering the state you're in I'll show you another time," Rachel ends wryly. "I can extend my fangs at will, you already noticed that, though I only do it sometimes to prove my point and not all the time." You hum. "There isn't much else, really."
"What, no mind reading?"
Rachel smirks maliciously, something that does nothing to calm your frayed nerves. "Wouldn't you like to know."
A/N: Yes, I am working on a sequel to this. But I hit a brick wall with it a few weeks ago. But rest assured, as soon as it's finished, I will post it here on , too.