Epilogue – A Sip Of Something Poison
"Hey Rach! Can I, uh, talk to you for a sec?"
Rachel watched the tall boy lumber toward her, one hand rubbing the back of his neck as he gave her a shy smile.
She should've been able to hold onto her anger at him. Should've squared her shoulders and remained completely impassive to the chagrined expression, and hope in his eyes.
"Yes, Finn, you may." Was what she said, instead.
"I just wanted to apologize, that's all. I know we – look, I shouldn't have said what I did and I'm sorry. You were right. Okay?" He kept his voice quiet, as students passed them on their way to the cafeteria.
Rachel felt a flush of annoyance rise somewhere in the back of her mind. Now he was sorry? It was always like this with Finn Hudson. One minute he'd be kicking chairs and seem so filled with anger it was like he couldn't do anything but yell; the next, shame faced and apologetic. Hopeful that not only could it be forgiven, but also forgotten.
At the same time, her heart melted at the sweet look on his face. This was when she loved him best. If only, she thought, he could stay like this Finn forever.
"I appreciate your apology Finn, I do. But you said some very hurtful things to me and I –"
"I know, it was stupid. I'm so stupid sometimes. But I care about you – about your future, okay? Maybe I won't get into a fancy college in New York City – like you – but I could get a job, or something, right? I could still come with you. You –" he took a deep breath, leaning closer to her and tilting her chin up towards his face. "Need to go, I get that. But maybe, I don't know, maybe you going doesn't mean the end of us like I thought."
He gave her a half smile, and such an endearing look that she was leaning toward him before she could stop herself.
But it didn't matter; something else stopped her instead.
The hallway was almost empty. Aside from her and Finn, there were a few freshmen huddled in a group around a locker; a Cheerio weeping openly as she clutched an empty candy bar wrapper; and a flash of blonde hair running past them.
Rachel turned her head, watching it go. Finn's lips pressed against her temple wetly, and she pulled back.
"Can we talk about this later, Finn? Perhaps after Glee is over this afternoon? That was Quinn wasn't it?" She felt compelled to give chase, something nagging at the back of her mind.
Why had Quinn been running down the hallway? The blonde would surely have a firm understanding that there was strictly no running down school hallways, and have first hand knowledge of the kind of punishment usually administered by Coach Sylvester for anything she deemed as outside the realm of acceptable teenage behavior.
Which consisted of, mostly, everything other than being quiet, staying quiet, and trembling in fear when the Coach was present.
"Yeah, Rach. Whatever you want. And I won't even point out that she'll probably bite your head off, 'cause she like, hates you or whatever, because I know you're just being sweet. Because you are." He gave her that lopsided grin of his again. "Just think about what I said, okay? About you and me, and the future."
As he moved past her, she reached out and touched his arm. He really was such a sweet boy, and she did love him. She really did. Maybe he could follow her to New York City somehow? Perhaps he could get an apprenticeship as some kind of tradesman, and dutifully wait by the stage during her performances night after night, pledging his heart solely to her? He could become a carpenter, and build the sets that would form as the backdrops to her brilliant stage career.
A slow smile spread across her face as she hurried down the hallway after Quinn. Finn and New York City weren't mutually exclusive. They couldn't be.
Rachel didn't see Finn turn around halfway down the hallway, and frown. He should've told her that he loved her, he realized. Finn was two steps after her retreating form – imagining spinning her around and dipping her into a kiss or something super romantic – when he stopped himself. He would probably drop her or something, or accidently punch her again, if he tried to be smooth like that.
And anyway, she wanted to talk after Glee, didn't she? He would save the kiss for then. They'd probably be able to make out for ages anyway if he waited till then, and that would be awesome. Plus, if he told her he still loved her – and always would – and then kissed her, she'd probably be so into it that she'd let him go straight for a boob grab. It'd be passionate, yeah. He turned back around, a grin on his face. He could totally go to New York City with her. Totally.
They had all the time in the world.
"Where's Quinn?" Brittany asked, dipping a carrot stick in apple juice and sticking it in her mouth.
Santana shrugged, slowly moving a piece of lettuce around on her plate. Cafeteria food sucked.
"Because she said she'd meet us here and she isn't here." Brittany dipped another carrot in juice, and licked along its length collecting the droplets that gathered with her tongue.
Santana looked away, because this was just lunch and they were just carrot sticks but God, she remembered what that tongue could do.
Being just friends with Brittany also sucked.
"She's probably like, got her period and is in the bathroom or something." Santana angrily speared the lettuce leaf she'd been pushing around, folding it in on itself and stabbing through it again.
"Gross." Brittany wrinkled her nose. After a moment, her expression cleared. "But she stayed home last Monday, remember San? Because of her lady times."
"Maybe we should go and find her?"
Santana rolled her eyes as Brittany blinked at her prettily. Well, why the fuck not? It wasn't like the cafeteria was especially thrilling, and if it meant she could stop watching Brittany give carrots oral sex, well it was win win, really.
"Whatever." Santana pushed her chair back, unable to stop the small smile from creeping onto her lips when Brittany grinned at her.
This being a good friend shit wasn't so bad, not really. They'd go and find Quinn, and then make fun of the teachers or something until it was time to go back to class.
Rachel finally found her in the auditorium, sitting in the front row and staring at the stage.
"Quinn?" She asked, tentatively stepping toward the seated girl and hoping Finn wasn't right about Quinn biting her head off.
"You know, I've been on that stage so many times since Glee started that I forgot what it felt like to be in the audience."
Rachel lowered herself into the chair two seats away from the blonde, in case she needed space or wanted to lash out violently. She turned to look at the stage, frowning as Quinn's words sunk into her mind.
"I suppose I have, too. I mean, I've rarely not been the one in the spotlight my whole life. But there was a time when I sat in the audience, and wished to be up there. So hard, I think," Rachel settled back in her chair, beginning to smile. "That I decided to dedicate my life to ensuring I would be."
She turned her smile to Quinn, feeling it drop off her face quickly when the other girl just kept staring straight ahead.
"Yeah, well, you're lucky."
Rachel was sure her eyebrows had become one with her hairline.
Quinn thought she was lucky? Quinn; the ex-Head Cheerleader, beautiful blonde who had the world at her feet? Sure, there had been some rather disastrous moments regarding things like teen pregnancy, but she'd come through that with flying colors.
"Quinn, you –"
"My Mom's been seeing my Dad."
Quinn met her eyes, finally, and Rachel was startled to see tears in them.
"Oh, well, perhaps he has seen the error of his –"
"She started drinking again, too." Quinn looked away, hating that every time Rachel Berry managed to find her in an emotional state she just verbal vomited all over her.
"I'm sorry, Quinn." Rachel kept her face neutral when the other girl shook her head.
"They didn't even tell me. I found out from my sister's Facebook."
"Well, at least she told –" Rachel started hopefully, looking for anything that might appear positive.
"From her status, Berry. I found out my Mom – who promised me she would never see him again – has been seeing my Dad for months, and he's going to be moving back in with us. Into the house he kicked me out of. On Facebook." Quinn grit her teeth, willing herself not to cry.
"That is a very painful, and awful, thing to have happen Quinn. I'm so sorry it did. But, perhaps it's simply your mother attempting to fill the void you'll inevitably leave when you go to college in a few months. I imagine it's –"
"I'm not." Damn it, there were the tears she was trying to hold back.
Rachel wracked her mind for something to say. Something profound, and reassuring. But there was nothing. So she opted for therapeutic, instead.
"You could confront your mother, and tell her how you feel? Surely a mother's bond with her child is such that when that child is in pain, the mother would do anything to take it away?" Rachel's voice was quiet, and tentative. What did she know of mothers? All she had to go on was what she'd always hoped they would be.
She saw Shelby's face in her mind, felt the ghost of a hug she still missed. And then she pushed those thoughts away.
And then, for a panicked moment, Rachel thought of Beth. There she'd gone again, shoving her foot in her mouth because she didn't think before she spoke.
"Right." Quinn laughed, though there was no humor in it. "If only."
Rachel hurriedly deflected the conversation back to Quinn's mother, specifically.
"I mean it, Quinn. If you could confront your mother and – and tell her how you feel, then you can open up a dialogue on the issue. Perhaps your father has had a change of heart. Surely she wouldn't take him back unless he had seen the error of his ways?"
Quinn sighed, gripping the armrests of her chair for a moment, before turning to the girl trying so desperately to cheer her up. God, Rachel Berry. Now there was someone who would never change.
"I don't think –" she started, but was cut off by Rachel standing up.
"I'll take you right now, if you want."
Quinn blinked, before frowning slightly.
"What, and just leave in the middle of the day? Come on Berry, you haven't skipped a class in your entire life."
Rachel didn't care. Because Quinn had opened up to her, again, and after every one of these rare talks between them she'd always found herself dwelling on what she should have said, or done, to ensure they'd become something that wasn't rare. This was for the sake of friendship, and sisterhood, and all the other things she learned from watching buddy movies her entire teenage life.
She was sick of watching them. She wanted to be in one, finally. They would be graduating soon, sure. And maybe she'd never see Quinn Fabray again.
But she had to try, didn't she? One last time. Perhaps, when it counted the most.
"I'll drive you to your house, Quinn – and I must insist on that. People in highly emotional states are not only a danger to themselves, but to society at large when getting behind the wheel – and you can march inside and demand your mother tell you the full story. Once your mind has been put at ease, I will drive you – again, I insist. Those in a state of euphoria are inconsiderate drivers – back in time for last period, and Glee." Really, it was a perfect plan. Rachel was suddenly filled with excitement. Maybe Quinn would sit next to her in Glee after what was bound to be a deeply bonding afternoon. This would solidify their friendship once and for all, she just knew it.
Quinn thought about it. She thought about sitting in her classes the rest of the day and feeling the dread pile up in her stomach. She thought about going home by herself, and attempting to talk to her mother without being too angry about it, in case her mother decided to get angry back at her.
And then she thought about marching into the house and catching her mother off guard. Speaking her mind, and then marching right back to Rachel Berry's car and listening as the other girl sang her praises for being so assertive.
Because she was assertive. She was sick of avoiding everything. Sick of being invisible.
So she stood up, and headed toward the auditorium doors with purpose.
She paused in the hallway, turning back to stick her head through the doorway and look at Rachel, who was still standing where she'd left her.
"Come on!" She called, almost laughing when Rachel burst into a sudden smile and all but ran up the aisle after her.
"She's not in this bathroom either." Brittany sighed deeply, a frown on her face as she exited the restroom. "Do you think she went home sick again?"
Santana examined her nails, shrugging her shoulders.
"Do I look like a have a some kind of magical fucking Quinndar?"
Brittany rolled her eyes, and then gasped.
At the end of the hallway, opening the front doors, were Rachel and Quinn.
"Where are they going?"
Santana looked up, eyes widening slightly when she saw the girls exit the school.
"What is she doing with the –" she was cut off as Brittany went running down the hallway after them.
With an eye roll and a sigh, she followed.
"Hey where are you guys going?" Brittany asked happily, as both Quinn and Rachel jumped at the sound of her voice.
They were almost at Rachel's car, and had been glancing furtively around them for any sign of teachers. Or well, any sign of Coach Sylvester.
Brittany was like a ninja, or something. They hadn't heard or seen her coming.
"Oh, hey B. We are – we were just going to –" but Quinn couldn't think of what to say next.
"Q! What is this, some lesbo rendezvous with Treasure Trail?" Santana called, catching up to them.
Rachel felt her heart sink. They were right there, at her car, about to embark on the first proper moment of their friendship and now Brittany and Santana were going to ruin it. They were Quinn's proper friends, not her.
"Shut up, S. Berry was giving me a lift, that's all."
Brittany kept smiling. "Can we come?"
"Are you serious?" Santana muttered, eyeing Rachel's car. What the hell even was that?
Rachel, for perhaps the first time in her life, kept her mouth closed. This was Quinn's business, anyway. Besides, it could be a bonding event for all of them. Couldn't it? She ignored her sudden self-consciousness at the prospect of Brittany and Santana joining them, walking around to the driver's side door and unlocking the car.
Quinn shrugged her shoulders, opening the passenger door once Rachel had unlocked it.
She could use all the moral support she could get.
"I believe we should allow Quinn to enter her house alone." Rachel put her hands back on the steering wheel, though she'd turned the ignition off.
It had been an awkward drive. She'd hastily turned her radio to a local music station when they'd pulled away from the school. It wasn't the best time for her custom made Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand classics CD, anyway.
Brittany and Santana had murmured to each other in the backseat, laughing every so often. Every now and then one would lean toward the front and say something softly to Quinn, who would smile tightly in reply.
Rachel wasn't sure why they couldn't say whatever it was out loud, and had tried not to let it bother her.
Not too much, anyway.
Now they were parked in front of the Fabrays, Quinn chewing her bottom lip like she'd changed her mind about going inside.
But she opened her car door, and closed it softly behind her.
She walked towards her house, and didn't look back.
"Why are we here, anyway?" Santana asked in a bored tone, as Brittany wound her window down.
"Quinn has something she needs to discuss with her mother." Rachel answered, reveling in having more knowledge about the situation than Quinn's supposed best friends.
Brittany clicked her seatbelt off, lifting her legs and scooting back until she was leaning against Santana with her legs resting outside the window.
"I thought we'd be going to the mall or something, not having some family hour bullshit."
Santana struggled to keep her breathing normal as Brittany laid her head in her lap. The sun was shining on those long, gorgeous legs, and even now her stomach still did that annoying flip flopping thing whenever they were close to each other.
Which seemed to be happening with an increasing frequency.
"Yes, well, Santana. As Quinn's best friend I'd assumed you knew about the issues she's been having at home." Rachel couldn't help but sound smug.
"Oh, you mean her Mom being a total alcoholic and pressuring her not to fuck her life up any further, right? Yeah, Berry, I know all about it."
Santana absently began running her fingers through Brittany's hair.
Brittany was pretty much in heaven right now.
Rachel shut her mouth. This was Quinn's business, and if she chose to share the recent developments to the rest of the car once her confrontation was over, then that was her decision to make.
Even if the desire to shove the knowledge of Quinn's parent's apparent reconciliation right in Santana's face killed her, Rachel would be a good friend and hold herself back. She would prove she could be a good friend.
Maybe she'd even prove that she could be a best friend.
After ten minutes, Rachel turned her ignition over and turned the volume on the radio up.
After ten more minutes, she turned it and the car off again.
Five minutes after that, she started to think that perhaps Quinn required assistance inside. It might actually be in Quinn's best interest to divulge the information she had to Santana and Brittany. They were better candidates to intercept the situation, having met Quinn's mother probably numerous times before.
Although, neither girl had her people handling skills, nor her aptitude for neutralizing tense situations.
Not that it mattered, anyway. Just as she was about to make her decision, Russell Fabray's car pulled into the driveway.
"Why won't you just talk to me, Mom?" Quinn pleaded, one hand gripping the back of a dining room chair.
She had walked into the house firmly resolved to keep her cool. She would be mature about this, and find out why it was happening before demanding that it stop.
Her mother had smiled brightly – too brightly – and offered her a turkey sandwich.
That was weird. She couldn't remember the last time her mother had offered her carbs, let alone had turkey roast in the house. Not since her father had left, anyway.
Her calm demeanor had cracked slightly, at that.
What was weirder, was that the turkey in question was on the dining room table with a carving knife next to it. Part of the breast was already gone, and there were two plates on the table.
Her maturity had left her completely at the sight. She hadn't even thought that he might've just left the house. That he had been there when she was at school. How many times had this happened?
Her mother had laughed nervously, her voice filled with fake cheer as Quinn stared at the plates.
Then there was some yelling – mostly from Quinn – and some stomping around – again from Quinn – and now there was just an eerie silence as her mother left the room.
"I think it would be best if you heard it from both of us." Judith Fabray said, coming back into the dining room and smiling at her daughter.
"Why are you doing this?" Quinn whispered, feeling tears stinging the back of her eyes. This wasn't such a good idea, after all.
"Damn it, Quinn! Stop acting like such a child! Your father will be here in a minute, and we're both going to talk to you about it then. You always –" Judith threw her hands up, her fake cheer dropping away completely. "Think that everything just revolves around you! Well I'm sorry, sweetheart, but it doesn't. And the fact is, your father is a good man. He is. He made some poor decisions when it came to you, but he is sorry about that. People make mistakes."
"Mom, he cheated on you, you told –" Quinn sat down heavily in one of the chairs, feeling like she wanted to cry forever.
"I am more than aware of that, Quinnie! It happened to me, do you understand? Me! I don't know if you've realized – swept up in your perfect little high school life – but there are only so many eligible men in Lima with good jobs, Quinnie. With all their hair, not to mention their teeth." Judith brought a hand up to her eyes, rubbing them tiredly. "And it's lonely for a woman my age to – you don't understand, you're young. You're beautiful. You have boys lining up to go out with you and take you to Prom. You just – you don't understand."
Quinn was actually crying now, she couldn't help it.
"Mom he isn't good for you –"
"I won't have you talking about things you don't know!" Judith shrilled, shaking her head and walking quickly into the kitchen.
Quinn heard cupboard doors open and close, and then the sound of glass lightly hitting glass. Her mother came back into the room holding a drink.
And then her father walked through the front door.
"What the fuck?" Santana frowned, sitting forward and knocking Brittany's head off her lap.
"Oh no." Rachel whispered, regretting the excursion entirely. This was bad. This was Jerry Springer bad. "We should –" she started to say, but Santana had already opened the back car door and was sprinting toward the house after Russell Fabray.
Santana had met Quinn's father a few times. He'd always freaked her out, though. He was one of those dads that you never quite knew where you stood with him. Was he making a joke? Judging you? Did you call him, 'Sir'?
She'd never really liked him, anyway.
Quinn had told her about the affair with the tattooed freak, and how he'd turned his back on her with the whole pregnancy thing. It was shitty, but sometimes parents just were shitty. What was there to do about it? Other than stay awesome, and keep it real.
But seeing him walking toward the Fabray house, knowing Quinn was inside being all emotional with her mom, gave her a horrible sick feeling in her stomach. Something bad was brewing, she just knew it, and Quinn was in there alone.
Brittany was annoyed that her pillow had been taken away, but then she'd watched Santana run after Quinn's dad and knew she had to follow. They were her best friends, and the last time Quinn had been kicked out she'd been all by herself. She'd cried for so long, too. Brittany remembered all of it.
They'd been friends then, of course. They'd had sleepovers, and been Cheerios together, and had so much fun going on missions for Coach Sylvester. But then all the Glee Club stuff had happened sophomore year, and a crazy bunch of stuff had happened junior year, and now Quinn was her best friend properly. Like Santana, but with much less sexual tension and flirting.
She'd always felt bad about not being there for her during the whole pregnancy thing. But in all honesty, she hadn't really known then just how bad things had gotten.
But not this time. This time she would go stand by her friend, and then hug all her tears away if her parents were mean to her again.
So she followed Santana into the house, and didn't think twice about it.
"This is a family matter, I won't have some Mexican dyke interrupting our business." Russell tilted his chin up, pinning Santana with a glare.
"Wow, Russ. Way to be a role model." Santana sneered, crossing her arms.
Quinn wanted to crawl into a hole and die. This was so embarrassing.
"Quinnie, please tell your friends to wait outside while we discuss this." Judith sipped from her drink nervously, glancing between her daughter's friends as they moved to stand either side of her.
"We're staying. Two against one is worse than three against two." Brittany said, placing a hand on Quinn's shoulder and doing her best to frown in an intimidating way.
"I'm missing work for this, Quinn. Do you understand that? These shenanigans are appalling, have you learned nothing from your little ordeal two years ago? Judy, you said she was back on track." He turned to his ex-wife, shaking his head.
"Please stop." Quinn whispered.
"She is, darling. We all will be, soon enough." Judith finished her drink, and moved into the other room to get a refill.
"Come on Q, you don't have to stay and put up with this." Santana said, loud enough for both Russell and Judith to hear, and probably the neighbors across the street.
"I see your choice of friends hasn't improved one bit. The heathen and the idiot." Russell kept his shoulders squared, more imposing than he'd ever been to Santana.
But fuck backing down to him, and fuck it forever.
"You're looking as portly and ugly as ever, you ignorant fucking asshole." She quirked her eyebrow, though it faltered slightly when he smiled.
"There is only so much a man can do for his children. You can pay for their nose jobs, and ballet classes. Get their teeth straightened and take them to church every Sunday. You can tell them about the kinds of people they should stay away from, and how to act so they don't make fools of themselves." He stepped closer to them, shrugging his shoulders. "And still they'll break your heart."
"Dad –" Quinn started, fresh tears pooling in her eyes.
"They'll act like a slut and make you the laughing stock of the whole town," he was trembling, his face going red. "They'll cavort with misfits and deviants and bring you nothing but shame. They'll –" his voice had dropped, ripping out of his throat harshly.
Santana was pretty sure she'd stepped into the fucking Twilight Zone.
Brittany was just squeezing Quinn's shoulder tighter and tighter.
"Excuse me, but I insist that you desist from your angry, hateful words and take a seat." Rachel stepped confidently into the dining room, taking a deep breath and planting a smile on her face. "I understand we are all experiencing some high emotion right now, but in matters of the heart – and what is the heart, but love, and what is love, but that which you feel for people you are close to, and what are they but members of your family – it is best to keep a rational mind and not let things like anger overtake you." She smiled encouragingly.
Russell looked like Rachel had just walked in and squatted on the carpet in front of him to take a piss.
"The Berry child?" He spluttered, looking back at Quinn as his face reddened further. "Oh you – no, Quinn I – of all the things you could do to me –"
Quinn pushed her chair back and stood, the scraping of the wood on the floor making everyone look at her.
"Just shut up!" She yelled, slamming her hands on the table. "Just everybody shut up!"
Judith walked back into the room, weaving a little and smiling brightly.
"Well, we are all just a tad excited. I think we should do what that little Jew girl over there is saying and sit down and have a drink!" She sat down on one of the dining chairs, as Russell took the drink out of her hand and downed it himself.
"Excuse me?" Rachel asked, feeling indignation and disbelief taking up arms and plotting to take over her mouth.
"What is she doing here? In my house!" Russell shook his head again. "You, Berry child, did anyone see you come in here?"
"I don't see how that would matter –" Rachel started.
"You are such a fucking dick you big blonde asshole!" Santana yelled.
"Stop yelling at her!" Brittany added.
Quinn wiped angrily at the tears coming out of her eyes.
"Just that old coot across the street, darling. Poor dear has dementia, she won't tell a soul that the Jew girl of those Berry people was in our house." Judith smiled reassuringly, ignoring the yelling teenagers completely.
"Get out of my house!" Russell had had enough. This day could not get any worse for him. "You pack your bags, Lucy Quinn Fabray, and you get out of this house! Take your filthy little friends with you! Get them out!"
But Judith stopped smiling at that.
"Now Russell, Quinnie doesn't have to –"
"Yes, she does, Judith. You clearly can't handle her. No one can handle her. She is a disgrace to the Fabray name, and I want her gone. You heard what Pete and Trudy were saying about her, you told me that. Hell, the entire church was talking behind your back, and this is why, Judy. This is why!"
Quinn felt all the blood drain from her face. This couldn't be happening again. The first time had shattered her heart completely.
This? This would kill her.
"Please, Daddy. I'll be better –" she started, moving toward him as Brittany and Santana unsuccessfully tried to hold her back.
"Take Berry upstairs and pack a bag for Q, she's coming to my house." Santana murmured to Brittany, keeping her eyes on Russell.
"That's what you said to your mother after that baby was born. I don't believe sinners, Quinn. They lie, and they lie, to get their way. You are –" he kept his eyes hardened, though his voice shook slightly when he said it. "Not my daughter. You are nothing."
Brittany led Rachel up to Quinn's bedroom, unable to keep her mouth from hanging open at everything that was happening downstairs. This was like the soap operas her grandma loved to watch.
But so much worse.
"Please don't do this!" Quinn begged, grabbing onto her father's arm and forgetting all about things like standing up for herself, or how many times he had now broken her heart. She didn't want to be kicked out, and abandoned, again. She wanted to belong.
She wanted to be chosen.
"You leave me no choice!" The look on his daughter's face broke him. The tears, and the misery etched into her features. It did something to his brain – already fuelled with anger and hurt – that was the opposite of what Quinn seemed to be trying to appeal to.
How dare she ask his forgiveness when she kept flaunting her wrongdoings in his face. How dare she appeal to the part of him that couldn't stand to see her cry, when she'd hurt him so badly.
"Daddy," she whispered, eyes big and watery.
How dare she use her wiles against him. She was a manipulator. A deceitful, deviant manipulator.
"You have gotten away with enough!" He yelled, suddenly, grabbing her and turning her around. He pushed her down onto the table, and began to loosen his belt.
"Russell!" Judith cried out, standing, as Santana's eyes bugged out of her head.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" She lunged toward him, though he threw her off easily.
"Punishing her as she has punished me!" He had freed his belt from the loops of his pants, with one hand pinning Quinn to the table. He stood to the side a little, and raised the belt to strike.
Santana leapt to her feet, running toward the kitchen and grabbing the biggest knife she could find.
"I can't watch this." Judith said, moving into the same room and passing Santana as she ran back out.
"Let her go motherfucker!" She yelled, brandishing the kitchen knife high above her head.
Russell turned to look, ready to bring the belt down against the back of his daughter's thighs.
Quinn used the momentary distraction to grab the only thing within reach – the carving knife from the turkey roast – and launched herself back with all of her might.
Brittany ran down the stairs as she heard Quinn and Santana start screaming.
What she saw was something she would never forget.
Rachel appeared behind her, dropping the bag she had just packed as she watched Santana step back from Russell Fabray and drop the knife she was holding. Her face was paler than she'd ever seen it, and she was shaking so violently she was almost a blur.
Quinn kept stabbing her father. She was sobbing, and screaming, and Rachel had never heard anything like it.
Judith re-entered the room, a bottle of gin in one hand, seemingly confused as she surveyed what she had missed.
Then the bottle dropped, and shattered.
"You – you what have you –" she stammered, slurring slightly. She turned on her heel, stumbling back toward the kitchen.
"She's going to call the police." Rachel said, in complete shock. Her mind was short-circuiting in the worst way. This was so bad. This was the worst thing that had ever happened. She was going to be sick. They were going to go to jail. Their futures, everything, was finished. "Stop her."
Brittany didn't know what Rachel expected her to do, but she followed Judith into the kitchen anyway.
"Get away from me! Heathen! Demon!" Judith cried, fumbling with the phone receiver attached to the wall.
"Stop it, please stop it! Please don't do that!" Brittany pleaded, her own hands beginning to shake because she didn't know what to do. She had to shut her up. She had to help her friends. She had to stop this whole thing from ever happening. "I'm so sorry."
Her hands moved around the woman's neck from behind. Brittany closed her eyes, and began to squeeze.
Rachel picked the bag at her feet back up, moving quickly past Quinn and Santana and out of the house, toward her car. She had to put the bag in the car. Then they had to leave. They had to get away. It was simple.
Leave. Get away. All they had to do.
When she walked back into the house, Brittany was pulling Quinn back from the body of her father. There was blood everywhere, most of it all over Quinn and Santana. Brittany kept pulling Quinn until she was standing, not seeming to notice some of the blood smearing from Quinn's shirt onto her own.
"We have to go." Rachel said, as Quinn's legs buckled and she started to sob brokenly.
Santana snapped out of her daze, moving awkwardly to help Brittany pick Quinn up off the floor and lead her out of the house.
"It's okay, it's okay," Santana whispered, stroking Quinn's hair though she was still trembling violently. There was blood all over her hands, but it was almost like she couldn't see it.
Or didn't want to.
They drove to Rachel's house first. She left them in the car while she hurriedly packed a bag of her own.
Then to Santana's. The house was thankfully empty, Rachel running up the stairs and opening every door until she found Santana's room. Another bag was packed.
There was a bat leaning against the wardrobe door. She grabbed that, too.
She didn't know how she drove them safely from house to house, nor navigated her way to their rooms and packed their clothes. But she did it. She had to.
They had to get away.
It was all she could think about. No thoughts of Glee Club, or Finn, or her fathers. Just getting away from the Fabray house, and leaving it forever.
Brittany's house was also empty. On any other occasion, she would've squealed and petted the giantly fat cat that lounged across the girl's bed.
But she barely noticed him.
When she got back into the car, Quinn was no longer sobbing. Her breathing kept hitching, though, and her stare was vacant.
Santana had her hands in her lap and her eyes closed. She was taking deep, shuddering breaths.
Brittany kept blinking, a slight frown creasing her brow and a dazed look on her face – more than Rachel had ever seen on her before.
She had to get them away.
"It will be okay." She said, voice trembling as she put the car into gear and steered it through the town they had all grown up in.
Steered it down the main street, past the diners and clothing stores she had frequented since she'd been a child. There weren't many people around, and for that she was thankful. They had to be invisible. They had to get away.
Steered them past the parks they had played in as children; the suburban streets that some of their fellow Glee clubbers now lived in. Past churches, and bakeries, and the sprawling fields that lay on the outskirts of town.
Steered them onto the highway, and past a sign that read, simply, 'You Are Now Leaving Lima'.