Title: Hey Rachel
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee, or Hey Arnold.
Summary: 'Some might call what you feel for Rachel a "schoolboy crush". Others call it "obsessive". You call it the deepest love you've ever known.'
Notes: CRACK!FIC. Majorly. Thanks to the good people of Tumblr for inspiring me to write this bizarre fanfic by pointing out all the similarities between Helga/Quinn and her feelings for Rachel/Arnold... This is AU, so Quinn was never pregnant and never got into glee club.
And yes, I know it's OOC. That's the point - read it all the way through before you tell me that. :D
'Move it, Treasure Trail,' you snarl as you roughly bump into Rachel with your shoulder. The blow almost knocks Rachel off her feet into a full on face-plant and causes her bag fall off her shoulder to the floor; her possessions spill out everywhere, making some of the people standing around in the hallway guffaw at her misfortune. Idiots.
You glance back briefly at Rachel to see her mournfully scooping things back into her bag and nearly double back to bend down to help her... but you force myself to move on and at least get around the corner. Otherwise, it would kind of defeat the point of knocking her over in the first place. It's routine: every day, bump into Rachel, say a few rude words, try not to glance back, and you're happy for the rest of the day. And maybe that's weird, but you live with it because those few short moments make you feel so alive.
Safely away from Rachel around the corner, you reach your locker and unlock the door. Before leaning in, you take a surreptitious look around to check if anyone is watching. No one is. Good. Satisfied that people are either walking to class or minding their own business, you reach inside your Cheerio's shirt and pull out a golden locket.
This locket is your prized possession - even more than your sacred collection of ChapStick lids which you have stolen from Rachel over the years. You never leave home without it safely enclosed in your bra, next to your heart, even if it does make one of your breasts look like it's bigger than the other. Admittedly, part of the reason you keep such good hold of the locket is probably because of the consequences of if anyone realised what it was, and realised it was yours... Maybe engraving your initials in a heart next to Rachel's wasn't the best idea.
You cup the locket in the palm of your hands and stare longingly into the eyes of the subject of the photo encased inside – Rachel Berry. You sigh her name, which almost seems to caress your mouth with its beauty. Everything about her is beautiful, and this photo only serves to remind you whenever you look at it.
(So you took it without her knowing. Who cares? She looks so breathtaking in that yellow cardigan that you can overlook the potential moral and legal issues)
'Oh Rachel,' you murmur to yourself, running a finger along the golden edge of the locket. The heat from your chest has warmed its surface; you pretend it is Rachel giving you a reply directly to your "heart" about her feelings for you. 'My argyle wearing goddess. My Jewish princess… if only you knew how much I adore you… how much I love you…' You almost wipe a tear away. 'But alas, you can never know the depth of my feelings…'
Suddenly, there is the telltale sound of deep, nasal breathing behind you.
You roll your eyes, and without even looking, sock a punch straight into Jacob Ben Israel's pasty face.
Today, Rachel actually smiled at me! Okay, it was more of a grimace. And it was in my direction, rather than right at me. And I might have thrown something at her. But definitely a smile, other than that – I think I'm making progress!
I've been a lot nicer to her since I made that promise to Miss Pillsbury, last time I ended up in her office. So I haven't kicked Rachel in days, or tripped her up, and no one has Slushied her this week. And I even put a flower in her locker. It was a lily. Everyone likes lilies, right? And if she's seen "Imagine Me & You", then she'll know it means "I dare you to love me". Wait. Is that really what it means?
You pause your scribbling to Google "lilies".
DEATH? Oh, no...
The spit ball makes a dedicated attempt to shoot across the classroom, and you hold your breath as it nearly hits its target - but no, just like all the others, it lands just a foot too short and falls weakly to the floor.
Stupid Rachel, who seems to have caught on to the fact it's you blowing them into her (amazing, gorgeous, beautiful) hair every time you're in this period.
Growling, you tear off another piece of paper, stick it in your mouth and chew roughly before taking aim.
You shut your diary and shove it into the furthest corner of your sock drawer. You know full well your mom will never find it there, because it's not like she has time to do laundry, what with all the drinking that takes up her time. Plus, with your dad busy with his super-successful-ultra-awesome-excellent-company that means nothing to you whatsoever, it's not like he has time for you either, or the other little things in his life, like housework or you know, familial relationships. They're downstairs right now, on the phone to your perfect sister and hearing all about her perfect little life with her perfect little boyfriend and her perfect little grades. Makes you sick.
But whatever, you're not a bitter person - you just have crappy parents. It happens to lots of people, and you're past the point of caring. Much. Well, you're past that point of crying into your pillow every night. Sometimes.
But again, whatever. You need to get to bed soon, because it's nearly 1am and you spent the last hour writing about the amazing shade of Rachel's eyes, and wondering whether you could ever mix that shade of brown with paint so you can finish that life-size portrait you started while ago. You get up, stretch, then walk over to your closet. The back, which is well hidden by coats and shirts, actually leads to a larger room. It's not like you really need the disguise, but you think it's better to be safe than sorry, even if your mom hasn't been in your closet for the last four or five years. After all, if she saw what was hidden behind all of it, the first stop for you would be a gay reform camp, and you suspect it won't be as fun as in "But I'm a Cheerleader".
(You watch a lot of lesbian films. It's the only way you can live out your fantasies, even if half of the women die or become evil)
You slide reverently to your knees, staring up at the massive effigy of Rachel that towers over you, with candles and extra photos of Rachel dotted around the room strategically. You've been making this shrine since you were 12, out of Rachel's body wash and shampoo bottles. She gets through a lot, what with all the showering at school she has to do due to Slushies; you've become an expert at sneaking in and snatching up those used bottles from the bathroom. Sometimes people notice them in your bag, and you just shrug and say you're recycling them. And they believe you, because Quinn Fabray is perfect.
You light the nearest candle to you, shut your eyes and breathe in.
It smells like Rachel.
Or, what you think she'd smell like, since you've never actually gotten close enough to hug her, let alone smell her hair...
A few days later, in class, it hits you that your shrine to Rachel is in your closet. The irony makes you crack up so badly that Puck actually throws a shoe at you.
Santana shoves you roughly into an empty classroom, making you nearly trip over your shoelaces. Brittany toddles after the two of you, smiling like she knows a secret, and perches herself on one of the tables while Santana locks the door behind you. She has her own key and everything.
You don't want to know what she and Brittany use that for the rest of the time.
'Okay, Fabray, listen up.' Santana crosses her arms, standing next to Brittany and trying to look like the bad cop, which isn't hard. 'You see this? This is an intervention.'
'Can it be an intervention if there's only two of you?' you ask.
'Shut up,' Santana snaps. 'And for the record, yes it can. Wikipedia said it can be "one, or many" people.'
'I can't believe you looked that up. You have no life.'
'No, you have no life! That's what this whole intervention thing is about. Duh.'
You blink at them both. 'Is this about me cos-playing as Kaepora Gaebora again? 'Cause I told you, I'm past that.'
Santana angrily slams her hand down on the table. 'Just keep quiet, okay? Me and Brit are doing the talking. That's how it works in sitcoms.'
'Okay, calm down...' You take a seat and lean back, waiting eagerly.
Brittany and Santana share a look. Santana nods for Brittany to go on. The blonde gets on her knees in front of you and takes her hand.
'You're not proposing, are you?' you quip.
'What did I say about being quiet?'
You mime zipping your lips. Brittany begins, 'Quinn, we think your creepy, lesbian crush on Rachel Berry is getting a bit too creepy and lesbian.'
You snort. What else can you do when someone says that to you? Besides gay panic, obviously. 'I don't have a creepy lesbian crush.'
'Uh, yeah you do. Your crush is the epitome of "creepy" and "lesbian".'
'That's a bare-faced lie: I like guys.'
'Right, and how many boyfriends have you had?'
You decide not to grace that with an answer. 'Doesn't matter. Either way I'm straight.'
Santana sighs. 'I didn't want to have to do this, but... Brittany? Go ahead.'
Brittany stands up, and immediately begins reeling off memories, counting each grade out on her fingers. 'In first grade you kicked Puck when he pushed her in the sandbox. In the second grade you put a worm in her hair, then offered to get it out for her. In the third grade grade, you gave her an anonymous valentine, but you put your initials on the back so she'd know it was you. In the fourth grade you...'
'Okay, I get it!' you exclaim, leaping up from your chair. God. You hadn't even realised you were so obvious to anyone but you. You don't even remember that thing with the worm... Not in second grade, anyway, because there was definitely a worm incident in sixth grade.
'So you admit it?' You don't have to say anything for Santana to read it on your face - which is good, because when you open your mouth all that comes out are stutters. 'Good. So you'll tell her how you feel.'
'Wake up, Q - you've been habouring this crush for years, and the only way you're going to get it out of your system is if you tell her how you feel.'
'I'm not doing that!' you cry. 'She's straight, Santana! And so am I.' Santana rolls her eyes at this. 'And anyway, she hates me,' you add.
'No she doesn't,' says Brittany. 'Well, I don't think she likes you, but that's 'cause you're kinda mean to her.'
It's true, but it still hurts hearing it. 'Thanks, B.'
'Hey, don't be getting all sarcastic on her,' Santana snaps. 'She's just telling it like it is. You act like a schoolboy with a crush, only ten times weirder, and it's getting on everyone's nerves. You spent an entire period throwing things at her once just so she'd turn around and talk to you.'
'That's not true - I just wanted to throw things at her.'
'Would you just forget the whole denial thing for a second? It's boring.' You glare up at her. 'Look, either you tell her about your feelings and about your shrine to her image or I will.'
Your eyes widen and you say in panic, 'How did you know about that?'
'You have one?' exclaims Santana. 'I was just kidding!'
'Oh, right,' you reply weakly. 'Yeah, so was I.'
'Sure...' Santana eyes you suspiciously. 'So, are you going to tell her?'
You're about to say no, but then you think about it. Reallythink about it, like you haven't for the last however many years. How long have you had this crush for? How long has Rachel been on your thoughts, day in, day out, until there's nothing else you can think of no matter what you do? Maybe Santana's right. Maybe telling Rachel will get it out of your system, and you'll actually be able to sleep without dreaming about her for once.
You stand up, and Santana looks a little surprised at your determined expression. 'You know what? I am.'
And you will, or your name isn't Lucy Q. Fabray.
Which it isn't, and never was.
You make a plan and attempt to write about it in excruciating detail in your diary. That's where you keep all your plans, although up until now it's usually been things like how to put frogs in Jacob Ben Israel's locker without anyone knowing it was you. There's the odd plan for world domination, too, but those are just for fun.
After a while, you get bored and start doodling Rachel's name all over your page until you don't actually have a plan. You just have her name written in various different types of handwriting and in several different colours.
You let your head fall onto your desk and bash it a few times until your dad comes up to tell you to keep the noise down.
The next day you go to Santana for help, which is not something you'd ever do if you weren't desperate. Her methods are usually incredibly blunt and you think she'll probably just lock you in a room with Rachel.
'I think I'll just lock you in a room with her,' Santana says, slamming her locker closed and walking away. You groan and bash your head on your locker a few times until Principal Figgins comes by and tells you to keep the noise down.
What you didn't expect was that Santana was serious.
There you are, just walking down the corridor. You're humming, 'Doo-a-diddy, diddy-dum, diddy-do.' And all of a sudden, someone grabs you out of nowhere and shoves you into an empty classroom, making you trip. You're pretty used to this method of Santana confronting you, so you mumble into the floor, 'Hi Santana.'
'Hi. Have fun with the hobbit.' The door shuts behind you, you hear a click in the lock, and a small voice says, 'Quinn?'
You look up from making out with the carpet.
'Any idea why she locked us in here?' Rachel asks. Her voice is timid, and she is situated on the far corner of the classroom. Neither of you have spoken much at all, because she has chosen not to look at you at all and you have to stop yourself from staring and drooling. Several times.
'No,' you mutter, picking at the material your shirt.
'Any idea when she'll be back?'
'Well, anyone you could phone to let us out?'
Rachel lets out an irritated huff. 'Quinn, could you be at allhelpful?'
'Uh...' You pretend to think about it. Old habits die hard, and antagonising Rachel is definitely an old habit. 'No.'
Another huff. It's kind of cute, and you try to suppress a smile. Until Rachel's next sentence, which causes your smile to disappear in seconds.
'It's kind of funny how of all the people in the world to be locked in with - it had to be you.'
'What's that supposed to mean?' you say, a little hurt. She doesn't exactly sound angry, but she's not pleased. It's more... confused?
'The one person in the world who goes out of their way to be awful to me, every day, for no reason - I have to be in a locked classroom with her, with no way of getting out.'
You clench your jaw. 'I'm not that bad.' Rachel stares at you incredulously. '... Am I?' you ask uncertainly. She just shakes her head and crosses to the other side of the classroom, arms crossed tightly over her chest. 'How did Santana even get you in here?'
Rachel hesitates. '... She told me she had a signed Barbra Streisand CD.'
You snort derisively. 'Nice one.'
'See, that's just what I mean,' Rachel says,whirling on you, suddenly fired up. It's hot. 'You're always picking at me like that. and judging, and throwing things, and tripping me up!'
Your mouth dries up as Rachel stomps her foot. 'It drives me crazy! And the worst part is, I don't even know why you do it!'
You open your gaping mouth to try and make an attempt at words, but have to pause to gather your bearings. This was point number six on the plan, but you'd crossed it out because you were too cowardly; once you say your next sentence, there's no going back.
You can do this. You can. Your name isn't Lucy Q. Fabray.
After a moment of shuffling and digging your toe into the floor, you sigh deeply and raise your eyes to her. 'There's a reason,' you tell her quietly.
The sky doesn't fall immediately. You still have more to tell. 'Well, fill me in, then, Quinn, I'd love to hear it.' She sits herself on the nearest table, staring at you with her eyebrows raised intently.
'I - I - I - I - I -'
Criminy! You're stuttering all over the place.
Wait, did you just say criminy?
'Yes? What is it, Quinn? Enlighten me.' Rachel says, looking at her watch.
'You…' she says encouragingly.
'I lo – I love your shoes!' you blurt, finally. As soon as you say it you shut your eyes, cringing. Oh, God. Why did you say that? That's one of the stupidest things you could've come out with, and there were a lot on the tip of your tongue. Out of all the things in that briefcase of stupid things you could've said, you had to pick the piece of paper with a lot of stupid on it.
'You love my shoes,' repeats Rachel slowly. You open your eyes to see that her eyebrows are even higher, if possible, and she's still managing to frown slightly.
'Yes.' Once you're started you can't stop. You ramble on, 'They're amazing. All... shoey, and stuff.'
'Yes.' Your heart is in your throat and you feel like you're choking on it. 'Shoey shoes.'
An awkward silence descends where you try desperately to fan your burning cheeks and ignore Rachel's stare.
You nearly jump out of your skin when she brushes past you suddenly to walk over to the door and bang on it. 'Santana, are you out there?' she calls. 'Kindly let us out?' There is no answer. She turns to you. 'Really, could you just call -'
And then you're kissing her.
No, that's a lie. It's all in your head, because all you want to do right now is kiss her since she's so close to the door which is ripe for pressing her against. You can see it all happening in your mind's eye, having her legs around your waist and her tongue -
You moan, covering your eyes with your hands. Stop, stop, stop, you beg your mind. This isn't helping, for God's sake, stop. You twist around manically in the classroom, trying to get the images out of your frantic mind. Once again your heart almost stops when you feel Rachel's small hand close around your wrist and pull your hands away from your face.
'Are you alright?' she asks in concern. 'You're acting very strangely.'
'I'm okay,' you mumble, 'I'm okay, I'm fine.'
'You're all flushed and you're rambling.' Her hand touches your hot cheek. 'You're burning up, Quinn!'
You are burning up. Burning up with love. Even if that's the corniest thing you've ever thought, it's true. Every touch is just making that inferno inside you worsen, and you're not sure you can stand being close to her anymore without jumping her and tearing her clothes off. Damn that Santana for ever thinking this was a good idea.
You don't realise you're trembling until Rachel leads you to a seat and forces you down by the shoulders and then... starts to undress you.
No, she's just taking off your Cheerio's sweater. But it still makes your heart thump in your chest, and you shakily lift your arms above your head to help her with the proceedings.
Both of you whip around to look to where the metallic sound came from; it's immediately obvious what it is as a golden locket just streaked across the carpet of the classroom, having been dislodged from the inside of your shirt as you pulled the sweater off.
The locket rotates a little, then settles - the elephant in the room, and from here, it is completely obvious whose photo is on the front.
Your breath catches in your throat.
Somewhere distant in your mind, you feel Rachel slip away from you and walk towards the locket. As if in a dream, you watch her bend down. Look. Stare. Then she looks back at you.
'... why do you have a photo of me?'
(Not too far away, Judy Fabray goes into Quinn's closet to do some extremely rare laundry, still fairly inebriated. Just as she's hanging something up, she notices the room behind and, curious, investigates.
Five minutes later she runs screaming out of the room as the tall tower of shampoo bottles falls. She shouldn't have picked one out from the bottom)
Rachel lets out a breath, tracing the golden edge of the locket. The gesture, so similar to one you do, would make you smile if you weren't in such an odd headspace right now.
'So all this time...' she says, sighing. 'You just liked me?'
'Yeah.' Your voice comes out as a squeak. You're curled up, practically in the foetal position, your arms wrapped around your legs and rocking back and forth.
'All that time spent throwing things at me? Teasing me? Tripping me? Calling me names? Is because you had feelings for me?'
You don't like the way she raises her voice. She sounds angry, and it makes you want to bury your face into your legs and hide.
'Yes,' you reply meekly.
There's a pause.
And then Rachel throws the locket on the floor.
It's almost like a cartoon, the way you unfurl, shout 'No!' and jump for it, as though that will allow you to save your prized possession. You even cup your hands as if it will fall into them of their own accord.
But no, you see it fall to the floor and hit the carpet, where it -
- stays intact.
'Oh,' says Rachel, staring at the locket which is most definitely not broken. 'That was anti-climactic.'
You snatch up the locket and shove it back into your bra, barely resisting the urge to kiss it. Your breasts just don't feel right without the cool feel of it against you and you almost cry with relief.
In your peripheral vision, you see Rachel kneel down. She puts her hand on your shoulder, squeezing slightly. Surprisingly, you don't have a mini-heart attack this time. 'Quinn,' she says, voice firm but gentle. 'What you've been doing over the years is bullying.'
You whimper. The word makes you feel about six and like you've been throwing dirt in her face.
'Over the years, you've made me feel the worst I've ever felt at times through your constant treatment. Your names have truly hurt my feeling, and when you push me in the halls, that has physically hurt me too.'
You try to curl back into the foetal position. But Rachel's hand on your face makes you turn towards her. She sighs, lightly. 'But I think I understand why... You were hurting, just as much. And that's why, against my better judgement, I'm going to help you.'
You look up at her, tears in your eyes, and see the utter compassion reflected back in hers.
There's a reason you love this girl.
Two weeks later, you're finally getting proper counselling through the school system. Apparently you're making a lot of progress - you've even managed to get rid of your shrine to Rachel, and your collection of ChapStick lids. Of course, that was partly because your mom destroyed it (although she doesn't remember) but it feels good to have the real thing close enough to touch and speak to instead of an effigy.
You're not an item, though. Real life doesn't work that way unfortunately. On the bright side, though she does understand your problems and is extremely sympathetic considering all the things you've done to her over the years. Your counsellor tells you it's your way of getting attention from someone; the way you treated her was your way of protecting yourself - keeping your distance from the real Rachel in order to stop yourself getting hurt like your family hurts you, but also a way of making sure you were always noticed by her and always on her mind. And it worked. But all it did was cause a lot of pain, for both of you. You see that now.
Still, at least you're not the only one who likes Rachel. Jacob's moved onto Rachel, and you get great pleasure in punching him in the nose every time he breathes near your girl - best friend. Rachel always looks at you sternly, but you can see she kinda likes it. Violence turns her on. Or so you'd like to think.
But if there's one thing you haven't been able to let go of, it's that locket. It's still never far from your heart and you see Rachel roll her eyes when she spots the misshapen lump in your shirt, but it's affectionately - she understands, and that's the important part, no matter what gory details of your obsession you reveal to her. Even better, you have the real Rachel to say sweet nothings to now. You never mutter them loud enough for her to hear, but you're sure she just pretends not to hear every time you call her your 'Jewish princess' and your 'argyle lovemuffin'.
The best thing, though?
She's proud of you.
Today, Rachel held my hand and put her head on my shoulder. She told me I was doing so well with working through my issues - that I'm becoming more than "just that senseless bully with gay panic".
Oh Rachel. How I love you, my sweet love with terrible dress sense.