Pairing: Quinn Fabray/Rachel Berry
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. Just having a little fun.
Summary: AU. Future fic. Rachel and Quinn used to date long ago but were forced to break up. Now Quinn works in the A&R department at a very successful record company. A new artist walks in hoping to get signed and changes Quinn's world. Previous and eventual R/Q.
A/N: I love you guys, I do. I got a couple pms asking me if I was going to post this story from LJ on here and I initially said no. But then I went back to re-read it about 2 days ago and was overwhelmed by the amount of grammatical errors that story had. So, thanks guys! I would not have caught that otherwise. I have a big soft spot for this fic because it was the first story that I had written unprompted—I Remember Our Love started out as a prompt. So, Converge feels like my baby and to hopefully redeem my slightly younger self—I originally wrote this story between June 26, 2010 – October 1, 2010—I want to edit the hell out of it and post it on here. I can't post it all in one go because I don't have time to sit down and edit it all. But here's the prologue for now and this is my promise that it'll all be edited and hopefully posted in a timely fashion.
Quinn Thomas awakes to the blaring sound of her alarm clock on the night stand. She really fucking hates Monday mornings. Reaching out, she blindly swings at the offense, knocking it onto the floor and to its death. Whatever. It was shitty at keeping time anyway.
She arises from bed, stretching her limbs while running a lethargic hand through her hair. Hazel eyes scan the room before locking onto the body of her husband in bed next to her. He was taking up more than his fair share, something he did often. And he was also snoring. Something else he did often.
Shaking her head, she walks out of the bedroom and into the bathroom. She stands in front of the full length mirror, doing an inspection of herself as she takes stock of her life. It's something she does often.
Quinn is still young, only twenty-three. Her hair is still long and blonde, veiling her with an air of innocence and youthfulness. But there are subtle differences about her. Her face has lost some of the softness that was associated with her sixteen year old self. Her cheek bones protrude a little more, her face is a little angular, sharper. Her eyes are more piercing, calculating. Her shoulders are tighter and always held high. Everything about her screams confidence and aloofness.
"You should smile more."
Her eyes widen in some semblance of surprise as she turns to the bathroom door. "What are you doing up?" she asks. Her husband, Kenneth, offers a small smile as he walks into the bathroom. He bypasses her by the mirror to walk over to the sink. "How could I not be? This is a big day." He reaches into a cabinet above the sink and grabs a washcloth. "This is the day you finally get rid of me," he says before turning the water on.
She watches like a hawk as he wets the cloth before pressing it to his face. She doesn't respond. Instead, she walks out of the bathroom and decides to use the one in the guest room.
Making it to the guest bathroom, she goes about her morning routine. She grabs a new toothbrush from under the sink and brushes her teeth. Grabbing a white, guest washcloth, she walks over to the shower, turning it on. She slowly undresses; her mind elsewhere. Her body is lean from hours of rigorous workouts. It helps relieve any tension her day provides and helps control any emotions she may be feeling. Because Quinn Thomas knows control. She can keep her cool under any situation. It proves to be both a gift and a curse.
Once she feels the water has been sufficiently warmed, she steps into the shower, sighing softly as the water hits her skin. She closes her eyes as she dips her head under the showerhead, bracing her hands on the wall. This is the day she gets divorced. They had been married for three years. It's a long story. Her head lolls to the side as she allows the steaming water to cascade down her neck, working out a stress kink she has there.
Work is stressful. She works in the A&R department at a very famous west coast music label. Most people were envious because she managed to acquire such a sought after job at such a young age. Envious people became people vying for her position. But Quinn never worries. She's damn good at what she does.
A new artist that is vastly becoming marketable wants to sign with the company she works for. And of course, it's up to her to close the deal. So yeah, stressed.
"Can I join?"
She growls lowly. This surprise thing is quickly becoming annoying. Opening her eyes, she blinks water from them as she looks over at her husband.
He tilts his head to the side. "You always were beautiful, Quinn," he murmurs.
Her eyes soften. Kenneth is a good man, especially for putting up with her. She never loved him, but that never stopped him from loving her.
"Honestly, Ken, I'm about to get out in five," she lies. Spending more time in the shower to relax before a long day is ideal, but that obviously isn't going to happen this morning.
"For old time's sake?" he questions with a crooked smirk. Kenneth is good looking. Really good looking. During the first years Quinn knew him, he never went more than five minutes without some girl shoving a piece of paper littered with numbers into his hand. But his eyes were always set on her.
"No," she says carefully, not trying to hurt his feelings. "I'm sorry."
He nods his head, dark eyes briefly flashing in pain before he leaves, quietly shutting the door behind him. She exhales a breath she didn't know she had been holding and continues her shower. She needs to get out of the house.
When she exits the shower she quickly walks to her room. She grabs a black pencil skirt and a powder blue button up blouse from her closet. After putting on a black, matching bra and panty set, she puts her clothes on, topping everything off with a pair of black, three inch heels.
She walks over to the mirror, placing on earrings, lipstick, and a necklace. She grabs a clamp, pulling her hair back into a tight bun. Her eyes catch sight of something glistening in the mirror and she looks down at her hand. She still has the wedding band on. Slipping it off, she brings it close to her face, squinting her eyes to see the word engraved in it. Forever.
It's happening before she knows it and she's too far gone to stop it. Every time it happens. That's why she hardly ever took her wedding band off. Her eyes become unfocused as that one word causes her to slip back into a long buried memory.
"I love you," a voice says proudly before giggling.
Quinn wraps the girl in her arms, giggling right along with her. "And what does a sixteen year old know about love, hmm?" she questions, unconsciously quoting her parents.
The girl gives a start, squirming in Quinn's grip. "I know a lot about love, thank you very much," she huffs while attempting to fold her arms across her chest.
Quinn smiles before placing a kiss to the cold shoulder presented to her. She spins the girl in her arms so they're face to face. "Really?" she intones in a teasing manner. "You've been in love before?"
"No. But I know I love you," she replies sassily.
She places a kiss to the girl's nose before pulling back and looking her in the eye.
"I love you, too, Rach," she whispers intimately. "Forever."
Her eyes squint; this time in anger as she remembers promising forever to a girl she once knew but never fulfilling that promise. She slams her wedding band onto her dresser with a deafening thud before she storms out of the room.
She walks through the kitchen, not once breaking her stride.
"Do you want some breakfast?" Kenneth calls to her. "I just made some."
Quinn stops in her tracks at his voice. Her eyes land on the door, longing to leave the house. Turning back to him, she forces the tension in her shoulders to ease as she gives him a tight lipped smile. "Sure, Ken."
His smile is both appreciative and reassuring as he gestures for her to sit. Posture stiff, she takes a seat in the chair in the dining room closest to the door, body angling towards it. Kenneth brings a hot plate of food to her and sits it down; he sits opposite her with his own food. "Eat," he says softly, knowing she won't touch it unless he asks and tells her all in one breath.
Glaring mildly at his beseeching demand, she picks up a fork and places a small piece of pancake in her mouth. He'd already cut the pancakes for her.
"This is good," she comments as she wonders how long she'd have to stay.
"You don't have to stay long," he tells her. "I just…want to say some things to you."
She nods her head brusquely while averting her eyes. Closing up.
Kenneth sits his fork down and leans forward in his seat, bracing both hands on the tabletop. "I know you loved her…"
Quinn stands up abruptly. "I'm not talking about this."
She walks out of the dining room and into the living room, Kenneth following closely behind. She grabs her briefcase from a nearby couch and paces toward the door.
"Quinn," he tries. "Please just stay a little longer. I think that since we're getting divorced today that you at least owe me some answers."
"You listen to me," she hisses as she spins around to glare at him. "I don't owe you anything, Ken. You've been a great husband, the most understanding man in the world. But don't you ever think for a second that I owe you an explanation for anything."
Her cold and biting tone sucks any sense of warmth and domestication that Kenneth had been trying to create out of the room.
He watches as she strides over to the door again, this time making it. "What time should I come over to sign the papers?" he asks as she opens the door.
It's the last thing she says before walking out the door and shutting it behind her.
Quinn takes quick strides to make it to her office, her safe haven. This morning had been rattling to say the least and she really just needs a moment.
Who the hell did Kenneth think he was? There is really no quicker way to start an argument with Quinn than bringing up her past. Not many people know her past either because she moved from Lima, Ohio long ago. She lives in bright, sunny Los Angeles now. Happy smiles and no rain clouds for miles.
She has to strive hard everyday to forget her past and he has no right bringing it up.
A knock on the door breaks her out of her reverie. "Come in."
In walks a man, about 5'11'', in a business suit. "'Sup, Quinn," he says, voice booming as he takes a seat in a chair opposite her. "Today's the big day."
"It is," she says quietly as she studies him. Noah, he prefers Puck, is a near and dear friend of hers. She met him when she first moved out to LA. He had this idea of weaseling his way into the music industry by any means. He wasn't the best student in school so needless to say, no one believed him. However, Quinn did. She took a shot on Puck, followed his lead. She hasn't regretted a single day of it since. They have a strong and trusting relationship. As a matter of fact, he's the only one she trusts.
"You know I hate it when you get spacey like that," he comments as he tinkers with things on her desk. "It's creepy."
"Shut up, Puck," she says as she stretches back in her seat.
He regards her for a moment. "Are you sure you want this?" he asks, speaking of the divorce.
Quinn shrugs it off before replying. "I'm young and I'm not in love. I'm not so brainless to believe that I'm going to find some romantic love affair and live happily ever after," she sobers at those words. "But…I don't want my marriage anymore."
"And this isn't something you're going to wake up in the morning regretting is it?" he asks with a smile. "Because you remember how much you bitched and moaned over that tattoo you got when we were out drinking a year ago."
She groans loudly as she covers her face with both hands. "Puck, why would you bring that up?" she asks, voice muffled. The tattoo he referred to is a gold star on her left hip. It's small; something that can quickly be glanced over without knowing it's there. However, it is there, and Quinn knew that night that she'd never be able to fully forget.
"I'm sorry!" Puck says with a laugh as he throws his hands up in placation. "My bad, Q. I'll never bring it up again."
"You said that the last time you brought it up," she says, scowling in his direction.
"Yeah, but I mean it this time." Gaining an air of business, he addresses her again. "What can we say about this new artist?"
Quinn relaxes at that. Her job, although stressful at times, she can do. Bringing up old memories, people telling her she owed them something, she can't handle so well. "Our new artist is very prominent on the east coast, specifically New York. She now wants to—"
"Wait," Puck says, all too eager. "She's a chick?"
His mouth twists up into a smug smirk as he reclines in his seat. "What does she look like? Smashable?"
She rolls her eyes. "Puck, stick to smashing those drunken whores that you meet in the clubs, okay?"
"Hey," he objects, pretending to be wounded. "Those girls are all respectable women. They just happen to have whorish ways while I'm smashing them between the sheets."
"Moving on. She is seeking to gain as much popularity and success on the west coast that she's garnered on the east. She's looking to sign to our label—"
"Winner's Victory Records."
"Yes…Winner's Victory." She never really understood the name. She had no idea why winning and being the best was important to the president of the company. But Quinn guessed that her love for winning is what gained her the title of president. "She wants to sign to a west coast label in hopes of creating a buzz for herself over here. I actually think it's a brilliant idea."
She was surprised when she'd heard the news of the artist wanting to sign to the label. Artists were typically not the best decision makers. That's what managers were for. But from what Quinn heard, the idea to sign to this label was all the artists' idea. She was impressed.
"Is this a guaranteed thing, Q? Are you one hundred percent sure that she's going to sign to us?"
That's the part she's unsure on. "No, I'm not one hundred percent sure. Every major record company on the west coast is looking for a fresh face. So everyone is already vying for her signature."
He takes a stand and walks over to her. "Do you need help sealing this deal, Quinn?" He asks as he takes his suit jacket off slowly. "Because you of all people know that the Puckasaurus is still in full swing."
Her eyebrow arches as she gazes at the display he puts on. "I can handle this. But thanks for your concern."
He smiles lazily at her before taking a seat. "What's this chick's name? What does she look like?"
Her brows furrow. "You know how things work around here. The president said that in order to create a more organic environment, both parties, the A&R and the artist should go into a negotiation without prior knowledge of each other. Kind of like a blind date."
"Ah, yes," he says. "Well…whatever. I'm still gonna smash her."
"At least wait until after I sign her," Quinn drawls. "I wouldn't want her backing out on a contract because of your questionable bedding skills."
Puck points a finger in her direction with a retort on his lips. But he's interrupted.
"Q!" The company phone chirps to life and an authoritative voice yells through the speaker. "Is that Neanderthal in there?"
Quinn smirks in Puck's direction as she answers the speaker phoned voice. "Yes, President Sylvester. He's here right now."
Puck's eyes widen as he stares at Quinn then the phone. "Puck, are you listening?"
He nods his head rapidly. "Yes, Ms. Sylvester."
"I asked for a steamy cup of coffee from you. And what did I get? Shit," she deadpans. "I literally got shit. My mother has more appealing bowels than what you've just brought me. I demand you get me another cup right now."
"Y-yes, Sue," he says as he scampers out of the room. "I never understand why you don't have to get coffee."
"That's because I'm the best," Quinn calls to his retreating form.
Sue chuckles a little. "You know, Q, you remind me of a young Sue Sylvester. Though you don't have my money or record company to call your own success."
Taking both the compliment and jab in stride, she says goodbye to Sue and reclines in her seat. The new artist is coming in a week and she has to prepare a presentation to make the company look as enticing as possible.
Her fingers are shaky as she puts her key into the door, unlocking it. She's a little nervous about getting a divorce. Getting divorced means she'll be shaming her family yet again. Not that they even associate with her anymore anyway, considering how much she shamed them with the first incident. She hasn't spoken to them much since moving away from Lima.
She's nervous about this newfound freedom she'll have. As weird as it sounds, Quinn works best when confined. Being confined helps her control. She could never be out of control while being confined.
She walks inside. Without even seeing anyone, she already knows people are in her house. She walks into the dining room.
"Hey there," her husband calls in a friendly voice as she walks in.
"Hey." She takes a seat opposite him, the divorce mediator sitting between them. He's a big guy. Quinn doesn't worry, though. Things won't get out of control.
Once Quinn is seated both she and Kenneth are issued the papers. She grabs a pen from her briefcase, mulling over the papers she's about to sign. She keeps thinking.
"We can't be together," she says as she sobs into the girl's shoulder, needing her strength.
Rachel doesn't know what's going on. Quinn had come into her house crying and now they were standing outside and she was still crying. She strokes her hair tenderly as she allows the words to sink in. "I don't understand."
"It's wrong," she sniffles. "This is wrong."
"This isn't wrong," Rachel says with conviction. "Love can't be wrong."
"It is!" Quinn shouts as she wrenches herself from Rachel's hold. "Two girls can't love like this."
"Who told you that, Quinn? Who told you that lie?" she asks, anger seeping into her tone.
"It's not a lie, Rachel! It's true."
Rachel shakes her head back in forth in disbelief. She continues to stare at Quinn, taking in the blonde's trembling and defeated form.
"Quinn, baby, look at you. You're shaking. You don't believe what you're saying any more than I do," she says softly. "Just come back inside with me. We can talk about this."
"I don't have time for that," she grits out, digging the heels of her palms into her eyes. "I have to go."
She begins to walk away when Rachel grabs her arm. "Quinn, wait!"
Quinn spins around quickly, emotions swirling in her eyes faster than Rachel can take. She can't decipher any of them. "I love you, Quinn," she whispers. "As long as we love each other then this can't be wrong. We can make this work."
Quinn whimpers at her words. What is she supposed to do? Everything is out of her hands. She has no control over the situation. "I have to go," she says with finality.
And it was true. As she left Rachel standing there crying, Quinn did have to leave. That was her last day in Lima, Ohio.
Quinn's eyes mist over as she rapidly signs her name everywhere it's required. She needs another hot shower. This time with no interruptions.
She hands the papers back to the mediator and waits for Kenneth to finish.
"This is exciting for you, isn't it?" he questions as he briefly glances at her before continuing to sign his name. "This is what you've been waiting for."
She sighs tiredly but doesn't respond. She knows he's hurting and wants to lash out. Quinn's not angry. She's not hurt, she's not…anything. Except hungry. She could use some food at the moment.
Kenneth finishes the papers and hands it back to the mediator as well. It's silent for a moment as the mediator goes over the signatures, making sure they're all there.
Quinn spares a glance in her soon to be ex-husband's direction. She wants to make sure he's alright. She doesn't hate the man, she just doesn't love him. And although she would like to keep the friendship they had before marriage, she suspects that it's unsalvageable.
"Alright, everything's here," the mediator says. He takes a stand and motions for them to stand as well. "By the power invested in me by the state of California, I now pronounce you divorced."
She watches as Kenneth slumps back in his seat, running both hands through his short, dark hair.
"Can you leave us?" she asks the mediator. "I can assure you that we will be alright."
He stands there for a minute, fully prepared to argue that he had a job to do, but one look from Quinn shuts him up. He nods hurriedly before gathering his belongings. "I wish you both great success…separately of course," he says as he practically runs out the door.
The door shuts and it's silent. Quinn's not sure what to do. She isn't good at comforting people. But when she hears Kenneth take a shuddering breath she decides that she can try.
She cautiously walks over to him, slowly placing herself in his lap. Her brows crinkle in confused concentration as she removes his hands from his face. She places them around her waist before she too, wraps him in a tight hug.
Her breath swooshes out as she closes her eyes, a tear slipping down her cheek. "You're such a good person," she murmurs into his hair. "And I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have said yes if I knew—"
"Your parents had been pushing you to an outcome like this for years," he says just as quietly. "You were so…brainwashed a few years ago, Quinn. I understand why you couldn't say no."
"But I should've," she says, tightening her hold. "I should've."
"It's okay," he whispers as he strokes her back. It looks as if he isn't the only one needing comfort.
They stayed there for a moment, wrapped in each other's arms. Quinn's eyes leaked a few more tears as her grip continued to reflexively tighten.
"I should go," he whispers into her ear. "Don't want to over stay my welcome."
She nods jerkily as she gets up from his lap, smoothing her skirt as she walks across the hall into the kitchen. He doesn't follow her. Instead he walks into what was now strictly her bedroom, making a quick suitcase of necessities before returning to the dining room.
"I'm leaving," he calls to her as he continues to walk forward. "I'll be back to get the rest of my things."
He hears her light footsteps behind him and waits at the door for her. He looks at her, eyes downcast, glistening with tears, arms folded tightly across her chest. "You always were beautiful, Quinn Fabray."
"You weren't so bad yourself," she counters with tear filled eyes.
He takes a deep breath. "The only reason you're scared right now is because you no longer have an excuse to not live your life."
She viciously wipes at tears. "Who said I was afraid?"
"Quinn, I didn't spend two years dating you and three years married to you to not know anything about you," he says gently. "I think you should find her."
"Please." She holds a shaky hand up. "Please, don't talk about her right now."
He eyes her with concern for a moment before leaving. "Take care of yourself, Quinn."
Quinn watches as he walks out of the door and out of her life. She walks to the back of her house, towards her room and slides under the sheets. Food could wait. Right now, right now all she wanted to do was sulk.