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: This is the last chapter! I want to send a big thank you out to everyone that's reviewed the story on here! I got a few pms asking if I was going to post my other fics on here and to be honest, I don't really know at the moment. But if I do, I'll put a memo on my FFN profile page. Happy reading. :)
She passes by the white picket fence, her heels clack against the pavement of the driveway as she walks on it, peering towards her right to look at the deep green, freshly cut grass. If the occupants of this house know how to do anything, it's keep up appearances.
Squaring her shoulders she walks directly to the door, not feeling nearly as confident as she looks. Her palms are sweaty as she turns the door knob to see if it's open. And her heart is beating erratically when she rings the door bell once she realizes that it's not unlocked.
A voice calls, "Just a minute," before there's fumbling with the door from the inside a moment later. The door opens and a short, blonde woman with wisps of gray in her head stands at the door. She takes one look at the person standing in her doorway and gasps quietly. "Quinnie…"
Quinn's smile is anything but friendly as she stares down at the shorter woman. "I'm just going by Quinn now. It's nice to see you again, mother."
She walks forward, leaving Mrs. Fabray to either walk back and let her in or get knocked down. "What are you doing here?" she asks as steps back, watching Quinn close the door behind her.
"I was just in the neighborhood and thought I'd stop by. Where's father?" Her eyes roam over the house as she walks further inside, noting what's changed and what hasn't. A lot of pictures of her that they hung up once upon a time are gone. Her eyes pinch tightly as she walks into the living room and sits down.
Nonplussed and utterly nervous, Judy walks behind Quinn, smoothing her hair behind her ear. "Your father had to work, dear," she replies in a faux cheerful voice. "He'll be home soon." Her eyes dart to the clock anxiously. "Is there something I can quickly help you with?"
"Oh, don't even worry about it," Quinn answers with a wave of her hand, knowing exactly why Judy was looking at the clock. "I'll be staying for a while."
She nods hesitantly before walking towards her daughter. "Can I get you anything, dear?"
Quinn looks up at her from her seated position. "Do you still make tea? If so then I'd like a glass."
She watches briefly as Judy walks off to retrieve her beverage. She looks toward the stairs to her right that lead to her room and is hit with a sense of nostalgia, remembering all the times she and her sister would race to the top of the steps. She would always lose.
"Here you are," Judy says, already beside her. Quinn turns around, her brow furrowed as she accepts the cup, murmuring her thanks.
Judy sits down on a couch opposite Quinn. She studies her daughter carefully, noticing her tense shoulders, rigid posture, and cold eyes. Judy doesn't know why Quinn came back after swearing that she'd never step foot in the house again. But by Quinn's overall appearance, Judy suspects this visit won't be entirely pleasant.
"How have you been, Quinn?" she asks quietly. "It's been—"
"Seven years," Quinn says evenly, meeting her mother's gaze. "And I've been," she searches for the right word, "changing."
"Oh," she exclaims, assuming that Quinn is referencing her sexuality, something that's been a huge elephant in the room once she and Russell found out. "I'm assuming those changes have been for the better."
Quinn's small laugh lacks any humor. "The most recent changes have been for the better."
Judy nods. "I'm glad that you've been able to overcome your plight."
"I have," Quinn agrees slowly. "It took me a long time, and it took a lot of work from a very special person." Her eyes soften a little. "But I've come out a stronger person that's incredibly comfortable with who she is."
"Ah, yes. How could I forget that you're married?" She smiles. "How is your husband?"
Quinn takes a sip of her tea, a secretive smile hidden behind the white cup. "Kenneth and I have been divorced for over half a year."
Judy gawks at her, disbelievingly. When Quinn got married to Kenneth it was a relief to her and Russell. They sometimes wondered if sending Quinn to the boarding school in California was a good thing, having heard nothing from their daughter once she left Lima. But when they caught wind that Quinn had married a man, they were both relieved about the fact that their daughter had been broken out of her habit of liking women.
She sits her own cup down and crosses her legs. "May I ask why?"
Quinn shrugs. "He was a great husband and I'm sure he'll make some other woman very happy. But I didn't love him."
"Well, don't you worry. You're still young and beautiful, Quinn," Judy says reassuringly. "I'm sure you'll find another man that'll have you head over heels."
Quinn looks at Judy with a bored expression. She was trying to be subtle but it doesn't seem to be working. She sighs, smoothing out her skirt before looking up at her mother. "I don't need to find another man. I already have a girlfriend."
Judy's jaw drops. Her mouth opens and closes before her lips press into a hard line as she stares at Quinn. "I see."
Their attention is pulled towards the hallway as they hear the front door creak open.
Puck and Santana sit on a couch in the Berry residence as they watch Rachel pace back and forth in front of them.
"She's not answering her phone," Rachel says worriedly while she continues to walk and think…and talk.
Puck slouches back against the chair, folding his arms across his chest. If he's going to have to be there a while then he figures he better make himself comfortable. Santana crosses her arms as well, scowling as she looks elsewhere.
Rachel turns to them with a frown. "Have you heard from her at all today, Noah?"
"No, Berry," he says with a sigh. "I haven't heard from Quinn since I dropped her off at your concert yesterday."
"I knew it!" she exclaims as she tosses her hands up. "I've scared her away with everything that happened last night."
Santana unfolds her arms as she looks toward Rachel, noticing how she's falling apart at the seams. But mostly just wanting her to shut the hell up. "What happened last night?" she asks in an attempt to understand the situation.
Rachel stops in her tracks to look at Santana, then Puck. She walks toward the two and sits between them on the couch. She clasps her hands together in her lap, looking at them as she twiddles her thumbs. "Quinn and I were intimate last night," she says shyly.
"That's so hot."
Santana looks past Rachel to glower at Puck as Rachel turns to look at him. "While I am well aware that lesbian sex is sexually appealing to most men, I kindly ask that you not objectify my relationship with Quinn with your obscene outbursts, Noah."
He stares down at her with a confused expression. "What did you just say?"
"She said quit thinking about her having sex with Quinn," Santana says scathingly.
"Alright, damn," he replies defensively. "If you wanted me to think about you and your girlfriend instead, all you had to do was say so."
"First of all, you don't even know what my girlfriend looks like. Second of all, if you try to picture me having sex with someone, I'll kick you in the—"
"Santana, Noah. Can we all get back to the matter at hand?" Rachel asks. "Where is Quinn?"
"You have to remember she's been going through a lot lately, Rachel," Puck tells her. "She's recently admitted to being gay, she has a girlfriend now, she just got fired from work. And also—"
"Fired?" she exclaims. "Quinn was fired from work? She's unemployed? When did this happen?"
"I need a drink." Santana stands up, smoothing her hair back into its ponytail. Her ears are ringing at this point. "I'll be in the kitchen. Try not to upset her more than you already have, Puck."
He watches her leave, discretely checking her out before turning back to Rachel. He watches as she hangs her head, fingers playing with the edge of her skirt as her shoulders droop. "Hey," he says softly. "Are you okay?"
"Why doesn't she tell me anything?" she asks quietly. "I'm her girlfriend. Am I not worth divulging any and all idiosyncrasies of her life to?"
"She loves you," he tells her.
"I don't doubt that."
"She trusts you."
"Sure," she agrees. "She trusts me enough to know that I'll be faithful to her while on tour. She doesn't trust me enough to tell me that she got fired."
It's quiet for a moment, with Puck having no other way to console Rachel and Rachel lost in her own thoughts. "Do you know why she was fired? It seems to have come from nowhere."
"I kept asking why Sue fired her, but every time I brought it up she'd either tell me none of my business or it was for a stupid reason."
"She doesn't tell you everything, either," she notes, finding small solace in the fact that Quinn isn't like this with only her.
"No," Puck says with a grin. "She's an asshole like that sometimes."
They both share a companionable laugh before falling into silence once more. Rachel worries her bottom lip as she contemplates giving Quinn another call.
Quinn stands up as she watches a tall, burly shadow dance along the walls before her father appears in the archway leading into the living room. She watches him closely, looking for anything that might give away what he's feeling.
If he's surprised, he doesn't show it. If anything, his features harden even if it's just a little. "Judy," he says without acknowledging Quinn. "I see we have a visitor. Can you kindly ask her to leave?"
Judy turns to Quinn with a solemn look on her face. "Quinnie, it was nice seeing you again. But maybe you should do as your father says."
Quinn ignores her mother. She instead continues to focus on her father with a mixture of trepidation and defiance. "I think I'll stay," she says quietly.
"What are we having for dinner?" she asks, cutting her mother off as she walks past Russell with squared shoulders and into the kitchen.
She situates herself at the table, watching as her father sits at the head of the table just as he used to. He stares at Quinn for a long moment, bracing his elbows on the table. "You're back."
"I'm visiting," she corrects.
His jaw works back and forth as he mulls over her few words. "Why are you here?"
"Well, you see," she starts, giving a small thank you to Judy when a plate of food is sat in front of her. "My girlfriend's on tour and one of her stops is Lima so—"
She nods, breath quickening in fear. She picks a fork up, white knuckle gripping it as she sifts through a pile of mashed potatoes on her plate. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
Russell pushes his plate back with both hands, Quinn's words having caused him to lose his appetite. "Is this why you came back here?" he asks coldly. "To further solidify your status as an abomination to this family?"
Her head shakes minutely back and forth, eyes clenching shut as she takes a deep breath. She exhales, lifting her head to look at her father. "That's not why I came here."
Agitation colors his face as he leans forward. "Then why are you here?"
Her mouth opens and shuts as she searches for the words that fail her. The reason she came back never even occurred to her. Possibly closure; she isn't sure. "I don't know," she whispers falteringly.
"Then allow me to show you the door."
Russell takes an authoritative stand, looming over Quinn and the table as he walks over to her. His eyes flicker as he meets her own. He chuckles bitterly. "When you were seven years old, you came home crying to me because Rachel kissed you on the lips. Remember that?"
Quinn inhales deeply, recalling the long buried memory from when she and Rachel were children, best friends. She remembers Rachel complimenting the single braid she had in her hair that day before leaning in for a light, innocent peck on the lips. Even as a child, Quinn wasn't particularly one for affection from other children, much like little boys and their dislike for the opposite sex until a certain age. The kiss had been unwanted and ill-received.
"Your exact words were 'I didn't like it, daddy,'" he says, imitating her voice. Quinn's lip twitches as she remembers crying on his shoulder for all of ten minutes. He shushed her sobs, dried her eyes, then told her to go play. Something he neglected to do when he found out she was a lesbian.
She watches a quiet smile form on his lips. "I patted you on the back, replaced her kiss with one of my own and told you to stop crying. You hugged me tight and told me I was the best daddy ever before going back outside to play."
His smile is replaced with a frown as he glares down at her. "If I had known that Rachel would have kept chomping at the bit until you ended up just like her then I would have put a stop to your sordid friendship with her."
"That's enough," Quinn says harshly. Talking about her is one thing, but talking about Rachel is an entirely different matter.
Judy watches from afar, withering at the battle of will she knows is about to take place.
"I never liked to compare you and your sister," Russell starts quietly. "I didn't think it was a fair thing to do. But I used to always wonder what Judy and I must have done differently. What had we done so wrong for you to turn out the way you did."
"There's nothing wrong with me!" Quinn cries loudly, taking a commanding step forward. "I'm just as normal and well adjusted as she is!"
"You're not!" he shouts back. "You walk around with your girlfriend thinking that your life is normal and it's not. How you can so easily turn your back on what we've taught you is beyond me."
The air pushes past her lips in a quiet growl and all of her fear and hesitation is replaced with rage that's so hot it has her blood boiling. "Nothing came easily for me! I was by myself in that damn boarding school for two years. You have no idea what they did to me!" Scalding tears prick her eyes as she swallows a lump in her throat. "I had to go to therapy to undo what you did to me. Don't you dare say that anything I went through was easy."
Her chest heaves up and down as small tears escape her eyes. She quickly blinks them away as she stares at her father. "Is this why you came here?" he asks calmly. "To make us feel guilty? You chose to live the harder life when you chose to be gay."
"I didn't choose to be anything but an A&R at a record company," she refutes. "I didn't choose to be gay," she continues. "The best I can say is that I was born that way. I didn't choose to leave this house, I was kicked out. I didn't choose that boarding school, it was chosen for me."
"Furthermore, I didn't choose to love Rachel. It just happened. However, I do choose and I did choose to be with her. Past, present, and future."
The obvious implication isn't lost on Russell. His mouth twitches downward before he responds. "What? You think you're going to marry her or something? And where are you going to do that?"
"There are places that allow gay marriage, father," she grits out. "Not everyone is as intolerant as you are."
"Great," he replies mockingly, throwing his hands up. "Then you have your life all figured out, Quinn. Leave."
She stares at him, her eyes mapping his face as if to memorize it before turning to her mother. An imperceptible, almost apologetic smile touches her lips as she watches the obvious grief on her mother's face at losing her child a second time.
She walks toward the door, taking shallow breaths. "All I ever wanted," she adds absentmindedly while turning back around, "was for the both of you to love me. All I ever needed were parents to pat me on the back and tell me it would be okay."
Streaks of tears fall from her chin onto the collar of her freshly pressed blouse. "I didn't choose to be gay," she croaks out. "As a matter of fact, if I had a choice, I would have chosen to be straight. Simply because it's the easier life to live. Hell, I even tried to be straight. But it didn't work."
Russell watches the display, unmoved by the bitter, watery smile that shines on Quinn's lips. "But it doesn't matter now. Gay, straight, I found someone—no, I rediscovered someone that loves me for me. She doesn't try to change me, but merely asks me to just be who I am and be happy with the person I am. And I am. I'm happy."
She reaches behind her to fumble for the cold door knob, staring her father in the eye. "Oh, and daddy? I don't work for the record company anymore. I think I want to be a teacher," she mutters shyly, nervous, but eager to leave behind the final remnants of her old life.
Her mother breaks out of her self-imposed silence to ask her, "What kind of money do you stand to generate in today's economy as a teacher, Quinn?"
She sighs. Her shoulders slump, just a little. The fire in her eyes dims just a tad as she's reminded, even on her way out of the door, why she can't live in Ohio, why she can't coexist with her parents, and why she needs Rachel.
The door shuts quietly behind her as she walks toward the curb to her ride, one of Rachel's security guards waiting for her. Even as she pulls off she doesn't look back.
The door to the Berry household creaks open and concerned brown eyes meet red-rimmed, puffy hazel ones as Quinn enters. As soon as she passes the threshold she's pulled into a tight hug. "Oh honey," Dale murmurs as he gently pats her hair in the fashion of a loving father. "Rachel's been worrying us to death about you for hours."
A muffled, "Sorry" is spoken into his shoulder as Quinn loosely returns the embrace.
"It's alright," Dale assures her warmly. "As long as you're safe."
Rachel watches the exchange happening in the hallway with a mixture of concern and relief etched onto her features. She walks forward, grabbing her father's elbow and gently tugging. The next thing she feels is a slight weight as Quinn leans heavily against her, seemingly searching for support as slim arms wrap around her.
Rachel returns the embrace just as urgently, having thought the worst after not seeing Quinn for the entire day.
"Daddy, can you give us a moment?"
"Of course. Take care of her, Rach." He passes by them, giving Rachel's shoulder a light squeeze before walking into the living room to join his husband.
A moment later and faint humming is the only sound reaching Quinn's ears as her grip on the back of Rachel's shirt tightens. She viciously wipes at a single tear.
"Where have you been?" Rachel murmurs into her ear.
The quiver in Quinn's voice is easily detected. "I suppose this was not an ideal visit."
"They're exactly the same," she replies scornfully.
Rachel nods, pulling back to look up into Quinn's eyes. "This is a small town, Quinn. Ideas on something as controversial as homosexuality are not likely to change."
Quinn's shoulders heave. "They called me an abomination."
"You're beautiful," Rachel counters easily.
"We're not talking about my looks, Rachel."
"Inside and out," Rachel continues, ignoring her. "You are a highly respected woman and a proud one at that. I'm sure that because your parents are the ones saying cruel and hurtful things to you that those words will have some clout, but allow me to reassure you. You are the farthest thing from an abomination, Quinn."
Her lips curve upwards a fraction. "They're idiots."
"They're ignorant," Rachel gently corrects.
She sighs agitatedly as she stares at Rachel. "No. We're not going to make excuses for how they act or how they treat us."
Rachel warily watches Quinn's rapidly stiffening posture, quickened breath, and intense gaze. Recognizing that this isn't an argument that her girlfriend plans on losing, she switches tactics. She leans forward, slowly tucking a stray lock behind Quinn's ear. "You don't have to see them again if you don't want to."
Quinn instantly deflates with a long exhale. "I don't think I'm going to," she says quietly. "I don't even know why I went today in the first place."
"You needed closure," Rachel says calmly. "It is a common human condition to return to a place of high traumatic importance to a person in hopes of rectifying something deep inside themselves and—"
A loud groan is heard as Quinn actually bites her tongue to keep from telling her girlfriend to just be quiet.
Her point gets across though, if Rachel's small pout is any indication. Quinn offers a smile of gratitude for her efforts before pulling back from the embrace. "I think I just want to sleep."
She walks further into the house, noticing the Monopoly board game on the living room table and Rachel's fathers huddled around it. She waves awkwardly as she takes in the disrupted atmosphere. "It's game night, isn't it?" she asks as she turns to Rachel. "I'm sorry for interrupting. I can just go and—"
"Have a seat, Quinn," Gavin says warmly from his position on the couch. "We need someone around here that's not afraid to put Rachel in her place when she starts complaining about losing."
Rachel's eyes narrow competitively at her father as she grabs Quinn's hand tightly. "We'll just see who the loser will be this game, father," she replies haughtily as she and Quinn sit down to a game.
It comes as a surprise to everyone that Rachel Berry loses yet another game of Monopoly. It takes ten minutes of arguing and Quinn grabbing her by the waist and practically dragging her up the stairs to get Rachel into her bedroom.
"Quinn, I was cheated! Surely you know this."
Quinn glances over her shoulder from her place at Rachel's window to look over at her girlfriend with a dubious expression. "It's pretty hard and damn near impossible to cheat in a game of Monopoly, Rachel. All you do is move around the board, buy property and collect money. Or in your case, pay money. And a lot of it."
Rachel scowls at Quinn for making fun of her as she walks over to her. She strokes her hair gently before moving it aside to place a kiss on the column of her throat. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," she replies with a tired sigh. "I just won't go back there again."
There isn't really a surprise about how much better she feels. Quinn's learned by now how much Rachel's able to improve her mood with just a few words. Though Rachel rarely uses few words. Her very presence is sometimes enough to calm Quinn.
"You never told me you were fired from work."
Her tired eyes crack open with Quinn lacking knowledge of when they even closed. She turns to Rachel with a weary expression. "It's not important. I'll get another job."
She receives a nod as nimble fingers continue to play with her hair. Rachel moves to tuck her head along Quinn's collarbone when slim arms wrap around her waist. "Why were you fired?"
"Another thing that's not important."
"Is it because of me?"
Quinn shifts uncomfortably from foot to foot and Rachel takes that as an affirmative. Her expression turns to horror and she pulls back to look at Quinn. "You were fired because of me? Is it because of our relationship? I will call Sue Sylvester tomorrow! Who does she think she is, firing the most competent A&R she had—"
"Are you done?" Quinn interrupts.
"I…Quinn this is important."
She smiles enigmatically before turning back to the window, pulling Rachel closer again. "You're not calling Sue to give her a piece of your mind. That would be stupid and it's sure to get you kicked off the label."
Rachel busies herself with undoing the top most button on Quinn's blouse as her words soak in. "But…that was your job," she fights back weakly.
"I didn't even like that job," Quinn says quietly. "I already told you that the only reason I worked the job was to be closer to you. But I have you now. So, what's the point?"
Rachel smiles despite herself, shoulders squaring a little with pride. She pops two more buttons, slipping her hand inside the shirt and pressing her warm palm against Quinn's chest. "But what are you going to do now?"
Quinn blushes, focusing on the full moon outside the window. "I want to teach," she murmurs. "I already have a Bachelor's in education."
Rachel's finger runs along the cup of Quinn's black bra. "I've already told you that I think you would be a phenomenal teacher."
"Yeah?" Quinn squirms a little against the almost ticklish touch.
Her eyes prickle a bit as she looks up at the sky once more.
Rachel reaches up to cup both of Quinn's cheeks in her hand before leaning forward and kissing her thoroughly. Her tongue sweeps across Quinn's lower lip, gaining access a moment later and moaning into the kiss when she feels eager hands grab onto the back of her neck. She kisses her fully, giving as much as she takes, becoming full off of Quinn's love as she allows Quinn to fill up on hers.
"I love you," Rachel says assuredly as she pulls back, weaving her slender fingers through Quinn's.
She laughs a little, looking down toward Rachel and smiling at how their height difference is only noticeable when they stand impossibly close as they are now. Her cheeks tint pink as she murmurs, "Not half as much as I love you."
Rachel's eyes squint, a rebuttal on the tip of her tongue because she's certain she loves Quinn more and has no qualms about arguing her side, complete with a pie chart that accurately shows the distribution of their love. But it's late, Quinn's tired, and she doesn't have said pie chart ready just yet. Besides, there will be plenty of time to argue her point in the morning.
Instead, she tugs her girlfriend away from the window and towards her bed. And Quinn welcomes the much needed sleep, allowing the next day to be the first day of the rest of her life. A life that she's still becoming accustomed to, but one she's determined to spend with the woman she loves.