A/N: It's been like. Over a year, and I'm realizing how trash I am at updating when I say I'm going to. For those of you still interested in Faberry, I do plan on continuing writing this story. Also! If anyone is interested, I made a tumblr thing, and it's pretty gay—so if you like gay things, head on over and say hey. Strippergirldrunk—, and stripper_girl_drunk on ao3. Much love, guys.
"I've seen some pretty pathetic things before, but this definitely takes the cake."
Deep breaths, Rachel. In and out. You've verbally sparred with this cretin before, and you can do it again. Of course I could; the only question would be whether or not I'd be leaving in one piece.
"It's fantastic to see you as well. Still looking like your mongoloid self, I see."
His eyes shrunk under the confusion he felt, clearly trying to decipher whether he had been insulted. Bristling angrily and puffing out his chest in a faux show of bravado, he must have figured it out. His beady eyes narrowed until they were almost nonexistent.
"How does it feel, having no friends? I've always wondered what it feels like to be a loser, and you're the best person to ask."
Eyes closing and lips tilting up in amusement, I hummed in response. Once upon a time these words would have hurt me; they would have forced tears to spring to my eyes, and dangerous thoughts to fill my head. But not now, and never again.
"Well, I suggest looking elsewhere, then. I came here with friends, good friends. I'll eat with them, I'll talk with them, and I'll enjoy my time with them. After we're finished, I'll leave with them as well. Peddle your hatred somewhere else."
This was dangerous territory and I knew it. I was pushing him, and I knew that, as well. I don't know what it was that ignited my fury. Perhaps it was a response to his anger—anger that I was, for once in my life, truly happy.
He placed his hands, hands that were nearly the size of baseball gloves, on the table before me. I looked from the hands that could undoubtedly do a massive amount of damage, up to his avian eyes. He leaned in closely, and though I wanted to remain steadfast, my instinct to survive caused me to back up slightly—not very far at all, considering the booth I was in.
My eyes met his, and there they would stay. If anything was going to happen, I wanted to make sure that he had to look into my eyes.
"Do they know about you? That you're sick in the head? Hell, they're probably gay, too." He scoffed. "Of course the only people that would sit with you would be a bunch of queers."
That was the precise moment that I decided enough was enough. I matched his stance, hands on the table, lifting myself up slowly to meet him. My voice was low, my tone was dangerous. I was on the edge of the precipice, and there was nowhere to go but over the edge.
"In that case, why don't I offer you a seat? I seem to recall a few instances when your gaze lingered on Kurt Hummel much too long to be considered anything other than what both you and I know it was."
He blanched for a moment and I saw the truth written clearly on his face. There was shock mixed with confusion; more importantly, there was red hot anger. Whether this anger was directed at me or at himself for the truth he'd never admit to, I couldn't say. There was a brief moment where I felt guilt for throwing something so sensitive in his face, but that was gone in a flash. Before I could utter a single word, he lunged forward and grabbed the collar of my shirt and pulled me towards him, hard enough to make my head snap back.
He was close, too close. I could feel his warm breath on my lips, breath that, by all rights, should have belonged to Quinn. My stomach lurched, everything that I had eaten threatening to make an appearance. When he spoke, his voice was strained; a piano wire that was going to snap at any moment from the pressure.
"Listen to me you little bitch." Warm spittle hit me in the face and my stomach rolled once more.
"Take back what you said. Take it back or so help me…" His grip tightened and I could no longer hold back the whimper that left my mouth or the tear that stained my cheek.
"If you ever say anything to anyone about this—"
And then he was flying.
My eyes darted around in confusion before I noticed the reason my assailant was no longer present. He had been hit by a bullet, a blonde bullet, one that was currently on top of him, fists charging again and again towards his face, angry shrieks accompanying each strike.
It all seemed to be happening in slow motion; Quinn on top of Karofsky, Santana trying halfheartedly to pull her back, and Brittany asking me repeatedly if I was okay.
"Quinn, honey, the last thing you need is his blood staining your cheer uniform. Or a lawsuit, you don't exactly need that, either. Get," she grunted with effort, "off of him." She looked to her partner desperately. "B, little help please?"
Brittany turned away from me sadly and approached the flurried mess that was Quinn and David. With what looked like minimal effort, she wrapped her arms around Quinn's waist and hoisted her off the trembling football player.
"Brittany, let me go!" She flailed violently against the dancer, but it did no good; Brittany's grip was locked in place.
"Quinnie, I know you want to hurt him, but you kind of already did that, and I think that Rachel might need you right now more than you need to keep punching him."
At the mention of my name, Quinn seemed to sober while finally remembering that I was there. Her eyes met mine briefly, a flash of guilt staining dark green, and then she looked back down.
"B, I'm good, I promise."
Brittany looked doubtful but her grip eventually relented, allowing Quinn the freedom she fought for so greedily. She lowered herself to the ground, mere inches away from the football player who had, in the subsequent two minutes, gone from an angry behemoth to a scared child.
"Listen to me, you fucking Neanderthal. If you even touch her again—no, I'm sorry, if you even look at her again, I will not hesitate to kill you."
Her eyes, darkened by the nearly palpable anger she was feeling, bore into his until he sniffled out the barest hint of confirmation. He wiped away the blood that had pooled under his clearly broken nose and jumped up, avoiding eye contact with all of us. Santana stepped towards him and he yelped loudly, giving her a wide berth. When the door shut and he was finally gone, it seemed that the tension of the moment had only thickened.
Chloe and a few of the other workers had peeked out of the kitchen to check what the commotion had been, but quickly retreated when they realized there was no longer a problem. It was probably for the best that they had taken their time coming out.
The three cheerleaders moved towards me at once, but Quinn got there first. She didn't speak, but her mouth opened and closed repeatedly as rapid breaths left her body. Softly, ever so softly, her hands were upon my face, tilting my head side to side to check for damage. When she was content that no serious harm had been done, her hands cupped my cheeks and her eyes met mine.
She wanted to speak, to say how she was feeling, as if that wasn't already blatantly apparent. She wanted to force those words out, and I wanted to tell her that everything was going to be all right, but neither one of us could manage to do it. Whether it was from residual shock of the situation, or Quinn's fierce display of protection, I didn't know; all I knew was that she was suddenly leaving and I was on autopilot, following behind her.
We reached the bathroom and I locked the door behind us; the last thing Quinn or I needed was an interruption during what was sure to be, like everything between us, an emotional encounter. Her hands were on her hips, her back towards me. I was going to have to break the silence, because Quinn going to remain—
"I shouldn't have left you. I knew that other people from McKinley came here, but I left you. I'm going to kill him." She turned to face me, and while yes, there were tears in her eyes, mostly it was red hot anger that was shining back at me. I approached her and placed my hands on her shoulders and implored her.
"Quinn, no. No more violence. I understand that David and his personality leave much to be desired, but please. There's no need to continue this. I'm okay; you—well, you saved me. Listen to me; I sound like the cliché damsel in distress, saved by her dashing knight."
Quinn sighed and placed her hands over mine. "I know what you're trying to do, and while it is working, it doesn't change the fact that I'm responsible for that monster attacking you. Me. Some knight I am."
"Listen to me. Listen to me closely, because I can only say this so many times. You are not responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for yourself. Whether they choose to follow blindly is on them, but you must stop torturing yourself, Quinn. We are moving forward, you and I, and you say you don't want to hurt me, but Quinn—when I watch you blame yourself, over and over again, it hurts me more than you know."
She squeezed my hands between hers before moving them down to my hips to wrap me in a loose embrace, her chin fitting snugly in the crook of my neck.
Her voice was muffled and breath warm against my skin. "Okay. I'll try. For you, and for me, I'll try."
We remained like that few moments before there was a hesitant knock on the bathroom door.
"Yo, you two good in there? B wants to see the hobbit, and I do too. Well, mostly I have to pee, but I want to make sure the midget is cool."
Quinn inhaled heavily against my neck and groaned. "Do we have to leave? Can we just stay like this?"
I laughed softly and pulled her closer to my body. "We can stay here as long as you'd like. Until the restaurant closes, or Santana decides to pick the lock and break in."
"Uhm, super rude, Berry, I can hear you, you know! And for your information, I picked the lock a while ago; I was just being polite!"
We emerged from the bathroom, Quinn's hand resting on my lower back protectively. Brittany and Santana walked towards us, both wearing identical looks of concern.
"Are you guys okay? He didn't hurt you, did he Rachel? I'm sorry we weren't here."
"No apologies, please; as I told Quinn, no one here is responsible" I turned to face Santana.
"I have to reiterate what I said to Quinn; don't attack him. When you see him in the hallways, as I know you will, please don't act out on my behalf."
Her eyebrows rose incredulously. "You're joking, right? I'm going to beat the ever-loving shit out of him the second I see that Neanderthal fuck." I knew she meant well, but the anger, the hatred, the violence—it had to stop somewhere. I walked forward and met her gaze, smiling softly as she began to fidget. Slowly, so she had time to move away if she was uncomfortable, I wrapped my arms around her waist and hugged her gently. She hesitated, and I could feel her move to glance at Quinn, but after slight hesitation her arms were around me.
"Thank you, for caring. It means so much to me, especially considering our past circumstances and indiscretions. But it's going to be okay; I'mgoing to be okay. But David? He must live with himself, and his demons. Please, don't retaliate."
"Okaaay, fine. You've convinced me. I won't murder him with the razor blades in my hair. But you cannot stop me from glaring at him, and maybe shaking my fist angrily."
I laughed against her chest and nodded in affirmation. "That's perfectly acceptable."
Separating from Santana, I moved towards Quinn, the heat radiating from her body giving me comfort. I felt the gravelly reverberations from her voice as she began to speak.
"So, here's an idea; my parents are out of town for the next few days; how do you guys feels about a movie and popcorn night?"
"Quinn, that's such a marvelous idea!"
Santana snickered and I began to worry.
"Oh yeah, totally awesome idea, Fabgay. We can watch something scary, since you're so into horror movies, Berry. And then you can show her your room, Quinnie. How does that sound?"
Frankly, now I was terrified. Terrified of the prospect of having to endure a movie that was sure to cause some sort of heart failure, terrified and also—let's be honest, shall we—slightly aroused at the thought of Quinn's room. Quinn's room, where she slept.
And did things.
Snap out of it Rachel, you are no hormonal teenage boy!
"That sounds absolutely perfect, Santana. I can't wait."
She chuckled darkly and headed towards the exit, the rest of us following in tow.
"Game on, Berry. Game on."
I couldn't help but gulp. Just what had I gotten myself into?"