Okay…I watched the first episode of season 3 and I'm not that impressed TBH, the singing and dancing part is still great because all the performers are, but RM obviously has one storyline stuck on repeat in his head, so with that in mind I'm taking up BB&S again and writing it as a completely AU season 3, when most of them actually get some character progression, plus it's my guilty pleasure in the angst department as my others are too sweet and I need to balance myself out, ya know ying/yang so to speak! If ya like it lemme know if it's too heavy lemme know that too! Enjoy oh wonderful peeps!

Run Baby Run

The first week back after summer break was as hectic as usual for the gleeks, new class assignments, new sports team try out's and of course new Glee club tryout's, not that they had that many tryouts considering Blaine was a foregone conclusion and apart from that the club was still kind of the un coolest place to be. Rachel was the only one who knew why Quinn didn't turn up for their first week's worth of practices, or at least she thought she did anyway. She told Mr Schuster that the ex cheerleader just needed some time to get herself together, though truth be told she had seen very little of her since the morning after Puck's party.

They had kept in touch via text message but every time Rachel offered to go see the blonde, Quinn had politely declined, she had met Rachel a couple of times at the nearby park where they had just sat on the swings and engaged in small talk, but it was like Quinn wanted to forget that she had had to be pulled off of a wall to prevent her from killing herself. A part of the brunette wanted to let her do just that but another part knew that if she started ignoring things again it would erupt in the worst way possible just as it had before, however there was little she could do without forcing her newfound tentative friend into doing so, something she would not allow and so she resigned herself to being patient and reminding Quinn that she was there for her whenever she was ready.

Things between her and Finn hadn't exactly been wonderful either, he had expected her to ring him and apologise for leaving him at the party that night, instead she had silenced her phone and ignored him that day as she let Quinn sleep off her hangover and made sure that she was fed and cleaned up before she left. The ex cheerleader had said very little about how her mother had reacted to her coming out, in fact she had said very little of anything, she woke up, showered, borrowed some jeans and a shirt from one of Rachel's dad's and left just after dinner with a quiet thanks. When Rachel tried to explain to Finn that she had been helping a friend, helping Quinn, he had been angry, accusing the blonde of trying to get between them to get back at him for dumping her.

It had been their first argument since they had got together again and it was all over insecurities again, though this time at least they weren't hers. After a whole afternoon of arguing back and forth and of Rachel convincing him that Quinn had no hidden intentions when it came to their new friendship, the footballer had finally relaxed. After that he had gone out of his way to be sweet to her, he brought her flowers (roses, which she actually couldn't stand as they were way too cliché, but the thought was there) he took her out to dinner (where she had to have salad yet again because of the lack of vegan options) and he invited her to his new training sessions with Puck, the two of them had started attending the gym and so the brunette accepted the invitation and managed to catch up on her homework and her portfolio for college while she occasionally looked up and made it seem as though she was watching. This Friday morning they had basketball tryouts and Finn had begged her until she had agreed to go with him and watch, he was so excited about it because he knew he was bound to get in and bound to take the Captains slot as per usual, especially with Sam gone now.

Rachel took her place on the bleachers and watched as the usual crew assembled, she was surprised by the addition of Brittany and Santana, though maybe they were there in their capacity as cheerio's, except they were the only two there so that couldn't be the reason. If it had been anyone else she would have gone and sat with them but she was still really unsure where she stood with the two of them so she sighed and flipped open her laptop to start typing up her history essay. Which is why she was doubly shocked when she heard Puck's surprised voice from the gym floor call out a name she hadn't expected.

"Quinn, what are you doing here? Cheerio's tryouts were yesterday."

Sparing a small smile for the mohawked boy, the former blonde shrugged and bounced one of the practice basketballs from hand to hand effortlessly.

"Good job I'm not here to try out for the cheerio's then, thought it was about time someone taught you jokers how to play the game properly."

She smiled but it didn't reach her eyes, Rachel frowned slightly at that, she was happy that Quinn was showing an interest in something even if it was a contact sport (which the brunette diva was against purely on principal), but she wasn't sure how the guys would react and she watched carefully, unaware she was slowly edging closer to the court floor. Puck seemed completely nonplussed as he grinned at her and shrugged, Mike looked ecstatic (now there had been a friendship no one had suspected, God bless video games) but Finn looked far from impressed.

"Just because you finally admitted to being gay doesn't mean you can play on a guys sports team you know?"

Quinn clenched her jaw and her hands flexed on the ball, to the side Rachel noticed Brittany put an arm round Santana's shoulders, seemingly a simple embrace but she noted the muscles straining in the girls bicep and knew she was holding the Latina back. The little diva had her mouth open to intervene when a voice sounded from the doorway and Finn turned round startled.

"Being gay has nothing to do with it Hudson, if she can play well she's eligible, there's no rule against it, and I didn't see you objecting when you asked me to put Artie on the football team?"

Flushing slightly the tall boy ducked his head and muttered angrily.

"That's different…he's a guy."

Coach Bieste folded her arms and levelling a long look at the boy spoke evenly.

"For your sake Hudson I'm going to assume you're just not understanding the fact that the rule book does not preclude us from having female members…for your sake I hope that is the reason, because the one thing I wont allow on this team is a bigot!"

After a moments silence during which the tall boy started to fidget uncomfortably, the coach blew her whistle and drew them all closer to start going through the list of what she wanted them to do. On the bleachers at the side of the court Rachel found herself sitting next to the two cheerio's and blinked slightly then flushed a dark red at Santana's furious expression.

"That boyfriend of yours is a real find Berry, you must feel so lucky!"

The diva actually flinched at the tone in the Latinas voice and she swallowed before tucking a strand of her dark hair behind her ear and opening her mouth to say something, she wasn't sure what though as she couldn't find it within her to defend Finn's apparent bigotry. Luckily Brittany jumped in.

"Cool it San, Quinn said she's her friend…it's not her fault Finn is being such a dick."

Grumbling slightly under her breath the brunette cheerio relaxed slightly and swung her eyes back to the practice where the hopefuls were going through the basic fitness tests. The boys were their usual selves but Quinn was fast, fast and agile and she didn't even look out of breath, Rachel half smiled in wonder and glanced at the two girls.

"She's really good…I guess I never realised that she was sporty outside of the cheerleading."

Santana softened slightly and letting out a breath she nodded before offering a half shrug and talking, she kept her eyes on the try outs as she spoke however.

"Q used to love basketball, she was awesome until that shit head disguised as her father forbid her from playing. It was too masculine a sport for his little girl, despite the fact that she could run rings round every other player…so she stopped and joined the cheerleading squad. This is actually a good sign, it means she's finally doing something she wants, I hope she gets on to the team, we might win this year then."

Rachel found herself wide eyed at yet another thing she didn't know about the former blonde. The intense evening they had spent together was definitely a connection between them but it obviously fooled her into thinking she knew more than she did, obviously she knew the big thing but that confused her, why would Quinn share something like that with her and yet not something seemingly silly like her love and skill of basketball. Internally she sighed and found herself watching with rapt attention, admittedly she was watching Quinn and not her boyfriend, but in her defence…the pink haired girl was every bit as good as Santana had hinted and when they moved from the fitness tests into a quick practice game she was even more gob smacked.

Admittedly she didn't have the reach of some of the other players but what she lacked in height and reach, she made up for in speed and agility and when working with Mike the two made such an awesome scoring pair that she felt her jaw drop slightly. Puck was grinning at the display as were most of the others, they could see what an asset the former cheerio would be to them, Finn was not as impressed however. When the game ended Mike ruffled Quinn's hair and hoisted the laughing girl onto his back as they gathered around the coach, she smiled at them and then spoke in a voice that carried to where the three girls on the bleachers could also hear.

"Okay, well you guys need a hell of a lot of shaping to get you up to standard but the team will be the same as last year in regards to members, with the addition of Fabray, as far as positions go I've yet to decide on all of them but I do know without a doubt that your new Captain is Fabray, Mike your vice Captain, the rest of the positions I'll work out at the first real practice session."

She turned and shook the bewildered former cheerio's hand.

"Well done Quinn, looking forward to working with you…I'll send you some more information about what I want you to work on with Mike, congratulations!"

Coach shook her hand one more time then moved off with her clipboard, the other team members congratulated Quinn clapping her lightly on the back, with one notable exception…Finn went straight to his bag. Quinn smiled shyly as she walked over to where Rachel, Santana and Brittany were sat, the two cheerio's immediately wrapped her in a hug, Rachel was the only one that noticed the stiffening of the blondes frame and she only noticed that because of what they had shared. Once her friends let her go the new basketball Captain looked shyly over at the diva.

"Hey, I didn't know you were gonna be here or I'd have let you know…what did you think?"

Santana un noticed by both of them frowned slightly at the shy tone in Quinn's voice, Rachel just smiled back widely and knowing what the Captain would be comfortable with she reached out and taking both hands squeezed them gently and chuckled.

"Are you kidding, you were awesome! I shall make a note to attend every game this season now!"

Quinn laughed and squeezed back, she looked genuinely happy for once, the ever present shadow in her eyes was still there but muted for once, and for that Rachel was immensely grateful. The brunette cleared her throat and spoke happily, including Santana and Brittany in her spontaneous invitation.

"Well, I think this calls for a celebration! How about we have a movie night round mine tonight, you can all stay over if you want, we'll get some pizza and choose something that will help us relax."

Santana opened her mouth to shoot down the suggestion but the gentle pressure of Brittany's foot on hers caused her to turn and look at the tall blonde, Brit merely flicked her eyes in Quinn's direction and the Latina noticed that her friend looked happy at the prospect…happy and maybe a little relieved, the last part made her frown but when she saw Quinn turn to her with a raised eyebrow she rolled her eyes and gave an over exaggerated sigh.

"Fine, but I get to choose the movies and no wussing out! And I wantz meat on my pizza Berry! I know you don't eat it but some of us are still normal."

Rachel was tempted to go on a diatribe about how the vegan diet was much healthier than a meat eaters diet but as the Latina was willing to attend her impromptu movie night she decided to let it rest and rolled her eyes.

"Very well, I promise you some artery clogging meat!"

She smiled cheerily when Quinn chuckled at her eye roll and world weary reply, it was then she noticed they were still holding hands, and she also noticed that neither she nor the athlete wanted to let go. Until a throat loudly cleared itself, the brunette looked over her shoulder and remembering Finn she smiled guiltily then turned back to the others.

"Meet at mine around seven?"

As they nodded their agreement she finally let Quinn's hands go and stopping to pick up her bag and laptop she headed over to where Finn was frowning and kicking at the gym floor in irritation, the new Captain watched them go and tried to ignore the pang in her chest, instead she closed her eyes and let out a breath while forcing her hands to unclench. She had forgotten her friends were still there until Santana broke the silence.

"What's up with you and the hobbit anyway? Since when did you become friends, let alone start making nice."

Sighing Quinn rolled her eyes and bent down to pick up her hoody and water bottle.

"She helped me out with something, and it…she helped a lot. So yeah we're friends and I know you aren't keen San but I swear if you ever upset her…"

The Latina raised her eyebrow, all ready to fire off at Quinn and point out how she was no longer the HBIC, but that gentle pressure from Brittany stopped her again, she didn't know why but she did acknowledge that the tall blonde was much better at the emotional crap than her so she would follow her lead.

"I got it, play nice…it's not me you need to worry about though, or did you not notice Finnept giving you the evil eye."

Quinn shrugged slightly as she drained the water bottle.

"I have no idea what his problem is, he was the one that dumped me and I never acted against him, I'm friends with Rachel and instead of being happy I'm not hurting her anymore he's just more pissed. So I give up, it's his issue this time not mine."

As she headed out towards the changing room she didn't see Santana look at Brittany and murmur worriedly.

"Well let's hope that Berry explains things to Finn and calms him down…he has a Hell of a temper and the last thing we need is him going off at Q, she still isn't good B, and it looks like the only one who might know why is Berry of all people."

Stopping to place a gentle kiss on her girlfriends cheek, Brittany smiled softly.

"It doesn't matter who it is as long as she's finally opening up to someone…besides, her and Rachel have always had that weird bond, it's just that the evil script writers of fate are dense or something and keep writing her in with the giant."

Smiling at the blondes always unique turn of phrase, Santana squeezed the hand holding hers.

"I know babe, we just need to work behind the scenes to keep him from ruining it…and although I never thought I would say it, I really don't want to see Berry heartbroken again this year and Finnept doesn't have the best track record in that regard."

Brittany nodded decisively.

"Operation lummox is underway, we shall not fail, either of them…ooh we should have code names and code words in case we ever need each other real fast, I'm gonna think about it tonight when we're at the movie night!"

Shaking her head fondly Santana led them off to their next class, well not really a class but the Latina figured that as they had missed most of the lesson already they may as well go and make out under the bleachers.

Rachel was walking fast, she had to just to keep up with Finn's angry strides, it was probably a good job she was slightly out of breath or she could see their second argument brewing, yet again over the former cheerio, and yet again through no other reason than Finn's insecurities.

"I cant believe Bieste did that to me, I've always been both football and Basketball Captain, it's my job! Not Quinn's, just because she's lost everything doesn't mean she has to come and steal it all from me!"

He stopped abruptly at his locker, turning the dial so angrily he missed his combination twice before getting it right. Rachel let out a breath and assumed her best placating tone.

"Finn, don't be silly…she is doing no such thing, she's good at basketball she always has been apparently. She earned the Captaincy fair and square! And what else is it you think she is supposedly taking from you?"

He turned to her with a half pout half snarl.

"Don't say it like that, like I'm making it up! She made friends with you so you're spending time with her that should be spent with me, and now she's taken my spot on the team as well…God why cant she just do us all a favour and fall under a damn car!"

He slammed his locker door angrily and Rachel lost all instinct to placate him, her eyes blazed angrily and she jabbed a finger into his chest.

"How can you say that! That is horrible, I'm shocked at you Finn Hudson…what has happened to you, I used to think you were essentially a good person but now I'm not so sure…I'm going to class now and I wont be requiring you to escort me, I shall also make my own way home this afternoon. I don't expect to hear from you until you can behave respectably towards me and your other fellow Glee club members!"

With that she whirled round on her heel and stormed off angrily, she didn't see the football players scowl but she did hear the loud smack as his fist impacted his locker and she flinched internally…if she noticed that she didn't feel the same instinct to go and soothe him as she had when Quinn had done something similar to the oak table that night she chose to ignore it.

After basketball tryouts the lethargy that she couldn't seem to shake off sank back over Quinn and she was grateful that she was ahead of the curve by the time the late afternoon English lesson came round. It enabled her to doze lightly in the back of the class without being yelled at by a teacher, she'd most likely try and get another hour or so later in the library before heading over to Rachel's. Sleep was a precious commodity these days as far as the pink haired girl was concerned, she had sedatives but it was difficult to take them with things the way they were. It was fine when she was back home but…that ship had long since sailed and there was no way she wanted to take a sedative while sleeping in her car.

She knew if she told Rachel that the little diva would invite, or, if was being honest, more than likely insist that she stayed with the Berry's and she just didn't think she could. It wasn't that she didn't trust them because oddly she trusted them as much as anyone but they were the only ones who knew, well Hiram didn't but Leroy and Rachel did. Rachel because of course Quinn had weakened that one night and allowed the little diva in…and Leroy because he was the one who had recommended the therapist. The therapist that she hadn't seen for a few weeks now, not because she didn't want to, because in a way it was helping her to start sifting through the emotional debris of what used to be her life. But she could no longer use her family health insurance and she simply couldn't afford it, some things in her new life she had been able to get away with, most people assumed that she had traded her BMW in for a truck as part of her lifestyle change. They didn't know that the main reason was to get some much needed money, she had also sold pretty much all of her possessions with the exception of her clothes, laptop and phone, those she needed to maintain a semi regular lifestyle.

On the really bad nights she would sometimes waste some of the money by booking into a cheap motel, securing herself inside and taking a sedative to catch up on sleep, but she wasn't exactly rich these days and for some reason finding a job was proving tough. The stupid thing was she would be more than happy if she could just find a job cleaning toilets somewhere, at least it was a steady income but so far no takers. She suspected her parents were somehow behind that as well, after all it wasn't beyond the realms of possibility, especially given how many people the Fabray's knew. So she took it one day at a time and so far she'd been doing okay, admittedly it had only been three weeks but the routine she had worked well.

Essentially she parked up round the back of the school and half under the overhanging delivery area for the cafeteria, she'd wake, or more often than not just stop trying to sleep, at around six every morning, when the caretakers opened up to clean she snuck in and used the locker rooms before sneaking back out to grab some breakfast if she felt hungry then she would drive up into the main car park with everyone else for when school started. Luckily any school permission slips she had needed signed she had managed to forge adequately (thank you Sue Sylvester). But she was getting tired again and was thinking about another night in a motel when Rachel had suggested the movie night, she could have cried with relief. An excuse to sleep safely, the last really good nights sleep she had had was the night Rachel had stepped in and saved her.

Quinn wasn't stupid, she knew she couldn't go on like this forever, but she didn't have to, she just had to graduate high school and then she would…find something, anything. Once she had that slip of paper she could get a job somewhere, she didn't want to face the fact that she had no way of attending college anymore, even if she got a scholarship she had no means of support to provide food and shelter…but that was a worry for another day, right now all she was worried about was getting another hours dozing in before the lesson ended. She didn't notice that Rachel who was sat at the back a couple of rows away was watching her carefully.

Rachel Berry was also not stupid, she knew there was more going on with Quinn than the girl was letting on. The truck and the hair she might have been able to excuse if it wasn't for the fact that the former cheerio drove into the school from the opposite end of the car park now. There was no logical way that required Quinn to drive the way she did, she never gave anyone a lift unless they asked so the fact she was arriving at school from a completely different direction concerned her. She was tempted to follow her more than once but then reminded herself that their friendship was still very tentative. And more than anything she wanted to prove that her words were not said in the heat of the moment, she DID want to be there for her, she would be there for her…and if that meant keeping her suspicions to herself then she would do so, for now at least.

Her father had also been asking questions, nothing too heavy because he knew how shaky Quinn had been that morning, he had done his best to be supportive and not smothering despite his urge to coddle the girl. So for him to ask meant there was a reason, not that he would tell her what it was, and out of respect for the former blonde she would never ask, she would however, worry, and the look on Quinn's face when she had suggested tonight had held a hint of relief…or something similar to it, so she was working on making it a regular thing, at least between the two of them, surely even Finn wouldn't begrudge her one night a week?

At his desk Finn was hurting, he couldn't understand why things weren't going right, this was meant to be his year. He knew that Rachel was insisting about keeping their relationship fairly mild because she wanted to wait until she was twenty five but he also knew she didn't mean it, no girl wanted to wait that long. He figured if he worked at it slowly he could persuade her by homecoming if not prom, it would be a great way to seal their love! Plus he was sick of the other guys ragging on him for having a nun for a girlfriend, Puck was just Puck and slept with anything he wanted, Mike had Tina and he knew for a fact they were doing it because he had overheard Mike and her talking about it. Even Artie was getting more horizontal action than him and it was embarrassing! He was a championship winning quarterback after all! This was the year he would go out in a blaze of glory by leading the basketball team to another championship, finally swiping Rachel's v card, leading the glee club to victory and then getting out of here on a sports scholarship.

But now it was all at risk, because of Quinn fucking Fabray, it always came back to her, it was like people were trying to conspire against him, and it was always the gay ones! First Kurt persuaded that insipid jerk Blaine to transfer and Finn just knew he would try out for most of the leads and male solo's, and for some reason most of the glee club members seem to think he was a better vocalist than Finn which was just bullshit! Then Quinn started changing, it was like just because she had come out, now she had to push it in people places, changing her hair, the piercing, and now, now! She had to intrude into his world by taking the Captain's position from him. If she led them to the championship he would look like a wimp, colleges would look at his application and laugh when they realised that he lost the position to a dyke. It felt good to say it in his head, he knew he could never say it out loud not with Kurt and Rachel around him, but it still made him feel good to think it! On top of that he was losing his girlfriend to Quinn as well, he knew how Quinn worked, she would get into Rachel's head and make her think he was the bad guy, he could already see it happening…he just had to act first, and he knew just how to start.

The sharp ringing of the bell caused Quinn to jolt upright and she tried to make it look natural by rising into a stretch and grabbing for her books, she made a quick note of the homework assignment on the board, she could get it done in the library before she headed for Rachel's, speaking of which she should at least be polite and ask if she should bring anything. She made a step towards the little diva when she saw Finn glaring at her, she frowned and he quickly averted his eyes before shoving up from his desk and moving off. Quinn looked at Rachel and then fiddled idly with the books in her hands feeling shy all of a sudden.

"Hey, is Finn okay? I mean he seems a little angry today, did I do something?"

At the worried tone in the pink haired girls voice Rachel had to force her anger towards her supposed boyfriend down again and muster up a smile and a shrug.

"I think he was disappointed with a bad grade in something and I wasn't suitably sympathetic about it…are you okay, you look kinda tired? Have you had any…um, difficulties?"

She didn't want to come out and say nightmares but it was what she meant and at the understanding and earnest look in the brown eyes, it was on the tip of Quinn's tongue to confess everything. But she couldn't, she knew how she felt for Rachel, and she knew the Diva finally had what she wanted in Finn, if she were to tell her then she knew Rachel would direct her attention full time to helping Quinn back on her feet. And as much as she would love that it wasn't fair…she had already ruined so much of the little diva's high school experience, she couldn't let herself ruin the last year she had here, she wouldn't do it.

"I'm okay…nothing bad I promise, just leaving assignments to the last minute and I was sort of worried about the try outs this morning, figured I might be a little rusty, the only b ball I played in recent years was some one on one games with Mike."

Rachel smiled and lay a gentle hand on Quinn's leather jacketed arm.

"Well it obviously kept you fit because you were amazing out there! And you never told me you and Mike were close friends, it's not something you guys mention and you don't really hang out at school."

On familiar, easier territory now the new Captain gave a genuine smile and raised one of her infamous eyebrows.

"I cant have you know everything about me Berry, where would the mystery be?"

Rolling her eyes the little diva shoved playfully at Quinn's shoulder, knowing her friend was unhappy with the answer, the athlete started to tell her as they walked to their lockers.

"Okay I'll fess up, we sort of bonded in junior high over Pokemon, yes that's right! I'm a secret video game nerd as is Mike, it's just something we share outside of the politics of this place, Puck and Finn only ever play COD and it's way dull so me and Mike play the real games, mostly co op as opposed to one on one, and of course the occasional game of basketball. He's a good guy, always has had his head screwed on right, but we don't hang out so much now he has Tina, I'm happy for him though."

She shrugged and without asking held Rachel's books for her so she could get her locker open, the brunette smiled internally at the gesture and nodded her thanks as she took her coat out, Quinn suddenly frowned and looked around.

"Hey, where's Finn, isn't he driving you home?"

Rachel waved a hand airily and smiled slightly, anyone else would have let it go without question when the diva blithely explained.

"He said he was going to spend some family time with his mom and Burt."

Quinn however could spot one of Rachel's 'show smiles' from a mile away and raised one of the eyebrows, the brunette bit her lip and tried to look away but the Captain persisted and eventually Rachel gave into the look, laughing slightly.

"That's not fair you know, that eyebrow should be classed as a deadly weapon! It's giving you an unfair advantage when it comes to stare downs."

Quinn found herself escorting the diva to the car park without question, it's not like she would ever not do it and she was kinda pissed at Finn for doing so! She waited until Rachel grudgingly admitted.

"He's sort of upset about not getting the Captaincy I think, I told him it was a silly thing to worry about and…well he said something mean and so I told him I would walk."

As one part of her mind said a reluctant goodbye to those few extra hours sleep in the library, the Captain looked at the grey clouds in the sky and noticing that the diva only had a thin cotton windbreaker on she made her choice, not that it had ever been a choice if she was honest.

"Come on, you know for someone with a 4.0 GPA you really should start carrying around a more substantial coat, I'll drive you home you doofus."

Jaw dropping in mock outrage Rachel let Quinn help her into the cab of the battered truck and when the Captain also got in she sniffed disdainfully.

"Quinn Fabray, I am not a doofus…I am just very artistically minded and it is a well known fact that arty types tend to let practical things fall by the wayside when they are in a creative haze."

The former blonde chuckled as she started the engine, it coughed a few times before firing up and she smiled apologetically.

"Sorry…it um, hates the cold too, so what artistic haze have you been in lately then Miss Artiste?"

Smiling indulgently Rachel played idly with a strand of her hair as she started listing the ideas she had had for sectional's and also regional's. She was extremely eager to keep the trend of original songs but felt they should also think about a theme more often. Quinn hadn't been in glee club recently, ostensibly because she was attending therapy sessions but in reality it hurt her to see how close Rachel and Finn were in that room. They always sat with their hands intertwined and exchanged dopey grins while deciding which song they would dedicate to each other that week. And as much as the Captain wanted Rachel to be happy, to finally have the high school experience she deserved…she couldn't deny that it hurt her to see them like that.

And so she had stayed away as it was easier than worrying about Rachel noticing her melancholy and trying to fix it, after all, that would be one more reason for Finn to hate her and it seemed he didn't need any encouragement in that area. But she did have a secret, not a deep dark one like the one she had already shared with the diva, but one that might help them in glee club. She was torn about whether or not to reveal it, and in turn reveal the idea she had had, she chewed thoughtfully on her lip as she nodded and responded to the diva's suggestions. She resolved to see how things carried on, she hadn't after all quit glee club officially and she would leave the ideas to Rachel and Finn for now, if the club looked as though it needed a new idea then she would step up to the plate.

As they neared the Berry home she realised that Rachel was looking expectantly at her and realising she had been asked a question she flushed slightly and ventured a response.


Rachel was the one to raise an eyebrow this time but even she with all her acting classes had to admit it paled in comparison to the original, she settled for sighing dramatically.

"Quinn…do you even know what you just agreed to, for all you know I could have just asked you to dress up as a banana so we could perform the 'Bananas in Pyjamas' song!"

The former cheerio laughed then frowned and bit her lip slightly worriedly.

"Um…you didn't though right?"

Smirking Rachel shrugged.

"I guess you'll never know, will you Fabray…until I remind you that is."

Rolling her eyes Quinn slid from the cab of the truck and went to help the diva down who was trying her best not to struggle, the pink haired girl had to bite her lip to stop from erupting in giggles, and once she had control of herself she helped the brunette to stand, Rachel huffed slightly as she straightened her rumpled skirt.

"You know, because you laughed I have half a mind to say you did agree to a ridiculous song…however as I am a nice person I shall jog your memory. I asked if you wanted to just stay now, my dad's are out and you can use the bathroom and everything and just relax until Brit and San get here."

The one thing Quinn remembered very fondly from the last time she had stayed here was the power shower and sunken tub in the main bathroom and her eyes lit up. Rachel found herself smiling in reply and watched as Quinn reached into the truck's flatbed and took some clothes out of a lockbox, when she frowned the Captain shrugged.

"I always keep a few clothes in the truck just in case, see, maybe some of your ridiculous attention to detail is rubbing off on me Rae?"

Rachel stopped with her key in the door and offered a blinding smile, wondering why Quinn actually looked behind her before frowning and looking back to the little diva.

"Um…are you okay?"

Shrugging and looking almost shy the brunette chewed her lower lip for a moment and then almost whispered.

"No one's ever called me Rae before…I like that, I like you calling me that. It feels special."

Quinn found herself mirroring the warm look in the smaller girls eyes and stepping up next to her she nudged her shoulder with her own.

"Then let's keep it our secret huh? Now let me in and at that tub…I have school smell to scrub off of me."

Shoving good naturedly at the tall basketball player Rachel let her head up to the bathroom first, while Quinn was bathing the brunette dug out the old cheerio's T Shirt and red sleep shorts that the girl had left there from a sleepover the glee girls had had ages ago. It had been an odd day, after nearly two weeks back at school she and Finn had ended up having their first argument, about the same thing they always did, in one form or another. Chewing her lip thoughtfully Rachel decided not to think about the implications that Quinn was always a factor in her life…and that it was always the former cheerleader that she ended up siding with. Shaking the confusing thoughts from her head she started rearranging the furniture to create a cosy atmosphere for that evening. When Quinn finally came down the stairs in the clothes Rachel had lay out for her she was half asleep and blinked lazily at the new seating arrangement before chuckling.

"Wow, you didn't have to go to all this trouble, S and B would be just as happy sprawled on the floor, you know that?"

Rolling her eyes the little diva placed her hands on her hips before pointing to the corner of the sofa.

"Quinn Fabray you should know by now that I don't do things in half measures, I have ordered three different pizzas which will hopefully cater to everybody equally. You are under orders to sit, get comfortable and drink this."

She placed a mug of hot chocolate topped with cream, marshmallows and chocolate shavings in the basketball players hands and after switching the TV to ESPN where they were showing a retrospective of the Bulls last season she smiled softly.

"I'm going to grab a shower, you just relax, you look tired."

With one last ruffle of the pink tousled locks, Rachel headed off and Quinn sank into the Berry's extremely comfortable sofa with a small smile, she had no idea if it was the fact that Rachel had recalled the Bulls were her favourite team, or the fact that she loved cinnamon in her chocolate, but for the first time since the night of Puck's party the athlete felt herself relaxing, feeling truly at ease…and more importantly safe.

Rachel wasn't at all surprised to see that when she got downstairs after her shower Quinn was fast asleep, the mug drained and the TV playing to itself. Smiling fondly she pulled the blanket from the back of the sofa and draped it over the girls sleeping form before heading into the kitchen. It was just after seven when the doorbell rang and the brunette moved swiftly to open the door before it went off again as Quinn was still fast asleep, she pulled the door open to find the two cheerio's half engaged in a kiss and she winced.

"As nice as it is to see you both, I don't want to see that…and please be quiet when you come in, Quinn is sleeping for now and she obviously needs it."

The honest and open emotion in the little divas voice was what kept Santana from firing back with one of her trademark blistering replies. Instead she just nodded slightly and rolled her eyes as she glanced at the slumbering pink haired figure on the sofa, as a threesome they tiptoed into the kitchen and Brittany then let loose her happy squeal and squeezed Rachel into a hug that caused the diva to giggle as well.

"Wow, I'm so glad you invited us here…we stopped by Q's place on the way here and her mom was real weird about it, cos we were like gonna bring Q here with us and stuff but I think Q's mom was drunk or something."

The blonde shrugged and Rachel looked to Santana, the masked but unhappy look on the Latina's face told her there was more to this than Brittany knew, or had at least picked up on. Santana cleared her throat and then gave Brittany her car keys.

"B would you go get the movies from the car, I forgot to bring them in? and go round the back so we don't wake up Q kay?"

Smiling pleasantly the blonde cheerio nodded and snagged the keys from Santana before heading out the back door to go round the house. Immediately Rachel turned to Santana and raised a concerned eyebrow, for a moment the Latina looked unsure then sighed and pulled the diva closer so she could keep her voice low.

"Listen up munchkin, I'm telling you this because for some odd reason you and Q are getting pretty close and if she'll talk to anyone it would be you okay?"

At the wordless nod from the smaller girl Santana blew out a breath and spoke quickly but concisely.

"B was right about one thing, Q's mom was hammered…as was her dad."

At those words Rachel's mouth formed a surprise 'O' and she then frowned worriedly, the Latina just nodded in confirmation of both the worry and the fact Quinn had neglected to mention her fathers return to either of them before carrying on.

"Yeah, I know right? We asked for Q and her mom just sort of looked at us odd then laughed in a real bitter way before telling us that Q wasn't home and wouldn't be until she changed her ways. In the meantime she told us to look in the gutter where the rest of the dregs of society gather."

Santana was surprised by the amount of rage she could feel in the little diva as her frame stiffened and she shook with fury, her lips went pale and thin and the Latina relaxed her hold on the girls arm, turning it into more of a shared caress than a grip.

"So…you didn't know either?"

At the outraged look on the Diva's face and the amount of air she drew in to refute that claim Santana quickly slapped a hand over the very loud mouth and spoke hurriedly.

"Sorry, I guess I already knew that, but the thing is, if she hasn't told me, B or you then where the hell is she staying? And how do we get her to talk to us about it…both you and I know that when pushed she can go off and turn into a bigger bitch than me and that's the last thing I want happening, not when she seems to be doing so well."

Rachel bit her lip in thought, she was torn, she had promised Quinn she would not tell anyone else what had been revealed to her and she wouldn't, not even on pain of death but…she also could see that despite her brash exterior and her own issues with Brittany the Latina really did want to help. Maybe there was a way she could say something without actually saying something, she started to speak hesitantly.

"I…cant tell you some stuff I know Santana because I promised but…Q has been and maybe is a lot closer to the edge than anyone thinks. I would never hurt her and despite the very odd friendship the two of you have I know you wouldn't. I will try and talk to her but she has to take things in her own time Santana, as much as I wish I could rush in and help her and just make things go away I cant! And it's harder than I thought it would be, perhaps the hardest thing I ever will face but…please trust me when I say a confrontation in this case would do nothing, please?"

It was then she noticed (slightly fearfully) that she had the Latina's shirt gripped tightly in her hands and she hastily let go, half expecting a smack upside the head for her transgression. Instead she was shocked to find herself pulled into a loose embrace, it was a little stiff admittedly but it was about a thousand miles further forward in their friendship than the diva thought they would ever get to. Letting out a breath she allowed her head to rest on the cheerio's broad shoulders, neither of them were surprised when they felt the long arms of another cheerio wrap around them.

Brittany had no idea why they were hugging but she knew making it a larger hug could only be a good thing, they stood that way for a while then mutually moved apart without referencing the awkward embrace, Rachel wiped at the tears in her eyes and showed them where the non alcoholic drinks were. Santana grumbled but made them all virgin Daiquiris so they could at least look sophisticated, shortly after the pizzas arrived and they settled in the lounge to start the first movie. They were undecided about whether or not to wake Quinn up when the smell of the food did it for them, the loud rumbling in the basketball players stomach acted as an alarm clock and she sat up yawning.

"Bout time Q, thought I was gonna have to spend the whole night listening to Berry argue why we should turn this into a Streisand movie night, you've stopped me from having to give the munchkin a swirly."

Quinn rubbed a crick out of the back of her neck and opening up the pizza box Rachel handed her couldn't help grinning.

"How'd you know I was a bacon and mushroom with extra bacon and cheese kinda girl huh Rae?"

Santana snorted at the nickname but was stopped from making a narky comment when Brittany kicked her shin with a pleasant smile that made the others laugh while the Latina subsided with a mutter and her meat feast. After popping open a Root Beer and sitting back happily Quinn realised she was taking up most of the sofa and after a moments pause rolled her eyes at the little diva perched on the end of it and opened up the blanket.

"Come on already, get under the blanket doofus, I promise I'll keep the bacon away from you okay?"

Smiling happily Rachel needed no further urging to slide onto the cushion next to the athlete and snuggle into her side, soon they were heavily into the movie and if either girl noticed they were leaning on each other a bit more than was natural for friends they didn't mention it. Santana noticed but for the sake of keeping the peace decided not to comment, whatever was happening between the two was between them and had nothing to do with her…until they asked of course and then she would be only too happy to give her opinions, and if she were forced to admit it they did sort of look cute together. Turning back to the film the Latina frowned and then glanced at Brittany, despite the fact that it was halfway through she had spent more time kissing her girlfriend than actually watching it so she only just noticed.

"Brit this isn't Saw, this is Batman Begins?"

Quinn grinned and flashed the blonde cheerio a thumbs up as the Latina scowled. Rachel laughed and Brittany shrugged.

"I know but Q really likes this film and so I brought it for her cos we haven't seen her in like forever and I thought it would make her happy cos it's her celebration night."

The basketball players eyes softened slightly and she swallowed as she tried to think of something to say, a way to thank the blonde cheerleader or apologise for having been so absent from their lives. Santana interrupted smoothly causing the diva to send her a furtive look of thanks as she automatically squeezed Quinn's hand, rubbing her thumbs across the knuckles that seemed too thin.

"Hey, no offence to Q but I wanted the alone time with you B, it's kinda difficult to be getting our mack on with candy floss sat in the corner taking notes."

Quinn, back on familiar territory now, rolled her eyes at the new nickname and threw a mushroom at the Latina who smirked after catching it neatly in her mouth.

"Yeah cos I need notes from you on how to seduce a girl, in your dreams Lopez!"

Poking her tongue out the Latina sat back and they all settled into the film, Quinn had no idea that she started mouthing along with the lines to the film, or that Rachel had noticed and thought it was enchanting. When the film ended Santana picked the next one up and as she moved to put the disc in Rachel's eyes widened at the title. It was a lesser known fact about the diva but with her fathers being avid movie goers the little brunette was very knowledgeable on the subject, and although the film the girl had in her hand was an absolutely brilliant movie she didn't really think it was appropriate, not with Quinn there anyway so she cleared her throat.

"No offence Santana but I'm really not in the mood for a thriller, after all that action cant we just have some comedy or romance?"

Not picking up on the undertone in the diva's voice Santana rolled her eyes and held up the case pointedly.

"Okay, I just had to sit through Quinn's geek fest of a movie so now I wantz something a little darker, besides this is a really clever movie, you never know if the guy is a paedophile or not until the end. I cant believe you're dissing Hard Candy!"

Rachel felt Quinn stiffen slightly beside her and she automatically started running her thumb soothingly over the basketball players knuckles again as she kept her tone relaxed and petulant, the way that Rachel Berry would normally sound if she was putting her foot down in fact.

"Brittany what do you say, wouldn't you much rather watch something like Harry Potter or the Cutting Edge?"

Blatantly appealing to the blonde cheerio's sweet innocent side Rachel was glad when the girl grinned happily and bounced in her seat before turning pleading eyes on her girlfriend, the Latina narrowed her eyes at Rachel who just looked back in a vaguely significant way, luckily Santana Lopez was a shit hot poker player and keeping her poker face on she rolled her eyes and let Brittany slide the ice skating romance into the player while she grumbled. Once the credits started rolling and everyone sank back into their seat Quinn leaned forward until her lips were close enough to the diva's ear that she could talk without being heard.

"Thank you Rae."

Smiling ever so softly Rachel tilted her head until she could place a feather light kiss to the pink tinged temple before whispering back.

"You're welcome."

The rest of the evening went by in a flash for the four girls and soon enough Rachel was showing the two cheerio's to the spare room then she led the way to her room, before going in she gasped and turned back to the sleepy basketball player with a hand to her mouth.

"Oh Gosh Quinn, I didn't even think…are you okay sharing or do you want me to take the sofa, I won't let you because it isn't comfortable unless it's just a nap which of course you know because you had one earlier and…"

Quinn held a hand up to stop the rambling and chuckled again as she shook her head.

"It's fine Rae…to be honest I actually sleep better when you're around me."

She admitted the last in a voice that Rachel had never heard from the former cheerleader, it was fragile, it carried with it the knowledge that this little diva held the secret that would either redeem or destroy her. Swearing an oath that she would never ever cause the pink haired girl to doubt her Rachel took her hand and whispered.

"I'm here for you whenever you need me okay? Whatever time it is, no matter where I am I will be there if you need me, I'm here to hold you, listen to you, but never judge you. Just know that okay and know that whatever it is you have weighing you down I will listen and do what I can to help, I know I've said it before but I shall keep reminding you"

Swallowing the tears down Quinn cleared her throat and decided to lighten the atmosphere as she drawled.

"I'll remember that the next time I really need some bacon and you're the only one I can think to call."

Rolling her eyes the little diva tugged on the hand in hers and they headed into the small room, after taking care of their washing rituals both girls snuggled up under the duvet and let out simultaneous gasps of relief before giggling and getting comfortable, just as she was drifting off Rachel felt the barest brush of lips at her temple as Quinn whispered.

"Sweet dreams Rae."

Smiling sleepily the brunette reached back and squeezed the basketball players hand softly before they both drifted to sleep, hands still clasped together.

Monday morning was basketball practice, their first official one and Quinn, who was used to the insane schedules of one Sue Sylvester, was pleasantly surprised that coach Bieste was nothing like her, she was demanding and exacting in what she wanted but she also knew to treat her players like people and not assets. She was quick to point out what they all needed to work on and they all, for the most part, took it in stride, Finn was still obviously harbouring bad feelings about losing the captaincy but Bieste was determined not to let the boy let it interfere with the game as a whole.

Mike was ecstatic at having Quinn on the team and between plays the two were chatting amiably about video games with the occasional interruption from Puck, whose attention was half on the practice and half on watching the Cheerio's practice that he could see going on outside through the fire door, eventually of course Bieste caught him and he found himself doing laps of the gym. After a water break the coach checked her watch then gathered the team around her.

"Okay, Fabray and Chang, I want you working against Hudson and Puckerman over by this net okay? Two on two with an emphasis on your accuracy and your tackling, Hudson try and keep your elbows under control so we don't give away too many penalties this year okay, Fabray you and Mike need to work on signals that means you talk without talking you guys have the potential to be the highest scorers. Okay! get to it while I take the others up the far end."

After smiling and heading off the four of them broke from their huddle and Mike grinned at Quinn raising an eyebrow.

"Reach language or Left 4 Dead language Q ball?"

"Always go with the zombies my man, always!"

They high fived and headed off to their half of the court they were playing on, Finn was watching with narrowed eyes and Puck frowned in concern. He and Finn weren't as close as they had been, but some of the taller boys behaviour of late worried him and so he nudged the guys shoulder gently.

"Come on bro let's get this game on!"

Forcing a grin which didn't reach anywhere even close to his eyes the tall boy loped onto the court and after a brief interlude the four players started their mini game. Right from the start it was clear there was a certain tension behind the match, one which confused both Mike and Puck and plain worried Quinn, there was a look in her ex boyfriends eyes that made her heart beat a little faster in an unpleasant way and caused sweat to break out on her brow. Her and Mike managed to communicate very well indeed, to the extent it frustrated even the laid back Puck who couldn't figure out what they were saying to each other. Finn was the last obstacle before Quinn sank her fourth basket and he gritted his teeth determined that it wouldn't happen. As she moved closer, dribbling the ball expertly between her legs, she dodged his clumsy swipe and turning on her heel turned to shoot. As her basketball boots left the court she stopped abruptly and painfully as a large meaty elbow met her nose with an audible crack. There was a moments silence then Quinn hit the floor in a daze and coach Bieste flew into action yelling for Mike to grab the first aid kit while she tried to staunch the blood gushing from Quinn's broken nose. Although she couldn't swear to it thanks to the pain and dizziness whirling through her mind, Quinn could have sworn that she saw Finn smiling thinly at her.

Rachel smiled in pleasant surprise as she waited for Finn outside the gym, despite their disagreement she really had sworn to herself that she would give him a chance this year and so when he had come over last night with a bunch of flowers and his dopey grin to apologise for his attitude she had softened and let him in. It had almost gone wrong when he had tried to push her for a bit of under the bra touching but to her surprise he had merely looked apologetic and backed off with a soft kiss to the tip of her nose, maybe he really had changed. He greeted her with a huge smile and hugged her before kissing the top of her head gently.

"Hey babe, I'm glad you waited around, practice was pretty harsh this morning, I think coach is determined to get the championship this year to match the football one."

Rachel smiled back and slid her arm around his waist speaking happily as they walked towards the lockers.

"Well, she has a really good team this year and with a new attitude its possible, it would be good to go out on a high like that wouldn't it?"

She felt the tall boy stiffen and for a moment wondered what she had said that might have angered him but when she looked up at him he just smiled slightly and nodded.

"It sure would, come on let's get you to homeroom."

He waited while Rachel rummaged around in her locker, whistling softly to himself as he nodded at Azimio, this surprised the little diva because as far as she knew, despite their previous détente during the championship game, Azimio was still persona non grata as far as the glee club was concerned. She noticed that it was almost time for the bell and that Santana was still leant on the lockers opposite, obviously waiting for Quinn whom she knew the Latina had home room with. She briefly considered going over to talk to the cheerleader but Finn distracted her when he linked arms with her and they started walking, instead she managed to spare a glance at Santana who just shrugged in confusion, Rachel turned her attention back to Finn and remembered what she was going to ask him a moment ago.

"I saw you nodding to Azimio earlier, I didn't think the two of you spoke?"

For a moment he looked constipated which Rachel remembered was his thinking face before he smiled and shrugged one shoulder before falling back on his dopey grin.

"Well no but…I know how important glee is to you so I started putting feelers out to try and come to some sort of agreement, maybe even get some of the guys to consider joining so we have alternates and stuff like that. I just didn't want to say anything before I knew for certain you know?"

Rachel positively beamed at the news and was glad that Finn was finally listening to her. Everyone deserved a second chance and for him to offer one to the schools biggest bully proved to her more than anything that he really had changed! she reached up and kissed him happily as they went to homeroom. As they took their seats she failed to notice the thin smile on Finn's face that was far from pleasant. Kurt however noticed and felt a shiver go down his spine, he made a mental note to talk to Rachel later then turned back to his desk.

It wasn't until lunchtime that Rachel managed to get away from Finn for a few minutes and locate the Latina who was chatting animatedly with Brittany. Worryingly the blonde had lost her usual happy go lucky expression and was chewing her lip in worry, the little diva blustered up to them and interrupted their conversation.

"Where is Quinn, I haven't seen her all day and I'm getting a bit worried, have either of you seen her?"

The two cheerio's looked at each other for a moment and the Latina sighed and rolled her eyes before crossing her arms decisively. Brittany actually honest to God glared at her girlfriend before turning her back on the Latina whose eyes widened.

"I'm sorry San but it wasn't me that promised not to say anything it was you, so technically you aren't breaking your promise and I don't want Rachel to be worried about her girl."

Rachel was so concerned at this point she didn't even attempt to correct Brittany's assumption regarding her and Quinn's relationship. She turned and looked between the two of them waiting for one to speak, eventually Brittany broke the silence.

"There was an accident this morning at basketball practice and Finn broke Quinn's nose, coach Bieste drove her to the hospital and I think they're still there cos I haven't seen her come back yet."

The diva's eyes widened and she half glared at Santana before reaching out and slapping the shocked Latina's arm.

"Why didn't you say anything to me, send me a text…anything!"

Santana scowled dangerously and Brittany stepped in to speak knowing the Latina was too close to the edge to speak right now without saying things that she would regret later, not that she would acknowledge it but she would regret them.

"Santana saw how lovey dovey you were with Finncompitent earlier and assumed that you were too busy comforting him to bother with Q, and also Q told her not to tell you because she didn't want to cause problems between the two of you. But she didn't make me promise so technically we haven't broken Q's trust…plus I know she really wants to see you, even if she pretends she doesn't."

Squeezing the blondes arm thankfully for a moment she spared a hurt look for the Latina.

"I know we're only friends through Quinn but I thought you at least had started to know me a bit better…obviously I was wrong!"

She turned on her heel and began to walk out of the school towards her car so she could get to the hospital before they finished with Quinn. Sparing a last disappointed look for Santana, Brittany hurried after the little diva knowing she would need some support when she saw the basketball players nose. After a long moment of watching the other two retreat the Latina kicked the lockers behind her then took off as well grumbling as she ran.

"I really, really hate this conscience shit!"

Part two finished! And yeah I'm making a very petty and vengeful Finn so if you like him I wouldn't read anymore as it gets worse. And don't be too harsh on Rachel, Quinn is trying to keep her distance because she thinks Rachel wants Finn, we all know better however, hence the presence of our two favourite cheerio's! just a warning that things will get worse for Quinn before they get better, but when they do it will be worth it, so long as you can stick with it long enough. As for realism…trust me when I say people living in denial wont ask for help unless they are literally forced to, it doesn't make sense to people who haven't been there so if you don't get it you're lucky lol and if you do…have a hug (huge hug) and some of my secret chocolate stash. xxx