Maybe she kind of wishes she'd stayed in class with Rachel. But the whole strategy in getting someone to miss you is to leave them wanting more, right?

As if she has a strategy.

Mostly, she just wants a cigarette.

She leans against the side of the building, the Yamaha in clear view, as she digs a pack of Camels out of her jacket pocket. She knows she shouldn't even bother, because Rachel will hate it. But it's part of the image.

Plus, it relaxes her.

Before she can even light the damn thing, it's snatched out of her fingers and thrown on the ground.

"Gotta tell you, Q, this was not what I expected from you." Sue Sylvester eclipses the sun that's peeking around the clouds overhead. "Sure, I awaited your eventual rebellion in the form of a piercing or an ironic tattoo of a pseudo-celebrity, I even have a bet that you'll snap and set fire to the school."

"All warfare is based on deception." Quinn crosses her arms and rests one foot against the wall. "I'm not really in a position to employ the Attack By Fire. I'm still at the Laying Plans stage."

"Ah, The Art of War. That's the only art I want to see in schools." Sue mirrors Quinn's stance, folding her own arms over her chest. "It seems the soldier has become the general to her own army of one. Lonely, isn't it?"

What's funny is, Quinn knows the question isn't intended as put down. "It's necessary."

"It really is a tragedy you've lost your sense of school spirit, Fabray."

"I just found a different focus."

"So I've heard."

Quinn waits for the verbal smackdown, but there isn't one. She's actually unnerved by the lack of it and finds herself looking past the cheerleading coach at her bike, just for something to occupy her mind in the moment.

Sue turns her head to follow Quinn's gaze. "Ah, that takes me back to my time with the Hell's Angels. The open road, the widespread violence." The woman turns back around to face Quinn. "Probably similar to your summer riding with the Dykes on Bikes."

There it is. Kind of. It's still not even a serious blow. "I have no affiliation to any particular club, at this time."

"Well, you always have been a lone wolf, even when you're surrounded by other people."

It's really disturbing how Sue Sylvester knows her so well.

The bell rings and Quinn excuses herself. "Have to get to class."

"Feign disorder and crush him. Whoever he is."

As much as Quinn has absolutely zero interest in re-joining Cheerios, she's nostalgic for it, in this moment. "Thanks, Coach."

"I hope it's that greasy-curled vest-jockey," she hears just before the door shuts behind her.

The halls are packed, once again, and she moves with the sea of students to get to the other end of the hallway. When she rounds the corner, the population thins out a little. In fact, people are scattering.

And then she sees why.

She's ten feet away from two mulleted jocks carrying slushies.

There's the option to run, but that seems pointless. Plus, it's the coward's way out. And she's trying this new thing where she doesn't give a shit. So, she stands her ground.

And tries to buy time.

"Okay, look. At least let me take this jacket off, first."

It's enough to make them pause. "Why should I let you do that?" says the first guy. Quinn thinks maybe his name is Rick.

"Because it's expensive and if you ruin it, then I have to take you to small claims court."

MaybeRick sneers at her. "Yeah, right."

"You want to take that chance?"

MaybeRick's buddy shrugs. "Dude, I don't need that. Maybe you should let her." It's not until she notices that only one of the jocks is aiming for her. The other one's focused on someone next to her.

And that someone is Sam Evans.

"Yeah, okay. Take it off," says MaybeRick.

Quinn shrugs her way out of the leather jacket. There's no chance to give any kind of signal to Sam, so she hopes he'll just follow her lead.

She throws the coat over MaybeRick's head and punches him in the stomach. Sam's totally on her wavelength, because he tackles the second jock around the middle and sends him crashing backward into the lockers.

Both slushies spill all over the floor, red and blue mixing together to make purple and neither jock can get their footing on the slick surface.

She grabs Sam's wrist and pulls him with her down the hall and around the corner, where they duck into an empty classroom.

"Holy crap, that was amazing. We were, like, Wonder Twins. Without rings." Sam leans back against a desk as he catches his breath. "I almost didn't recognize you."

"I thought you left."

"I did. But I'm back."

"Where'd you go?"


"Is being a cryptic asshole a skill you learned while you were gone or was it something you've always known and just kept to yourself?"

"Wouldn't you like to kn- Ow, you can pinch really hard."

She stops pinching, but doesn't let go of his arm, because she pulls him in for a hug. At the beginning of the summer, when Sam told her he was leaving, it had been hard for her, because he was one of the few people she actually considered a real friend. She never felt like he judged her for anything. Except that time she cheated on him. But they'd gotten past that when life had taken a nasty turn for the Evans family.

"You know, people might stop aiming their slushies at you is you stop wearing a shirt with a target on it."

Sam pulls back from the hug to look down at his t-shirt. "It's not a target, it's The Who." He looks over Quinn's wardrobe. "Anyway, when'd you start dressing like a manga character? It's pretty awesome." He rubs a hand over her hair, but she ducks away.

"What the hell is manga?" She smooths out her mohawk.

"The backwards comics, remember? You look like you could hunt werewolves or something."

"Werewolves don't exist."

"Actually, Ohio has one of the highest instances of werewolf sightings in-"

"Up until thirty seconds ago, I really missed you."

Sam smiles at her. "We kind of kicked ass back there."

"Yeah, we did."

"So... can I be your sidekick?"

It's right about now that Quinn realizes they're in the astronomy classroom, which makes sense, since it seems to be the place where Sam always attempts to elevate their relationship status. This time it's just a little... weird. Or maybe less weird than a proposal at seventeen. "Does that mean you're going to start wearing tights?"

"Not unless you do."

"I don't know, it might be worth it." Superhero apparel aside, she really could use an ally. "Walk me to class?"

He nods. "Hey, what about your jacket?"

"What about it?"

"I thought it was expensive."

"Nah, I paid twenty bucks for it at the thrift store."

"So, you lied."

"I saved us."

"We both saved us."

"Yeah, so, what size tights do you wear?"

"Remember when you saved us?"