Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Glee.
AN: So this is a Quill oneshot, for now, anyway, it may well continue at some point if inspiration strikes :)
Anyway, let me know what you think!
"There's some guy sat in the planetarium just staring at the stars who won't leave."
Quinn looks up from her computer and sighs.
"Alright, thanks Jed… wait- why are you telling me this?"
"I dunno," the janitor shrugs, his eyes widening in innocence. "I guess I was just hoping you could use some of your… womanly wiles … I need to clean in there, a bunch of boy scouts thought it would be funny to throw popcorn at their pack leader, or something…"
Quinn snorts, and takes a casual sip at her coffee, flinching as she swallows the tepid liquid.
"If I could use my womanly wiles," she begins, shuffling some papers on her desk and standing up slowly, "Do you not think I would be in my apartment in a bubble bath with some scented candles and some Adonis feeding me chocolates?"
"Wow… erm, that's some image… look, you know I said the missus would be happy to have you over for dinner any time, if you're lonely," Jed offered, scratching the back of his neck.
"I know." She sighs again, deeply. "Thanks."
After just a moment's hesitation, she sets off in the direction of the planetarium, and Jed watches her leave, shaking his head and pulling on the cord of the hoover.
They don't seem so far away, projected on the black ceiling just above him.
If he had a step-ladder, he could reach out and touch them.
He has. Touched them. Not literally of course, but he has rubbed shoulders with people who own more houses than he does pairs of boxers.
He's attended the parties, where people talk about the problems they have with finding enough room to keep all their Bentleys, and how unfortunate it is to have to wait for 3 weeks for their private jet to be valet cleaned.
And he's sang at the awards ceremonies, he's sat with the other nominees, he's even won, on a couple of occasions, and he's stood in the spotlight feeling like he should be wearing sunscreen and thanking people he doesn't really know.
He wonders what his old glee club would say if they could see him now. Wonders if they would still be angry at him for leaving them just when they had properly come together as a team, with him as their leader, left them in the big wide world without a guiding light, just to find his own as he struts across the stage in a suit that wasn't tailored for him, seeing as he's the understudy, called in at the last moment and rises to fame in a twist of fate.
They made his pants too tight on purpose from then on. Something about publicity.
It's awfully empty.
There are other people on the stage and hundreds, maybe thousands, in the audience, but they don't fill the vacancy inside him, that music only can until the last note fades.
He wishes he had run into someone he knew, anyone, but he doesn't know anyone, just their names, and their previous roles, and sometimes, maybe, he'll go back to the hotel with the girl serving drinks.
They all have blonde hair and he's not been able to work out why.
He sinks lower in the plush movable seat, moving his leg to brush a few sticky crushed pop corns out from underneath it.
His eyes are beginning to hurt, just staring upwards at the stars that aren't really stars.
He finds himself drawn in by the black nothingness in between the bright sparkles, because it's how he feels, a black nothingness of hollow achievement in between moments of brightness and the company of stars.
This is supposed to be his vacation, he'd climbed in his car (still blue, but would leave his old banger a few miles behind in a drag race now), and driven until his eyelids were heavy, pulled over and woken up with a crick in his neck and a crumpled jacket.
A few hours more driving and he'd wound up at an impressively sign-posted 'Space Museum', drawn in by the crowds of happy families, kids shrieking in excitement.
He rams his bare hands into his pockets and the wanderlust within him twists unsatisfied, as he marvels at the interactive displays.
He stays there all day, racing around the model of the solar system with a class of 5 year olds on a sugar rush from eating all the sweets in a row from the snack machine.
"Excuse me? Sir? We're closed… do you think you could leave?"
He can't drag his eyes away from the darkness.
He hears the dull clip of heels on carpet, and the woman approaches him, but doesn't, and he hears muffled noises just behind him to his left.
"Watch this," she says.
The stars move, and there's a burning meteorite across his vision, his eyes instinctively following it.
He wastes his wish on a cup of strong black coffee.
"S'pretty," he comments, idly.
"Yeah," she agrees, and there's a million names of constellations, and how stars form and die on the tip of her tongue, but something stops her saying them.
"Now will you leave?"
Her voice is tired, sweet and lyrical, but still tired.
He laughs warmly.
"Alright. Thank you, though."
He swears he can hear her smile in the pitch black.
There's a silence, he gathers his jacket over his arm, and tries to distinguish the colour of her hair by the light of the fake moon in the fake sky.
"Close your eyes," she warns him, "I don't want to blind you when I turn on the lights."
She must keep hers open, because she's swearing and gasping his name before he's even come into focus.
He's in dumb silence, his eyes raking down from her black rimmed glasses, the white blouse and body shaped pencil skirt.
He wonders if they are stockings or tights, and damn that's Quinn Fabray.
And she's blonde.
He shakes this thought aside, hurrying over to her.
"Erm… hi," he says, sort of breathlessly, and his arms open to her, and she hugs him with a squeal.
"Will Schuester," she repeats, a few times, actually, and he's smelling her hair, and she looked so nastily at April Rhodes when they drove past her leaving Lima for good.
"How's April?" She asks after a while, still hugging him, and he's unwilling to let go too.
"Oh it was fine," he replies, breezily, "But I'm preferring June already."
She laughs freely, and it feels good.
She pushes him playfully, and he thinks he shouldn't be thinking that he's always wanted to look at her like he is.
She calls him on it.
"Stop looking at me like that- you're my teacher."
He waggles his eyebrows. "I beg to differ Miss Fabray, I think that you are the one who can teach me- since when do you work at a Space Museum?"
She blushes slightly, even though he didn't mean it as a double entendre.
"Since I got a degree in astrophysics," she shrugs.
His expression drifts from pride to awe to lust and back in a millisecond.
"Wow," he stutters, "That's… that's amazing Quinn."
They're quiet for a few minutes, as though trying to figure each other out.
She knows he's had a successful career after teaching, but isn't completely sure what's come of it, and now he's here gazing at her out of what really are ridiculously long and beautiful eyelashes for a man, as though she's wearing nothing but lingerie.
"I didn't think I'd ever see you again," she murmurs, and breaks eye contact to study her toes. "I would have maybe thought twice about what I wrote in your leavers card if I thought I would."
He bites his lips.
"Don't laugh at me," she hisses, "It's really embarrassing! And now you're here, standing in front of me… and, ugh… I was just young and stupid…"
He interrupts her. "Really? You were just young and stupid?"
She must have imagined the hopefulness in his voice.
"You know," he begins, "If I had been in high school with you, you were exactly the girl I would have dated."
She scoffs. "Oh okay."
"No really, I'm serious."
She takes a deep breath.
"Well, anyway, I'm all grown up now, got the career, my own lab… an apartment… I've got stuff now."
He narrows his eyes and throws a line.
"Yeah. Good for you. I don't think I really have anything."
She flicks her head up, eyes sharp.
It feels like they have a lot to catch up on, but it also feels more about the actual time they've missed, rather than the stuff that has filled it.
"I imagined our reunion."
It's not what he expected her to say, but then, he's not sure what he was expecting her to say.
She nods, briefly.
"But seeing as I was pretty much in love with you for most of my junior year, it was a lot more naked than this is turning out to be…"
He licks his lips, she can't imagine something as obvious as that.
"Mmmm, well, maybe we can get a coffee and see where that goes."
She gapes at him, but the cocky tone he adopts to say this doesn't match up with the anxious little grin on his lips.
"Coffee?" She echoes, weakly. "I don't know that there'll be anywhere open at this time."
It's a complete lie and he knows it, but wants to know why she's said it.
"Do you have any coffee?"
She considers this for a moment.
"We could go back to my apartment," she suggests softly.
"That would be lovely," he returns, and he'll probably sleep on the couch tonight, and she'll not let him out of her life if he's going to keep smiling at her like that.
"But I have to warn you, I don't own sugar and I think the milk's out of date, so it will be strong and black coffee."
She holds out her hand to him and he grabs at it, believing now that his wish wasn't wasted at all.
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