AN: After an unplanned and exceptionally long hiatus I've made an update here. Sorry about the wait.
The music started and Rachel Berry stepped out on cue. Quinn stood right behind her. Her heart was pounding in her chest. It was so loud. She wouldn't have been surprised if the rest of her teammates could hear it as well. It was almost deafening. That is if it wasn't the sound of Rachel Berry. Her singing could be heard even back where they were.
Quinn had heard bits and pieces of this song before. Most everyone probably though Rachel was joking when she said she had been practicing this number since she was four, but Quinn knew better. She had never heard this song before it was uttered from the lovely lips of Rachel Berry. Though now could follow along with every word. And she did. She mouthed out each lyric as the music played.
Quinn closed her eyes and envisioned how Rachel looked right now. Gliding down the aisles, singing a song made for her. She frowned at the realization that was missing one of Rachel's finest moments. But there was no time to dwell. It was there time to go out. Rachel sang her part and filed out onto the stage. There was a roar of applause. Louder than anything they heard for either of their competitors.
Well that's a good sign!
Just don't screw it up.
You're not helping.
One by one they went through the doors, following Rachel to the stage. Some people stand as they clapped. Sweat began drip down Quinn's face. Step by step she kept moving forward, keeping her eyes trained on the brunette.
Oh, wow. She's beautiful.
Maybe if she kept her attention on Rachel she wouldn't feel so nervous. It worked, kinda. Because watching Rachel sing did get rid of nauseous feeling in her stomach, but it ended up replacing it with weaken knees. She sighed.
Quinn ascended the stage, and gave Rachel a beaming smile. The brunette was far to absorbed in the crowd to notice though. Quinn took her spot right behind her, and the rest took theirs behind her. Rachel ended and introduced them. They received a standing ovation.
Oh, great. Make me more nervous, will you.
Quinn and Rachel took their positions out front, on opposite ends of the stage. They glanced sideways at each other. The brunette gave her a reassuring smile as though she knew what she was feeling. She did her best to send one back. The music began. They waited. One. Two. Three.
"What is this feeling, so sudden so new," Quinn began.
"I felt the moment I laid eyes on you," Rachel continued, glancing towards the blonde.
"My pulse is rushing," Quinn placed her hands on her heart.
"My head is reeling," Rachel feigned a headache.
"My face is flushing," Quinn's hands went up to cover her cheeks.
"What is this feeling?" They turned to face one another. "Fervid as a flame," they began taking steps towards each other. "Does it have a name? Yeessss," Quinn held the note the best she could as they backed away from each other, their heads tilted back. "Loathing!" They brought their heads down and stared intensely in each other's eyes. "Unadulterated loathing."
"For your face," Quinn took a step, closing the gap between them.
"Your voice," Rachel took two steps.
"Your clothing," One last step, leaving only a few feet between them.
"Let's just say I loathe it all," they were now singing more to each other than to the audience. "Every little trait, however small," the pair began to circle one another, pointing out imperfections playfully. "makes my very skin begin to crawl, with simple utter loathing. There's a strange exhilaration, for such total detestation. It's so pure, so strong!" They both leaned in, their faces inches apart. "Though I do admit it came on fast, still I do believe that it can last." They began backing away once more. "And I will be loathing, loathing, you my whole life long."
"Dear Galinda," the other joined in, surrounding Quinn. "You are just too good. How can you stand it? I don't think I could." They began pointing at Rachel in disgust. "She's a terror! She's a tartar! We don't mean to show a bias, but Galinda you're a martyr."
"Well… These things are sent to try us!"
"Poor Galinda, forced to reside with someone so disgust-ic-fied," the others sang, putting emphasis on the last few syllables. "We just want to tell you, we're all on your side!" they belted out. "We share your loathing." They trained their eyes on Rachel.
"What is this feeling, so sudden so new?" The blonde and the brunette approached each other once more. "I felt from the moment I laid eyes on you. My pulse is rushing, my head is reeling."
"We loathe it all!"
"Oh, what is this feeling?"
"Every little trait however small, makes our very skin begin to crawl."
"Loathing!" Spinning, dancing around each other they continued, as the chants of 'loathing' started in the back ground. "There's a strange exhilaration, for such total detestation. It's so pure, so strong! Though I do admit it came on fast, still I do believe that it can last. And I will be loathing." The pair were circling each other, taking tentative steps forward. "For forever," So close that is she leaned in "Loathing." She could. "Truly, deeply loathing you." Kiss. "My whole life long!" But she didn't.
A renewed sense of hope and self-control filled Quinn as the crowd once again rose to its feet. Out of breath and on wobbly feet, she switched spots with Sam for their final song. She still felt sick and considered it a miracle that she was able to get through the entire thing without missing a beat.
And now she'd just have to sway in the background. Quinn had never thought she'd be glad to do just that. They started their final song, and now that she wasn't front and center, Quinn could actually pay attention to the reaction of the crowd. They were eating it up.
Snapping back by the sound of Rachel's voice, Quinn began to move her lips in accordance to the backing vocals. She couldn't quite sing right now. Her stomach was churning from all that dancing she had just done.
Oh God, no. Please do not make throw up.
She stepped in time to the choreography that had gone through before. Well she hadn't gotten sick back then. That was good sign, right? Whether it was or not was of no consequence though. She kept up with the rest of them, maintaining the rhythm that they'd established.
All the while she kept her lips moving, praying rather than singing. It wasn't working. Not much of a surprise; her prayers hardly ever worked so she let her eyes drop from the crowd. She distracted herself by looking at the back of Rachel's head as they went off with the chorus of "Find Me Somebody to Love" She repeated the words again and again, keeping her eyes glued to the tiny diva. The discomfort in her stomach was replaced with a swelling of her heart.
She was stuck in the moment, her body on auto-pilot. All thoughts were lost, even the one reminding her that this was a defining moment. It took all her self-control to not just pick up the brunette and spin her around or to tackle her off stage and kiss the living daylights out of her. She'd wait until the curtains closed to do something like that.
Something like that, okay? You are not actually going to do that.
Of course not. I can handle not having my lips on hers and not having my hands exploring her body and traveling down to squeeze that nice, firm-
Quinn! Control yourself!
Right, right. It's just the hormones. That's it. Just the hormones.
Hormones that she was able to keep in check long enough for them to finish. For the moment they were out of view from the public she latched onto the tiny brunette. "You were amazing, Rach!" she exclaimed, surprising the diva as she wrapped around her from behind.
"Thank you, Quinn," Rachel replied shyly. She brought her hands up to where Quinn's fingertips met and pried them apart, escaping from Quinn's arms. "You were very good too." She turned away and excused herself, saying something about having to go to the restroom. The pitter-patter of her feet clicking away echoed in Quinn's ears, blocking out the cheers from their teammates over their miraculous performance.
During their one glorious moment in the spotlight the blonde had forgotten that Rachel was still upset with her. For something she wasn't even aware of. The way she lit up on stage, the way she floated, the sheer joy on her face as they sung. They had confused Quinn into thinking otherwise.
Especially their duet. They sang with smiles, and laughter, with fake disgust. For they no longer saw each other as those lyrics depicted. There was only one L word that Quinn would associate with herself and Rachel and that word most definitely not be loathe.
She quieted her team down and had them follow Rachel when she saw her exit the restroom. Down the corridors they started up again, brimming with self-confidence that they were sorely lacking earlier. They stopped at a door where the judges were busy deciding who would win. Eagerly, Quinn pressed her ear against the wood. She could hear arguing, but nothing that seemed to relate to the matter at hand. They either had no experience, or cared nothing about, judging show choir competition. Neither possibility would bode well for them.
Quinn turned her attention back to her team who were all staring behind her. She spun around to find the director for one of the opposing Glee Clubs. A Grace Hitchens, if she recalled correctly. Surprisingly she apologized for stealing their set lists and was all for confessing, just at that moment the judges exited the room and refused to allow anyone's words affect their decision. It was all up to fate now.
They returned to the stage, a mixture of apprehension and excitement flowing through their veins. The judges started to speak, and Quinn's legs began to give way. Rachel was bitter at her and right now Quinn's earlier actions at trying to sabotage Glee Club might actually bear fruit. And the thought that she might be the cause of potential ruining Rachel's dreams… well that was more than she could take.
Their speech was taking far too long. Quinn was sure the entire world was against her. That everything, and everyone was deliberately doing things to piss her off. And to make things worse were her mood swings. One thing that Quinn always knew, but never experience firsthand prior to getting knocked up was that you don't want to mess with a pregnant woman. She wanted to just push the judges aside and rip that envelope out of their hands.
That is until they said it, "And our winners are… The New Directions!"
They exit with trophy in hand. Rachel's smiling unlike Quinn's seen in a while. The first thing she sees outside of those pearly whites is the sight of her sister rushing up to them. "Q, what the hell? Why didn't you tell me that you were singing a duet? I would've recorded it!" Quinn isn't given the time to respond as her twin smothers her before she goes on. "And you," Charlie continues, this time addressing Rachel. "You are…" she lets out a shriek. "You were amazing!"
"Hey Charlie, do you think we can talk?" Quinn interrupts. Before she can answer Quinn is already dragging her away.
"What the hell, Quinn? What's got your panties in a bunch?"
"You." Charlie scoffs in misunderstanding. "You can't be doing things like that." She fights the urge to point in Rachel's direction.
"It's harmless, Quinn."
"Okay," she rolls her eyes. "It's flirting, but it's still harmless flirting." She laughs it off, but can see her sister is serious. She groans. "Okay, tell me what's wrong."
"Nothing, just…" she decides to resign "Rachel's mad at me. And before you ask, I don't know why."
"Oh… Let me help."
"All right," Charlie replies skeptically. "I gotta go anyway, see you later."
Quinn is sitting next to Rachel as the brunette drives them home. They haven't spoken since before the winners were announced. The blonde decides to break the silence. "Hey, Rach?"
"Yes, Quinn," Rachel turns to answer her, but then quickly refocuses on the road ahead.
"I know I said I'd wait until ready to talk about it, but…" her voice wavers but she's said enough. She fully expects Rachel to refuse her request, but the brunette says nothing as a few blocks pass them by.
"Okay, but can you just wait until we're home?" And with Rachel's house only a few more blocks away of course Quinn can. She nods her head and waits. Once home they meet in Rachel's room. They sit at the end of her bed. Rachel's head is down, her hands fisting her bed sheets. Quinn is focused away from Rachel, her arms crossing over her stomach.
"So what's wrong?" she says, finally turning towards Rachel.
"We're friends, right?" Brown meets hazel, and as the blonde looks into those eyes she sees one thing. Doubt. A stinging sensation pokes at Quinn. Both at Rachel avoiding the question and her need to question her friendship. Quinn nods, as she's sure her voice won't be able to hide the hurt she feels. "Okay, okay," she says quietly, casting her head back down. "I'm going to ask you a question."
"And I want you to answer honestly."
Rachel starts taking deep breathes through her nose, her mouth too busy biting down on her lower lip. Her teeth release their grip and she lets out once last puff. "Okay," she says again. "Who's the father, Quinn?"
Quinn blinks. She didn't just hear what she thought she heard, did she? She can't fully comprehend it all, and is only able to sputter out a "What?"
"Who's the father?" Rachel asks again, emphasizing each word. She's turned towards her now, on the brink of tears.
"Rachel, I…" Quinn reaches out for a tan hand, but Rachel shakes her off.
"Answer the question," she weakly demands.
"Puck." Rachel edges away with a strangled sob. Quinn scoots over and wraps Rachel in her arms. "It was before you two were together, you know that." It doesn't seem to help, but Rachel hasn't pushed her off. "And I swear that we never did anything behind your back. I'm sorry I never told you."
"Why didn't you?" Rachel cries out, still in Quinn's embrace. A gentle hand begins rubbing small circles on her back. "You were my first real friend, Quinn. And you lied to me. Why?" Quinn's hand stops its ministrations. She doesn't have an answer, at least not one that makes sense to her.
"I don't know." She pulls away when Rachel's tears stop. "I'll go pack my things," she announces as she gets up.
"What?" Rachel follows. She reaches out for Quinn's wrist and turns the blonde around to face her.
"I just thought that you wouldn't want me around anymore."
"Quinn, don't be ridiculous. I'm not kicking you out." She's released Quinn's arm by now, and is instead is nervously rubbing up and down her forearm. "I just… I don't know if I can trust you right now."
"I said I'm sorry, Rach."
"I know. And if you're serious, then maybe I can trust you again. Just not now."
The following day they present the trophy to Mr. Schue. He's elated to say the least. That have him sit down to watch a song they've prepared because he missed the competition. Quinn feels queasy at the thought of what she's planning to do right now. As always, Rachel's on lead. Quinn is behind her, forming a halo with her hands over the brunette's head.
"I know that I've got issues," Quinn starts. Rachel eyes dart to her, this wasn't what they practiced, but she keeps in step. "But you're pretty messed up too. Either way I've found out," Quinn meets her gaze, to show that she's singing to her. "I'm nothing without you." There's a glistening in those brown eyes, but then she's focused back on the song, a special smile on her face.
AN: Well, I'd really like some reviews to see if people are still interested in this fic, or if I should focus my efforts elsewhere. Though I must also warn you that my next update might take some time. Although there was no holiday special during Season 1, I want to make one anyway (even if it's like summer now). But rather than just a Christmas special I'd like to include a Hanukkah special because the fact that Rachel is Jewish has hardly ever been addressed. Only problem is that I know close to nothing about Hanukkah, except what I can remember off of "The Rugrats" which is almost nothing. So I'll have to do some research. Help would be greatly appreciated though.