A/N: Written for blue2period on tumblr. The prompt was something along the lines of, "Hey, it's my birthday and stuff so write me a fic, bitch." It was probably nicer than that, but that's what I remember. Enjoy!
Rachel Berry: Not Really Skanky
When Quinn had received Rachel's words in stoic silence, Rachel had been at a loss for the entirety of seventeen seconds – enough time to spin away from Quinn and her Skanks and make her way out from under the bleachers.
Seventeen seconds. That was all it took for her mind to start turning with new ideas.
Rachel…she missed Quinn. She missed seeing her beautiful blonde (now pink) hair fanning out behind her as she adorably executed a dance move in practice. She missed her tremulous alto, her timeless glamour, and her almost-hidden compassion (but true compassion can never really be hidden away from the world). Her conviction. Her desire to be more than a real estate agent despite what she had said to the contrary.
Rachel missed it all. But most of all, Rachel missed Quinn's smile – that smile that would light up her face, her eyes, that smile that made Rachel feel content and restless at the same time.
And it took Rachel seeing Quinn standing there underneath those bleachers with a cigarette hanging from between two fingers and her Army O'Skanks at her back for Rachel to realize just how much she cared.
She had cared when she found out that Quinn was pregnant, that her fellow glee club member was going to have to struggle with such a situation at that age. When she had found out the lie Quinn was trying to pass off as her life. When she thought Quinn was cheating on Sam. When she chose that gardenia and green ribbon for Finn. When Quinn's world had shattered at prom and Rachel had been there – ready and willing to take whatever was coming. When it seemed that Quinn's world was completely falling apart…
And now, Quinn had seemingly chosen to disregard Rachel's pleas to return to glee club – to get her life back on track with Rachel happily standing at her back. There had been something in Quinn's eyes, but it had been a momentary flash – perhaps of herself in a different life, an alternate reality where everything hadn't gone to hell for her. But then it was as if this reality had crashed back down on her shoulders, and Rachel felt that they had regressed to square one.
So as Rachel walked across the parking lot to her car, she realized what she had to do. Gracefully smoothing down her skirt and sliding into her car, she buckled her seatbelt and started the engine. As she backed out of her parking spot, Rachel was already writing a mental checklist.
There was a lot of preparation to be done. And not a lot of time to do it.
The next day, Rachel skipped – skipped – her last class of the day to get ready. She hadn't seen Quinn since the previous afternoon's encounter, but Rachel knew just where to find her…
First, she had to change.
Though transform may have been a more appropriate word choice.
Rachel had decided to exercise the age old adage of "if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em." And since the act of physically beating sense back into Quinn was most certainly out of the question (that is what that meant, right?), Rachel had decided to do the next best thing.
Rachel Berry stepped into the second floor girls' restroom wearing her favorite polka-dotted shirt, black skirt, and sensible flats.
But when Rachel Berry unlocked the door and stepped back out into the quiet, deserted hallway…
She had been totally – complete, utterly, spectacularly – Skankified.
As she fought her way across the slightly damp lawn to the stadium, Rachel was realizing that three-inch hooker boots may not have been her best choice. But when she had raided her closet the previous night – after her frankly brilliant plan had been fully formulated in her mind – the outfit she had worn during their "Start Me Up/Livin' On A Prayer" mashup was the closest thing Rachel owned to something…Skanky.
It would have to suffice for her infiltration of Quinn's new apparent BFFs.
Stepping onto solid ground, Rachel shook herself – mentally as well as physically (those damn boots) – and slipped into character. She had watched several movies exemplifying bad girl images the night before, and she hoped that it would be enough to surpass the formidable challenge that surely awaited her underneath the bleachers.
She just hoped no one offered her a joint. Because she was sure that was a skill the movies had not properly helped her learn.
"Whoa," Ronnie said, holding her hand up in a defensive gesture as soon as Rachel walked into their sights – with her hips swaying and her long, straight hair falling over her shoulders and one hand on her hip.
Rachel wasn't smiling. She was smirking and she just knew that it made her look totally badass. She had practiced for at least a full hour in her mirror during her dress rehearsal the night before (her dad had walked in, opened his mouth to speak, then promptly left again).
"What do you think you're doin' here, Berry," Mack asked, pushing herself up off the railing she had been leaning against. She cracked her knuckles menacingly, stepping closer to Rachel, but Rachel stood her ground – another skill she had practiced extensively the night before.
"I'm lookin' for Quinn," Rachel drawled. She rolled her eyes – showing the other girls that she didn't care, and that she wasn't afraid.
When in fact, she both cared and was quite frightened – terribly so.
She scuffed the toe of her boot nonchalantly against the ground. She was holding her breath – and trying to make it look like she obviously wasn't holding her breath.
Sheila – from her perch on a rickety old chair – gruffly announced, "Quinn ain't here no more." She shook her head and pursed her lips disdainfully as the next words left her mouth. "She blonde again and shit."
"Yeah, you just missed her," Ronnie scoffed. "She came to say peace out or somethin'. Wearing a white dress and er'thing. But like, she's cool, you know? I like her."
Rachel's facade could not withstand this sudden shock. Her jaw fell open, her posture immediately corrected itself, and both of her hands ended up on her hips.
She may have looked the part of a "Skank" – or at least a very sexy leather-clad young lady at this point – but she was once more the Rachel Berry everyone knew.
"You mean to tell me," Rachel said, "that Quinn is no longer a member of your group?" Ronnie, Mack, and Sheila all shook their heads in unison (it was uncanny, really). "She's not a Skank anymore?" Again, head shakes all around. Rachel immediately spun around on her spiky heels, calling out a hasty, "Thank you so much for your time, Skanks!"
"Yo Berry, you kinda hot! Wanna smoke?" Mack called out before Rachel was out of hearing range.
To say The Skanks were surprised when Rachel turned around and walked back towards them with purpose… Well, it'd be an understatement.
Rachel stopped a foot in front of Mack, and she reached out to softly rest a hand against Mack's exposed upper arm. The taller girl's eyes widened comically as she slowly turned her head to look down at Rachel – touching her.
"Mackenzie," Rachel said, assuming that The Mack was a double entendre for both her notable abilities as well as her given name, "I'm sure you're a lovely girl underneath the bad attitude and all of the…black. But I think you should know – cigarettes are bad for you, and I think you deserve to treat your body better." She turned caring eyes on the other Skanks. "That goes for you girls as well." Their jaws were dropped, and they didn't even have time to form proper retaliation before Rachel was marching off again.
Because Rachel had a reformed Skank to find if it was the last thing she did.
Glee club's impromptu dance boot camp was just letting out as Rachel walked – with purpose – through the hallways of McKinley. As she approached the auditorium, she saw Puck and Quinn walk out. Puck turned and marched off out the front doors of WMHS, and Rachel slowed her movements as she watched Quinn.
The recently-born-again blonde leaned back against the wall. Her head tilted gracefully back, exposing her neck and resting against the painted cement behind her. Rachel watched as Quinn's eyes closed – hard – and she sighed. It was the kind of sigh that carried through the still air to Rachel's eardrums.
It was the kind of sigh that broke hearts.
Rachel started walking again, intent on talking to Quinn once and for all – even more intent on actually getting somewhere in this conversation.
As soon as she started walking towards Quinn, Rachel's tap-tapping hooker boots announced her presence.
"Rachel?" Quinn asked, looking the other girl up and down none too surreptitiously as she approached.
"Quinn," Rachel acknowledged, stopping and turning to face Quinn head on. "I think it's time we talk about what's going on with you. I simply cannot keep up with this flip-flopping you're doing, and my dads certainly don't appreciate walking in on me in such a heavily leathered outfit. And I'm not even sure why you said peace out or what have you to the Skanks –" here, Quinn had the audacity to chuckle (but Rachel carried on) "– but I want you to know that I support you, Quinn, in whatever it is that you so choose to do. But I'd just like a little heads up – so that I can support you fully instead of traipsing around in this getup with no purpose or direction."
A muscle twitched in Quinn's jaw as she attempted to hold back further laughter (after the firm glare she had received from Rachel mid-rant). Finally, she trusted herself enough to speak. "Rachel…" she drawled. "Are you telling me that… You're wearing this –" she gestured to Rachel's hooker boots and leather and general skin-tight attire "– for me? Because I was with The Skanks, and you wanted to support that?"
"Quinn," Rachel huffed, "I don't know how many years it's going to take you to figure out that I just enjoy your company. I like seeing you in glee club, certainly! But if I can't have you there, I'll take you wherever I can get you."
"You realize what you just said, right?" Quinn's eyebrow arched dangerously high in amusement. Rachel was impressed, and her own eyebrow mimicked Quinn's of its own volition.
"What?" Rachel asked. Quinn softly laughed – from deep within her chest – and just shook her head. "What do you… Oh," Rachel said, clarity shining across her face. "Well, I just…I don't…Hmmph. I like you, Quinn, I really do. And while I'd like to think I could influence you to make better choices, I would really just be willing to do almost quite anything to not lose you."
Quinn's face softened, and she bit at her bottom lip. "You'd really… You'd do all of that to…" She furrowed her eyebrows and shook her head. "What even makes you think you have me to lose, Rachel?"
Rachel shrugged her shoulders. "Quinn, I can't explain it properly. What do you want me to say? That when you're too far away, I want to be closer to you? When I know that you're hurting, I want to fix you – or at least lead you back in the right direction? That I'd rather dress up like my version of your Skank friends in order to spend time with you? That my heart actually aches when mmph –"
Rachel's rant was abruptly cutoff as Quinn surged forward, pressing their lips together and tangling her hands up in Rachel's beautiful brunette locks. Rachel's hands – instead of pushing Quinn away which perhaps should have been her first inclination – grasped at Quinn's hips for support. She may have fallen over otherwise – or at least, that was the rationale she exercised in that moment.
Quinn's lips were pressed deliciously against hers, and Rachel kind of forgot… Well, everything – including her middle name. Which was utterly absurd since her middle name was based off of that one lady…the one who…sang and…stuff…
Their lips parted, only for Rachel to tilt her head up and press them together once more of her own free will. She felt Quinn's tongue swipe across her top lip, and she internally praised herself for mastering the skill of walking in – let alone standing in – the wicked heels that were currently attached to her feet. Otherwise, she may have fallen flat at the sheer force of things she was feeling – all over her body.
With her forehead resting against Rachel's, Quinn whispered, "Why are you dressed like this, Rachel?" But Rachel couldn't answer, and Quinn knew it. She was totally breathless, and eyes were having difficulty staying open – let alone focused on Quinn's words (or her eyes or her mouth or her hair or her exposed shoulders or anything, really). "You're not a Skank," Quinn said, stroking her fingertips down Rachel's cheek. She bit her lip, and Rachel focused long enough to see the trepidation on Quinn's face before Quinn added, "And neither am I. You helped remind me that I…I'm better than that."
"Of course you are," Rachel said, finding her voice again.
"You've always kind of been there, haven't you? Trying to remind me of that…"
Rachel smiled and kissed Quinn again – because her lips were just right there and it had felt wonderful during rounds one and two – before saying, "Yes, Quinn. And it was about time that you started noticing."
When she pulled back, Rachel saw that smile on Quinn's face again. And she knew that everything would be alright.