A/N: This story is the second installment of the Angels Stop Singing verse. If you only enjoy fics where nothing bad ever happens to Quinn or Rachel, this fic is not for you. Serious angst, etc., ahead. Contains allusions to non consensual sex.
Quinn's new suit is perfect.
The seams are straight. The cut is tailored. She's starched and pressed and everything she has to be.
It's exactly what she needs – what they need – to make this work.
The job starts today. Not the job—the career, at Fordham and Stock. She's a junior partner. She's worked hard, proved herself, and now here she is, pulling into a parking space with her name in black lettering on the plaque. She's earned this, and whatever's waiting for her through those doors, she deserves it.
She barely has Rachel's photograph in place on her desk when she finds out exactly what it is she deserves.
He smells like whiskey. He's oily and vulgar, and when he traps her behind her new desk, it's with a salacious grin.
"You know who I am," he says, and it isn't a question, but she nods anyway. Once, and curtly. "Then you know how this is going to go," he says, and the sound of his zipper is deafening in the otherwise quiet office.
"Mr. Fordham, I—"
"Miss Fabray," he begins, and she mutters, "Berry-Fabray," under her breath, but he either doesn't hear her or he doesn't care. "Quinn. I think you understand what the choice is here."
She needs this job.
She wants to start the family that Rachel – that they – have always wanted. And she needs to be able to provide for her family. Just this morning, Rachel had climbed into her lap at the breakfast table and kissed her and said with tears in her eyes, "We're going to be moms, Quinn. You and me, together. Dr. Anson says he can do it if we just give him enough time." No matter that Rachel had had the procedure three times already. No matter that every single time, it had cost more money than Quinn knew how pay. No matter that her heart had broken so many times now, there was a permanent dull ache deep within her chest.
She needs this job.
So she drops to her knees, and when she pulls herself up ten minutes later, the first thing she does is smooth the wrinkles out of her suit.
Mr. Fordham drops by Quinn's office every Tuesday and Friday, and she keeps her job as junior partner.
She tells herself that it's because she's damn good at what she does and her intelligence and work ethic make her colleagues respect her, but she and Mr. Fordham both know why she's really there.
When she gets the invitation to the office Christmas party, her knees literally give out. They buckle, and she sinks down and presses a clammy hand to her face. She wonders briefly if she can explain that they're Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas, until she smells a familiar acrid scent and hazel eyes look up from the invitation in alarm.
"Hello, Quinn," Mr. Fordham says easily, leaning against the doorjamb, hands in his pockets. "Nice suit."
"It's Thursday," she answers and then presses her lips into a tight line.
"Well," Mr. Fordham laughs, "thank you, Quinn, for keeping me abreast of where we are in the week. Listen, I was just dropping by to make sure you're bringing that charming wife of yours to the party."
She's shaking now, but she only nods once, and Mr. Fordham grins. "Beautiful," he says. "Wouldn't be the same without her."
And then he winks and strides down the hall.
In almost a year, she hasn't allowed herself the luxury of crying in this office, and she's not about to start now.
By the time they arrive at the party, Rachel knows something's horribly wrong.
She presses into Quinn's side up the Fordham's front walk and whispers, "Baby, if you're not feeling well—"
"I'm fine, Rachel. Please don't lean all over me right now. My colleagues are here, and I need to make a good impression."
Rachel starts to laugh, but when she realizes that Quinn is serious, her look of mirth freezes and crumbles into something a lot like hurt. She pulls herself off of Quinn's arm, and Quinn smooths her hands down the front of her suit coat in time for the door to swing open, and Mr. Fordham oozes his charm at Rachel in the most sickening way. Quinn forces down her nausea and beams at him.
There's an enormous Christmas tree in the foyer and Perry Como on the stereo, and Quinn is halfway through her third cup of eggnog before she realizes that Mrs. Fordham has her cornered, and she hasn't laid eyes on Rachel in—how long has it been?
It's just after midnight when Rachel finds her and clutches at her arm. "I'm not feeling well," she says, and the way that Rachel's eyes won't rise up to meet hers makes her skin crawl. "Can we please leave?"
Quinn softens and says, "Sure, Rach. I'll get your coat," and then ushers her out the door and into the Fairlane. Rachel never says a word, never sheds a tear.
And Quinn has no idea what to say or how to make this okay, because it isn't. It isn't okay, but there's no alternative. There's no way out of this because she has to provide for her family. So, she settles for placing her hand over Rachel's for the remainder of the drive home.
They don't talk about it.
They don't talk about anything over the course of the next week, and the next words that she hears Rachel say directly to her are, "I'm pregnant."
She doesn't cry.
After everything, Rachel still doesn't cry.
And Quinn knows that she should feel relieved because now they can stop Dr. Anson's treatments, but she doesn't feel relieved. She feels disgusted and lost. She should have protected Rachel. She should have found a way to protect her, and she didn't.
Now they'll have a family. The family that Rachel – that they – always wanted.
It's a boy, and when they finally let Quinn in the delivery room to see him, she takes one look at him, and—
She doesn't see the squirming bundle of pink in Rachel's arms or that even before he can really open his eyes, he somehow resembles her. How glorious Rachel looks or how eager she is for Quinn to fall in love with their son. He is something that Rachel has wanted since the day Quinn sent a milkshake down the counter at the soda jerks with a shy smile.
Before her Fairlane. Before her career. Before her endless row of motherfucking suits.
Quinn is blind to everything; all she can see is Fordham's filthy oily hands all over her sweet wife's body.
She says one word—"Thomas," and then, as she pushes her way back through the swinging hospital doors without even asking to hold her son, she can hear the sound that has taken nine full months to finally break.
Rachel is sobbing.