Hello everyone! This is the final installment. It's taken a long time but I've finally finished this story. I hope you all like it.
Well Jordan was as brilliant as ever. Quinn and Santana convinced Sue to spearhead a musical, and the first thing she did was offer me the lead role. I accepted but I didn't quit the club right away. I was waiting for Schue to give the solo back to Tina. That would be the perfect time for a Rachel Berry storm out. I didn't think it would be very long. Schue was trying to "punish" me by trying to make the feel better. It was obvious to anyone with eyes that Schue was still mad about the Dakota thing.
It had been a couple days since I had made it clear that I would quit, and I had seen the glee members in the hall glaring at me. They knew that they needed me; honestly I had been professionally trained since I was small while none of them had any training at all, but they were too proud to admit it. If it wasn't for the play I would actually enjoy taking a break from the club. I hated practicing for something I knew I wouldn't finish anyway. I would join back into the club before the play even started. There would be no need for me to refuse to join when Quinn's secret comes out.
When everyone found out about the baby things were going to get bad. Really bad, and we still needed a plan to cope with everything. Quinn was used to being on top, and this was going to put her at the bottom. Jordan had taken over walking Quinn through what her life would be like from the perspective of someone on the bottom, mine of course. Seems my initial acting is coming into some use after all.
My musings were interrupted when I heard a door open. I was doing my warm-down after ballet class, and I had thought I was the only one in the building. I look up and see it's Mr. Schue just as he asks me why I've quit glee club. I had expected him to try and convince me to come back, but in a slightly less creepy area. Oh well, the show must go on.
"An opportunity arose for me to showcase my talents, and I took it. How is that any different from when you quit glee to form your boy band?"
"Because I didn't do it out of spite."
He acts like he's so superior, like nothing he does is wrong. I know for a fact that he quit because I made him feel like a failure. That is in no way different from my supposed reasons.
"I'm offended by that accusation. I've always been a team player. Just admit it, Mr. Schue. You don't like me very much."
"That's not true. I am your biggest and sometimes your only fan."
Wow, he really is full of himself. He knows nothing about my life. He has no right to come in here to judge me. He's such a pompous ass.
"Look, I know who I am, okay? I know I can be a little abrasive, bossy, and conceited. I'm just hurt that you chose to judge me on that rather than on my talent. I know it sounds awful, but I'm the best one in there. I try the hardest, and I want it the most."
"Everyone knows that, and they're scared of it. They all think that they can slack off because you'll pick up their weight. We can't win regionals like that. We need everyone to think that they're a star."
"I'm not quitting glee. I'm just looking for a reason to stay."
"Oh, like me taking the solo away from Tina?"
"Everyone on the team is getting something out of being there. You're doing a great job of getting them out of their shells. Except for me. I'm still getting my lipstick flushed in the toilet. I still don't have a boyfriend. Tina's great, but why do you have to hurt me to make her feel good?"
"Just come to rehearsal." He practically begged.
I stormed out of the room feeling great. I had given Schue just enough reasons to know that I was serious. I still knew that he would give Tina the solo. He was nothing if not consistent, but I didn't care about that anymore. I had a date with Santana to get ready for. She was surprising me with something fun, or so she promised. She said that we deserved some fun time that was just us. We'd spent so much time with the group working on the play that our personal relationship hadn't gone very far. Yes we snuck private moments whenever we could, but they were too brief for our liking.
Tonight was going to be the start of a tradition. Even though this was originally Santana's idea, I am going to make sure that we go out, just us two, at least once a week. We needed some time where we weren't worried about being anything other than our selves.
I was both mad at Jordan and grateful for her. Mad because she knows where Santana is taking me, and won't tell; grateful for her because she picked out my outfit. Now I didn't have to worry about fitting in where ever we're going. It was Santana's idea, and it made me like her a whole lot more. She's going the distance to make this as relaxing as she can. I don't know how I got so lucky.
I heard the doorbell ring and smoothed down my shirt. Jordan had picked out a green top that hinted at cleavage, but was very tasteful. It actually came from Jordan's closet. She must really like Santana if she's letting me borrow her shirt for a date. I had rejected a lighter pair of jeans in favor of my favorite dark wash ones. I hoped that Santana liked my outfit.
I headed down the stairs, and my breath caught in my throat. Santana was wearing an off the shoulder white top that went perfectly with her skin tone. She looked gorgeous, and I couldn't wait for our date to start. I was quite excited, and more curious than ever to find out where we were going.
Santana looked up, and I could see by the look in her eyes that Jordan had done a good job. I looked hot, and Santana is practically drooling. She met me at the end of the stairs and gave me a sweet slow kiss. It was a perfect start to what I hoped would be a perfect evening.
"You look beautiful, Rachel. Are you ready to head out? We have about a half hour drive ahead of us."
"We do?" I asked surprised?
"Yes. I want to take you out. Somewhere public, but I can't do that here. Not because I don't want to, but because of the play. Just trust me. The drive will be worth it."
I just nodded, following Santana's logic. She placed her hand on the small of my back to lead me out to the car. She's so charmingly chivalrous at times. I found it lovely. It's hard to find someone who treats a girl right. I'm going to have to take Santana out on a date soon, so I can treat her the way she deserves.
Once we're in the car, Santana starts driving. We talk about everything; our past, old crushes, what we want to do in the future, even cheesy pick up lines we've heard. It was so nice just being with her. If she hadn't taken me anywhere, and we had sat in my room talking I would have been happy, just being with Santana made me feel giddy. It had since the very first day I saw her.
We pulled up to a slightly upscale restaurant that had a laid back feel to it.
"I googled all the places around Lima for that served vegan food. The reviews on this one said it was really good." She shrugged looking down at her feet. She looked so shy at that moment.
I leaned over and cupped her face, "It makes me feel special when you do things like this for me." I leaned in closer and kissed her. We kissed for several minutes before Santana pulled away.
She smiled at me, "As much as I love doing that, we're going to miss our reservations. I planned this wonderful evening, and I don't want to miss any of the parts."
I smiled and gave her a quick kiss before getting out of the car. I waited for her at the front of the car, so that I could take her hand before walking towards the restaurant. It was really nice not to have to worry about anyone seeing us together. It felt freer, I loved it.
After a marvelous supper Santana wrapped her hand around my waist as we walked out. I leaned into her, loving the feel of her against my body. I really hoped that this date included some alone time. It was too soon for everything, but a little would be nice.
We had talked all through dinner, and the conversation had continued to the car. Everything had gone perfectly so far.
"Are you ready for our next surprise? I think you're going to like it."
"You mean there's more? This has been the best date that I've ever had; I can't believe there's more."
"Trust me; the best is yet to come."
Santana got this smug look on her face, and refused to tell me where we were going. I wanted to be mad at her, but I just couldn't muster the effort. I was too happy and content. She just made all the stress I was feeling go away. I have no idea how I ended up being so lucky.
To say I was shocked when she pulled up to a bowling alley would be an understatement. I loved bowling, and went at least once a month when I lived in Columbus. I don't think Santana knew this because it had never came up. That made it more special. It felt like Santana knew me as well as I knew myself.
We walked into the alley and rented our shoes. Now I understood why Jordan insisted that I wear my chucks instead of a pair of prettier shoes. I was excited to play with Santana. We both are very competitive. Things could get interesting fast.
After we finished putting on our shoes and picked out our balls, we played rock paper scissors to see who would bowl first. Santana won and after a ridiculously cute victory dance she threw a strike.
I pouted and decided to play with her. If she and I were both good at this then maybe some good natured teasing would add some fun.
I walked over to my ball and gave Santana my pouty face, "How am I supposed to do this?"
"Here, let me show you. Bowling's easy once you get the hang of it."
She helped me put my fingers in the correct holes and led me toward the lane. I felt her press up against my back and shivered. I'm not sure who was teasing who anymore. She ran her hand down my arm towards the bowling ball. She leaned in real close and whispered in my ear, "I know you can bowl. Consider the game on." I closed my eyes and shuddered. I had got played, but I didn't mind. The things Santana did to me were well worth the gutter ball I threw.
The entire game was spent trying to throw off the others game. There were touches, whispered comments and all other distractions we could think of. It was the best game of bowling I had ever played. Our scores were terrible, but we still had a blast.
It was late when Santana pulled up to my house. I was sad that our date was coming to an end. We spent some time making out before a knock startled us. We broke apart and laughed because Brittany had her faced pressed against the window. She was making a funny face at us while Quinn and Jordan stood behind us. I gave Santana one last kiss before getting out.
"I've had a wonderful night Santana. I can't wait until our next date."
Santana smiled bashfully as Quinn and Brittany got in the car.
"What are you two doing here anyway?
"We're going to tease her while she drives us home," Quinn said with an evil smile on her face.
"She's joking. We've just been spending time with Jordan, and we live on the way to Santana's house. Why walk, when S can take us home?" Brittany calmly explained. She was used to everyone's dramatics.
I waved as I watched Santana drive away. Today had been a perfect day. Things were looking up. For the first time since Quinn walked through my front door I had a peaceful night's sleep.
Everything in the act is going as planned, but that doesn't mean I had to like it. I thought I would enjoy being in the musical. Boy was I wrong. Mr. Ryerson spent more time criticizing me than directing. Plus, I missed being able to spend time with my friends in glee club. Mostly Santana, but I missed the others too.
Since quitting the glee club I had practically isolated myself. It made the school day long and unbearable. For the first time in my life I didn't want to be at school. Again, that probably is mostly Santana's fault. Does it make me a bad person to want to spend more time with my girlfriend? School, along with the various extracurricular classes I am taking, takes up most of my day. Jordan spends more time with my girlfriend than I do, and it makes me sad.
I hope this act ends soon so I can at least spend the two hours of glee with her. Sure we can't actually talk to each other, but we're both adept at texting without being caught. In fact, that's the reason I'm still sane. Santana is sweet and sends me little pick me ups throughout the day. Her softer side is surprisingly wonderful.
I'm thinking about all of this while Jacob Ben-Israel is interviewing me. Why, because he's a pervert and I need something to distract me. Santana and Quinn had decided that doing an interview was so "Rachel Berry". Well, here I am, being bored to death by a little creep who is too fond of me.
"Show me your bra."
What the hell did he just say? Please tell me he's joking."
"You mean the one I'm wearing?"
He looks way too excited. He can't possibly believe that I would show him my bra."
"Quid pro quo Rachel. You want a good review show me your over the shoulder boulder holder."
God, he is so gross. I can't believe they let creeps like him live. He should be locked in a cage somewhere. Maybe I'll ask Santana or Quinn to slushy him tomorrow.
"No way! You can't do that. My performance will stand on its own, besides no one reads the school paper anyway."
"Oh, but I'll post my scathing review online. You'll be finished on the high school stage. Now get those sweater puppies out of their cashmere cage."
Thank god for Mr. Ryerson. I don't think I could have listened to that creep any longer without punching him in the face. I looked down just to make sure that he couldn't have possibly seen anything when Finn walks in.
"Hey, what are you doing?"
Perfect, he couldn't have walked in a few minutes later, could he? It had to be now, when it looked like I was checking myself out. Maybe he's too stupid to notice.
"Nothing. I, uh, just getting the star treatment that I didn't get in glee."
"It's times like these that I know I've chosen the right path. I'm never going back to glee. It's clear that my talent is too big for an ensemble."
"Not going to get an argument from me."
"No. You're like the most talented person I know, even more than that guy at the mall that can juggle chainsaws. I just wanted to let you know that if you need someone to run lines with, I'm available."
"There is a lot of dialog."
"Figured we could go somewhere quite, maybe with low lighting and…. Let me know."
I am flabbergasted. Does Finn know nothing? This is the part where he tries to convince me to rejoin glee club. I of course will say no, but he's still supposed to try. This is not making me want to come back at all. At least he gets a C in flirting. He's crude, but flattery will work for my character. That makes part two of the plan go smoother. Finn had better play his part right. Too many things have already gone wrong in this act. I don't want any more to go wrong. I just I wish I felt like Finn wasn't going to screw up somehow.
Finn and I agreed to meet in the choir room after school. I really didn't want to, but I had to make myself available to him. As a group we had long discussions about how to deal with Finn. He was a complex puzzle that needed to be solved just right. Quinn wanted him to remain her boyfriend, but felt bad about sleeping with Puck. She also felt guilty for not telling him he wasn't the father.
That's where I come in. I get to catch Finn's attention to make Quinn feel better. She says it makes her feel less guilty if he's starting to wander too. Personally I think Quinn is fooling herself. I don't think she ever liked Finn. I mean he barely got to second base, and she let Puck hit it home. But, I am on orders from Jordan not to say anything. She says that Quinn is young and confused. That it's natural to cling to something in your life that seems stable. I guess I see where she's coming from. Quinn's life has been flipped upside down recently.
None of that means I have to enjoy being around Finn. His stupidity annoys me, that and his dopey grin makes me want to hurl. There's nothing I can do though. I'm taking one for the team. Me being into Finn helps Quinn, but it also helps Santana and I. As long as I'm "into" Finn, no one will suspect that I'm dating Santana.
"'I'm sleeping with him.'" I said reading from my script.
"'So am I,'" Finn read in reply, "This play is weird."
Though it pained me, I had to agree, but well most plays are weird. I'm tired of practicing, maybe it's time to turn on the charm.
"That's Mr. Ryerson's favorite line. You're a really good actor Finn; maybe you should consider joining the musical."
"Well I'm pretty devoted to glee. I don't think I could just walk away from it. I know how hard it was for you, but I could justify doing both if you came back. But we both know that's not going to happen. Do you know what we should do?"
"What?" Finn asked me confused. I can't blame him. I have no idea why I said that. It's like my brain isn't connected to my mouth anymore.
"We should go bowling. You're always so stressed out about the play. You just need to loosen up. I always go bowling whenever I'm worked up about a big game or something."
Seriously? This is going to be the worst date I'm ever going to go on. I had such a lovely time bowling with Santana, why does Finn have to try and ruin it.
"Just us?" I ask.
"Yeah, tha-tha-that would be great. I-I uh I am really stressed out, but that's the price you pay for being a star."
"Don't I know it?" a voice rang out from behind me.
What? I turned towards the door and saw this blonde woman next to Mr. Schue. I wonder what she's doing here?
"Hey Rachel. April Rhodes, Rachel Berry. Hey can you give us the room Rachel? We need to teach April the cues for 'Don't Stop Believing' "
What? This cannot be happening. How is this even possible? She's way older than a high school student, besides Mr. Schue isn't supposed to replace me. He's supposed to want me back.
"Wait, she's singing the female lead."
"Wait, she's in the glee club? She's ancient."
"Talent doesn't age sweetheart."
It must not if she couldn't do any better than a high school glee club. How pathetic. At least I'll make my dreams come true.
"That's Rachel's part Mr. Schue."
"Well Rachel's not in the glee club anymore."
At least Finn stood up for me. If I really was who I played I would probably fall for his innocent charm, but I'm not and it makes me want to gag. I have to get out of the room fast. I need to see the rest of the group. Something had to be done to get April out of glee. She's going to ruin everything we've worked so hard for. Why does everything have to be so hard?
I smiled at Finn and thanked him before I turned to leave, but Mr. Schue had to have the last word.
"Rachel, we're all really excited to see the play. Make sure you save us a seat in the front row."
What a condescending ass. It's so obvious he doesn't like me. I think he's just jealous of my talent. If only he knew how good of an actress I really am.
I walked out of the school, and thankfully saw Jordan right off.
"Hey Star. We're going to have another long night. Mr. Schue has thrown in a complication we never planned on."
She gave me a sympathetic look before pulling out, "Can I ask you a question before we get home and the play takes over?"
Jordan looked so nervous that I didn't even tease her that she had already asked a question, "Of course Star, you know you can ask me anything. You always come before anything else to me."
She reached over and grabbed my hand, giving it a small squeeze. I was really concerned. Normally Jordan didn't have to ask for advice. Because of her psychology degree, she was able to read people better than I ever could.
"Do you think Quinn would like to go out with me sometime? Not like on a date or anything because even if she did like girls she doesn't know that, but as a friend? I mean, I'm the only one in the group who won't remind her of school."
To say that I was shocked is an understatement. Jordan never ever went anywhere without me there too. Not even in Columbus where we had known everyone for years she must really like Quinn. This was more serious than I had thought.
Jordan shrugged, looking thoughtful, "I just really like her, and want to get to know her better."
"I'm positive that Quinn would like to spend time with you. It would probably give her some time to just be normal again for a while." I said soothingly.
Jordan nodded at me and kept a hold of my hand as she finished driving home. We pulled into the driveway and I saw Santana's car parked at the curb. I hoped that Tina, Brittany, and Quinn were also inside because that would make starting our discussion easier. They were probably waiting for me to come in so they could tell me about April. Thankfully I'd met her, and had some time to think about what this means to us.
I walked into the house and was proven correct. Brittany and Quinn were sitting on the couch watching TV, which they turned off as soon as they saw me, while Tina was in an armchair. I didn't have much time to wonder where Santana was because she walked through the door to the kitchen holding two cups. She set the cups down and came over to me. As soon as she got close enough, she pulled me into her arms and kissed me. Even though all the others broke into applause and crude comments, it still made my day so much better.
Santana pulled me over to the recliner and sat down, pulling me on her lap. "We have a problem."
I snuggled into her relaxing, "I know. I met April Rhodes right before I left today. I never expected Schue to bring in someone else. I can only hope that she doesn't stick it out, or gets kicked out."
I can feel Santana shrug under me, "She's kind of cool. I don't think she'll last long, but she'll just be another thing to keep people distracted. Perhaps we can use this, instead of worrying about it."
Jordan nodded, "You're right. We should view this as a victory instead of a defeat. Schue has kindly provided another distraction to our act. I am sure that once she is deemed unnecessary you can get rid of her."
I sighed. They made a lot of sense, but that didn't make all of the problems go away.
"Then we'll shelf that problem, and deal with it later. Right now we need to focus on Operation Finn. I think he may be trying to get me back into glee, but it's a really convoluted plan if he is. He was actually helping me run lines when I met April, that and asking me to go bowling."
I felt Santana stiffen under me so I hastened to reassure her, "There is no way that it'll make our date any less special. I'll spend the whole time thinking about how much better it was with you."
I saw Quinn look over at us both with a sad look on her face, "Thank you for doing this for me. I know that it's awkward because you're dating, but I think it'll eventually pay off. I just wish things could be simpler."
Jordan moved over to sit beside Quinn and comfort her. We all hated to see Quinn get upset. I just hope that everything we're doing is going to turn out for the good. The problem with flying blind is not knowing where you're going to crash.
The Next Day (Still Rachel's POV)
Today's musical rehearsal had gone as horribly as all the previous ones. It was obvious that Mr. Ryerson didn't want me there. It didn't seem to matter that I knew exactly what I was doing; he always managed to find something he didn't like. I tried so hard not to let his words bother me, but it was hard. The only thing that kept me sane, was knowing how good of an actress I really am. It didn't stop me from having to run to the bathroom to cry though. That's where I was when April Rhodes walked in.
"Awe, Rough day at the office cookie?"
She has no idea, "I've just got a lot on my plate. It's not easy being in the spotlight. It's the difficult road I've chosen."
"I know that song sister."
I don't even know what to say to that. I know she's trying to be nice, but still. She has no idea what I'm going through on a daily basis.
"Um, do you have any Nyquil? I could use a little pick me up," April asked me out of the blue. I shake my head no because really who carries Nyquil with them. I'll just file the fact that she's trying to get high at school in the back of my head. That is probably going to be the reason we use to get her to leave.
In the middle of my plotting April starts talking again, "These high school boys are a lot hotter than they used to be. That Finn Hudson is one cutie pie I gots my eye on."
It makes me so mad. First April has to be in her thirties and Finn is only seventeen, so that's illegal. Not only that, but Finn has a girlfriend. This is an adult, she should know better, and besides I'm the one who Finn is supposed to be cheating on Quinn with. I angrily tell her, "Finn's taken April."
She just laughs and says, "Yeah well, some guys like a little something something on the side."
"I think your behavior is totally inappropriate. You're presence in this school is a complete travesty. What you choose to do with your life is your own business, but don't go around screwing up everyone else's."
"I'm not afraid of you sweetie. There was a time when I was the biggest star around here, and now that I've got that back I'm never letting it go."
That woman is so frustrating. As soon as she's left the bathroom hit the sink growling a little. I knew she was bad news the first time I saw her. First she takes my place in glee, and now she wants Finn. If we don't so something soon she's going to destroy my plan. I don't care what the others think; I'm going to take care of this now. I just need an adult on my side.
I left the bathroom with a new mission. I was headed to find Ms. Pillsbury to get her on my side. It wouldn't be too hard. All I had to do was mention April's name. It was obvious that she had a crush on Schue. Add into it the fact that April was teaching the glee to do illegal things; Ms. Pillsbury would talk Schue into getting rid of April.
It was times like this that I hated being a good person. I had no desire to go out on a date with Finn. I'd much rather spend my time with my girlfriend, but I couldn't. I had told Quinn that I would help her in any way. I never thought that she would want me to help Finn cheat. I understand her reasons behind it, I just didn't like it too much. She needed to keep Finn busy so that he didn't discover that he wasn't the baby's father until she wanted him to know. I thought she should just tell Finn outright, but the trio all claimed it would be a bad idea. I just had to go with what they said. They all knew Finn better than I did. I just hope this doesn't blow up in my face.
I had Jordan drop me off at the bowling alley so Finn wouldn't find out where I lived. The only reason Santana was so brazen to park in front of my house was because no one knew that's where I live. Jordan told me that whenever I was ready she would be here to pick me up.
I walked into the place and instantly saw Finn. It wasn't very hard because he's so tall. He towered over everyone there. I'm glad that I don't really want to date him. His large stature paired with my small one is frankly ludicrous. He's much too tall for me to consider seriously.
We rented our shoes and I slipped into my role. Today I was going to attempt the same play I had tried on Santana. Partly because I knew Finn would fall for it, but mostly to prove to myself that it would work.
"Do I have to put my fingers in the holes? Couldn't there be diseases in there or something?"
Finn gave me a dopey smile, and I sighed. There was no way he knew what I was doing. I guess that's good but I missed Santana.
"Ball sharing is all part of the fun. Here, use the pink one. Pink's you're favorite color right?" Finn said, handing me the pink ball.
I took it from him still pretending, "Now what?"
"Follow my lead."
Finn led me to over a foot away from the line on our lane. I was confused. Did he mean for me to actually bowl from here?
"Okay, so just look at the pins. Nice and straight."
Wow, he really did expect me to try to bowl from here. He must be terrible at bowling. I just internally shrugged and threw the ball. It of course ended up in the gutter. I already know that I'm going to have to throw the game. Guys don't really like if you're better than. It just makes me wish I was out with Santana again.
"Sure this is your first time?" Finn asked me as the ball made its way to the end of the lane. I just smiled at him. I had to keep up a happy lovesick appearance.
We spent most of the time bowling not talking much. I had tried to start up a few conversations but they died out pretty quickly. Finn was kind of serious about his bowling. Finally towards the end of the game I convinced him that I was hungry and we should stop for food. He went to get a pizza, and I didn't bother to tell him I was vegan. It didn't matter; I wasn't going to eat much of anything anyway. Being around Finn this long made my stomach upset.
I try once more to start up a conversation by saying, "This is really good pizza."
Finn doesn't take the bait and replies with, "Yeah, I think they import the pepperoni from, like, Michigan or something."
Desperately I jump in to the main thing I wanted to discuss, "How's glee?" I just hope Finn is too stupid to realize that I'm trying to play him. I need him to try and get me back into glee. Invitationals are coming up, and I really want to perform at it. Glee may not mean as much to me as I let people at school believe, but I still love to perform. I just needed a reason.
"Oh, well, everybody misses you." Finn told me.
"They miss my talent." I replied. I couldn't sound too desperate to come back.
"No, no we're your friends. We just miss having you around." I suppose if they all knew the real me it would be true, but I knew from Santana that no one missed me.
"I love glee, I just don't see the point of wasting my energies on someplace that I'm not appreciated." I told him.
"I appreciate you."
Bingo! Finally Finn was getting into his part. Hopefully he could do better. If not I'm going to have to bring out the desperate card. It didn't look good on me, but if Finn doesn't hurry up it's the only way to go.
I'm a little confused when Finn gets up and heads for the bowling balls, but then he says, "It's your last ball. Just like the first time, but better."
I take a subtle deep breathe. It's time for my desperation move. I take the position Finn put me in for the first bowl, and give the ball a small kiss. Finn will think that it's for bowling, but I need the luck for what I'm going to do after. After I throw a strike, I jump into Finn's arms and kiss him. I internally cringe; it's such a stupid desperate move. I relax a bit when he kisses me back. He's obviously not thinking about his blonde girlfriend. I'm truly upset at how he treats Quinn, but happy that he's so easy to manipulate.
"Come back to glee." he asks me when we break apart.
"What about Quinn?" I ask him. I need him to remember Quinn so he'll feel guilty. If he's feeling guilty then he'll spend less time thinking about Quinn's pregnancy.
"I don't know what's going to happen in the future. I just know that, I want to spend more time with you now." he tells me looking solemn.
"I'll-I'll have to quit the play." I tell him. I need to make him think he's convinced me to come back to glee. It's a dangerous balancing game I'm playing. I need to keep Finn interested in both Quinn and I without upsetting a very delicate balance. When Finn stiffens in worry I quickly assure him, "I'll do it."
Finn gives me a hug, and I can't wait for it to end. Finally he pulls away and we stumble through some more conversation. At last it's time for us both to leave. Finn offers me a ride home, but I tell him I have someone waiting for me.
When we get to the parking lot Finn gets in his car, waving to me as he leaves. As soon as he's left the parking lot Santana's car pulls up. From the timing I can tell she's been staking out the alley waiting for this moment. I am so happy. Santana is the exact person I want to see at this moment.
As soon as I get in the car I pull Santana into a deep kiss.
"Not that I'm complaining, but what was that for?" Santana asks me when I finally break the kiss.
"That was to get the taste of Finn out of my mouth. I had to kiss him to move things out. I just needed something to make me forget."
"In that case come her." Santana pulled me into another kiss. We sat there for ten minutes making out before Santana finally drove me home. Then we went upstairs to my room and continued from where we left off in the car. A night of making out with Santana is just what I needed to make me feel better.
Two Days after Bowling with Finn, The Day before Invitational (Santana's POV)
I was sitting in the choir room with most of the other glee members. Quinn and Finn were the only ones missing. The only reason Brittany and I were even here is because Rachel is going to rejoin the club today. I wanted to be there for moral support. That and I just wanted to see her.
Everything was going fine until Kurt turned his, Mercedes, Artie, and Tina's conversation towards Quinn. "Maybe Quinn is lactose intolerant." Kurt speculated. I tense up not liking where this is going. They can't figure this out now. It's too soon. Quinn didn't want anyone finding out until she was showing. Thank god they all seemed to be oblivious as to what was going on.
"That doesn't explain all the crying." Artie pointed out. I never wanted to strangle the boy more.
"Maybe she just doesn't like the group." Tina replied. Thank god. I hope everyone bought that. Tina had been trying from the beginning to keep the two gossips off the trail.
Puck angrily stood up and moved to the front of the room. "Are you y'all that stupid? Seriously! I bet you thought Bert and Ernie were just roommates. Maybe Quinn's got one in the oven.", he told everyone. Brittany had to hold me down so that I didn't strangle him. Puck had just thrown a large wrench into everything. Now the whole glee club knows that Quinn is pregnant.
"Who's the baby's daddy?" Mercedes asked Puck.
I held my breath until Puck replied with, "Who do you think? Finn." Thank god that's the story he's going with. Hopefully he'll keep quite just because he doesn't want word to get around that he got a girl pregnant. It would make other wary of having sex with him. This is a disaster that we never planned for. We need to come up with a game plan before this gets around school.
Rachel walked in right after Puck finished speaking. She has impeccable timing. Everything is falling apart. We just need to see if her coming back will be a big enough distraction.
"Yes, you've heard right, I am returning to glee club! In lieu of flowers please send all donations to a socially conscious charity of your choice."
"This is a hot damn mess." Mercedes exclaimed, not paying attention to Rachel. This is not good. If she can't distract them well have to find something else. "Oh my god." I whispered to Brittany. We need to get Rachel out of here without her rejoining the club. We need more time.
"Uh, I'm sorry. I thought I'd be welcomed back with a tad more enthusiasm." Rachel said interrupting my whispering. I hope someone tells her what's going on. I can't because of how we have to interact. Once she finds out she'll know how to react.
"Sorry glee club has just been rocked with its first scandal." Kurt told Rachel.
"Quinn's knocked up." Mercedes chimed in a moment later. Rachel looked shocked. I saw her subtly glance over at Britt and I, and I nodded.
"And the baby daddy, Finn." Kurt finished telling Rachel the news. Thankfully Rachel made no more motions to rejoin the club. She stormed out just like she has before. That didn't stop the others from continuing their discussion. I had to do my best to control this.
I stood up and glared at all of them, "I don't know if this shit is true, but I do know that anyone caught spreading this will receive a slushy a day for the rest of high school." I glared at all of them waiting for them to acknowledge what I'd said. After they all nodded I gestured to Brittany and we both stormed out of the room. We needed to find Quinn and take her home. We had a lot to figure out tonight. Our timetable had just been accelerated.
I can't believe what I walked into. How could they all know that Quinn is pregnant? They aren't supposed to know yet. Nothing is going the way it should. Everything is falling apart. Now I can't even rejoin glee in time for the invitational.
I see Finn walking down the hall and I call out to him, "Finn." When he turns toward me I slap him, "You're a liar. Why didn't you tell me Quinn was pregnant?"
Finn looks shocked, "Who told you?"
I had to play this right. I had to make it look like I just found out, "Everyone knows but me. I'm the only fool who went out with you and let you kiss me thinking you actually had feelings for me." I knew that I didn't have to put much into this performance. I really did feel like crying. Nothing had gone right at all. All of our careful planning had been for nothing.
"But I, uh, I do. Look, yeah I haven't been totally honest with you, but that's different than lying. Well maybe it's not that much different, but look I need to get a music scholarship so I can go to college, so I can get a good job, so I can take care of my kid, and I can't do that if you don't come back to glee club. You should take it as a compliment." Finn told me.
What a jerk. I can't believe anyone would like him.
"You could have just been honest with me."
"Look, I know what I did was wrong. I get that, but that kiss was real." Finn tried to tell me.
"Whatever it was, it ruined any chance of me ever coming back to glee. I hope you have fun playing house with Quinn while you languish in your little ensemble, but my dreams are bigger than that and they're bigger than you. "
I storm away, so upset that I can't even feel happy about my performance. I had to get home right now. The others were probably waiting for me in the parking lot. Before I could get out of the school I see Sue pulling down the glee posters. I tell her that if she wants me back on the play I have to have creative control. I don't want to do this, but they've given me no choice. I'll be able to quit later once everything is sorted out. Thankfully Sue agrees.
I finally make it out of the building and see Jordan pulled up by the curb. I hop in the car and buckle in. She doesn't say anything on the drive home and neither do I. Santana probably told her what happened anyway.
When we got to the house we walked up. We took a mutual deep breath before heading through the door. Quinn was crying on the couch and Britt and Santana were trying to comfort her. They all looked up as we walked in. I gestured to Britt and Santana, and they followed me into the kitchen to get some snacks. I wanted to give Jordan some time alone with Quinn. She's the only one who can get her to stop crying.
When I get back into the living room Quinn has stopped crying, and now has her head on Jordan's lap. Jordan's stroking her hair to keep her calm. I sit down next to Santana on the love seat and let Brittany have the recliner. This is going to be a long tiring discussion.
"I don't think we need to worry overly much about this." Santana stated. We all looked at her like she's crazy. She continued, "I realize that all the glee club knows now, but I threatened them today. I meant what I said, and they all know that. I'll take care of Puck later. Perhaps if we don't talk about it then they won't talk about it either."
Jordan nodded thoughtfully, "Everyone is going to find out anyway. You spend time with these people nearly every day. It's just natural that they would find out first. Did they seem disgusted at all? Mad?"
"No they just seemed shocked. When S and I were walking out they were talking about things they could do for Quinn." Brittany answered.
Santana shook her head, "I was so upset I didn't even pay attention to that. I couldn't hear anything over the pounding in my ears. I'm so mad at Puck. When I leave here he's not going to know what hit him."
Jordan bent over so she could look Quinn in the eye, "See sweetie, no one thinks you're a horrible person. The glee club members want to be there to help you. Maybe this is a good thing. That way when the school finds out you'll have a safe haven where no one looks down one you." She stroked Quinn's hair but looked at everyone, "You all have to stop thinking of this as a failure. Life is one surprise after another. Nothing can be completely controlled. We all have to take our punches and keep on fighting. I swear each one of you is just as big of a drama queen as Rachel pretends to be. Quinn needs all the friends she can get. I'm afraid that this is all going to get worse before it gets better. We just have to do our best, and be there for each other."
We all stared at Jordan shocked. It all seemed so simple when she put it that way.
"You're right. It's better that it's out now. Now the glee club will be on Quinn's side when it comes out to the rest of the school, and Santana's threat will keep it in the glee club. Let's just hope no one can put it together. We still have to figure out how to tell Quinn's parents. Speaking of parents, Daddy wants you to come in for a check-up tomorrow Quinn." I tell them.
Perhaps all of this will work out. We're all just worried about Quinn's mental health. Having a baby is hard enough, but to have strict ultra-religious too. That's just too much for one teenager to take. Every day that passes I'm thankful that Santana brought Quinn to my house. If I was in Quinn's position I would want people I could trust around me. Now she has a rather large safety net to catch her when she falls.
I took a deep breath before heading out to the car. Quinn had asked me to go to her doctor's appointment and I was a little nervous. I had so many conflicting emotions about the blonde, and I had never been one on one with her for an extended period of time. I just hoped I didn't do anything that embarrassed me.
I pulled up to Quinn's house and the blonde was waiting for me on the sidewalk.
"Hey Q, is everything all right?" I asked concerned.
She buckled up and smoothed her skirt, "Things are just getting tense in the house. My mom wants to know why I'm sick all the time. She doesn't normally pay much attention to me, and I'm afraid of what will happen when my Dad finds out I'm pregnant."
I pulled the car over on the side of the road and turned to face Quinn, I reached out and grabbed her hands, "If anything bad happens, I want you to know that you can come to me. No matter what or when I want you to come to me. I haven't known you for very long, but in this short time you have become very important to me. I will do everything in my power to help you."
The hormonal blonde broke down and sobbed as she hugged me. I just held her as she let out some of the pent up fear that she had been holding in. It had to have been difficult for her to live in a strict Christian home and being pregnant at the same time. I just wanted to wrap her up in bubble wrap and keep her protected until she didn't need it anymore.
After about ten minutes she stopped crying and I pulled back out onto the road. I didn't make a big deal of the breakdown and let her compose herself in peace. A few moments later we pulled back into my driveway and I helped her up the drive and into the house.
Dad had set up all the equipment that he needed in the living room. We didn't want Quinn to be seen going to the hospital and it getting back to her parents.
Dad looked up at us as we entered, "Hello girls, was everything okay?"
I nodded, "Yeah everything is fine? What do you need us to do? I know you need to get back to work."
He smiled and helped Quinn onto the recliner, "I just need Quinn to sit here and let me look at her stomach. We're just going to get a look at the baby and hear their heartbeat. We won't be able to determine sex yet."
"I understand Hiram, I just want to make sure the baby is doing okay. I've done everything you and Leroy told me to do, and Jordan makes sure I eat healthy" Quinn told Dad as she lifted up her shirt.
She grabbed my hand as Dad put the warmed jelly on her stomach and the heartbeat of the baby filled the room.
"Look at that," Dad said touching the screen, "That's your baby. He's doing just fine. He looks just like he should at this stage in your pregnancy." Dad took the wand off her stomach and cleaned her stomach off, "Everything is looking good Quinn, all I can say is keep doing what you're doing."
"Thank you Hiram." Quinn said hugging him trying really hard not to cry again.
Dad hugged Quinn and said his goodbyes before heading back to work. He had taken his lunch break to see Quinn so she wouldn't have to go into the hospital. I pulled the teary eyed Quinn into the kitchen and pulled out some lunch I had cooked earlier.
As I was dishing up the food I decided to make my move, "Uh, Quinn, would you, uh, would you like to go out with me. Just as friends of course cause you have a boyfriend and don't like um girls or anything, but just uh you know spend some time without out the rest of the group. Yeah."
I didn't look up from the food until I felt a hand cover mine. "Of course I would love to spend time with you Jordan."
I smiled as the color seemed to suddenly come back into my day. I know it was just as friends, but maybe that would be enough.
Invitational (Rachel's POV)
Today is the Glee Invitational, the first step to bigger competitions. While I have no doubt that the club will win without me I still wish I was performing. Pretty soon I would have to find a reason to rejoin. I would probably have to suck it up and humble myself. I didn't mind too much. I liked most of the people in the club
I was standing in the wings waiting for the club to perform. Jordan was sitting in the audience where the other could see her. I just wanted to be alone while they went on. I watched the curtain go up, and the outfits were nice. Santana looked gorgeous as always. I loved her in jeans.
She's so sexy. We haven't gone any farther than making out, and I'm glad that Santana doesn't mind waiting. I've heard about her reputation at school, but it was mostly exaggerated. She's actually really sweet and caring when we make out. She never goes farther than I'm comfortable, or even try to push me for more. I couldn't have found a more perfect partner.
I shake myself from my thoughts as the song ends. I'd missed most of the performance because I was thinking about Santana. I head to the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face. I'm feeling a little flushed for some reason.
When I'm heading back to the auditorium I see Mr. Schue with April. He's telling her that she can't go out for the second song. I let out a huge relieved sigh. This is just the situation I needed. Now I can come and get back into the glee club, and I'd be able to perform.
I followed after Schue and managed to come in just as he was telling everyone that they couldn't perform.
"Excuse me. I think I might have a solution. In show business when a star cannot perform, her understudy steps in. I'd be happy to go on for April, if you'll let me." I say, butting into the conversation.
"Since when are you willing to be an understudy?" Mercedes asks me.
"Since I quit the play." I tell them. I can see they're all shocked.
Kurt's the one that asks what's on everyone's mind, "Really? Why?"
"I realized being a star didn't make me feel as special as being your friend. If I let you down when you needed me the most, I'd never forgive myself. I know all the words to the song." I tell them. This is actually hard for me. I don't normally have to humble myself in front of a large group. I hope they go for it.
"You don't know the choreography." Quinn points out. Perfectly executed, but I hope it doesn't hurt my chances. I don't think it will. They all need me if they're going to compete.
"Then we're going to have to give her a lot of help out there." Finn tells the group. I just smile. Finally something went right.
"Go get in your costume." Mr. Schue tells me.
I happily complied with the order. I gave a soft smile to Santana when no one was looking. Now we'd get to spend time together at school. So many things had gone wrong when we tried to obsessively plan out each detail, but it taught us a lesson. When life knocks you down, you have to get back up. Well we're standing proud ready to take on what the world throws at us.
Everything was going great after invitationals last Friday. After we won, my dads took all of us out for a celebratory dinner. We were so giddy and goofy that they actually packed our food up and asked us to leave. It was all cool though, we had more fun at home. My dads made us go down to the basement, which is soundproof, and let us have our fun. We even managed to get the glee club to have a small party at the park, minus Jordan of course.
The weekend had been great, and it had carried over to the weekend. We were all dancing around, and generally goofing off when Mr. Schue came out of his office.
"Great news guys. Just got the competition bracket for sectionals, and we are in really good shape. There's only two other teams. We beat them, and make it to regionals."
Everyone started cheering. Only two teams? Cake walk, I hope.
"Who are the other team?" I ask him.
"Drum roll please Finn." Mr. Schue calls out. After Finn plays the drum roll he reveals the other teams, "School for the Deaf in Dayton, and someplace called Jane Adams Academy."
"Jane Adams?" Mercedes asks, "That's a half-way house for girls just getting out of juvie."
"Th-this is great!" Tina exclaims. The rest of us are just excited.
"People who can't hear what they're singing, and criminals who don't care. It's going to be a cake walk." Artie notes. He reaches to give Brittany a high-five, but she's already turned to Santana. Oh well.
The rest of us are jumping around the room, congratulating ourselves. It doesn't matter that we haven't even performed, we're all positive that we're going to win. Sectionals are going to be so easy. There's nothing that could mess that up, and we all know that. Well there's nothing, yet. I haven't started planning anything. I think I'm going to let up on my antics for a little while. Though I will keep up my "personality" the drama will take a holiday. I think we all deserve a break.
That day after school Brittany came bounding into my house. She was followed closely by Santana and Quinn who were walking a little slower. Everyone was still ecstatic about the news we got in glee.
"Rachie can we go feed the ducks? S and Q said I had to ask you because it's actually your turn to pick what we do." Brittany asked me with this adorable little pout. I looked over to Santana and Quinn for help, but they just shrugged their shoulders.
"Come on Rachie, duckies are so cute. We have to go see them. Santana said that they're going to fly away soon. I don't want the duckies to have to fly home hungry." Brittany continued. She just looked so cute. No, must resist. I had plans for this afternoon. Not ones that included ducks. Damn Santana telling her that the ducks were flying away. I glared at Santana and she just smirked at me. I looked around to find my only ally, or so I thought. I groaned when I saw Jordan walking out of the kitchen with two loaves of fresh baked bread.
"Fine, Brittany. We can go feed the ducks."
Brittany literally squealed and jumped into my arms. To say she was excited would be the understatement of the year. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad at all. A happy Brittany made everyone else happy. It was like her sunshine was contagious.
It took twenty minutes for Jordan to pack a picnic basket full of snacks and bread, and to get ready before we could head out. Santana took us to her special spot, the one where we had our first date. I made the others ride in the back so I could hold Santana's hand on the trip. Seems everyone was excited, and I decided that it didn't matter what I had planned. This was so much better.
After about half an hour of rib cracking bad jokes we finally pulled into the parking lot. When we had all gotten out of the car Brittany yelled out 'Race!' and we all took off. Well I mean only Santana, Brittany and I took off. Jordan was carrying the basket, and Quinn didn't want to trip. It was the most intense race I'd ever had, but Brittany won of course. She does have the longest legs.
We collapsed on each other when we reached the lake. Everything was going good until Jordan got there. She started a tickle war to end all tickle wars. Thank god the ducks weren't shy. Otherwise we would have scared them off. Instead they came closer to inspect what was going on.
After Quinn was declared the winner, we all grabbed some bread to feed the ducks. Santana and I finished with the activity first, and set up the blanket. Santana lay down, and I curled into her. "This has been nice. A little reprieve from all the drama. I wish it could stay like this always. Just the five of us having fun, safe and secure." Santana said dreamily as she glanced over at me. I loved that she seemed to reserve this soft side for me, and well Britt. Really though, who doesn't have a soft side for the blonde.
"I know what you mean San. Things have seemed to quiet down since the competition. I think we should set most of the play to the side and just have fun. We deserve a break." I replied.
When she nodded, I leaned in and gave her a kiss. It was nice and sweet. There was nothing rushed about it. Santana had moved to lean over, to deepen our kiss.
For a moment I had forgotten where we were, but it was all brought back to me when I felt something soft hit me in the face. Apparently Santana was getting hit with it too because she pulled away to yell. When she opened her mouth someone threw a piece of bread in it. I started giggling. I couldn't help it. The blanket around us was covered in pieces of bread, and the girls were picking off more to throw at us.
I moved out from under Santana and grabbed one of the intact loaves left. I held it up, and charged at the three culprits. They all started screaming and running around. It was hard to follow them all, but I hit who I could. San had also joined in on the fun and had Brittany pined to the ground force feeding her bread. It had been Brittany who had landed that piece in her mouth.
The silliness continued for about half an hour before we all fell on to the blanket exhausted. Just being able to hang out and be our selves was liberating. We'd never had so much fun, as a whole or in smaller groups. I looked over at all of them, happy that they were there.
Two weeks later, and not much had changed. Everything had been so pleasant during those weeks. I had even toned down my personality a little bit. That and Quinn started to relax ever so slightly. I personally think that Jordan was working on her. She wasn't able to come to glee too much, but that was due to the doctors' appointments she had to go to. Dad could only bring the equipment home during lunch break to check her out.
Mr. Schue was appalled by our lack of trying. It was funny, and no one did anything to correct it. Why should we? We had the competition cold. There was no way that they could beat us. Once sectional got closer I'm sure that we would all try harder.
"Competition! Every one of these people or elements was a champion in their own right, but they used competing with each other to make themselves even better." Mr. Schue told us. I looked at him like he was nuts.
"I don't understand how lightening is in competition with an above ground swimming pool." Thankfully Kurt voiced my thoughts before I could. Most of the time I felt Mr. Schue was a slow as Finn.
"Just go with it," he said, "You guys have become complacent. You were great at the invitational, but you've got to up your game if you want to get through sectionals. Okay, split up. Guys on the left side girls on the right side. Let's go, come on."
"Kurt." Mr. Schue admonished, nodding his head to indicate that Kurt should go back to the boys side. It was kind of sad, but I didn't really care. I love competitions.
Sc Mr. Schue continued speaking once we'd moved to our side of the room, "Here's the deal. Two teams, boys versus girls. One week from today, you will each perform a mash-up of your choice."
"What's a mash-up?" Puck asked. Oh yeah, this was going to be easy.
"A mash-up is when you take two songs and mash them together to make an even richer explosion of musical expression," Schue explained. "Boys will perform on Tuesday, girls the next day. I want you guys to go all out, okay; costumes, choreography. Whoever wins the competition gets to choose the number we do for sectionals."
"Wait, who's going to be the judge?" I ask, "Your gender makes you biased."
"Ahhhhh," he stalls, "There is going to be a celebrity judge."
"Wh-who?" Tina asks.
"You're going to have to show up to find out." He makes up. It's obvious that he has no idea. That doesn't matter though. This is going to be fun.
"We got this in the bag." Mercedes boasted.
I felt the same and I couldn't keep the excitement out of my voice, "Totally. I'm going to start story boarding our choreography tonight."
I was still hyped by the time I got home. I wasn't able to enjoy the invitational competition because I was off the team, but this time I could go all out. The one thing I loved more than singing was competition. Even if I just had to compete with myself. I didn't care, having a goal to complete made me work harder. It's how I became such a great actress at sixteen. I mean how many other sixteen year-olds could fool an entire school for months.
I bounced into the kitchen and pulled Jordan away from the supper she was preparing, did I mention that girl liked to cook, and spun her around. She just laughed and flicked some flower at me. This of course turned into a see fight, where we both ended up covered with flour. After the recent failures it felt so nice to just let loose. It was like my whole body was lighter.
"What's got into you? I haven't seen you this excited since you decided to compete in that spelling bee…. Oh, there's a competition going?" Jordan asked, smiling indulgently at me. She knew exactly how I got when there was a good competition in the works.
"Yup, it's a mash-off between the boys and girls. I can't wait to get started. What did you do with all the art supplies? I need to start working on the choreography so we can learn it. Oh, and outfits. I need to figure out the outfits."
Jordan cut me off, clearly amused, "Breathe Songbird. Do you even know what song you're going to do, and have you talked to the others about this?"
I pouted. Why did she always have to be the voice of reason? "Well, I was thinking about the song on the way home. I'm thinking we should do something fun and upbeat. You know; kind of reflect the mood I'm feeling. I'm thinking if I don't pick Broadway then the others will agree with me. And the choreography can be storyboarded now and modified when we agree on a song. I'm just excited. It's time to show off all my talents."
Jordan gave me a big hug, and spun me around in a circle just as I had done to her earlier. "The art supplies are in the closet below the stairs, and Rachel, please never change. You're perfect just the way you are."
I gave her a kiss and bounced off to get the art supplies. I don't know what I would do without Jordan. We both did a lot for each other. I made sure she got out and enjoyed life, and she made sure I remembered to eat and kept me organized. I was glad that she decided to move to New York with me when I graduated. Even more than my dads, I don't think I could survive without her. Luckily I wouldn't have to find out.
I had spent a lovely evening with Jordan making paper dolls for all the girls so that I could storyboard the choreography. It wasn't necessary, but we had fun doing it. I had brought up my song choices to the girls during lunch, and the reception wasn't what I was expecting. No one seemed very interested in the competition. I couldn't believe that they weren't more excited.
I brought the storyboard with me to the practice so that everyone could see what they were supposed to do. I was practically vibrating I was so happy. Finally a task had appeared where I could be myself, and I was going to shine.
"Okay girls, we need to get started." I called out as I entered the dance room. Brittany was the only one warming up. Santana was doing her make-up and Mercedes was painting Tina's nails. I got a bad feeling when I saw this.
"We're getting warmed up." Santana replied off-handedly.
I sighed, this was not going the way I wanted it to. I looked around trying to find some support when I noticed our missing member. "Where's Quinn?" I asked.
"Probably at the mall looking for elastic waist pants." Brittany said. Did that girl even realize what came out of her mouth? I frowned when everyone else laughed. I was glad that Quinn hadn't been there to hear that. I hope that Brittany did it on purpose and not by accident.
I was starting to empathize with Mr. Schue. "Mr. Schuester's right you guys, we can't get complacent." I told them frustrated.
"Chill out. I already picked the songs," Mercedes told me, "We're going to do a mash-up of Halo and Walking on Sunshine."
"That was my idea." I blurt out. I can't believe that she would take credit for that. I had worked hard on picking out the songs. Not to mention actually mashing them together.
"Whatever," She said flippantly, "Come on we can do this in our sleep. You think those six dudes are going to give us any competition? I say we just wing it."
I wanted to strangle her. "We can't just wing it." I said.
"All those in favor of winging it." She called out. No one did anything. I don't think anyone was paying attention except me and Tina. Then she called out, "All those opposed." I raised my hand high. As the only one to actually vote, I felt confident that I had won.
"Looks like the ayes have it." She said after a moment.
I looked at her incredulously. I couldn't believe that they wouldn't listen to me. Yes, I know that I play the part of an irritating diva, but that doesn't mean that I don't know what I'm talking about. I am the only one with years of training. Besides I spent hours last night working on this performance. I glared at Santana and Brittany before storming out of the room.
A week had passed and I was still mad at all the girls in glee. None of them had changed their minds about practicing. I was especially made at Brittany, Quinn and mostly Santana. None of them would practice with me at home. Why couldn't they see how much it meant to me? But no… They wanted to do other things, like watch movies and hang out, so I let them. At Santana's house.
I know it's irrational, we wouldn't be effective practicing without two of the members, but still. They could have helped convince Mercedes that we needed to practice if they wanted to. I just felt so lost. This is the first time something like this has happily. Normally Santana tries to make all of my scheme happen. What's so different about this? Is it because it doesn't have to do with the play? Is it because this is the real me wanting this? Does she like the real me less, now that she knows I share some traits with the pretend me?
Thankfully my thoughts are interrupted by the boys getting ready for their performance. I'll have to put my thoughts on the back burner for now. I'm going to have to have a talk with Santana about this.
The boys started their mash-up, and I swear I could feel my mouth drop. They were really good, and very energetic. I never thought they had it in them. I looked over at the other girls, and could see they felt the same way as I did. Smug, I sat back to watch the rest of the performance. Now they would wish they had listened to me.
"I told you guys." I told them all as I finished my tirade. I had repeated myself several times, but I was upset. I had told them that we needed to practice for an entire week, but did they listen to me. No.. I take a deep breath. I need to calm down before I keep going.
"We know, you've been berating us for the better part of an hour." Santana replied moodily. She was sulking. She probably knew that we were going to have a talk about this when she came over.
"Were they really that good?" Quinn asked. She had been in the nurses office laying down when the boys performed.
"They were Quinn," I tell her, "I was fine with arranging, choreographing, and directing this number free of charge, but we underestimated the boys. Their number will go to sectionals, and once again I will be humiliated." I have to take another deep breath so I don't plunge off the deep end again.
"How were we supposed to know they'd rock the house? They've never been good." What did that matter I screamed at her in my head. We should have been practicing because we have pride in our work. Bunch of lazy sycophants.
"How did they d-d-do it?" Tina asked with that fake stutter of hers. I don't know who she thought she was fooling, but she did have a good question.
"The real question is what were they on," Kurt butted in from the door, "Though I've been grouped with the boys, my allegiance remains with you ladies. They declined my offer to do their hair in cornrows, and all my artistic decisions have been derided as to costly because they involved several varieties of exotic bird feathers."
We looked at him like he was crazy. Did her really imply that they'd taken drugs to increase their performance?
"We all took something." He said after a moment.
Yup, that's what I thought he meant. I can't believe they would take drugs. It was a fucking singing competition. It wasn't that important. I storm out of the room without another word, bound and determined to find Finn. He was going to get a piece of my mind.
"Cheater!" I call out to him as soon as I see him in the hall.
He turns around and stares at me, "I don't know what you're talking about."
What an idiot. "You took performance enhancers before your mash-up. Kurt told me. It's deplorable, contemptible, and it's just plain wrong. It's also cheating. As a matter of fact I'm going to start calling you F-rod."
"Hey, hey back off. I'm nothing like A-rod, okay. I'd never take steroids, they make your junk fall off." He said seriously. "Listen Rachel, you don't know what it's like for me, the kind of pressure I'm under."
How did this turn into a help session? Oh well, I guess I can try to help him, "We all have pressure, but you know how I deal with it? The natural way with a rigorous diet and exercise routine. I'm up at 6 A.M. every /day. I have my protein shake with banana and flax seed oil, and by 6:10 I'm on the elliptical. You know how I motivate myself? Not with anything artificial, I set a goal and I won't rest until I reach it."
"Yeah, well, that's personal pressure. If you don't meet your goal then you're the only one that loses. I have to be the quarterback, the male lead, and deal with a pregnant girlfriend who yells at me about ice cream. So, yeah, maybe I helped me and my teammates out a little bit, but it's only because I'm sick and tired of working so hard and losing." He told me.
"Yeah, but winning by cheating isn't winning." I inform him because I want to make sure he understands that. He can't get through life by cheating. You have to nip that thing in the bud fast or it won't go away.
"Don't give me that. The only reason you're so pissed about this, is that you know that you can't compete with us."
Oh no he didn't, "Oh, I'm offended by that accusation. We haven't performed yet, but if I may say our mash-up is spectacular!" I was of course lying through my teeth but he didn't have to know that.
"Still isn't going to be as good. We're going to win, you're going to lose. Deal with it." He gloated before walking away.
It was so on. There was no way I'd let the boys beat us now. I had to find the girls to set up the practice schedule for tonight. I was afraid that all other plans would have to be put on hold. We'd have to really step up our game to beat the boys.
I was marching back to the glee room when someone grabbed my arm and pulled me into the bathroom. I turned around; ready to give them a piece of my mind when I realized it was Santana.
I looked around to make sure that we were alone before speaking, "What's the matter San? Did something happen?" I couldn't think of any reason, other than trouble, that would cause Santana to pull me into the girl's bathroom at school. We had always been very careful to limit our contact at school. We didn't want anyone to find out, and blow our play. It was too much fun most of the time to give up, that and it also helped Quinn out.
She looked down at her feet and took a deep breath before speaking, "Look, I'm really sorry I didn't listen to you earlier. If I had this would be a lot easier. You would have to teach two people instead of six. I understand that you're mad at me, and I'm hoping you'll forgive me."
She looked so adorable standing there with the saddest face I'd ever seen. "Oh, San. It's not the fact that you brushed me off because you thought my idea was a waste of time," She winces at this, but I continue. "I'm not even really mad at you, more upset and worried." I step closer and pull her into my arms, "Santana, can we talk about this later? The girl's bathroom is not the best place for this conversation. I promise that we will have this talk, though. I think it's important to our relationship." She looked scared when I said this, so I leaned in to give her a reassuring kiss, "Don't worry Sweetie. I just mean this will help cement our relationship, and help it grow to something even better than what it is now."
Santana took a deep breath and pulled me closer, "Fine, we can talk about this later, but I will make you talk about it. I just… I just think I'm in love with you Rachel. I feel so empty when you're not with me. You make me feel calm and secure. Like I can be myself, and I won't be judged for that."
I was going to reply to her when I felt the door bang into my back. Santana roughly shoved the door shut and yelled out, "Bathroom's closed. Go find another one."
There was some muttering, but the door didn't try to open again. I looked into Santana's eyes, and gave her a soft closed mouth kiss. I tried to tell her with my eyes how much what she said meant to me. I think she understood because she nodded then moved back so I could leave the restroom first. I impulsively reached out and gave her one last hug before I exited the bathroom. We received some strange looks, but they all turned away when Santana glared at them.
After spending the entire night trying to rehearse our song, everyone fell asleep at Brittany's house. She was the one with a large basement that we could practice in, besides me of course but no one was coming to my house. We worked so hard, but we still lacked the energy of the boys. If we didn't do something they would win, and we would have to perform their song at sectionals.
Mercedes was the one that talked everyone into going to Mrs. Schuester. If the boys could cheat, then why couldn't we? It would be leveling the playing field. I didn't really like her argument, but everyone overrode me. Now, normally I don't give into peer pressure, but unfortunately the character I was playing wasn't that strong willed. That's why we're all lined up in the nurse's office about thirty minutes before we had to perform.
Mrs. Schuester was talking to us as she passed out our pills, "Everyone gets a dose, oh except for Quinn. You get folic acid, momma. It's good for the baby." The woman was creepy with the way she hovered over Quinn. None of us liked it, but she wasn't dangerous so we didn't do anything, just kept a watchful eye on her.
"Get the lid out Howard, we have patients waiting," She told her assistant. She wasn't a very nice lady. I don't like Schue, but I still wouldn't want him to have to be married to her.
"Are you sure we should be doing this?" I ask in a last ditch attempt to get out of this.
"Oh, it's over the counter. It's safe. You can trust me, I'm a nurse. It's good for you." Terri tells me. She must think we're all stupid. She's as much as a nurse as I am. We all look at each other before taking the medicine. I look up at the ceiling, ashamed of myself for giving.
When glee club came around we're all, with the exception of Quinn, hyped up. None of us could sit still, and I couldn't even hear what Mr. Schuester was saying because I wasn't able to pay attention. It was almost a relief when he told us to begin our song. Finally I could channel my energy into something. I had way too much of it just to sit still.
We performed our song, and it was amazing. I could see the shock on all the boys' faces. I felt amazing. I'm not sure why I didn't want to take the pills in the first place. I wasn't paying attention to anything anyone was saying, but when the girls started to leave I followed. We all raced out of the school, and headed home. Thank god school was over. I don't think any of us could have sat still.
I was sitting on the couch reading a book for school when three wild girls burst through the front door. They were practically vibrating. I looked at Quinn, the only one who looked normal, for an explanation.
"They took some medicine that made them like this for the competition today. Quinn explained.
I was flabbergasted. Rachel had used a drug to make herself better? That wasn't the type of behavior I would ever expect from her.
Rachel suddenly looked down and rubbed the toe of her shoe against the carpet, "I'm sorry Star. We just had to for the competition. The boys did the same thing and there was no way we could win without the medicine. And I did try to stop them." I look at Quinn and she nods the affirmative, "It's just we weren't alone, and I had to be my character, and I couldn't find a way out of it. I'm really sorry, and I won't do it again. I promise."
I stared at the three, and the other two finely figured out that they had done something wrong. I was so disappointed in all of them.
"Okay. Here's the deal, you have to tell Mr. Schuester what you did. It's the right thing, and I think it's past time you did the right thing," I tell them with a glare. "Now, though, each of you are going to go out to the back." When they didn't move I pointed and said, "Now." The three girls scrambled out to the back yard while Quinn and I followed at a slower pace.
Once we reached outside I crossed my arms and spoke to the guilty three, "You are going to play tag, and the person who gets tagged the most will be the one to tell Mr. Schuester." I turned to Quinn, "And for your part in this escapade you must keep track of how many times the others are tagged. If you get the count wrong, then you will be the one to tell Mr. Schuester. Am I clear?" They all nodded that they understood.
I gave them all a speaking glance and Santana caught on first. She reached out and touched Rachel yelling tag. The game was on from then.
I left them out there in the yard when I went back to the kitchen where I could watch them. I was so disappointed in all of them. The girls I had grown to know over the past few months and the one I had known most of life weren't the type to give into peer pressure. Each one of them knew better.
I watched them run around for two hours before I called them in. Rachel had lost, of course. She does have the shortest legs. As soon as they were in I offered them all some snacks. I know that I'm not in control of them, but as the oldest I felt it was my duty to reprimand them. Bad habits start of small after all.
All the running around we did outside really wore me out. I was finally coming off the high of the medication, and I could tell that Brittany and Santana were too. After we all took a nice shower I pulled Santana into my room. It was time to finish that conversation from earlier.
We ended up sitting cross-legged facing each other on my bed. The silence was terrible, but I didn't know how to start. I wasn't even sure if I knew how we'd ended up here. The week had started out so good, and now we were going to have to have a very heavy conversation.
" So, ah.." Santana began awkwardly, "Wanna tell me why you're upset with me? Then I can fix it."
I sighed and reached out to take Santana's hands, "It's just that this week I was being myself. I wasn't acting, and you brushed me off just like you would brush off the pretend Rachel. It.. It hurt. It felt like you only liked parts of me. The relaxed, slightly normal part. I realize that I haven't had a reason to get crazy before this, but I did pull a lot of the pretend Rachel's personality quirks from me. The only real difference about us is that I can turn off the craziness most of the time and she can't."
When I finish I finally brave a look up to meet her eyes. She's staring at me, and I can see her eyes are a little glassy.
Finally she comes out of her stupor and pulls me into a hug, "Oh, Baby. I love you and everything about you. I actually thought your craziness this week, and truthfully all the time, was cute. You just banished me to my house when we wouldn't help you. It wasn't you I had a problem with, it was the stupid competition. I just wanted to put school away and be with you, but next time I promise to be more considerate."
I sniffled, hating myself for crying. "You really love me?"
"Yeah. A whole lot more than I thought I would love anyone." She said as she pulled a little away from me. She tilted my head up so she could wipe my tears away. Then she placed a soft kiss on each of my tearstained cheeks. "Te amo, mi estrella. Por siempre."
I melted into her. "I love you too Santana." I slid my hand up her arm and around her neck to pull her into a kiss. I was right earlier. This was a conversation that was important to our relationship. It was the first time we told each other we loved the other. It was also the first time we made out without our shirts on. I'm not sure when that happened but I know I fell asleep with a topless Santana in my arms. The medicine's crash had finally hit us hard and we were out for the rest of the night.
I was headed to talk to Mr. Schue when Finn caught up with me.
"What's up, A-Rach? Hey, sweet mash-up. You guys were so energetic."
I sighed and decided I need to defend our decision, "We were just taking a lesson from major league baseball. It's not cheating if everyone is doing it. We were just leveling out the playing field."
"You really believe that?" He asked me.
"No." I told him, "Okay, I feel terrible. Even if we win it's not going to be satisfying." Now was time to be truthful.
"I know. I don't even remember performing." He said, "What do you think we should do?"
"I think, the only way to make things right is to withdraw from the competition. You know, admit that we were wrong, and disqualify our respective teams immediately. No one gets to win." I responded feeling better. If I could convince him to tell Schue with me then I wouldn't feel so bad.
"Cool." He agreed following me down the hall to Schue's office.
"I'm sorry about what I said the other day. About calling you contemptible, and deplorable." I tell him. I was really sorry. He did have a lot on his plate with Quinn. He didn't even have the support system the rest of us in this problem did. I really felt sorry that he still didn't know that it wasn't his baby. I would have to talk Quinn into telling him soon.
"Ah, that's all right. I didn't even know what those words meant." He said shrugging.
"What I meant to say is that, I guess I get caught up in the competitive hysteria too. My goals are to selfish. You know, it's time for me to stop competing against everyone and start competing along side them." I explain. I want him to understand why I'm apologizing.
We both walked into Schue's office. He looked up happy to see us, and I just blurted the news out. The guilt was eating me up, and I felt better as soon as I told him the truth. He was of course upset with all of us. We were going to have to do a lot of apologizing for this.
I talked to the rest of the club, and we were all waiting for him in the choir room after school. We were all waiting for him to arrive so we could apologize as a group.
When Mr. Schue walked in Finn was the first to speak, "We're really sorry Mr. Schue."
"We didn't mean to get you into trouble." I chimed in next.
"I'm really disappointed in you guys. Glee is supposed to be about what's inside your heart, not what's coursing through your veins."
I looked down at my feet. I knew what he meant, and that's how I felt. I had just let the whole competition get to my head. "We know, and I speak for everyone when I say we'd be happy to move forward and to put this episode behind us."
"Well, it's not that simple. Because of this debacle, it's been decided that I'm no longer fit to run glee club myself. We've been assigned a co-director." He told us.
"Who?" I asked. "Hey kids. I've got to tell you I'm just thrilled to be coming on board to co-captain your little show-biz cruise. Ah, I can't wait to start singing, and dancing, and maybe even putting on the roots a little bit." Sue Sylvester said as she strolled into the choir room.
Oh god no…. Or maybe yes?
I can't believe how hard things were going. When I first got here, I thought school would be a breeze. Now, now I dreaded going to school most days. It was getting extremely difficult to keep Quinn's secret a secret. With her running to the bathroom on semi-regular intervals more than the glee club was getting suspicious. I had to take more than my fair share of slushies to keep the attention off Quinn.
I sneezed, and used the tissue Jordan had sent with me. She always knew when I was getting sick. I shut my locker a little harder than I had planned. Now was not the time to get sick. It must be those damn slushies. Maybe we could find something else to keep people from guessing.
"The independent polling company in my Dockers have determined that you're the hottest girl in this school."
I nearly gagged when I heard Jacob, "Ewe." Couldn't the boy leave me alone? I was already feeling bad.
"Hey, have you been reading my blog?" he asked me.
"Of course not," I replied, "You're a gossip monger, and you blog is nothing but trash and lies. Many of them about me." "Well you'll be happy to know the one I'm working on right now has nothing to do with you, or your rumored lust for Jew-fros. It's about Quinn Fabray. Word on the street is that she's in trouble." He told me smugly.
"Where did you hear that?" I asked sharply. The glee clubbers had been threatened to get beaten if they even breathed a word of this to themselves. This was a disaster. Why did they only seem to find me?
"Are you denying it?" Jacob questioned.
"Yes!" I said emphatically. I had to get somewhere where I could call Jordan. She was the only one I could go to. I hadn't told the other three that I was starting to feel bad. They were all just as worried as I was about Quinn, and I didn't want to make it worse.
I started walking towards the bathroom when I heard him call out, "Because the same birdy told me you're heartbroken Finn Hudson didn't choose you to carry his litter."
I walk back towards him feeling my heart getting heavier, "What is it going to take for you to not run the story."
When he asked for a pair of my panties I felt disgusted and shocked. I reluctantly agreed to it so he would go away. I told him I would need a day or two to get them. As soon as he left I once again tried to make my way to the bathroom. Now more than ever I needed Jordan's advice. Perhaps I could ask the trio not to come over today. That way I could eat some vegetable broth and go to bed.
Somehow I made through the entire day. I'm not sure how. The whole day is just a blur to me. All I know for sure is that I didn't mention the panties to the trio, and I asked them not to come over. I gave some lame excuse about Jordan wanting some quality time, and they bought it. In fact none of them seem to notice me at all. I was a little put out by that, but my relief won out. Now I wouldn't have to try and keep up appearances at home. It was hard enough at school.
After a solid nights rest, and some mothering from Jordan I went to school the next day feeling better. The first thing I did was give Jew-Fro the panties he wanted. Jordan had went out and bought some for me during school hours yesterday. I was so disgusted I hurried to the bathroom as fast as I could. I needed to wash the germs off.
I was halfway to the bathroom when I ran into something solid. I looked up from my position on the floor to see Finn towering over me. I was irritated. I didn't need Finn to make my day worse.
"I'm so sorry Rachel. I didn't see you there."
I sighed, "It's okay Finn. I had a lot on my mind."
"Is everything okay?" He asked, "You look like you need someone to talk to."
It was so odd that Finn was the first person to ask me what was wrong. Jordan always let me come to her with my problems so she didn't count; besides she always knew what was going on, kind of freaky if you really thought about it. Anyway none of the girls had even noticed I wasn't my normal self. All Finn had to do was bump into me to see it. I didn't mean to, but I ended up spilling the whole Jacob issue with him. I would have liked to be able to talk to someone uninvolved with the play about a lot of things, but Finn was out of the question.
"So what did you have to do to get him to stop?" Finn asked me after I finished explaining everything I could.
"Let's just say I feel sorry for my dads, I replied, "cause they're probably going to have to dip into my college fund to pay for intensive therapy."
"Whoa, hard core."
I shrugged, "I don't mind. I did it to protect you."
"And Quinn." Finn added.
"Of course." I said, just a little peeved that I had forget Quinn. "We're all teammates."
"Hey, I gotta tell you. You really are awesome. I'm going to make it up to you some day, I swear." Finn said before he headed off to class.
I just stared at him lost in thought. I couldn't remember if the others, meaning Quinn mostly, had been that thankful when I helped them. They hadn't expressed it if they had. I frowned to myself. It had been over a month now that I had been helping Quinn and by extension Santana, and I was starting to feel used. It felt like they took me for granted. Especially Quinn, she never even thanked me when I went out of my way to make sure things were easier for her.
I shook my head vowing to contemplate this later when I had more time. I turned around to head towards when I ran into Jacob.
"I need another pair." He told.
"What's wrong with the ones I already gave you?" I asked.
"Uh, they still have the tag on them." He said holding the panties up in the middle of the hall.
"Put those away." I hissed reaching out to grab them before anyone noticed what he was holding up. This was not going as planned, though I hadn't really had much hope that it would.
"I want Rachel Berry panties." He stated, "Okay, I expect delivery by tomorrow morning, or the story of Quinn Fabray and the stork goes wide. I feel an urge to kiss you right now. I'm just going to go for it."
I push him away and tell him, "Stop it."
I throw up my hands before heading off to class. There's nothing I can do, but give into his demands. Maybe I have an old pair that looks used, but isn't. I'll have to search when I get home. After a nap though. I'm still not feeling my best. Hopefully I can convince everyone not to come over again tonight.
I couldn't convince the girls not to come over, but luckily I had some time to myself while they were at practice. I went to bed as soon as I came home. It felt so good to lay down that I forgot to set my alarm. I had wanted to be up in time for when everyone came over. Today was the day we'd finally get to find out the babies gender. Even though I didn't feel very well, I was still excited.
I woke up feeling very warm. It was odd, I distinctly remembered going to sleep without any covers. That and I don't remember my covers weighing so much . I crack open one eye, and to my surprise Santana is laying on the bed with me. She's got her arms around me and she's staring at me. I open my other eye and quirk an eyebrow at her.
"Morning sleeping beauty." She says.
I start panicking and try to jump off the bed. It can't be morning. I'll be late to school. I didn't do any of my homework, or work on any songs. I can't believe I slept so long. This was not my plan for the night.
Santana kept me from leaving the bed and kissed me, "It's only a saying. It's about five right now. I just got here about half an hour ago."
"Why did you let me sleep?" I asked her, "You could have woken me up so we could spend some time together."
She shrugged, "You just looked so peaceful. Besides I enjoyed just holding you. Things have been crazy lately and we haven't been able to spend time together. I enjoyed it."
I just nodded and wrapped my arms around her. We laid there for probably twenty minutes before Brittany came to get us. We didn't talk, we just held each other. This did more to make me feel better than anything else. I loved being in Santana's arms. I'm glad she didn't want to wake me up.
We went downstairs with Brittany to eat supper. Everyone was staring at me and it was getting kind of creepy.
"Do I have something on my face?" I asked irritably.
Quinn shook her head, "No. Everyone is just waiting for you to ask what the baby's gender is. Or maybe you were waiting to ask Finn?"
Now we were all staring at Quinn.
"Don't pretend you weren't getting chummy with him in the hallway today. I saw it with my own eyes."
Everyone's head swiveled to look at me. Brittany and Santana looked interested, and Jordan just looked sympathetic. I think she was the only other one to realize that I was dealing with pregnancy hormones instead of Quinn.
I sighed before I replied, "Okay. So I talked to Finn. What's the big deal? You're the one who wanted me to keep him too busy to find out the truth. Besides he's the only one outside of my family to ask me how I was doing in weeks. It felt nice, and I enjoyed my conversation today."
Now Santana, Quinn, and Brittany were staring at me.
"We ask you how you're doing." Brittany said confused.
"Okay. Then tell me how I'm doing." I challenged them, crossing my arms across my chest.
"Well, you're doing… you're doing fine I guess…" Santana stuttered. Quinn and Brittany didn't look like there was anything they could add.
"Actually Rae's been under the weather this week." Jordan informed them all. "That's why she was actually taking a nap today. She didn't feel up for company, but she really wanted to hear the gender of the baby. That and none of you wanted to put off coming today."
They all looked at each other. I could see the guilt in their eyes.
"I'm sure we would have noticed if there was something wrong with Rachel." Quinn said hesitantly.
"If you paid attention to things that happened to Rachel you would have seen what happened after Finn left. Or did you see it and not care? As long as she's doing what you want you don't care about her feelings? That's not how friends work, and excuse me for believing that we were all friends." Jordan practically shouted before storming out of the room.
We all stared after her. I blinked several times before looking at everyone else. I wasn't sure what was wrong with Jordan, but I knew that I had to find out now. She never blew up at anyone, ever.
"I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you all to leave."
The trio stared at me before Santana and Quinn started to protest.
"I think we should go guys. Rachie needs to talk to Jo and we need to talk about things to. I think it would be best if that happened in two different places." Brittany stacked her dishes to take to the kitchen. "I'm sorry that we haven't been paying attention Rachel, but I promise we'll try harder in the future."
I nodded before getting up to hug her. "Thanks for understanding Brittany." I whispered.
"It's no problem Rachie. I really am sorry. I love you like a sister and I don't want you to feel bad." Brittany whispered right back. She gave me an extra tight squeeze, "Oh, and in case someone forgets to mention it, the baby is going to be a girl."
I smiled into the hug before releasing her. I gave Santana a strained hug before showing them out. I hated leaving things so strained with the group, but I needed to find Jordan. No matter who came in and out of my life she was going to be a constant. I had to take care of what was mine.
After several deep breaths I made my way up to Jordan's room. Her blow up was way out of character. I don't think I can remember a time when she had gotten this upset. Normally she's so reserved and polite.
I knocked on her door, more for show than anything else. There was nothing that would keep me out.
"Wanna tell me what that was about?" I asked gently.
"No." came the muffled reply. Jordan sitting in the closet surrounded by her pillows and blanket. The door was only opened a crack, just so she could see if anyone was coming. Now I was really worried. Jordan hadn't retreated to her closet in years. Not since she was ten and some stupid boy had pushed her down then laughed about it.
Jordan didn't react well to most people, and it had surprised me that she had taken so well to the Trio. That's why she was so good at cooking. She didn't like to leave the house by herself, and she claimed there was nothing better to do. I know that there's a different reason, but I never pushed to find out. Jordan has always, and will probably always be incredibly tight lipped about her life before becoming a Berry. The only thing anyone had ever told me was that it was better if I didn't know. I still remember the day our dads brought her home from the hospital.
I hopped out of bed for the hundredth time. I checked out of the window and could finally see the sky getting lighter. Today was my third birthday and my daddies were bringing me home the best present ever. A sister. Now I would have someone to play with, and do all kinds of girly things that my daddies didn't want to do. Like play dress up.
I was so excited that I barely slept. The only thing that kept me in my room, was that Daddy said they weren't bringing my new sister home until after lunch. Maybe if I ate an early Breakfast then I could eat lunch early too.
I ran out of my room and pulled my daddies door open. As soon as I got in the room I jumped on their bed.
"Wake up, wake up. It's morning. When do we get my sister?" I demanded to know.
Dad groaned and rolled over to look at the clock, "Rachel, honey, it's only 5. Why don't you go organize your dolls to show to Jordan while your Daddy and I sleep a little more."
This seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to do so I hopped off the bed to run to my room. I had gotten most of my things in order, but I hadn't put my dolls back after yesterday. I wanted my new sister to like me, so I was going to put my toys places she could find them. I loved playing with my toys, so I thought she would too. Oh I just couldn't wait for lunch to come. I really wanted to meet my sister.
Finally lunch time came and passed, but my sister never showed up. Dad had left to pick her up forever ago. I think he got lost on his way back. He must have, cause he should have been here already.
I was starting to get frustrated when I saw them pull into the driveway. I hopped off the couch and ran to the door.
"Daddy They're here!" I yelled.
I was practically vibrating with excitement when Daddy opened the door. Dad was coming up the walk carrying what I could only hope was my sister. My daddy picked me up and told me I had to calm down. I was confused. Why wasn't she walking. I could walk, and they said she was my age. I was three, and could even count that high. It was a really big number. Maybe she was just tired from the drive. It did take Dad an awful long time to get home.
"Rachel, Jordan isn't going to be up to much playing. You're going to have to take it easy with her and let her get used to living here first. You're going to have to be extra careful around her."
I looked at my Daddy feeling very serious, "Daddy, what's the matter with her? Is she broken?"
He looked sad for a moment before speaking, "In a way baby, but we're going to make her all better. What she really needs is a sister that loves her and will be there for her. Can you do that for her Rachel?"
I nodded so hard I felt dizzy, "Forever and always Daddy."
I may have only been three at the time, but I meant that promise. I would always love Jordan, and I would always be there for her when she needed me. To me family isn't about the blood that flows in your veins, it's about the love that flows in your heart.
I laid there on that closet floor for probably two hours before Jordan started speaking.
"I'm sorry for my outburst Songbird. I don't know what came over me." She closed her eyes and leaned against me. "I really don't know what came over me. I just, I just felt mad at them. I see you every day working to find new things to try and keep Quinn safe. Every day at school you put yourself out there so that she can put off facing what you do on a daily basis. I guess I just hate the fact that I put you in this position."
"Wait, what? You never put me in this position. I did it all by myself. I was the one who actually started pretending to be someone I'm not at school. You have to imagine that it's hard for them to completely separate the different me's. There's just enough overlap that even I have times when I can't tell if I'm pretending or not, but none of this is your fault at all. Now tell me what's really bothering you and making you raise your voice."
"I was the one the that suggested you pretend to be someone else. If I hadn't you might have been able to be friends with the trio without having to lead a double life."
"Whoa, hold on there a second. I never would have become friends with them if it wasn't for the play. The way that act at school is as vastly different as my behavior at school is from my behavior at home. They put on an act just like I do. It's because of you that I met the girl I really like, maybe even love. She just makes me want to smile. Everything is worth it when I can spend time with her. I have you to thank for that, and for bringing two more friends into my life."
Jordan sighed and laid her head on her shoulder, "Maybe I want something like that too. I don't know. Since we've been here things have been confusing. It's like these things I never knew I forgot are coming back. Add into that worrying about you, and I've been really high strung lately." Jordan paused for several minute, "I drove by that place earlier today. I got turned around trying to find this small specialty store I heard about, and there it was on the side of the road. I saw it and had to stop because I was crying so hard. I had to call Dad to bring me home. It was fourteen years ago, and that place still terrified me. I think that added with the fact that they weren't treating you right threw me over the edge. I just expected more of them. Do you think they're mad at me?" She finished in a small voice.
My heart broke for her. I wish that I had been there for her when she passed her old house. Dad, Daddy and I had all discussed this possibility before we moved here, when Jordan wasn't there of course. None of us wanted to bring Jordan any pain.
I pulled her in closer to me and started rocking. "It's okay Star. No one's mad at you. Do you want me to tell them why you had an outburst, or just that you're very sorry and it won't happen again?"
I could feel Jordan shudder against me, "Don't tell them anything. I don't want them to think I'm a freak"
I kissed the top of her head, "No one will ever think you're a freak. Not while I'm around. If they do then I'll just have to go all ninja on their ass."
This got the laugh that I wanted. No matter what happened in my life Jordan was going to be a part of it. She was the glue that held me together when things looked the darkest. I can only hope that I do the same for her.
The Next Day at School
I was worried about seeing the trio. So far I had managed to avoid them, but I knew my luck was running out. The glee club had planned a jam session for today before practice. I had to admit, that I did miss singing with all of them, that and the drama. Things got so dull when Kurt and Mercedes were gone, not to mention Santana. We had worked out code words at the beginning of our relationship. That way she could compliment me without anyone knowing what was going on. It wasn't perfect, but I enjoyed the game.
I was pulled out of my musing by a pair of strong arms pulling me into the girl's bathroom. I would have been worried but as soon as I started paying attention I noticed Santana's perfume. She was the one who pulled me into the bathroom, meaning that Quinn and Brittany were close behind. As soon as the girls in the restroom saw the Trio they got out of the bathroom as fast as they could. When I turned around I found out why. I hadn't seen Santana look this scary in a long time, I kinda liked it.
Santana obviously did not like the grin on my face when she finally faced me after Quinn had locked the door. It caused her to glare even harder which made my smile grow. Now Quinn was glaring at me too, Brittany was just smiling back at me. I don't know what it was about those two glares directed my way, but they made my whole day better. It's like the world spoke and told me that everything was back on track. I did the only thing I could after such a revelation. I went up to Santana and kissed her soundly.
"What the fuck?" Santana exclaimed when I finished.
I just gave her a quick peck on the cheek before replying, "Let's just forget yesterday ever happened. I'll tell you guys when something's bothering me as long as you guys do the same. Let's call it a learning lesson and move on. Now I do believe that we have some wonderful music to make. So if you all will excuse me, I must go warm up my voice. Oh and since it is Friday, let's have a sleep over at my house tonight it'll be my themed party. I'll ask Tina to come sometime later tonight."
I finished my short speech and gave them all a hug before practically skipping out of the restroom. Even all the funny looks I was getting didn't dampen my happiness. I'd just worry about them later. Right now everything was once again right with my world.
I walked into the choir room to Kurt and Mercedes having a "discussion" about fashion. It was heading towards a knock down drag out fight. Well not really, but it could have if it had been between anybody else. Thankfully my appearance calmed them down a bit. We all talked about our music for the ten minutes it took everyone to make it to the choir room. It felt really nice to be able to sing with everyone again. One thing I really hated about my deception was that they didn't get to see my true passion for music. All I got to show was my fierce desire to be number one, not my love of hearing music.
"I miss us all being together." I told them all after we had finished singing. I wish all of our practices could be like this.
"I hope we don't get in trouble for our covert jam session." Said worriedly looking around to make sure Sue wasn't spying on us. .
"If Sue catches us mingling we're cooked." Kurt said, "She told me if I even talked to one of Mr. Schue's kids she'd shave my head, and I just can't rock that look. Even Justin Timberlake is growing his fro back."
"Well," Mercedes said, "we've got to go you guys. Ms. Sylvester is expecting us in ten minutes in the dance studio."
We were all saying our goodbyes when Schue walked in, "Hey, hey what are you guys doing here?"
"Just s-s-stoping to say hello." Tina stuttered out. I don't even know why the girl continued with that irritating quirk.
"Ah, it's great to see you guys." He replied as we all re-said our goodbyes. "Alright, great news guys. Brought the band with me, and I think that we have our number for sectionals.
"Mr. Schue," I said to get his attention, "we don't like what this has become."
"Don't you see?" He replied in a patronizing tone, "That is how Sue wants you to feel. Giving up doesn't help anyone but her. Look, if it were up to me we would all perform together at sectionals, but it's not up to me anymore, okay. Sue's going to do her song, and we are going to do ours. Sue's kids are singing about hate, literally. So, I thought we would try a kinder approach. Alright, Finn and Rachel come up here you're going to take the leads."
The rest of the practice flew by, and truthfully I hated it. I know that if it was bad for me, Britt and Quinn must have been dying. All they got to do was stand there and sing back-up, and the lyrics were defiantly not that challenging. Schue really needs to step up his game if we're going to win sectionals.
Brittany, Quinn, Tina, and I showed up at the Berry house promptly at four thirty. Rachel had been very specific in her instructions and as we pulled up I could see why. The Berry men were headed out of the house as we got out of the car.
"Hello girls, I hope you all have fun this weekend. Leroy and I are off to a conference in Orlando for the weekend." Hiram said as he put the suitcases in the car.
"I didn't know you guys weren't going to be here this weekend." Quinn said confused. Honestly I hadn't known they wouldn't be there either. Neither girl had mentioned it at all.
"It was a last minute thing. We were going to stay home because we didn't want to leave the girls all alone, but we feel much better knowing that you guys are going to be here." Leroy said.
Hiram closed the trunk of their car, "And it will do us some good to get away from the crazy of teenage girls. No offence or anything, but sometimes girl drama is a little too much for two middle aged men."
We all laughed at his attempted humor and wished them a good trip. I was glad they weren't going to be there because it wouldn't restrict the fun we would have. Rach and Jo were comfortable doing pretty much anything around their dads, but the rest of us weren't.
Jordan through open the door and raised an eyebrow at us, "Are you guys going to stand out there all day, or are you going to come in here and have fun?"
I laughed and headed into the house, "You guys are crazy. I didn't realize your dads weren't going to be here."
"Yeah," Jordan shrugged, "They trust us, and it's just a small sleep over. Rae would never let it get out of hand."
"This will probably be the only party I'll have went to in high school that didn't end up with the cops breaking it up." I told Jo as we headed down to the basement. This was going to be a nice change of pace.
Three hours later I had been proven correct. We did some stupid shit like make overs and gossip, but we all had fun. There was junk food and pillow fights, and I wouldn't have traded it for one of Puck's drunken parties for anything.
We were finishing up a scary movie, my pick, when Jordan got up and grabbed a board with a spinning arrow on it.
"Normally this is the point of the sleep over where we'd grab a bottle of strawberry vodka and play truth or dare, but today in deference to Quinn's pregnancy we are going to do things a little different." The redhead said as she made us sit in a circle.
"Yeah normally if someone refuses to answer or do the dare than they have to take a shot, well we're going to combine truth or dare with strip poker. Anyone who doesn't want to answer a question or do the dare has to take something off." Rachel continued.
"Awesome" Brittany yelled bouncing in her seat. The girl might have had a little too much sugar tonight.
"But," Jordan jumped in, "no one can dare anyone to do anything that can't be completed right now, makes them leave the house, or endangers them. Everything else is fair game."
We all agreed and Brittany won the right to go first. The dares were hilarious, and the truths were embarrassing but we all had a blast. It took two hours to get everyone down to their underwear, well everyone except Quinn. She still had her shirt on and refused to take it off.
. "Alright Quinn, truth or dare?" I asked for the last time that night. We had decided that this was the last question before another activity.
"Uh," Quinn said as she looked around, "I think I'll end this right and go with dare."
"Hmmmm," I tapped my chin a couple of times for show, "I dare you to kiss Jordan on the lips." The looks on their faces were amusing, but the best part was the blush on both their faces.
"And that's a wrap," Jordan said as she got up to put the spinning board back up. She was still blushing and I felt like an evil genius. Maybe this would help unpress Quinn's lemon.
It was three o'clock in the morning and I couldn't sleep. The others had all drifted off about an hour ago, but I couldn't seem to follow. We were all camped out in the basement in our underwear, and I was pressed against more skin of Rachel's than I had ever been before. Needless to say I was enjoying the feeling too much to go to sleep.
I resettled my hand for the umpteenth time when Rachel rolled over. "I can't sleep either. Wanna go up to my room so we don't have to be quite. We can talk or something until we finally go to sleep."
I nodded and silently got up and made my way up the stairs. Rachel followed behind me. We successfully made it to her room without waking up any of the other sleeping girls. I wasn't surprised to see Brittany wrapped around Tina, the bubbly girl liked to cuddle when she slept. The surprising find was Jordan wrapped around Quinn. They both had a smile on their faces.
When we got up to Rachel's room she let me find the bed before shutting the light back off. Rae hopped into bed and pressed close to me just like we were downstairs.
"So… Do you wanna talk or something?" I asked not wanting to assume anything.
"Or something," She said before kissing me.
We broke apart to catch our breath when Rachel moved to straddle me. "We can go slower if you want; you've just been driving me crazy for hours now."
When we came back up for air again I flipped us over, "I'm ready if you are. I just didn't want to rush you into something you weren't ready for."
"I've been thinking about this a lot Santana. I jumped into this way to fast with my last relationship and it ended badly, but us, well I think we'll be okay. I know I love you, and I know you love me. I really think that this is a relationship that will last long beyond high school. I want to spend my days making a life with you and my nights making love to you."
I leaned in and kissed her passionately. "That's exactly what I want Rae. I want forever with you." I started pressing kisses against her face determined to wipe the memory of any previous lovers from my girls mind. When I was done I wanted to be the only one she would remember for the rest of her life, and if she started to remember the others I'd just have to make her forget again.
Two weeks of terrible glee practices passed before Figgins finally came around and decided Mr. Schue was good enough to teach on his own. I had to focus really hard not to yawn through his entire speech. The man could be incredibly boring at times. All I could think about was getting home and spending time with my favorite people.
"Rachel is Jewish," I looked at Mr. Schue for the first time during his speech. I didn't know what he was talking about, or how me being Jewish had anything to do with it.
Despite my lack of attention Schue plowed on. "or Finn is…"
"Unable to tell my rights from my lefts." Finn jumped in when Schue couldn't think of anything. "Sure." He nodded, "Or that Santana is Latina, or that Quinn is.."
"Is pregnant." Sue jumped in shocking everyone, "Sorry Q, it'll be all over the blogosphere by this afternoon. Now everybody knows, including me."
Everyone turned and looked at Sue. Mercedes stood up and surprised everyone in the room "We've known that for a while now, and it hasn't changed the way we feel about her. Quinn is our friend and we're going to stand behind her no matter what. You may think it's cool ruining someone's life, but it isn't. You are a horrible room and should feel ashamed of yourself."
Sue stood up and angrily waved her arms around, "You are all losers and the sooner you realize that the sooner this school can go back to the way it was." The irate cheerleading coach stormed out of the room.
"What are we going to do?" Kurt asked, getting up to stand by Mercedes, "Tomorrow is not going to be good for our mommy to be."
Quinn looked around the room and saw all the supporting faces, "You guys really don't think badly of me."
I looked at Brittany, Santana, and Tina and raised my eyebrows. Santana shrugged getting me right away, but the others just looked at me strangely. I shrugged and stood up to walk over to Quinn.
I kneeled next to the blonde and took her hand, "See Quinn, Jo and I told you that there were people at this school who would be behind you. This club is a family, and you just have to let them show it."
"Wait what?" Mercedes Said confused.
Santana stood up and moved towards us, "Rachel's known about the pregnancy since the very beginning. Her, Tina, Brittany and I have been trying to protect Quinn and keep her pregnancy a secret. Now that the cats out of the bag things are going to be different."
Kurt asked just as confused as Mercedes, "Why in the world would Rachel and Tina know about the pregnancy. I can see you and Britt because you guys are friends, but Rachel and Tina?"
"Well," I said, "It all started the day Santana saw me naked for the first time. That's when she uncovered the fact that I've been pretending to be someone different at school. We became friends and when Quinn came to her she figured that I could help. It doesn't hurt that my dads' are both doctors."
"What about Tina?" Kurt pressed for more.
"Rachel told me about her acting before anyone found out. I never minded her antics as much as you guys did and she needed a friend." Tina told the group.
Quinn shakily got up from her seat, "Well, since this turned in to a confessional I have something I really need to get off my chest." She moved to the front of the room and looked at everyone, "I wasn't going to do it this way, but I've got something special happening tonight and I want to do it right. I need to tell you all the father of my baby." Quinn took a deep breath and rubbed her stomach.
When she hesitated to long I decided to help her out and jumped in with the answer, "It's Puck."
"Thank god!" Finn said jumping up from his chair. He pointed at Puck, "I don't even care that you slept with my girlfriend. I'm not going to be a teen father. You can have it, and Quinn we're done. I don't even want you to talk to me, or you Rachel. I don't know how any of you could have helped Quinn lie to me for months now. I thought my life was over, and you let her use me. You all should be ashamed of yourselves." Finn stormed out of the room.
"Well that went better than expected," Santana said trying to ease the tension. All those who didn't know were glaring at Puck.
"Don't be mad at him. He's been there for me even though I didn't want him to be. It was one time, and it was the worst mistake of my life but I'm going to love my baby. I'm so glad that all of you are still on my side even after you know everything."
Mercedes hugged the once again crying girl, "Girl we'll be with you every step of the way. Yeah, we were iffy about you at the beginning, but you're pretty okay for a cheerleader. Glee is a family and you're a part of that family."
Later That Night Jordan's POV
Rachel had come home from school today and told me all that had happened. I was upset about the coach and planned to file a complaint against her in the morning. What most shocked me was Quinn telling everyone that the baby was Puck's and Finn breaking up with her. When we set up our friend date the blonde was in a relationship, now that she was free I didn't know if it changed anything. Rae had said Quinn did it because she wanted to do something the right way tonight, but did she mean what I think she meant?
I was taking a play from Santana's book and made a picnic for us to eat for supper. It had been a while since I had asked Quinn to spend some alone time with me, but I had been waiting for the right time. I had something special planned, and it only happened every seventy-five or so years. I was just lucky that this was the year it was happening.
Quinn arrived promptly and I went to open the door, everyone else was out at the movie catching the last two Harry Potter movies. I opened the door and Quinn was standing there holding a bouquet of flowers.
"I know we said that this was just going to be friends, but since then I've realized that I have feelings for you that go beyond friendship. I don't know about you, but I would like to give us a try." She said holding the flowers out to me.
I stood there with my mouth open before nodding. Quinn smiled and gently led me back into the house. She stood there holding my hand, patiently waiting for me to gather my wits.
"Uh, well this makes my evening less awkward. Why don't we head out to the back deck?"
"Okay" she said laughing a little.
I'm glad that my awkwardness wasn't bothering her. I had not thought that I would end up with a girlfriend tonight. I had never had one before, but I felt such a pull towards her that I had to give it a chance. I pulled her out to the softly lit deck and pulled her down on the pillows laid out.
"I know what this looks like, but today is something that I've been looking forward to for quite a while." I said when she gave me a questing look.
"What's so special about tonight, besides me?"
"Well," I said looking up, "tonight is the night that Haley's Comet will rocket across the sky. I've always been interested in the heavens. When I first came to the Berry household Daddy used to sit outside with me at night when I couldn't sleep and we would look up at the stars. I learned everything I could about them and I always try to view any special events. I've been looking forward to this for years."
Quinn grabbed my hand, "Then I'm glad I could share this with you."
Dinner went swimmingly. Quinn loved all the food I prepared and we ended up lying on our backs watching the sky. I pointed out all the constellations that we could see, and we were both breathless when the comet crossed our view.
We laid there for half an hour before I felt Quinn start to stir. I didn't think anything of it until she was leaning over me. I couldn't help but tense and when she went to move away I held her in place.
"Just give me a moment okay." I asked her, trying to will my body to relax.
"If you're not ready for kissing it's okay, I can wait." She said softly as my body slowly unclenched.
"It's not that I'm not ready, I'd really like to kiss you, but people don't normally come this close without letting me know first." I finally said after a few moments. "I haven't been very good with close contact so you're going to have to be patient with me. I'll tell you if I don't want you to do something. I'm really good at expressing myself."
"Okay, I'll take things slowly. Is it okay if I kiss you now?" She asked respectfully keeping her distance. I nodded and she slowly descended until her lips met mine. It felt like fireworks, until I felt her tongue touch my lips. I cursed my body's reaction as it tensed again.
"I'm sorry Jo. I should have asked." Quinn said pulling away.
I sighed, "There used to be a time when I'd hug any and every one. It's just so frustrating, it's one of the main reasons I don't go out much. I hate how my body shuts down."
"Do you wanna talk about it?"
"No, but you should probably know. I've never been in a relationship before, but this will probably help you understand why I am the way I am." I told her tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. I'll still give you all the time you need." She said holding my hand.
"It's just, it's not something I like to relive. I went to therapy for it, but it only helped a little bit. It's the defining moment of my life, but I've tried not to let it hold me back." I took a deep breath, "You see, I used to be a very normal girl with a mom and a dad. We lived next to a park and my mom would let me play over there when there were adults present. One day I went to play and I met this girl. We played for hours until her mom made her go home. She was the prettiest girl that I had ever seen, and I just knew that she was special. I went home and told my dad that I had found the girl I was going to marry and spend the rest of my life with. I don't know why he snapped, but he really, really didn't like what I said. I didn't learn until later that he was homophobic. Well I ended up in the hospital where Dad was my doctor. He and daddy decided that they wanted to give me a safe loving home so they adopted me. Unfortunately I've never been able to be comfortable around most people. I'm always waiting for them to snap."
"Oh Jordan, I am going to hug you now," Quinn said seconds before she did hug me, "I will never snap and I will scare away anyone who ever thinks about hurting you."
Four and a half years later Santana's POV
Oh god, why was I so nervous. I had been dating my midget for nearly five years now. Why did I have to be so nervous? I was pacing in Quinn and Jordan's room while the two got ready in mine and Rachel's room. Brittany had taken Beth out for a b-date. Every other month the ditzy blonde took Beth out for some fun reserved for people whose name started with B.
We had all graduated from college this past month. It had been hard and scary there in places, but we had made it. The five of us plus Beth moved to New York for college almost as soon as we graduated high school. We lived in a three bedroom apartment over a bakery.
"We're ready!" Rachel sang as she came into the room pulling me from my musings.
"Great let's go." Quinn said as she got off the bed. She was just as nervous as I was but she showed it in a different way.
We made it to our normal restaurant near our house. It was really hard to find a vegan place to eat that served food Quinn and I would eat. I could barely taste my food I was so nervous. Quinn barely touched her food either, and I could tell that our girls were getting suspicious.
An hour after we sat down I saw the waiters coming. They were carrying our surprise under silver domed platters. As they came up to our girls Quinn and I stood up just as we had practiced. We both got down on one knee as the cover was pulled of the tray. Each one contained a engagement ring that had taken months to be created.
"Will you marry me?" We asked in unison.
The crying girls looked at each other before throwing themselves in our arms. Today was the best day of my life, today was the day Rachel agreed to be my wife.