The bar was quiet that night as Quinn Fabray threw back her fourth shot of tequila.
The place was the only one in Lima, Ohio where she could get her drink on (as Santana often put it) without fear of repercussion. The owner realized long ago that the teenage years, especially the later ones, were rough enough and once in a while, the younger generation could use a little something to take the edge off. His viewpoint wasn't popular, but none of the teens were tattling. She was glad, especially tonight; she had an awful lot to think about.
"Things can always be worse," she muttered under her breath as she took her next (fifth) shot of tequila.
"It depends. How bad are things now?"
She looked up, then to her right where the voice had come from. Her eyes narrowed as she took in the small frame of the fair-skinned blond male. (She had to resist calling him a boy; even if the owner's standards were lax, he wouldn't let a boy in the door… especially to drink whatever he'd just been served). Adorned in a red hooded cape, and a black undershirt which showed off his ruggedly handsome body, he leaned over the counter in a way that showed that this might have perhaps been the first time he'd sat down this particular day.
His golden eyes (an unusual color, she noted) were fixed on her even as he took his first shot.
She shrugged. "I don't even know you; why would I tell you?" she questioned.
He chuckled. "All the more reason to tell me, right? You wouldn't be thinkin' to drink your sixth shot of tequila if you were happy-go-lucky, would you? Plus, I'm a good listener."
She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye as she took her (sixth) shot. He was right, as much as it irritated her to admit it, because she got the feeling he'd get some kind of superiority complex about it. "Fine; but not because you wanted me to talk," she replied petulantly.
He shrugged. "I'm listening."
She pursed her lips, seemingly trying to figure out where to start. Finally, she seemed to decide and nodded; her resolve evident.
"I'm in love with a girl."
A blond eyebrow rose, and the right side of his mouth curved slightly in amusement. "Really?"
She glared at him. "It's a big deal!"
He held up his right hand, which she noted was gloved unlike his left hand. That was unusual, but she ignored it for now.
"There are a lot of problems in the world, y'know? Maybe I don't see love as one of them."
She shrugged helplessly. "But, if I come out and my parents find out, they'll kick me to the curb. They've done it before, and this time, they won't let me come back! That's kind of important, don't you think?" she exclaimed quietly, mindful of the surroundings. She was still in Lima, Ohio, and just because the owner turned a blind ear and eye didn't meant that the others wouldn't eventually take something to her parents should they hear a particularly juicy morsel.
The male nodded. "Seems like you're in a bit of a situation, Miss…"
"Quinn. Quinn Fabray."
He smiled. "Nice to meet you, Quinn Fabray."
He pointedly hadn't said his name yet, and she found that curious, but for now, much like the glove on his right hand, she'd leave it be. She knocked on the bar counter, asking for her seventh shot. The male she'd been in conversation with looked at her curiously.
"You keep it up, you won't be able to talk to me anymore."
She smiled weakly. "This isn't my first time."
"Ouch," he replied, downing his second shot before continuing, "So, what brought about this sudden panic? Find someone you like?" he preened obnoxiously, a twinkle in his eye showing his attempt to lighten her mood.
She nodded slowly, her shot forgotten for now. She'd fought her feelings for a long time, but now? She was so tired of fighting, so tired of longing and lusting and wanting from afar and never having any sort of satisfaction. In a word, she was lonely; terribly so.
He sized her up for a moment, noting the subtle change in her posture to exude even more hopelessness. He pressed on. "What are you willing to give to get her?"
Without a doubt, she spoke. "Everything, forever."
He smiled, remembering someone he would answer that question in the same way for. "What about your parents? What if I told you were certainly going to lose them, but to keep them, you had to lose your chance at your girl? What would you give to ensure you wouldn't, or would you give anything?"
She hesitated. What would she give? Her first answer had been so quick, so painless. This one… she wasn't sure about how she should answer. And she was aware that this should've been far more troubling to her than it actually was. Finally, she pushed out an answer. "I'm… not sure."
His shot glass hit the counter a bit louder than she'd been expecting, and she jumped.
"In my line of work, we have a few rules that we have to follow; plain and simple. It seems like your situation falls in the first law. If your girl is worth everything to you, and you're willing to give everything for her, so much so that you can't fathom what you would give in a situation that didn't potentially involve her? It seems your priorities are either dead wrong, or they're so far in the right that they've come around and made you believe they were in the wrong."
Her eyes widened. "I… don't want to lose my parents, my place to live… I-"
He smirked. "Ain't that hard to find a place in this world willing to take you, even if you have to go from town to town to find it."
She was uncomfortable with the tone of the conversation. Pushing her discomfort to the side (as she was hesitantly realizing that this crimson-cloaked man was speaking the truth), she looked to his glove. "What's wrong with your hand?"
He took his next shot (she'd lost count what number it was) and smiled sadly. "It could always be worse."
He set the shot glass down gently, then slowly reached over with his left hand and pulled the glove off his right hand. Below it, where she expected to see perhaps a wounded hand, instead, she saw a steel doppelganger in its place. Her eyes widened further, and he held up his left hand, again bidding her calm.
"My brother Al and I lost our mother when we were young. We tried to use alchemy to bring her back. The first law of alchemical exchange saw to it that for our trouble, we saw her lost again. Because the Gate was looking for equivalence, I lost my right arm and left leg... and my brother lost his whole body," he said, pointing off towards the door.
At one of the tables, a suit of armor sat. As they both watched for a moment, it waved, and both Quinn and the man she spoke to waved back, albeit Quinn was a bit more hesitant. For just a moment, her companion smiled.
"That's all there is to him. His soul is bound to that armor. Most places won't let him in, but the guy who owns this place is a special case; he doesn't ask any questions."
Quinn nodded slowly, finally taking her eyes off of "Al" and putting them back on her companion. He seemed to be on a roll, so she let him continue, choosing not to speak. He did not disappoint, and continued a moment later.
"Quinn, parents are important, but they're also dumb."
She laughed heartily. The person (she still didn't know his name, dammit!) who sat next to her cracked a smile, a big one, and laughed with her before continuing.
"Look, they're gonna do stupid things, and maybe someday, they'll realize they've done stupid things. But, if it comes to taking care of you and taking care of their image of you? You need to take care of you!" he finished, emphasizing his last statement with a poke to her shoulder.
Quinn's smile hadn't left, and strangely, the stranger's words made sense. If she lived everyday based on what her parent's demanded from her to maintain their image… she'd live the rest of her life like she was this night; in various bars, drunker than any ten alcoholics she knew. It would be difficult, but…
"Good. Al and me've gotta find a place to stay tonight. We'll be in town a few days, so, who knows? Maybe we'll see you 'n your girl?" he asked as he stood up, putting down enough cash to take care of both of their bills.
She nodded, but then reached out to stop him as he turned to leave. He looked to her expectantly.
"What's your name?" she asked, curiously.
He smiled. "Just call me Ed."
He began to walk away, and she called out after him, thanking him. He waved back at her as he stopped near his brother. Soon, the two were walking out of the bar, each sparing a single glance back at the girl who looked like she was in better shape than when she'd walked in a few hours previous.
Ed put his hand on his brother's back as the two walked down the street. "Yeah, Al. We did good today. Real good."
Well, there you have it. My first foray into either FMA or Glee, and I decided to do them together. That's pretty crazy, considering that the original idea had Minako… huh. Anyway. I took some liberties here, and you can consider that both universes are entirely AU, perhaps a modern day FMA with a bit more of a grown up Ed.
I've got a bit of an issue with characterizing either one of them, but I love both characters and I feel like I did all right. Who knows, maybe I didn't, but I'm pleased with my effort. Pretty sure this is a oneshot, but who knows; perhaps my muse could direct me to continue, though I'm not sure how.
Also, who is Quinn trying to get with? I'll let your imagination decide who Quinn would give up everything for.
Until next time…