Posted this on Tumblr, forgot to post it on . Prompted by TouristSeason.
Quinn pulled the door open and shivered slightly as the cold air worked its way up her body. The forecast called for snow but she rarely listened to the weather men, especially when they predicted school would be cancelled the following day. It never happened. She was starting to spite them even more because she suddenly felt blindsided by the weather. Rachel was on the other side of the dark mahogany door, fresh snow innocently blanketing her brown hair as she waited for Quinn to open the door wider for her to enter.
"It's a blizzard out there," Rachel commented as she shook off the snow from the shoulders of her jacket.
That much was obvious.
Quinn absentmindedly stared out at her front yard, barely recognizing where the pathway normally was, the only clue she had was Rachel's fresh track marks that were quickly becoming snow covered. She noted that the sky had a red hue to it as the falling snow made it hard to see further than the lamp post.
Quinn closed the door and gestured for Rachel to drape her coat over the wooden banister before she began walking up the stairs.
"How are the roads?" Quinn asked, hoping to not fall into an awkward silence. She could probably guess how the roads were.
Quinn nodded to herself, "You didn't have to come over."
She meant it in an apologetic way but most of the time her tones were misunderstood.
Truthfully, she was somewhat glad that Rachel still made the trip across town and to her house. It was clear that they wouldn't be attending school the next day so there was really no need for the two of them to finish their science lab, but she knew she would be bored the rest of the night if she didn't have something to occupy her time. Her mind tended to run off on tangents and before she knew it, she was cursed with the thoughts of Puck with Shelby and wondering if they were together with her child. Any distraction would do.
"My dads are both stuck at work, I didn't want to be alone all night."
"Don't think you're sleeping here," Quinn replied as she made a right at the top of the stairs.
"Wasn't planning on it," Rachel mumbled under her breath.
They walked into Quinn's bedroom and Rachel took a seat in front of her vanity mirror, "You have a nice room."
"Is your mom home?"
Quinn sat against her headboard and sighed, "Also at work."
Rachel nodded and folded her hands in her lap, "So, should we get started?"
"Why do you want to be my friend?"
The question clearly threw Rachel off, it threw Quinn off, too. Why would she go and invite such emotions to a harmless homework gathering? She truly was a masochist at the worst of times.
Rachel drew her bottom lip between her teeth as she stared at Quinn from across the room, "Why don't you want a friend?"
"I can take care of myself," Quinn replied matter-of-factly, but it was clear that there was little to no truth in the statement.
"While a disagreement would probably result in an argument between us, that's not why I offered to be your friend...again."
Rachel shrugged, "I don't know."
"You don't know?"
"Call me a masochist."
Quinn didn't love that they used the same word to describe themselves but it was exactly what they were. Why were they both so stubborn when it came to each other?
It was silent for at least a minute before Rachel spoke up again, "You're not a bad person."
Quinn couldn't contain the scoff as she let out a humorless laugh because it was exactly what she was thinking, "Of course I am."
"Your intentions are pure."
"No offense, but you know nothing about me."
Rachel nodded once, "You're right."
"So stop pretending you care about me."
"I'm not pretending."
Rachel's refusal to admit what Quinn swore true was aggravating.
"You should probably go before the roads get worse."
Rachel's face dropped a bit but whatever rebuttal she had prepared was lost after seeing how serious Quinn was about leaving her house.
"Can I at least copy down what you have for the lab?"
Quinn got off the bed and handed Rachel her notebook, "I'm going to get something to drink."
Why Rachel continuously tried to be her friend baffled her. Why would anyone want to be friends with someone so bi-polar? Quinn has always been a bitch, it was that simple. She didn't trust people and she sure as hell didn't trust Rachel Berry. Why she agreed to be her friend, she didn't know. But the same could go for Rachel. Clearly neither of them knew what the hell they were doing. She filled up a glass with water and didn't come up for air until there was nothing left. She glanced out of the window above the sink but couldn't see a thing. The roads were probably horrendous at that point but she couldn't bring herself to re-invite Rachel over. They'd been together for less than five minutes and already they were fighting.
She walked back up the staircase, hoping that Rachel was done copying down what she needed off the lab report and soon on her way. One, to be out of her house, and two, to make it home before the roads were un-drivable. She didn't need the weight of guilt on top of all her other worries if something bad should happen to Rachel on the way home. Her Sunday school teachers always told her that God would never give her more than she could handle but if something were to happen to Rachel, she'd surely snap.
Rachel was standing now, cradling something in her hand.
"Done?" Quinn asked.
Rachel turned around, "You kept your corsage? Why?"
Quinn crossed her arms over her chest and shrugged, "Doesn't everyone?"
"I don't know, it seemed like a good idea. If I'd known at the time that I'd one day get the inquisition from you, I probably would have thought twice about it."
"You don't have to be so mean."
Quinn sighed and sat at the edge of her bed, "I kept it because of the meaning behind it, not because I still like Finn or anything." She clarified quickly but a glance to Rachel and she found the girl's expression remained the same. She continued on hesitantly, "He put a lot of thought into it, with the ribbon and everything, and it was really pretty. It's a—"
"Gardenia, I know." Rachel replied as she gently placed the willowed flower back down exactly where she found it on top of Quinn's Junior year yearbook.
"What, he tell you that or something?"
Rachel shook her head with a small laugh, "No, I told Finn."
"Have a good night, Quinn."
Rachel turned around as she got to the bedroom door, "Is it really so hard to believe that someone would actually care about you without ulterior motives?
Quinn didn't say anything because there was nothing to say. It really was that hard to believe that anyone would care about her. That gardenia was the only thing she had as proof that someone cared about her enough to notice the small things. Was she really finding out that Rachel was the one behind it all? That Rachel has always been the only one that cared enough to notice her.
"Where were your friends when you dropped off the face of the earth this summer? Did anyone else try to get you to come back to New Directions after you quit?"
Quinn hated everything this was turning into because Rachel was answering the questions she was asking herself in her mind. Rachel was the only one that attempted to keep in touch with her over the summer. Rachel was the only one brave enough to face the Skanks when she sincerely tried to get her to come back to glee when school started. Rachel was the only one.
"Your smile is see-through, and you're fooling everyone but me, that's why I offered to be there for you. Because no one offered to be there for me when I needed someone. I get it."
Quinn swallowed, her voice lost somewhere in her throat, "Get what?"
"Get you. Do you think there is someone better qualified to sit and talk to you about Shelby? About Beth? About what it's like to see their family and not be a part of it? She's dangling that baby in front of both our faces and there's nothing we can do about it. You make it seem like I'm trying to be your friend because I feel bad for you, when it's actually because I need a friend, too."
Instead of acquiescing and accepting Rachel's heartfelt confession like she should have done, Quinn decided to push further. Rachel only had one foot out the door, literally and figuratively, but for some reason, Quinn tended to push until the door slammed in her face. Rachel repeatedly asking for her friendship wasn't enough of a commitment for her, she wouldn't be satisfied until it was written in blood. People left her to her own defenses much too often to believe pure intentions when they appeared, they were too hard to decipher so she stopped bothering. It was sad, really. It was sadder that she couldn't even understand right and wrong, or recognize the difference between truth and lies.
She couldn't even allow herself to swallow her insecurities and fears long enough to realize that a friendship with Rachel would probably be the best thing that would ever happen to her.
"You have plenty of friends, you don't need me."
Rachel shook her head, realizing that she was never going to get through the barbwire fence wrapped around Quinn's stubborn mind and soul, "Forget it," she whispered, helpless and tired. "Thanks for the notes." She held up the notebook before turning and walking back down the hallway.
Quinn sat, relatively still with a glazed over look in her eyes, for about a minute as she tried to do the simple math that never seemed to add up correctly. It was frustrating and beyond infuriating that she could never get anything right. They drew a line freshman year when Quinn decided to choose popularity over friendship, and Rachel set it in stone when she decided to pursue Finn. The animosity and built up anger had nothing to do with Finn but everything to do with Rachel. That was where everything became lost in translation and too confusing to figure out. It didn't have to be as hard as she was making it.
She had to admit, she didn't love the idea of being a charity case but Rachel wasn't making her into one…she was kind of just willing to be there when needed. If there was one thing that was proved tonight, it was that Rachel honestly cared about her enough to notice the little things and that was enough for her.
She could use a friend that sided with her occasionally, but got real with her when it was called for. She needed someone that would know the answer to a question without having to ask. Someone that wouldn't bother to ask how she was because it was clear that she would breakdown at any moment. She wanted someone that could sit with her in silence without feeling the anxious need to pry everything out of her mind. She wasn't sure if Rachel could handle the last one but so far the brunette had surprised her in every way that night so she really needed to start giving her more credit.
She wanted someone that would risk their life and their car to drive across town in a blizzard because they made plans.
"Shit," Quinn mumbled under her breath as she snapped out of a daze. She looked to her door frame, finally realizing that Rachel walked out of her house. Quinn finally pushed her far enough away to prove her ridiculous point, only to realize that Rachel was what she needed all along. But could she be the friend Rachel was hoping she'd be?
She'd find out, eventually.
She skidded across the marble tiling in the foyer as she pulled the door open to reveal a white mess. She didn't have time to put her snow boots on because Rachel was just about done getting the snow off her windows.
When she'd recall the scene later that night, she'd muse at how Rachel couldn't ignore her even when she was trying to.
"What are you doing?" Rachel asked, snow quickly covering her hair and jacket shoulders, she gasped as she looked at Quinn, "Where are your clothes?"
Quinn briefly looked down as she remembered that she was wearing her old Cheerios shorts and a t-shirt, the cold hadn't hit her yet but at least she was wearing socks.
"Why a Gardenia?"
Quinn nodded, "Why. Why even help him at all? What was in it for you?"
"Nothing," Rachel stuttered, misunderstanding Quinn's tone once again. "I swear."
"I was going to prom with the boy you love and you tell him what kind of corsage to get me? It doesn't make sense."
Rachel glanced around, as if the answer would somehow find its way to her lips. She shrugged instead.
"Come back inside," Quinn replied.
Rachel shook her head, "I should really get home, it's getting worse."
"You can't drive home in this."
"I'll be fine," she replied, but the uncertainty was evident.
The cold began to make itself known to Quinn's bare skin, or maybe it was the cold pain in her chest, "I won't be." The certainty as powerful as their locked gazes.
Rachel swallowed and once again glanced to her side, a habit that tended to appear whenever she was in the middle of a serious conversation, "Okay."
Quinn waited, not sure if it meant that Rachel accepted her confession but didn't care to do anything about it or if she was agreeing with Quinn's plea to come inside. She held her breath as Rachel opened her driver side door and didn't release it until she heard the engine cut off and saw the headlights dim. Rachel was staying.
Quinn walked closer to the car, her emotions getting the best of her as she felt her eyes welling up with tears. Rachel opened her back door and pulled out a pink duffel bag.
Rachel saw the curious gaze of Quinn's and motioned towards the bag filled with overnight essentials and clothes, "Just in case."
Quinn's socks were soaked from the snow beneath her feet, and her legs had goose bumps from the cold air, but nothing would keep her from throwing her arms around Rachel and burying her face into her neck in relief.
Rachel wasn't giving up on her.