dedication: to romance.
notes: basically I ship this regardless of anything. I also haven't watched any of the new episodes. Whatever.
summary: In an hour, she would be married. And she would be happy. — Quinn, Puck.
In an hour, she would be married.
The dress was a dream of corseted silk and tulle. It brushed along the floor, whispering soft grace as she moved. Pure white—that was a joke, wasn't it—and embroidered all over with lace and beads and diamonds and pearls. A lovely thing.
But it wasn't like Quinn at all.
Quinn didn't even look around. She pressed her fingers to the bodice of her dress, counted down to ten sad and somber before she spoke. "Hey."
"You look good."
"I should. It is my wedding day," she said. There was a casual sort of cruelness in it, like she knew exactly where to hit to make it hurt. And she did, because she was Quinn; she'd been a queen once, and the poison of that time lingered still. She knew how to build up, tear down, and leave everyone in her wake speechless. It wasn't hard.
"Yeah, it is," he coughed the words like a smoker. It seemed a little easier.
"Why are you here, Puck?"
Ten years, and she still called him by his high school nickname. There was something wrong with that, probably.
"You don't have to do this."
She caught his eye in the mirror, hard-edged and steel-solid. She set her jaw, a sharp recourse in the way she pressed her lips together. "I want to."
"You're a bad liar, babe. Always were," Puck said easily. He lifted his shoulders and Quinn thought—been there, done that, stop thinking about it, it's been a decade—
"I'm not lying. He loves me and he'll take care of things," she said, and fussed with her bangs. "Beth can go to college."
He scoffed. "Like you did?"
No tears stung along her eyelids; just rage. That was a low blow. But if they were talking low blows, Quinn could do one better.
(She could always do one better.)
"She's smart, Puck. She needs to be protected. But you couldn't even do that right, could you?" Quinn asked. And she watched him wince, vindicated.
"So, yes, I do want to do this," Quinn said, soft.
They stood in awkward silence for a minute. He looked at his hands and all the unspoken things between them hung like curdled milk, thick and unsavoury.
"You gonna be happy, Quinn?"
Quinn breathed in, and stepped towards him 'til there was no space left between them, and pressed her forehead to the crook of his neck. For the tiniest moment, she was suddenly sixteen again. Sixteen and selfish and stupid and sort of drunk but not really, and she liked Puck. She liked him so much because he was selfish and stupid and sort of drunk, too, and they'd been a little bit okay. Maybe.
"I don't… know." Quinn whispered.
He didn't link his arms around her, and she stepped back so that she didn't have to touch him anymore. She kind of smiled up at him with a tear in the pit of her eye.
"I should probably go," Puck muttered.
He walked to the door, arms swinging a slow kind of waltz, and then jerked to a stop. He glanced over his shoulder; took one last long look. "You do look good. Just… yeah. You do."
"Thanks," Quinn smiled. "That means… a lot."
He nodded, once, a jerky movement that wouldn't have looked out of place in a circus. Then he was out the door and disappearing out of the church.
Quinn nearly collapsed into a chair, fighting the tears. She tipped her head back. Closed her eyes.
"I don't think happiness is really in the cards for me. Sorry, Puck."
And then she stood up and went to fix her makeup.
In an hour, she would be married.