A/N: Obviously slightly AU since it's a crossover fiction. Takes place approximately S2Ep2 or so from the Misfits end, and post-graduation from the Glee side. Nathan has risen and the Superhoody/Alisha relationship has not yet been revealed (trying not to give spoilers!). Title credit: lyric from Creep, by Radiohead.
If you don't care for crossovers, then how did you even get here? Further A/N after.
WARNING: This fiction contains descriptions of gore.
There was a blonde cheerleader sobbing in the locker room.
Considering all the things Simon had witnessed in his time at the community center, this was tame. Though no less uncomfortable. He was half tempted to go invisible just to get his things from the locker and get out of there. The rest of the gang had ditched him hours ago, once Shaun the probation worker had buggered off for the day. Leaving Simon to sort the rest of the supplies for the coming weekend's community events alone. All he wanted was a cold drink and the "comforts" of home.
He was see through and passing by the girl when he noticed the blood. It just wasn't a day in community payback without some form of violence or gore.
He couldn't figure out exactly where the blood was coming from, just that it was beginning to pool around the blonde where she sat slumped against a wall of lockers, staining darker her already red uniform. It wouldn't really have mattered if she was bleeding out, except that for once Simon wasn't the one who had inflicted the fatal wound. Nor could any of the other ASBO gang have, as far as he could figure. It would be better to try to keep the girl from dying he decided, reappearing as he knelt beside her.
"Are you alright?" he asked with his usual wide-eyed curiosity.
"Fucking Christ!" she exclaimed at his appearance. "Where the hell did you come from?" Her accent was American, her voice smokey behind her tears.
"Sorry. It's a... bad habit of mine, sneaking up on people." She was wiping vigorously at her eyes and face with the backs of clenched fists, which is when Simon realized that blood seemed to be trickling from her hands. It was all beginning to look like a terrible Hollywood horror film. "You seem to be bleeding profusely."
"So I am. How observant of you." Her sobs had stopped, but a sort of anguish was still rocking her body. Simon watched her limbs tense and contract in strange spasms and he wondered if she were about to die.
"What's happened to you? Can I help you? Should I call for an ambulance?"
The girl stared into the wide, wild looking grey-green eyes of the boy kneeling in the blood emanating from her. If she'd had any sense of composure she might have registered that he didn't look "all there." But she wasn't really worried about this strange guy, or his random appearance out of thin air, nor much of anything other than staying alive.
"It's too complex to explain. Let's just say I lost control and... got hurt." She was beginning to gasp for breath again, though her tears were subsiding. "I don't know if you can help, but you can try. But whatever you do, don't. call. an. ambulance." She over-enunciated and widened her eyes to match his. She seemed to be experiencing a panic attack. Simon found himself staring into watery hazel green pools, as if he were looking up at trees through pond water.
"Alright," he awkwardly ventured a hand on her shoulder. "What can I do?" He scanned her body and noted also that blood was seeping from her once-white tennis shoes.
"I don't know. Calm me down? Distract me."
"Alright." He struggled for an idea of what might be considered comforting. He gave her shoulder a squeeze and maneuvered around to face her straight on. "What's your name?"
"Quinn," she gasped. "Quinn Fabray."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Quinn Fabray." He offered her a clumsy smile. "I'm Simon."
She attempted to smile back but succumbed instead to a wave of spasms.
"You're American then, Quinn?" She nodded. "And a gymnast? A cheerleader?" A nod. "Are you with the weekend clinic?" A nod. "Alright... Well. How are you liking Wertham? Everything you dreamed it would be?"
She laughed cynically, and her eyes met his again. "Lovely," she managed before her laugh became a choking cough. She struggled to clear her airways and grasped at her own throat, leaving dark red stains against her pale skin. An inky, globular mass extricated itself from her mouth and fell into Quinn's lap.
Her throat now clear, Quinn desperately pulled air into her lungs. She began to hyperventilate, and Simon feared she would pass out. She slumped further towards the tile.
"Quinn? Quinn! Breathe! Can you hear me?" Her hazel eyes were sharp with fear. "Relax. Breathe, Quinn!"
Simon gathered her into his arms to keep her from crashing to the locker room floor. He took her hand, squeezing her limbs, willing her to stay alive. After witnessing and causing so many deaths in this community center, Simon was resolved that this girl would not die. He was far from absolution, but it had to be at least one point in his favor.
Sticky blood was soaked into Quinn's uniform, and caked onto Simon's jumpsuit. While he rubbed her arms and tried to encourage them both to breathe evenly Simon noticed that the blood on her wasn't slick and fresh anymore. The flow was subsiding. "Is it getting better?"
"I think so," Quinn whispered, looking down at her open hands. Simon followed her gaze and saw what looked to be a round wound in her palm scabbing over. "I'm covered in it, aren't I? So are you."
"It's not that bad really. For once this jumpsuit's done its job. I'm afraid your uniform got the worst of it." He was beginning to feel uncomfortable again, holding a superhumanly bloody cheerleader on the floor of the community center locker room. "And your, um... legs..." He blushed, his eyes going wide as can be again.
"Can you help me up?"
"I don't think you should stand. I don't think it's physically possible for someone to stand after losing that much blood."
"It's not all my blood." Her voice was low but dismissive, as if what she had just said was not as important as her getting up. "Just help me to the shower. I need to get it off before it all dries to my skin."
Simon half supported, half carried the girl over to a shower stall. Regardless of whose blood it was or wasn't, Quinn couldn't really stand on her own, and they collapsed together onto the shower deck. Simon reached up and turned the water on over both of them. Quinn's movement was slow as she scraped away the gore under the cold water. In awkward silence, Simon rubbed more vigorously at her limbs, helping to wash away the sanguine fluid. Bloody water continued to pour off her saturated uniform, however, and Simon extricated himself so that Quinn could peel away the offensive clothes.
While Quinn washed Simon took the opportunity to clean himself up, changing out of the orange jumpsuit and into his own things. And as he re-dressed he considered the possibility of a girl bleeding to death without dying. They had seen stranger things on the estate since the storm that had turned him part-time invisible, so there was always a chance something supernatural was at work. But Quinn was American, and stereotypically so. So how could...?
Simon's reasoning was interrupted by Quinn calling from the shower. He was embarrassed as he helped Quinn up and into a towel, and did all he could to respect her modesty. He sat her on a bench against the wall and followed her instructions to locate her locker and bring her duffel to her. Her cheeks were ever so slightly flushed, and his eyes were perpetually wide in discomfort. Or was it curiosity?
Quinn was calmer. And no longer oozing her own life force. And somewhere in her mind she began to wonder about this young man in an orange jumpsuit who was helping her. She was still too out of sorts to really worry about it, though, and was just happy not to have been alone through it all. When she let Simon know it was alright to turn around again, she was somewhat surprised by his appearance. She hadn't been paying attention to his clothes when he'd come back to help her out of the shower.
He wore a dark blue button up, black pants, and leather shoes. A black hoody hung from his hand. He was clean cut and handsome, even with his perpetually wide grey eyes. She smiled at him.
"How are you feeling?"
"Better. Thank you."
She wore a simple, floral dress with a belt around the waist, and a cardigan, eschew, on her shoulders. She looked more like a titled, university girl than a cheerleader. The bad horror movie was no more.
"I don't think I can just leave you here. Can you stand?"
"Not yet. It takes three days." She grappled with her cardigan, trying to get her arms through.
"What do you mean?"
"It's... a long story. I suppose you deserve to know at this point." Her eyes met his wild ones. "Can we get out of here first, though?"
"Alright. Where do you want to go?"
"Anywhere. Just get me outside."
Simon stowed her bag back in the locker, and threw the unsalvageably stained cheer uniform into the rubbish bin. He found one of the wheelchairs Nathan had messed about in once before, and wheeled Quinn out to the roof overlooking the lake. He settled into one of the chairs that had been left there by previous rooftop loungers, and waited. And listened.
"You're going to think I'm crazy, but you'll have no choice but to believe me after what you saw. I... have a... curse. You see, there was this storm several months ago, and weird shit started happening." Simon found it strange to hear Quinn swear while looking like a country club débutante.
"It was right before graduation, and we were all out on the football field at school. American football. The storm came in really fast, and we didn't have time to get everyone inside. There were five of us... It felt like we were struck by lightning, I guess. And then everything changed.
"Puck was the first to notice because he started crushing doorknobs and accidentally taking doors off their hinges left and right. He's like the Hulk, only not huge and green.
"Then Brittany started popping in and out of existence. She was there one minute, and then poof! Gone. She was never the sharpest tool in the shed, so we couldn't figure out where she was popping off to, but she always popped back in the same spot she left us. Sometimes hours later, sometimes just a few minutes."
Quinn glanced in Simon's direction, but his face remained the mask of embarrassed curiosity, so she continued.
"Santana has it worst. She bursts into flames when she gets angry. Which is often. It doesn't consume her, but everything around her goes up, including her clothes.
"Blaine's change is subtlest, in a sense. He picks up on emotional charge and sort of, instinctively does whatever the person needs. At first it was great because he could 'read' what his boyfriend wanted and then do the perfect things to please him. But he can't really control it, and he ended up pleasing a few people who weren't his boyfriend, and... well..."
His expression hadn't changed, but Simon was now sitting at the edge of his seat, leaning in to absorb Quinn's words. Quinn searched his face before dropping her eyes to her lap.
"And then I... started bleeding. It only happens now and again, but it's hard, and it's painful. I don't go to the movies anymore because even that can set it off. I can't..." She sighed. "I can't be around traumatic things. I can't watch people shoot each other on the big screen, or go to the hospital to see my grandma, or... or walk by the women's shelter. Because there's a chance I'll start bleeding. I don't know where it comes from, but most of it seems not to be mine.
"Once it happened while we were visiting my grandmother, and so of course they admitted me and tried to stem the flow, and ran all these tests. But my blood pressure doesn't drop enough to account for the blood loss, and when they tested what was collected from the incident, there were all kinds of blood types and diseases that I don't actually have. Needless to say, they were weirded out, and wanted to keep me for more testing and blah blah. It was like a bad science fiction movie. At least my mom knew well enough to get me out of there...
"And then I came here, because stupidly I thought I wouldn't have to worry about it in a giant city in an entirely different country. Because why would there be trauma at a cheer clinic in the great old U.K.?" Her words dripped with bitterness. She sighed and looked back to Simon's face. His eyes were crinkled, and his mouth pursed into a funny sort of smile.
"And you have remained awfully quiet. Contemplating pushing the insane girl off the roof?"
"No. But it wouldn't be the first time it's happened." His smile broadened, but not deviously. "I don't think you're insane Quinn."
"Don't you?" Her voice was full of disbelief, her eyes narrow. He shook his head. "Why not?"
"Because I can turn invisible."
"Don't fuck with me, Simon."
"I'm not. I turn invisible." His face remained a smiling mask of sincerity, and Quinn was tempted to believe him. "We had a storm here as well. I have a friend who's immortal."
"Can you show me?" Quinn's eyes were wide as Simon's usually were, her mouth curved up into a hungry smile.
"Don't look straight at me, or I can't concentrate. Just look ahead, but keep me in your peripheral vision."
Quinn complied, but then turned to ask "But how will I know you've disappeared?" and found an empty chair. "Simon?" She glanced about, but could not see him. She attempted to wheel herself around in the chair, but didn't spot him anywhere on the roof balcony. "Simon?" she called again, a bit anxiously.
And then she felt a hand on her shoulder. A hand that wasn't a hand.
Willing herself not to look, she reached up to touch his hand on her shoulder. It was there. She could feel the contours of his fingers, and the slight dusting of fine hairs on the back of his wrist. When she couldn't help herself, she finally looked back to where she expected Simon would be, and saw nothing. Thin air.
Then the hand left her shoulder, and she felt as though someone stepped away. And there he was. Simon, in his hoody and blue shirt buttoned up to the collar. Quinn's face broke into a beautiful smile, but even in the half-dark of the cool night he could see tears in her eyes.
"What's wrong, Quinn?" He stepped in and crouched beside her at eye level.
She shook her head, fighting back the tears. "I was thinking 'finally, someone else will understand,' but... But you aren't cursed at all."
"Quinn, I..." He was lost for words. Wild-eyed once more he took her hand.
"That storm essentially ended any chance of a life I ever had. But you've been given a gift..." She sniffed and wiped away the few droplets that had managed to escape. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to sound jealous. But I guess I am..."
"Quinn, I don't think you're cursed," his eyes were filled with earnest. "I think you may have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to these powers, but I don't think you're cursed. You just haven't learned how to use the power yet."
"Power? Like a superhero? Right. 'Here comes BleedingGirl, to ruin clothing and white table clothes!'" The sarcasm and hurt wouldn't leave her voice. Simon gathered her hands carefully into his and sat beside her once more, gazing into her face.
"That's not what I meant. I mean... You're power is connected to trauma, right? So you learn to control the blood and go to work for the police, or Scotland Yard, or something. You could investigate and solve violent crimes. Bring about justice and all that." Although he didn't feel entirely comfortable in saying it because of all the horrible crimes he himself had committed, he did mean what he said.
"We don't have Scotland Yard in the States."
He laughed at her comment. "Out of all that, that's what you took from it. The FBI, then."
"Do you think it's possible?" She tried to meet his laughter with a small smile. "Do you think I can control it?"
"Yes, I believe you can. If nothing else, you could plant evidence to get your verdict." Her eyes betrayed her lack of understanding. "I think maybe you bleed for people. I think you die for them, without really dying... Do you understand what I mean?"
She shook her head, eyes locked on his grey irises. "No. Maybe? Explain it to me?" His hands were hot with excitement where they held hers. The wounds in her palms, and on the soles of her feet were tightening as they scabbed over. Everything felt tense with possibility and anticipation. Maybe Quinn had found someone to understand her after all. Perhaps better than herself.
"So, you said your friend became empathic and instinctive of what other people want or need in emotional situations. Right?" She nodded. "Well, I think you've got an empathic power as well, except, instead of emotion, you feel people's traumas. Or even their deaths, as the case may be. And that seems to represent itself through the blood. I think you're bleeding their blood." A nod.
"Now you sound insane. But I think I believe you." Her smile brightened a bit, feeling as though they were sharing a secret camaraderie. His eyes had been searching her, sweeping her face as he spoke, and now his face split into that funny smile.
"I'll help you, if you like! We can figure it out together!" His voice was full of warmth and excitement, and it was contagious. But with the excitement came a certain clarity to Quinn's exhausted mind.
"I'd like that. But I'm only here this week, and then we go on to Cambridge."
"Oh," his face fell and he dropped her hands, turning abruptly to face straight ahead.
"But until then," Quinn tried to scoot herself around to see Simon's face, "Until we go on, and while I'm getting my legs back, will you help me?"
He turned to face her, but his eyes were mirthless, and his smile restrained. "Alright."
"Thank you," her smile was weak and hesitant again, as well.
Her hair had mostly dried from the haphazard shower, and there were loose curls in it. Her eyes were hazel: primarily green, with just a touch of golden brown. Even with color returning to her cheeks, her skin was pale, smooth looking. Long eyelashes, elegant nose, half-full lips the color of sea shell insides. Her face was perched on a statuesque neck, on an equally lithe and appealing body. Her hands in her lap were long fingered and delicate looking. Her legs leanly muscled.
She watched him take her in. It wasn't an unfamiliar experience, but somehow it felt new. This was the first time anyone who knew the extent of her curse, her power, had appraised her. Simon hadn't taken the opportunity he'd had to leer at her naked body back in the locker room; but now, with her modesty restored, his gaze burned with curiosity. It almost made her feel whole, in a way. His grey eyes skimmed over her and knit her calm back together with their eerie light.
"Simon?" She reached out a hand, and he took it. His thumb traced the tight skin around the scabbed tissue. He looked into her eyes and saw that watery light dancing in them once more. "Will you do something for me?"
Her skin blushed an attractively dark pink.
"Will you kiss me?"
There was one stray smudge of dried brown blood on her jawline, just below her ear. His free hand went to it, rubbing it away as he stood to face her. Her eyes closed as he leant over her, his breath hot across her skin.
"You are not cursed, Quinn Fabray."
And he kissed her.
A/N: Thank you for reading through! Please feel free to review if you feel so inclined! There are a number of things wrong with this fic, I'm sure. There are also a number of things wildly right with it, too. There may just be a bit too much symbolism trying to work its way out in there. I'm a strong believer in the notion that if it needs to be explained, it's not well written, however, in this case I can't help but give some extra detail.
Yes, Quinn's power is meant to resemble stigmata. I attempted to draw more than a few parallels between Quinn and our dear Jesus (I'm taking Comparative World Religion right now, so I do not intend to alienate readers of other faiths. I myself am agnostic, and I just found the idea of drawing in faith intriguing). Considering the role of faith in Quinn's home life in S1, I felt that drawing on strong symbolism wasn't out of the question for her character or her power.
Initially, Blaine's power was meant to be the opposite of Alisha's, in that if he touched someone he would be inexplicably drawn to pleasure them in exactly the way they wanted. But I decided that would be a little racy, and weird for Quinn to describe to Simon, so I toned it down (but if anyone has interest in reading that story, let me know).
I couldn't really figure out how to work in a way for Quinn to realize that Simon was part of the cause of the trauma she must have picked up on to set off her episode. Initially, I had wanted there to be a play of fear in each other, but it became too complex, and I wanted to keep the length down. Quinn would fear why Simon had made the jump from bodily trauma to death, and Simon would fear that Quinn knew how and by whom the people she felt had been hurt or killed. It all just got SO dramatic. Anyway!
This is a ridiculously long A/N, and if you have read through this as well, I thank you. Sincerely, the PuffleHuff