Chapter 11

Santana drove as fast as she could to the hospital. Unfortunately, she lived farther from the hospital than anyone else I knew. I spent the long ride trying not to listen to Brittany's theories about what had happened. When we finally reached our destination, we rushed to the Emergency Room waiting area and found a group already there.

Finn and Puck were sitting quietly next to each other, both staring blankly into space. Mike, Tina, and Artie were talking quietly in a corner. Kurt had his arm around Mercedes's shoulder as she sobbed in her seat. Blaine got up to let Santana and Brittany sit where he had been. He walked over to me and gave my arm a comforting squeeze.

"Hey." He said quietly.

"Have the doctors said anything yet?" I asked slowly. I was still in shock and my mind was still struggling to process everything.

"Not yet." He sighed.

"How long have you guys been here?"

"Oh, I just got here. Mercedes was here first, probably about forty-five minutes ago. Poor girl had wait alone until Kurt could get here."

"I feel so bad." I whispered to him. "I feel like I should have seen this coming."

He nodded. "I know what you mean. I always thought something was up with that family. I just never did anything about it. No one did."

Just then, the doors burst open and Quinn came running into the room. As soon as she found me, she was by my side.

"What's going on? What happened? Is he okay? All the voicemail on my phone said was that Sam's in the E.R. and the police are involved." She was panicking. I was about to ask her how she managed to drive herself to the hospital, but then I saw her mother enter the room quietly and stand off to the side.

Blaine put his hand on Quinn's shoulder and began to explain. "Sam's mom called Mercedes about an hour ago and told her that Sam was heading to the E.R. in an ambulance and that the police were arresting his father for attempted murder."

"Oh my god." Quinn's hand rose to cover her gaping mouth. "What'd he do to him?"

"Stabbed him in the back with a kitchen knife. It's incredibly and horribly ironic." Blaine whispered, glancing over his shoulder at Mercedes.

"Did Mrs. Evans say what made him do it?" I asked quietly, keeping my eye on Quinn. She looked very pale and weak.

"No." Blaine leaned in closer. "But last night at Santana's party, he drank a lot. More than I've ever seen anyone drink before. He could barely walk by the time it ended. Puck had to practically carry him out to Mercedes's car. I don't know, but that might have something to do with it."

Quinn took in a deep breath. She exhaled, trying to calm down, but her hands were still shaking as she talked. "Sam's dad is a horrible person. He's mean, he drinks, he spends a lot of time out with his asshole friends, he's a racist homophobe, he's hit Sam several times before, and he verbally abuses the whole family almost on a daily basis. Sometimes Sam is afraid to leave his little brother and sister at home when he knows his dad will be there."

"Why didn't Sam ever call the police on him?" I asked.

"He was positive his mother would never forgive him and probably be deemed unfit to care for them and that he'd be separated from his brother and sister." She answered.

Tears filled Blaine's eyes and he excused himself, hurrying off to compose himself in a corner. I wanted to hug Quinn, or at least hold her hand, but I could still feel her mother's eyes on us.

"You mom is watching us." I told her.

She didn't have to look over to know I was telling the truth. "She said I could only come up here if she came with me. She wouldn't let me drive."

"Does she…"

"Yeah, she knows about us."

"Your dad?"

"Yeah. He told her everything."

"She doesn't look too angry."

"We're in a hospital." She pointed out. "Besides, she loves Sam. She's worried about him too."

"Did you guys get to talk this morning?"

"A little." She lowered her voice. "She's not happy. Not as upset as my dad was, but she's still trying to figure out how exactly she feels about the whole thing. She said it kept her up all night. She wants to support me and all, but she's finding it hard to. She really wishes that I wouldn't be with you."

"I guess that means I won't be invited over for any family dinners any time soon."

"Probably not. But at least my mom is talking to me. She said I shouldn't expect her to accept it, but at least she's not shutting me completely. We were about to talk about if I should keep living in the house when I checked my phone." Tears began to fall from her eyes. "What if he…what if it's really bad? What if the knife hit something important? What if he bleeds to death or something? He's such a good guy, he doesn't deserve this."

I lost all concern for all of the others in the waiting room and I pulled Quinn into a hug. She cried on my shoulder as I tried to comfort her. "Hey, come on, this is no time to think like that. We need to stay positive. No more 'what if this' or 'what if that', okay?"

"You're right." She nodded, leaning out of the hug and pulling me over to sit in an empty row of seats. She removed the cross necklace from around her neck and held it in her hand. Quietly, she began to pray.

The others noticed what she was doing. Mercedes immediately got up and sat down on Quinn's other side, grabbing on to her free hand and shutting her eyes tightly. I turned to Quinn and put my arm around her shoulders. Slowly, people started to join us. First was Blaine. He pulled a chair over and held on to Mercedes's other hand. Then Kurt, despite all of his adamant proclaims of atheism. Brittany, Santana, Mike, Tina, and Artie all came over as well. Then Puck, and finally Finn.

When Puck timidly grabbed my free hand, he leaned in and whispered, "Is it okay that we're Jewish and doing this?"

"Yes, Noah." I nodded, giving him a small smile. He gave one back before he bowed his head.

In that moment, all of our differences seemed to fade away. I realized that despite each of our reasons to dislike each other and despite all of the mean things we've ever done to one another, we were all there in that circle for Sam. For that moment, no one hated Finn, no one judged Quinn, no one laughed at Puck, no one pitied Artie, no one forgot about Tina or Mike, no one was annoyed with Santana, no one looked down on Brittany, no one envied Blaine, no one put up with Kurt, no one hurt Mercedes, and for that moment we were all there and one and together and equal and united. One of us had fallen, and we all there for him. Our differences meant nothing because someone we loved was hurting.

I glanced back at the doors and saw Quinn's mom still watching us. She was wiping at her eyes with a Kleenex. With the arm that had been around Quinn's shoulders, I waved her over to us. Very cautiously, she walked to our circle. She sat down on the bench behind us and put one hand on Quinn's shoulder, and took mine with the other. Quinn paused to glance back and when she what her mother had done she began to cry.

Finn took over the prayer without missing a beat. We were like that for at least ten or fifteen minutes before someone was sent to update us. The nurse said that Sam was stable and things were going well.

Throughout the day, some of us had to leave and do other things or go to work, but we always came back as soon as we could. They moved us out of the E.R. and to a different waiting room somewhere deeper in the hospital, and that room became ours. We played cards, shared stories, sang, laughed, worked on creating a set list for Regionals, but most importantly, we spent the time together.

Quinn's mom left after we switched rooms, and she gave her daughter permission to get a ride home from one of us later on. Around dinnertime, Mrs. Evans came into the room and thanked us all for being there and said that a few of us could come visit him at a time while she went to check on Sam's little brother and sister who were being watched by a neighbor.

We let Mercedes go alone first. Finn and Puck went next. I had never paid much attention to their friendship, I just knew that despite their original arguments over Quinn, they were best friends. After them, Quinn wanted to see him and she wanted me to come with her.

We walked down the hall to his room and entered it. He was the only one in there, but the sports game that was on the T.V. supplied a quiet background noise.

"Hey." Sam smiled as we walked over to his bed. "I feel really popular tonight."

"You should." Quinn smiled back. "Everyone is here for you."

"Yeah, that's what they've been telling me." He grinned.

"We've all been really worried." She said, reaching for his hand to hold.

"Nah, look at me, I'm fine." He tried to shrug but winced at the pain it caused.

Quinn rolled her eyes. "I was seriously freaking out earlier."

"She was." I agreed.

"Hey." Sam looked at me and grinned like he had just realized I was there. "Hey, it's the lovebirds. You guys are awesome. So awesome. I love you guys."

"How many pain meds do they have you on?" Quinn laughed.

"A lot." Sam smiled wider.

"Well, I'm glad you're going to be okay. We all are." She replied.

"Going to be?" He raised an eyebrow. "Come on, I'm already better than okay. I've got an amazing girlfriend, awesome friends, I'm alive…things are better than okay. And…and I think…you know…it's whatever…and you guys…love you guys…totally, you know…"

Quinn looked over at me and we had to stifle our giggles as Sam slowly fell asleep before us. We moved away from his bed, but didn't leave the room just yet. We wanted to have a few moments of privacy.

"Thank you." Quinn whispered, pulling me into a hug.

"For what?" I held her close.

"Being here, keeping me sane, stuff like that. And for how you handled my mom earlier."

"It just seemed like the right thing to do."

"Rachel?" She held me tighter. "I love you."

I had never smiled so big before in my life as I said, "I love you too."

The next few months flew by. Before I knew it, my senior year of high school was almost over. A lot happened those months between the attack on Sam and Senior Prom though. Sam recovered quickly, and his mom was able to keep custody over him and his siblings despite his fears of them being taken away. Finn rejoined New Directions, and we also got three new members: Rory Flanagan, Sugar Motta, and Joe Hart.

As for Quinn, her mother was so moved by our prayer circle in the E.R. that she argued long and hard with her husband about where Quinn would be living. He wanted to kick her out, like Quinn predicted he would, but Mrs. Fabray was determined to not lose her daughter. She ended up giving him an ultimatum. Either Quinn stayed, or they both left. And that is the very summarized story of how Quinn's parents got divorced.

Quinn was still grounded for sneaking out and lying and whatnot, but her mother was much more lenient with her restrictions than her father had been. The best part was that it only lasted for a few weeks. By the beginning of March, Quinn was free. There were still some limitations where I was concerned, though. We weren't allowed to be at Quinn's new house alone together or in her room with the door shut at all. Quinn also wasn't allowed to spend the night at my house, but my dads agreed that that was a good idea too.

In April, we had our Senior Prom. Quinn spent most of her time preparing for the event, as she was both on the prom committee and campaigning to be voted Prom Queen. During the weeks prior to the big night, I endured many speeches on how important the title was to her. Quinn was obsessed with becoming Queen. I remember her saying, "The majority of people never remember who the president of the student body was or which cheerleader was the captain or who ran an honor society. But everyone remembers who their Prom King and Queen were. Not only is it the ultimate way to know that your peers care about who you are, it's the ultimate way to be remembered forever."

When Senior Prom finally did arrive, Quinn and I publically went together. The night was a million times better than the previous Junior Prom had been. We danced, and sang, and laughed, and had the most amazing time or our lives. I remember it well.

The only time that Quinn left my side was when she and Santana left to count the votes for King and Queen. Both of them and a girl named Missy were the nominees for Queen. For King, the nominees were Finn, another football player, and a boy from the hockey team that I had never seen before and never saw again.

When Quinn returned to me, she was smiling mischievously. Before I could ask her if she won, which I knew she must have, Principal Figgins took to the stage. "I have here the winners for this year's Prom King and Queen, as well a coupon for a free celebratory pancake from the International House Of Pancakes. Would the nominees please join me on stage at this time."

After the six nominees had made their way up to the stage, Figgins opened the envelope and said, "The winner of the 2012 Prom King is Mister Finn Hudson."

Finn stepped forward and Figgins placed a large crown on top of his head. The room grew silent as Figgins returned to the microphone and opened the second envelope. "And this year's Prom Queen, winning with the majority of write-in votes, is Miss Rachel Berry."

At first, I hadn't realized that he had said my name. But after everyone around me started to turn and stare, it hit me.

"What?" My voice was hoarse. I could feel my cheeks heating up with an intense blush, adrenaline was kicking in and making my knees shake, and Quinn's hand was gently pushing me towards the stage. I found myself walking on to the stage and then standing before the large crowd of applauding juniors and seniors.

Figgins went back to the microphone and said, "Congratulations, Finn and Rachel. Now, it is tradition that the King and Queen have their dance. Please make room, there you go. Perfect. Students, remember, we have an hour left to party. Please stay safe, make good choices, and have fun."

I was vaguely aware of Finn taking my hand and leading me back on to the floor. We started to slow dance, but my eyes were on the crowd. I searched for Quinn, and, when I found her, she waved and smiled.

"So." Finn cleared his throat. "Congrats."

"Yeah, you too."

"You look really beautiful tonight." He said awkwardly.

"Thanks. You look nice too."

He glanced over at Quinn, who was now dancing cheerfully with Santana and Brittany. "Listen, I'm sorry about everything that's happened. I've done a lot of stupid stuff in high school. There's a lot I wish I hadn't done, a lot I wish I could change. But I'm glad you found Quinn. You came into her life at the perfect time. I've never seen her this happy before. It's easy to see how much you guys love each other. I guess what I'm really going for here is, you know, that it's still tough to see Quinn with someone else, but I'm glad that someone else is you. I really hope you guys are together for a long time. Quinn needs someone to look after her…and you're the perfect person for the job."

"Thank you, Finn." I had never genuinely smiled at Finn before then.

We danced until the song ended, and then we went our separate ways. I found Quinn as soon as I could and pulled her to the side.

"Why'd you do it?" I asked the moment we were by the punch bowl.

"What, you don't like being Prom Queen?" She raised an eyebrow and smirked.

"I don't know." I touched the crown on my head and a smile forced its way on to my face. "I guess. It's still sinking in."

"The crown looks beautiful on you." She gave me a quick kiss on the lips.

"But you wanted it so badly." I pointed out.

"Yeah." She shrugged. "But there are things that I value more than a crown or a title. Rachel, you deserve this more than I ever could. The only place that you've allowed yourself to shine is in Glee Club, but tonight…tonight everyone has seen just how amazing you are. No one deserves the spotlight more than you."

"Quinn, you'll always be my Queen."

Shortly after that, the Glee Club when on stage and performed a song. Thanks to my solo and my new Prom Queen status, I was in indeed the ultimate center of attention. That night easily became the best night of my life, especially when considering what happened next.

Quinn told her mom that she was staying the night at Mercedes's house. I told my dads that I was staying at Kurt's. The truth was that we were both staying in a hotel room together. Almost everyone in Glee got rooms, all on the same floor. As soon as our Senior Prom ended, we traveled over to the hotel and the fun began.

We started together, all in the largest room that Puck had gotten for himself and for those that didn't have dates to all sleep in and share. We laughed and danced and most of the group played drinking games. When the drinking got heavier, though, Quinn and I politely departed the room. She was still struggling with being around large amounts of drinking, so we decided it was better to be safe than sorry. Not to mention that we really wanted some privacy.

We went to our own room. After Quinn locked the door, the kissing began. Then came the making out and the undressing and roaming hands and getting in the bed and the kissing my way down Quinn's body and learning what she tastes like and what it feels like to have my fingers inside of her. Quinn moaning my name as she climaxed was the most beautiful sound I'd ever heard. It was fitting, since it came from the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen.

We didn't stop there. We went until both of us were shaking, until we couldn't handle anymore. We collapsed together with our naked, pulsing bodies pressed against each other. After our breathing had regulated and our bodies had calmed down, she kissed the tip of my nose.

"I love you, Rachel Berry." She kissed me again.

"I love you, Quinn Fabray." I whispered against her lips.

"I'm glad you're all mine." She smiled.

"I'm glad I'm all yours." I smiled back.

I sang the first song that came to mind.

"And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
And sooner or later it's over
I just don't wanna miss you tonight

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am"

This brings us to the present, where I'm in a bed with the beautiful girl I love falling asleep against my chest. I don't know what the future will hold for us, but I know that we can make it. I'm prepared to spend the rest of my life with this girl. We might not appear to be the perfect match, but that's okay with me. I know I love her and I know that she loves me. Just by knowing that, I can handle anything else that life throws my way.

I'm in love with a girl who made to be broken, but I'll always be there to help her put the pieces back together.