A/N: There are a lot of these post 3X14 fics go around. My own probably seems unoriginal, but I needed to write something. But because of all of the somber fics running around (they're all amazing of course) I wanted to know if anybody would be interested if I continued this? It wouldn't be long, probably three chapters. But would people be interested if I continued?

A/N 2: And thanks for stopping by and checking it out. Also, not beta'd. So all mistakes are mine. And I also do not own Glee or its characters. If I did, then we may not have been in this dilemma with 3X14 (although if any of you have read "Trauma" than that kind of isn't true...my first fic and I put them both in a car crash, what!) Anyway back on topic. Thank you all again, you're all great.


February 17th, 4:14pm

"QUINN WHERE ARE YOU?"

Rachel can feel her fingers trembling as she types out a reply. Everyone's eyes are on her, and she can feel all of their gazes boring into her back like a heavy weight. She just wants to wait. Just a little bit longer. The clock ticks on the wall nearby, and she shuts her eyes, letting her phone drop to the seat in front of her. Kurt looks over sympathetically, and Tina smiles. She would smile back if she didn't suddenly feel so wrong.

"C'mon Rachel, our time is almost up. If we're gonna do this, it has to be now." He's worried about their time slot. She can see his shoulders tensing beneath his borrowed tuxedo. And she wants to tell him that it will all be all right, but she simply doesn't know. She needs more time. Quinn promised her she would be there, and she needs today to be perfect. She needs to be able to turn around at the altar and settle her eyes on grounding hazel – to know – that she's done right. That she's made the right choice after all.

But another minute ticks by and she can hear Santana and Mercedes sighing behind her. They've all become impatient, and everything has suddenly spiraled out of Rachel Berry's control.

"Please, she told me she'd be here."

She's near tears. She can feel the lump in her throat rising, and the prickling of tears behind her eyelashes. She'll ruin Carol's make-up job, she can already feel the mascara eclipsing her lower lashes and running a murky line down her suddenly hot cheeks. This isn't how today was supposed to happen. They were supposed to win Regionals, and then celebrate her wedding – as a family. And one of their own has suddenly been left behind. And she can't explain the emptiness that she feels at the loss.

With every second that blonde hair doesn't appear from behind wooden doors – she feels her heart breaking that much more. And as Finn smiles at her, trying to reassure her – she smiles back weakly. She can't let them see her fear, or her disappointment. Her bridesmaids follow behind her as their party makes their way to the Justice of the Peace. The bouquet of Gardenias in her hand suddenly feels much too heavy.

"Are you ready?"

He squeezes her hand, trying to comfort her. And she nods. She doesn't pay attention as her gaze drops again. She turns her head to the side to look down the long hallway that leads to the front of the building. And there is no blonde, or hazel eyes, or rosy cheeks in sight. And everything that she has left – is suddenly swept up into the stifling air. A hand comes to rest on her shoulder, and she looks up into calculated blue-grey eyes. Kurt. He reads her so easily nowadays. And for once – she's actually thankful. He gives her another squeeze as he pockets her cellphone into his dress pants. And he leans in close to whisper into her ear.

"Don't worry…she'll come. I'll keep you posted."

And she wants to sob, and bury him in her arms. Because somehow, Kurt Hummel understands – but she can't do that, instead she nods once. Bringing up a hand to wipe the collection of moisture at the tips of her eyes, before Finn pulls her past ornate wooden doors and down a marble hallway. She's enclosed in a small bubble of her closest friends and family, on her way to the happiest moment of her life. But with every step, and every progression down marble flooring – she feels her heart breaking just a little bit more with every passing second.

And a trail of the shattered pieces are all that she has left…and all that she'll remember.


February 17th, 4:15pm

"QUINN WHERE ARE YOU?"

The words are black, and loud on her screen. It's almost like she can hear Rachel yelling at her through the device. And she would smile, if she weren't running so late. So much for shortcuts, she thinks. It was on a whim that she turned down Davis instead of going her usual route into town via Fordham. But Davis is one long strip. It passes farmland and borders the outskirts of the Lima Township. But it's much faster than Fordham, and all of the traffic lights that no doubt would be in her way.

She can smell the crops and manure, even though her windows are closed. And if she weren't used to it, she would grimace for sure. But this is Ohio, and things like this are normal. She shouldn't be picking up her cell phone. She's completely aware of the increased danger of texting while driving. But there is no by-law for it in this state. And just this once…she needs to reply.

Because she will be there. She may not be happy with the outcome of this situation, but she needs to know that Rachel is happy. Her heart has already been ripped to pieces over the last few months…and although it will hurt her more than heal her to bear witness to her emotional future as it dwindles down the drain. She's doing this for Rachel, and Rachel deserves her well wishes. No matter how uninspired they may actually be.

57mph… the speed limit on Davis is 60, and she knows that she isn't being foot heavy on the accelerator. She lets it coast and grabs for the cell phone. Just this once…and she can feel her fingers tap out against the screen, writing out an assurance that she holds to be true. She's ten minutes away. She'll be there, for no one else but Rachel Berry. She'll be there.

"ON MY WAY"

She hears it before she sees it. At the intersection of Davis and Greene. She can hear the squelch of screeching tires, before she turns her head. And she knows that something is wrong. A car honk signals in the air between her as her thumb hits "SEND" and as her eye catches the road sign at the intersection she's just sped through. She realizes that she completely over thought her distance. She thinks she has time to hit the brakes, maybe reverse. She still hasn't seen the vehicle – she won't know until later that it's a Ford F350, with a raised suspension.

And just as the fear clenches at her heart strings, and the ringing in her ears grows unbearably louder – she thinks that maybe – she won't be making it the wedding after all.

The moment that metal clashes with the small metal of her VW bug…is almost surreal. Her vision spirals, and she can feel the car flipping and tossing with the inertia of contact. And there is pain everywhere. She can hear the crunch of glass as it hits her eardrums, and as her world tumbles around her, and her body breaks in ways that aren't at all natural – the only thought that crosses her darkening mind is…

"Rachel…I'll be there…please don't start without me. I'll be there."


February 17th, 4:42pm

They missed their time slot. By five minutes.

And as they all sit in the lobby waiting for Finn to see if they can get a new time for the afternoon, Rachel sinks. She folds into her chair and her heart aches. She feels guilty – for pulling everyone through this. She can't wipe away the disappointment etched across Finn's face as they were told that their time had officially run out.

But she won't let him know, that she feels even worse – because Quinn still has not made it. And while it pains her to be the reason for this failed extravangza, she doesn't believe that she could have done it without the blonde anyway. And she can't even begin to understand what that means. She can see Finn walking out from the lobby desk with a smile on his face. He's holding a small slip of paper – and Rachel can feel her heart sink even farther into her chest. She just wants to rip of her dress to pieces, and run home. She wants to cry on top of her bed – she's heartbroken and she doesn't understand why.

"Good news. One of the couples cancelled an hour ago. They've got an opening at 5:45. Which is in an hour."

She should be smiling – but she can't. She raises her head and casts a glance at all of her family surrounding her. It seems that it's not only her who's been affected by Quinn's absence. She can see the worry on Mercedes, Sam and Santana's faces. She can feel it in her own. And a sense of foreboding has consumed the few of them in this beautiful lobby. Because all of a sudden – something feels completely wrong. She asks Kurt for her cellphone again and he pulls it out of his pocket sadly. There are no new messages. And when she calls Quinn's number, she gets nothing. Just static. There's no dial tone, or signal failure. But a flurry of white noise that crushes her more than anyone could possibly know. Because that isn't natural. And as the cold settles around her, she knows that something has gone terribly wrong.

And almost eerily, her fears are reassured. The phone rings like background noise, grabbing all of their attention. There's no way to describe how it feels, to know that you're world is crumbling around you. Rachel Berry would never be able to understand where she went wrong. Sue Sylvester clears her throat as she retrieves her cell phone from her track suit pocket. And Rachel can see the way her eyebrows furrow together at whoever must be calling – she looks almost…is that shock? And when she raises the cell phone to her ear. The silence in the room engulfs them all, as they listen unabashedly.

"Sylvester."

"Judy. It's good to hear from you again, it's –"

And her words die off into the air. A frown replaces the indifference once framing her lips. And as they all watch mist begin to form in those cold eyes. They know the world as they know it has ended. Because Sue Sylvester cries for no one, and Rachel already knows who's at the end of that line. But that only makes it hurt worse.

"I understand. Everyone's here, I'll let them know. Some of us will meet you there…Judy, please keep me posted."

The phone call ends and all of the parents look on with confusion. She can see the etchings of worry cross Carol Hudson-Hummel's face – because she knows Judy. And she knows Quinn, and perhaps it's a mother's intuition. But she can feel the foreboding in the air, and Rachel has the sudden urge to run into her arms. Instead she's left sitting on her chair, with a billowing white gown engulfing her. Surrounded by bridesmaids and groomsmen who are just now beginning to feel the fear rattle their bones.

"What's wrong?"

Finn has never been the brightest. And as his innocent words ring through the silence, they watch as Sue turns away, shielding them all from her face as she absolutely breaks. And they watch as Will Schuester goes to her, whispering into her ear. And as she whispers back – they watch his mouth open into a blood curdling "O". And they don't miss the glistening in his eye as he turns around to face his students and their parents. He looks like he might fall from the weight of his grief. Perhaps he will.

"Quinn…" He brushes at his eyes as he lets one of his hands curl up into a fist and hit the wall with a soft thud. " Quinn, uh…she…she's been in an accident."

Santana is the first to rise out of her chair, her words are venomous, angry – but all of them know it's because she's hurting. And she doesn't know what to do, or how to confide in anyone else besides Brittany.

"What the fuck does that mean Mr. Schue…?" When she doesn't get an answer she turns her words over to Coach Sylvester. "Sue?" And this time, she whispers…her voice breaking on the lone syllable. All of her anger replaced by pain, and uncertainty – Rachel feels like she understands. Rachel feels like she'll die from the sudden pang of grief in her chest. And whatever is left of her heart, bursts into flames and falls to the floor between her trembling feet as she falls to her knees on the marble floor – scuffing her white dress as she bows her head down to the marble, letting the tears drip onto the cool surface.

"That was Judy Fabray. Quinn was on her way here…for the wedding. She was hit by a truck at the intersection of Davis and Greene. T-Boned on the driver's side. She's on her way to Lima General now in an ambulance. All we know is that she's in critical condition. Nothing else."

And as the words sink in. One by one they fall like flies. And no one comes for Rachel, who has already broken on the floor – because they're all breaking too. She doesn't know how long she lies there, with her face pressed into the marble. But at some point she feels strong arms lift her from the ground and cradle her, as she's carried out into bright sunlight, and shuffled into the backseat of a waiting car.

"Sweetheart, eyes on me okay. Keep your eyes on me." Burt Hummel. He clicks her seatbelt in place before running to the driver's side door. She doesn't notice her father's sitting in the other seats. One of them ushering in Noah Puckerman. They don't comment on the way he slams his fists into the window, breaking his knuckles before he lets his face fall between his lap. They don't say anything because they're struggling too – and they'll clean the blood off of the window later today without another word. Because the wounds are too fresh now.

And Rachel listens to Mr. Hummel. Her would be father-in-law. She levels her pooling eyes with his, and she wants to scream, she wants to give up as the car accelerates. But she keeps them on the rearview mirror as the sobs escape her throat. She leaves them on Burt Hummel – so that she won't lose herself entirely.


February 17th, 5:30pm

The emergency room is full, and rank with the smell of sterilization and illness. She almost vomits. The news of Quinn's status has come in small blurts and texts. She still has no use of her legs as she sits down in a waiting room chair. Burt had to carry her in. She passed by the smeared blood on the window and paled, turning her head away as she was carted into the large EMERGENCY double doors. Everyone else is worse for wear. Brittany is probably the worst, behind Rachel, Noah, Santana, and Mercedes. Because Brittany is almost a vessel for all things empathetic – and when she breaks, you can see a little bit of heaven breaking along with her. And it's a wonder that Santana has managed to stay so strong. She shushes her in Spanglish mutterings as Brittany sobs brokenly into her neck as Santana's silent tears fall, un-cached down her cheeks.

Noah was wheeled to his own room in the ER to repair his broken hand. He returns within the hour with a pain medication prescription and full hand cast. No one says anything when he toys with a small picture in one of his hands. The short blonde curls are unmistakable, and his tears are unmentioned as he flips the photograph of Beth between the fingers of his good hand. Blessing over the Cross of David that lingers hidden around his neck.

Somewhere a phone rings. It's Sue's again. But no one is particularly concerned. As her hoarse voice trills through the waiting room – the dread simply sinks in further.

"She's in surgery. Judy says…she doesn't know how long, possibly until morning."

"This is all my fault."

The words escape her lips before she can reel them back in. And Finn comes to her to wrap her up in a hug. She pushes him off roughly, the fresh tears stinging her eyes.

"Don't. Finn, don't."

"Rachel, you can't blame yourself. No one knew –" Kurt, his broken voice rippling around her fuzzy head. But he's wrong. This is her fault. It always has been – it was her wedding, her decision. Her heart that seems to have nothing left to bear beneath her ribcage. It's her heart that feels heavy with the truth of the matter. And as she looks at Finn solemnly, she sees that young boy that could never really make her happy. And as she stares down the long Hospital corridor at the passing doctors and RN's…she understands. That amidst all of the hurt and all of the pain, there is a pulse left. And it does not beat for Finn Hudson, it never has. All that's left for her to hold on to, is Quinn Fabray.

And she prays for that pulse to keep on beating. She hopes that mercy is not too late.


February 18th, 2:34am

9 hours. That's how long Quinn's been in surgery. The hospital has a completely different feel once the sun descends over Lima City Limits. It almost feels peaceful. And while visiting post-hours prohibits more than four people per patient. She's content that she's still here. She stares blankly ahead at a nearby wall, the groove of her bare feet touching the floor. Her dads went home and brought her back sweatpants and a zip up hoodie to change into. The white dress is probably lying over her comforter in her bedroom. She feels like burning it.

Judy sleeps against one of the recliners by the wall. The woman looks sallow and weary – Rachel can't even comprehend how it must feel as a parent, to watch your child through their suffering – unsure of what the future could possibly hold for either of them. Noah nods off against the wall. He sits on the floor, cradling his broken hand – the bags under his eyes are deep and unnaturally dark. And to Rachel's left sits Mercedes. It was either her or Brittany and Santana. And Brittany fell asleep, so Santana took her home. And Rachel isn't sure how to console Mercedes, when she's irrevocably broken herself.

It would be funny in different circumstances when at 3:12am a Doctor Ford walks around the bend of the hallway to the small group of family and friends. He loos tired and weary – and Rachel is the only one awake when he makes his appearance, as if the news of Quinn's fate is only for her. She wakes everyone silently as the Doctor stands patiently to the side. Judy startles awake, suddenly alert as she bores her similarly hazel eyes into the waiting doctors.

"I'm Doctor Ford. Judy, I've already spoken with you. But I do have news, now that we have some answers. Quinn just was just released from surgery fifteen minutes ago. She's in recovery in the ICU for now – but if things get better, she could be relocated to a normal recovery room in just over a week. As you all know she was involved in a motor vehicle accident – her injuries range from minor cuts, lacerations, contusions, and abrasions …to extremely severe. "

Rachel pales; she can feel her fingers twitching in her lap as the tears build up behind her eyelids.

"Quinn sustained an extension fracture pattern near the lumbar region of her spine. In layman's terms – she has a severe fracture to her lower back – In surgery we placed pins and rods in, to help with the healing. And she'll be in a brace for 6-12 weeks. Her jaw was fractured in the accident, we inserted metal plates to set the bones, and her mouth will be wired shut for 6-8 weeks, while she maintains a fluid diet. She also suffers from two lower rib fractures on the left side of her ribcage. She has a severe concussion with slight pressure on her brain, which we've treated with osmotherapy. She's still at risk, but is slowly improving. Her left femur is broken, and she has a torn ACL. For now she's in a medically induced coma until her brain swelling lowers to normal levels, and edema is no longer present – at this rate, we're looking at two days. And while she still will have use of her legs and her back…her recovery won't be easy. She'll have extensive physical therapy and it could be months before she regains her ability to walk again. It won't be easy, I'm letting you know now."

"But she'll be okay?"

"Yes…I believe so Ms. Fabray. With time."


February 21st, 5:56pm

She's already missed three days of school. Her perfect attendance record is unceremoniously shot to hell. And she couldn't give any less of a damn. It's disheartening really how the world keeps turning, when it feels like yours is falling apart. The news spread like wildfire through the halls of McKinley, and all she's witnessed is cruelty, and pity – where it definitely isn't deserved. Because out of the entire student body, who actually cared about the quiet blonde and her fall from grace? Nobody. In fact, they mocked her. And Rachel knows – that if she sets foot back into that school, and hears the spiraling rumors about Quinn – she'll hit something, or someone. And she doesn't need another suspension on her school record.

Instead she waits. She spends her days at Lima General. She's there when Judy can't be around in the early mornings and afternoons – and she picks up the broken pieces of her heart every day that Quinn recovers. It's the best she can do for now – and it doesn't hurt nearly any less. She stares blankly at a veggie lasagna and cradles her face into her hands in the middle of the bustling, dreary cafeteria. She won't be able to keep this up for very much longer – this hope. And every once in a while, she can't stop her resolve from tumbling down into the floor. She feels that way now as sobs rack her slight body. Her tears drip down her cheeks and land in her lasagna. It's okay – she won't be eating it anyway. It's unimaginable how quickly guilt can consume you. It eats away at your very soul – and Rachel can feel it twining around her already shattered heart, welding into it unrelentingly. And she just wishes—that she had listened to Quinn from the start.

She should have listened.

Instead she's sitting at an empty table in the cafeteria at Lima General. Nursing soggy veggie lasagna and an apple juice. And she couldn't possibly feel any more alone. She needs answers, she needs questions, she needs life to continue and not leave her behind in the wreck that it's made. She hasn't eaten in three days, Noah broke another window, Brittany is unimaginably broken – and Santana can barely hold the both of them together anymore. Kurt is like a zombie walking through the halls – he's witnessed so much in such a short week – and Rachel would be there for him if her own life weren't so full of hard rocks and rubble. She has yet to dig herself out of the debris.

Everyone is spiraling out of control. And to top it all off – Finn is not who she thought he would be. She looks at him now and all she sees is a burden. They called off the wedding the morning that Quinn got out of surgery. Rachel asked for a separation by the next afternoon. And as she wallows in her newly single, guilt ridden solitude – she knows she's finally made the right decision.

Perhaps Quinn would finally have something to be proud of when she wakes...if she wakes. And as Rachel stabs her fork back into the wobbly lasagna she sees the lab coat of a familiar Doctor Ford descending down on her like a regal messenger. She doesn't look up – she needs no more bad news.

But as he lays down a white paper onto the table in between them, she lets her heavy eyes graze over the large shorthand letters that have been written there in permanent marker. The script is loopy and short – and resembles a rare form of chicken scratch – she would comment on Doctor Ford's poor penmanship if not for the two words that rip through her like blinding saw. They pierce her in ways that she could have never imagined. And she isn't sure if she'll be able to move. Her eyes rake over the words again and again, and when she raises her head Doctor Ford is smiling at her tiredly. And she owes everything to this man as her motor skills finally return, and she feels her feet flying ahead of her as she races for the nearest elevator. The loopy words playing like an old filmstrip across her retinas as her loafers skid over pristinely tiled flooring.

"She's Awake."

My God, she's AWAKE.


February 21st, 5:36pm

There are no manuals for this kind of a thing. She doesn't know the protocol. How do you re-learn yourself after a life-changing traumatic event? How can you, when everything feels so foreign?

The I.V. in her hand stings, there are wires connected to her everywhere, and she feels…she feels like a science project gone wrong. The air is too thick, and it's incredibly hard for her to breath, she wants to rip the breathing tube out of her nostrils…but she's too weak. It's not like she could move her arm anyway – it feels like a lead weight, the cast doesn't help. And everything hurts. The world is an interesting place…it looks like one thing, and it meets certain expectations. But after a sudden shift, it's incredibly disorienting. Unfortunately not everything can remain in color.

Her mind had coiled and burned and rolled while she suffered under the coma, and it had all started to become unbearable. She felt like she was swimming in a deep abyss with no means to an end. And as she finally began to break deep waters – she could feel her eyes fluttering to an open. They broke through the surface, and the bright lights of resolution blinded her sensitive eyes. And now when she tries to speak, her larynx hurts, and her jaw clenches painfully with the pressure of her failed attempts at willing it to move. She can still taste blood on her tongue, and with the tip of it she can feel wires and bands clenching her teeth to a close. She tries to speak, but nothing will move. She works her throat sadly; the smallest of whimpers escaping…what happened to me? She thinks, and suddenly she's assaulted with the last memory that her brain has on call.

Rachel's wedding.

She wants to sit up, so she can make it. So she can be there if not for anything else but support. It's heartbreaking – enough so that she isn't sure she'll ever sleep a tireless night without Rachel Berry flooding her mind and her senses. But all she wants is Rachel's happiness. And if that happiness comes with Finn Hudson? Then so be it. She feels her limbs struggling weakly against the constraints of the bed she's on, as her eyes water from the light.

Steady hands grip her, and she wonders when everything started hurting so badly. And why she can't feel her legs. Why can't she feel her legs? It feels like a white hot rod's been placed on her back. And it burns as if it were casted within the depths of Hell itself. The barest of shifting, flares pain into her nerves and tears escape her clenched eyelashes as she clenches her broken jaw.

"Mfwt…"

"Quinn? You're okay. Don't speak honey, it will hurt more."

She rolls her eyes and tries to nod her head. And god dammit, that hurts too. She wants to give up. She doesn't even know what's gone wrong, but she already wants to give up on trying. She can hear the sound of numerous people shuffling around her, and after God knows how long, different voices permeate the thick air. And she would look up from where she's laying if she could. But that won't be happening anytime soon. Instead she manages heavy breaths, and the relief of hearing her mother's voice floods through her.

"Oh, Quinnie."

She hasn't re-opened her eyes, but she can hear the anguish lacing that familiar tongue. She wishes she could hide. She doesn't want to see her own face reflected in the eyes of her mothers. But she opens her weary hazel eyes nonetheless, and tries for a smile. It doesn't work, and it hurts beyond belief, she wants to cry all over again.

"You're okay, darling…you're okay."

"Mmmf…"

"Quinnie…don't talk. Listen to the nurses, please...Did anybody tell you what happened?"

Quinn shakes her head even though it hurts to do so. And she watches her mother turn away, wiping errant tears from her cheeks before turning back around with a crooked watery smile. She's trying to lighten the mood; it doesn't work.

"You were in a car accident…"

Judy's voice cracks, and this time she doesn't bother wiping away the tears as she clears her throat to continue.

"Um…on your way to Rachel's wedding. You didn't make it. They-They've been saying. Well, Doctor Ford, your doctor…they've said that you've broken your back. They placed steel rods in during surgery. A-and…uh, you broke your leg, and a few ribs, you have a torn ACL. You had swelling of the brain, and you have a concussion. A broken jaw…it's wired shut. And an array of cuts and bruises… they say that there's a possibility that you may not walk again…but you're already showing progress Quinnie…and with physical therapy, Doctor Ford thinks you'll make a full recovery."

Judy is near hysterics by the end of it. And Quinn doesn't blame her. She must look like minced meat. She wishes she could hug her mother and tell her that everything will be alright. But she can feel the tears falling down her swollen cheeks – she can taste the disappointment and the collapse of her future in the air. And she isn't sure that she has it in her. Not when she's so broken herself.

And before she can wallow in self-pity, soft footsteps fall in the room and Judy is rising out of the chair by Quinn's bed to be replaced by a familiar short brunette. And Rachel Berry doesn't look so weary. But she looks tired, and she looks like she's been carrying a heavy burden on her heart. She looks like she's just about giving up – and Quinn hates seeing that on Rachel Berry's face more than anything else in the world.

"You're Awake."

"I know you can't talk. Your jaw… but I –"

Her words die off into silent tears as she reaches for the tender skin of Quinn's cheek. Her thumb trails some of the scratches there from the glass. And Quinn watches her as she places a soft kiss where her thumb once resided. When she pulls back up her eyes are clear, and she lowers her chin to her chest to take in a shaky breath. And when she finally gains the composure to look back up, her voice is broken and whisper soft.

"I thought I'd lost you Quinn…I thought I'd never see your face again. And I don't know what I would have done without you. It's my fault that you're here…but – I'm, I'm so happy that you're alive. You're more important to me than you know..."

And Quinn would smile if she could. If only Rachel Berry knew…if only she knew that she's it for Quinn. She's everything and more. And none of this is her fault. But instead. All Quinn can do is lie still on a small hospital bed and soak in all of the emotion. And as Rachel threads her fingers through Quinn's silky hair, she hums a silent tune. And Quinn begins to nod off again – and remarkably, amid all of the broken and shattered remains of her frail body, she can still feel the solid pang of her heartbeat – strong and sure.

And she knows, that it only beats for Rachel Berry – perhaps she's the reason she's pulled through all along. Apparently hearts are much stronger than we know.

And as the morphine drip and steady motion of fingers across her scalp lull her back into a hazy sleep, a tug of a smile works it's way across her face, broken jaw be damned.

And she swears... That just as the realm of consciousness escapes her, she can feel the faintest touch of warm lips graze the corner of her mouth before descending to her ear. Rocking her into rest.

"Sleep, my Quinn." It hums, and she obeys. Her heartbeat pounding thickly beneath her broken ribcage – and perhaps…

…not all is lost.