On the days she coaches the Cheerios, she also has dinner with her mother. This is primarily to appease Judy and keep her from constantly checking up on Quinn when she's in Columbus.

Their time spent together is actually pleasant, at this stage, even if Judy tends to pry in an effort to be protective. But Quinn's asserted her independence as much as she can and Judy has done her best to let her daughter do what needs to be done. There are still conversations, like the one tonight, that drive Quinn crazy.

"Have you thought about where you're living after you graduate?"

It's spring and that won't be happening until she finishes the fall semester, because of the handful of credits she still needs. "I have time to work it out."

"If you need to, you can always move back in h-"

Quinn jabs her fork at a potato. "I know. You said that last week, too."

"I just want you to know you always have a home here."

Her mother's residual guilt over, well, it seems like everything, tends to get on her nerves. She knows Judy means well, but she doesn't want to accept any unnecessary assistance from anyone. Including her mom. "I... Mom, I really appreciate the offer, but I think I just want to find a place myself."

"Will you please, at least, let me look with you, when the time comes?"

"Yes," although the affirmation is presented with a roll of the eyes.

Quinn tries, she really tries to be tolerant of her mother's investment in her life. She just doesn't know if she prefers old borderline absentee Judy, because at least that Judy had a life of her own. The positive side of the New Judy is that she's sober and attentive. But Quinn wonders if her mother is doing anything for herself when she isn't busy worrying about her younger daughter.

"I made pie for dessert." Judy doesn't even ask if Quinn wants any, she just disappears into the kitchen to warm it up. Quinn isn't even finished with her dinner and her mother's already calling out to her, asking if she wants her slice a la mode.

In addition her mother's apparent personality transplant, the house is different than it was during her childhood. After the accident, there were several modifications made to allow for accessibility. Quinn's bedroom was moved from upstairs, where it had been since they first moved to Lima, to the downstairs den that used to house Judy's collection of religious figurines.

The china cabinet that sits against the far wall of the dining room isn't the same one Quinn grew up sitting across during Fabray family dinners. A few months into Quinn's recovery, while she was still learning how to navigate the newly added ramps and rails in the house, she misjudged the width of the short ramp that connects the slightly elevated dining room to the living room. The left wheel of her chair slipped over the side and Quinn found herself tumbling face-first onto the carpet. She'd been so angry, she grabbed the first thing in sight, which happened to be Judy's favorite crystal bud vase that always sat on the end table next to the leather arm chair and chucked it as hard as she could in the general direction of the chair. Only she missed and it sailed into the dining room, more specifically, through the glass panes of her mother's antique china cabinet.

Everything shattered.

For a moment, Quinn felt better. With everything else broken around her, maybe then she wouldn't stand out, so much.

Only Judy didn't even so much as reprimand her. Seven years later, she insists it's better to have replaced it, that the old one was a reminder of a marriage gone sour, anyway.

These days, things are better. Quinn's acutely aware of her range of motion and moving around her mother's house is second nature. She still wonders what it would take to get a reaction out of Judy, though. She doubts, at this point, that even coming home pregnant would have any significant impact on their current relationship.

It's not that she wants to have conflict with her mother, she's just so tired of watching everyone tiptoe around her, as if they actually care about anything other than feeling guilty. The only person in her life she can truly count on to be straight with her is Sue, who's always made Quinn earn her position, one way or another.

Her mother, though... since the accident her mother's never treated her like anything but-

"Lucy?" Judy asks, craning around the edge of the doorway. "You never answered about the ice cream."

Quinn pushes her dinner plate aside. "Yeah," she says, resigned. "Sure."

Later that night, after the leftovers her mother insisted she take with her are put away in the mini-fridge, she stares at her laptop screen, thinking about her reply to Rachel's message. She has to send one because she always does. And, on the incredibly off chance that it was Rachel who called (it wasn't, because it just doesn't make sense and is statistically beyond improbable), Quinn needs to carry on with business as usual. Any change in the way she communicates with Rachel would be an acknowledgement of it and, therefore, a sign of weakness.

But it doesn't matter.

Because it wasn't her.

As she's deliberating the finer points of her life to include in her message, an email notification pops up in the corner of her screen. It's from Shelby.

Grateful for the distraction, Quinn quickly clicks over to her Gmail account.


I'll be in Columbus on Sunday to meet a friend for brunch. Are you free to hang out with Beth for a couple of hours? Around 11 to 1?

- Shelby

Quinn types out a response that's she's definitely available to spend time with Beth.

Of all the crap in her life, the moments she gets with her daughter are the high points. Like Quinn, Beth's a bookworm, which isn't too much of a shock, because Shelby's a teacher and has her own fairly impressive collection of books in her own home. Bookstores and libraries are the usual hangout spots for the two of them, but they've also been known to catch a movie or even a baseball game. As much as Shelby's tried to get Beth into the arts, it seems that team sports are more her speed, at least for know. Quinn's been to more soccer and little league games than she can count, in the last couple years. She's proud to support Beth in all of her endeavors, though she's in competition with Puck for who can collect the most team paraphernalia for each season.

This weekend, she thinks, they'll hit up the seasonal library book sale. She was planning to go, anyway, to pick some things out for both herself and Beth, but this will be even better.

There used to be a point in time when Quinn's Sunday mornings were sacred, when the time before early afternoon on the Lord's Day was dedicated to church and Sunday school. Not so much anymore.

It's not that she still doesn't have faith or that she's stopped believing in God. She just can't handle the way people look at her in church, the way people see her as some kind of miracle because she "should have died in that accident, but the Lord spared her." She has no interest in being any kind of a mascot or a testimony to the power of prayer.

She just wants to be Quinn Fabray, and even her own mother can't seem to give her that.