God, it has been so long since I've been anywhere near Faberry. Or Fanfiction, for that matter. And I know that I have dozens of stories that are nowhere near completion, but this just came to me. The past year has been a daze of wonderful and terrible things, but starting with this I promise you that I'm on my way back...finally! So I'm terribly sorry for my hiatus, and that updates for more than half of my stories are currently in the works. And I would have had this out last night, but you gotta love Oklahoma tornado season. It kind of sets us back a little.

Synopsis: Post 3x14. Unlike anything you've seen concerning those spoilers...hopefully. It's time for healing; realizations and complications can wait. And Rachel finds herself comforting and being comforted by someone unexpected while Quinn is in recovery. Anyone would find themselves confused when a friend is in the hospital, the boy you were intent on 'settling' with no longer made your heart sing, and you were sharing the said friend in the hospital's mother's bed.

Pairing(s): Eventual Rachel/Quinn, implied Rachel/Judy, and all previous canon pairings.

R&R, and criticisms are welcome.

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Part One.

Riverside Methodist Hospital. Columbus, Ohio. 9:00pm.

Rachel could never attest to being a major fan of hospitals.

She hated naming the shallow, unpleasant dislikes of every hospital - because these hospitals saved lives daily, despite the crappy food and more than inadequate coffee - she frequented. But the smell, the absolutely tasteless food, and the general overall lack of information that was being said definitely irked her considerably.

She had been here a full five hours - along with half of the Glee kids - and not a single living soul had any information pertaining to the condition of Quinn. She had been in a straight and undisturbed daze; her chocolate brown eyes had endlessly scourged over the waiting room and the frequently fidgeting bodies of just about everyone present. The only person who had not moved one inch, or had even batted an eyelash for that matter, had been the practically comatose form of one statuesque-resembling Judy Fabray. Even her skin reflected a pallor tone.

The woman's hazel eyes - so heart-breakingly comparible to Quinn's - had been staring at that same bland, colorless tile that was collecting dust on the hospital floor. The woman's shoulders were hunched; she looked defeated, like she somehow could have prevented any of these horrifying events from happening. Her once voluminous blonde hair - again, so much like her daughter's - seemed to hang around her lithe neck in a low, lifeless pony-tail. On her lap was scattered a multitude of untouched forms, which no doubt had important questions about allergies and other valuable information that might pertain to Quinn. Judy couldn't even lift a finger.

It was like she was frozen in time, despite the importance of being in the current moment; Rachel could easily relate to that feeling, most unfortunately.

"It's now or never, Rach."

Rachel was sure her teeth were cutting into her perfectly gloss-coated lips right about now. Her cell phone was clutched so tightly in the iron grip of her right hand that she was sure it would shatter soon; it didn't matter to her of course, as long as she could feel the vibration signalling a message for when Quinn finally answered her impatient calls of distress. And a feeling of foreboding ran throughout her body, as if she were unconsciously aware that no response would arrive anytime soon. She wanted to forcefully shake her head at the nauseating knots forming in her stomach, because Quinn was now her friend, and she would give the blonde the benefit of the doubt without second thought. She had-had smiled at her! And hugged her with such a sincere and genuine expression that Rachel immediately knew that this was no hoax of fake friendship stemming from the blonde.

She could feel the beginning of tears and reluctance - for what, she didn't know - well up within her, and she began carefully taking deep breaths and avoiding the growing frustration in Finn's brown eyes. They were boring into her own, his thin mouth set in a firm line, as the seconds passed; the annoying ticking of the clock only sounded more like drumming with every pro-longed second. It was loud and intimidating and Rachel just wanted to cover her ears and sit in a chair until her last damn bridesmaid arrived.

Hiram and Leroy had the faintest hope glimmering from their eyes across the room, and Rachel knew that they would give anything for this wedding not to go through. A small part of her agreed with them, like maybe this wasn't the proper time or place for her get married in her lifetime, but another rebellious part of her was screaming her love for Finn and the desperation to get married just to end all the stress. She wouldn't have to worry about feeling so self-conscious anymore, because Finn would be there at the end of the day to appreciate her, regardless of her failures or triumphs.

He would be her safe haven.

"Rachel?"

Kurt's voice hinted strongly at his impatience, and she was slightly suprised that it wasn't Santana who had finally spoken up.

"Let's go, Streisand. Pillsbury doughboy looks ready to leak some custard out of those nipples if you two don't get hitched soon."

Apparently she had spoken too soon.

She could only vaguely make out the beginning argument between Santana and Finn; she was rubbing her temples and ignoring the pointed looks Kurt and her fathers were giving her. Full of impatience, and more than a little hope that something or someone could put a stop to this. And she could feel beads of sweat begin to trickle down her temple along with her palms making her phone hard to grasp. Thank God her breathing exercises came into play, because she was pretty sure she would have had a heart attack from all of the stress the past week.

California?

'You're settling, Rachel. You can kiss New York goodbye if you get married to Finn Hudson. And sadly enough, everyone knows it and won't speak up.'

'I mean-like, I guess I could maybe get a job at Burt's tire shop if we stay here. Unless we do California. I have dreams too, you know?'

Finn and Santana's argument had escalated slightly, and she could see the beyond irate look adorning Carol Hummel's features. She looked just as ready for everything to be over and done with; she still heavily disapproved, and the evidence was in the strong furrow of her brow and the flash of helplessness whenever Finn kept pushing for more time. Rachel couldn't necessarily blame the woman, because her future husband was about as immature as they come in regards to many things concerning his life. If Rachel didn't love him so much...

She didn't even realize the Justice of Peace had entered the room.

He was an aging man with a Bible clutched in his hand; his blue eyes roved over until he found the form of a flustered Finn, who now looked more than a little worried. He gestured weakly with his aging hand, and Finn instantly went over to his side; they were whispering quietly, and Rachel saw Carol, Burt, and her fathers lean in on the conversation. She didn't even need someone to relay the off-putting information, because she could see the beyond unsubtle relief bloom over the adult's faces and the anger and pleading on Finn's.

They had lost their slot.

And Rachel could take the angry grumbles of Santana and Kurt, the anger from Finn, and the offending happiness of her fathers as they strongly grasped her shoulders with their masculine hands and led her to the family Prius. She could see Finn's thin lips press down in a firm line, and his face was contorted with uneasiness as he approached her and her father's.

She vaguely made out the other Glee kids piling into their cars as they presumably went back to school. Kurt, however, stood next to Burt and Carol with his arms crossed. His baby blue eyes were boring into Rachel's with an intuitiveness that made her beyond fearful. She hated that they were best friends sometimes, because he just somehow knew that her thoughts were floating around Quinn and her ever present insecurities. He probably knew by now that she was doubting marrying Finn; it made her breath hitch when she recalled that Quinn was the first to sense it and call her out without any fear or boundaries.

Tears built in her eyes. Quinn still had yet to reply to her messages.

" ...And we can just come back and do it tomorrow."

She felt nauseous once more, and she was pretty sure that her breathing was beyond erratic at this point. It didn't matter. It never did. Finn was so painfully unobservant that the even the blind beggar on the corner of the Lima Bean could probably spot that something might be wrong. Annoyance welled up within her, and her voice came out much more waspish than she initially intended.

"I need to think about this, Finn."

She turned abruptly, and her mind was screaming at her to face forward and to get into the car, because she would surely lose her resolve if she saw the hurt and heart-break in Finn's eyes. She hated to admit that he was one of her weaknesses, and he probably always would be. She was torn; on one hand it brought them closer and signified that they were meant to be, but on the other hand it made her feel like a completely different person; weak, snivelling, and just an overall pathetic and woeful teenage girl. And Rachel Berry was strong, dammit! She refused to give up herself for an ungrateful boy.

She hadn't even realized she was in the car with her seat belt already buckled. Finn's shadow loomed over the passenger window, and she swallowed shakily.

"Drive, daddy."

It had taken three hours after they had arrived home to get the phone call.

Hiram Berry had been quite dismayed when Rachel's cell phone blaring had interrupted his rant at his daughter. And Rachel remembered looking pleadingly at her fathers until they had given reluctant nods for her to answer the phone call. She thanked God she had. Mercedes sounded shaken, and the brunette knew that her fellow diva had her eyes closed and was holding back tears. At one point even Mrs. Jones had to come on the phone and inform a distraught and confused Rachel about what was going on; she could hear Mercedes blubbering nonsense in the background and ushering her mother to 'get the hell in the car.'

Apparently, Quinn still had Mercedes Jones as her emergency contact.

Obviously the doctors also had enough sense to dial Quinn's mom as well.

She heaved with a nothingness; which was twice as bad as vomit to her, because she was literally choking on air. Her wedding dress had been off in an instant, despite the sound of ripping, her following wince, and her father's confused expressions. She had thrown on sweat pants and a baggy t-shirt, mumbling incoherently as she threw the phone to Leroy; she had still been heaving and trying to breath.

Her fathers eyes had bore into her the entire drive to Columbus. Rachel ignored them, because she was still trying to breath properly; it was instinctual tears that welled up within her eyes, not genuine, and Rachel hated herself for it. She was supposed to be throwing a diva fit; screaming and sobbing helplessly, begging internally for Quinn to be alright, and vicious words tumbling out of her mouth at the asshole who did this. She really couldn't. Because she really couldn't feel anything right now except the shaking of her body. Numbness was apparent, and to Rachel who had always felt too much; this was her breaking point, and this was the line that was crossed and she felt so much now that she really couldn't feel anything at all.

She couldn't even make sense in her own mind.

Quinn was in the Intensive Care Unit and Rachel didn't even know what to feel.

That had been five hours ago, and the brunette was still sitting in the same position in the waiting room chair. She wasn't angry like Santana, freaking out like Mercedes, or even whimpering like Brittany. The brunette found herself blinking and pursing her lips, occassionally flickering her eyes and watching an equally non-responsive Judy. The regretful mother was sitting in the chair next to her; they were almost secluded, because not even Puck or Santana had the courage to go sit next to the woman and offer condolences or a half-hearted, 'It's gonna be alright.'

Rachel's face had been blank upon sitting next to her, and Judy hadn't even batted an eyelash in greeting.

Normally Rachel would be offended by someone's lack of social etiquette, but Quinn might be dying and Judy wasn't pretending to be positive and the brunette just couldn't feel anything at all. Pleasantries with Quinn's mother would have to wait another time and day. The brunette blew out a heavy breath when she realized that it might be at Quinn's funeral. That was an overwhelming sock to the stomach; actually, it was a giant claw that tore ferociously and painfully at Rachel's stomach, from the inside out and the outside in. For the first time since she had arrived her breathing pattern changed and her faced morphed into fear and uncertainty.

She almost wanted Finn's arm around her. But he was with Puck and leaning against the wall, his expression equally as worried as Puck's. But like she mentioned before: almost. His arms were too heavy and she was already dealing with anchors crushing onto her shoulders and drilling her needlessly into the ground. She didn't need anyone else or their heavy arms - even if they were her fiance's - draping around her.

She broke the silence instead.

"The hospital coffee is completely inadequate; it tastes like shit."

Okay, so maybe that wasn't the best approach at a conversation; she didn't want a false and over-bearing positiveness or something that was completely off-setting and demure, either. She didn't know if Quinn would be alright - none of them did - and she sure as hell wasn't going to offer false reassurance or half-assed comfort. She was lying to herself, because Quinn was strong and Rachel Berry was one-hundred percent positive that she was going to bulldog her way out of this with nothing but a sneer and a barely there scratch adorning her radiant face. Okay, so maybe that was an over-exaggeration. But she needed to hope.

"Quinn will be appalled at the taste when she comes around."

Judy has moved for the first time upon arrival; it's barely there, a shift of her upper body. Her hazel eyes were no longer staring at the tile, instead they now bore on an inwardly faltering Rachel Berry, who was now only looking at Judy through her peripheral vision. The older blonde's eyes still lacked anything intense, but they were no longer emotionless. There was a miniscule curiosity blossoming in those eyes and the brunette would do anything to keep the Fabray matriarch's eyes off that tile.

"Quinnie hates coffee." It's nothing but a mere whisper.

Judy states it in a matter-of-fact tone, well, whisper. Rachel nods in acquiescence to the fact bestowed upon her; she genuinely hasn't ever bothered to know details about Quinn like that, and it was almost nice knowing some of those minor details pertaining to the younger blonde.

"She does have an unhealthy penchant for bacon, I noticed," she muttered, slightly disgusted.

Judy's lips nearly quirked up, but not quite. She just nodded and looked down at the forms in her lap; an almost startled expression overtook her face, and Rachel surmised that the older Fabray had totally forgotten about their existance. Judy seemed to sigh forlornly and open her purse in search of a writing utensil.

The movement seemed to jolt of a few people, because Rachel could now see Puck's curious and hopeful gaze directed in their direction. Her father's eyes were radiating a soft relief across the room, and she knew that they had been beyond frightened with her lack of reaction. Santana didn't seem to notice, because her hands were running through her - suprisingly messy - hair and occassionaly stroking Brittany's hands. Finn looked ready to come over there, and Rachel guiltily hoped that he stayed in his current spot.

Judy was frowning as she read the first page; questions concerning Quinn's parentage and legal guardian was in bold underlining.

Rachel pretended not to hear the, "Happily divorced," murmured. Or the pen scrawling onto the paper with more pressure than necessary.

She did however hear the resigned, "We no longer have medical insurance thanks to Russell."

"I would just like to announce Mrs. Fabray that my fathers knows several lawyers throughout Ohio; they work in the ACLU branch but would be more than happy to accommodate -"

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Rachel had always felt a secret thrill rushing throughout her body whenever she broke the rules.

It ran rampant through her vains; there was a little fear for being caught at first, and then she would forget that and grin ecstatically when she realized that it could definitely make a brilliant piece in her memoirs. And alright, she would admit that she wasn't necessarily doing anything extremely dangerous or life-threatening, but she could still maybe get a stern talking to resulting from this. She didn't care. Because Quinn was alive and in one piece; she might be heavily broken and frayed, but she was breathing and her heart was beating and that was more than enough for Rachel.

A doctor had emerged just when visiting hours were over, which had been approximately eleven o'clock.

He had taken off his scrubs and surgery mask but he was still in his operating uniform. She didn't know if it was her or Santana that had hissed first at the sight of blood dotted in scattered places. She just remembers everyone crowding and clenching their fists and awaiting the news of their friend. He had pulled aside a stiff - though her eyes rang with anxiety - Judy Fabray and spoke with her quietly; Puck had been hissing with impatience and ready to storm up to the doctor and ring his neck sideways.

Finn's arm had been wrapped around her shoulders; she remembered willingly falling into him as soon as she spotted the relief on Judy's face.

"She's considered a critical case; she is however in safe condition."

Finn's lips had been on her temple and he had been half-grinning in relief and she remembers Puck running his hands rampantly through his Mohawk and huffing in impatience to see her. They had all been crestfallen when the doctor absolutely banned visitors that night and said the earliest they could see her is in two days because of more emergency surgery.

Puck had been final. "Fuck that, I'm staying in Columbus."

Santana had jumped right in. "There's a Days Inn down the street. C'mon Brits, we's be getting that hotel suite."

Of course there might have been furious arguing between the adults present and the high school students. The parents did have a right to object; there was school and financial plans to consider for the brief stay. The Glee kids didn't give a shit, and the adamancy had completely shattered the objectifying front of the reluctant adults who were present. Phone calls had been made and plans had been in bloom. Her fathers, Mrs. Jones, Mr. Schuester, and Judy Fabray had been smart enough to pair off the boys in one group and the girls in the next.

"T's not gonna stop me," Puck had sneered, distastefully eyeing the room arrangements.

The Comfort Motel was certainly no five-star hotel, but it would have to do for the next two nights.

Which landed Rachel in her current predicament. Puck was gesturing emphatically with his arm down the hallway, and Santana had her pinkie interlocked with Brittany's as she uncaringly strutted down the hallway toward the troublesome boy. All she had heard in the whispered conversation had been 'fake ID' and 'Puck found this bar.' Simply enough said.

The brunette bit her lip nervously. What if the adults woke up? Hell, even Sugar Motta was grinning excitedly and and following Santana and Brittany down the hall. Her eyelids closed as she released a deep breath; Quinn was in the fucking hospital and battling to probably not cry in pain - if she was even conscious by this time - and all Rachel could do was mope and wallow in her own star-branded self-guilt. No, Quinn wouldn't want that. So her feet had her following the adventurous group before she could even open her mouth to signal a 'wait for me.'

The air was beyond a typical chill and Rachel didn't even notice.

She just stuffed her hands in her pink pea coat and trudged after the motley group. She vaguely recognized Kurt's hand wrapped around her waist and Blaine's head nudging itself comfortably on her shoulder as they walked hesitantly behind an all too-eager group of underage hopeful-drinkers. Her timing is soberly slurred, because she doesn't even notice Puck slipping a wad of bills at an overweight bouncer or Brittany offering to flash the man with a naive grin on her face; which had her temperamental girlfriend huffing and shaking her head at the blonde.

There wasn't flashing lights; this benefitted Rachel, cause she really didn't need colors blaring and flashing or anything that looked like sirens.

It was relatively low-key, and she could already feel the suspicious eyes of the unimpressed bar-keep from across the room. He looked ragged and severly aged; wiping the glasses continuously with a definitely not sanitary rag. The floors were wooden and there was a pool table. The smell of whisky and scotch and bourbon was beyond pungent. She couldn't help but roll her eyes crossly as the group stood relatively unmoving, which didn't look suspicious or childlike at all. So she raised her chin in the air and detached herself from Kurt and Blaine, striding over to the bartop with an impressed Puck in tow.

"I would like a cosmopolitan, please." Pompous tone was definitely fitting in this situation.

"Maker's on the rocks for me. Don't do that girly shit."

Rachel pointedly scoffed as she shrugged out of her pea coat, determinedly trying not to blush profusely or avoid eye contact. The man's eyes were narrowed at the two of them, and the brunette summoned up her courage and for all her worth raised an eyebrow at the man haughtily. Quinn would be proud. She even pretended to roll her eyes and look in her clutch for her ID until the man just nodded and gruffly proceded to make them their drinks.

A tan, muscular arm was exceedingly prominant around her shoulders.

"Bad-ass Berry, seriously," he muttered.

She just rolled her eyes and sipped at her drink; she struggled not to recoil at the strong taste of orange vodka on her tongue. Sex and the City made it look like it tasted like a wonderful tropical punch, and the alcohol was so prominent in the drink that Rachel had to sip it slowly in order not to cough and look absolutely ridiculous. She could already smell the bourbon on Puck's breath and she inwardly cringed. The adults may not catch them tonight, but they would certainly get caught in the morning if they smelled like a brewery.

She chanced a look around, and she noticed Santana and Brittany sitting at one of the corner booths. They were whispering and gesturing at the bar weakly; Santana's cockiness really meshed overwhelmingly well with Brittany's - suprising - common sense in these situations. It didn't matter, because no one would question Santana or Brittany in those skirts if they decided to order a drink. And she frowned when she noticed the rest of the group just lounging on some stools in the back, pitiful expressions and no drinks in hand.

Puck scoffed. "What losers."

They clinked glasses.

"Where's Finn?" Guilt, because she just now noticed her fiance was not present.

Puck smirked delightedly and he nudged the wooden bartop with his fingertips. His bourbon was completely gone and not even the smirk or the gentle, low-lit atmosphere could hide the sadness in his gaze. She knew he was torn up as soon as she heard the word 'bar.' He was going to get fucking hammered in a toast to Quinn and they both knew it.

"Sleeping. Didn't want him slobbering all over you."

Her mouth opened in defense...

"You need a break from him and we both know it, princess. Quinn is fucked and you are tired and my bro just needs to give it a rest."

Her mouth promptly shut; she had no defenses for his statements, because the were heart-numbingly true. She did need a break from Finn. It had just felt like an annoying timestill ever since she discovered her acceptance to NYADA. She felt muddle-brained and it was an increasingly hard struggle to remain so gleeful and happy when all she really wanted to do was curl up and listen to Barbara for an entire week. Her cheeks were already red from the alcohol consumption; sadly enough, alcohol had nothing to do with the minor ache in her chest.

Puck was currently drowning himself in a shot of 1800 tequila and Rachel said absolutely nothing for once. She gestured her finger weakly to the 1800; the bartender just blinked consistantly at their exceedingly unique drink orders; it probably had a smidgeon to do with how much they were drinking as well.

They clinked glasses. The unspoken toast to Quinn was up in the air and flowing around; Rachel could almost feel Quinn's spirit now and that's when she just knew she was all kinds of not sober. Because the blonde was alive - even if barely - and she was safe in the hospital. She wasn't here; but if she were, her hazel eyes would carry that almost overwhelmingly sad contemplative gaze. They would veer out and those full, pink lips would downturn when they thought no one was looking and the alcohol would be swiftly replaced by water.

Quinn was just such a sad girl.

"She can't die-she j-just can't. She's my baby mama. She-she had my fucking child, Rachel."

Rachel's gaze swam and her comforting pats to Puck's back were alarmingly unsteady. His pretty light brown eyes were staring - glazed over with inebriation - down at the bar top. He looked so, so lost and the brunette almost found herself hiccuping in sadness. Oh. She was hiccuping.

"And she w-wouldn't want us to be fucking pussies. This isn't Disney and s-shit! She would want us to get so fucking w-wasted ass drunk -"

Rachel nodded supportedly.

" - And completely fuck shit u-up. She's k-kinda crazy and always sad and s-shit, but she's Quinn F-F-Fabray. She's so p-pretty, Rach."

Her head really was fucking hurting at that point; she glanced forward and her eyes widened staunchly when she noticed three empty shot glasses and three empty martini glasses. She whined and rubbed her temples; she was tired and drunk and she really, really missed Quinn for some reason. Like, everything about her! Her chest ached and she really, really wished she had some Tylenol in her purse; it was a slow burn, and while the feeling came famously from tequila, for some reason it just dug deeper than some of the mind-altering liquid. It just ached, and it made her want to start sniffling and crying quietly.

Brittany was apparently resting her head on her shoulder now, smiling dopily. Several empty glasses were in front of her, and Rachel didn't even realize when that happened. For the better part of - she glanced at her watch and she initially had to squint - the past two hours, she had thought her, Puck, and Quinn had been the only people that existed.

"Quinn would laugh," grinned Brittany.

Anger flared and Rachel confusedly wanted to snap at the innocent blonde. But for some reason she didn't. Because this was Brittany's way of dealing and she would be an absolute hypocrite if she lied to herself and said she wasn't thinking similiar thoughts earlier. Because Brittany was drunk and sweating and beaming into nothingness; bright blue eyes remained exceedingly haunted - worried and dull making a brief appearance. They were all drinking and intoxicated, but they were all dealing in a completely different manner. It hurt all of them, and not even alcohol could distract from that heart-breaking fact.

Santana was silently crying. "I'm oka-okay. Q fucking hates this song -"

Brittany shushes her. "Baby -"

"I will go all L-Lima Heights Adjacent if this bitch doesn't shut the fuck up. Q fuckin' hates this song -"

Puck falls off his stool.

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Rachel shouldn't even be alive right now; really, in all seriousness.

Helping half-carry Noah Puckerman an entire block is no leisurely task. Especially when her own balance is teetering and beyond questionable; she was almost desperate enough to call Finn to help them on this strenous turn of events. But he would be hurt because of his lack of invite and Rachel was completely intoxicated and she just knew she had the ability to say some harmful things. Her and Finn were already damaged - of which the oblivious boy was probably not aware - and Rachel just needed some space, not to reck their entire relationship completely.

Her mind screamed of her secret indifference and she shushed it fearfully.

Everybody is finally in the safety of their rooms and the brunette just can't find it in herself to sleep; she's restless and awake and she wants to vow an everlasting sleepless strike until Quinn is awake and staring at her. Not doped on morphine, not completely unconscious, but awake and aware of Rachel's presence. She didn't even know what her first words would be.

Maybe an, 'I'm so sorry.'

Or a, 'I normally do not curse so you better bask in the ambiance, Quinn Fabray. I'm so fucking happy that you're alive.'

She would never say, 'You look like shit.'

Because Quinn could be covered in bruises and she would still be the prettiest girl Rachel has ever seen. Black and blue could entwine and shape intricately in very eye-catching shapes along her skin; she would still be lovely and perfect and Rachel would still be staring at her in a breathless haze of awe and envy. Even when the girl had been Lucy she had been attractive. Acne, glasses, and chubby cheeks still failed to hide those hazel eyes and that ridiculously disarming smile. Because when Quinn smiled, genuinely smiled, it was pure rapture. It was so pretty that it hurt to breath sometimes.

Rachel whimpered and slid down with her back against the wall. Her hands were fidgeting endlessly and she was torn between wanting to eat her heart's desire and vomiting shamelessly upon the pavement. She swore never to get drunk again and here she was; drunk as a skunk and heart-broken for her friend. She bit down on her dry lips hard. Everything hurt.

"Are you drunk?"

The light voice was tinged with anything but. It was slightly appalled and more than a little hypocritical; the beautiful and accusing voice was beyond slurring its words.

Judy Fabray's eyes looked just as glazed as her voice; she was still properly upright and clutching onto her purse possessively. For a drunk, the mother was certainly more well-kept and agile than the young woman. But then again, she had been married to Russell Fabray, and hearing the minor gritty details from Quinn in some offhand comments, the Fabray matriarch was most certainly a professional at this point. Rachel felt a tiny slither of pity arise.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Fabray."

Rachel didn't know whether she was apologizing for her own intoxication or Judy's apparently depressing life. She decided to go with a little bit of both, though she was sure the woman would be beyond offended if she even asked about the Fabray family and their stunted emotional growths and underlying personal issues. Because everyone was pretty much knowledgeable of some tidbits at this point.

Judy Fabray detached herself from her empty doorway and gestured weakly into her room.

Her drunken hazel eyes were red-rimmed, and the area underneath her nose was rubbed completely raw. Rachel could already envision the tear-jerking sight of the lonely woman at a bar, tissues overladen with her clutch that lie in her purse, and her eyes avoiding the other patrons as she continously downed drink after alcoholic drink. It made the brunette's throat hurt and her heart churn in an uncomfortable manner. If anyone needed comfort and the company of an alcoholic bottle, it would certainly be Judy Fabray.

She met the woman's eyes once more, and she was suprised to see the woman's gaze attempt to regain a little bit of focus and sobriety.

"You'll freeze out here, Rachel. Come inside."

Her no-nonsense voice bared such a striking resemblance to Quinn's. It made Rachel close her eyes for the briefest moment because she actually could imagine that it was Quinn speaking to her and not her anguished, inebriated mother. Her chocolate eyes flickered open once more and she released a deep breath, rising unsteadily on her feet. She was genuinely happy that she wore flats, because she didn't even want to imagine if she hadn't. She would probably be face-first on the concrete by now.

The walls were grimy and more than your average disgusting, heavily molded up trainwrecks. She half-heartedly wished they had spent more money and had gone to a better motel. She just had never liked the ones where you could go into your rooms from the outside; to her it was hazardous and beyond dangerous. She inwardly winced as she pulled her unsanitary hands - that was strongly balancing her on the wall - away from their unsanitary resting place as she tucked them shyly into her peacoat.

She could feel Judy's hand balance her shoulder as she stumbled slightly in the doorframe.

If she were completely sober and Quinn was completely conscious and well, she would be beyond humiliated. She would pretty much be offended at herself; she had met Judy Fabray twice in her life now, and one was when Quinn was going into labor and the woman was self-remorseful. This is the second time, and Quinn was unconscious and probably battered up to rival a street fighter and both Rachel and Judy were drunk. Her fathers would be furious. She was slightly glad that Quinn was not a potential suitor, because they certainly would not be off to a smooth start in regarding meeting the parents.

She was vaguely aware that there was not a mini-bar in the room, and she thanked God.

Judy had thrown her purse uncaringly on the desk table in the corner of the room.

None of the rooms were anything grand; one terrible and uncomfortable bed, one television set that was definitely made before the twenty-first century, and one small, rather lackluster desk. All the rooms were a similiarly awful shade of fuschia; the flower designs on the wall did nothing to distract the patrons from the room's mediocrity. And even then that was a tremendous over-exaggeration. It was a dump, but Quinn was worth it. She wouldn't leave Columbus until she knew the girl was okay. And that applied to all of them. She had seen the raw determination in Puck and Santana's eyes; no way in hell were they leaving.

Judy sighed pitifully and handed her a plastic cup filled with awful tap water.

Rachel chugged it greedily without thought.

An awkward silence overcrept the room; the younger woman just drank her water and Judy just kept glancing at her every so often in disapproval. Even though it was freezing outside she was sweltering and overwhelmed by the heat; she surmised that it was alcohol, because she could still feel the flush in her cheeks. She put her empty plastic cup down on the dresser and uncomfortably shrugged out of her pea coat. She somehow managed to stand - after a few embarrassing attempts of stumbling and tumbling - and she went over and placed it beside Judy's purse.

They matched, and she giggled.

Judy sighed forlornly and grabbed an extra cup, filling it with water and chugging it all in one large, un-ladylike gulp. Rachel wouldn't deny that she was slightly envious; The Fabray women had this uncanny ability to make even the most ungraceful thing on the planet look completely simple and effortlessly complete. It was overwhelming at times and it just made the brunette stare unabashedly. But it was beautiful; beautiful and graceful and completely lovely. Even when Quinn had been sweating and chugging Sue's master-cleanse in her Cheerio's uniform she had been stunning.

"You're really beautiful," she whispered.

Heat suffused her cheeks that had nothing to do with the alcohol. Her unique ability to say the absolute wrong things to Judy Fabray in these trying situations was almost laughable. If she weren't so embarrassed and mortified than she would probably consider it among her many talents.

"I can see where Quinn gets her looks from."

Her mouth clamped shut at this; her throat constricted at the thought of Quinn and the thought of Judy being completely appalled by her lack of acceptable behavior. Because this entire night was completely inappropriate; she shouldn't be here with Judy in this dingy motel room and completely and utterly drunk. She would probably wince in the morning and wash out her dry mouth; her head would probably pound and she would want to vomit because of the throbbing headache and of the reminder of Quinn being in the hospital.

Her heart was positively aching as she trapsied back over to the sink with her empty plastic cup. The lights on the overhead compartment completely blinded her; black dots danced feverishly across her vision as she squinted and closed her eyes, trying to temporarily regain her bearings and her working vision. She hadn't even realized her head was beginning to hang or that the thump of her hand hitting the mirror echoed almost nauseatingly. She was sliding forward it seemed, teetering on the edge of insanity; or maybe just slamming her head fitfully and purposely on the edge of the sink...

"Shit!"

Judy's arms wrapped around her along with her rough exclamation.

And then there was vomit; in the sink and coming disgustingly from her mouth in seemingly waves of regret. The stench was overwhelming and the color was horrid enough for her to produce more at the sight. Long, nimble fingers combed calmly and comfortingly through soft, chocolate locks as they pulled her hair back as she continuously vomited. And it seemingly lasted forever; it took ages and ages for all of that alcohol to re-exit her body in a completely distraught manner.

She was panting harshly; her mouth was pressed tightly against the side of the sink. Her hands felt like rubber and the only thing catching her was Judy Fabray.

The humiliation made tears sting her eyelids as a wet paper towel was pressed against the sides of her mouth. The murmurs were low and comforting, and she found herself turning her sweaty head and nestling it against the Coco Chanel top of the older woman. The mother smelled like alcohol and designer perfume. This was so ridiculous...

"It's okay, I've got you."

Judy's body was slightly more filled out than Quinn's. She was in no way overweight or even just a little thick; it was the body of a woman and not the familiar one of her fiance or even her friends. Judy was also slightly taller than Quinn; two, maybe less, inches confirmed a slight stature difference.

She lifted her head.

Judy's eyes looked so much like Quinn's. And the similiar noses definitely clicked in Rachel's mind; so this was where Quinn got her nose example from when she had the surgery done. But from what she had seen when she surveyed Lucy's picture almost disbelievingly, her nose still looked relatively the same; no major changes of any sort. What really made Rachel stiffen up and gaze longingly however, was the lips of Judy. She definitely knew where Quinn had inherited her stunning smile from. They're pink and full and the perfectly aligned teeth were almost blinding.

Her veins were on fire from the alcohol and her chest was constricting at looking at Quinn's almost doppelganger. Her breath was coming in tiny fractions and it felt like it was literally fighting its way out of her. It was beyond agonizing and the worry reflected back at her was doing nothing to help her. She couldn't look at those eyes because they were torturing her and taunting her.

A strangled sob arose and she pushed herself away from Judy forcefully.

Protests were flying through the air as she struggled her way back towards the bed; the black dots were far more prominent and she felt like she was swimming in a daze. It was like swimming in the ocean for the first time; the salt burned and your vision was blurry as you tried to see the beauty surrounding you; the deep blues and the corals and the sand below. But you couldn't stay underwater because the air was flummoxing in your lungs and you were completely drowning and your eyes were slamming shut as you tried to reach the surface.

Her eyes were burning and she felt like drowning.

The cool pillows didn't help the side of her face; she still felt on fire and it was beginning to noticeably affect her cheeks. The bed was cool along her skin and she burrowed herself in it; she was trying to just curl up and be completely lost forever. She wanted to sleep and wake up in New York. She wanted to be on the way to her dreams and Finn waiting for her at home and Quinn studying happily in New Haven. She wanted to see Kurt and meet him at Starbucks every single day. She wanted a lot of things to happen.

But the engagement ring was digging into her cheek and unwelcome arms and comforting words were being whispered into her ear.

Little facts about Quinn were being murmured, almost unconsciously, into the shell of her ear. Rachel stops sobbing and actually listens, listens for once. The words were heavy and laden with remorse and it seems more like guilty confessions instead of concrete facts. But they were beautiful and calming and just so Quinn.

"When she was five we started calling her Quinnie the Pooh because she always put honey on her toast."

Rachel smiled through her tears.

"She was always in competition with Frannie. It was hard as a mother to watch her two girls fight over the best cartwheel and actually judge."

She laughed brokenly this time.

The murmurs continued and the brunette felt her eyes begin to droop as the arm around her waist tightened. The body behind her shifted closer; the breaths on the back of her neck made goosebumps appear along her arms. If she weren't so tired and heart-broken and it wasn't Quinn's mom, than she would probably be aroused. If it were Quinn than the brunette could easily envision herself turning around and kissing the girl out of sheer curiosity. The pillows were scratchy and beyond uncomfortable; it made for a nice distraction. Her head still hurt and chest still felt the burden of self-guilt, but she was warm and tired and being held by someone in direct relation to Quinn. The woman practically was Quinn.

"And the first time I knew my daughter was crazy about you -"

Rachel was asleep.

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