This is a risk
Quinn stands, on slightly shaky legs, at the front of the choir room. She isn't shaking because of weakness, but from nerves. While she hasn't progressed to the point where she can go the whole day without her wheelchair, she can make it through one song well enough as long as she stands in one place.
There are only two days until Prom and this is the last Glee meeting before the dance, so it's supposed to be a final day for practicing the lineup for their performances. Quinn got as close to begging as she is able for Mr. Shuester to allow her to debut a song. She insisted that she needs to sing it though. It's her last chance to get it out if she doesn't want to serenade the entire hallway along with…her intended target.
She's got a hold,
and I will never know
where the luck I have
comes from, no.
She really has to sing this song to Rachel, and she has to do it today, or else she'll chicken out and, she just knows, she'll never work up the courage again. With the way Finn is still sniffing around, even after Rachel miraculously dumped him several month ago, it could just be a matter of time before Rachel caves under her desire to be loved and wanted. Quinn has to make her intentions known, now, while she has the chance.
Quinn wakes up gasping. There's a weight on her chest and she can't see anything for a few startling seconds. When her vision clears she realizes she's not in her destroyed car, but in her temporary downstairs bedroom, and she's not in any pain for the moment.
The weight on her chest turns out to be Rachel's head. Quinn has another moment of confusion, because Rachel definitely fell asleep on the other side of the bed. Now she's completely wrapped around Quinn, her head right under Quinn's chin, breath teasing her neck, and tiny hands curled into the front of Quinn's pajama top.
Quinn can feel her heart start to race again. She tries to relax again and is almost slipping back into sleep when Rachel shifts a little, brings her mouth in direct contact with Quinn's throat, and murmurs something in her slumber, causing her lips to brush against Quinn's skin in a way that sends sparks shooting to the tips of her fingers.
Quinn doesn't sleep for the rest of the night, but she really doesn't mind too much.
Rachel is one of the first to arrive every day for Glee club, usually right after Artie (and now Quinn, since the accident. They are let into the halls a few minutes early so they don't get stuck in traffic with their chairs.) She's used to seeing Quinn already in the room, sitting in her chair at the foot of the risers. She's not used to seeing Quinn standing at the front of the room. It's been a very long time since that's happened.
Quinn delights at the way Rachel's eyes widen at the sight of her standing there. When Rachel approaches with her hands out like she alternatively wants to catch Quinn and hug her, Quinn can't help the giggles that escape. It's amazing that as soon as Rachel enters the room, Quinn's nerves skyrocket briefly and then quickly even off. She's perfectly calm now, and in moments like this she wonders how she can doubt her feelings for Rachel and Rachel's for her.
Brown eyes light up the same way they do when Rachel is talking about music or theatre or both or Broadway. It gives Quinn hope and strength.
"You're standing!" Rachel says, as though she hasn't been witness to most of the painful process Quinn had been pushing through for the last few months.
"What do you know?" Quinn teases. "Just like in PT." Rachel leans in for a hug then and Quinn accepts it happily. After the hug reaches a length that could be called inappropriate, Rachel takes a careful step back and plants her hands on her hips. Quinn tried to not smile too hard. She had felt the way Rachel turned her head in against Quinn's neck, the way small hands had clenched at her shirt.
"Do you really think you should be walking around without the proper support?"
Quinn's heart swells further at the sound of Rachel's concern but she just smiles. "My chair is right over there. I think I can handle standing in place while I sing one little song."
She's gotta know,
that the devil has been around
and he iced the guy in white
on my other shoulder.
"You're going to sing something?" The concern flees from Rachel's tone and accusation takes its place. She is not happy that Quinn hadn't informed her of her plan, or that she didn't ask for Rachel's expertise beforehand.
Quinn laughs again and takes Rachel's hands, swinging them gently between their bodies. "Yep, I'm going to serenade you. So go sit down, this is my show." Quinn leads Rachel in a twirl and then pushes her gently toward the risers.
Rachel turns around and walks backward as she asks, "What are you singing?"
Quinn just smiles. "It's a surprise." When a pout forms on Rachel's lips, Quinn's grin grows. The way she feels right in that moment, every nerve ending firing and her stomach clenching like she's falling from somewhere high above the ground, is the most comforting thing she can think of. As anxiety inducing as it can be, it's also a confirmation that what she's about to do is worth it, because this is real. This is the most she's ever felt for anyone before.
She has a chance, because two months ago Rachel said that she believed in her, and three days ago they had been inches away from kissing before Rachel got spooked and took off.
Movie nights with Rachel usually end up with both of them falling asleep and barely waking up in time for school.
That night is different. That night they start to talk after one movie ends, instead of putting another one in. They're close. Rachel likes to cuddle and Quinn doesn't discourage it. Rachel is nearly on top of Quinn, and they talk quietly about how their roommates might turn out next year. Rachel traces the fibers of Quinn's top distractedly and somehow their conversation drifts off.
Rachel shifts over Quinn a little and starts to play with her hair, twirling strands into curls around her fingers. She says something but Quinn can't focus. She loves getting her hair played with. When Rachel repeats herself, Quinn manages to focus on the other girl's mouth, but still not on her words. Rachel's lips look really soft.
It's at this point that Quinn knows she's probably too tired to be allowed to do anything involving major life decisions. She knows she should try to control herself, but she also knows that Rachel's skin will be so soft under her fingers, and their mouths will just fit together perfectly, Rachel will probably taste like learning to walk again. Quinn leans in a little closer and her eyes flick up to Rachel's. Her pupils are huge and her eyes look nearly black in the dull light that Quinn's TV provides.
Rachel's breath hitches in the quiet.
They haven't discussed it at all. Three days of radio silence has nearly driven Quinn into a mania. They had been so close, their faces only a few inches apart, but Rachel had bolted without warning and Quinn had been left on her bed feeling foolish and alone.
At school Rachel smiled and laughed and talked with her the same, but she didn't touch her anymore except for a few fleeting hugs. Quinn hated not feeling Rachel's hand run over her arm, or push locks of wayward hair away from her face. She missed Rachel's head on her shoulder when they watched movies after PT, dark hair tickling her nose, and a soft warm body against hers.
Normal friends don't do the things they do. Quinn has female friends. They go shopping and talk about boys and clothes and makeup. They don't cuddle and whisper intense secrets against each other's necks. They watch movies. They don't fall asleep on top of each other twenty minutes in because they're just so comfortable together.
Quinn knows what she wants, and hopefully, Rachel will get the message. Hopefully, she hasn't misread Rachel's signals.
So Baby, let's get one thing straight,
I ain't ever gonna be as perfect as you need.
So Baby, let's get one thing straight
It doesn't take long for the other Glee club members to begin filing in. They all approach Quinn when they enter and coo or congratulate her over the fact that she's standing. She deals with their interest politely and they drift off once their sense of duty is fulfilled.
To Quinn's great irritation, Finn sits right beside Rachel, grinning hopefully at her. Rachel doesn't respond other than to give him a quick tense smile and cross her arms over her chest. This appeases him momentarily though and he sits back in his chair.
TJ's arrival is what Quinn is waiting for. He walks in carrying his guitar, and instead of sitting with the others, he steps up beside Quinn and starts to tune up.
Quinn glances at a very peeved Rachel and has to bite the inside of her cheek, hard, to keep from laughing.
When Shuester flies in and informs every one of the plan for the day, Quinn can't even really hear him. She's too wound up, but when he waves vaguely in her direction and walks off, sound rushes back into her ears and she's suddenly overwhelmed with the urge to vomit all down the front of her dress. Instead, she gives TJ a thin smile and a nod and he begins the opening chords. The lyrics start almost immediately after the music, so Quinn locks eyes with Rachel and sings directly to her.
"I'm not going to prom with you," she replies derisively. She almost can't take his request seriously, but the sad eyes he's giving her are too honestly hurt for it to be anything but. She feels bad for the guy, but there's no way she was leading him on.
"Why not?" He sits up straight and pushes his guitar away
Quinn rolls her eyes. She lifted her left hand and began to tick off fingers. "Because I don't want to. Because when boys ask girls to prom what they're really asking for is sex. Because you'll want me to be your girlfriend. Because I'm working on this song so that I can ask someone else to the prom."
Joe scowls. "You're using me to ask someone else to prom?"
"I'm not using you! You offered to play for me and you didn't ask me why I was singing it."
He flushes and looks down in embarrassment. "Well I just assumed…"
"Yeah, that was stupid." His brow furrows further and Quinn sighs. She reaches out and lays a hand gently on his closest shoulder. "I call you TJ for a reason, because like Jesus, you are supposed to be sexless and chaste. Also your hair is disgusting and you dress like a hobo. I'll be your friend, Joe, but nothing else."
"Who are you asking to prom?" He asks after a few silent seconds. "It's not Artie, is it?"
Quinn knows she doesn't really owe him anything, but she figures it won't hurt to tell him. "Rachel. I'm asking Rachel."
His eyes flash to hers quickly in surprise. "Rachel?" Quinn nods. "Is everyone at this school gay?"
Quinn rolls her eyes. "No, just Glee club."
Joe's nose wrinkles distastefully. "I might quit."
"Not until after you help me, right?"
Joe rolls his eyes but nods. He picks up his guitar again. "Yeah, I'll play your damn song."
"Such foul language from a man of God."
"Oh shut up and sing already."
There's polite, if confused, applause after Quinn finishes singing and TJ plays the last few chords. She kept her eyes on Rachel through most of the performance, but there had been points where she was just too full of emotion to look her right in the eye, so she would slip and look around.
Kurt has a smug little grin on his face, something that has come more and more unbearable for Quinn to witness as the year slid on by, and she can tell he knows what was going on. Santana is the same, but her smirk is less irritating. Everyone else just seems to take the song at face value, which is odd enough for them, but it makes Quinn grateful that she won't have to suffer through a big scene.
Quinn moves to fetch her chair, but TJ has already swung it around close and she just drops in with a grateful smile. Her knees were getting pretty wobbly at the end there.
Practice moves on with Mr. Shuester calling them all up one at a time to practice their songs for Prom, and by the end of club Quinn is ready to jump out of her skin because Rachel hasn't even looked at her since she was singing.
She's still preparing her ambush when they're released from the room, and Rachel escapes into the hall before Quinn can even get her hands on her wheels. She's about to call after her, but then a large shadow looms over and the sun is blocked out by Finn's massive shoulders.
"Hey, Quinn. That was a really nice song." He's got his charming baby-boy grin on so Quinn just offers a thin smile of her own.
"Thanks Finn. I've gotta go."
"Hey wait!" He reaches out and grabs one of the handles on her wheel chair, jerking her to a clumsy stop. He's quick to apologize when he sees her glare. "I just wanted to talk to you about it."
"What about it, Finn?" she nearly growls.
He hesitates briefly. "Look Quinn, I'm really flattered and all, but I don't think it's very nice of you to sing a love song to me when Rachel is like right there."
Quinn stares blankly at him for a long moment, wondering, not for the first time, why she ever bothered with him. She knows the answer, but it still baffles her on occasion. "Finn," she begins sharply and his dopey smile slips just a little, "go away."
His smile slips further and then his brow collapses in confusion. He glances around like he's waiting for her to laugh and tell him she's joking or something, and when nothing happens after a few seconds, his confusion morphs into a scowl and he turns slowly and walks away with slightly hunched shoulders.
This is a risk
you don't ever wanna take
cause if my history is right
we're never ever gonna make it
Quinn sags in her chair when he's finally gone. She's alone in the choir room, and now there's no way she can catch up to Rachel.
She reaches down to grab her bag and in the few seconds that her eyes averted, Rachel appears in the doorway, her face tense and her hand white-knuckling the doorframe.
They just stare at each other for so long that Quinn feels like her whole body is going to burst into flame. For the first time she really feels like she did the wrong thing. She jumped the gun, she realizes, and the flames curl around her heart and put a suffocating pressure on her lungs.
"Hi," she manages, and she's horrified when her voice breaks.
Rachel lets go of the door frame and takes a few halting steps toward her. "Quinn," she murmurs, halting her approach about three feet away. Her eyes are big and dark and…sad and Quinn feels a spike of fear shoot straight from her heart to her gut.
"Will you go to the Prom with me?" Quinn blurts before Rachel can say anything else. She has to get it out, has to make everything clear so there's no misunderstanding.
"Quinn," she starts again, a little louder this time. She seems hesitant and Quinn just can't take the wait.
"Look if you…if I got it wrong, then just tell me so I can go hide for a while and get over it. Don't drag it out like this. It's cruel." She looks up into Rachel's eyes and prepares herself for disappointment.
If you can see
some hope in love for me
than please, by all means…
"Yes, I'll go to prom with you."
A/N: I'm too nauseous from tonight's episode to tell if this is good enough or not. Everything is making me sick.
Minimal angst, hope you like it, because the next chapter of Simple Parts is going to punch you in the face.
No one ask me for any more of this verse.
Song: This is a Risk- State and Madison (good luck finding it, I only have it cause I met them and bought their EP, not the best music ever, but it's pretty catchy).