CHARACTERS: Quinn Fabray, Rachel Berry
GENRE: general, angst, friendship
SPOILERS: "Big Brother"
SUMMARY: After storming away from Artie on Senior Ditch Day, Quinn finds herself at Rachel's house. pre-Faberry oneshot.
NOTES: For quick posts and just to keep in touch, check out my writing Tumblr. I post things on there a lot sooner than on here. I wrote this write after Big Brother aired.
Quinn goes to Rachel's house after her day with Artie. She just needs to talk to someone, and since Rachel seems hellbent on feeling responsible, Quinn's going to talk to her. Of course, talking to Rachel was so much easier when Quinn could get to the door, knock on it, and just stroll inside. But now she has to get her chair up the stairs and it's really difficult and Quinn's not in the mood. So after a few minutes of trying to fight her way up, Quinn just calls Rachel instead.
She wheels around so that she can see up to Rachel's window. The curtains are drawn, but Quinn can make out Rachel's shadow. Rachel moves around inside and then answers.
Quinn sighs. "I'm downstairs. I need to talk so get down here and talk to me."
"I-I'll be right down."
The blonde clicks off the line and waits as Rachel disappears from her window and comes outside. It takes a bit longer than Quinn would have liked, but eventually Rachel walks out of the doorway with one of her little cardigans thrown over her shoulders.
"Quinn! You're here. What's wrong? Are you okay?"
Everything comes out in a whirl, and it only makes the cheerleader more flustered. Quinn shakes her head with a huff as her eyes bore into some spot on the ground. "I should've just gone with you guys to the park. It was stupid of me to spend the day with Artie. He doesn't - he doesn't understand. He thinks that I'm like him, but I'm not." Quinn looks up to Rachel, and it's so annoying that she has to look up. So annoying that she has to say this, has to remind herself again and again and again. The next words she says are ones she's been eating, sleeping, and breathing since she woke up. "I'm getting out. This is only temporary, and soon I'll be dancing on the stage at Nationals and walking to get my diploma and moving my own furniture into my dorm and going to classes and falling in love and getting married and being - being -" Somewhere along the line Quinn starts crying. She starts breaking to the point where she's choking on a sob. Rachel reaches out a hand, but Quinn snaps, "No! I'm going to be okay. I'm going to walk again. I am."
Rachel's voice is hesitant, soft. "Quinn… do you want to come inside?"
"I can't come inside, Rachel," Quinn barks. "I can't get up the stairs to get into your house. I can't go up the stairs to your room, without being carried like some…. So no, I don't want to go inside."
And Rachel does that thing where she sort of flounders between one choice and another. It's obvious on her face. She's thinking of what she can say to make this better. But what can she say? There's nothing she can say. Quinn knows that. So why is Quinn here? Looking at Rachel through her frustrated, glazed eyes like this sad, little, perfectly healthy girl can make a difference? This isn't the story of the underdog here. And, even if it was, Quinn definitely has surpassed Rachel by this point.
"Our back door is on ground level. And we have a great downstairs," Rachel offers. It's nowhere enough. Rachel sighs. "I don't know what to say, Quinn. All I want to do is apologize, or fix this, but I can't think of how." Her eyes stray from Quinn's. Her voice drops to a whisper. "I can't think of anything. Except for you. Except for what I did to you. And you can tell me over and over that this isn't my fault, but then why else would you be here? Why else would be talking to me of all people about this?"
Because we're friends, Quinn wants to say. But that's not why. She has other friends. Friends who are better equipped with handling her fits. So why is she here? Why did she have to come here? Why pay a taxi to drive her to Rachel's instead of going home? Because she understands. No. Because she cares. Maybe. Because I care. Because I care about her. Because I need her to know. I need her. I need Rachel. Just Rachel.
Quinn's eyes squeeze shut. She needs to stop thinking like that. Rachel's marrying Finn. And even if she wasn't, there's no way in hell that she would go for Quinn. But even if there's nothing romantic, there is something. There is a connection. So Quinn says, admits, "You hear me, Rachel. Through all of the screaming and everything else, you hear me. I just… needed to be heard."
And Rachel wavers again before blurting out, "Come inside. Please. We can talk in the comfort of my living room, or not talk. I have lots of movies. Not even just musicals. And I have food."
"Vegan food," Quinn mumbles. Rachel's eyes light up, just a bit.
"Yeah, but I might be persuaded to dig out some of Daddy's bacon." The bribe is accompanied by this hopeful little pout. Maybe that's why Quinn's here. Not just because she feels whatever it is she feels for Rachel, but because with everything else, with the daunting fear of what's to come, it's nice to have hope.
"Fine," Quinn says with a push to her chair, "but only for the bacon."
They head back into Rachel's house together with the faintest of smiles on their faces and the promise of the perfect end to Senior Ditch Day - an escape from reality, even if it's only temporary.