"What's with you Fabray? You're the top of the freaking pyramid can't you at least try to fall gracefully to your death without crushing the rest of us?," Santana roared as she angrily pushed up from the floor and rubbed her sore back.
Even though none of the other cheerios would say it out loud, they were all thinking that their captain needed to work a little more on her footing and a little less on her backhanding slushy arm.
"You wanna walk up to me and say that Lopez?," Quinn retorted as she stretched her stressed limbs.
"Maybe I would if I wasn't too busy picking my ass off the floor for the tenth time because of you!"
"I thought you liked it on your back Lopez," Quinn said, almost letting her upper lip curl slightly at the jab.
"As if you get to say that to me!"
Santana bit back the more swear heavy parts of her argument as she saw the resident dragon woman make her presence known in the room.
"Lopez, keep your mouth shut," Sue Sylvester growled before rounding on Quinn. "Fabray, she's right! Get it together or I'll send you right back down to underneath that angry Latina posterior! If you can't handle it, just say so and let someone who can take the reins," she finished, shooting each cheerio a soul crushing glare for the hell of it.
"I'm Quinn Fabray. I can handle anything," Quinn insisted, hating the fact that she had to. "And if you minions would kindly give me a more stable pyramid to top then we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
"Don't make excuses, this is about you and your crumbling under pressure," Santana said as she crossed her arms in front of her, dark eyes staring right at Quinn's hazel. "Coach is right, if you can't handle it, maybe it's time to give it up to someone who can."
"Watch it Lopez, I am still your Captain. I am still in charge here. Not you."
"You'd crack under a cookie so why don't you just admit that these moves just aren't suited for a … delicate blonde such as yourself."
"Are you really challenging my authority?" Quinn asked with narrowed eyes.
"I wouldn't dream of it Captain," Santana replied with a sneer as she continued baiting the other girl. "Not while Sylvester still thinks you're the shit and not just…"
"I can prove it," Quinn said, taking the hook and line with her.
"That I can handle whatever you think you can throw at me."
Santana stretched her body out, reveling in the sight of an annoyed and tightly strung Quinn almost shaking in front of her.
"Are you sure about that?," she teased seeing Quinn's jaw tighten.
"Just try me," the blonde replied tersely. "Just name the deal and we're on."
"Now what would be the fun in that?," Santana said with a smirk.
From the corner of her eye she saw her a deliciously innocent looking figure who would serve the part of being her dirty little muse just perfectly.
Rachel Barbara Berry.
The next day at school was noticeably more than the usual annoyance for Quinn. She couldn't make out what the hell the speakers were trying to announce with the idiot behind the microphone breaking out into a tearful, sniveling mess every five seconds but whatever it was the crackling was really starting to get under her nerves.
Worse was that she found the halls of her closely guarded territory littered everywhere with what seemed to be like pink, heart decorated envelopes. Quinn sighed and fought the urge to squeeze the bridge of her nose.
Just as she was a second away from wondering if someone had changed the date to Valentines day, Quinn found herself face to face with a terribly happy looking Santana holding hands with a smiling Brittany.
"Hey Q," the girl greeted gently.
"Hey Brit, tell me you didn't let this little bitch ruin my day so early," Quinn asked half heartedly, noting she already knew the answer.
Brittany confirmed her thoughts with an apologetic look as her hand was given a squeeze before Santana let go to strike her signature pose.
"What the hell did you do?," Quinn demanded to know. "Do you know how much effort I have to put in to avoid the crazy idiots that get drunk enough to try and approach me on Valentines? Why would you have to reschedule it to today?"
Despite herself, Santana almost laughed out loud while Brittany consulted her phone for the actual date.
"Free chocolates are even more delicious than regular," she said softly to herself before turning her look to Santana and licking her lips. "But nothing is as delicious as you."
"Back at you babe," Santana said with a hungry stare.
"If this is all part of the pissing Quinn off morning then fine, you've succeeded Santana but this is far from something that I can't handle."
"Oh please blondie, as if I'd bother with that small an idea. Valentines Day? Who gives a rats ass?"
Before the glaring competition between her girlfriend and her captain turned into a full blown violent extravaganza, Brittany took the opportunity to steal a little of Quinn's attention.
"Before you say anything I want you to remember the friendship we've shared up to this point," Brittany began gently. "And on that note you should remember that though I look hot in anything, we all look better in red."
"What are you talking about?," Quinn asked, her stress once again gathering into wrinkles in the middle of her forehead. "What is she talking about?"
"I'm talking about looking hot," Brittany reiterated. "In bridesmaid's dresses."
"You two are engaged?," Quinn asked, her face exploding into a million incredulous expressions all at once. "How can that even be? I didn't know Satan conducted weddings. Honestly I don't know whether to laugh or have a panic attack."
"You'll know in a moment, once you realize what I really had planned for you this morning. Here's a little sneak preview."
Just at that moment, a pissed off Coach Sylvester was making a beeline for the trio, making sure to push every student she could into the nearest locker, regardless of whether they were in her way or not.
"Fabray! I trusted you!," she shot out angrily. "Then I stopped trusting you only to trust you again and this is how you repay me? Don't you know by now that you need to ask my permission to do anything? You need to ask my permission to breathe! This whole entire… thing is unconceivable!"
"Coach," Quinn began nervously. "Whatever Santana has done I assure you that as Captain…"
"As Captain, you will deal with it right Quinn?," Santana said as she interrupted with a smirk. "You'll deal with it as only a Captain can. Because you can deal with anything, right?"
Sue Sylvester stayed quiet for a millisecond as she processed what was going on before once again rounding on Quinn.
"You're taking responsibility for this? Listen to me Fabray. You're the captain of the cheerios! MY cheerios and I don't know why on Earth why couples keep ending up taking place with those people but this better not affect your cheerleading capabilities. Do you hear me? Do you hear me? Now excuse me as I find out where that bawling ginger-headed little announcer jerk is hiding, this is not how anyone wants to start their day."
"Santana," Quinn said almost weary of the answer. "What did you do?"
"Oh you'll find out soon enough."
"Here Quinn have an invite," Brittany said offhandedly as if she'd just forgotten to hand the girl the pretty coloured envelope.
"Sooner than even I thought but hey," Santana said with a shrug. "You're the great Quinn Fabray right? Try living this one down tubbers. Oh and by the way, you can't just go calling it off. That seems like a big running away tactic which just doesn't suit your… social standing am I right?"
"Don't worry Quinn," Brittany said supportively. "You guys make a hot couple."
"You're marrying me off to that Israel dweeb? There's no way anyone could make a hot couple with him! Even if I'm in the equation."
Santana merely shook her head in disappointment.
"What did I tell you about small ideas? I like to go big or go home."
Quinn rolled her eyes.
"Got that right, boob job."
"I'm gonna let that slide if only because you're scheduled for a little hallway date with your sweetheart right about now," Santana replied before once again linking hands with Brittany as they walked away.
"Oh whatever bitch," Quinn called to her and caught Brittany turning back to wave.
"Bye Quinn! And don't forget what I said about the dresses. I also look hot in ones that are yellow with ducks on them."
"Quinn, May I speak with you?," Rachel Berry asked as she regarded the blonde with a stern look.
"Not right now manhands, I'm trying to deal with something."
"Yes I gathered," Rachel replied with a dramatic sigh. "But if I may be of assistance…"
Quinn quickly cut her off, almost startling the girl. She would have if it had been anyone else but Rachel who merely just waited for the outburst she knew was coming.
"Why in the hell would you think you have anything to do with this?"
Rachel squared her shoulders and took a deep breath, ready for an outburst of her own.
"To be honest Quinn I think I'm the one who should be asking the questions. The first of which would be why did I receive a congratulatory phone call from Kurt this morning regarding my newly discovered sexuality? The following question would be why did I receive another phone call from an unlisted number that happened to be from a rather tearful sounding Jacob Ben Israel regarding his impending jump off a nearby bridge? Don't worry… or do… he survived, and is currently making quite bothersome announcements as we speak."
"What announcement?," Quinn wanted to know.
"That's all you got from all that? The announcement regarding the engagement," Rachel replied before Quinn blew up at her again.
"What engagement? There is no church in existence that would wed Santana Lopez! Wait, did she create one? Oh my God is the announcement about Santana starting a demon cult?"
"Hold on a moment Quinn, the funeral march is playing again so the tape of Jacob crying into the microphone is about to start."
"Rachel Berry… my Rachel Berry… engaged," a sickly sounding voice echoed through the high school hallways.
"It's your wedding?"
Quinn gaped at the girl standing before her until she heard the following moan seep out from from the overhead speakers.
"To cheerio captain…"
"No… nonononono," Quinn said with angry determination. "They can't take my captaincy away from me! Who did they give it to? Your fiancée? They can't make some lumbering idiot cheerleading captain! No one can take my captaincy away from me!"
"To cheerio captain… Quinn Fabray!"
Quinn's face blanched as her head decided to take a spin around the universe.
"Yes they can," she uttered. "Take the captaincy, I will give it up right now. What's a captain? What's a cheerio? Cheerios… are delicious aren't they?"
"Quinn are you alright? You don't look too well," Rachel said holding her hand out in attempt to reach out the stressed out blonde only to have it weakly slapped away.
"I'm not marrying you!"
"Well yes," Rachel huffed, her patience for the princess complex captain also wearing thin. "That generally goes without saying doesn't it? What I came here to find out, even with the threat of numerous slushies coming way I'll have you know, is why the exact opposite is being announced over our school speakers!"
"I don't know."
Quinn's shoulders slumped slightly forward, giving way to the morning's stress attacks.
"Tell me what's going on Quinn," Rachel tried again, gently this time as Quinn tried to voice her feelings.
"This whole thing… It's… ridiculous! Nothing is worth this… my… oh my God I can't breathe," she said while Rachel placed a reassuring pat on her back.
"You don't seem to be taking this well at all you can't handle it then just sit down for a moment and…"
"Yes I can," Quinn growled out, her eyes once again taking on their flawless shine. "I'm handling this fine Berry! Now get your hands off me!"
"If you can handle it then just tell me what on Earth is going on."
"Nothing that I can't handle. No matter what Santana has to say about it."
"What do you see Berry? Flying pigs? Unicorns about the place. Catch one for me would you? I'll need one to give Brittany as an apology for kicking the crap out of her girlfriend."
To Quinn's immediate surprise all Rachel Berry had to say to that was 'okay'.
The brunette turned on her heel and wandered off to class with an excessively thoughtful and very strangely silent look gracing her features.
Come lunchtime however, Quinn was met with a newly renewed Rachel Berry and as was fitting with the order of the day – stress without explanation, the shorter girl seemed to be invigorated with unnecessary dramatic energy.
"Quinn, after much deliberation I have decided to accept your proposal," she announced, right in the middle of the cafeteria line.
Quinn had to resist the urge to throw an apple at her head, which she certainly would have if the round, red fruit didn't happen to be her only grip on reality at that moment in time.
"Of what?," she dared to ask.
"Marriage," replied matter of factly.
"I never proposed to you!," Quinn yelled, her apple almost turning into juice on her lunch tray.
Rachel merely waved off the outburst before continuing to ramble with her prepared plans.
"Regardless of the details I believe this is just the acting challenge I was looking for," she reported. "I have deliberated that along with the additional opportunity of safely scoring against Santana well it's an offer, or should I say proposal, that I just can't refuse,"
"Rachel stop saying proposal," Quinn almost begged for the sake of her sanity.
"Oh you said my name! Well in light of recent understandings I suppose that I will have to stop saying the word proposal if it bothers you so much," Rachel conceded as she happily accepted the blonde's relieved thanks.
"My pleasure. After all, it's about time to start dropping the words 'engagement' into conversations now isn't it? Please do let me know when you think it's time for 'wedding.'
"Rachel do you know why some animals kill and eat their young?," Quinn asked as she went back to placing food on her tray, closely followed by her calm looking new 'fiancee.'
"Funny because I'm sure that'd be a no brainer for your parents."
The two finally found a secluded spot to share their lunch as Quinn was sick and tired of being the talk of the day.
She usually enjoyed more than her fair share of attention at any particular moment in time, especially whenever she graced the halls of her high school but after the 200 questions each of her peers had continually thrown at her during the course of the day it's an understatement to even being to say she had had enough of the annoying talk.
Unfortunately, no one told Rachel Berry.
"If people ask you, as they have been asking me, who got down on their knee say that it was you alright? I thought about it and I think it would look better since you're already taller to begin with."
"What the hell else goes on in that head of yours?," Quinn asked as she took an angry bite out of a non-juiced apple.
"These details are important if we are to make a good show of being a couple. After all that's what you want to show Santana isn't it? That you can make anything work?"
"That I can handle anything."
"I'll keep that in mind for acting purposes Quinn, thank you. You might want to let me in on these little details so we can work sufficiently well together as co-stars."
"For goodness sake Rachel this is real life, not a movie."
"Stage play," Rachel interrupted.
"Not a stage play, it's not gonna be that easy to convince Santana that I can somehow manage to make an engagement with you work, no offense, just because she dreamt it up one midnight."
"She just needs to crack before we do," Rachel said confidently. "After all, who really wants to see me be in a working engagement with you, no offense," she added with a small smile.
Quinn stared at the girl before offering a smile of her own.
"That wasn't bad Berry. Maybe we'll make a normal person out of you yet," Quinn said.
"Keep that in mind for later Quinn. Now, are you ready?"
"No," the blonde replied instantly.
"Well perhaps it would be better to keep that in mind for later too because Santana's talking to Brittany right over there.
"Shit. Rachel, just run I'll deal with her," Quinn said as she tried to usher the unrelenting girl away in the opposite direction.
To her chagrin, Rachel merely placed her lunch tray down and trapped one of Quinn's arms to her chest.
"Alright then, let's get this show started," she whispered to the blonde before turning her attentions to attacking Santana's sanity. "Oh Quinn, my beautiful darling…"
"I'm calling this off right now!," Quinn said as she tried to wriggle out of Rachel's grasp.
"Don't blame me for getting in character!," the shorter girl replied.
"That's a little too in character don't you think?"
Quinn was almost back to growling, her arm still trapped by the infuriating girl at her side.
"There is no such thing! How dare my fiancée say that? How can this marriage ever work?"
"It's not supposed to work, there isn't supposed to be a marriage in the first place!"
"Your acting is terrible!," Rachel insisted. "Are you even in character right now? If it was me I would at least try to break the engagement with a more thorough angry tone. The one you're using is just confused and frustrated!"
"Fine let's just try it again! But this time try not to seem like you're in character and just be in character alright? As if my fiancée would go around saying things like that while gesturing like a maniac."
"It's called stage presence! Gestures are necessary to help convey the point!"
"Wake up Berry! We're not onstage here. We have to act believably as a real life couple. That's not gonna work if I want to smack you every time you open your mouth."
"That doesn't sound like a healthy relationship at all."
"Let's just try it again and try to act normal. Fast because here comes Satan."
Santana who was wondering whether or not to cut short her Brittany loving time just to piss off Quinn had her decision made for her purely by look of annoyed panic on her blonde face.
"Got it," Rachel said before dropping Quinn's arm like it burned and making a hasty exit.
"Rachel? What? Where are you going?," Quinn whispered after the girl as Santana sauntered up to her with a pouting Brittany attached.
"Hey there Quinn. Still surprisingly minus your significant other. Already scared Berry away?"
Just in time to cut off the blonde's quick retort, Rachel returned with a nod towards the two newly arrived cheerios and a gentle kiss placed on Quinn's cheek.
"Hey," she whispered to the girl as she blinked shyly up at her.
"Hi," Quinn replied, genuinely surprised and even more surprisingly calm.
Santana's eyes narrowed immediately.
"Wait. That's it? No freaking out about… anything?"
"I'll have you know Santana, that Quinn and I share a very healthy relationship. One that we were planning on keeping under wraps but thanks to some helpful person, we've found that maybe we can handle the publicity of it after all."
"Is that so?"
"Yes in fact it is so. Quinn is a very capable partner who tries her very best to avoid smacking me even when she truly wants to whenever my mouth is open."
Quinn's jaw decided to drop on cue while Brittany rubbed her front onto Santana's side, determined to get her attention regardless of where they were.
"They're kinky. That's hot," she whispered into her girlfriend's ear.
"That's disturbing," Santana replied with a frown as Quinn rolled up her jaw in order to speak again.
"We're not kinky!"
"We could be kinky," Rachel began, again in the calm tone that was honestly starting to freak Quinn out. "If that is what's required from today's generation of normal engaged couples. After all that is what we are."
Santana balked at this.
"That can't be possible! After all I'm the one who…"
"The one who what Santana?," Quinn asked with a raised eyebrow. "You're not getting all weirded out by this are you? I mean maybe the one who's really having issues with not being able to deal with simple happenings is… you."
"Alright Blondie, what's your game?," Santana asked, her tone lowering dangerously.
"I'm sorry Santana but my gorgeous fiancee and I were scheduled to share a moment together before class starts," Rachel interrupted, pointedly changing her position so she could wrap an arm around Quinn's waist and cling to the taller girl. "So I cannot let her engage in any arguments with you at this time. Perhaps later on today-"
"Oh just shut up Berry. Let's go B before I throw up all over this hallway. It's already disgusting enough as it is," Santana said as she dragged a waving Brittany down towards one of their many secret happy places.
As they were out of sight, Rachel unwrapped herself and looked up at Quinn like a puppy expecting to be praised.
"Well?," she asked the girl, her imaginary tail wagging.
"How was my acting? I felt as if I should have given a little more into the initial 'hey' but I thought you might enjoy a somewhat more played down greeting."
"You did good Berry," Quinn conceded.
"You really think so?," Rachel asked again even as Quinn nodded at her.
"Fantastic! Well, seeing as the first bell is about to ring and I have rather large amounts of textbooks to carry to my next class, how about walking me?"
Desensitized to the million questions being thrown her way regarding her 'recent engagement,' the thankful blonde carried Rachel's books into the classroom the girl shared with Santana.
She even hung around a little longer than necessary just to grind down on the Latina's nerves a little longer.
While Rachel was busy dealing with Quinn's not quite so unwanted attentions, their fellow glee club members who also shared the class had more than their fair share to say about the recent turn of events.
"We've entered the twilight zone!," Mercedes reported. "Seriously you guys this is creeping me out."
"Hold on a moment," Kurt replied. "There's a group of well muscled football players over there, I'm going to try my luck."
"No!," his friends, and the universe said to him with enthusiasm causing the boy to pout.
"Why not? Rachel and Quinn are engaged to be married! If any exists, I'm willing today's my day to make anything happen.
"Don't say that kind of thing aloud," Mercedes insisted as she looked around for signs of divine retribution.
"She's right man," Puck agreed. "You're not allowed to say a damn thing from now on. I don't wanna have to deal with shit getting weirder than it already is. I mean I do have a plan and all but I don't think I'm ready for a full scale zombie attack right now alright? Just keep it in your pants for now.
The other two merely blinked at him, silently asking 'wtf?' through their silent blinking language before Kurt spoke again.
"I told you, the universe is all off-kilter you should have let me try my luck with those footballers."
"My answer is still no… especially now that I have a frightening feeling that you might have actually succeeded," Mercedes replied.
Thank you for reading.
Hope to see you again next chapter.