LbN: So I'm reading this amazing, epic, wonderful fic by icewaterdrive called "It's Not Like I Asked for This to Happen". In this fantastic fic (can you tell I'm enjoying it ;)?) there's a bit at the beginning about Rachel being slightly afraid when she sees Quinn in the Cheerios uniform again. That inspired this. Happy reading!
"Hey there, baby star," Hiram said, looking up from his book. "Heading over to Quinn's?"
"Yep! Time to help her express her emotions creatively."
"Just keep the door open…."
"Hiram, don't traumatize our daughter," Leroy said, walking into the room. He kissed Rachel's forehead, and then gave her a confused look. "Wait…you're going over to Quinn's?"
"But it only took you thirty minutes to get ready!"
"Oh hush! I'm not that bad."
"You changed your outfit twenty-six times when you were getting ready for your first date."
"She runs a fashion blog! I wanted to look nice."
Leroy chuckled. "I'm just kidding, sweetie. Go have fun."
"And leave the door open. Judy may not have an open-door policy, but ours extends to both houses," Hiram said, smirking behind his book.
"I'll have you know that just because we're teenagers doesn't mean we're behaving in a manner that would be considered—"
"Honey, just go have fun."
Rachel smiled and made her way out to the car. She got in and shook her head at her dads, laughing. She couldn't blame them for poking a little fun. These last couple of months had been strange and tense for them. From Finn breaking up with Rachel as well, Quinn calling at one a.m. a week after the end of school, to her tentative friendship with the blonde, to them having karaoke dates—one of which ended with a kiss at the end of Can You Feel the Love Tonight…. It had been a whirlwind of emotions, with their history. Still, it seemed to be working.
Rachel smiled a little brighter, remembering their second "date".
"I want you to help me," Quinn said.
"Sure, Quinn. What's up?"
"I know you're worried," the blonde said softly. "About our senior year. About what happens when we go back to school. But you don't have to. I promise, I won't turn back into psycho!Quinn."
Rachel smiled. "I'm glad. I don't think my dads have the money for the amount of therapy I'd require if this turned out to be some colossal joke."
"It's not. Which brings me to where I need your help. Number one—Santana and Brittany are my best friends, and I want them on our side when school starts."
"You want to tell them?"
"Yep. But only if you're okay with it."
"Of course. What was the other thing?"
"Hear me out before you say anything."
"I'm quitting glee." She held up a hand seeing Rachel about to speak. "Not…not right off. I'll come back at first, just to see… but something's changed. I told you about my little melt down with Santana and Brittany, right?"
"Well, I left out the part that Mr. Schue overheard us. And he was…not the caring, loving William Schuester of old, let's say."
"What does that mean?" Rachel grumbled.
"He told me to get it together, basically. And not in an empowering I-don't-need-no-man, kind of way. In a you're-a-freaking-train-wreck, kind of way."
"He did not say that!"
"Not in so many words, but that was the gist. He told me he hoped I find myself over the summer, so that I could be a better team member."
"All that means to him is keeping me and Finn happy," Rachel growled. "And I'm only on the list because I'm the strongest singer. That's ridiculous! After everything you've been through? He just diminishes it into some sort of teen angst, and…EURGH!"
Quinn smiled widely at Rachel's outburst. "Glee is my outlet. And as much as the drama there has pushed me over the edge a couple of times, I think we can all agree that I'd be worse off without it. Or something fun and creative where I can just let go and be me. Which is why I need you to help me decide on another creative outlet. Just in case…just in case glee doesn't work out."
"Absolutely," Rachel said. "Though I hope you stay."
The blonde leaned in and gave her a kiss. "Let's get to work, then!"
They'd debated so many fun hobbies that Rachel couldn't remember them all. Particularly hilarious was their fifteen minute discussion about why Quinn didn't trust Rachel with knitting needles. In the end, they'd settled on something they were both surprisingly good at….
"Hi Rachel. I suppose it's fashion blog night?" Judy said as she opened the door.
"Quinn's upstairs, and food's on the way. Are you staying tonight?"
"If that's okay…."
"I want you both in bed by ten. School starts next week."
"Aye, aye, Captain!"
Judy laughed as Rachel bounced up the stairs to Quinn's room.
The first thing Rachel saw when she entered Quinn's room were the small boxes lining the desk. "Hair dye?"
"Mmmhmm," Quinn said. "And before you ask, I already got permission from Mom."
Rachel grinned. "Uh huh. I'm sure that conversation went something like, 'Mom, I'm thinking of trying something new with my hair.' Followed by 'Really, dear? That sounds nice.' I highly doubt Judy knows you're debating between Manic Panic's Electric Lizard green, Bad Boy Blue, and Pretty Flamingo pink…."
"Maybe," Quinn admitted, smirking.
"No clothes strewn all over? What's the blog going to be about today?"
"Just my hair and some quips from fashion week. Then I figured we could hang out and watch movies."
"And since you're my girlfriend and you're awesome, I'm letting you pick the color and my outfit for the picture."
"You spoil me, dear. Pink."
"Good, that's the one I wanted. Go raid my closet while I get this thing going."
Rachel squeaked with excitement. Something about the idea of Quinn with pink hair was highly arousing—amusing! Damn it! Amusing! She was not going to let either of their one-track minds derail the evening. The last time that happened, it ended with noise complaints and Judy giving them The Talk….
She hummed quietly to herself as she shuffled through Quinn's massive wardrobe. She was about to complain to her girlfriend about the fact that she still had Puck's ACDC shirt, when she broke off with a gasp.
Quinn's Cheerios uniform was hanging there.
Rachel closed her eyes and somehow heard every insult ever thrown at her. She felt every slushie and egg, and saw every sneer.
She jumped, breathing hard.
"That's my freshman uniform," Quinn said. "And there's no way it'll fit, so you'll have to pick something else."
"I didn't pick it," she said in a strangled voice. She was breathing very deeply and, she realized with dawning horror, about to cry.
"Hey," Quinn said softly. She pulled off the comforting voice rather well for being in a conditioning cap with a towel around her shoulders. "I'm not going back on the Cheerios. I told you. I don't want to be that girl anymore."
Rachel nodded, but said, "I think I might be having a panic attack."
Quinn led her over to the bed to sit down. "Deep breaths—in through your mouth and out through your nose."
Rachel complied as Quinn grabbed a water bottle from her dresser.
She knelt in front of Rachel. "I know we've been through this already…but I'm sorry. For everything I put you through. I'm sorry that the mere sight of a Cheerios uniform in my closet has you almost too scared to breathe. That's my fault. But you're my girlfriend now. How the hell you forgive me and trust me enough to allow me to call you that is something I can't fully wrap my mind around, but it's happening. And I'm going to spend every waking moment making the past three years up to you, until you come to your senses and find someone who deserves you more."
"You do deserve me, Quinn. And I've already forgiven you."
"Now that we've met one another…." Rachel sang, smiling again.
"It's clear we deserve each other," Quinn finished. "Listen—I'm not going back to the Cheerios. No one brings the cray cray out of me like Sylvester... Okay, maybe Finn... Just think about that uniform as the monster in the back of my closet."
"Great…guess who's sleeping in the guest room tonight?" Rachel teased.
"Oh no you're not," Quinn told her, smirking. "I've got plans for you, lady. And the guest room is too close to my mom's room. But we'll get to that later. Grab the blow dryer; you've got to help me apply heat to my new do…."
"I shall wield it like a torch of justice and truth," Rachel said, trying to break the lingering tension
"Rachel, what are you doing in there?"
"Picking out more clothes. I figured we'd do a few more sets, since I put a time constraint on your creative outlet."
Quinn grinned as she edited some of the pictures. When they'd first told Judy about the blog, her mother insisted that they didn't do too many pictures of themselves—just to keep their internet presence down and make sure no perverts were having fun. So instead they did what they called "sets" shots of just the outfits, but in different places around the room and house. This took considerably less time than actual outfit changes, but it still took time. Which was why Rachel had made a "no photoshoots except on Fridays" rule.
She turned, and her mouth fell open.
Rachel had, indeed, picked a few more outfits. She had also put on Quinn's Cheerio outfit.
"I'm tiny, so it fits."
"Normally, I'd ask if that was a fat joke, but I'm far too turned on right now," Quinn deadpanned.
Rachel laughed. "It's an exercise my Daddy uses on his patients with mild phobias. He starts them off by looking at small pictures of…say…spiders. Then they move to large pictures. Eventually, some are able to be in the same room with their phobia, or even overcome it. Obviously this works best with tangible things, so I thought I'd try it."
"That's why you've been picking out the clothes these past few weeks," Quinn said.
"Yep. Consider the monster in your closet vanquished."
Quinn laughed as Rachel bounced over to hug her.