a/n: Hey there, kind reader! I'm Theresa, one half of this fanfic account! First Faberry fanfic I've ever written, so I - we - hope you like it! :)
disclaimer: This is a creation of my imagination and the imagination of the writers of Glee for giving us such a wonderful yet emotionally traumatising show.
SUMMARY: Rachel Berry was prepared for anything. Her greatest personal challenge comes when her summer plan to win over the Glee Club leaves her blindsided and she finds herself on the receiving end of one interested and completely unexpected Quinn Fabray.
CHAPTER 1: OF DYE AND OTHER THINGS
"So whose idea was it to actually agree to this? It's like the Rachel Berry House Party Trainwreck Extravaganza all over again," Kurt murmured to Mercedes as they quickly walked past the imposing portrait of the resident diva.
"Santana threatened us all if we didn't."
"Brittany wanted to come?"
They settled on the couch, greeting the other occupants of the room, including Santana who was looking around murderously and Brittany who was walking around examining the walls.
"Hello Santana," Kurt greeted. "I hope you're pleased with our attendance."
Santana merely offered a cross between a glare and a sarcastic smile just as Rachel Berry herself marched in, hands planted on her hips.
"Hello fellow glee club members, I appreciate your presence here today. I have something of utmost importance to tell you and I'll accept all thank-yous and gratitude at the end. It has come to my-" She paused suddenly, eyes scanning the room. "Wait, where's Quinn?"
"I saw her down at Hot Topic just before I came here," Tina offered tentatively. Mike nodded.
"It's a store, Berry. You know, in the mall, where people go during the summer instead of-"
"-Yes, I'm aware that Hot Topic is a store, Santana. I'm also aware of what kind of store it is, so I'm a little surprised as to why Quinn is there, as wholesome as she is. No offence, Tina," Rachel added as an afterthought, missing the confused look Tina sent Mike.
"Rachel, why don't you just start?" Finn said, drawing everybody's attention towards him. "I'm sure somebody will tell Quinn later, right Santana?"
Santana managed a full-fledged glare this time. Brittany carefully placed a hand on her arm.
Rachel coughed, a faint blush tinting her cheeks. "Of course, Finn. Thank you." She moved to the center of the room, climbing up on the miniature stage. "As I was saying, fellow glee clubbers, it has come to my attention-"
"Hey, sorry I'm late," Quinn interrupted with a tight smile on her face. She hurried in and took a seat beside Puck who smirked at her.
Rachel paused her pacing. "Oh, I- Quinn, you have pink in your hair."
Quinn did her best not to smile at the way Rachel had cocked her head to one side. "Yes, thank you Berry, I'm glad you noticed."
"Was this intentional? This…pink?"
"It's just a streak," Quinn said, slightly self-conscious.
"Is this what you were doing at Hot Topic?"
Quinn frowned. "Yes, I- Wait, how did you know I was at Hot Topic? And what is with the interrogation? It was just something new I thought I'd try, alright? It's summer and summer is for people to change," she said defensively.
"I'm not against your personal grooming choices, Quinn. In fact, I find it remarkably attractive, although I find myself wondering whether or not you would have done this, had you not cut your hair on a whim during Nationals-"
"-Hobbit, weren't you going to tell us something?" Santana growled from her spot across the room.
"Hey!" Finn yelled. Rachel smiled a little at his defense of her.
"I'm just trying to move things along, Finnept."
Puck, Sam, and Mike snickered.
"If I may continue with the hope of not being interrupted a third time…Fellow glee clubbers, it has come to my attention that we require more bonding time as they say, so I've taken it upon myself as captain to sign us up for a highly-accomplished summer program. I have already presented the idea to Mr. Schuester and he agreed that it would be beneficial not only to us as a team, but to each of us individually."
Rachel paused to take a breath and examine the reaction of her teammates.
"You've got to be kiddng me."
"I'm this close to punching you, dwarf."
"Oh shut up, Hudson. I'm sure she's already convinced you that it's a good idea to spend the whole summer together."
"It's not the whole summer," Rachel squeaked. "It's just from the second week of July through the first week of August where they'll be holding a competition between the competing Glee clubs! First prize is $500!" She looked around imploringly. "Think about what that could mean for our club next year – for our senior year. Well," she added. "Most of us, anyway."
"Don't pretend like this wasn't another exercise for you to tell us what to do," Mercedes pointed out.
"I think it's a good idea," Quinn said quietly.
The silence that followed was even longer than before.
"Quinn?" Tina asked hesitantly, looking a little concerned.
"Did you dye your brain, Fabray?" Santana asked incredulously and then smirked when Quinn met her eyes.
Even Finn looked surprised, but none more than Rachel, whose eyes had become so round, they were starting to form the shape of quarters.
"Well, I mean…" Quinn shifted uncomfortably and avoided everybody's eyes. "Whatever."
"Well if Quinn agrees, I agree," Brittany chirped in happily.
"What?" Santana yelped.
"I think Quinn knows what's best when it comes to Rachel," Brittany said sagely.
Quinn's face turned as pink as the streaks in her hair and Santana coughed loudly.
Kurt waved off Brittany noncommittally. "Rachel, just…tell us why you're doing this."
Rachel shook her head slightly as if to get the last few moments out of her head. "Right. Well, apart from being a good bonding exercise, I truly wanted to use this as a way to apologise for our loss at Nationals due to…unforeseen circumstances. I accept that I was a part of it, as does Finn and we really want your forgiveness." Rachel paused once more, gauging their reactions.
"Well, nobody's denying that it was your fault," Santana said snidely.
"But we completely forgive you," Sam cut in, smiling kindly at Rachel and Finn and ignoring Santana's glare. "It was a spur of the moment thing, right?"
The rest of the club nodded along hesitantly.
Rachel inhaled deeply before continuing. "So…please, just trust me on this one. If you don't have a good time or learn something new, you have my permission to," here, Rachel formed air quotes, "Kick my ass, as Noah likes to put it."
"Yeah, come on guys, it's a really good idea. Rachel, you should totally show them the brochures like you showed me," Finn said encouragingly.
"If we agree to this, will you stop talking?" Santana asked in an exasperated tone. "Both of you."
"Is that a yes?" Rachel asked excitedly.
"If Brit says she wants to go, I'll go," Santana said, glaring at anybody who dared to look at her for more than a few seconds.
"So that's Brittany and Santana. Anybody else?"
"Me," Puck said. "Not like I have anything else to do this summer. It'll be a nice change to beat up more show choir kids than the usual kids at the skate park."
"We'll go," Mike said, smiling at Tina. "It actually sounds kind of interesting."
"Me," Quinn said, adopting her neutral and bored tone.
"I don't have any objections," Artie said, rolling his chair back and forth. "Although my opinion doesn't really matter. I won't be allowed to go. My parents planned some kind of-"
"Nobody cares, Optimus Prime," Santana cut in rudely.
"Mercedes and I have decided that we'd like to attend this so-called show choir booty camp. It might do us some good," Kurt admitted, raising a hand.
"You know my vote, Rach," Finn said, smiling easily at her.
"Wait, where is this place anyway?" Mercedes asked. "I'm not down if it's a sketchy farm on the outskirts of town."
"It usually takes place on the west coast, but this year, it was determined that the conference would take place at our very own Ohio University! It's about three hours away. It is obviously an overnight camp, which takes me to our next order of business if you would all please make yourselves comfortable once more."
"Why do I have a feeling I'm not going to like this?"
Rachel ignored Santana and pulled a folder from a shelf. She took out a piece of paper and cleared her throat. "I have taken it upon myself to set up the room arrangements." Everybody sat up, suddenly paying much more attention. "And even though Artie will not be able attend, it won't change my plans that much."
Santana muttered dangerously to herself and Brittany placed a hand on her arm.
"The rooms permit four per room, which is surprising. I didn't expect such spacious living quarters at any university, but I suppose it could be temporary-"
"-The rooms?" Quinn pressed, raising her eyebrows.
"Oh right! Of course Quinn. Well, room 1 is Mike, Tina, Puck, and Artie. Room 2 is Santana, Brittany, Quinn, and Sam. Room 3 will be myself, Mercedes, Kurt, and Finn."
Santana's jaw dropped. "You completely rigged that! I call bullshit! No way am I sharing a room with Trouty Mouth. Q, I can tolerate and at least I know how to shut her up, but if you think I'm sharing a room with fish-"
"I don't understand why I'm rooming with Rachel Berry," Mercedes murmured to Kurt, who patted her arm sympathetically.
Puck was scowling. "That's totally unfair, Berry. You're just using this as a way to hook up with my man, Hudson."
Rachel's face turned bright red. "That- That is not true! It was completely random!"
"Then unrandomize it."
"I demand you remove Mr. Lipstick Jungle from my room."
"Fine. Since Artie cannot attend, I'll move Sam to Mike's room, Santana, is that suitable to your needs?"
"What about my needs?" Puck whined unhappily.
"Shut up," Quinn snapped. She turned back to Rachel. "That's better, right Santana?"
Rachel clapped her hands happily. "Well, this definitely went better than expected. I anticipated more protest, but I am very pleased that you all see this as an opportunity to build an ever stronger and cohesive Glee Club. I'm sure Mr. Schuester will be pleased that we've taken this into our own hands. Now, if you would all settle down, I ordered pizza which should be arriving any moment."
Santana grumbled, but sank back down into the cushions grudgingly.
Rachel looked around at the way her teammates were interacting with each other and thought back to a couple years ago where this would have never happened. She would never have seen Noah Puckerman talking and joking with Mercedes and Kurt, or Mike and Tina cuddling on the couch. She sighed wistfully, eyes scanning the room before they landed on a blonde (with pink streaks!) who was examining a tall shelf of CDs and DVDs.
She would never have seen Quinn Fabray in her basement either.
"Hello Quinn, are you going to stay?"
Quinn jumped, stepping away from the collection of CDs and brushed some of the shorter strands of hair back from her face. "I suppose," she said, shuffling her feet. "I don't know if I should stay long though."
Quinn ignored the question and walked around the room, Rachel following her.
Rachel offered a can of pop. "I'm afraid I don't know what your favourite is, so I assume a generic Sprite will have to do...Or would you prefer water?"
Quinn glanced at her and smiled. "This is fine." She opened the can. "But for future reference, my favourite is Mountain Dew," she said, her lips twitching in what looked like another smile.
Rachel had to get over the initial shock of Quinn Fabray speaking to her civilly.
Almost as if they were friends. They did end up striking a tentative friendship at the end of the year, but it was shortlived as Quinn, along with the rest of the club frostily set themselves apart due to the bitter loss at Nationals.
She was silent for a while, so by the time she managed to snap herself out of her musings, Quinn had turned away, peering at some of the framed playbills on the wall.
"The last time you were here, you yelled at Noah a lot," Rachel blurted.
Quinn laughed easily. "Puck needs that once in a while if you ask me."
Rachel hummed in agreement.
An uncomfortable silence fell between them.
"You can leave if you're uncomfortable. Are you?"
"What makes you think I'm uncomfortable? Maybe I'm very comfortable."
Rachel smiled slightly. She sat on the edge of the stage, crossing her legs. She frowned a little at the way Quinn's eye twitched. "Quinn, I've been a social pariah through my entire life. I know when people are uncomfortable and I know it happens to be because of me."
Quinn had the decency to look slightly ashamed, but managed to slowly the drink she had almost choked on. She moved to sit hesitantly next to Rachel.
"Well…yes, I'm uncomfortable, but it's not for reasons you think. I just feel like I could have treated you a lot better these past few years, and I'm really sorry it's taken me four years to say this to you." She held up a hand when Rachel opened her mouth. "I honestly don't know where all this is coming from, but...I'm sorry, I guess."
Rachel didn't know what the social norm dictated she should say.
She didn't have to say anything however, because Quinn was feeling particularly chatty and decided to add "I really do think this is a great idea, you know? The whole workshop camp thing," she said, waving a hand around. She smiled at the way Rachel's eyes lit up and stared at her expectantly. Quinn rushed to continue. "It's...uh, well it's nice that you...thought of this," she finished lamely.
"Do you really think so?" Rachel asked, immediately brightening up. "When I ran the idea by Finn, he thought it was a bit farfetched, but his initial disdain wore off once I managed to convince him it would be a good way for the team to bond and increase our chances at Nationals next year. He agreed wholeheartedly."
Quinn didn't feel like informing Rachel that Finn was the one who caused them to lose Nationals this year. Instead she opted for a slightly sarcastic "Of course he did."
"Quinn, I understand if you resent me a little for once again supposedly ruining your life. I'm not opposed to jealousy on your part. He was your first love after all."
Rachel almost missed the way Quinn's eyes suddenly darkened before she reverted back to a neutral expression. "I don't resent you," she said flatly. "And I'm not jealous of you."
Before Rachel could say anything else, Quinn was standing up and walking over to where Brittany and Santana were sitting together on the couch. She sat beside them awkwardly, but other than that, she didn't acknowledge their presence. Rachel's thoughts drifted and she found herself distracted by Finn's sudden appearance beside her.
Rachel always knew her life was meant to be lived on Broadway, in the bright lights of New York City. She knew it with every inch of her being, but then being kissed like that on stage made her realise that she needed somebody by her side. She needed to work on her relationships with other people. She had been isolated from her peers for as long as she could remember and she was tired of it. Rachel wanted somebody she could hold hands with and lean on when things didn't go the way she wanted (which was rare, but painful when it happened). She wondered if she could find that in Finn Hudson.
Her thoughts suddenly shifted to Quinn. She had wanted Quinn's acceptance for the entirety of her high school life thus far. Quinn was completely unattainable, yet Rachel found her completely fascinating. She didn't know why she desperately wanted the blonde's friendship, but she knew she'd definitely get that this summer as well. If only Quinn would stop going out of her way to avoid her.
Returning her attention to the conversation that was happening without her, Finn would need some work, she mused, pretending to pay attention to him as he rambled about something he had watched or played recently. She honestly didn't know the difference between his sports terminology and his gaming terminology. Just like he didn't know the difference between her favourite broadway show and made-for-the-movies musical. It didn't matter though, she thought, pasting on a sappy smile, because she'd find herself a true love this summer. She just knew it.
Quinn fumed quietly on the opposite side of the room, biting her tongue between her teeth. She pretended she had laser sight as she glared at the way Finn put his arm around Rachel's shoulder.
She unconsciously reached up to touch the strands of pink in her hair. She had wandered by the skate park the other day and inspiration struck her. She mulled over changing herself completely this summer and her impromptu haircut was already a starting point.
The only perk so far was that Rachel had at least noticed the dye, but Quinn honestly didn't think she'd be able to go through with changing her wardrobe completely.
"Careful, Q, if you clench your jaw any harder your teeth might pop out," Santana said, interrupting her train of thought.
"Quinn's rainbow is showing," Brittany said happily, grasping Santana's arm.
Quinn's blush reached her ears. "What does- I don't- I don't have a rainbow, Brittany," she hissed viciously. "Stop saying that."
"Don't talk to her like that," Santana snapped, reaching across Brittany to shove Quinn's shoulder. Quinn scowled and straightened herself before shoving Santana in retaliation.
"Quinn," Brittany said, gently pushing the two girls apart. "Quinn, it's nothing to be ashamed about. Rainbows are a part of nature and nature is beautiful."
Quinn tried to pretend that she didn't understand what Brittany was talking about, which was fairly easy most of the time.
"What's wrong, Fabgay?" Santana chirped. "Oops, I meant Fabray."
"Oh my God! Shut up, Santana!"
"Why don't you shut-"
"-Santana, be nice," Brittany chided. Quinn saw Santana mentally retreat into her cage.
"I'm never nice," Santana said, baring her teeth in a smile. "Especially not to sad, repressed ex-cheerleaders."
Quinn groaned. "Please announce it to the world. I'm sure there are people in their graves who didn't hear you. Just shut up. Please," she added mock-sweetly.
"Pizza's here!" Finn called, thankfully interrupting whatever Santana was going to say.
"I hope it's not that vegan crap...Brit, do you want some?" Santana asked, already out of her seat and ready to go. "I'll go get you some, be right back."
"Whipped," Quinn muttered. She quickly avoided Brittany's gaze as it slid over to her. "I'm hungry!" She pushed herself off the couch and straightened her skirt before joining the group huddled around the pizza.
Of course Rachel was already speed-talking. "I'll have you know that this 'vegan crap' - as you so kindly put it - is actually remarkably delicious. I wish you'd just give it a chance, Santana. You too, Finn!" Everybody else took a slice without complaint and quickly fled.
Quinn reached the table, grabbing a napkin along the way. She peered at the food. "Looks normal," she commented.
"Not you too," Rachel sighed. Her frown disappeared when Quinn took a slice without complaint.
Quinn raised her eyebrows. "I'm hungry." At Rachel's continued silence, she added "And it honestly doesn't look that bad."
"Oh look, Fabray, you've broken her!" Santana exclaimed gleefully. She grabbed a slice and returned to Brittany, casting a smirk over her shoulder.
"I - well, thank you Quinn."
"Don't bother with Finn," Quinn said helpfully when Finn was out of earshot. At Rachel's confused look, she hurriedly continued. "It's just - he's very particular about his food. 'Picky' would be a good word. Or maybe 'unadventurous'. He didn't enjoy trying anything new when we were, um, dating."
"Oh," was all Rachel could say. Quinn shrugged.
The rest of the Glee kids had turned on some music and were dancing around. Rachel beamed as the sound of laughter reached her ears.
"I'm pleased to see everybody having a good time."
"It would be better if there was some alcohol," Puck interrupted, reaching for another slice of pizza. "How about you let me-"
"No," Quinn said firmly, just as Rachel exclaimed "Absolutely not!" Puck gave them an odd look and raised his hands in surrender.
Rachel huffed. "Noah, I strongly believe that it is entirely possible to have fun without the added stress of increased alcohol levels in your bloodstream. Did you know that-"
"-Nope. Don't care," and he was gone.
"It is completely ridiculous that he feels the need to consume alcoholic beverages to have a good time," Rachel muttered.
"Hm," Quinn hummed distractedly. "Yeah- Hey, listen, Rachel I promised my mom I'd be home early, so maybe you could just call me later- or tomorrow, if you know, you want to tell me what the plans are for the camp...thing."
"Oh, alright, but I don't have your num-"
"-Here," Quinn said, handing her phone to Rachel. "Give me yours."
Rachel stared blankly at the screen, finger paused and prepped to unlock the phone. It flickered off and she hurriedly pressed the button to turn it back on.
The same message she had been looking at for the past few minutes stared back. It taunted her. She wondered whether it was a sarcastic greeting, a cheerful greeting, or perhaps Quinn wasn't greeting her at all and was merely just doing the socially acceptable thing and texting her immediately after getting her number.
Granted, it had been a couple hours since she and Quinn had exchanged numbers.
Rachel couldn't stop the smile that spread across her face at that particular thought. Quinn Fabray had given her a cellphone number.
Her phone buzzed again, a new message popping up.
Quinn: you're remarkably quiet when it comes to texting.
Quinn: i should text you more often then.
"What is happening?" Rachel whispered at her screen. She tapped out a response. 'I apologise for the delay, Quinn. I was just caught off guard, is all. I promise to reply more promptly next time.' What she really wanted to ask was why Quinn was even talking to her in the first place.
She didn't have much time to ponder over the new developments as Quinn's reply came. 'haha you promise?' followed by 'and you text exactly like you speak berry'.
Rachel bit the inside of her cheek holding back a full-blown smile. She ignored the second text and responded to the first. 'Yes Quinn, I promise.'
Quinn: 'good :)'
Quinn smiled at Rachel's response.
Rachel Berry: :)