If I Were A Boy, Part V
"Thanks for everything, Rachel," Luke told her once they were outside of Quinn's house for the second time that day. "I had fun." His eyes sparkled, and no, it's not like he could see it, but he could tell. He had an amazing time at Rachel's and then at the mall with her later. He still had a couple of things to figure out, but for the moment he was content in the way the day turned out. What began an awful day ended up great.
"No, thank you, Luke. I'm so glad I met you, really." She turned her face halfway toward him, only the light from a lamppost outside her car shone on her face. "I'll see you tomorrow, right? For the volunteering thing."
"Right," he reassured her. He was planning on being there.
For the third time that day, he reached for the door handle of Rachel's car with the intention of leaving, but again, she stopped him. "Luke." She sounded serious. He stopped and faced her again. "I - do you know if Quinn's home yet? I'd love to talk to her... or... something," she choked out. Now Luke was sure that whenever Rachel brought up Quinn's name, she'd blush profusely and awkwardly stutter. He'd never seen her like this before, but with what she told him that afternoon, he was starting to make sense of the entire scheme of things.
And they played out like this:
Rachel wanted Finn. So Quinn had wanted Finn, because Quinn, even though she had him at the time, wanted Rachel more. And the only way she could keep Finn from Rachel was if Quinn had him (it was the classic story of 'if I can't have you, then neither can him,' and she assured it'd work out that way.
Somewhere in the muddled story of Rachel's and Quinn's knowing-ship of each other, Quinn had realized this. At first it had been unknowingly that she wanted Rachel. But somewhere, somehow, with Rachel's insistence in being friends, Quinn came upon the realization that she wanted her; and that just maybe Rachel might want her too, she just didn't know it yet.
When Rachel told her Finn had asked her to marry him, Quinn saw her last door close; her last opportunity of making it up to Rachel, of repentance for every bad thing she did to her - vanish. So out of instinct she had told her not to marry him. It wasn't only for Rachel's sake - that was important too, her career - but she was a bit selfish.
And then, she got angrier, and angrier, and angrier. She tried in every which way to tell Rachel not to marry the guy. She remembered that damn conversation they had while trying on dresses for the wedding. In a pink bridesmaids dress she basically poured her heart out to Rachel but the brunette refused to understand.
She was thankful that she didn't give up. Sure, she stormed out that day. And she had announced it to Rachel she wasn't planning on going to the wedding, but that wasn't giving up. She was just trying to figure out a new way to approach the entire thing.
Singing If I Were A Boy hadn't been that new plan; it had just been a way to let frustration out. Frustration with herself, with Finn, and with Rachel. And apparently, that's what it worked. It's like the song spoke to Rachel that she deserved someone who would listen to her, who would do their best to not take her for granted.
And then, Rachel's world had changed. It took her half a day to figure it out. After her conversation in the bathroom with Quinn Friday afternoon, Rachel understood that Quinn had been taking care of her, in her own way. That Quinn knew how to be abrupt and honest, and when to lie and tell Rachel what she needed to hear.
So now Rachel wanted Quinn and knew she wanted Quinn, and she was nowhere to be found.
The entire time that Luke had been wanting to get through to Rachel, she wanted to see Quinn. Funny how life worked sometimes. Quinn thought she needed to be a guy to get close to Rachel. Rachel had been there all along, just... the timing hadn't been good for either. And now more than ever, Luke wanted to be Quinn! Luke needed to be Quinn, so he could have that real second chance with Rachel.
And he wasn't sure when he'd go back. He wasn't sure if he'd ever go back. The thought was frightening to him.
"No, she's not," he told her with a regretful smile. "I'll pass on the message to her?" He asked, hopeful that she'd be okay with that for now, and relaxed when she nodded in agreement.
"Good bye, then, Luke. Thank you for listening," Rachel said as he finally stepped out of the car.
He closed the door and peeked his head in through the window. He scratched his facial hair and itched the back of his neck. "It wasn't a problem. I'll see you tomorrow." With a charming smile, Luke stepped back and watched Rachel go.
"I went to get us dinner. Pizza! Hungry?"
Before she mentioned it, he hadn't even thought about it, but as soon as she did his stomach growled and he realized he was starving. "Yes! Thank you!" He smiled and then remembered the predicament he found himself in with Rachel.
Frannie noticed this and raised an eyebrow, "how was your day?"
That was when Luke noticed the absence of his parents in the house. Everything was too quiet - mom wasn't in the kitchen making dinner as usual. That's probably why they were having pizza for dinner. "Where are mom and dad?" He asked and grabbed a slice of the warm Hawaiian pizza Frannie sat on the dining room table. He bit off a large portion and moaned at the taste.
Frannie shook her hair and commented, "I forget there's a girl under there..." Luke cast her angry eyes and she chuckled. "I told them to take a small trip to Columbus. I drove them there and even paid for the hotel for two nights. Maybe by then Quinn will be back?" She smiled hopeful, "if not, we'll figure out an excuse then."
"Thank you, I love you!" Luke threw himself at her, with the pizza still in his hand, careful not to slam his sister's face with the open pie. He spoke with his mouth full, "I don't know what I'd do if this had happened and you hadn't been here..." He shook his head, trying not to think of it.
"Probably cried all day, until the end of time." Frannie laughed out loud and Luke scoffed, but then let himself laugh along for a bit. "So, the day. The party. The girl. Tell me all about it."
And so Luke told her everything that happened, from getting to Rachel's, to being dropped off, to the volunteering thing the next day. He explained to her how this affected their situation now, and he told her he wasn't sure where to go from here.
"Well," she sighed and finished the last slice of pizza; Luke was on his fourth. "I guess you might want to tell her about your flipping, before she finds out elsewhere and is pissed with you for using it to your advantage."
"She's going to hate me."
"She won't," Frannie comforted him. "Especially not with that tattoo you have right there." She pointed to where the tattoo was located and then smiled. "Why didn't you tell me that's what it said? You just called freaking out - I thought it might have been an awful thing. It's actually rather poetic, Quinn."
"It's Luke, Fran. Call me Luke."
"No. Because that was all you - Quinn. And I just want you to know, I'm so proud of you. Love whomever you love, sis. I'll always be here."
The sentimentality of the moment made Luke get tears in his eyes, and so he hung his head. He dried them with the sleeve of his shirt and sniffled. When he looked back up at Frannie, she had the largest grin on her lips and pride overflowing her eyes. "I love you." He told her.
"I love you. Seriously, though. Figure out the thing with Rachel. Tell her and then go from there."
Quinn spent the hour and a half since she had talked to her sister thinking about what to say to Rachel. How to say it, if she should say it. It was difficult coming up with anything other than, "I have a penis now, but I'm still Quinn." That probably wasn't the best way to segue into the conversation.
There was something else to consider. To "come out" to Rachel, meant she would have to come out. As in, tell Rachel that Quinn was gay. And as much as the Luke side of her didn't mind, seeing that Luke looked like a guy - was a guy,- the Quinn side was freaking out. What if Luke didn't stay forever? What if Rachel wanted Quinn to tell the entire world they were together, if they ever got together?
No, that was too much thinking for one brain, and it was too late for Quinn to be killing herself over it. She decided that what she really needed at the moment was to forget about the entire thing and work on a plan for the next day. Luke was going to that volunteer thing with Rachel in the morning and hopefully Quinn would have the guts by the end to tell Rachel who Luke really was.
The entire thing was confusing in Quinn's mind, but she had faith that she would figure it out.
Luke woke up startled an hour later, only to find out that he had fallen asleep without a plan. It was midnight, which meant that he would have to be up in six hours if he intended to volunteer with Rachel. Volunteering was tiring, so he knew he needed to sleep as much as he could. He didn't want to be slacking the next day.
He figured that the next morning he would figure something out, and that for the time being, he really needed to get some sleep.
Hour: 25, 6 AM
The alarm woke him up, blaring in his room. He felt like anchors were holding his eyelids down and his entire body felt tired. The feeling was very much like the way Quinn would feel the morning after cheer practices; Luke hated the feeling.
He tried to conjure the alarm to stop from the right side of the bed, so he wouldn't have to move or open his eyes but that wasn't working. He kept his eyes closed and rolled and - he thought he felt lighter. It's not like he knew what it felt like to be a guy in the morning since he had only been a guy for one morning prior to this one.
He slapped the alarm with an open palm, brought his hand to his face and itched the smooth skin of his cheek. His very soft cheek.
He rubbed it this time, moving the hand toward his eyes to rub away the sleep when -
Wait. Luke did not have smooth, soft cheeks. In fact, his cheek and jaw were covered in fuzz, like a dude was supposed to have after puberty and stuff.
Quinn opened her eyes.
Hour: 25, about 10 seconds later
"Shit, shit, shit." Immediately Quinn was on her feet, running toward the mirror behind the door of her bedroom.
Staring back was the image of Quinn, traces of Luke completely gone. It was like it hadn't even happened and as if Quinn was always Quinn. Had it happened? Had Quinn really changed into Luke or had it all been a dream?
For the time being she couldn't make enough sense in her head to decide if it had all been a dream or reality. The thing that finally told her it had happened was the text message she got from Rachel that same minute.
Rachel B.: good morning, Quinn! I know it is early but I sincerely hope I haven't awoken you. I was just messaging you to ask if you're feeling well. I was hoping you'd make it to my party yesterday but figured that you still weren't feeling well from whatever it is you had on Friday. I knew something was wrong when we were talking in the bathroom but you didn't want to admit it. I hope that you will accept my sincerest wishes for your recovery and I'd also like to know if you needed anything. I'm more than happy to provide you with Vitamin Cs or cough drops and Kleenex since I'm on my way over to pick up Luke to go volunteering with me. I also hope you don't get upset at me for inviting him like that. if it's not a problem, could you, please, let him know I'll be there at 8 sharp? Thank you, Quinn Fabray.
So Rachel even wrote texts in paragraphs. It was kind of cute if Quinn ignored her first instinct to roll her eyes at Rachel's use of her last name. Then she remembered she had a bigger problem than how Rachel chose to type texts. She was back to her old self - a girl, not Luke. Rachel was expecting Quinn Fabray's cousin Luke and not Quinn herself.
If Quinn showed up to go volunteering, she would have to explain where she had gone and where Luke was now. That would be too big of a lie for Rachel to buy.
It seemed as if Quinn really only had one option left.
Hour: 27, 8 am sharp
Rachel rung the bell.
Frannie was trying to relax Quinn by telling her to breathe as she made her way to the door. "Relax, sis. Just - talk to her. She'll understand," she whispered as she backed away from a panicking Quinn. Her face was completely pale, and her breaths were shallow.
Before opening the door, Frannie inhaled deeply, expecting Quinn to do the same so Quinn did. She only opened the door once Quinn had gone back up the stairs.
"Hello, Frannie!" Rachel greeted her. "Or, I'm assuming you are Frannie. You look just like Quinn except taller." Rachel smiled, so polite. "You really are a beautiful family. I hope I'm not being a nuisance but I'm actually here for your cousin, Luk-"
Frannie stopped her right there. She had never actually met Rachel before, but she had heard so much about the girl from Quinn. Just like Quinn had told her, Rachel didn't seem like she planned to stop talking soon, so Frannie interrupted, "Rachel, hi. Thank you so much. Why don't you come in? Quinn needs to speak to you." Frannie directed her into the foyer of the large house and up the stairs.
"She does?" Rachel asked with a timid look. Frannie couldn't tell if she was excited or worried about that, but tried to suppress any fears by smiling.
Quinn could hear Rachel from the top of the stairs; she recognized Rachel's tone as one of concern and it made her doubt any chances she might have of Rachel understanding what happened. She thought about telling Frannie to send Rachel away, but it was too late. She raced into her own room and shut the door quietly. Rachel was coming up the stairs, being encouraged by Frannie. "She does. She's in her room. Just knock on the door to let her know you're here."
"What about Luke?" Rachel asked once they reached the top. She looked around, trying to find his friendly face, but Frannie re-directed her attention to Quinn's door.
"Right in there, Rachel. You need to hear this."
Quinn could almost see Rachel's worried face outside her door, her little fingers wringing each other. She was standing next to the door and she could hear Rachel breathing hard.
Then there were knocks and she froze on the spot. "Quinn?" Her voice was soft and shy, as if she was asking from downstairs and not just an inch away. "Quinn?" She whispered a little louder. "Your sister told me to come talk?"
Still frozen, Quinn tried to calm down her breaths but couldn't. She couldn't even speak, she was so nervous.
Rachel went silent. It's like she could tell Quinn was avoiding her and decided this wasn't worth the trouble. A few seconds later she spoke up again, "okay. I'm not going to force you into talking to me. I'll just... Go. Tell Luke I'll talk to him later."
She sounded disappointed, sad. Quinn's feet only moved when she heard the muffled steps of Rachel going down the stairs, walking further away from her. And when she thought about it, Rachel's literal steps were also figuratively taking her farther from Quinn. Quinn couldn't handle that thought. After what she went through with Luke and getting to know Rachel even better as him, she couldn't let this window of opportunity pass.
She ran downstairs, yelling for Rachel to stop. She opened the door of the house just in time to see Rachel get behind the wheel. Rachel looked up and they made eye contact, and it's like in that moment Rachel saw something - and Rachel understood.
Thirty minutes later and they had yet to talk.
Quinn was sitting inside the car with Rachel. It was running, and the sound of the motor was the only noise. She had tried coming up with a way to start explaining herself but felt them all to be futile; in her head, they all seemed like bad sci-fi movies. She couldn't even explain how the transformation happened!
To her surprise, Rachel didn't do much. She sat there and waited with a patience Quinn had never imagined the girl to possess. It was admirable that Rachel was giving her the time but she kind of hoped Rachel pushed - maybe then she'd start talking.
"Did you say something?" Rachel asked, snapping her head towards Quinn and giving her those puppy eyes.
She didn't remember saying anything but Rachel seemed to really believe she spoke. "No?"
"Yes, you did." Rachel insisted. "You muttered something about pushing..." She took a deep breath and asked, "push what?"
Well, it is what she wanted, right? She centered herself, cleared her mind and decided to just come out with it. "Oh man," she dragged and laughed. "Rachel," she turned to face the brunette and found the most beautiful girl sitting right there. And then it hit her: Rachel was not only the most beautiful girl she's ever met - and was sure she would ever meet - but also the most beautiful person.
It came out before she could even help it, "I love you."
Hour: 27.5, the longest second later
"You do?" Rachel asked and sat up straighter. Her head tilted down to the right and Quinn's heart melted at how Rachel didn't start yelling at her to take it back. It's what she was expecting but not what she wanted. "You love me?"
In the question, Quinn found the strength to continue. "I do," she felt suddenly shy as she admitted, "I think I always have, I just didn't know how to deal with it." She paused, to give Rachel the chance to ask questions, but apparently Rachel was still exercising that alien patience she had. "So, um, I - ha, I didn't think I'd ever have a chance with you because of how I have treated you in the past. And then on Friday, after I sang that song in Glee club-"
"If I Were A Boy!" Rachel supplied, proud she remembered. "It was so good, Quinn. I didn't get to tell you that but I really loved it."
"Thank you, Rachel. But, well - this is the hard part." She didn't want to linger on the thought and instead just blurt it out, "I'm Luke. Or, Luke is me. I was afraid of being a girl in love with a girl and..."
Rachel inhaled deeply, surprised, but kept calm, cool, and collected otherwise. And still silent.
"I sang, right?" Quinn remembered her weekend, trying to find the best words to explain it. "And then when I saw you in the bathroom after I was already feeling kind of sick. I don't know who did what, just that the next morning I woke up as a boy."
Rachel's eyes widened comically and Quinn let herself smile at that. "That must've been... Weird?" She scrunched her face at Quinn, and then giggled. "And hairy."
Quinn laughed, but started to feel lighter as she was confessing about her alter-ego. It helped that Rachel was so incredible. "That was my second thought - all the hair."
"Really?" Rachel wondered. "What was your first?"
Quinn eyed her and admitted with a raised eyebrow, "the thing hanging between my new hairy legs?" She burst out laughing in a bout of embarrassment and when she managed to look at Rachel, she was laughing just as hard.
Rachel said, "you blush when you're embarrassed. It's very cute."
The compliment made Quinn stutter, unbelief taking over her mind. "T- tha -" she cleared her throat and tried to show some kind of control, "thanks."
It got quiet for a moment again, until Rachel brought up something Quinn had momentarily forgotten. "So -" she licked her bottom lip and looked at Quinn through her lashes - long lashes, "the tattoo." She stopped breathing. She was going to die, she was sure of it. Rachel giggled and moved closer to Quinn, "you're blushing harder," her brows crunched in a display of sympathy and she continued, "the tattoo, who's it for?"
Quinn thought Rachel evil because at this point Rachel knew, she just wanted to hear her say it. And say she did, just for her, "you. The tattoo is for you. It... It means that I could wait forever for you, because you are that worthy."
"Oh, Quinn," Rachel whispered out. Then in her normal tone of voice she said, "why didn't you tell me earlier?" She answered her own question when Quinn hung her head in shame. "You were afraid."
Quinn could only nod. No words could express how sorry she was.
"I have forgiven you for that. And I'll always forgive you, don't you know that already?"
Quinn's hazel eyes slowly rolled up Rachel's face - that cute chin, the smiling red lips, the nose she adored,- to her safe eyes. "I didn't think-"
"What?" Rachel reached for Quinn's hands and pulled them to her lap. She held tight, as if afraid this Quinn would run at any moment and leave her with a ghost. "That you aren't lovable? Oh, my god, Quinn. I -" She smiled again, hoping that Quinn would get it. "Quinn, when you were Luke, didn't you notice how much I asked about you?"
"Well, yeah, but-"
"No buts. Quinn, you're an amazing young woman. Whoever you love is the luckiest person alive."
"Rachel," Quinn finally held Rachel's hands back. "I feel like I cheated you by lying to you as Luke. That was me trying to get to know you without suffering the consequences."
"I don't care about that, Quinn." Rachel told her honestly. "I'm glad you had a way to figure out how you really felt without worries." Rachel laughed at herself, "Now that explains why I liked Luke so much. He reminded me so much of you in a thousand ways. It was like having you without all the barriers you put up."
"I was trying something new..." Quinn joked quietly and allowed herself to look at Rachel. She had let one hand free to push some hair behind a ear but brought it right back.
When she caught Quinn looking she smiled, "I like it when you do that."
"Stare," Rachel said with a breathless quality to her voice. "It's like you can't help it and it makes me feel desirable."
Quinn could never say Rachel wasn't always honest. She felt pressure start building up within her and she was absolutely sure that if she were still a boy, she would be getting hard by now. "I can't help it," she admitted. Rachel's eyes lingered on her lips as she spoke, and man did she recognize that. She scooted closer to Rachel, folding one leg under another, "and you are desirable."
"Quinn," Rachel almost urged. "Kiss me." She demanded. There was a need in her brown orbs and Quinn couldn't even think when she nodded. She was already halfway there when Rachel said that.
As soon as fiery lips touched, Rachel's hands left Quinn's and found her hair. There was a push and pull of soft lips, a little tease of tongue by Rachel enough to drive Quinn wild and make her groan softly. Rachel started giggling, and pulled away from the kiss, keeping her forehead connected to Quinn's.
Quinn just could not open her eyes, still caught up in the life-changing kiss.
"I think I have always loved you, too," Rachel said, wisps of warm air falling on Quinn's lips. "And I never thought you could love me too." She sniffled and it made Quinn open her eyes, worried for making Rachel cry. "So I lied to myself and to a lot of people around me, but truth is - I have always been yours."
"I'm ready now," Quinn decided. "Whenever you're ready - I know you just broke up with Finn but - I'll be here, as a girl, waiting for you."
Rachel squealed of happiness before throwing herself across the console into Quinn's arms for a hug and another kiss.
Three months and a day later
"Hey," Rachel smiled from beside Quinn, leaning on the locker next to hers.
"Hey, yourself," Quinn said back with suspicion. "You look like you've been planning something." She narrowed her eyes at Rachel and asked, "what is it?"
"How could you accuse me of such things!?" Rachel laughed as Quinn came closer. Quinn only came closer and closer, distracting Rachel, and then took Rachel's binders to carry them. "Thank you, Quinn." Rachel blushed, dropped her head, and pushed a lock of hair behind her ear.
Quinn hummed happily and said, "so... the plotting."
"It's nothing big. I - well, it's been three months since that Sunday morning you kissed me in the car... And well, I might have prepared something for you."
"A song?" Quinn asked and rolled her eyes playfully. "Oh, no!" She threw a hand on her forehead, dramatically. "Embarrassing!"
Rachel pouted and was going to start complaining, "Quinn-"
"I'm kidding, love." That stopped Rachel on her tracks. "I love hearing you sing and if you're singing for me, I love it even more."
"You -" Rachel swallowed all her emotions and then smiled, "so Glee?"
"See you later," Quinn told her and handed her binders back as Rachel backed away into her Pre-Calc class.
Rachel was already sitting on a black stool in the middle of the room when Quinn came in talking to Santana. Santana had literally gagged when Quinn had told her she was Luke. Santana could not fathom being attracted to Quinn. They laughed about it after though.
Funny enough, nobody had came forward yet as being the person who helped Quinn with Rachel. The entire Glee club knew something happened between the two that weekend before summer but it seemed as they were waiting for it to be official. Sure, the girls knew of each others feelings and they had been hanging out all of the break, with other Glee clubbers and alone, but Quinn was waiting for Rachel to be okay with being over with Finn.
Finn had taken it the hardest but with time he learned to love his friends being into each other, even if they were girls. Eventually, he became their biggest supporter.
And when Rachel had told her that morning she had a song for her, she knew Rachel was ready.
Rachel even summoned the help of some of the orchestra to help Brad and the guys from the band with this song.
Her eyes didn't leave Quinn's from the moment she sat in front of her. Santana to her left, an open seat for Rachel, and Finn to that right. Behind Quinn, Tina, and next to Tina, Kurt and Blaine. Britt hurried in with Sam and sat next to Santana, pulling her into her arms. Sam winked at Rachel.
With everyone in the room she could begin, and with her every heart and soul, she sang for Quinn.
I've waited a hundred years.
but I'd wait a million more for you.
nothing prepared me for
what the privilege of being yours would do.
If I had only felt the warmth within your touch
If I had only seen how you smile when you blush
Or how you curl your lip when you concentrate enough
Well I would have known
What I was living for all along
What I've been living for
Your love is my turning page
Where only the sweetest words remain
Every kiss is a cursive line
Every touch is a redefining phrase
I surrender who I've been for who you are
For nothing makes me stronger than your fragile heart
If I had only felt how it feels to be yours
Well I would have known
What I've been living for all along
What I've been living for
Though we're tethered, to the story we must tell
When I saw you, well I knew we'd tell it well
With the whisper, we will tame the vicious scenes
Like a feather, bringing kingdoms to their knees
When the song was over, and Rachel had sat next to Quinn after their hug and all the applause, Quinn felt someone lean forward from behind. "You're welcome."
"Thanks, Tina," Rachel said over Quinn's shoulders. "Owe you one."
A/N: this is where this fic ends. I have no idea how Tina did what she did, lol, but she's the best character left in this season of Glee so I'm in love with her.
hope you guys liked this story as much as I loved writing it.
thanks to the wife, AlsoAngels, for the song. It's called Turning Page by Sleeping At Last.
I don't know if I mentioned this before, but the poem in the tattoo is by Tyler Knott, obvs.
Leave some love and check out my other fics.
Hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving!