Chapter 1: The word she knows, the tune she hums
Summary: Rachel and Quinn that are sort of friends
Author's note: This is a rewrite of 'Fake It Til We Make It'. Special holler to my shy beta who is doing a great job up to a T.
Emma gingerly picks up an envelope on her mailbox with a gloved hand; the header states 'NYADA' addressed to a Lucy Quinn Fabray. Odd. She didn't know Quinn applied to the New York school nor does she have any idea why the letter is in her mailbox. Nevertheless, she sprays the letter with an antibacterial mix and put it away in a book inside her bag; she'll page the owner the next day.
Next day came too soon. Emma started to appreciate weekends since she started dating Will – to be fair she started appreciating everything a little more since Will happened to her. Like a ray of sunshine that man is to her; even unwashed grapes taste tolerable around him. She spots the letter peeking in between pages of 'Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness' and pulls it out. 'Oh!' She quickly sends Principal Figgins a text to summon Miss Fabray – Emma does not have the luxury of having an intercom in her office.
Prim, demure Quinn Fabray peeks at her door not long after. Her short blonde hair tucked behind an ear, brows mildly furrowed in question.
"Quinn, come in, come in." Emma rises from her seat to usher the teenager in.
"What did I do?" Quinn asks as she takes a seat, carefully folding her floral skirt underneath her. She presses her lips together. For the life of her she could never guess why she's sitting at the Guidance Counselor's office. Quinn has been already up and walking for a while now so it can't be about her injury; like on cue, her back starts protesting and she shifts in her seat. Did they find out about that one time she set fire to Miss Pillsbury's wooden garden gnome along with the Skanks? Surely not! The gnome was already outside the fence. She bites her lower lip. "It was outside the gate." She blurts out.
"What?" Emma's eyes widen. "Uhm. No, Quinn, you didn't do anything bad, as far as I am aware." 'Teenagers... they are so hard to understand.' She quickly snatches the letter and waves it at Quinn's direction smiling. Eyes still wide and expectant, she waits for Quinn to open the letter.
Quinn's mouth forms an 'O' when she reads the back of the envelope. Her head rises to meet Emma's eyes, her hand hovers over the envelope. "Do you need to be alone with..." Emma gestures at the envelope.
"No, I'm just nervous. I'll open it." Quinn takes a deep breath and tears the edge of the envelope.
"Wait. I have a..." Emma interjects. Quinn looks up as the Guidance Counselor pulls out a letter opener. "… letter opener. Oh, ok. You've already opened it."
Quinn waits for a moment then pulls out the letter; a slow smile creeps up her face. A quiet 'I got in' later and Emma finds herself alone again in her office with the knowledge that Quinn Fabray got into NYADA.
The bathroom smells of lemon, as usual. It is a little too strong today – the new cleaning guy seems to be trigger happy with the cleaning agent he's using. Rachel checks her phone again: 1:40 PM. 'Where is Quinn?' "My olfactory system is having a hard time here, Quinn." She tells her phone and then tells Quinn the exact same thing a minute later when she comes in.
"Yeah, I'm sorry, Joe cornered me. Ew, you're right, the smell is unbearable. Let's get out here."
They find themselves on the bleachers moments later. "Quinn, are you aware that only underclassmen hang around on the bleachers?" Rachel wiggles her bottom to smooth out a portion of her skirt that bunched up under her. "I can see people under us." Her eyes meet that of The Mack's, who is quietly smoking under them. She's suddenly conscious of her attire. The Mack only rolls her eyes and walks away.
"Here." Quinn thrusts a piece of paper into Rachel's hand.
Rachel jumps in her seat, surprised. "What... what is this?" She opens the letter Quinn gave her. The delighted squeal that she lets out is just as loud as the combined noises that the New Directions makes when Quinn breaks the news at the choir room an hour or so later. Kurt has this wounded penguin look about him – he was wearing a suit of some kind – but he cheered nonetheless.
Inside the noise Quinn could only barely make out Finn's: 'Take care of her over there, Quinn'. The boy is nuts. She wonders what that even means. He's going to play house with Rachel at the Big Apple seeing he's coming with them, he should take care of her himself!
It means that the idiot is going to leave her at Rachel's mercy. She pats Rachel's shoulder as the girl sob-sing her sadness away. Some passengers are looking their way. Quinn pretends not to see them but pokes the brunette at the side at an attempt to, what? Stop her from crying? Appease her? Rachel giggles through the tears. "That tickles." She gives Quinn a small smile but it disappears as soon as it appears. This is going to be a long ride, Quinn decides. Rachel is probably still appreciating the drama of it all.
NYADA is like a dream. Quinn watches as Rachel spreads her arms and twirls as soon as they are inside. No more tears. She is in awe of how New York transformed a tiny crying girl into a, well... tiny hopeful girl twirling away. "No twirling at the halls." The doorman says and Quinn openly stares at him. This school has a doorman – they are definitely not in Ohio anymore. Rachel makes one last twirl then stops. The doorman laughs. "I'm just pulling your leg. Twirl away." Quinn tries to stifle a giggle as Rachel continues on twirling to Madame Tibideaux's office. Things are looking up.
"Hey, Tinkerbell, stop twirling and collect your bag. I'm not pulling this monster along." Rachel skips back to her and pulls her bag. "What even is in there? We're only here for a day."
"This is the best Quinn! We're going to have the best time ever!" She half whispers-half squeals, body shaking with excitement. Quinn couldn't agree more.
She spoke too soon, Quinn realizes. This is a nightmare. They were sent away from Madame Tibideaux's by a teacher's assistant because they were supposed to process their papers first. They were scolded at the front desk for lining up at the wrong lane to process said admission papers.
"Theater arts studies, dance and other crap goes there missy." Points out an Italian guy. Rachel opens her mouth to probably lecture the man on the importance of being polite but Quinn elbows her. She goes away in a huff. "Dramatics, scriptwriting, attempts at directorial pursuits to the other side."
They were sent to everywhere, really. By the time they finished, Quinn is at her wits end. "Don't they have computers in this stupid school?" She sits on a wooden bench subtly massaging her lower back. It's being a bitch again.
"I'm sure they have, Quinn. I am assuming that they merely want us to do it the hard way for the first day. I love this school already." Rachel joins in massaging her back. Their hands move in conflicting directions.
"Take your hands off or I'll cut it." The ice on Quinn's voice gives Rachel a pause. "I'm sorry. I'm tired and it's really sore." Rachel blinks at her and withdraws her hand. A pregnant silence falls between them. Quinn continues her massage until she feels slightly better. She thinks she needs to lie down.
"Show me how to do the massage properly, some time?" Rachel's looking at her with so much wide eyed sincerity that Quinn feels like there was no other choice but to nod. Her affirmation breeds a smile from Rachel. "You ready to find somewhere to live?" Quinn gives her a look. Classes are not starting for a few days. "I mean to crash. I know we could still catch the last train back but you look like you need to lie down."
"That's the greatest thing that came out of your mouth today, Rachel" Quinn leans closer to her companion as she picks up her day bag. "I heard they are already opening up the dorms." And by heard, she means she stared down another freshman for the information. She still got it.
"Yes! Great. We can choose the best room!" They couldn't be more wrong.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee and the characters.
To come: Welcome to NYADA.