Disclaimer, I own nothing
We start our journey in a small forest. To most people the forest looked just like every other forest in Ohio. There were trees, and plants, and animals scurrying around their homes. What most people didn't realize, was that this wasn't a normal forest. Not at all.
This forest was home to a race called the Pari. They are a small, averaging three inches tall, magical race that called the forest home. Many, many years ago they were spread out all across the land, with established kingdoms that mostly lived in tandem with each other. When the invaders came and destroyed their larger friends, the Pari went into hiding. For how could they defend themselves against invading giants?
After several generations of forced isolation, one brave adventure made the journey to the outside world. The invaders had started to cut down their cities, destroy their food, and kill their people. The Pari were starving by the hundreds and it seemed like nothing could be done. Luckily the adventurer made contact with the right people. With their help he was able to get large sections of forest protected from destruction. Now the Pari would be able to once again live in peace.
The adventurer eventually became the king of all the Pari in what the humans called New England. He had completely revolutionized how the Pari interacted with the outside world, and how they lived. Instead of passively allowing the outside world to pass them by, they were finally rejoining it, well only a little.
You see, the Pari weren't technologically advanced, but they had many things that the humans didn't. For one, they had magic. Every Pari could do magic from the time that they were born. Now, they all couldn't do the same things. Most could only light fires, make things grow, and speak with the animals. Around half of the population were good at healing, they could directly heal someone or make a potion for later healings. The most coveted magic, and the rarest, was the ability to change your size. Only around one in a thousand had this ability. The Pari aren't sure how this is passed down, and why some get it and others don't. Most importantly to the Pari is that everyone born in the Royal family has the ability to not only change their size, but the size of others.
This allows the select friendly humans to visit the Pari in their forest homes. There are only around two hundred people worldwide, for though the names are different the Pari exist everywhere, that know about the Pari. All of them first found out during childhood, when they accidentally stumbled upon an enchanted forest, for not all forests are enchanted. These people were granted access to the Pari cities, and in returne helped any Pari who decided to explore the human world.
At the moment the kingdom's only princess was trying to convince her parents that she needed to visit the human world.
"Mommy, Daddy I have met everyone in the kingdom that you've asked me too. I've spent time with each and every one of them, but none of them are the one. I don't think that I will find my intended here among our people. How am I supposed to get married without them?"
Her father sighed before taking his wife's hand, "Your Mother and I have actually been talking about this dear. We have had some of our best finders trying to locate your intended. They have finally narrowed it down to a small town bordering the Forest. That's why we thought it was one of our people, the finders before only got the general area."
The girl crossed her arms, and the angry breeze she generated ruffled her hair but didn't touch anything else, "Why wouldn't they look as hard as they could? This is the future of Adohi that we are talking about. If I can't find them within a year the kingdom will go to the Searc family. The last time they had the crown we went to war with the Deyka. Is everyone insane, they should all want to keep the Searc off the throne."
Her parents allowed her to finish her ranting, "Sweetheart, they started looking a long time ago. We were so sure it was going to be a nice Adohian that we never considered narrowing it down farther. Luckily you do still have a year, and the location was narrowed down to small town. We have a couple that lives there. You are going to go live with them, and go to the local high school. We're fairly positive that they go to this school, so you should do your best to put yourself in a position to meet them."
The couple smiled sadly at their only daughter. Even though she was an adult and more than capable of taking care of herself they still didn't want her to leave. They had tried for so long to have a child, and then along came their baby girl. She was their pride and joy, and they treated her like she was made of glass. It didn't help that she was a princess.
"You mean I get to go to the human world?" the girl said, "Wait, did you say I had to go back to school? I just finished all of my schooling."
"I know Dear, this is just the only way. Even though for our people you're an adult, for humans you're still a child." The man raised his hand to stave off objections, "I know it's not fair, but truthfully it's for the best. An intended is always around the same age. Meaning that if you're going to find your mate they'll be at school. You should feel lucky that you even have an intended. Most wonder around never knowing if there is someone out there for them."
The girl walked over to her parents and wrapped her arms around both of them. They pulled her into a tight hug.
"I just want to be able to find them, and come home. I don't much like the thought of leaving you. I mean what if you have a bad day, and I'm not around to cheer you up?"
The man stroked his daughters hair, pressing a kiss to her forehead, "Thankfully you will only be a short distance away. You can come back and visit all the time. It'll be as if you never left. I promise dear, we will all be able to get through this."
Rachel had moved into the Berry household a week before school started. She was nervous about attending the Human high school. While she had gone to public school, she could never be sure who liked her and who didn't. Most people tried to be nice to her simply because she was going to be Queen. The only one who treated her like a normal person was Jessie, but he was next in line for the crown if she couldn't find her mate. Rachel flopped down on her bed content to wait for school. She didn't need it to hurry at all. She'd had a bad feeling about this since her parents told her where she was going.
It was the first day of school, and Rachel was nervous. She had only interacted with a handful of Humans before. Her parents kept her sheltered, perhaps a bit too much. As she walked down the hall's she was overwhelmed by the sheer number of bodies packed into the space. She was used to people giving her space as she moved, not pushing her around.
Finally a break in the crowd appeared and Rachel desperately made for it. It was a little discerning to realize at 38 that you were claustrophobic. In her haste to make it to the center of the hallway she didn't see the group of cheerleaders. That would explain why she ran into the leader of the pack. This gorgeous blonde sneered at Rachel as the force of the collision caused her to bounce backwards, landing on her rear.
"Watch where you're going man-hands." The blonde sneered after a moment's hesitation. The look of shock was fleeting, but Rachel had caught it. There had been a large jolt when they had touched. It had left Rachel breathless, but the blonde appeared to be perfectly calm as she took the slushy from the Latina girl standing next to her and casually tossed it into Rachel's face.
The crowd, who had been silent up until this point, burst out laughing. The blonde waved her hands, and the crowds parted again. It was only after she left that Rachel got up and walked to the bathroom. She had never thought that her mate would be someone so horrible. Someone so, so mean.
It took an entire class period for Rachel to stop crying. She felt devastated, and trapped. How was she supposed to make that monster fall in love with her? The Humans Rachel knew were sweet and gentle. They didn't throw ice at her, or laugh at her. Rachel vowed to send off a prayer to the Forest when she went home. She'd need all the help she could get.
Weeks passed and Rachel was no closer to getting Quinn to like her. She was standing in the bathroom wiping cherry slushy from her eyes for the 25th time since she started school two months ago.
"This isn't going to work. I have no idea what my parents were thinking. How could they expect this to work when I can't even talk to her?"
"Are you talking to the people in the mirror too?" Brittany asked as she came out of the bathroom stall.
Rachel jumped and whirled around, "Brittany! What are you doing in here? I thought this bathroom was empty. In fact I checked to make sure it was."
"Oh I know. I've been waiting for you all day. You always use this bathroom after you get slushied, and I heard Quinn talking about doing it again."
Rachel started moving backward as Brittany came forward. It wasn't until she was trapped in the corner that she realized what Brittany was doing.
"Uh, Brittany, why exactly were you waiting for me?"
"Because I know your secret."
"Wh-what secret? I don't have a secret. Someone has misled you."
Brittany slammed her hands against the wall on either side of Rachel's head, "Oww, that hurt a lot more than I thought it would."
"I'm sorry. Perhaps moving back a little would make them feel better. It sure would make me feel better."
"No, I'm good here. You're surprisingly squishy."
"Ahem. Well it's uh nice to know that I'm squishy, but weren't you telling me my secret?"
"Oh yeah, that. Lord Tubbington and I have been talking, like we always do, and we've determined that you're a Fairy."
The look of relief on Rachel's face was priceless, but Brittany just looked confused.
"Wait, no. Lord Tubbington said you're the Pari princess. Yes that's it."
"Wha-wh..," Rachel just stared at her. The blonde looked and acted so innocently. How could she know Rachel's secret when only the Berry's were supposed to know. What was she going to do? She still had to make Quinn realize that she loved her, and she couldn't do that with Brittany knowing.
"Shh. It's okay. I know I may sound and act like I'm stupid, but I'm really not. I just think differently than most people. That's how I know exactly who you are, and why I'm here."
"You see when I was five I followed my pet dragon into the woods. I got really lost and couldn't find my way home. Lord Tubbington came and helped me home. He said that I was going to be important and he was going to watch out for me. When he smokes he likes to talk about the forest. That's how I know about the little people who live there. It wasn't until you came into town that he realized what I was supposed to do. Also he wants to meet you. Stop by my house today after Glee. You can use your magic to locate me."
With that Brittany took the locket from around Rachel's neck and left the bathroom. Rachel slowly sunk to the ground still having a hard time processing everything that had happened. It was all surreal, but Brittany was too sweet for this to be a diabolical plot. Rachel actually hoped this was real because she needed a friend here and soon.
Glee that afternoon was awkward to say the least. Quinn, Santana, Kurt, and Mercedes all glared at her. Brittany was the worst though, she just stared at Rachel. None of the members, sans Brittany, seemed to know what to do with the petite girl. Rachel was to obviously different. Her style of speech suited the teachers better than her class mates, her style of dress was outdated and not stylish, and most importantly something was just different about her.
It only took Rachel a few seconds to take in the mood of the crowd before she moved to sit in the front row. As soon as she sat down the members in surrounding seats moved away. Half of the club didn't much care about the new girl, but their loyalties were with the original club members.
Rachel just sighed and pulled out her notebook. It had been two months and things had just gotten worse. They had seemed to like her until she sang her audition song. Mr. Schuester of course loved her instantly, and decided to design the sectionals performance around her voice. Rachel didn't want this, but Mr. Schuester didn't listen to her when she tried to talk him out of it. He never listened to any of the kids.
"Look at what the freak's wearing today. Do you think she got dressed in the dark?"
Everyone laughed at Quinn's comment. Rachel ducked her head pretending that she hadn't heard. She didn't know how much more of this she could take. It would have been different if anyone other than her mate had put her down. Love wasn't supposed to be like this. This wasn't her parents story or their parents. This was a horror story masquerading as a romance.
"You'd think her parents would have told her how hideous she looked, but they probably didn't want to look at her either." Santana replied in a bored tone.
The others laughed again, egging on the pair as they put down Rachel. They were tired of her getting to sing the songs they wanted. That and her 'I'm better than you attitude'. None of them realized that Rachel simply did not know how to act any differently. That was how she had behaved all her life.
"You all need to stop this." Brittany said as she stood up and walked down towards Rachel. "You don't even know anything about her. She comes here wanting to be accepted for who she is, just the way all of you did, and you treat her the way the jocks treat you. No one deserves this. That's what I thought we learned last year when we got the hockey players to stop dumping Kurt into the dumpster." She reached her hand out to Rachel as the club sat there shocked. They had never heard Brittany say anything cross.
Brittany helped Rachel pack up her things, "Let's go somewhere where no one is going to say mean things about you Rachie." She looped their arms and sauntered out of the room without once looking back. Rachel was too stunned to even protest.
"What the fuck just happened?" Santana asked what everyone was thinking.
"I'd like to thank you Brittany for helping me out back there, but it was completely unnecessary. Now they will think that I am even more different." Rachel said without picking up her head. School had been bringing her down since the first day. This stuff with Brittany had been the only positive thing to happen, and she wasn't entirely sure it was good.
"I did have to Rachie. They don't know what they're doing. It's mean and if they gave you a chance they would like you. No joke, cause I like you and I only like awesome people."
Brittany gave Rachel a thousand watt smile as she dragged the smaller girl to the parking lot. Not even Rachel was prepared for the hug she gave Brittany, but it was returned quickly.
"Thank you for wanting to be my friend. You've never once said mean things about me or laughed at what other people said. You're the reason I still have faith in the Humans." Rachel whispered into Brittany's ear as they hugged.
The two girls watching this exchange were not happy. "Mine" they both growled as they started to head down the stairs at the same time. It wasn't until they reached the bottom of the steps that they realized what they had said. They glared at each other.
"I hope you mean Brittany." snarled Quinn.
"Of course I do…. You've got to be fucking kidding me." Santana exclaimed grabbing Quinn's arm and jerking her to a stop, "Does this mean you like the fucking hobbit. The one we've been torturing for the past two months."
"Well I, uh I," Quinn stuttered, then sighed "It's not like I want to like her. I've tried everything I could think of to get her out of my mind, but it doesn't work. The only thing I know is that I don't want her, and no one else can have her."
"That's fucked up Q, but I don't want her with Brittany so what are we going to do."
"I don't know. I don't know why Brittany is sticking up for her. She never goes against us. We need to figure something out quick."
We leave the two HBIC's to follow our little princess and her shiny blonde knight back to the blonde's house. Rachel was still nervous, but the hug had helped alleviate some of her fears. Though she had questionable friends, Brittany had never done anything mean to anyone that Rachel could tell.
"I can't wait for you to meet Lord Tubbington. He's been demanding that I bring you to meet him. I didn't want to cause I thought you'd be able to handle things by yourself. Yesterday he told me that he'd start reading my diary again if I didn't bring you over. I really hate it when he reads my diary, and smokes. I don't know where he gets the cigarettes from."
Britt rambled while the princess stared out the window. She couldn't believe that she now knew a real princess. Best of all, no one else knew the secret. Brittany only had one other secret, and the only reason no one knew was because no one listened to her. Quinn and Santana had been her best friends since kindergarten. Brittany had always been different from the other children. When others left their "imaginary" friends behind, Brittany kept hers. She also saw the world through rainbow colored glasses. Even the worst things couldn't keep her down. This causes her to do and say some weird things. It also allowed her to befriend an Enchanted Forrest creature, and soon become a friend to the Pari princess. To say that Brittany was excited would be like saying the Mona Lisa was just a painting.
Brittany led Rachel up to her bedroom, where a large tabby cat was sunning himself on a seat by the window.
"Lord Tubbington, this is Rachel. She's the Pari princess we've been talking about. Rachel this is Lord Tubbington, or rather what he lets others see him as."
Rachel bowed to the seemingly normal cat, "How do you do Lord Tubbington. On behalf of the Royal family it is a pleasure to meet you."
Lord Tubbington moved towards the girls, and as he did his form changed. You could still see the cat in him, but he was more humanoid in his natural form. He was one of the Cats that lived in the depths of the forest. They weren't ruled by anyone, and never caused any trouble. There were no more than a dozen or so at a time, mostly because they had a hard time having children. Only ten percent actually came out as a Cat, the rest were normal cats.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Princes Rachel. I have seen much concerning you. I had begun to believe that you would never make it here. As it is you are almost too late, but never fear you have help on your journey. Myself and the young one will help you achieve your dreams as was seen many years ago."
Rachel stared at Lord Tubbington. While she knew all about the Cats she had never met one in person. They were famed seers, and she had never thought herself worthy enough to been seen. For all that she was a Princess, she was as normal as she could be. Only those meant to be legendary showed up in Cat visions.
"You've really seen visions of me for years?"
"Of course dear, you are going to be very important. The first time I Saw that was when I met the young one ten years ago."
"Yeah," Brittany explained, "I got lost really bad one time, and like all the trees just seemed to grow all at once. I couldn't find my parents, but Lord Tubbington here found me. He helped me get home, and he's stayed with me ever since. Though he does have a bad smoking problem, and likes to read my diary.
Lord Tubbington shrugged, "She just writes the oddest things down."
Brittany pulled Rachel over to her bed as Lord Tubbington went back to where he was when they came in. Brittany was more than capable of dealing with the hurting princess. She was the best medicine after all. No one left Brittany feeling bad.
"Do you believe me now Rachie?" Brittany asked when they were comfortable on her bed.
"Yes, and I'm really sorry for not trusting you when you stood up for me. I'm afraid that I'm not really used to dealing with people, and with the things that have happened these past two months…..," Rachel took a deep breath, "I just lost my faith in Humanity there for a second. Being surrounded by people who are nothing but cruel to me, started making me doubt who I am. You, though, you saved me. You are giving me the excuse to give Humans another try. You'll never have any idea how close I was to forfeiting my crown and just going home."
"Forfeiting, why would you have to do that if you went home, and why are you here in the first place. Lord Tubbington wouldn't tell me. He said that you would if you wanted too."
"Well, I guess my tale starts at the beginning of time, when the Pari and the Enchanted Forest found each other. The Forest is a living entity that only allows us to live there if we don't harm it."
Rachel saw that Brittany looked confused. Most humans were confused. They never thought that forests were alive, and to be fair only the Enchanted forest is.
"Have you ever heard of crop failure, and famine Brittany?" At her nod Rachel continued, "That's caused by the Enchanted Forest. When anyone excessively hurts or tries to destroy the forest it retaliates. That's why in recent years farming has been better, with more food produced. Humans have been working with the Pari to save the Forest. That's not the point though. The point is that the Forest requires a ritual to be passed before it will allow someone to rule it. The problem for me is that the ritual requires a partner."
Brittany butted in, "That doesn't sound so bad. You'd have someone to help you rule."
"That's what I thought. Each person, Human or Pari, has one person out there for them; a mate. Humans normally call them soul mates."
"Hey! Me and San are soul mates. I totally know what you mean."
"Ahem, may I continue."
Brittany shook her head yes while miming zipping her lips.
"As I was about to say, the Pari can use their magic to find their mate. It's very long and tedious so most don't do it, but my parents have had seers looking for years now. Being the Princess it's imperative that I find my mate sooner rather than later. In only eight months I will have to perform the ritual or forfeit my crown. The seers thought my mate was one of my own people so we spent a lot of time looking in the Forest. It wasn't until three months ago that they were able to narrow it down to Lima. I happened to find my mate the first day of school."
At this Rachel stopped speaking and looked at her lap. All she could think of was the horrible things that Quinn had done to her in two short months. She had gone from an optimistic outspoken Princess, to a timid fearful highschooler. Sure she was still out spoken in class and at home, but only when an adult was present to protect her. She had seen evil in the world and it frightened her. The fact that it was her mate made it a million times worse.
Brittany reached out and gave Rachel another hug. "It's Quinn. Isn't it? I see you stare at her when no one is looking. You look so sad it breaks my heart. No more worries though. I am going to help you through this, and if you're under my protection no one will hurt you. The number one rule at McKinley is to never make me sad, or Santana will kick their ass."
Brittany smiled triumphantly like she had just cured world hunger.
"What if Santana is the one who's hurting me? Will the number one rule stop her too? I just…. It's just hard Brittany," Rachel finally broke down after two months, "You don't even know half of what they do. You're not there. They're not going to stop. They're going to hate me more now that you're my friend. I really should give in now before things get worse."
Brittany grabbed Rachel by her shoulders and held her so she would look at the blonde, "No you listen to me. Me and Lord Tubbington are going to help you. Together we can get though anything okay."
Rachel wiped her eyes before nodding, "Okay."
"Now how about some ice cream and a movie"
The next day before school Brittany stopped to pick Rachel up.
"If you're riding with me then that'll let everyone know you're mine. Plus I'm going to be walking with you to all of your classes, so you'll have to wait for me." Brittany told the shorter girl as she got into the car unknowingly echoing Quinn and Santana.
Rachel just nodded. She was dreading the coming day despite Brittany's assurances that it would be better. She was surprised when she got to school and no one said a word to her. Sure they all stared but no one had called her a name in the five minutes it took her to reach her locker. It was the longest time she had been in the hallway without being taunted. Little did she know that the student body had been conditioned from elementary school to not say bad things around Brittany. If she even
The day was the best one Rachel had ever had at McKinley. The looks were a little discerning, but if it meant no nasty comments she'd deal. The only looks that got to her were the glares from all the Glee club members, especially Quinn and Santana. She had tried her best to be their friends, but they just wouldn't go for it. They didn't like when she sang, or when she talked, or when she sat quietly. No matter what she did they still thought she was better than them. Thankfully, at least for a little while, they couldn't tell her how irritating they thought she was.
The peace lasted for less than a week. On Friday Brittany got called into the office and wasn't able to walk Rachel to her next class. Apparently her teachers had reported the blonde tardy one to many times.
Rachel decided that she would brave the crowd after Brittany hadn't shown up three minutes after the bell. She'd only have two minutes to get to class, so hopefully nothing would happen. She could see her classroom at the end of the hall when someone grabbed her arm and drug her to the bathroom.
Rachel knew instantly who was holding her. She could feel such intense heat and shocks coming through that one point of contact. Her last thought before Quinn thrust her against the wall was, 'I can't believe I'm going to die before I can feel what it's like to kiss her. I bet it's like fireworks.'
Quinn roughly threw her into the wall. She felt the same things that Rachel did, but she didn't like it. Rachel hit the wall with enough force to wind her, and she slid down into a heap on the floor. She looked up at Quinn with a pained expression. That had hurt.
"You're going to sit there quietly and wait until I tell you otherwise. There is no Brittany to protect you, and this will not get back to her if you know what's good for you." Quinn stated calmly as she paced to the other side of the room. It appeared to Rachel as if she were trying to get as far away from her as she could.
Rachel opened her mouth to tell Quinn that she understood, but Quinn glared at Rachel and the brunette changed her mind. She was scared waiting there on the cold floor. She had no idea what was going on, or what Quinn was capable of doing to her.
The bell rang and five minutes passed before the door opened. Rachel didn't even move her head to look at who had entered. She hadn't moved a muscle since Quinn had glared at her. Quinn had already demonstrated that she would use force on the petite girl. Rachel didn't want to risk anymore. She still wanted to keep some illusions about the girl she was supposed to spend the rest of her long life with, though those illusions were fading fast.
"What's with RuPual?" Santana asked as she breezed into the bathroom.
"She's just doing what she's told. Aren't we Berry." Quinn replied.
Rachel didn't say anything or even move her head to look at the two girls. Now that she knew Santana was the one that entered the room she felt sick. If anyone was going to kill her it was going to be Santana.
Rachel regretted a lot of things she hadn't done before today, like tell her parents she loved them, or tell Brittany that she was her best friend, or even say goodbye to Jessie. Despite the fact that she had been alive longer than the two girls in the room she had yet to experience the most basic life experiences that they took for granted. Her first Rachel wished she had done before being stuck in the bathroom with Quinn and Santana.
Quinn walked over and squatted down so she could talk to Rachel directly. She grabbed her chin and gently turned her head so the princess could look Quinn in the eyes.
"Rachel," Quinn started wiping at the tears on Rachel's face, "I know this seems scary, but we had to take drastic measure. Brittany wouldn't let us get close to you, and we all need to talk."
"Yeah, so man up man-hands. We're not going to hurt you unless you deserve it." Santana interjected from somewhere behind Quinn.
Rachel dared to look at Santana as she paced along the sinks. This abrupt turn in emotions was confusing her. Now she had no idea what was going to happen, and that scared her more than thinking she was going to die. The possibilities were endless.
Quinn stood up and reached out her hand, waiting for Rachel to take it. Rachel just sat there staring dumbly at it. Rachel had never touched the blonde voluntarily, she was always the one receiving the contact. The princess didn't want her first time to reach out and touch her mate to be now. She wanted it to be when Quinn actually liked her, but Quinn had been nice a few seconds ago. Does that mean it would be okay for to take the blondes hand?
Rachel had obviously taken too much time deciding what to do because Santana stormed over and grabbed her arm, dragging the small girl to her feet.
"Let's move it. We only have a couple more minutes to pull this off." She said, pulling Rachel out of the bathroom.
Quinn followed behind, trying to puzzle out why Rachel hadn't taken her hand. Then she spent time trying to figure out why it hurt so much that she hadn't.
Santana pulled Rachel all the way out to the parking lot before Rachel started to struggle. It was one thing for them to hold her hostage on campus; Brittany was somewhere near after all. Leaving was a whole different matter though.
"Please, I'll leave her alone. I'll go away and you'll never have to see me again. I promise. Just, please just don't kill me. I didn't even say goodbye to my parents." Rachel begged fully crying now. She knew it was irrational, but Brittany had been playing like they were in an action drama all week. There had been covert meetings, constant bodyguards, and Brittany's crazy plots.
Santana sighed, and Quinn turned around to look at Rachel, "Oh my god, I can't believe you really think we're going to kill you."
"Yeah, we'd have nowhere to dispose of the body," Santana chimed in from the driver's seat.
Rachel calmed only a little bit. Tears were still running down her cheeks, but she was no longer begging for her life. Quinn couldn't understand why it hurt her so much to see Rachel cry. She had been okay with the plan as they were making it, but she never expected Rachel to burst out in tears. Quinn also didn't understand why she still found Rachel cute when her eyes were all puffy and her face was all red.
When they reached Quinn's house, Quinn helped Rachel out of the car making sure to be very gentle. Her feelings were confusing, but she knew that she didn't want Rachel to fear her anymore. This whole ordeal had been an eye opener for her. How could she look herself in the mirror if someone legitimately thought she would kill them? Add in the fact that it was Rachel, and well Quinn was rethinking things. Now she just had to talk to Santana.
Quinn led Rachel up to her room and gently pushed her in before shutting the door. Once the door was closed she looked over at Santana who was giving her a what the fuck look. Quinn gestured towards the stairs. She felt sure that Rachel would be waiting for her just inside the door when she went back. The smaller girl was clearly terrified, and Quinn was going to use that to her advantage.
"Santana," Quinn started as she reached the head of the stairs, "Do you remember the plan?"
Santana rolled her eyes, "Duh Q. We planned this for two days straight."
"Yeah well, I think I want to change it." Quinn held up her hands signaling to the Latina to let her finish, "You'd still get Britt back, but I think I kinda want to keep the hobbit."
Quinn looked down and rubbed her arms. She knew that she wasn't acting like herself, but the small girl had gotten to her today.
"I know you don't care for her much, and I don't either," Quinn paused, "She just makes me feel something. Something I've never felt before, guilt, and a whole bunch of other things. Just let me go in there by myself and talk to her. You go find Britt and keep her distracted. I'll call you later, and let you know how everything goes."
Santana puts a hand on Quinn's shoulder, "You know I don't really hate her. Yeah she's annoying, loud mouthed, and somehow managed to wrap Britt around her little finger; but you go do what you have to. I'll stand behind you, and if you ever tell anyone about this I will cut you."
Quinn just shook her head as she watched Santana saunter out of the house. She really needed to stop underestimating that girl.
Rachel was trying to work up her courage. Nothing like this had ever happened to her before. Being a Princess you would've thought someone had attempted to kidnap her before, but no. These two teenagers scared the shit out of the tiny diva, and it frustrated her. How was she ever supposed to build a relationship with Quinn if she was afraid of her?
Rachel cringed when she heard the door open, and mentally chastised herself. She really needed to get a grip on things. The tiny diva straightened to her full height and squared her shoulder, "Quinn I will not stand for this. I am a person and I demand that you treat me as such. Furthermore..."
"Shut up Rachel. I'm going to do the talking and you're going to do the listening."
Rachel felt this pressure build up in her chest. The torment that she had endured for two months came back to give her strength. She stalked towards Quinn, with her magic giving her an almost tangible aura. Quinn's eyes widened as she backed up, her back hitting the door.
Rachel stopped inches from Quinn and poked her in the chest, "No you are going to listen. Things are going to be different from now on. You are not going to walk all over me. That means no name calling, and the slushies have to stop. I am so sick of you thinking you're better than me Quinn Fabray. You don't even know who I am, and the rate you're going you'll never know who I am."
Quinn was breathing heavily, and her pupils were dilated. She had no idea why her body reacted like this, but it was the same thing that always happened when Rachel was close. Normally she had others around to help curb her desires, but now they were alone. Quinn only fought the urge for a few seconds before she leaned in and captured Rachel's lips in a surprisingly gentle kiss.
Ten minutes later when they both came to, Quinn sat up and asked accusingly, "What the hell happened Berry?"
"First off don't call me that and secondly I'm pretty sure we both passed out." the brunette stated looking sideways at Quinn.
"Captain Obvious strikes again." Quinn muttered lying back down on the floor.
Rachel crossed her arms in annoyance, "Quinn I distinctly remember asking you not to call me names anymore."
The blonde sighed, "It's just a saying. Jeeze lighten up a bit Rachel."
Rachel beamed at Quinn, that being the first time the cheerleader had ever called her by her first name. "Okay, sometimes I don't know half of what anyone is saying. It gets confusing at times."
"What's confusing about it?" Quinn asked genuinely curious?
The diva shrugged, "Everything, and nothing. Sometimes people say the weirdest things, like it's raining cats and dogs. That statement is blatantly absurd, cats and dogs do not fall from the sky."
"Oh those," the blonde nodded, "Yeah I had noticed you tend to take things literally. Still, though, what the hell happened? I've kissed my share of people and I've never passed out because of it. What did you do to me?"
Quinn looked suspiciously at Rachel, who was still lying on the ground. It had felt like electricity had shot through Quinn as her lips had touched Rachel's. It made her feel so good she wanted nothing more than to do it again, but she did not want to pass out. What good were phenomenal kisses if you only got to enjoy them for a few seconds?
When Rachel didn't respond or even move, Quinn shifted so she could straddle Rachel. It may have been the biggest mistake yet.
Rachel gasped at the feeling of Quinn pressing against her, and managed to stutter, "Wh-what do you think you're doing?"
Quinn gulped, "I was going to make you tell me. I'm still going to, but I want to see something first."
The diva looked really nervous as the blonde hovered over her. When Quinn leaned down to kiss her for the second time Rachel was dumbfounded. She had never thought the first would happen, and here it was the second.
This time both girls remained conscious during the short sweet kiss. When Quinn pulled back she shook her head, trying to clear it.
"Why do I want to keep doing that? It's not like I'm gay." the blonde frowned, not liking how her body was responding to the smaller girl, ironically battling the same emotions that had led to the bullying of the diva. Quinn still didn't know what to do about them, but she did know that she couldn't go back to not kissing Rachel. It was too addicting not to stop.
The blonde felt her grip on Rachel's arms begin to loosen, and the next thing she knew she was pushed back and Rachel was sitting up.
"As much as I do enjoy kissing you, we have much to talk about."
Quinn just nodded, unsure of what was going on.
Rachel sighed, "Quinn, I know that over the past two months you have been feeling weird. Like you want to be near me at all times. I know that this is confusing for you, and I apologize. We did not start our relationship in the correct manner." when Quinn went to object Rachel raised her hand wanting to finish, "Yes, it is not a typical relationship, but you cannot deny the fact that you seek me out every day. I would know I try to avoid you every day and found that it's not possible." At this Quinn hung her head, feeling ashamed about how she treated the small girl. "The thing is, what you're feeling is partly my fault."
At this point Quinn loudly interjected, "I knew it!"
The diva rolled her eyes, "It's also you're fault. I just make it more obvious that we have feelings for each other. Had we met in a normal, non-high school, way I'm sure we would have been friends, best-friends. That is until we finally figured out that we liked each other and started dating."
"But I'm not gay," Quinn jumped in again, her face pale at the thought.
"Of course you're not Quinn, nor are you straight. You, my dear, only have one person out there who is right for you. Much the same way that Brittany and Santana are the only people for each other."
"Wait," the blonde said confused, "You mean we're like soul mates, or some shit like that."
"Yes, that's exactly what I mean." The diva nodded, relieved the blonde understood her.
Quinn looked at the small girl suspiciously, "How are you involved with us figuring this out, and why does it feel so intense? I've never felt this strongly about anything in my life before."
Rachel suppressed a sigh, "You're not the only one who's never felt this way before. When I realized you were the one, and how you treated me I almost gave up. Thankfully Brittany was there to talk some sense into me before I went home."
"Back up a minute. I think you lost me. You never did tell me why we felt like this."
"Well it's really simple," Rachel replied, "Magic."
Quinn looked at Rachel for a solid three minutes before she burst out laughing. It was rolling on the floor, couldn't breathe laughing and it frustrated Rachel. She had given the blonde an honest answer and this was the reaction she got.
When the laughter didn't stop after a minute, Rachel decided to do something about it. For every second that Quinn continued to laugh she grew smaller. It was a simple spell that would prove to the blonde that magic was real. Rachel just sat there smirking waiting for Quinn to notice what was going on.
Quinn was four feet before she realized what was happening. She glared at Rachel, "What the fuck did you do to me. Turn me back now." On any other day the glare would have been intimidating, but on a miniature Quinn was much too cute to be scary.
They both jumped when the door was flung open. Brittany focused in on Rachel and ran to her side, "Oh Rachie are you okay? I'm sorry I couldn't stop them, but I made Santana tell me where they were hiding you."
The Latina stood in the door taking in the scene when she noticed Quinn's new height. "What the fuck happened to Quinn." She asked dumbfounded.
Brittany turned and saw what had Santana confused. "Oh a mini-Quinn. Can we keep her? Please Rachie. I promise to feed her, and walk her, and play with her. Please can we keep her." the dancer had her pouty face on, but only Rachel could see the twinkle in her eyes.
Quinn sputtered as Rachel slowly nodded her head. "What the fuck Rachel. Change me back right now. I will not be a four foot pet of Brittany's."
Rachel shrugged, "Brittany's been nice to me, and you laughed at me. I'm more inclined to go with her."
Santana was cracking up in the corner at the thought of Quinn being a pet.
"And what are you laughing at Santana Lopez? Would you like to be Quinn's size also?" Rachel asked the Latina.
Brittany started jumping up and down, "I want a mini San too. Please Rachie make me a mini San."
"Ah mi Dios! I must have hit my head walking up the stairs. That's the only thing that can explain this."
"No you didn't hit your head. Rachel has magic, and we're soul mates. I laughed when she told me about the magic, and she shrunk me." Quinn growled.
Santana couldn't help it and doubled over laughing. "That's the funniest shit I've ever heard."
Rachel just shrugged and shrunk Santana down to Quinn's size.
"There you go Brit-Brit, two mini-thems for you to play with." Rachel said with a huge smile.
When Santana finally realized she was four foot she charged at Rachel. Brittany caught the fiery Latina before she could do any harm, "Come on San. It was only a joke. Rachie will turn you back to normal."
The Latina crossed her arms and huffed, "She better."
The princess didn't waste any time changing both the cheerleaders back to their normal sizes. They all took seats on the bed and stared at each other. Quinn and Santana were at the top of the bed, while Brittany pulled Rachel close at the bottom of the bed.
"Okay, I needs some explanation and I needs it now." Santana demanded, glaring at Rachel.
Rachel sighed, she knew that she still owed Quinn an explanation, but she just didn't want to have to go through it again.
Brittany noticed the sigh and nudged the smaller girl, "Can I tell it? I remember most of what you told me. You can just fill in the parts that I miss."
"Thank you Brittany. That would be lovely."
Brittany hopped off the bed and started the history of the Pari, throwing in wild gestures whenever she felt she could. The other two cheerleaders were slightly skeptical, but after Rachel's display of magic they couldn't deny it was a possibility. The bubbly blonde did well with the telling, only needing a few gentle corrections from the princess.
When the explanation was over Quinn turned to Rachel, "I still don't understand about the whole mate thing. Brittany didn't really go over that."
The little princess shrugged, "That's because not much is actually known about it. All we know about mates it that you have this undeniable attraction to them that never fades. Being mates doesn't stop fights, or break-ups, they just kind of lower the chances. In fact only a small handful of Pari ever find their mate at all."
"Then why is it so important that you have yours?" Santana questioned, just as confused as Quinn.
"You see, when the forest crowns its new rulers it always does it in pairs, they undergo this ritual, which unfortunately is never talked about. Well the ritual is, but not what happens during the ritual. My parents did tell me that it's intensely personal, and, and, there are no words to describe it, but with the right person it's all worth it. There was one man, an uncle of mine, who tried the ritual alone because he couldn't find his mate." Rachel stopped the explanation there, and wiped at her eyes.
"Come on midget, you can't stop at the good part." Santana exclaimed when it appeared that Rachel wasn't going to continue.
"Don't call her names, San." Brittany reprimanded the Latina.
"It's okay Britt. If she has to call me anything, that is fine. I don't find it offensive because we don't have an equivalent in Pari." Rachel calmed the taller blonde. "And to finish the story, my uncle died. The forest rejected his ritual, and it killed him. It killed him because he didn't have his mate. If you, Quinn, decide that you don't want this; that you won't go through this then I will have to forfeit the ritual. The crown will pass from my family to our rival's family. If the forest doesn't except them others may try, but my family will never get another chance."
"What do you mean your family won't get another chance? Couldn't someone else in your family do the ritual?" Quinn asked.
Rachel started drawing patterns on the bed not wanting to tell them. She looked up at them and took a deep breath, "I'm it. There is no one left in my family besides my parents. The last time we lost the crown a war began, and it took years to finish. My whole family was wiped out besides my parents. They won the throne and years later they had me. They can't have any more kids, and if you decide that you don't want me then I'll never have kids."
"Uh, Rachie you and Q can't have kids. You've both got lady parts. San told me that two lady parts don't make babies." Brittany informed the diva.
"Human females can't produce a baby together, but the forest takes care of all its inhabitants. There's a very long and painful ritual that can be performed that will make a woman pregnant. It's very hard to get right, so most don't try, however nothing bad happens if it isn't done right. If Quinn decides that this is something that she wants to do, be my mate that is, then we would eventually perform the childbirth ritual." Rachel explained to the group.
Santana and Brittany turned to look at Quinn who had this deer in the headlights look on her face. Rachel stepped up in her defense, "Don't stare at her. She has time to make this decision, and no one gets to rush her. She has until the summer before it's actually time to perform the ritual. It has to be her decision and no one else. If it's not the Forest will know, and we will fail. I actually think I am going to go home. It is getting quite late and the Berries will be worried about me. They have been so kind during this time."
Rachel stood up to leave, while Quinn sat on her bed absorbing everything she had learned that day. After a few moments of silence the taller blonde gently tugged the Latina out of the room, leaving Quinn to her thoughts. Thoughts she never thought before; like how it would be to love a girl, to love Rachel, to live in a magical forest, to be a Queen. The blonde eventually fell asleep on her bed with those thoughts still running around her head.
The next day when Rachel went outside to meet Brittany she found the other two cheerleaders in the car. They had decided that if they were going to do this, then they were going to do it the right way. Rachel would arrive at school with the Trio, and one of them would always be with her barring some unforeseen event.
Most of the school seemed to roll with the new change. It wasn't much different than Brittany being the only one to protect the small girl. Rachel now enjoyed the privileges granted to all the cheerleaders without having to wear the uniform. Quinn and Santana were even changing since the diva's addition. There were less insults, slushies, dumpster dives, potty rolls, and bullying in general. The girls had mellowed out and the school was enjoying the reprieve.
That is except for some of the Glee club. They watched this new girl go from nothing to everything and it pissed them off. They had gone to this school for four years and they were still the bottom of the social heap. The loud obnoxious diva had only been there two months before she captured the attention of the three most popular people in school. Add to that the fact that Schue still gave her all the solos, made for a pissed off club.
Kurt, Mercedes, and all the rest waited for the perfect time to confront Rachel. They had to make sure that the cheerleaders weren't present, for how could they tell her what they really thought when her protectors were around? It took about three weeks, but Sue finally provided the perfect chance.
Rachel was sitting in the choir room playing the piano while she waited for the cheerleaders to finish their meeting with Sue. They had made her promise that she would wait there for them because no one ever went there during lunch. Unfortunately for the Trio, the Glee clubbers knew exactly where Rachel would be while they were occupied.
The tiny princess heard as more people came in then should have, but continued to finish her song. She knew that it had to be someone to bully her; despite the Trio's protection she was still not liked. The diva tried to mentally prepare herself for the abuse coming, but the song ended much too fast. When she turned around she found the four faces she had expected to see; Kurt, Mercedes, Tina, and Artie.
While Tina and Artie had never instigated the verbal attacks, they always agreed with the things said. Kurt and Mercedes, however, often called Rachel names and told her how much no one wanted her. Had Rachel been anything other than a princess who was completely secure in her place in the world, the cruelty of the entire McKinley High School would have crushed her. As it was she barely made it through their attacks. All she could do was hope that the Trio got there soon.
"Berry, we need to talk." Mercedes said as they all stopped a few feet in front of the diva.
Rachel crossed her ankles, and placed her hands delicately in her lap, "What may I assist you with?"
"You need to quit Glee club. No one wants you there, and you're ruining the experience for the rest of us." Kurt told her with a nod of his perfectly coifed head.
"Yeah, before you came, all of us got at least a solo or two. Now you're the only one who does, and it's not fair." Tina spoke up from her position, slightly behind Mercedes.
Rachel looked perplexed, "I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about. I've tried numerous times to get Mr. Schuester to give you the solos. Shouldn't you be talking to him?"
Mercedes got visibly upset when the diva told them this. "You think you can lie to us? You're nothing but a two-faced little whore. How else are we supposed to believe you got in with the most popular people in school if you aren't spreading your legs? I bet that's how you get your solos too." Mercedes started advancing towards the small girl, pointing her finger at her, "You're nothing but a dirty whore, and now that we know your secret you can be assured that the rest of the school will know it too . You're going to be finished here. Then you can go back to whatever hole you crawled out of and fuck up their lives because we don't need you in ours."
Rachel was visibly crying at the end of Mercedes rant. No one had ever said such mean things to her, or about her, and she was going to tell the whole school these lies. The princess was devastated. She had just started being able to go places around school by herself without being harassed. She pushed past Mercedes and ran out of the room, no longer able to take her bile.
The other three Glee members looked shocked at what Mercedes had said. None of them had expected her to go off the deep end, and none of them had expected the voice that called from the door.
"What the hell did you do to my hobbit?" Santana practically growled as she advanced into the room. Quinn had followed after Rachel while Brittany stood there with a disappointed look on her face.
Brittany placed a hand on Santana's arm to stop her from speaking before saying what she needed to say, "I am disappointed in all of you. I had hoped that convincing Quinn and Santana would help you see that Rachel isn't a bad person. She's incredibly nice, and never has a bad thing to say about anyone. Each of you right now are bullies. You're taking a girl who had nothing but love for every person she met, and turning her into someone who fears the world around her. I hope you can live with yourself because I can't. S, Q and I are done and so is Rach. We are all off the glee club for good. I wish you guys luck getting the needed members to compete. Oh, and if I hear anything bad about Rachel going around school each and every one of you will feel the full wrath of the cheerleaders.
"What the fuck did you do Mercedes?" Was all the two girls heard as they left the room. They needed to find the small girl and make sure she was okay.
Quinn had caught up with the princess before she had made it terribly far. They were at the edge of the forest that bordered the school.
"Let me go please. I want my mommy." Rachel cried as she struggled to break away from Quinn's grip.
Quinn held her tight and peppered her face with kisses, "It's going to be okay Rae. S and B will take care of the glee club; just let me take care of you."
After a couple minutes Rachel finally quieted and laid silently crying in the blonde's arms.
"Why do they hate me so much? I've never done anything to them, least of all wanted to take their stupid solos. They should be upset at Schue and not me. I keep telling him I don't want them, but he's to obsessed with winning. Why won't they believe me?" Rachel whispered trying to work through her problems.
Quinn rubbed her back, "They hate you because you're so different. They're lost in the world, and from day one everyone could tell that you have your head screwed on right."
"It's not my fault that I'm older than they are. I didn't ask for this, I just wanted to find my mate and go home to my parents." Rachel pouted banging her fist on her leg,
"I'm so sorry Rachel. I'm sorry for how mean I was, and hurting you so bad. I don't think I'll ever be able to make it up to you, but if you'll let me I'll spend the rest of my life making it up to you." Quinn earnestly laid her heart out for the princess's inspection.
"Do you mean it Quinn?" Rachel asked pulling away from the blonde's embrace to look at her. "Do you really mean that you accept being my mate?"
Quinn didn't verbally respond. Instead she pulled Rachel closer and kissed her like there was no tomorrow.
"Of course Rachel, I'll be your mate until death do us part."