Summary: "I'm Sam," you say, offering your free hand as your eyes get trapped by hazel once again, "I just moved in next door." / "Quinn," she says, shaking your hand gently. Her hands are soft like her voice, and you wonder what makes her seem like she's holding onto something fragile.—- AU, Faberry, Sam's POV, post-season 1
a/n: this is the last part! thanks for sticking around and sending such lovely feedback! if you don't want to follow me here, find me on tumblr – closetcasefabray. xox
Just Like the Movies
Rachel is over more often, and you're seeing less and less of Santana's car in front of Quinn's house. You sometimes even hear Quinn laugh when Rachel is over; it's just as wonderful as hearing Rachel sing.
Quinn invites you to go swimming later that week, and you're happy to see Mercedes and Rachel already out by the pool. Mercedes is getting a towel inside when you see Quinn discretely kiss Rachel's shoulder before applying some sunscreen to her back. Something inside you swells with pride when Quinn doesn't look to see if they've been caught – she just whispers something in Rachel's ear, making the smaller girl smile.
You drink from your Solo cup as Rachel tells you about her plans to write some original songs for glee club this year. She and Quinn have barely exchanged a word, but Rachel doesn't seem hurt by this, so you assume it was discussed prior to the party.
"I can play guitar," you say, "We should jam sometime."
"Really?" She's elated, and you wonder how Quinn could ever pretend she disliked her. You really enjoy Rachel's enthusiasm, and you have a strange desire to proclaim that at this moment, as if everyone in glee club should know that you're on her side.
"You know, you should stop inflating her ego," Santana bites, walking by and bumping Rachel's shoulder. "It goes straight to her nose."
You open your mouth to defend her, wanting to fulfill your duties as Rachel's newfound ally, but sometime in the past ten seconds, Quinn appeared beside Rachel, her face stern.
"Watch your mouth, Santana."
Santana slowly turns and looks at Quinn, and it's like one of those showdowns in movies about the Old West. Except they don't have guns, just ice-cold glares. Rachel looks nervously between the two of them. You assume this is what the meteorologists were talking about when a cold front meets a warm front; nothing good happens.
"What'd you just say to me, Fabray?"
"I said, 'Watch. Your. Mouth,' Lopez," she seethes slowly.
"Tuck away your weird lady boner for Bilbo and learn to shut your mouth. I don't know if you remember," Santana says, stepping closer to Quinn so she's inches from her face, "but I'm on top this year. You don't have shit without Cheerios."
"Get the hell out of my house then," Quinn says through gritted teeth. Part of you shivers because it quickly transitioned from an Old West showdown to a Planet Earth segment on battles between alphas. "Fake, plastic bitch."
In a flash, Santana's hand is raised to strike Quinn, but Mercedes dives between them.
"Let's calm down, girl," Mercedes says, holding back Santana who is now muttering obscenities.
"Quinn, it's fine," Rachel whispers softly, taking Quinn's hand in a subtle gesture. "This isn't the way to end the summer."
Quinn sighs, running her free hand through her hair, looking at the brunette. You watch all her features soften, and you think that girls like Brittany and Rachel possess some kind of magic.
"Yeah, you're right."
Like it was timed, Brittany walks into the house, her dance bag still on her shoulder.
"Hey guys!" she says, practically skipping to Santana and kissing her on the cheek, "What's up?" The whole glee club looks at her disbelievingly, practically choking on the tension.
"We gotta go, Britts," Santana says quietly, the muscles in her jaw tight as she tries to make her voice calm for her girlfriend (or whatever they are).
"But I just got here."
"Q doesn't want us here."
"But we're the Unholy Trinity," Brittany says with a pout, looking between the two of them with her blue eyes all big.
"Stay," Quinn almost groans, but in her perfectly smooth Quinn voice way, "Just watch your fucking mouth around Rachel. That's not how you talk to your glee captain."
Multiple jaws drop. This is apparently not normal, you conclude. In a few minutes, Puck clears his throat awkwardly and turns up the music, instigating people to carry on with their drinking games and conversations.
Quinn takes a few desperate gulps from her Solo cup as Rachel leans in to tell her something, letting her hand rest on Quinn's hip for a brief moment before taking her hand again.
When Finn walks in, you notice Quinn tense. She lets go of Rachel's hand and just gives her a small nod. She walks off as Rachel approaches Finn, looking nervous.
You think you understand now, why Quinn and Santana have to be so hard; they have a tenderness they hold close because they've seen their insides spilled out in front of the wrong people.
"I feel like you and I are the only smart ones here," Mercedes says with a grin, nudging you with her hip as she sidles up beside you.
You're watching Finn and Rachel have a rather forced conversation, and you can tell Rachel is trying harder to make their new friendship work.
"I don't know what you mean," you mumble before walking to the refrigerator for one of Puck's beers.
"Oh, come on. I can't be alone in this," Mercedes almost begs, following you the few steps over to keep her voice low, "Quinn… and…" she drags out.
"Yeah. I just… don't know if we're supposed to know," you say, cracking open the can.
"Well, I'm glad I'm not crazy," Mercedes says with a chuckle, raising her cup to your can.
"No, you definitely aren't," you say with a grin before taking a sip of your beer. You like her laugh, and you find her optimism and humor refreshing.
Quinn can be a bit intense, and you will always try and piece her together to see the whole picture. But Mercedes is different, like watching a funny movie; she makes things seem easy. You spend the next ten minutes trying to make her laugh as often as possible.
You notice Quinn has disappeared again, so you go looking for her. You find your way to her room, or temporary room, and knock lightly on the closed door.
"Who is it?" Her voice is muffled and hard to hear over the music.
"Sam. Can I come in?"
The door opens and, once again, Quinn is beautifully windswept, eyes like storms carrying those lost messages in bottles.
"Good. If it was Puck, I was going to have to get my pepper spray," she says. You laugh, but her silence cuts it short. You don't want to end your summer with pepper spray.
"What're you doing?"
"Just wanted to get away from… the party for a little bit. I'm weird about big groups sometimes," she confesses, gracefully plopping onto her bed. She's smiling, but it's sort of sad and you assume it's the best she can do since she's sort of drunk.
You sit beside her and speak in a voice that you hope won't scare her away, "From Finn and Rachel?"
A moment passes, and you're afraid Quinn is hiding parts of herself.
But she sighs and her voice cracks on the one word she can say – Yeah. She leans her head on your shoulder, so you put your arm around her and, as if the wind had carried out her trembling response, she's all stone again. She's almost strong to a fault, constantly fighting the undertow to stay afloat.
You see a small duffle bag beside her dresser, and the big gold star on it makes it clear that it's Rachel's. You don't mention it, just listen to the hum of the stereo downstairs and the voices of your new friends.
There's a light knock on the door. "Quinn? Can I come in?"
You remove your arm from around Quinn, feeling like it might give the wrong impression to Rachel. You smile at the thought of it – Rachel passively addressing it later that night to Quinn. You hope Quinn tells her to shut up, tell her she's nuts, and then kisses her so she'll always know that Quinn has only had eyes on her.
"Yeah, come in."
"Oh, hi Sam," Rachel says, quickly assessing the situation to see if she's interrupting.
"Hey, Rachel. Just keeping Quinn company," you say, standing up, swishing your beer can to find it empty, "I'm, uh, going to grab another beer. See you guys back down there."
"K, we'll be right down," Quinn says with an appreciative smile.
You see Rachel give Quinn a timid smile and an equally as timid, Hey.
Just before you close the door, you see Quinn pull Rachel toward her and wrap her arms around her waist, anchoring herself to the brunette.
Two days before the start of school, Quinn shows up at your house. Her eyes are puffy like she's been crying, and you don't know if you've ever seen her so torn up.
"I know you know," Quinn says, her voice unwavering.
You let her in and sit in the living room since you have the house to yourself.
"Did you want to talk about it?"
She shakes her head, but then sighs as if frustrated by her habitual response to shut out the people who could judge the scar tissue surrounding the aching muscle in her chest.
"I called it off," she mumbles. Her lip trembles, and then, for the first time, she lets herself cry in front of you. It's the silent kind, and up until this point you always thought sobs were the most painful sound to hear. "She deserves to be more than a secret, you know?"
Words fail you, and once again you search your memory for something poetic, anything that will soothe her. Quinn is a great actress, but a complex one, so no passage or movie scene seems to suffice. You put your hand on her shoulder to gage whether or not she wants to be embraced, so when she leans into it, you wrap your arms around her in what you hope is the gentlest but most reaffirming hug you can offer.
"She'll wait for you," you say quietly, not wanting to disturb her in her state, "And she can help you."
"I don't want her to wait," her breath is warm against your chest, and you can feel the dampness from her tears, your shirt soaking up the oceans she normally keeps so calm, "She deserves someone who can support her, not someone who will just hold her back. I've already hurt her too many times."
"You aren't a burden, Quinn. You're already part of her life, and whether or not you're together, I think she'll always look for your face in the audience."
Quinn doesn't respond, so you just let the silence surround you until her breathing evens out.
"I move back after the first week of school," she mumbles, "And as much as my mom loves me, I don't know if I can be a disappointment again. I don't want Rachel to have to see that."
"Do what you need to feel safe, okay?" you say, kissing her temple as you pull away to look at her. Her eyes shimmer, and you imagine that this must be what sunsets look like on the ocean's horizon. "I'll visit you at your house, and you can come over and help me babysit."
She nods and manages a smile. "I'd like that. Thanks for everything, Sam."
Your first day is as you imagined – uncomfortable. People stare and exchange whispered conversations. You keep your chin up as you walk right up to the first bulletin board and sign up for a glee club audition, right beneath Ivanna Humpalot.
As you make your way to the guidance counselor's office for a quick run-through of classroom locations and extracurricular options, you pause in front of a display case filled with trophies. Cheerios – National Champions is printed on a banner over the collection of awards. You notice the photograph in the center, a perfect Quinn Fabray standing atop the pyramid with a disgruntled-looking Santana below and an oblivious, semi-confused Brittany beside her.
Next to the display case is a bulletin board with a make-shift banner reading, New Directions. It's apparent that several things have already been torn off of it, and the photo of the club is vandalized to the point that you can hardly make out the faces beneath the mustaches, penises, and devil horns. Who you assume are the jocks and Cheerios, however, remain untouched.
It's cold, and it burns your eyes. You're happy that the red dye at least matches the color of your shirt.
"Hope you like the cold, Bieber," says some jock with a mullet.
Well, you think, Bieber is better than-
"I'm surprised that trouty mouth of yours didn't swallow the whole slushie," adds another.
There it is.
You sigh as they walk off laughing, and you navigate your way through the staring crowd to the nearest bathroom. You turn on the faucet and start to splash warm water on your face when you hear the door creak open.
You blink the water from your eyes and see Rachel has popped her head in. She doesn't wait for a response to enter once she sees your wet face and hair. She carries in a small folding chair in one arm and a tote bag in the other. She locks the door behind her before she turns around and looks at you like a project.
"I guess I should have warned you about the slushie attacks," she says with a sigh, her hands on her hips.
"Kentucky was just the usual 'throwing kids in dumpsters' kind of bullying," you mumble.
"They do that too. Or port-o-potties."
You must look appalled at the idea, but she just shakes her head, leaving that discussion for another time. "I'm here to offer my perfected Slushie Survival expertise."
"Good because this food dye is burning my eyes."
Rachel hands you a make-up removal cloth for you to wipe your face clean as she unfolds the chair in front of one of the sinks. She goes about this in a way that mimics old-fashioned TV moms setting the table for breakfast with her family. It hurts, you realize, to see how familiar she is with this, to know that she has probably been slushied countless times.
Then you understand what Quinn meant when she said she hurt Rachel.
"You're good at this," you say as Rachel rinses out your hair, lightly massaging your scalp.
"I take pride in perfecting all things I do in life," she states with a smile.
You decide that if she can survive this, so can you. A girl like Rachel dreams so clear that no slushie could ever ruin her vision. You find that inspiring, really, so you smile back just as big.
"The largest shirt I have is unfortunately from my Great Aunt Susan," she says, handing you the spare shirt and a towel to dry your hair.
You look at it, a printed t-shirt from some island resort with a dolphin on it. You have a spare shirt for gym, but you pull off your slushied shirt and put on this one without a fuss. You kiss her cheek and thank her, making her blush.
Rachel pulls a hairdryer out from her bag and you laugh; she really does have this perfected. You think about Quinn and how Rachel would perfect their relationship in some weird but special way.
"Yes, Sam?" she says, plugging the hairdryer into the nearby outlet.
"If I get into glee club, would you want to do a duet with me?"
"While I am always inclined to collaborate, I'm not entirely sure that's the best way for you to enter the McKinley hierarchy. I'd pull you down," she says, busying herself with unraveling the chord.
"I don't care where I land on the food chain. I have an idea…" you pause and decide to be bold, "for you and Quinn."
Rachel stops what she's doing and looks at you, trying to judge your intent.
"I know. I think she's scared, but I think you're one of the strongest people here, Rach."
She cracks a smile, "Well… I am a fan of grand gestures."
"Hey, Sunshine," Mercedes says cheekily from beside you in the cafeteria line.
"I'll take that nickname any day," you say, happy to see a familiar face. Puck and Finn were preoccupied with the other football players in your earlier classes, and you assume that Quinn and Rachel are in higher level English and Math courses.
"Oh lord, what are you wearing?"
"Rachel's only large spare shirt," you tell her with a dopey grin. You've worn it with pride, dealt with a few football players making dolphin sounds throughout study hall, and even volunteered to do a math equation in front of the class while wearing it.
"Right. Girl comes prepared. Sorry you got slushied," she says, giving you a sympathetic pat. "Welcome to McKinley."
"Yup. And someone changed my name to 'Samantha' on the bulletin board."
"Just… stay away from port-o-potties," Mercedes warns, cringing.
"Trust me, I will."
You sit with the glee kids, and despite all the French fries and tater tots being thrown at the glee club from the hockey team, you enjoy watching Artie make a sport out of trying to catch them in his mouth and the fact that Kurt is sporting a 'smock' in order to prevent grease stains.
Rachel takes a seat beside Kurt and Mercedes as Quinn purposely sits on the opposite end of the table. You don't miss the way she glances over a few tables to the Cheerios, then discretely at Rachel. Although you definitely like girls in cheerleader uniforms, you like her pretty floral dress and her long blonde hair that falls in perfect waves.
She raises an eyebrow at the sight of your shirt, but you mouth Slushie and nod toward Rachel.
The table cheers when Artie successfully catches a tater tot in his mouth, and upon hearing Mercedes laugh, seeing Quinn smile in way that isn't forced and Rachel peer over at Quinn with a small curve of her lips – it makes you believe that these are all pieces that are meant to come together into something incredible.
It silences the entire hallway with the exception of a few gasps.
Quinn is standing in a slushie puddle in the main hallway, her cream-colored floral dress now a light shade of blue.
"Blue looks good on you, baby momma," says a guy much bigger than you, pretending to dust off the shoulder of his letterman. You note this because you're trying to stop yourself from punching him in the face.
People wait for her reaction, but she just keeps her eyes closed and slowly begins to wipe the excess slushie from her face.
"Hey!" booms a voice, immediately making everyone scatter to their various classrooms, "What's going on here?"
A tall blonde woman in a red sweatsuit appears, telling the students lagging behind to scram. You hide behind your open locker door as you keep watch.
"What happened here, Fabray?" There's no sympathy in her voice.
"I walked into a slushie machine, Coach Sylvester," Quinn says sarcastically, in the same bone-chilling tone she used when fighting with Santana at her party.
"There are lessons we learn at the bottom, Fabray." She walks off without another word.
Rachel comes running, as if just hearing the news, but before she can get close, Quinn holds out her hand to stop her.
"Don't," she says.
Your heart plummets when you see Rachel recoil, but a second later, she clears her throat and lifts her chin.
"Fine," Rachel says, almost angry, pulling a towel from her tote bag, "Just know that you have a choice. You don't have to be alone in this." She forcefully hands Quinn the towel before storming off.
Quinn's head drops, and you wish you never learned to recognize what she looks like when she's trying not to cry.
Quinn has a different dress on in glee, and your heart breaks picturing her packing it in the morning before school.
You're welcomed into the glee club almost immediately, and you're happy to hear the cheers of support. Mr. Schuester is nice and encouraging, but you kind of understand why Rachel has to take a lot of initiative on things.
You stay late to rehearse with Rachel, and you both agree that you'll perform the song at the end of the week for glee. Although you will only have time to practice during lunch and study hall, you both know that you can't wait. Quinn has become all stone, giving classmates harsh glares as if warning them that if they even think about throwing another slushie, she'll have their heads. You both miss the softer side of her.
She looks tired when she opens the door of her aunt's house. You give her a sympathetic half-grin and hold out a cupcake you got from the bakery on your way home from school.
"What's this?" she asks, quirking an eyebrow. You're a bit proud of yourself when you see a hint of amusement in her eyes.
"A 'Slushies Suck' cupcake. I already ate mine," you say. She takes it, a small smile playing at her lips. "You wanna talk about it?"
"That's okay. Just… I'm here for you. We're all in this together, and I'm really happy I met you first."
For the first time, Quinn makes the first move and pulls you into a tight hug.
The next couples of days are easier, and you're happy that no glee club members get slushied in the meantime. You made the football team, so you understand that Puck and Finn have some power in preventing the slushie attacks, usually involving a mediocre speech by Finn and Puck with his arms crossed standing beside him.
After school, you put off your homework and practice your half of the duet in your room. You're strumming your acoustic guitar, trying to recall the harmonies, when you get a text message from Quinn.
I think I'm going to come out to my mom.
You hastily reply, If that's what you want.
Quinn's been at a distance from seemingly everyone, so you're eager to respond to her reaching out to you.
I just don't want to move back in and get kicked out. At least this way my stuff would be here.
You chew the inside of your cheek, caught between depression and rage at the injustice in the world.
I'll be here.
You stare at the screen until she replies.
Do you think Rachel will be?
She never left.
"Um, Mr. Schue?" you say, raising your hand from the back of the risers in the choir room.
"I, uh," everyone is turned around in their chairs, and it's the closest feeling to stage fright you've ever had because this is important, "Rachel and I worked together on a song, and we were wondering if we could sing it for your guys."
You're happy that the group responds enthusiastically, and you see Quinn's confused expression as you hop down the risers toward the front of the room.
"That's great!" Mr. Schue says brightly, "See, guys? This is exactly the type of thing I want to see more of this year! Initiative!"
Rachel mumbles something you can't quite here, but you're fairly confident you get the gist of it. She pulls up two stools as you take your guitar out of the case.
"No long-winded introduction?" Kurt asks from the back of the room as Rachel quietly gets seated.
"I think the song speaks for itself," Rachel says in a soft voice that makes a few members raise their eyebrows in surprise.
She gives you a nod and you begin strumming.
When I was younger I saw my daddy cry and curse at the wind
He broke his own heart as I watched as he tried to reassemble it
And my momma swore she would never let herself forget
And that was the day that I promised I'd never sing of love
If it does not exist
But darlin', you are the only exception
You are the only exception…
Quinn looks up at this and doesn't look away as Rachel continues to sing to her. You sing the harmonies and smile as Mercedes gently joins in with you from her seat nearby.
And I'm on my way to believing
Oh, and I'm on my way to believing…
Rachel trails off and you end with a soft, final strum of the guitar. The glee club whoops and cheers, and Rachel grins modestly. Quinn's eyes shimmer, and you imagine the gray skies after the rain and how green everything becomes in stark contrast.
Without a word, Quinn slips out while Mr. Schue thanks you and Rachel for a "stellar performance." You pack up your guitar and grab your backpack as he tells everyone to brainstorm some more duet ideas for Sectionals. You expect Rachel to look pleased by Mr. Schue mentioning the competition so early in the year, but her head is down as she retrieves her belongings.
Once dismissed, you walk out with Rachel.
"Was it too much?" she whispers.
"No. It was beautiful, Rach," you say, putting your arm around her shoulder.
You walk out to the school parking lot and see Quinn in the distance, leaning against Rachel's car. Then she smiles, sunshine through clouds, scattering through tree branches. Rachel smiles back, and you give her shoulder a squeeze before letting your arm drop from her shoulders.
"Thanks, Sam," she says, her voice summer wind soft, then walking quickly to her car with a small hop in her step.
"You always play Cupid?" Mercedes voice startles you, and she gets a good chuckle seeing you jump.
"Hey, Rach!" calls Finn from behind you. The brunette doesn't hear him as she and Quinn get into their cars. He joins you and Mercedes, a doofy smile on his face. "That song was so for me."
You cringe and Mercedes' body begins to shake to refrain from laughing in his face. With a pat to his shoulder you give him a small look of pity. "No, dude. I definitely don't think it was for you."
You and Mercedes walk toward your respective cars, both trying to keep your laughter silent.
You decide that you don't like Saturday practices as you get out of your car, feeling your muscles ache from Coach Bieste's drills. You see Rachel's car parked in Quinn's driveway, and you hope this is a sign that they're healing, growing. When you open your window, you hear Rachel singing a song, but you open Brave New World and put on your headphones. It's a moment you decide to stay outside of.
Rachel's car stays in front of Quinn's overnight. On Sunday, after taking your siblings to get ice cream, you see Rachel and Quinn walk out of the house with bags in their arms and load them into Quinn's car. You give them both a wave, and they say hi to you, Stevie, and Stacey. Quinn looks nervous as she gets in her car, but you see Rachel take Quinn's hand from the passenger seat, kissing the back of it reassuringly.
As you walk inside, Stevie states that he thinks Quinn's friend is the prettiest and once he's older, he's going to take her out for ice cream. He pouts and storms off when you only laugh and tell him, Good luck with that.
Later that night, Quinn texts you.
We told my mom. She took it as well as she could.
I'm happy for you, but Stevie is upset because he's in love with Rachel.
Quinn and Rachel enter school hand-in-hand. You can see they're both wearing their bravest faces as they walk down the hall. People are gawking, and you chew your lip nervously.
Nothing happens, and you breathe a sigh of relief as Quinn leans on the lockers beside Rachel's.
"I don't know what's more terrifying: Rachel and Quinn being friends or Quinn looking happy," Kurt says, his locker a few down from you.
You smirk, "I guess it's a strange sight, huh?"
He looks at you inquisitively. "Am I missing some-"
"See you in glee, Kurt!" you say hastily before grabbing some books and slamming your locker shut.
You guess you shouldn't be surprised, but the rest of the student population is as Rachel and Quinn stand, soaked in purple slushie, holding hands in front of the cafeteria. The slushie-thrower is obviously a freshman who was coerced into the attack, trembling as he considers where to run.
Quinn merely blinks the frozen drink from her eyes, turns to Rachel and laughs. The two of them are grinning like maniacs as they leave the cafeteria for the bathroom and Rachel's perfectly stocked Slushie Survival Kit. The freshman looks stunned that he didn't get slapped, and the entire glee club is sitting with their jaws agape. Mercedes and you use this opportunity to steal their tater tots from their plates, high-fiving in victory.
By the end of glee, Finn kicks over a chair in confusion and slight heartbreak and Puck gets smacked over the back of his head by Mercedes just for opening his mouth. He settles for a high five from Rachel (denied by Quinn).
Quinn still comes over to help babysit, and Rachel joins sometimes. You like watching them, the way Rachel retrieves snacks or pencils in twos from her bag to hand one to Quinn. You're all working on some homework together in the living room when Rachel says she has to head to ballet class. Without much thought, she gives Quinn a quick peck on the lips before dashing out.
Stevie looks relatively heartbroken, but Stacey, who had been busy watching some cartoon on TV, is now looking at Quinn with her eyes big. Quinn's face is bright pink, and she looks at you almost apologetically. You shrug, seeing it as no different from your parents kissing goodbye. Then, in a flash, Stacey excitedly climbs into Quinn's lap on top of the textbook she was reading.
"You really like her, huh?" she says with a bright smile.
Quinn nods, looking to you for help, but you just smile and shrug again.
Stacey starts braiding Quinn's hair and talking a mile a minute, "Do you get butterflies when you see her? Is Rachel like a princess, too? I think you both look like princesses. Do you both ride horses together? And braid each other's hair? Is it like in the movies? Do you eat spaghetti together and end up kissing like Lady and the Tramp? Is it-"
"Slow it down, Stacey," you say, chuckling as you pull her from Quinn's lap. You're happy Stacey has Quinn to talk to about all these girly things, but you're afraid she might pass out if she keeps talking so fast without breathing.
Quinn just grins and starts to braid Stacey's hair to match hers. She has a brightness to her, like Rachel gives her stardust every time they kiss. Stacey can hardly sit still, so happy she gets to see true love. When Quinn leans down like she's sharing a secret with her, you pretend you don't hear her when she whispers, Just like the movies.