Pairing: Quinn/Rachel, Brittany/Santana
Rating: Up to R
Spoilers: All of season 1
Warnings: Domestic Violence, Hurt/Comfort, Angst
Author's Note: Written for Glee Angst Meme, specifically the Angst section of the Rachel/Quinn Prompt Meme for the following prompt: "Rachel/Quinn - one or both of Quinn's parents are physically abusing her. Rachel finds out and tries to protect Quinn."
Author's Disclaimer: Please note once more that due to LJ posting restrictions and the fact that I had to break the fourth and final chapter into three sections that I HAVE GONE BACK AND RE-NUMBERED ALL PARTS OF THIS FIC. THIS IS PART 7/7, and is the last and final chapter! An epilogue is pobably coming, just as a bonus, in which hot gay sex will commence, but for now, here's the resolution. Thanks for reading, and sorry about the confusion with the chapter numbers!
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV| Part V) | Part VI)
NOTE: Due to LJ screwing my chapter breaks for length, I have re-numbered ALL chapters. Please go back and make sure you are up to date. Parts 5,6 & 7 were originally part of the same and final chapter, reposted here in segments due to length.
McKinley High, Glee Practice
Finn stands in the the hallway outside the door of the practice room, an angry expression on his face as he gestures furiously for Quinn to join him.
Quinn take a deep breath, wondering what else can go wrong, and slips out into the hallway with trepidation.
“I thought you were handling things!” he whispers loudly, shooting her an angry and incredulous glare.
She’s caught off guard by the intensity of his tone.
“I said I THOUGHT YOU WERE HANDLING THINGS.”
She gives him a blank stare.
“This!” he says, gesturing at her growing stomach. “You said you would handle it.”
“I AM handling it,” she says, her own temper rising at this unexpected attack. “I haven’t asked you for anything, just like I promised, so what’s your problem?”
She hates the way his initial response to any problem is to get angry and whiny.
“My problem is that your MOTHER showed up at our house last night and talked to my mom!”
“She told her about the baby and wanted to know if you were staying with us. My mom was totally blindsided.”
“I’M totally blindsided,” Quinn says in a loud whisper, matching his angry tone. “Did she tell her anything? What did she say?”
“My mom didn’t know anything TO tell her. She didn’t even know about the baby, Quinn. What’s going on with you? I know you’ve been staying at Rachel’s since your parents found out about the baby, but what the hell? You didn’t even tell your mother where you were? She told my mom she’s been looking for you and trying to get in touch with you. That’s not cool, Quinn.”
“Don’t talk to me about things you don’t know anything about!” She says, getting louder.
She knows he doesn’t know the whole story, doesn’t know about her father and the belt and the beatings and just thinks she got kicked out when they found out she was pregnant. Even so, she’s furious that he would immediately take her mother’s side.
“I’ll tell you what’s not cool…” she continues. “I’ve been at Rachel’s for almost five months now, Finn, FIVE months, and my mother hasn’t tried even one time to contact me. Not ONCE! And now she decides it’s convenient to have a daughter again and goes all over town playing the ‘poor mom’ card? NO. I’m not having it!”
Finn looks awkward at that.
“And furthermore,” she says in a haughty tone. “I’s not my fault that you opted not to tell your mother. I told you what you needed to know and I’ve left you alone from there. What you chose to do or not do with that information was your decision. And I’ll thank you not to go telling my business all over Glee club or football or wherever after this,” she says, glaring.
“I’m not telling anybody anything,” he says, calming down. “I’m sorry, okay. It just surprised me, and it really upset my mom. I didn’t know about all that other stuff, your mom ignoring you and all.”
“Well you should have asked me before assuming,” Quinn says, relaxing her tone as well.
“Okay, okay, I get it,” he says after a minute. “But…”
She looks up at him sharply.
“But after your mom left my house last night I told my mom everything,” he says, looking guilty. “You should know that there’s a possibility that she called your mom to tell her where you were.”
“Finn!” Quinn exclaims, stamping her foot.
“What?! I can’t help it!” he says, throwing his hands up as if to defend himself from attack. “It’s a mom thing. Solidarity or whatever. And I don’t know for sure that she did, but you should have the heads up just in case. I know if it were me she would want someone to call her.”
Quinn exhales a long sigh.
“I know,” she says, sounding defeated. “I know. It’s not your fault. The whole thing is just a mess. It’s okay, Finn. You’ve been great all this time. I’m sorry my mom caught you guys off guard.”
He looks at her.
“You’re… okay and stuff, right? I mean, with all this? You’ve been dealing okay? Rachel’s family has been good to you?” He cocks his head and looks at her, seeming wistful.
She smiles sadly at him. “I’ve been okay. Things at Rachel’s have been really good. They’re really sweet to me.”
“Oh, okay,” he says. “Well, let me know if…”
“Thanks,” she says.
They turn and head back into the practice room.
She’s distracted for the remainder though, and Rachel senses it, fussing over her between songs and squeezing her hand.
To her credit, though, she waits until they are on the way home to confront her about it.
“Quinn, I know you’ve had so much to deal with lately,” she starts, walking next to her as they head toward the parking lot. “And I never want to push you, or cause more stress for you, but I need to ask you what’s going on.”
Quinn stops and turns to face her, looking stoic.
“Don’t look at me like that,” Rachel says. “I’m not blind. I know I’ve been stressed out these last few weeks, but I’m not oblivious. I know something is wrong. You haven’t been yourself this week and now today you had a blow-up with Finn before practice. I’m worried about you”
Quinn is silent, looking at Rachel with round eyes and trying to think of how to handle the situation, how to ease Rachel off without lying to her or making things worse.
Rachel knits her eyebrows together in concern watching as Quinn struggles in front of her.
“No matter what it is, no matter what you feel or what’s been going on, you can always talk to me,” she tells her softly.
Quinn feels a burst of affection for Rachel, for how very different she is from anyone else in her life, how supportive and kind, even when she’s being confrontational.
Rachel stares at her, waiting.
Quinn wants to talk to her, to tell her everything, but she just… can’t. She’s afraid. She’s afraid of what will happen, afraid of losing Rachel and her dads and the sense of family she’s clinging to so fiercely to make it through everything that’s happened.
“Anything, Quinn,” Rachel says softly, taking Quinn’s hands in her own. “You can tell me anything, I’ll never get mad at you, I’ll never punish you.”
Quinn feels her eyes sting with tears. She is tired. Just keeping a secret through the week has been exhausting, and stressful, and isolating. Her life before Rachel was all about secrets, all about shame and hiding things… for YEARS. She has no idea how she did it for song long. She doesn’t want to have that life anymore. She doesn’t want any more secrets, ever. She wants to tell Rachel everything and then let Rachel tell her what to do, tell her it’s all going to be okay and help her sort through things in that very Rachel way of talking she has.
She wants Rachel to hold her and protect her and be her champion.
Unfortunately, this is a problem she just has to be her own champion to deal with.
“Quinn please…” Rachel says, seeing her tear up and feeling her worry rise exponentially.
“I can’t,” Quinn whispers.
Rachel’s eyebrows shoot up in concern and surprise.
“Please Rachel, just let me work through it, okay? I just need time to work through it before I can talk about it. Can you wait? Can you just trust me?”
Rachel stares at her, looking wounded.
“Is it… does it… have I…” she starts, trying to articulate the fear that forms in her own mind.
“No, no Rachel, it’s nothing like that,” Quinn says quickly, understanding where Rachel has gone. “You’re perfect, you’re amazing, just like you always are. It doesn’t have anything to do with you, or your dads, or anything like that. I just need to figure myself out is all,” she says. “Can you let me do that? Can you be friends with me and goof off with me and snuggle with me and let me just figure it out on my own time?”
Rachel gives her a weak smile and nods. “Of course… of course I can…” she says, trailing off.
Quinn throws her arms around Rachel and pulls her into a fierce, tight embrace, clinging to her like a life raft.
“I love you, Rachel,” Quinn whispers into her ear.
Rachel stiffens and tries to pull away, to ease back and be able to see Quinn, to look at her and try and find truth in the words, but Quinn doesn’t let her. She clings tighter, clings like her life depends on it.
After a moment she feels Rachel’s arms tighten in return, feels the intensity of Rachel’s affection moving through her and back.
It feels important.
It feels like something has been acknowledged, something under the surface that Quinn has only hoped for.
When Rachel finally does pull away from her she holds Quinn out at arm’s length, looking her right in the eye without breaking their embrace.
“I love you too, Quinn,” she says back, her voice steady, sure.
Quinn beams at her.
“Will you two lezzies just get a room already,” Puck says, walking by and looking at them with disgust. “You’re dirtying up the parking lot with all your sugary crap.”
Quinn laughs, not breaking Rachel’s gaze. Rachel holds her eyes, doesn’t move, doesn’t go anywhere. Isn’t going to.
“On second thought,” Puck says, turning around and walking backward to continue to stare at them. “Go right ahead. Kiss, even. Give her something wet and juicy. I’m ALL for gay rights…”
“Okay ew,” Rachel says, cocking her head and turning toward Puck with a disbelieving, disapproving stare.
Quinn bursts into laughter, squeezing Rachel’s hand and leaning into her.
And just like that, they are a couple.
Quinn can’t believe it happens so easily.
Rachel drives them home and Quinn holds her hand the entire way, unable to tear her gaze from Rachel’s face, unable to dim the thousand watt glow she feels over her whole body.
The feeling stays with her all the way through town, all the way until they turn onto Rachel’s street, all the way until they pull up to the house….
…where Quinn’s mother’s car is in the driveway.
Quinn feels the color drain out of her face, feels the glow drain out of her body in seconds.
She squeezes Rachel’s hand tight, shifting in seconds from loving affection to frightened grasp.
“Isn’t that your mother’s…” Rachel says, looking confused and then stopping short when she feels Quinn gripping her hand and sees her stricken expression.
“Quinn?” she says, pulling the car up to the curb and parking on the street so as not to block the other car in.
“Shit,” Quinn whispers, staring in dread at her mother’s car. She rarely curses, but the word falls out of her involuntarily. “Shit, shit, shit,” she murmurs, her voice going thick with emotion.
“Quinn, are you okay? Look at me,” Rachel says, tugging on her hand gently. “Hey.”
Quinn wrenches her gaze away from the driveway and looks at Rachel with a pleading expression.
“Let’s just go,” she says, pulling on Rachel’s hand to keep her from opening the car door. “Let’s just cruise around awhile until she’s gone. I don’t want to see her, Rachel, please.”
Rachel looks at her in confusion. “Hey,” she says again. “It’s okay. Nothing’s going to happen. Maybe she’s just hear to check on you. It’s about time,” she grouses and then checks her tone, softening again. “You don’t have to be afraid.”
“What if she’s here to take me back,” Quinn says under her breath, barely audible. “I don’t want to go back, Rach.” Her voice breaks over her fear, and Rachel scoots over in the car and reaches a hand behind her head, tucking her hair behind her ear.
“Nobody’s going to make you do anything you don’t want, Quinn,” Rachel says seriously, looking into her eyes. “Nobody’s going to let anyone hurt you or let anyone take you anywhere you don’t want to go. Not me and not my dads. You’re part of our family now, Quinn, and that means something.”
She chews on her lip a moment. “You’re a part of me now, and that means something, too,” Rachel says softly.
Quinn meets her eyes, wants to believe her, wants to feel the courage that Rachel seems to tap into so easily.
“I’ll be right beside you the whole time,” Rachel says gently. “I’ll be right here. I won’t let you go.”
Quinn exhales a long breath.
She takes another deep breath, and exhales again, comforted by Rachel’s words, by her love.
Rachel gets out of the car and comes around to the passenger side, opening Quinn’s door for her.
Quinn steps up and out of the car. She closes the door and turns to look at Rachel, who holds out a hand to her.
She clasps Rachel’s hand in hers and they walk toward the house.
George, Martin and Judy Fabray all sit in the living room of the house chatting politely. George and Martin sit side by side on the couch, so close together that their thighs touch.
Judy Fabray, obviously nervous, sits gingerly on the wingback chair across from them, so close to the edge she looks as if she might fall off any minute.
George has prepared tea, the silver tea service laid out on the coffee table, and he and Martin sip from delicate cups while Judy’s lays untouched on the tray.
Rachel appears in the doorway of the room with Quinn in tow, holding her hand and hiding behind her shoulder. She looks at her dads questioningly, uncertain what to do.
Quinn’s mother jumps up from her chair.
“Quinnie!” she says in an oozing, singsong voice. “Baby, I’ve missed you so much, I’ve been trying to get in touch with you all week honey!”
Quinn peeks over Rachel’s shoulder and says nothing, squeezing Rachel’s hand tighter.
Rachel turns her head to look at Quinn, raising an eyebrow at her mother’s words, instantly understanding Quinn’s tension over the last week.
“Girls!” Martin says cheerfully, ever calm under pressure.
He turns to Judy. “I thought they’d be home any minute. Girls, why don’t you have a seat, Quinn’s mother has come for a visit.”
Rachel nods and leads Quinn over to the couch next to her dads, inviting Quinn to sit next to George before taking her seat on the other side.
Judy Fabray raises an eyebrow at her daughter’s hand clasped in Rachel’s, but says nothing.
“Maybe your phone was turned off,” she says to Quinn, settling herself tensely back down on the chair across from the couch where she now faces Rachel, her fathers and Quinn.
“Girls,” Martin continues. “Quinn’s mother was just telling us some big news.”
“That’s right, Quinnie, baby, I DO have big news! I left your father! He was sleeping with some tattooed hussy from the racquet club, and I told him I had had enough and he could just take himself right downtown and check into a hotel if he intended to carry on in such a… tasteless manner.” Her voice goes low, confidential. “Imagine, right down at the club where all our friends go. He should be ashamed.” She clears her throat. “But baby, I did it, and now it’s blue skies for you and me from here. I’ve come to tell you you can come home now, we’ve got the house all to ourselves and we can have slumber parties and eat ice cream and be as carefree as we want, every night if you want to. Just you and me.”
She looks at Quinn expectantly.
Quinn looks back at her and says nothing.
Judy looks nervously at Martin and George and then back to her daughter.
“Baby, say something. Didn’t you hear me? I said we can go home now.”
Quinn stares at her in stony silence.
Her mother knits her eyebrows together, obviously uncertain of what is happening, but her voice, when she speaks, maintains her false cheer.
“Come on now, honey, let’s get your things. I know things were rocky for a bit there but it’s time for us to put this whole mess behind us. We can be a family again.”
“Mess?” Quinn says, finally speaking, her tone incredulous. “Mess?!”
She glares at her mother, her face washed in disgust. “This ‘mess,’ as you put it, is my life. My safety. This mess is the fact that daddy beat me, mercilessly, for YEARS mother, and you let him, and then you let me go without a second glance when I couldn’t take it anymore. This mess is the fact that I’m pregnant, in case you hadn’t noticed, mother. I’m having a baby. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet, but it’s a BIG DEAL. It’s the fact that you abandoned me when I needed you the very most, and you show up now like I’m supposed to just forget all of it because you decide you want to play house? Like I’m supposed to just erase all of it and go back to being your darling daughter? You’ve never even said you were SORRY!” Quinn shouts, her voice going thick with tears.
She grips Rachel’s hand so hard she thinks she might crush it, but Rachel doesn’t pull away or say anything.
George puts a reassuring hand on her knee.
“Honey, really,” Judy says, sounding scandalized. “Haven’t I taught you better than to air our family laundry in front of everyone? These people don’t want to hear about all that,” she falters, trying to keep up appearances and failing.
“THESE PEOPLE, mother? Do you mean these ‘gay’ people, or just ‘these people who took me in when you threw me away? They DO want to hear about all that. That want to hear about anything I want to tell them because they care about me, more than you ever have,” Quinn says, looking over at George and Martin with gratitude.
She takes a deep breath, and turns to face them, looking anxiously into George’s face and then Martin’s.
“Do I have to go with her?” she asks them quietly, fear lacing her voice for the first time since she started talking.
“Quinnie!” her mother says in a scolding tone.
Quinn ignores her, looks pleadingly from Martin to George and back to Martin.
“I… I don’t want to go with her. Can I still stay here with you?” she says softly, so quietly she can barely be heard.
George reaches out and takes her hand, looking up at her.
“Honey, you have a place here with us for as long as you want,” he says gently. “You can stay as long as you like. Nobody’s going to kick you out, or force you to leave.”
Rachel shoots her dad a look of gratitude while Quinn exhales a long breath in relief.
“But we do think you should hear your mom out,” Martin tells Quinn softly, looking at the woman sitting across the room from them. “I think you’re right that she’s made some mistakes, that she’s handled things badly, but maybe you can tell her how you feel and give her the opportunity to be better. On your own time, of course,” he adds when she frowns.
She looks over at her mother, who is tearing up on the chair, her heavy mascara running down her eyes and giving them a blurry, harlot-esque appearance.
She feels the anger drain off of her like water, leaving her with just a heavy sadness.
She looks directly at her mother.
“I know you have a hard time facing things,” she says, sounding resigned. “But if we’re going to have a relationship from here at all I need you to face the truth.”
She fixes her mother with a hard stare.
“You don't want me to move back in so you can take care of me. You want me to take care of you. You’re lonely, and you’re afraid, and you don’t know how to take care of yourself.”
Her mother’s eyes shoot upward, stunned to hear her daughter talking so directly.
“I’m sorry if that’s hurtful for you to hear,” Quinn continues sadly. “But your actions have been hurtful to me, too. Really hurtful, in ways you can’t even comprehend. Your leaving him, if that’s how it really happened, didn’t have anything to do with me, and you let him hurt me and then throw me away when I finally stuck up for myself. I needed you then, more than I ever needed you in my whole life, and you weren’t there.”
Rachel wraps an arm around Quinn’s shoulders and Quinn pauses a moment, resting her head on Rachel’s shoulders and allowing herself to be comforted before continuing.
“You’re supposed to be the person who takes care of me, not the other way around.”
She takes a deep breath.
“I’m not your mother and I’m not your husband and I’m not coming home with you,” Quinn finishes.
Judy stares at her in stunned silence, chastised.
“I don’t want this to be the end of us,” she says quietly.
“You’re the parent, and if you want to see me, if you want to build some kind of relationship with me, you can be the one who makes the effort, you can be the one who makes the time and makes the sacrifices. I’ll be here at Rachel’s, and you know where to find me.”
She looks over at George and Martin, who are looking at her with pride and love.
She knows she should feel proud of herself, should feel some kind of catharsis for finally sticking up for herself, for being the hero of her own story in this situation, but she just feels old and sad. She feels pity for her mom, who is going to have to learn how to be in the world in a more healthy way, and won’t have Rachel and her dads to help her do it.
She looks across the room at her mother, who is looking back at Quinn like she’s never seen her before.
Quinn thinks she actually hasn’t. Not really.
Her mother stands up.
She picks up her purse, clears her throat and makes a show of straightening her skirt and blouse.
She turns to Rachel’s dads.
“Thank you…” she says in a shaky voice. She clears her throat and starts again, louder, more clearly. “Thank you for seeing me.”
She turns toward the girls on the couch and nods at Quinn.
She walks toward the door.
“Mom…” Quinn calls, standing up from the couch, her voice faltering.
Her mother turns to look at her.
“One more thing.”
Judy looks at her child tiredly.
“If… if we’re going to go anywhere from here… if we’re going to figure out how to have a new relationship,” Quinn says, at first timidly but then growing more secure. “It needs to be real, it needs to be about the truth, from now on. I’m done with secrets. I’m done with living in the in-between,” she says.
She turns back and looks at Rachel. She holds out her hand and pulls Rachel up next to her, wraps her arm through the crook of Rachel’s elbow and holds on to her affectionately.
“If you come back, mom, I need you to know what you’re signing on for, because I’m not going to hide anything anymore. This is Rachel,” she turns to look at Rachel, who is looking at her with amazement. “…and she’s really important to me. I just wanted you to know that. You can accept it or not, but it’s part of who I am, and she’s part of my life. And her dads.” Quinn looks over at them and sees that same love reflected back at her.
“If you don’t want to come back… if you can’t deal with it or you need me to be someone I can’t be anymore, okay. But if you’re willing to start there, to get to know me for real, then maybe… maybe we could all have lunch sometime.“
Her mother gives her a long look.
Then, silently, she turns and walks out the door.
Quinn feels hot tears sting her eyes and she flops back down on the couch. She can’t help the sense of rejection she is feeling all over again, and lets herself just cry.
Rachel opens her arms and she leans forward, resting her head in Rachel’s lap as she cries.
Rachel rubs her back and whispers loving messages into her ear, telling her she is loved, telling her that she and her dads will take care of her, that they’re there for her.
Somewhere inside her, she knows that Rachel is right.
She will be okay.
They will take care of her.
More importantly, she is learning to take care of herself.
After a few moments she picks her head up and hugs Rachel, squeezing her tight.
She breaks the hug and turns to Martin and George, sitting next to her on her other side.
George is beaming at her.
“You just figured it out, didn’t you baby?’ he says softly, giving her a knowing look.
She raises an eyebrow and looks back at him quizzically.
“That you’re all you need,” he says simply. “We’re the frosting. You’re the cake of your own life.”
She breaks into laughter, wiping her eyes and sniffing through her giggles.
Martin looks at her.
“It was a lot for anybody to hear,” he tells her, his voice quiet. “She needs to work through it at her own pace. Don’t write her off yet.”
“Martin’s parents had a hard time when he first came out, too,” George tells her.
“And speaking of coming out…” he says theatrically, leaning back to take in both Quinn and Rachel together.
Rachel bows her head sheepishly.
“What’s this about you two being in love all of a sudden?” He crosses his arms and taps his toe in a mock pout.
“Ummm…” Quinn says, feeling suddenly sheepish.
Martin turns to George. “You owe me five dollars,” he says, winking at Quinn.
“Dad!” Rachel exclaims, putting on a real pout.
“We were taking bets on how long it would take the two of you to figure it out,” George explains, grinning at Martin.
“So you guys aren’t… weirded out or anything?” Rachel says in a small voice, looking up at them seriously.
Quinn looks over at her and gives her a squeeze, reminding herself to apologize later for effectively outing Rachel to her parents.
“Well,” Martin says, crossing over to put an arm around Rachel. “We’re going to have to have a talk about you two having nightly sleepovers in Rachel’s room now that things are progressing between you…”
Rachel blushes scarlet red at her father’s implication, turning her face into his chest and groaning.
“What your father is trying to say is that we love you both whoever and whatever you want to be, and you can both expect to hear a rousing episode of ‘The Talk’ from us in the very near future,” George says in a theatrical announcer voice.
Quinn laughs, not sure who is cuter, Rachel or her dads teasing her.
“In the meantime,” Martin says, “I believe we have a meal to attend to. George, lead the way to the kitchen?”
George wraps an arm around Martin and ushers him toward the kitchen.
Quinn pauses and turns to Rachel, clasping each of her hands in each of her own.
“You were right,” Quinn tells her, smiling a soft, affectionate grin. “You always are.”
“You were amazing,” Rachel whispers, looking at Quinn with adoration.
“You saved me,” Quinn answers, moving closer to Rachel, wrapping her arms around her waist and delighting when Rachel does the same.
“You saved yourself today,” Rachel answers.
“No, I mean all those months ago in the bathroom at school, when I got slushied. You saved me, Rachel, and I’m so grateful.”
“I bet you say that to all the divas,” Rachel says, flirting bashfully.
“Nope,” Quinn answers. “Just the one.”
“I’m really glad you made your declaration of love before Regionals,” Rachel says with a straight face. “Your timing was impeccable, if you planned it. Musical theatre tells us that the plucky heroine always sings better when she’s buoyed by the love of her romantic lead.”
“It was my master plan all along,” she tells Rachel, and pretends to twist an imaginary mustache.
“So how long are you going to draw this out?” Rachel asks, cocking an eyebrow at Quinn.
Quinn flutters her eyes at her, looking coy.
“Are you saying you’re ready?” she asks, batting her eyelashes.
“TCH, Kiss me already,” Rachel says with an impatient huff, rolling her eyes.
Quinn does, and her world explodes.