13 June 2010 @ 04:52 pm
Title: Perfect
Pairing: Quinn/Rachel
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,507
Summary: Quinn has had a crush on Rachel since 6th grade.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters but I do own this plot.
Author's Notes: This is a follow-up to my story Endearing Insults and it's un-beta'd so all mistakes are mine.

The second week of 6th grade Quinn walked into the choir room to grab a folder she’d left and heard the whisper of a song escaping from the closed door of a practice room. Curiosity what it is to a 12 year old, Quinn walked cautiously up to the door and peered through the small window. She was immediately met with a flash of brown hair dangerously close to her view and ducked down to press her ear against the dirtied white paint. She melted, nearly, as the voice streamed in through her ear, reached into every nerve of her body and tugged softly.

Quinn had never heard anything so perfect in her life.

She couldn’t place the song but it didn’t matter because she felt light, lighter than she had ever felt before and it was amazing (it was in that moment of clarity that Quinn decided she could never hate anyone with a voice that beautiful). Quinn was so caught up in what she was feeling internally she hadn’t realized the door was opening, couldn’t feel herself fall forward until she was splayed out on the ground staring at a pair of brown loafers.

“Can I help you?”

Scrambling to her feet (and most definitely blushing) Quinn was more than shocked to find herself eye to eye with Rachel Berry (who would only grow another inch or two in the coming years while Quinn would shoot up like a rocket).

“I was-,” Quinn’s gaze dropped to the brunette’s lips momentarily before falling to the floor to find her folder slid under the piano. She swooped down to grab it, “I was looking for my folder.” She held the red folder in front of her face victoriously (both proving to Rachel she indeed had a purpose to be there and simultaneously giving the brunette a color comparison to the burning red of Quinn’s cheeks).

Rachel smiled briefly and wet her lips before she spoke again, “you should take more care in the placement of your school work, Quinn. Proper education is vital in the interim years between childhood and young adulthood.” Rachel then took a small step forward, “also, if you wanted to hear me sing I’d have let you sit in the room with me. I take pride in my voice and though yours is somewhat rough I think you have a keen ear and I would greatly appreciate any thoughts you could offer on my performances.”

Quinn’s heart dropped to her stomach and a new flush settled into her cheeks. “I, I have to go,” she sputtered out as she backed away from the brunette and into a couple of chairs. She stumbled slightly and then swiftly turned and walked as fast as she possibly could out of the room. She walked blindly through the halls for more than 10 minutes before she realized school was over and she’d missed her bus home.

As she walked home that day, all Quinn could think about was Rachel’s voice (her lips) and how the soft butterflies in her stomach should most definitely not be present at thoughts of a girl, let alone a girl she’d spoken to just once.

To tell the truth it was Santana who started the name-calling. In between classes it was always quiet whispers to Quinn in the school hallways, pointing and snickering at the disastrously unpopular (they would whisper and Brittany would scribble hearts on the dry erase board inside of Santana’s locker). Rachel Berry was a little less annoying in middle school, a little quieter but never quiet enough, and just the right amount of awkward that called to Santana and her vicious tongue.

It was Santana who whispered the name ‘RuPaul’ but it was Quinn that introduced it to Rachel’s ears.

Quinn decided that the only way to overcome her feelings (feelings she knew were morally wrong in the eyes of God and as a good Christian girl Quinn was not about to throw her faith out the window for the chance to hold Rachel’s hand) for the brunette was to rewire them. Quinn set it in her mind that if she couldn’t have Rachel then she was just going to have to make Rachel think that she hated her, was just going to have to make Rachel hate her.

‘RuPaul’ stuck for a while, Quinn would just casually yell it down the hall any time she saw the swing of Rachel’s hair as she scurried from class to class. Sometimes Rachel would look back at her with such deep sadness that Quinn’s stomach would knot (and the memory of Rachel’s voice would hit her hard) and all she’d want to do was hug her and whisper unending apologies but Santana would always cackle and snap Quinn out of her delirium.

In 7th grade Quinn was unlucky enough to be assigned a seat near Rachel in art class and while Rachel was most definitely not all that creative with her pieces (all her work revolved around Broadway, naturally), Quinn found it increasingly hard to focus on her own projects as she watched Rachel’s hands work busily at each and every project assigned.

Mid-way through the year, just after receiving grades on their last project (clay figurines, which Quinn had failed miserably at because watching Rachel’s fingers manipulate that clay mesmerized her and kept her cheeks in a constant flushed state) Quinn came up with ‘Manhands’. To everyone else it was clearly just another taunt in Quinn’s arsenal but to Quinn it was the only way she could get herself to stop thinking about Rachel’s hands.

(In a moment of weakness, while passing Rachel in the hallway, Quinn had actually reached out and touched Rachel’s hand. Rachel looked up at her with a small smile and Quinn had immediately snapped.

“Ever heard of personal space, Manhands?”

Rachel’s eyes almost immediately watered as she rushed off to class while Quinn’s perfectly crafted sneer melted and her brows knitted as she herself tried to hold back the tears threatening to fall.)

Quinn moved to a seat closer to the window for art class and tried not to think of Rachel while she worked on her watercolor, papier-mâché, and charcoal projects (her charcoal project ended up being a dark-haired girl looking out a window, Quinn got an A+ but didn’t let her teacher hang it up on the board outside of the classroom).

Gradually, as Quinn’s cheerleading abilities blossomed, along with her general popularity, the rest of the cheerleaders began to herd around Quinn, Santana, and Brittany. The other girls would often be heard recycling insults throughout the halls and whenever the echo of an insult thrown at Rachel reached her ears Quinn would have to reign in her urge to scream.

Freshman year of high school crept up fast and enveloped Quinn in a tightly fit Cheerios uniform. Quinn had hoped that with a bigger school her chances of interaction with Rachel would decrease significantly (8th grade had been without any major incident, Quinn had been too swept up in cheerleading to focus much attention on Rachel) but she was wrong.

The first day of gym class found Quinn face to torso with Rachel when Quinn sat down to slip off her sneakers and found her assigned locker was right next to the brunette’s (who was, at the time, in the middle of taking off her blouse to don her gym uniform).

Quinn spent her night trying to burn the image of Rachel’s taut stomach from her mind.

The next day she came to school on the arm of JV quarterback Finn Hudson armed with the nickname ‘Treasure Trail’.

Santana actually congratulated her on coming up with that one (“Didn’t think you had it in you, Q. This’ll be sure to knock Berry down a couple notches.”) but after a month of its use Rachel seemed completely unfazed by it. By the fourth month of school Rachel no longer outwardly reacted to any insult Quinn or any of the other cheerleaders threw at her.

The slushies were Santana’s idea and as soon as Quinn got Karofsky to throw the first one she completely regretted it. Now whenever she kissed Finn all she could think about was the ice sliding down Rachel’s chest and the way she always licked her lips right after getting hit (whenever Quinn got a little too fixated on the mental images Finn’s paws would get farther than intended and as a result Quinn would stop any progress and make them pray).

But just because the slushies didn’t work for Quinn didn’t mean they didn’t work for Rachel because more than once Rachel had been found crying in a bathroom stall covered in the remnants of syrup-heavy slushie.

Quinn knows she can’t go on like this forever but giving into Rachel Berry is just not an option (at least that’s what Quinn thinks until she walks in on Rachel’s audition for Glee club sophomore year and thinks, once again, that she’s never heard anything so perfect in her life).
 
 
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