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The Perfect [5/10]

Title: The Perfect
Author: Effy (asutex)
Rating: R
Warnings: language, sexual situations, homosexuality, abuse
Disclaimer: According to Mr. Bill of Quack & Associates, it is totally not possible for me to acquire Glee. Thus, the show does not belong to me.
Summary: To anyone else, it was just Rachel and Jesse. Rachel, the ignored beauty. Jesse, the arrogant dream man. Rachel Berry and her perfect boyfriend. The sight forced a frustrated sigh from Quinn's lips. She really hated Jesse.

Author's Note: LiveJournal was being a bitch while I tried to post this the first time after correcting errors and editing. I wrote this story more than a year ago and, if I could find the energy to rewrite it, it would be so much better. Still, here it is. I hope you still enjoy it.
Post-Script: Well, thank God that the servers are back online!

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Rachel was stretched out across her bed on her stomach with her laptop opened in front of her. Since her blonde companion's arrival at the house at seven at night the previous evening, they had been at the task diligently for hours and hours. It had become somewhat of a routine every other day. In fact, Quinn was at her house so often that her dads had taken her aside after dinner one night.

"Rachel, dear, is there something that you would like to tell us?" Her daddy, Leroy, asked sweetly, his expectant facial expression showing that both he and dad were waiting for some sort of huge announcement. The question made her heart drop and her face to lose all color. Did they know? How could they have found out that she was looking for her mother? Did they notice that the tape from that box was missing? Had they overheard she and Quinn discussing theories?

"I'm not certain what you are talking about, daddy." Her voice was casual, albeit measured. She decided that it would be best to approach the situation by feigning absolute innocence. Maybe she could convince them that she had no idea what they were talking about.

"Sweetie, you keep bringing this girl over to sleepover and eat dinner with us and to study. You've just started spending so much time with her over the last month and we never Jesse anymore. There's no rush, we just want to know if this girl is a good person. We worry about you, baby girl. This girl used to bully you just earlier this year." The implication of his words finally struck her. Suddenly, she was having trouble stringing syllables together to say anything. Heat flooded her face.

"Dad, Daddy, I assure you that Quinn is simply a friend and we have a purely platonic relationship." The conviction with which she said it was halfhearted for it felt like a lie. That confused her. It wasn't a lie. She and Quinn hadn't done anything. At the end of that thought, she was almost tempted to add the word, 'yet' before she shook herself. She loved Jesse. "Please excuse me, dad and daddy, I must return to studying. I love you!"

Now, she found her looking at girl gracefully spread out on the floor to work. Rachel bit her lip, not wanting to voice the question that pleaded for verbalization. Every time that she even thought about asking the former Cheerio, she found that she just couldn't find the nerve to say what she wanted to. The diva had found herself in this same situation at least a dozen times since Quinn's arrival earlier. It was as though the blonde sensed her dilemma for Quinn looked up to meet her eyes, a questioning expression spread across her fine, aristocratic features.

"Is there something on your mind?" A pause as she considered her words and then added, with a self-deprecating smile, "You know, apart from the obvious."

"Quinn, I would like to know about your baby." There it was, an insensitive question delivered with her characteristic bluntness. It didn't seem to impact Quinn much except for the tide of restrained sadness that flowed into her hazel eyes.

"Know what, exactly?" The question wasn't angry. It wasn't even annoyed. There was just sorrow sewn into the quiet vocal inflections. At the reaction to the query, Rachel found herself feeling overwhelmingly guilty at putting her new friend (the word was still strange for her to associate with the girl) through what she could only suppose had been an emotionally painful experience.

"How..." Her voice wavered as she rushed the rest of the words out, "How did you feel? How did you feel when you gave your baby for adoption?"

This was another reason that she had chosen Quinn to work with. Quinn wanted to be friends, to gain her trust. This would be an excellent opportunity for her to do just that. However, it was a unique opportunity. She had never met anyone in Lima who had given a child for adoption.

Now, she had Quinn. Quinn could offer a far different perspective than any she had heard before. Quinn could help her understand what her mother was thinking. Rachel needed Quinn to help her through this. It wasn't something she could just do by herself. She needed someone's personal feelings.

"It was... It was heartbreaking." Seemingly tapping into some unknown reservoir of strength, Quinn looked up again and steadied her gaze with Rachel's. There was an intensity burning there that hadn't been present before. "I... Almost didn't see her... I really only got to see her for a few seconds... But I never was able to hold her... I regret that... I think I'll regret that for the rest of my life, honestly."

The girl's voice was terrible and yet intoxicating to listen to. It wavered, choking up to the point that Quinn had to stop to collect herself. Rachel found herself leaning almost over the edge of the bed as though be nearer to Quinn would help her feel the emotions for herself. The former cheerleader's entire body was tense.

"It wasn't an easy choice for me, Rachel," Another pause, "I'm sure it wasn't easy for your mom either... I mean, I know that she was doing it for your dads, but once she saw you it must have killed her. There's a connection there that you'd never expect... After everything that happened because of pregnancy, I really didn't think I would love that baby... my daughter, as much as I do... When she's eighteen, I hope she wants to meet me... I-I hope she can forgive me and understand and be proud of my decision.."

The silence that followed was neither awkward nor tense. There was just an atmosphere of forlorn serenity. Rachel was moving before she fully realized what she was doing. She settled herself directly in front of her friend, reaching out to touch her shoulder gently. And then her voice started speaking of its own volition, "Quinn, as an adopted child, I sincerely believe that you will get to meet her. I can't imagine not wanting to meet my mother... You could probably guess that from the work we've been doing... Trust me, Quinn, you'll get to see your daughter and she won't be able to imagine a more wonderful or successful mother. Trust me."

The conviction in her own voice was shocking to both of them. She squeezed the other girl's shoulder reassuringly. Then, unexpectedly, Rachel found herself drawn into a tight hug.

Quinn was not crying or sniffling. There was no show of waterworks or any other evidence of something that could even be hinted at as being weak. They were just two friends holding each other. It was an act to give comfort and to lend strength. Rachel closed her eyes, inhaling deeply as a subtle flowery scent alerted her brain of the closeness of their situation. It was just a friend thing; a platonic gesture of mutual support during an emotional exchange.

The explanation sounded weak even in her head.

Even with an array of bewildering thoughts and feelings flurrying violently around her mind, Rachel tried to beat them down to be addressed at a later date or not at all. She had Jesse. Jesse was amazing. He was sweet, kind and patient. All she had to do was remember that and not take that special relationship for granted. He was all that she had. He was the only one who would ever take a second glance at her and see her as worth anything.

It became increasingly noticeable that this embrace was lasting far longer than was the social norm.

Rachel was the first to pull away, clearing her throat slightly and acting as though nothing had just happened. In fact, nothing really had happened, so there was nothing for her to be nervous about, right? Right. Nothing to feel confused about. Nothing to consider ever again.

"Quinn?" Rachel spoke quietly, eyes fixed on her stereo and avoiding the direct gaze of those bright hazel irises.

"Mmm?" The blonde considered her curiously, but Rachel continued to refuse to look at her. There was something that she wanted to share with the young mother. It was something that she felt Quinn might appreciate. It was also something that only she and Jesse had ever listened to or even knew existed. The brunette, starting to feel a bit nervous, rose to her feet to pad over her plush carpet to pick up the cassette from the safety of its concealed hiding place. The blank tape was turned over in her fingers a few times, Rachel concentrating on it without really seeing it.

Now or never, Rachel Berry.

"Please, just listen to this. In regards to your feelings about your daughter, I am of the belief that this will actually help you." Her hands were shaking and she didn't know why. Maybe it was because of the intimacy of the content that she was about to reveal to the the blond.

'It's your mom. I think this pretty much says it all...' As Rachel turned around at the familiar words, she saw that Quinn's lips had parted and eyes widened. She obviously hadn't been expecting to hear Rachel's mother voice come from the speaker. Along with the surprise, there was a foggy hint of something else swimming around in the browns and greens of Quinn's eyes.

She knew that this would come. It was inevitable. Every single time that she subjected herself to this song, her emotions amplified sharply and Rachel Berry transformed into a raw nerve.

Quinn noticed the tremble accompanied by the clenching of fists. Rachel sank onto her bed, tucking herself into a position that made her as small as possible. There was an agonizing sense of vulnerable, childlike innocence about her. It hurt to see her so open and - Quinn noticed something for the first time with a heavy sinking sensation in her stomach - broken.

Rachel Berry was broken.

It was so clear to Quinn now. Why hadn't she picked up on that before? The blond watched the other girl so carefully and diligently. And yet, she had missed this vital piece of information. She was Quinn-fucking-Fabray. Information and popularity were currency and she had been rich, once upon a time. Picking out bits of information was something she was supposed to be good at. Here, in front of her, was evidence to the contrary. The ghost of Rachel's former spirit still lingered but only barely clung to its continued existence.

Even as she intently listened to the singing, there was a tickle of recognition that she simply could not place. Something about that voice was familiar. She had met the owner of that voice, she could feel it. That knowledge made her blood rush as her heart pounded in her chest. It was intensely frustrating that she couldn't identify the source of that voice.

"Quinn...?" Rachel's hesitant murmur snapped her back from her thoughts. The former Cheerio offered a warm smile and reached forward to lightly grasp the girl's arm. Quinn couldn't quite organize her thoughts, but she felt a tremendous sense of urgency to connect that mother to her beautiful daughter. She knew that she would want the same if the situations were switched.

But, it wasn't about her at the moment. This was about Rachel.

"Thank you," Quinn's tone was kind and sincere. It was a tone that very few people were graced with. "Really, Rachel, thank you. I guess... this isn't something you show many of your friends, is it?"

"What friends?" The question was quiet and sad, but lacked any bitterness. "No. No, it's not something that I have shared with many people. It was just Jesse and me until a few minutes ago, Quinn."

Of course.

Jesse.

How she loathed that name and everything associated with it.

Jesse. In her whirring brain, a dim light bulb sprang to life and begged for her to notice it. With no other guidance for where to go from there, she hung on to the train of thought as the connections zipped into each other. Jesse St. James. Jesse, the former lead of Vocal Adrenaline at Carmel High. Vocal Adrenaline, the rival show choir. The show choir that was led by a woman director.

That choir director was Shelby Corcoran.

Shelby Corcoran, if Quinn remembered correctly, was an exceptional singer. Her bone structure and facial characteristics were literally mirrored in Rachel with only a few differences. The full realization smacked her down like an enraged Santana Lopez.

"Rachel! I know who she is. I know her." Her tone came out in an extremely unflattering high-pitched note and Rachel reacted with an appropriately dubious expression. Quinn took both of her hands as she stood up, squeezing with gentle insistence.

"I'll show you, I'll prove it to you, just wait." A mix of anxiety and excitement filled the brunette's eyes and fought for dominance. Quinn pulled her friend up onto her feet and into a soothing hug, enjoying the physical contact that never failed to send sparks across her skin. "I'll show you, okay? If I'm wrong, you never even have to say anything to her. I'll take care of this."

Rachel's arms tightened around the blonde's waist as her body went limp and she finally broke down and cried. Quinn was more than happy to be her shoulder to cry on.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
ayden07
Jul. 30th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Well, here we go...I just hope Quinn can make it work out for Rachel and Shelby...especially if Shelby is still the one who adopted Beth. Yikes, Im a bit scared for where this is going.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )