The day was never over for the Perfect Score.
It was nearly three in the morning and Quinn was still hard at work methodically documenting the night before's mission, organizing her weapon stash, and preparing for her midterm on monday. These last few weeks had been rough and she was in desperate need of a break, not that she would ever tell anyone that. She was the Perfect Score, after all.
Perfect Scores don't get breaks.
"Quinn," a scratchy voice called from behind her. She turned to see Santana in her doorway, squinting at the bright light of Quinn's desk lamp.
"Why are you still awake? It's not good for you to stay up so late."
Quinn smiled softly at the girl, knowing that she wasn't really concerned about her health so much as whether or not she'd have enough energy for the mission tomorrow. Because if there was one thing in this world that Santana Lopez cared about, it was the mission. And she would allow nothing to stand in the way of that, least of all a sleepy partner.
"I'm going to bed soon, I promise," Quinn said, trying to appease the girl. "I just have to finish signing off on one more case file."
Santana rolled her eyes, murmuring a quick 'whatever' before disappearing back into the darkened hall. Quinn sighed, turning back to the work. It really was late, she realized, but this work wouldn't do itself and, as an honor student and the shining example of what a true D.E.B. should aspire to be, it was expected of her to get all of her work done. Too many people expected too many things from her, and she wasn't going to waste hours sleeping when there was work to be done.
It was what everyone wanted her to do, and Quinn had never really learned how to say no.
"Babe, I'm sorry, okay?" Puck's voice crooned from the telephone pressed to Quinn's ear. She sat perched on the bathroom sink, the back of her head thumping rhythmically against the mirror.
"I'm sorry isn't going to cut it, Puck," she whispered in annoyance, keeping her voice low so she didn't wake the whole house. She had been up the majority of the night working on case files, and she had just managed to fall asleep around 4 AM when her phone rang. One of her contacts had spotted her boyfriend at a party slobbering all over yet another girl. Now it was 6:30, and she still hadn't slept, and Puck was trying to convince her that he wasn't a complete tool bag. He wasn't doing a very good job.
"Look, babe. I'm a man, okay? I have needs."
This wasn't the first time Puck had cheated on her.
In fact, this sort of thing had become a weekly occurence. Puck went out, got drunk, and "accidentally" fell into some other girl's bed. News would always get back to Quinn through one of her multiple connections, and she would call him out on it the next day. He would apologize, she would accept it. Rinse and repeat.
If she was being honest with herself (which she rarely ever is), then Quinn might admit what a relief it is everytime Puck cheats. Because when Puck is in someone else's bed, it means he isn't trying to get into hers. And Quinn is very okay with that.
Because the truth of the matter is that Quinn just isn't that into Puck. Not anymore, at least. Sure, when she first became a D.E.B., it was amazing having the hottest guy want to date you. And, as the Perfect Score, scoring the top dog only furthered her social standing. Being with Puck sky-rocketed her from a know-it-all newbie to THE D.E.B. But as time progressed, Puck became less of a gentlemen and more of a horn-dog, and conservative Quinn was obviously not enough for him. He wasn't very good to her, but he was still her Golden Ticket. He kept her at the top and she was willing to put up with all of Puck's philandering if it meant she could hold on to that position.
"I'm sorry. Really. Forgive me?"
Quinn chewed on her lip, shaking her head.
"Okay. I forgive you."
It was easier this way.
Just as Quinn wrapped up her phone call, a siren began to blare through the house.
"Wake up! Wake up now, you skirt-wearing hooligans!" a familiar voice boomed through the house, causing Quinn to jump. Mrs. Sylvester could certainly be terrifying sometimes.
Santana snapped up instantly in her bed, gun already in hand and aiming at the door. Realizing it was only Mrs. Sylvester, she relaxed and rolled out of bed, preparing for the rounds. She quickly made her way out into the hallway.
Santana banged on the bedroom door next to hers and a sleep-laden voice shouting, "go away!" She ignored that and pushed the door open anyway, revealing her second teammate who lay sprawled out on the mussed up bed.
"Time to get up," Santana barked, turning to leave. She paused for a moment, however, looking back at the bed and shouting, "And you know the rules, Hummel! No boys in the house!"
And with that she stormed off. Kurt growled at the agitated girl before rolling over and pulling up the sheet, revealing a hispanic twenty-something man beside him.
"Last night was fun, but you need to go now."
Kurt jumped out of his bed and began preparing for his day, not even giving the handsome man a second glance.
Santana moved on to the next bedroom, this time knocking a touch softer. She pushed the door open to find Brittany scrambling under her bed.
"Have you seen my gun?" she asks, looking around the room.
"I think I left it at Disneyland."
"Why did you bring your gun to Disneyland?"
"Santana!" Kurt called.
"Get Quinn out of the bathroom! I need to bathe and exfuliate!"
Santana groaned, turning away from the confused blonde and marching to the bathroom door.
"Quinn," she shouted, banging against the wood, "get out. We don't have time for your Puck drama right now!"
Quinn rolled her eyes but complied, exiting the bathroom and rushing to her room. After a few stressful minutes of throwing on clothes and super-speed exfuliation, the four D.E.B.S. were ready to go.
The team gathered in the living room, waiting for Mrs. Sylvester to debrief them. Kurt played absently with his nails, Brittany just stared blankly at the wall, and Santana shot glares at a fidgeting Quinn.
"What?" Quinn snapped.
"You need to dump his ass," she murmured, shaking her head. Quinn scoffed.
"Why? So you can snap him up?"
Before Santana had the chance to respond, the screen was filled with the glorious image that was one Mrs. Sue Sylvester.
"Alright, ladies," she snapped, scanning them all. Kurt didn't even flinch.
He was, after all, the exception to the girls only rule.
Originally, he was on track to join Homeland Security, but certain officials felt that the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy should apply to their agents, as well. And, okay, Kurt might have wolf-whistled once at the communal bath house, but still. Kicking him out for that was a touch overdramatic. Not that he was complaining, of course, as Mrs. Sylvester had scooped him up the instant Homeland Security gave him the boot. The thought of wasting his talent sickened her, she said, and there was no way she would just throw him away. She always felt it was better to have the sneaky gays on her side than on the enemy's. Of course, her first mandate for Kurt was that all rules apply to him that apply to the other D.E.B.S.
This, of course, included the school girl skirt.
"We've got a real hit today," Mrs. Sylvester continued, "I may or may not have had relations with a certain communist dictator this past weekend who may or may not have informed me that one Rachel Berry would be dining at The Sandwich tonight."
She received blank, slightly disturbed stares. Kurt shuddered.
"Which is why the four of you will be there tonight, staking the place out. I want this one alive, got that? I intend to win Best Secret Organization Director Of The Year again, for the seventh consecutive year in a row, and I know that bringing in Berry would sinch it.
Brittany started to raise her hand, but Mrs. Sylvester shouted, "I don't care!" and disconnected. Brittany lowered her hand, pouting.
"What was your question, B?" Santana asked.
"I was gonna ask if a communist was like a hippie. It is, right?"
They all just stared at her.
And then there was Brittany. Sweet, somewhat dim Brittany. Quinn wasn't entirely sure how Brittany had managed to get into the program, although she knew the girl had taken the SAT with Santana. It wouldn't be surprising at all if Brittany had just copied down every answer Santana put. Still, what the girl lacked in smarts she more than made up for in skill, as she had been an avid dancer all her life. Brains were good, but when you need someone to perform a perfect pirouette through a mine field while dodging enemy fire, Brittany was the way to go.
"Yeah, Brittany. Just like a hippie."
Later that night, two women sat together at the downtown restaraunt, The Sandwich, enjoying a meal together. Well, perhaps enjoy might not be the right word. One of the women was currently in the midst of a rant while the other fought to keep her eyes open.
"It really is a rather fascinating idea, you know. The whole 'death ray' concept," Rachel Berry explained.
"It actually originated back in the 1930's-"
She droned on and on, detailing the history of death rays to her bored date, notorious drug smuggler Tina Cohen-Chang. Tina couldn't help but wonder how she managed to get herself into this situation. When her old friend Finn had called asking if she'd go on a blind date, she figured hey, why not? It couldn't be too terrible, right?
This was Hell.
She had assumed at least that the imfamous Rachel Berry would be an interesting companion, someone that she could relate to on a criminal level. Yeah, that was false. Rachel Berry had spent the last thirty minutes of their date discussing herself, her hobbies, her fascination with locks, and, as of the last ten minutes, death rays. It was horrible.
Rachel, unaware of her date's disinterest, continued telling her all the specific mechanics that were used when building her death ray. Because it should be noted, she notes, that a proper death ray must function in a way that is both menacing and detrimental and it requires the correct amount of nuclear power and ingenuity that only a genius such as herself could produce.
Tina nodded, taking a sip of champagne to hide her yawn. She made a mental note to never do a blind date again. Rachel Berry may be a fantastic thief, but she was a little too crazy and self-absorbed for Tina's taste.
Unbeknownst to the two criminals, however, the D.E.B.S. had arrived.
Quinn was almost shaking with excitement as she watched the two women from her perch above the restaraunt. Finally, they were going to catch Rachel Berry. The Rachel Berry.
The woman was almost mythical, really.
Every major diamond theft of the last six years was done by her.
She had never been captured, never even come close to being caught.
No one had ever faced Rachel Berry and lived.
She was a legend.
Quinn knew all about her, had spent months and months researching her. She was preparing a term paper on the reknowned thief, discussing all the perceived aspects of her personality and motivations. No one truly knew what Rachel Berry was like, so Quinn had to guess. Seeing her subject in real life, therefore, was exciting the girl to her core.
They all observed in silence from the swings they sat on a few dozen feet above the diners. Kurt continued to play with his nails, Santana scanned the hall dutifully, and Brittany hummed happily while playing with a duck stuffed animal that Santana had given her for her birthday.
The silence was broken by the whiz of movement as Puck dropped down from above, stopping next to Quinn.
"Hey, babe," Puck said. Quinn rolled her eyes, refusing to respond.
"Come on, you're not still mad at me, are you?"
"Why are you here, Puck?" She was not in the mood to deal with his stupidity right now, not when Rachel Berry was literally a few feet away.
"What, did you think you'd be the only one on Rachel Berry? Everyone's here. The Feds, the CIA."
He gestured around the restaraunt and, sure enough, there were strategically placed agents everywhere. It was borderline ridiculous.
"Nuh uh, Puckerman," Santana snapped, "this is our op. We get Berry." He sneered at her before throwing an arm around Quinn.
"Butt out, Lopez."
The smell of Puck's aftershave and the sight of Rachel Berry were making Quinn dizzy, so she practically shouted, "get off, Puck!" before pushing him off of her, causing his suspended seat to swing. It flew away before slamming back against hers, causing a domino effect with the other girls. Santana cursed, Kurt clung to his seat, and Brittany cried out as her stuffed duck flew out of her hands.
They all watched in horror as the beanie bag toy descended rapidly before bouncing off the top of Rachel Berry's head.
There were a few moments of stunned silence before the thief slowly looked up, locking eyes with Quinn.
And then everything happened instantly. Guns were whipped out, bullets were flying, and the restaraunt was filled with the screams of civilians fleeing.
The instant bullets started flying, Tina was out the door. Rachel watched her leave with annoyance, shaking her head. It didn't matter, she rationalized. Tina hadn't been a particularly interesting date. She had provided absolutely no contributions to their death ray discussion.
Rachel lept skillfully over turned tables and glass-coated counters, sprinting from of the room as bullets echoed behind.
The D.E.B.S. reconvened on the ground floor, Santana quickly taking charge.
"Alright, let's split up. Kurt, you cover the front door, Brit the back. Quinn, you follow towards the left side and I'll handle the right. Ready?" They all nodded, taking off in their respective directions.
Quinn took off, racing out the door and into a long corridor of boxes. She sprinted down the line, spotting an exit door at the end. Just as she'd reached it, another body slammed into her, sending her sprawling on the floor. She clutched her head in pain, as it had thudded against the floor, and pulled herself up.
"I am SO sorry," the other person all but shouted, jumping up and brushing herself off.
"No no, it was my fault. Sorry about that, I didn't look where I was going," Quinn apologized, glancing at the girl before her. Her throat constricted immediately. It was Rachel Berry.
Rachel, however, hadn't noticed who it was that she'd run into, so she continued.
"Really, it's probably my fault. Sometimes my balance is a touch off and it causes me to stumble easily, often into other people. Once, actually, I was running down-" Rachel trailed off as she took in the sight of the person before her: white top, plaid skirt, a gun. A D.E.B.
In an instant their guns were drawn, both pointing at the other's face.
"You drop it!"
"I'm not- look, as entertaining as this back and forth banter is, I really must be going," Rachel sighed, cocking her gun. Quinn followed suit.
"I can't let you do that," Quinn said slowly.
"Come on, it's late and I am exhausted. This has been an incredibly demanding day and I am really not in the mood to die right now, alright? So what do you say we just put the guns down and talk?"
Quinn watched the other girl carefully before glancing back at the entrance. She lowered her gun.
Rachel lowered hers as well, smiling.
"See? Isn't this so much better? Guns are so unnecessary. I personally enjoy using more sophisticated weapons, such as death rays. In fact-"
Quinn eyed her suspiciously, tuning her out as she started an absurd rant on death rays. This was... odd. I mean, the rambling girl in front of her was nothing like the Rachel Berry she had been studying. This girl was talkative, kind of annoying, and seemed particularly harmless. Not at all like the badass diamond thief she expected.
"You're still under arrest, you know," Quinn said, cutting the ramble off. Rachel quirked an eyebrow at her.
"Actually, I have to disagree with that. You see, I just got back in town a few days ago and I would really rather not start this week out in maximum security."
"Well that's too bad, but I'm sure you'll be nice and warm in solitary." Quinn said, raising her gun again. This had gone on enough.
Rachel smiled. She liked this girl. After the rather uneventful date Finn had set her up on, she was somewhat excited to have this sort of word play. Plus, this D.E.B. was all kinds of hot. Rachel opened her mouth to say something when a noise down the hall caught her attention.
The door Quinn had entered in slammed and she could hear Brittany calling her name. She turned towards the girl, which Rachel immediately took advantage of. She stepped forward, skillfully knocking the gun from Quinn's hand, and pulled the other girl towards her. Quinn gasped as her back was pressed against Rachel's front, a gun pressed to her collarbone.
"Quinn!" Brittany called, suddenly coming in to view. She stopped instantly when she saw the two of them, however. Rachel glared at her.
"I ask that you please stay there, as I would really prefer not to ruin my new cardigan with brain matter and viscera." Rachel called out, her gun moving from Quinn's collarbone to face Brittany, who just watched her with a confused face.
"...That's a kind of make up, right?"
Rachel's gun wavered for a moment, before straightening out.
"I... I'm being serious, stay back."
Her grip on Quinn's waist tightened, her hand slipping casually over bare midriff. Quinn fought back a shiver at the contact. She wasn't used to being touched there.
"Just stay there, B," Quinn whispered, her hands gripping the arm around her waist. She could feel Rachel's smile pressed into her hair as the girl dragged her backwards. Brittany stood there obediently, watching with a sad and confused look, obviously uncertain of what to do.
"Bye, Quinn," she said sadly as the retreating figures disappeared through a side door. She pulled her hostage along, moving down two back alleys before settling in the middle of one. In an instant Quinn found herself being spun around and shoved roughly against the wall, the smaller girl invading her space. She felt the gun at her chin, and suddenly this wasn't the rambling girl from the warehouse. This was Rachel Berry. And no one has ever faced Rachel Berry and lived.
"So your name is Quinn, then?" the thief asked, smiling at her captive. Quinn gulped, her eyes locked steadfast on Rachel's. She nodded.
"Do you have a last name, Quinn?"Rachel's smile took on a predatorial glint, her eyes darting between Quinn's lips, eyes, and the side door they had just escaped through. Quinn nodded again, swallowing.
Rachel leaned forward, pressing her mouth against the other girl's ear as she cocked the gun.
"Close your eyes, Quinn Fabray."
Quinn couldn't help but let out a whimper as her eyes slid shut, her hands bunching the other girl's cardigan. A second passed where they just stood like that, pressed against each other on the wall. And then suddenly Quinn's hands were empty, the pressure alleviated. Slowly, her eyes slid open.
Rachel was gone.