Title: Only Taking Space Up In Our Heads (prologue/?)
Rating: teen/pg-13 (subject to change)
Length: 1800~ for this part
Spoilers: None. AU.
Summary: Quinn transfers to William McKinley High School for the Arts from Carmel with the help of her not quite estranged aunt Holly Holiday after things back home get rough. Rachel, the daughter of known Broadway stars and a Hollywood director, has the school wrapped around her fingers. Quinn proves to be the exception.
AN: I've been playing with this idea for roughly five months now and it just would not let me go. So I gave in. And also because there are not enough HBIC!Rachel fics out there, I thought maybe I should make an attempt to add something to the mix.
If we forget the things we know
would we have somewhere to go?
(My Interpretation; Mika)
"Why won't you just join glee club? Clearly, it isn't for the lack of talent. We've heard you sing and we've seen you perform. Obviously, you have what it takes or you would not have been part of Vocal Adrenaline. I just don't get why this time around, you choose to forget that you were once part of a nationally-acclaimed show choir."
All Quinn wants at this point is to walk away. She's been subjected to Rachel Berry's incessant hounding all of the three months since she's transferred to McKinley and she was just getting tired of the attention. Why couldn't the glee club captain just accept that she refuses to be part of their show choir – or any other show choir, for that matter – and just let her go her own way? It's not like New Directions needed the added person swaying in the background while almost half of the club fought for solos. There is just that much talent in New Directions; unsurprising, considering they'd bagged the national championships five years in a row now. Quinn knows for a fact that whether or not she's part of the team is inconsequential.
Also, she just isn't interested. Not anymore.
"I just don't want to be in glee," she sighs. She just wants to be left alone. And she really needs to be going to her next class or she'll be late. "I need to go, Rachel."
Quinn tries to move around the path that Rachel's blocking, but just as she's about to do that, the other girl moves to block her path once again, and this time, Quinn physically stops herself a second away from actually pushing the other girl away from her. Latent violent tendencies aside, it certainly isn't practical (or wise) to do anything even vaguely untoward against McKinley High's resident star. Especially since she's only been a student here for a few months and Rachel Berry's parents have their faces posted behind a glass case in one of the school's many hallways.
"Give me one good reason why you refuse to join New Directions," a pause, and then Rachel stands a bit taller (not by much really) in obvious indignation. "Actually, make that three. Give me three good reasons why you'd rather blend in with the crowd than be part of the national show choir championship team. This is a great opportunity, and we both know it. I don't make it a habit to offer a spot in the team to just anyone, Quinn Fabray. There are a lot of other students in this school who would love to be in your position right now."
Quinn looks the other girl straight in the eye, hands clutching the strap of her shoulder bag tightly. "Then give them the spot. I told you. I don't want it."
Rachel crosses her arms, "Why not?"
"I don't have to give you any number of reasons why I don't want to join your team," then she looks away, somewhere behind the girl, but nowhere in particular. "I just don't. Let it go."
"You're the youngest person in Vocal Adrenaline history to have ever been given a solo in a nationals competition. Jesse didn't have to tell me anything to know that that was a huge accomplishment on your part. Almost as big as me being the youngest ever co-captain of New Directions. I can't let that kind of talent just go. It would be remiss of me as captain not to convince you at every available opportunity to be a part of our team."
This time, Quinn looks at the watch on her wrist and she almost curses when she sees that she is officially ten minutes late to her photography class. She's never late to photography. The three times they meet are most definitely the highlight of her weekly academic existence.
"It wasn't actually a solo. It was a duet with–" She shakes her head. No, most assuredly not going there.
This time, she manages to walk past Rachel in a stride, not caring how the other girl would react. She's barely four huge steps in when a hand grabs her by the wrist and she's forced to turn back. What faces her is a set of narrowed brows and gritted teeth. She roughly pulls her arm back.
"You can't just walk away like that. We were having a conversation. It's rude and completely uncalled for."
"What's uncalled for is you not understanding that no means no, Berry. I don't want to be part of your show choir. I don't want to be part of any show choir. Period." She's irritated now and she doesn't care if she gets all up on Rachel Berry's face.
So she does just that.
"Get it into your thick skull, Ms. Broadway Royalty. I refuse to be in glee," they are nose to nose now, and Quinn's somewhat aware that at one point in the near future, she may just actually regret what she's doing or saying, but at this point, she could not care any less. "For once, listen to what other people are saying, and just get off my radar."
This time, it's Rachel Berry who steps back, albeit slowly, as if not even acknowledging the fact that mere seconds ago, they were sharing the same air. She brushes her hands over her skirt, and raises an eyebrow.
"Everyone who's ever transferred from Carmel to McKinley has always done so because we have the nation's best show choir. Hence, the best chance to inevitably get the most prominent college education in the country. Ask Jesse St. James," Rachel licks her upper lip, hands on her hips now. "I thought all this time you were just playing hard to get, you know. And who else to appreciate the value of being a diva but myself? New Directions has had more diva's in its midst than one really cares to count, but that's acceptable given the amount of talent we also have. You certainly have talent, and I recognize that so I let you indulge in this little cat and mouse game of sorts we've been playing for the past few months."
Quinn just stares, knowing that she's probably too late for class to even go there now, resigned to the reality of it. She's tired of this conversation and wants to get it over with, away from Rachel Berry and her high horse. More than anything, when she finally walks away from this conversation-turned-confrontation, what she wants is to sit under the old tree she saw near the benches behind the music department's building, and take pictures.
"So if that's not your angle, Quinn Fabray, what is?"
"None of your business."
And then Rachel smirks. Actually smirks.
Quinn keeps herself from wiping that irritating smirk off her face.
"Fine. Be that way then. Just remember this day when you come crawling into our choir room asking for an audition."
"That's not going to happen."
A scoff. "We'll see."
"Are we done now?"
Another smirk is sent Quinn's way and just when she thinks Rachel's about to walk away, the other girl turns back around, flipping her hair a bit.
"Oh, and just for the record, Quinn. You are never going to get me off your radar. Not in this school, anyway. Like you said, I'm Broadway royalty. And I rule this school. So…"
Then, she walks away. Quinn is both irritated and relieved, but mostly, she's just drained. She walks the other way from the visual arts building and towards the area behind the music building. She knows that New Directions won't be holding practice for the day because Santana said they'll be 'scoping out the "enemy"' and probably psyching the opposing sectional's team out by challenging them to an impromptu "choir-off". At least, for that alone, she's grateful that she won't be seeing Rachel any more for the rest of the afternoon.
She's looking through the viewfinder when she senses someone sit beside her, and once again, irritation creeps back up her spine. All she really wants at this moment is to be left alone, but apparently, the universe does not agree. She sighs, puts the camera down, strap securely placed on her neck, and faces whoever it is this time around.
Immediately, the girl to her right looks down, biting her lip. Quinn relaxes from her instant defensive posture, but instead raises an eyebrow in question, waiting for the other girl to speak up first.
After a beat, "Um, I just…You–you weren't in class today," the girl looks up, tucks some of her hair (brown, Quinn sees, dark but not quite black) behind her ears.
"I got held up. And then I was too late to go to class, so…" Quinn smiles at the way the other girl tries not to look her in the eye, or can't, maybe.
"Right," bites her lip again, and then, "I was walking to the music building, but then I saw you, and…yeah. I don't know what I'm doing here, actually." She laughs this really soft laugh, and Quinn's smile grows wider. "You're probably thinking that I'm such a dork."
"It's cute," and the other girl's head snaps up, a smile on her face. Quinn holds her hand out, "Quinn."
"I–I know. We're both in the photography class, and you're, like, Ms. Grant's favorite so…I mean, y–you're really good! So, I know. You," she stops to take a breath and Quinn can't help but bring up her camera to snap a picture. "Oh god. You took my picture! It's–"
"Cute," Quinn says, after looking at the lcd. She brings her hand up again, "I'm Quinn. Sorry I don't really recognize you from the class."
This time, the girl promptly takes the hand and shakes it. "Chelsea. And that's okay. I'm usually seated behind you…Not that I'm creeping on you or anything! Th–that's just usually where I am. Behind you. Oh god, I'm sorry, that sounded like…I am such a dork!"
Quinn is reminded of a similar conversation she had (two years ago now, but she wishes it could be longer so she could finally let it, everything, go) when she was the Chelsea and the other person was –
"Do you want to go for a walk, Chelsea? And maybe later, I can show you some of the pictures I've taken in my laptop at the dorm?"
Later, when Chelsea's left the room after she tells her she's not really looking for a relationship right now, Quinn just wraps herself in a blanket and opens the folder in her laptop she hasn't touched in maybe five months. She looks at the pictures of a girl (always the same girl) in various positions and facial expressions, and stops at the picture of her with eyes closed, half of her face pressed to the pillow and her dark hair fanned out.
Quinn deletes the folder.
Chelsea is the first girl Quinn sleeps with in McKinley.
She won't be the last.
(End of prologue.)