The last days of summer are winding down and Quinn has been busy running around town. She's helping her mom get ready for her big move, she's helping herself get ready for her big move and she's working her way through the long list of mental things she has to take care of before she leaves for OSU. The residents at the nursing home throw her and Sam a going away party. They all wore red and white, OSU's school colors, and they all bugged the chef to get them red and white sugar cookies for lunch. They even let win in bingo, which is a miracle in and of itself. When Sam convinces her to take one more picture with their usual bingo table, she can't help but smile as she pulls in close. And when she turns in her dorky vest and bow tie, a weird feeling washes over her and she leaves before she does something stupid like take the bow tie with her. Her last day of volunteering, she receives a hospital labeled drinking bottle. It's slightly tacky and a hideous shade of pink, and Rachel is giddy as heck because they have matching nalgene bottles (which results in a trademark Fabray eye roll). But as much as she downplays it, Quinn isn't lying when she says she's going to use it everyday.
Quinn knocks on the door. Odd, she thinks to herself. She's never seen Angie's door closed. Angie pokes her head out and Quinn hears someone in tears inside.
"Quinn, hi," Angie says quietly, stepping out and closing the door behind her.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Quinn starts apologizing. "I didn't think you'd be with someone right now."
"It's alright," Angie reassures her with a smile.
"I just wanted to say thank you," Quinn starts uneasily. "And goodbye. I'm leaving for OSU in a couple of days and I wanted to make sure that I saw you before I headed off."
Angie makes a small and sad smile on her face and tears up a little.
"Give me just a second," She says, walking back into her office. Quinn takes this time to pull out something from her bag. Angie comes back out with something wrapped in brown paper.
"Here," Quinn says quietly, handing Angie the paper. It's a drawing of Beth she made in art class.
"Oh, thank you Quinn," Angie tells her, looking at the drawing. She holds it up like a proud parent. "This is going up on the wall."
"I got this for you," Angie says, handing her the package. "Open it when you get home."
"Thank you," Quinn manages to say. She really isn't expecting this. "You shouldn't have."
Angie shakes her head.
"Come here kiddo," She says, holding her arms out. Quinn moves in and hugs her tight.
"Thank you," She repeats again, only this time it's barely a whisper. She shuts her eyes, telling herself not to cry.
Angie pulls away and looks at Quinn.
"Take care, Quinn," She says with a smile and tears in her eyes. "Keep in touch."
"Q, put some clothes on. I'll be there in fifteen minutes. And don't wear one of your dresses. Spare my eyes."
"Wha-San, first of all, I'm not naked. Second, what's wrong with my dresses? And third, it's midnight and you just dropped me off an hour ago," Quinn reasons, getting up and rummaging for a pair of jeans anyway.
"You need your beauty sleep. I'm leaving tomorrow morning. This is obviously more important," Santana quips from the other line, abruptly hanging up and leaving Quinn with the dial tone.
"For all I know, you're driving me to a deserted parking lot to kill me," Quinn says dryly, flipping through the radio stations.
"Please," Santana drawls out, "Is that what you think of me? I'm far more creative that what you give me credit for."
"I'm glad to know that you're always on the ready when it comes to creative body disposals."
"I was a brownie scout after all," Santana says smugly, turning to Quinn with a toothy smile.
Quinn rolls her eyes and looks out the window, realizing that they were pulling into the empty mall parking lot.
"I thought you said you were more creative than a deserted parking lot at eleven at night," Quinn tells her as she looks around the empty parking lot. She looks at Santana, waiting for an explanation.
"I am," is all that Santana says, grabbing the plastic bag on the back seat and opening her car door. "Come on, princess. We gots to go."
"Where?" Quinn asks incredulously, before being answered by a resounding door slam. "She can't be serious," She says out loud, unbuckling her seat belt and throwing her door open. At first, it seems like Santana disappeared into thin air. It takes her a second to realize that Santana is directly behind the SUV, throwing all of the clutter in the trunk to the back seat. Quinn moves next to her and sees that Santana has completely emptied to the back.
"What are you…" Quinn trails off as Santana throws the bag into the trunk unceremoniously before hopping in herself. She holds out a hand for Quinn.
"Well? I don't have all day to wait for you fat ass to get up here," Santana says impatiently, rolling her eyes at Quinn's puzzled look. Quinn gets in and Santana waits for her to settle down before pulling the back hatch down and slamming it shut. She wordlessly hands Quinn a spoon before pulling out a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
"I don't really like ice cream," Quinn starts, but Santana cuts her off.
"Bitch, please," She says with one eyebrow raised, "We all know this is your favorite ice cream brand, even though you'd never admit it."
Quinn rolls her eyes, taking the tub and readjusting herself in an attempt to make herself more comfortable. A trunk that size was made for Berry sized legs. She looks up across from her and sees that Santana has her own tub of ice cream and she can't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.
A couple minutes later, while she's in the middle of ranting about her mom's pack rat-like qualities, Santana interrupts her midsentence.
"I said bye to Brittany," She says quietly, not meeting Quinn's eyes.
Quinn purses her lips, putting her ice cream down and looking down at the tub. She looks at Santana, who looks like a little girl, frowning and attacking her ice cream with a scary look on her face. Quinn doesn't prod anymore, because this is how Santana works. She just offers her tub of ice cream, because she knows Santana picked these two flavors for a reason. Santana looks up at her with a frustrated look on her face and takes the tub, digging in and looking out the window at nothing in particular.
"I had to say goodbye," Santana starts talking, more so to herself than to Quinn. Quinn nods, reaching for her tub of ice cream and getting her hand swatted away in the process. Okay. Too soon. Santana shoots her a look and she just backs off with her hands up. Santana settles down after a minute and starts speaking again.
"She's…She's Brittany," Santana mumbles, her forehead creasing as she attempts to use words to explain.
"Hey," Quinn finally talks. "She will always be Brittany. And you'll always be Santana."
Santana nods slowly, staring at Quinn's ice cream tub before handing it back to the other girl.
"Holy shit! It's a fucking drug deal!" Santana suddenly hisses, ducking down and holding her tub close. Quinn follows suit, crouching down and holding her own tub. Santana looks up to see what's going on and Quinn copies her against her better judgment.
She sees a bunch of guys standing in a circle, holding sketchy drinks hidden in brown bags. She's sure they can't see them, but Quinn can't help but be a little nervous. A big Cadillac pulls into the parking lot and the guys all turn.
"What do we do? Should we stay here til they leave? Should I call 9-1-1?" Quinn starts mumbling nervously. Santana looks at her incredulously. Like she's this close to slapping the other girl.
"Calm yo tits down," She hisses. "Just play it cool. These things don't last too long. They'll all leave soon. So just sit back and cling onto your tub for life."
And, turns out, Santana's right. They're all gone the next time Quinn resurfaces for air and she can't help but let out a big breath. She literally almost went into cardiac arrest. She turns to Santana, who has her back pressed against the trunk, clutching onto her tub.
She bursts out laughing and Santana does to.
"You know, there are a lot more drug deals to spy on in Chicago," Santana says nonchalantly.
They're outside of Quinn's house already and Quinn's half waiting her mom to come screaming down the porch, yelling at her for leaving so late and not letting her know.
Quinn looks at Santana and she knows that there's some truth behind the joke.
"I don't think my heart can handle that much stress again," Quinn drawls out.
"Such a softy," Santana replies with an eye roll.
It gets quiet and Quinn's not exactly sure what to do.
"Um," she starts but Santana cuts her off with a hand.
"Don't say any of that goodbye shit because you'll definitely see me again," She half barks.
Quinn laughs, because she's expecting this.
"Oh, trust me, I'm not worried about that. Sam and I have been planning about how we're going to keep you out of Columbus."
She gets an idea and suddenly gets out of the car.
"Where are y—" Santana starts saying until Quinn throws the driver's door open. Santana looks startled, staring at Quinn with a crease on her forehead.
"Yes?" She says slowly. Quinn takes her arm and yanks her out, pulling her into a hug.
"I don't freaking do this kind of shit!" Santana protests, refusing to wrap her arms around Quinn. Quinn just shakes her head, forcefully taking Santana's arms and putting them around her body. She can feel Santana rolling her eyes. "Jesus Christ."
Santana settles into the hug eventually and Quinn tells herself not to cry, because she will never hear the end of it if she does. Santana disentangles herself after a minute. She sniffles a little, clears her throat and straightens her clothes.
"If you pull that shit again, I'll stab you," Santana warns, narrowing her eyes at Quinn. "Bitch, crapping my style."
"Duly noted," Quinn responds, walking away from the car and making her way to her house. Santana gets into her car and rolls the passenger's window down.
"I'll see you later," Quinn calls out from her front porch.
"Girl, you bet your ass you will," Santana responds before waving and pulling away. Quinn watches her drive and smiles to herself before getting inside the house.
A couple days later, Quinn finally starts packing up her room. She looks down at the small package on her lap. She still hasn't opened Angie's present.
Quietly pulling back the brown paper, she sees a small square painting of a butterfly with the words 'courage' underneath it.
"Quinn, honey," Her mom calls out from downstairs. "Can you help me with this?"
"Sure mom," Quinn yells out, putting the painting on her desk, next to a picture that Rachel took of her and Beth. She dusts her hands and runs downstairs, where she finds her mom attempting to tape up an overstuffed box. Quinn tries not to laugh and instead moves over to hold the box down.
"What's that smirk for?" Her mom asks her with one eyebrow raised, taping the box shut and patting it down.
"You just looked funny attempting to hold this box together and tape it at the same time."
Her mom lets out a huff and ruffles her hair a bit.
"Come on, I haven't touched the kitchen at all," Her mom says, getting up and motioning for Quinn to follow her to the kitchen.
They end up ordering food after going through one side of the kitchen. Quinn takes a packet of hot sauce before looking up at the TV standing by its lonesome on the floor. They're more or less sitting on the hardwood floors Indian style, splitting a box of pizza between them.
"Santana's going to be so jealous when she finds out I'm eating BreadstiX pizza," Quinn says with a smirk, biting into her first slice.
"Really? Is it her favorite?" Her mom asks with a genuinely interested tone.
"She practically lives there," Quinn informs her. "I don't know how she's going to survive without it."
"Her mom could always ship her some frozen BreadstiX," Her mom adds thoughtfully, biting into her own slice. "She left two days ago, right?"
"Yes," Quinn replies, a little surprised that her mom remembered.
"Hopefully she visits you and Sam a lot. She is quite a riot."
Quinn looks at her mom, who a year ago was calling 'Santa-Ana' a hooker. She just smiles.
"Oh, she will. I'm making her," Quinn says.
"I've always loved pizza," her mom tells her before biting into her pizza.
"Really? I think I've only seen you eat pizza twice in my life," Quinn responds, unable to hide her surprise.
"Oh, your father wasn't a big fan of pizza," Her mom reveals nonchalantly. "He insisted that I cook full meals like a proper housewife."
"Of course," Quinn mumbles, rolling her eyes and getting another slice.
"But if I could, I would definitely have pizza every night," Her mom continues, taking another slice for herself as well.
"No one's stopping you now," Quinn says with a smile, looking at her mom and realizing how far she's come. How far both of them have come.
Then she laughs.
"Although Mom, you would get fat."
Her mom looks at her, appalled.
"I'm not capable of getting fat," She responds with an indignant tone, biting into her pizza and managing to keep a straight face for a grand total of two seconds before laughing with Quinn.
Quinn steps out of the 24 hour convenience store with a pint of ice cream in tow. It's 4 in the morning and she's almost positive that asides from her and the convenience store clerk, everyone else in the town is still sleeping.
She can't sleep. She's leaving for Columbus in a couple hours and there's something about sleeping in a room—no, in a house—full of boxes and bare walls that just unsettles her. She silently crept out of the house, walking around her neighborhood before seeking out some sustenance in the form of Edy's Rocky Road ice cream.
It's deathly quiet and she smiles ever so faintly.
Rounding the street corner, she notices a figure sitting on one of the swings in the park. She notices disheveled brown hair. The person is swaying softly, seemingly lost in her thoughts.
Oddly enough, the last person she sees before she leaves Lima is Rachel Berry.
Quinn stands still, debating her options. She almost walks away, back to the confines of her boxed up house when she hears Rachel humming. Silently cursing because she knows she'll regret this lack of sleep later, she crosses the street and quietly makes her way towards the swing set.
Except she isn't quiet and the woodchips give her away. Rachel looks up quickly, slightly alarmed at the noise. She's a little surprised to see Quinn but she recovers like a pro and manages to smile a small smile.
"Hi," Rachel says quietly, holding on to a mug on her lap.
"Hey," Quinn responds, settling on the swing next to her. She pulls out the ice cream out of the bag.
"Do you want some?"
"No, thank you," Rachel responds with a laugh, holding her mug up and shaking her head. "Fueling your addiction, I see."
"Guilty as charged."
They settle into silence for several minutes and Quinn realizes that the sun is rising.
"All packed?" Rachel asks after a beat, bringing the mug up to her mouth.
"My house is in boxes," She elaborates. "I'm leaving in six hours."
"Quinn," Rachel starts with her matter of fact tone. "Sleep is an essential component to proper growth and mental health."
"Hey Pot, my name's Kettle," Quinn tells her with a raised eyebrow and a slightly upturned corner on her lip.
Rachel looks slightly offended, but then she laughs and rolls her eyes.
"So. Leaving tomorrow," Quinn starts slowly, pushing off the ground slightly.
Rachel takes another sip and remains quiet for a couple minutes.
"Tomorrow," she finally says after a minute or two.
Rachel nods slowly with a small smile on her face.
"I'm not coming back to Lima," Quinn says out of nowhere. "There's nothing for me here."
Which is true. Her mom is moving, Santana is going to college in Chicago, Beth was never here to begin with and Sam is going to OSU with her.
There's nothing left for her in Lima, Ohio.
"My parents are moving to Cincinnati," Rachel tells her quietly.
Quinn is a little surprised. Dr. Berry never said anything about relocating and Rachel definitely never mentioned anything about it.
"As a family, we decided that it would be beneficial not to let many people know about our family's relocation. I know they've wanted to move for quite some time now. They were just waiting for me to graduate."
"And now that you're leaving," Quinn starts and Rachel nods.
"Now that I'm moving to New York, they can finally pick up many of the dreams they've had to put aside for me," Rachel continues, swirling her mug.
"So, I guess there is nothing left for me in this town either," Rachel adds, looking down at her feet.
Quinn looks at her for a long second before nodding, mulling over the words that she just said.
"It's a new start for them and for me," Rachel stops and turns to look at Quinn. "And for you. It's a new start for all of us."
Quinn takes another spoonful of ice cream before realizing something.
"Hey Rachel," Quinn mumbles, putting her ice cream pint down.
"How about a do over?"
Rachel looks up with a puzzled look on her face and she's met with Quinn's hand.
"I'm Lucy Quinn Fabray," Quinn starts hesitantly, realizing how crazy she looks at the moment. "And it's nice to meet you."
Rachel looks at the hand and back at Quinn before reaching out to shake the girl's hand.
"Rachel Barbara Berry, future star. It's a pleasure, Quinn."
They stay like that for a moment before settling back into their respective swings.
"Quinn!" Rachel cries out suddenly. "Did your mother not teach you how to eat ice cream? Your hands are all icky!"
Quinn purses her lips. Ice cream melts, so what?
"Be quiet, Rachel."
"Here, hold this," Rachel orders as she shoves her boot shaped mug into Quinn's hands before wiping her hands on her pajamas.
They stay and talk and watch the sun come up and it isn't until they hear Mrs. Jenkins from down the street yelling at her neighbors for stealing her morning newspaper that they realize how long they've been sitting there. They laugh and gather themselves together.
"It feels like we're on the precipice of something huge, doesn't it?" Rachel muses, looking at Quinn. Quinn nods quietly, looking at her for a second.
"Ever the one with the dramatics," she replies with a smile, earning an indignant look from Rachel.
They're almost about to separate ways when Rachel speaks up.
"Take care, Quinn," She tells her, stopping at the corner.
"You take care of yourself," Quinn responds, pulling her sweatshirt closer. "Get out of this town already."
Rachel laughs, walking backwards and away from her.
"Bye," She calls out while waving her hand.
It isn't until she's home that Quinn realizes that she's still holding Rachel's mug in her hands.
"You look awful," Sam says as he walks into her packed up house.
"Good morning to you too," Quinn greets him with an eye roll. "Come on, I've got some bagels and caffeine in the kitchen. "
"Perfect, just what we need to start this moving day right," Sam yawns out, following her into the kitchen.
She nods, looking out the car window. She hears Sam cranking up the gear shift and her mom commenting on not hitting the neighbor's mailbox.
Silently, Quinn says goodbye to Lima, Ohio.
Thank you to all of you who stuck with this story. I wanted to write something that was, at its core, Quinn looking at her life and figuring herself out. The title is all about that. Quinn's not promising to get her shits together; she's calling it because it's only a matter of time before she does. ("It's not a promise, I'm just gonna call it" is a line from Bon Iver's Beth/Rest)
And at this point in the story, she hasn't…But who has their life figured out at 18? (Let me tell you that this girl right here didn't) And even if you're Rachel Berry and you've written a thirty page manifesto about it, who says it's going to turn out the way you planned it to?
Right now, I have two sequels planned and several quick one shots to fill the gaps in this story but life is getting a little nutty. I really hope I find time to share Quinn's shenanigans in college with Sam, Mike and, occasionally, Santana, and then what happens after they get out into the real world.
I mean, Quinn Fabray falling in love would be something to witness, wouldn't it?
On a completely random side note, check out this song:
Bon Iver – Beth/Rest: xPHgOeKr0xQ
This is a piano version that he did. Check it out because it's awesome. Bon Iver is AWESOME. No, seriously. And if you've never heard of it, Tracy Chapman's Fast Car is what really spurred this whole three series idea in my head. It's a great song (I say that about every song, I know), so give that a spin while you're at it.