Dinner between them is their usual quiet affair.

He compliments her on food he's 90% sure she didn't make.

She asks him about a day he's had that she was only 10% apart of.

But today, as he cuts into his steak, he cannot keep quiet.

"I uh…Quinnie was on the television today."

Judy immediately looks up at him.


She says it as if Quinn has long been dead and this news is like she's come back to life.

"She was on tv. With Rachel. She was on Good Morning America, if you can believe it. Rachel's show is opening end of the year. They were talking about it."

Judy drops her fork.

"That was on this morning. Why….why are you just telling me?"

"Well Judith, this is my first time seeing you since breakfast," he says with a little more bite than he should.

"But you've been here all day! You've been holed up in that damn office all day and I've been here!"

"Well, you had your club meeting, I didn't want to interrupt."

He goes back to his food, really just to have something else to focus on than her legitimate, albeit snappy answer. Which seems to be the case more and more these days, with her tone towards him becoming snappier and sassier each day.

Well, when she's talking to me, that is. He realizes they've been talking less and less. They've been strategically finding ways to see each other less and less.

"For an hour Russ! One hour and not once throughout the day you couldn't find the time to tell me that you had seen our…," she drops her head in her hand and rubs furiously at her temples.

"Wh-She…we haven't talked about this in months, so I-"

Even to this day, she's the only person in the world that can make him stutter and stumble for words.

"And why is that Russell?! Why is it that we haven't talked about our only child in months?"

"You know why!"

"Russ, I know her leaving hurt you but I just…we missed her graduation and I can never forgive myself for that. I just wish that whatever she said…we could just put it behind us."

"She walked out on us, Judy."

As the words leave his mouth, he finds the bile aiming to do the same.

"I just don't understand why Quinnie would do something like that. I know we were surprised at first but we would've come around. Did she really think we wouldn't come around?"

Her voice sounds so pained and not for the first time, he regrets telling her that Quinn randomly decided to pack up her things and leave.

It wasn't even intentional.

He had found her note early the next morning and in a fit of rage, and at the thought of her walking out on her family being solely his fault, he had burned it.

He'd left the credit cards where they were and let Judy discover them in the morning and draw her own conclusions.

When she insisted they reach out to Quinn, to mend whatever had been broken, he had told her that she didn't want to be contacted by either of them. He'd given her a loosely summarized quote of what Quinn had told him.

"Judy, she told me she didn't care if we came to the wedding. She…she told us we could burn her pictures for all she cared. She and Rachel want to make it together…on their own."

And as his wife of nearly 25 years cried into his arms, he'd never felt like less of a man.

Even now, he still feels like a coward, unable to tell her that it's his fault.

Because the only thing that kills him more than not speaking to Quinn or knowing if she's well is knowing that he's the reason she walked away.

"I don't know sweetheart."

Judy looks up, surprised at the sweet name he hasn't used in so long.

Her heart softens a bit.

"Did she…did she at least look happy?"

He can't bring himself to say anything, so he just nods.

Judy sighs. "Well, I for one would like to see her."

His eyes widen momentarily until she finishes her thought, "Did you record it? Or…is it on demand?"

"I-," he wills his heart to stop beating so hard, "I'm sure you can find it on demand or online."

She nods and they finish their meal in silence.

He reasons, later in the evening tucked away in the safety of his office, that this can't continue much longer. He has to fix this with one of them. Because if Judy hears from Quinn that it was his shameful words and his selfish actions that lead her to leaving, she'll kill him.

And if Quinn gets a call from her mother, interrogating her on why she would abandon her family, all chances of reconciling things with his only daughter will disappear in the blink of an eye.

And worse than all of that, he thinks of their forgiveness. He knows Judy won't forgive him if she find before he confesses and if Quinn doesn't either and he loses both of them, then he's not sure what else there would be to live for.

He downs his glass of scotch, his own father's liquid courage and now his, and stands from his desk, preparing to face his wife.

He knows what Quinn thinks of him. She'd always subtly hinted at it, but that last night, in his office, he had told her.

She thought he was some sort of silent abuser. Someone who needed control over everything around him. She made him feel like a bad husband and an even worse father, but she hadn't been wrong.

He was hard on Quinn. He held Judy close to him. But not out of control, never that. He only knows this because his father had that problem. And he exercised his control, always yelling and throwing things and using his fists when he didn't get his way.

He knows of abuse and he knows that that's not him.

But he also knows that he holds on too tightly. He wouldn't say it aloud but he loves too hard for his own good. He always wants the best for his family, even if that means being absent for some things. Even if what's best doesn't always make them happy. Judy has everything and more than that which he ever promised her when they were young and foolish and so he regrets nothing, though he knows as a husband he's dropped the ball more than a few times. Being out of the country for business the day Quinn was born being one of his biggest regrets. But he tries. He's always trying to make their lives easy, more comfortable.

But he knows it's always been hard for them to see that.

And now this. Now he's lied to his wife's face over and over again. He's alienated their only child.

He has to fix it. He knows he'll be on the couch until the day he retires (that day put off even further considering Quinn isn't running the business as planned) when he comes clean, but he knows that if he lets this continue on any longer, it'll blow up in his face.

He flicks off the light tiredly and heads to their bedroom.

He can hear it from the hallway. His daughter's laughter. He can hear the smile in her voice and he runs his hands through his hair. He takes a deep breath and pushes the door open.

Judy is seated on the chaise, brushing her hair and beaming proudly at the large t.v. on the wall.

He can tell that she's mid interview, having already seen it for himself more than once.

"See, she's a little useless, but she's sweet."

Judy laughs along with Quinn and the rest of the audience.

He starts unbuttoning his shirt to change as the interview continues to play in the background, a stinging reminder of just how badly he's fucked this all up.

"Ready for bed, hon?"

Judy only waves a hand at him and he gets in bed, knowing better than to bother her.

He pretends to read for another few minutes before she finally turns it off.

"She…she looks so happy."

He grunts, not because he doesn't care but because he knows it's not 100% genuine. Rachel's call assured him of that.

"And she and Rachel seem so in love, which even I must admit, I never saw coming. I…I always knew they were close but I just never thought they'd be getting married. I mean…now that they're lesbians, I wonder if Quinn will be even wearing a dress. You know, I had always planned on giving her mine when she got married but now…oh, well, I know she probably wouldn't want it but maybe we could send it anyway? You think? Even if she…even if she didn't want it or ripped it up, maybe it'd be a step to let her know I'm not mad. That we can still fix this?"

After seeing her happily smiling at Rachel and Quinn's interview, he'd decided he wasn't going to do this tonight. He had planned to tell her over breakfast or some other mildly pleasant activity the following day but he can't bear this weight any longer.

"She…she'd probably love to wear your dress, Jude. It's not you she's mad at. It's…it's me."

She looks up into the mirror at him, hands that were just moisturizing her skin coming to a complete standstill.

"What? What does that mean?"

He takes another deep breath, focusing more on his hands in his lap than her penetrating gaze.

"She's not mad at you. Or even us. She didn't leave because of us. She left that night because of me."

She whips around to face him directly at top speed.

"What did you do Russell?"

Maybe it's the use of his whole name or maybe it's the tone, but it reminds him of what his father used to tell him.

You messed up, son. So hold your head high and take your lashings like a man.

He lifts his head and he would look the part of the strong, stoic man if not for the apology in his eyes.

"Because I told her that I thought her marrying Rachel was a mistake. I told her that if she wanted to be with Rachel, we wouldn't be footing the bill for a wedding."

"Wh-How…Russell, how could you say those things to your daughter? Can't you see how much she loves that girl?" And ironically enough, she points to the television that is frozen on the image of the two, of Quinn and Rachel facing one another talking just as the show takes a commercial break.

And he does see it. If he's being completely honest, he's seen it since day one.

Quinn was always quick to come to Rachel's aid, even when they were toddlers. They shared everything, never fought over anything. And the one year that they seemed to see less of Rachel, their first year of high school, that had been the saddest year of his life. He had watched his little girl shut herself in her room. She wouldn't eat and wouldn't take phone calls and rarely went out, even with her new school friends. It was him who had stressed and stayed up all night, pacing the floors wondering what could've happened to make her so upset, while Judy lay in bed reading, promising it was all just Quinn being a teen. And even now, he can't forget the smile on his little girl's face when she one day over summer came bounding into the kitchen, informing them of how'd she quit the cheer team and was headed to the mall with Rachel.

So, "Of course I see it, Judy! I was just…I just wanted what was best for her. And in the process…I…I said some awful things about Rachel."

Judy's eyes narrow, but the tears still manage to make their way down her cheeks.

"For a year. For a whole year you let me believe our baby just picked up and left but the truth was that you pushed her away?!"

She's becoming frantic, so he gets out of bed and moves to approach her.

"No. No, don't you come near me Russell. You stay right there. I can barely look at you, let alone stand the thought of you touching me, trying to make this better."

"Judy, let me explain."

"There's nothing to say!" she screams and it genuinely frightens him. She's never once yelled at him.

"There's nothing you could say! You let me believe that she left us, Russell! Just walked out one night without a word or a note! You convinced me that she wanted nothing to do with us so we don't call for Christmas! I miss my baby's birthday and her…her graduation, for God's sake. She graduated from college and we weren't even there. I sent a card, thinking even that might be too much! And why?! All because you…you what?! How could you do this?!"

"Because I love her! Just as much as you do, Judy! I know I got a terrible way of showing it, but I love her too! She's my little girl too, you know?! And I always want what's best for her! And I had just built her future in my head! Just like you wanted her to get married in your dress and have a million grandbabies running around…I wanted her by my side at the office. I wanted to take her on business trips, show her the ropes. I always kind of imagined that one day we'd be working and I'd introduce her to a new guy or something and they'd click and get married and then your dream for her could start. I don't know…in the moment, I called myself doing what was best but I…-"

"My dream for her?! Russ, my dream for her has always been for her to be HAPPY! I don't want anything else in this world but to see that smile on her face." She points back to the screen but this time he can't bear to look.

"I know it must kill you, but at the end of the day our dreams for her don't matter! She has a life of her own, dreams of her own! And if Rachel is her dream, if Rachel is the reason why she smiles like that more often, then so be it! But you listen to me, Russell Raymond Fabray and hear me well."

He looks up at her, willing to accept whatever comes from her mouth next.

"You will fix this. Because I've missed too much already to miss this wedding. I don't care if you don't ever fix your relationship with our daughter, you will tell her that I had nothing to do with this! You need to call her and tell her that. And after that, I don't care what you do. Come to the wedding or don't. Pay for it or don't. But I'm not missing it. So make sure I'm on her guest list before you hang up with her. Do you hear me?"

"Yes, I'll fix it."

"You'd better," she huffs in anger. "In the meantime, get out of my sight."

He looks her dead in the eye and he's never seen her more serious or more upset.

He blinks back tears and grabs his pillow off the bed and heads to the door, pausing just before leaving.

"Jude, I-I'm so so sorry."

"I don't want to hear it right now. I really don't. I want you out of here. And don't you dare speak to me until you've resolved this."

He nods once more and shuts the door behind him.


So, unfortunately, no Quinn or Rachel interactions BUT a necessary scene to see what life has been like in the Fabray household. That's also why I wanted to get this one out quickly, a month's wait for this would've seemed just cruel. This was one I agonized over so I hope it was okay. Please let me know your thoughts! Thank you for the comments, favorites, and follows! You guys are the best audience! Until next time!

Title by Elton John.