Let the Rain Sing You a Lullaby
She and Kurt arrive at school the next day still feeling off balance. As soon as they enter the building, they're met by Tina and Mercedes, who seem to have been waiting for them. Mercedes cocks an eyebrow at Kurt, before stepping forward and linking her arm through his. "Mind if I borrow our boy for a bit?" she asks, then drags Kurt away before Quinn has a chance to say anything.
Quinn watches them go, feeling left behind and just a little bitter that Mercedes hadn't wanted to include her. Tina, though, steps forward bravely. "M-mercedes thought K-kurt might need to talk," she says. "Please d-d-don't get mad."
"Why would I get mad?" she says, lying through her teeth.
Tina doesn't catch on, instead relaxing her shoulders a bit. "That's good," she says, smiling. "So I can see the p-pictures?"
Quinn knows exactly what Tina is talking about, the small printed version of her sonogram she's taped to the inside of her notebook. She's still kind of awed about what it represents, but she'd love to share it with Tina. She opens her bag and starts to bring it out, before her newly developed loser preservation instincts kick in.
"Not here," she says, glancing around the hallway. The Cheerios have early morning practice, but there's nothing to keep the jocks and other bullies from stealing it from her and doing something awful with it. "Library?"
"S-s-sure," Tina agrees, a bright smile on her face.
When they arrive, they grab a table in the back. Quinn hands her notebook over, the cover open so Tina can see.
"Wow," Tina says, her fingers tracing the small, black and white image. "Do you know what it's going to be yet?"
"They can't tell until the fourth month or so. And I don't know if I want to know," Quinn admits. "But I think Kurt will, since he'll be planning the baby's wardrobe as soon as he can."
Tina is silent for a long moment, her jaw hanging out. "Y-you're keeping it? With Kurt?"
It occurs to Quinn that she hasn't told anyone about the conversations she's had with Kurt. The rumor mill (aided by Jewfro's damned blog) has caught onto the fact she's been disowned and is living with Kurt, but no one knows this isn't just short term. Most people probably think she's either going to give it up or be a single mother. It's strange that none of Kurt's friends give him more credit. Tina had told Quinn that Kurt was a private person, but it's becoming clear that he's shielded himself so well people don't have the first clue about what makes him tick.
"He really wants the baby," Quinn says, "and I think we can make it work."
Tina pushes a strand of pink hair away from her face. "It's kind of hard to think of him as a father. He's so... K-k-kurt," Tina says.
"He'll be a good one," Quinn says. She's not defending him, just stating a fact. "His father's a good role model."
"His f-f-father's scary," Tina stutters. "He caught us d-d-dancing to 'Single Ladies' and I th-th-thought he was going to kill K-k-kurt."
Quinn stifles a giggle behind her hand. She can picture the scene easily, and realizes Burt Hummel's gruffness may easily be misinterpreted. "I think Mr. Hummel may find Kurt confusing, but he loves him a lot," she says. "And he and Kurt are very close."
Tina shakes her head, her face still expressionless. "I-if you say so," she agrees dubiously. "I-if you decide y-you need someplace else to st-stay, call me, okay? M-my house has an extra room."
Quinn feels warm and flushed with happiness at the offer. She may have lost all her former friends, but there's other people out there who care about her. Unlike Mercedes, whose loyalties clearly (and rightly) belong to Kurt first, Tina could potentially become Quinn's new best friend.
Then she realizes something which brings back how new all this is. "I would need your phone number first," she says, handing her phone over. Tina blushes as she pulls out her own phone and gives it to Quinn so they can exchange contact information.
Despite that pleasant start to the day, things go downhill rapidly. She can hear the people whispering as she enters her first period geometry class right before the bell. She's used to it by now, but the way they're looking at her indicates she is once again subject to a new rumor. She considers for a second what to do, before deciding that sitting next to Rachel Berry is the right answer. As much as she loathes the would-be starlet, Rachel is hooked into the rumor mill and can be persuaded to spill quite easily.
Thankfully Mr. Gleason is the type of teacher that lets the good students do whatever the hell they wanted, as long as they kept testing well. So as the teacher began his daily babbles about the joys of cosine, Quinn leans closer.
"What are people saying about me today?" she demands, her voice a low whisper.
Rachel sits upright, her expression growing concerned. "Meet me in the bathroom in five minutes," she says, before raising a hand to be excused.
Quinn tries not to frown, not liking how ready Rachel (who prizes her perfect grades just as much as Quinn prizes her own) is to bail. It could be Rachel's usual melodramatic nature at play, but Quinn doubts things would be that simple.
Four minutes later, Quinn rises to her feet and goes to the door. Mr. Gleason meets her eyes, but doesn't say anything about her walking out of class. Maybe he hasn't gotten the memorandum that her Cheerio privileges are revoked.
She times it so she's walking in five minutes to the second after Rachel left. Rachel is leaning against the closest sink, her hands full of papers.
"Spill, Berry," she says, deciding to forgo the usual insulting nickname since she wants something. She's still pissed off at Rachel, but that's not going to stop her.
Rachel takes a deep breath, before handing over the stack of papers. Quinn blinks, recognizing several as packets coming from Ms. Pillsbury's stockpile. One is called "Abortion is a Life-Changing Decision" while another is labeled "Someone Else Wants Your Baby."
"What are these?"
"I know you may be very frustrated and angry, but I wanted you to consider the wisdom of having an abortion. I'm a partially adopted child myself, and I'm living proof that there's tons of couples that would want to take your baby if you don't want to raise him or her by yourself. So I ask you on behalf of your unborn child to think carefully before you do anything irreversible. Please don't feel you have to do what Kurt wants, since it's your body and your choice."
It takes her a second to process Rachel's rambling enough to understand. "You think Kurt would try to make me do that?" she asks with horrified disbelief.
"Teen fathers often pressure their partners to have an abortion to avoid the inconvenience of having a child. If you need somewhere else to stay, I'm sure my dads would be happy to put you up."
It should be funny. In less than an hour, she's had two different offers to give her a place away from Kurt. It may be well intended, but it's almost insulting how little Rachel respects Kurt. "Do you really think Kurt is like that?"
"Kurt's ruthless," Rachel says. "I'm the same, so I recognize that nothing will get in the way of his ambition to get out of Lima. He'll do anything to win."
Quinn crosses her arms over her chest. "Kurt's the one who wants to keep the baby the most," she says. "He's a hell of a lot better person than you're giving him credit for."
"Oh." Rachel's shoulders slump. "I thought..."
"Why do you think I'm going to get an abortion?" Quinn asks. She taps the cross that hangs from her neck. "You're smart enough to know I'm pro life."
"Someone saw you leaving Planned Parenthood yesterday with Kurt, and... well, it's all over Jacob's blog."
She shuts her eyes. She is going to kill Kurt for convincing her not to wait and find a real doctor. "Are you really that stupid? Aren't you the one who goes around spouting the joys of safe sex? Planned Parenthood has all kinds of reproductive services, not just abortion."
"Oh." Rachel sounds even meeker. "I didn't think of that."
Quinn considers telling Rachel exactly what else she hasn't been thinking of. Quinn is still royally pissed off at the diva, and her attempt at an intervention just serves to remind Quinn how much she wishes the Barbra wannabe would catch a fatal case of laryngitis.
But Quinn is the one who had instigated this whole mess, so it wouldn't be fair to take her wrath out on Rachel this time. Instead she frowns, deciding that she's going to have to go after the person who really pissed her off.
Rachel sees her expression and swallows. Quinn doesn't notice.
Quinn's breaking all sorts of rules, but she hacks into Jewfro's blog account during her study hall. It only takes her ten tries to guess his password – rachelberrypanties69. It's kind of stupid that it's so easy to guess since he's supposed to be a smart guy familiar with how technology can be exploited, but Jewfro is also a huge perv with one thing on his mind.
It takes her fifteen minutes to type up an article about Sue Sylvester having an unrequited crush on Mr. Schue, and all the "plays" she's making for his attention. She's feels a bit badly about using the Spanish teacher's good name, but it's really all about slamming Coach Sylvester... not that Quinn is resentful of being kicked off the Cheerios. It's just a bonus that the worst thing that any student at McKinley can do is piss off the Cheerios coach.
Then she changes the password into a random stream of letters and numbers, locking Jacob out from deleting the entry easily. It is small and petty of her, but while she may not be the HBIC anymore, she is not going to take any crap lying down.
She's getting into the line in the cafeteria when Kurt comes up behind her, a carefully controlled expression on his face. She tilts her head to look up at him as he steps next to her, cutting off the three freshmen behind her. Usually cutting in the lunch line is a privilege reserved for jocks and Cheerios, but the three members of the AV Club don't make a whimper of protest.
"Did you hear that Jacob Ben Israel has been suspended for a week?" he asks.
It's news to her, although she's not surprised. "Oh?"
"Seems he decided to forgo all hints of self-preservation and post a gossip article about Coach Sylvester and Mr. Schue."
"That was very stupid of him."
"Indeed." He pauses for a long moment, before speaking again. "Mr. Schuester spells his name with a C after the S, by the way."
Quinn blinks, realizing she's been caught out. Then she smiles up at Kurt and says, "I'll try to remember that."
Mr. Schue is back in class. She hadn't heard, since most of her day had been spent correcting people who started to make abortion comments or sneering back at those who sneered at her first.
He's sitting at the front of the room at his desk, but his usual healthy complexion is wan and he looks smaller. There's no smile on his face as the students come in, and none of the eagerness to teach that is one of his trademarks. Mr. Schue is one of the best teachers in school because he gives a damn about the students in his classes. Quinn hates to think she might be the cause of him becoming yet another burnout.
Mr. Schue looks away from her deliberately as she takes her seat in the second row. Quinn feels all the confidence she's gathered since bringing Jewfro down evaporate in an instant.
Before she has a chance to think too much, Kurt sits down next to her. He hangs his bag off the back of his chair, digging into it to pull out a notebook and mechanical pencil. He doesn't say anything, but it's easy to detect why he's there from the glare he gives their teacher. Kurt isn't about to back down on his threat to see Mr. Schue destroyed if he tries to go after Quinn.
The lesson is predictably bland as Mr. Schue tries to make up for a week of missed classes. He gives two extra assignments and a project due next week, apologizing but pointing out that they have to meet the state curriculum guidelines. Quinn tries to pay attention and act like a normal student, but she can't forget the way Mr. Schue had been the last time she'd seen him. Kurt isn't even taking notes, instead spending the time eying the teacher so evilly that if his gaze was a death ray, Mr. Schue would have been evaporated at least three times every minute.
Mr. Schue manages to avoid looking at them the whole period, which is amazing considering the fact they were sitting in front of him.
When the bell rings, Mr. Schue casually dismisses the class, before adding, "Quinn, Kurt? Could you two please stay for a minute?"
There's a hiss of giggles at their expense as the crowd clears out. Mr. Schue shuts the door behind them to keep the next class from entering.
"What do you want?" Kurt asks as soon as the door clicks closed. His voice is sharp and hostile.
"I wanted to apologize for what happened last week, and try to explain a bit," Mr. Schue says. He sounds tired and worn out. "Terri is... she's not well."
"Qué sorpresa," Kurt drawls sarcastically. "What was your first hint?"
"Listen," Quinn says, elbowing him before she has a chance to think about it. Kurt blinks at her, before his eyes narrow dangerously.
Mr. Schue watches their interplay quietly. "I would appreciate it if you'd listen to what I'm telling you. I'm not saying Terri wasn't wrong to make that offer, but I wanted to let you know why."
"I don't care why," Kurt says, rising to his feet and slamming his hands on the desk. "I'm so offended at what she tried to do that what I want is for her to take a long walk off a short pier."
Quinn stands, placing a hand on Kurt's elbow to quiet him. "Give Mr. Schue a chance," she urges, before turning to their teacher. "Why?"
Mr. Schue runs a hand through his hair, before speaking. He talks about Terri having a hysterical pregnancy, and how her sister had encouraged her to "fix" things by finding a baby. He admits that Terri had found out about the pregnancy through him, but he hadn't known what was going on. He tells them that Terri was admitted to a psychiatric ward a couple of days ago, and promises she won't bother them any more.
"I know you two have a lot going on, and I'm sorry that my wife may have made things worse for you," he says. "I would never, never condone what she did."
Kurt is still rigid beside her. She hears the bell ring. She wants to accept Mr. Schue's apology, since it wasn't his fault, but she doesn't want to be the one to speak up first.
"Can you give us late passes?" Kurt says. "We need to think about what you said. We'll see you in Glee later."
Mr. Schue nods, going over to his desk to scrawl out a couple of late passes.