Alright... I really have no excuses. I'm sorry I dropped off the Earth. I'm sorry I disappeared and left you all hanging. I'm sorry it's taken me forever to write up this chapter and it isn't even very long or very good. I'm going to try and continue this story to the best of my abilities, but my muse seems to have flown out a window and not looked back. *sigh*

But beyond my frustrated and depressed rambling, thank you to everyone who has continued to read this fic and to everyone who has messaged me or reviewed for more and to everyone who hasn't given up on me. It seriously means a lot that you all like my fic enough to stick with it, even after months and months of nothing. So I'll just place the usual authors note and let you get on with it.

AN: I don't own Glee, I don't own any of the songs mentioned, I just own my AU universe of the show.

Quinn watched from her position leaning against the sink – which she'd been extradited to after attempting to assist Rachel in her clean up and being pointedly told to "let her handle it" - as Puck crashed through the door into the girls' bathroom, followed almost immediately by Santana and Brittany. Catching sight of the shivering brunette attempting to wash multiple colors of slushy out of her hair in the sink with one arm, they stiffened.

"Who?" Puck growled.

"Doesn't matter, Noah."

"Karofsky, Asimio, some freshman named Josh," she paused to take a breath, hissing out the last person, "and Finn."


"They're dead." The trio sprinted out of the room, leaving Rachel to sigh and continue cleaning herself off.

Quinn stepped up beside her once again. "Let me help, please."

Rachel simply shook her head once again, knowing the endeavor would be useless, even with help. "I need a shower. Walk with me to the girls' locker room?" Quinn nodded, following the brunette out of the bathroom and down the hallway, towards the locker room.

Entering the always slightly humid room, Rachel reached up with her good arm, ignoring the discomfort her opposite shoulder gave her from the stretch and unclipped the strap holding her sling in place. As she started to slip it off, a strong pale hand came up to help support her elbow and pull the material away gently. Once the sling was out of the way, Quinn slowly lowered Rachel's forearm, so as not to cause any more stress on the injury, before stepping completely in front of her and starting to unbutton the singer's shirt without really thinking about it. She'd helped other girls with similar injuries, Coach Sylvester didn't even let injuries stop her Cheerios from attending practice, though she had them sit on the sidelines just so she could berate them throughout it.

"Quinn," Rachel almost squeaked out, swallowing thickly and feeling her face start to burn slightly with a fiery blush. "I think I can get my own clothes off."

Pausing in her work after the last button was popped free, the blonde pulled back, flushing slightly as the shirt fell open, revealing the bruised, but still completely smooth skin and taunt abs it had been hiding. Clearing her throat, she took a step back, turning her head so she wouldn't be tempted to continue staring and fighting her own rising blush.

"Right, uh… sorry." The cheer captain mumbled, catching her bottom lip between her teeth.

Recovering from her momentary lapse in composure, mostly due to the fact that she'd fantasized far too many times about Quinn stripping her (for entirely different reasons), Rachel felt a small smirk quirk up one side of her mouth at the other girl's reaction. "No need to apologize, Q." She replied softly. "It's not like I really mind having your hands on my body, it's just," she hesitated, unsure of how much might be too much to say and end up pushing the cheerleader away. Shaking her head with a silent 'fuck it,' she continued. "I don't think you realize how much control it's taking me to not just kiss you right now."

Quinn's jaw dropped slightly at the bold words, eyes locked on the serious, though slightly amused chocolate pair in front of her. "I- I- I uh," she stammered, eyes lowering to glance at rosy, soft looking lips unintentionally. Watching the movement, Rachel arched a brow and slid her tongue out to run slowly along her bottom lip, almost teasingly. It caused the blonde's mouth to dry and a surge of heat to run through her body, making her quickly glance away, becoming fascinated with the lockers.

"Relax, blondie. I'm not going to jump you or anything. Unless you wanted me too," she mumbled the last part to herself, but obviously wasn't quite quiet enough, as a fiery blush spread down from the tips of Quinn's ears to her cheeks. Chuckling to herself, Rachel slipped off her shirt, letting it drop to the floor, not caring about how dirty it got, the slushy having soaked through and ruined it already. She tugged at her sports bra, hissing as it moved against her shoulder sharply. Glaring at her practically useless arm, she attempted to force it up, only to bite back another pained sound.

Hearing the small, suppressed noises coming from the smaller girl, Quinn's head whipped back around and a mixture of worry and sympathy passed over the cheerleader. Sighing quietly, she walked back over to the struggling teen and placed a hand on her arm lightly. "Thought you could get your clothes off yourself, eh?" She murmured, before carefully helping to maneuver the slush-wet, material off of her good side and then over and down her injured arm. She did her best to avert her gaze from the brunette's chest, cheeks burning an even brighter red.

"Stupid, useless piece of meat," Rachel muttered, continuing to glare at her arm as if her angry look would make it heal faster. She seemingly had no shame in being half naked in front of Quinn, making no attempt to cover up. Instead she reached her hand down to her jeans and popped the button, tugging down the zipper and shoving the material down her legs. She winced as she leaned over to remove them completely, leading the blonde to push her back upright and help tug off her shoes, socks, jeans and boy shorts, once more keeping her gaze averted from anything that wasn't appropriate. Offering a quiet, resigned thank you, Rachel walked to her locker and popped it open with a few twists of her wrist. Quinn took advantage of the other girl's turned back, letting her eyes trace unabashedly over the smooth, golden tan skin in front of her. It also had a few mottled bruises, which made the taller girl frown in concern, but her gaze only halted as she reached the curve of her ass, stopping herself from becoming a complete pervert. Glancing away, she folded her arms over her chest and moved to lean against the wall by the door.

"You can go, you know." Quinn's eyes shot to Rachel at the brunette's words, breath coming a bit easier as she noticed that the smaller girl had wrapped a towel around herself, making the view considerably less distracting. Her brow lowered once again as she registered the words spoken to her.


"You can go," Rachel repeated, "if you want. I know you hate missing class. Santana and Brittany will come by once they're done beating up those four idiots, so long as they don't get expelled or suspended for doing so. They can help me get dressed after I shower, since I obviously really am invalided to an extent." She glared at her injured arm once more, before looking back up. "I'm really grateful that you helped me, but I'm okay now. So if you wanna leave, I'll see you in class later." Without waiting for a response, she disappeared into the shower area, the clicks of a stall opening and closing echoing in the spacious room.

Quinn blinked, Rachel's almost dismissal resounding in her head. It was true that the blonde hated missing any classes, mostly because she severely disliked being behind, as well as having to work doubly hard to make up for the missed time. With it being their junior year, everything was more important and she was in a lot of AP classes. Even so, she wasn't planning on leaving the diva badass to try and take care of herself; even if she was positive Brittany and Santana were going to come by, like the girl said. She settled down on a bench to wait, pulling her phone out and clicking open her Candy Crush app. She felt a smile spread across her face as she heard singing start up in the shower. It shrank however, at the tone of the music. It was definitely a rather angry performance, a fierce rendition of One Step Closer.

Ten minutes later, Rachel's words and Quinn's belief were confirmed, Brittany and Santana coming through the door, both with satisfied, though still angry expressions on their faces. The HBIC didn't miss the mottled bruises on her friends' knuckles and felt a small amount of satisfaction at the fact that the four assholes had gotten their due. They looked slightly surprised to see Quinn there, but didn't comment. Settling on either side of their fellow Cheerio, they looked towards the shower. Rachel had transferred from Linkin Park to Green Day, with Platypus. Surprisingly it was Santana that sighed and shook her head.

"A janitor is already trying to clean off her locker, but the spray paint is proving difficult." The Latina's words were quiet, conscious of the fact that the shower could shut off at any moment. Quinn knew it might take some time however, since Rachel's arm was giving her so much difficulty.

"Do we know if those same douchebags are the one that did it? And tell me they're at least investigating it. Rachel deserves some justice. Well, more than you three just gave her."

Santana arched a brow at Quinn, snorting incredulously, but it was Brittany who replied. "Please, like anything actually gets looked into in this place." Quinn was surprised at the bitterness in the words from the usually bubbly dancer. Her brow furrowed and she felt a growl build in the back of her throat. This was complete bullshit.

"I'm not surprised." Three heads shot up and looked towards the shower entrance, seeing Rachel leaning against the frame with her good shoulder, towel wrapped around her body and chocolate locks darker from water and dripping down her chest and shoulders. There was a blank, almost resigned expression on her face. "I see you two didn't get caught or suspended. I'm not going to even try to scold you for it, I know it won't do any good and I'd rather not waste my breath. Is Noah in class?" She wandered to her locker once again as she waited for the answer, returning the shower items and pulling out a pair of sweatpants and a tank top, along with underwear. Quinn stood to offer her help and Rachel made no protests this time, allowing her to help pull on the clothing, followed by the sling.

"No, he skipped in favor of the gym." Santana's reply sounded like she was almost envious, like she wanted to be there too, laying into a punching bag and imagining that it was Finn or one of the other three jocks' faces, making them look worse than they now did.

Rachel frowned, shaking her head. "He shouldn't miss classes this near to the start of the year," she muttered to herself. "I'll go talk to him."

"Is that wise? I mean you still haven't talked through your little Club secret."

"No Santana, maybe not, but it has to be done." Santana looked like she wanted to protest, but grudgingly kept her mouth shut. "You three should get to class." The sentence was phrased as a suggestion, but Rachel's tone was one that dared them to try and argue. "You need the grades in order to stay on the Cheerios and be considered for scholarships." None of the girls could refute that argument.

Standing up in unison, Brittany and Santana linked pinkies and let their eyes linger on Rachel for a minute. At her half shrug and nod, they left without a word.

"You too, Quinn."

The blonde stared at the other girl for a few moments, almost scrutinizing her. Rachel squirmed slightly under the look; feeling like it was stripping away the walls she was attempting to build up once again. "Thank you for protecting me," she finally said. "I didn't really deserve it, after everything I put you through." Shame colored her tone at that and Rachel was quick to reassure her.

"No, Quinn," she replied gently, hand coming to cup the Cheerio's face and tilting it up from where her eyes had dropped to the ground, making them lock eyes. "I forgave you for that the minute it happened. In some ways I deserved it, after all, I am the one who pursued Finn. Even if I had completely different motives for doing so than you thought, it was understandable for you to lash out." Leaning in, Rachel pressed a lingering kiss to the blonde's cheek, before pulling away and moving towards the door. "Now get to class, blondie. I've already caused you to miss enough for one day."

Quinn stared after the diva as she exited the room, a hand coming up to touch her cheek, feeling it burn slightly from the blush that had formed under Rachel's actions. Finally, she shook away her stupor and followed after the girl, turning the opposite way from where Rachel was headed, glancing over her shoulder once and seeing her disappear into the workout room, before moving towards her class.

Rachel didn't look surprised as she found Noah laying into a punching bag, making the heavy container swing on its chain.

"Hit it any harder and you'll have to pay to replace that thing." He ignored her words, except to lay into the bag even harder than before. "Noah, stop. You'll hurt yourself."

"You're one to talk," he grunted out, giving one last punch to the bag, before wrapping a tired arm around the bag and leaning against it. He glared half-heartedly at the girl, concern overpowering his anger.

Rachel sighed, dropping to sit on a workbench and wincing as the movement jostled her arm. "I'm sorry for worrying you," she mumbled quietly.

The mohawked boy snorted. "But not for doing it," he finished for her and she shrugged. It was the truth, she wasn't sorry for what she did. It was what she needed and in her mind the pros of it drowned out the cons. "Typical," Noah muttered. "You could've at least told me what was going on."

Rachel echoed his snort and stared straight at him. "Like you would've let me go through with it if you'd known." He couldn't refute the statement and settled for looking away, locking eyes on the wall. Sighing once again, she stared down at her hands. "What do you want me to say, Noah? I did what I had to do."

"Yeah yeah." He dropped down beside the girl, wrapping an arm around her waist, since he was wary of putting weight on her shoulders. She leaned into him, head resting on the boy's chest, not caring how sweaty he was. "Just… don't scare me like that again, please." The pleading in his tone gave away how truly worried he was about Rachel's wellbeing and made the brunette's heart clench. She nodded, not trusting herself to speak without her voice cracking. Both of them knew it wasn't a promise, shit happened and sometimes she just needed to pull stupid stunts to keep her sanity, but it was enough for him for the time being.

Standing, she offered her hand to the boy. "Come on, you need to go to class and so do I. We can't afford possible failure, we've got plans for the future, remember? That includes graduating."

He groaned in protest, but it was all a show. Taking Rachel's hand, he pulled himself to his feet and then let go, heading to the boys locker room. "Let me shower, I kind of smell." Chuckling, Rachel nodded in agreement, settling down to wait for her JewBro.

So there you have it, chapter 10. Some definite Faberry tension and Puckleberry friendship of the closest caliber (though this doesn't necessarily mean the upsetness over what Rach did is over). As I said, definitely not my best work and not a very long chapter for how long I was away. But at least it is something. If anyone has an idea of where I should take this, don't hesitate to PM me, I've got a few small ideas, but nothing too concrete.

Again, thanks for sticking with me and I hope you Read and Review, though you don't have to.

- Cassicio