A/N: Dialogue that is completely in italics means it's not in English. Should be obvious, but thought I'd note it anyway.


Rachel sighed. It had been over five minutes, and still no one had attempted to say anything. "Everyone, I'm not… Going to eat you," she offered, trying to catch everyone's gazes, "Nor am I going to do any of what Hollywood is making you fear I am going to do." She smiled, "I'm still me."

"…If you is a complete lie…" Finn spoke up, concentrating on something to his right. His brows drawing together, he lifted his gaze to look at her, "I'm sorry, Ra – a, but how are we supposed to react?"

Small shoulders shrugged up, and Rachel laced her hands on her knee. "I… Don't know. I'm out of my element here, you know. You guys are the first… Well, humans I've told. And even then it wasn't by…" She lowered her voice, looking away, "By choice."

"Are you afraid?"

"What?"

"Are you afraid?" Brittany repeated, "Of us? I'd be afraid if I was the only different one in the room."

Rachel stared at her, then swallowed. She shrugged again. Red appearing on her cheeks, she pushed her hair behind her shoulder and smiled hesitantly. "I am."

"Wait…" Santana scowled. "You're… Afraid of us? You're the fuckin' monster."

Rachel flinched. "Please, don't call me that. I can understand how you can be confused and… And scared, but what can I say or do to make you guys realize I haven't changed at all? That's it's really not a problem that you know and I'm not going to do anything to… To ensure your silence?"

From where he was between Sam and the drummer, Artie slightly rolled forward enough to catch her attention. "How do we know you're telling the truth?"

"Have I ever lied?" Rachel asked, then immediately flushed and held up her hand, "Don't answer that. Okay. Aside from crack houses and humanity and sleeping with Jesse, have I ever lied?"

His chin on his hands with his elbows on his knees, Mr. Schuester stared at her. "You're asking a lot, Rachel."

Nodding, but before she could respond, Mercedes, who had been hugging her backpack to her chest, spoke up, "Is that even your name?"

A real smile tugged at Rachel's lips. "Yes, though it's been heavily accented in your language. It's not so much different than my birth name, however, so – "

"Your language?" Sam took a seat and leaned forward, interest making his face brighten, "You have your own language? Is it anything like Na'vi?"

"Yes." She nodded, then shook her head, "No. More like the Quenya language of Middle Earth." Mike, Tina, Brittany, Sam, and Artie all nodded in comprehension, while Puck leaned over towards Quinn, "What?"

She glared at him. "Lord of the Rings."

"Oh. Then why didn't she just say that?"

Quinn didn't even bother answering. Instead, she narrowed her eyes at Rachel. "So…" she started, her cool voice cutting through the speech Rachel had been mentally working in her brain, "Last week, when you were singing, you were actually – "

Rachel blushed deeply. "You saw that?" she quickly interjected, holding up her hand to tell Quinn to stop talking, please, "Yes. As I said, it's my second phase, so when I don't concentrate hard enough, I have… Hiccups."

"Water helps," Brittany smiled, "Especially when you drink it upside down."

"Thank you, Brittany. I'll be sure to keep that in mind. Okay, okay, please, wait just a second." Sitting up straight, Rachel collected everyone's gazes again, "This will go so much easier if you just write down your questions. I'll be happy to answer everything I can. Mr. Schuester?" She turned to him, "I formally apologize for taking up this valuable class time with my personal issues. However, as I can imagine that nothing would get done until some sort of clarity is gained, I feel it is better to get the questions out of the way so they do not clutter up later class sessions."

Mr. Schuester slowly nodded. Clearing his throat, he reached behind him and felt for his briefcase he'd grabbed in his mad dash. "That sounds like a good idea…" he smiled faintly.

"Who has paper?" Santana demanded, "Seriously? People. Who has paper?"

Kurt exchanged wide eyed glances with Mercedes. "So many questions…" he breathed, accepting the pen Mercedes handed him.

"That's for sure," Mike muttered, picking up a downed chair and righting it before letting Tina sit down in it.

Keeping a smile on her face for whomever looked up at her as papers shuffled, pencils and pens flying around the room as both the glee club and jazz band shared whatever amenities they had around them in the form of scattered backpacks and binders, Rachel could feel her normally quiet second heart fluttering behind her main one. Resting her fingers over where it was situated, she started humming. Making sure to keep it at a lower level so that it wouldn't be too noticeable, she let her mind wander.

"Uhh…" Tina cleared her throat a couple of minutes later, "Where… Where do you want the questions?"

Blinking herself back into focus, Rachel smiled and motioned at the chair farthest away from where they were sitting, "Feel free to drop them there and I'll pick them up when enough have been amassed. As well, I encourage you all to continue writing down questions if and when they come to you, so don't feel obligated to know what you want to know right away."

That finished, Rachel went back to her humming, turning her attention to tightening up the binding that kept her together. She couldn't believe she had been so careless as to allow herself to fall apart like that – at least it was only one out of the seven phases her species went through that affected her physiology so.

"Rachel?"

Rachel looked up, then smiled. "Brittany?"

The blonde looked confused, holding out her cell phone. "Lord Tubbington wants you to call him."

"Oh?"

"I texted him about your pickle question."

Ohh. "Okay," Rachel nodded, reaching out to take the phone, "I'd be happy to talk to him." Probably about time, she thought; to be truthful, she should have been paying more attention to the tall blonde's tales of her cat. Ah well, the past was the past. Putting the phone up to her ear after hitting the Call Contact button, Rachel turned her body away from the rest of the occupants of the room, and, acutely aware of their hot stares and straining ears, she greeted the answering "Meow?" with a polite, "Mrow ma."

"Mrow ma! The girl was correct. Greetings, satyrn."

"Indeed she was. Greetings, shadeling. It is my honor to speak to you." Adding the extra inflection into her speech that denoted respect after easily transitioning into the Terran dialect of the shadeling language, she tilted her head to the side, "Forgive me, but would you mind if I changed to English? I have people who are easily unnerved around me." And goodness knows Rachel speaking in growls and mews wasn't unnerving.

"Oh, of course not. I shall join you." The raspy voice of Lord Tubbington sounded a little out of practice, and Rachel could imagine him trying to form the words with his cat muzzle. Shadelings, unlike Rachel's species, were more closely tied to their assumed forms. "However, I was only calling in hopes of inviting you and your… Family, I'm assuming?"

"Mmhm," Rachel smiled, "My unit is with me."

Lord Tubbington made a pleased noise. "Excellent! Do you suppose we could schedule a time to rendezvous? While Brittany is a wonderful girl, she is still human."

Rachel nodded, understanding his statement. "Say no more. I believe my unit would be quite happy to make more acquaintances. The Berræ-dan are always happy to network."

"And the Tubbîn-tun are always happy to reciprocate." Letting out a happy purr, the cat added that he'd provide the pickles, asked her to bring the tea, and wished her a good day.

"Good day to you as well." Grinning widely, Rachel hung up. It wasn't very often she met another completely integrated citizen, and definitely, for being a shadeling, he was very lucky to have a cover like Brittany. Perhaps, she mused, loosely cupping the phone in her hands as she studied the blonde across the room, with Brittany's willingness to accept the different, Rachel had one guaranteed supporter. Her eyes strayed to the brunette next to her, and Rachel sucked her lip into her mouth. She knew she had a lot of work to do to get the support of the girl whose support she wanted the most of all.