168th and Broadway, quinn/santana
tootruthful


"The café should be half a block up, miss.”

“Thank you so much!” Quinn says, rummaging in her purse for the cab fare on the docket (she’ll be going to Yale on a partial financial aid package this semester- not something she thought would ever happen, but a douchebag father and a real estate agent of a mother in the not-so-booming housing market of Lima does not a fortune make), hoping she has enough for a decent tip.

It turns out she does. She hands it to him, and he thanks her and comments, “You look excited.”

“I am! I’m meeting a good friend.”

And with that, Quinn walks up to the Starbucks on 168th and Broadway.

*~*

Santana is just untying her apron when the Yalie-to-be walks in. She can’t help the grin on her face when the blonde (unfortunately still in a hat phase, but maybe she can work on that) comes towards her.

They hug, exchange pleasantries, and order their drinks.

Quinn picks a table by the window, and Santana follows.

“OK, so…” Quinn scans the café, even though there’s only one guy leeching the Wi-Fi at the other end and Clarisse, the girl that shares her last shift, “um…I have a confession to make.”

“Oh my God. Are you in love with me?”

“What? No! Could you be serious, for like, five sec-“

“I mean, you were so blushy about those spanks when we started out. I always figured you had a bit of lady lov-“

“No!”

“Oh, good. I really didn’t need the drama.”

Quinn fumes, straw folded and bent around her fingers.

“Continue,” Santana allows, licking the whip and caramel drizzle from her frappe off her finger with a  pop.

“I…slept with Puck.”

“Oh…kay. Do you have any juice that’s not, like, so almost 3 years ago?”

“No, I mean…again. After graduation.”

“Q!”

“I knooooww,” she groans, head falling to her hands.

“Don’t tell Rachel,” Quinn adds suddenly, desperately, hands in prayer position.

“Why, did you sleep with her too?”

“Santana!” Quinn hisses, “for the love of God, n-“

“I knew it. You are so gay for Berry!”

“I am not ‘gay for Berry’,” she seethes, finger quote marks included, “I am not gay for anyone. But, if I were gay (good to know the haughty Queen Bee hair toss is still intact, Santana muses) she would be a more likely candidate than you.”

“Oh, fuck that noise. I’m totally hot. You would be climbing all up on this before I could even say ‘hither’.”

“As if! And don’t you mean ‘come hither’?”

“Oh, honey. You would’ve already came.”

Quinn’s cheeks burn at the double innuendo, the blush spreading its way down her neck.

“Walked right into that one, sweetie.”

After gaining composure back, the blonde tilts her head and sweetly says, “I’m going to murder you,” through the teeth of her serial!killer grin.

“Whatever. Hey!” Santana calls out to Clarisse, “are there any goodies we can take home?”

“Erm, not many…just some pumpkin scones.”

Santana arches her eyebrows at Quinn, who scoffs, but gives a decidedly saner smile.

Pumpkin scones and coffee before school was an Unholy Trinity tradition that started autumn of their freshman year at McKinley.

“Mind bagging those up for me and my homegirl here?”

Clarisse nods, so Santana focuses back on Quinn.

“So. How was it?”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” she mumbles, poking and stirring her straw through the leftover ice.

“So it was bad.”

“No.

Santana levels her with a stare.

“Yes,” she admits, “it was bad. Actually, it was terrible. We both agreed on that.”

“Huh.  Really?”

“Why would I lie about that?”

“I don’t know. It’s just…surprising. Puck’s kind of a sexpert. Well, he’s not as good as me, of course, but he’s always been pretty good. “

“So what are you saying?” Quinn snaps.

“Uh…what I just said?”

“Are you saying that it was my fault? That I must just be so bad at sex since he’s so supposedly great at it?” she accuses shrilly.

“No-ooo, that is not what I was saying, my little (here Santana leans over to ruffle Quinn’s hair) repressed weirdo. “

“I hate you.”

“Um…” Clarisse looks down at their table, clutching the paper bag (how long has she even been standing there?), “here are your scones.”

“Thanks,” Santana says, taking the bag. “C’mon, Sweet Ass.  Let’s blow this popsicle joint."

*~*

Quinn nibbles on a scone during their walk to the station, brow furrowed.

“Do you think maybe we’re just not compatible? Like, in that way?” she asks finally.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Santana says with a full mouth, “maaaybe.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

“Or maybe-“

“No, it’s definitely that. ‘Third time’s the charm’ is just for losers that don’t try to make it awesome the first time.”

Quinn considers this.

“Thank you,” she says quietly.

Santana bumps her shoulder against hers, and they continue walking against the setting sun.

~*~


stolen- a santana lopez oneshot
tootruthful
Every morning, she gets up at 6:30 AM.

She puts on one of her many Victoria’s secret sets (and packs a sports bra in her duffel bag), and then zips up her cheer suit.

Then she puts on makeup (always rosy lips, always glossy, always lashes taken up into perfect points, and blush) with a magnifying mirror (to make sure she doesn’t miss a single thing).

She gathers her hair into a high ponytail, and curls it with an iron, then slicks it with serum so it shines.

She becomes a bastion of heterosexuality. She’s a cheerleader— check. She wears make-up—check.  She’s pretty, sexy, and she knows it— check.

If she looked nauseatingly Aryan, like Quinn, it would be easier. She would blend in more at this shortbread-white school.

But still. It works.

Everything about her is feminine. Everything is in place.

This is her armor, and it works.

It’s always worked.

And now, because of him, it’s not going to.

She doesn’t even know what the point of being a cheerleader is anymore.

*~*

She blames Glee, partly.

She’s always been a bitch, so she doesn’t blame herself for that.

But she’s been able to get away with it because no one’s ever had anything to use against her.

Those assholes made her love them. She trusted them enough to sing Landslide with Brittany, to hold pinkies with her for hours. She realized they’d knew what that meant, but she didn’t think anyone would be low enough to use it against her, even though she’d bitched out mostly everyone in the club.

She hates herself for joining. She hates herself for being Quinn’s fucking minion and basically being like “Sure, I’ll sing with this band of misfit toys so that you can keep an eye on your boyfriend, who’s probably going to fuck that Rachel chick anyway, because she’s already half in love with him and she’ll agree with everything he says, unlike you.”

She knew Quinn would make her life hell if she didn’t, and Brittany wanted to do it, and she ended up loving it.

It ended up being, despite herself, the best part of her freaking day. Because of the music, because of the dancing, because of the belonging, because of the energy, because of the spotlight, because of the freedom, because…

Of…those. Assholes.

*~*

She could blame Brittany.

Brittany, for not getting it.

“Sex isn’t dating. If it were, Santana and I would be dating.”

Who says stuff like that?

Brittany, for telling the world in her video she “plays for the other team”.

But at least her parents hadn’t found out about that. She was able to convince Brittany to delete the video. She was able to scare Jacob so badly that he made a retraction of his statement.

And…she can’t blame Brittany. If it hadn’t been Brittany, it would’ve been someone else, something else.

The Freudian slip at Rachel’s party. Lingering glances on girls. Someone taking a picture at one of the many nightclubs she frequented. “I gotta gay.”

That someone would do it with…

Someone just came out and said it.

He’s someone to blame, but it’s more than that.

She had never felt more stripped down before than when he let the words out.

(Even more than that one time that Puck’s mom and little sister had just opened the door to his bedroom when she was lying on his bed…literally so).

The truth does set you free…but not when someone else drops it on the ground like it means nothing.

*~*

Words are powerful. She knows this better than most.

 They cut and pierce, and she has been their expert swordsman many a time.

They set things in motion.

These words, however, won’t just cut her  down— they’ll cut her apart.

From everyone.

*~*

What Finn and that bastard of a politician don’t realize— what no one realizes, probably— is that they’ve committed a far worse crime than “outing” her.

They’ve stolen from her.

They have stolen her right to tell everyone who and what she is; her right to decide where and how and when.

How could they be so heartless?

How could anyone?

*~*

She remembers something, though, as she lets her forehead rest against the porcelain rim of the girls’ toilet.

When life as you know it ends, all it means is that a new life is beginning.

Maybe, eventually , her new life will be better than this one.

For now, it’s all she can hope for.

games that never amount
tootruthful
When she looks back on it, she really didn’t need to go over to his house in the first place.
Yes, he had left his guitar pick in her room, but he probably had others. And even if he didn’t, she could’ve just given it to him at school.
But she knew that if she had forgotten her sheet music (not that she would ever do such a thing), or something else vital like that, she would want it returned to her as soon as possible, before she even realized it was missing (which would be also be impossible).
Well.
They don’t say hindsight’s 20/20 for kicks.

*~*

Rachel pulled her red wool coat closer to her body, shivering at the brisk breeze that braced her cheeks. It was cold, sure, but she had been getting stir-crazy doing homework in her room, and dropping this off for Noah presented the perfect opportunity to do so.
Her thumb slid over the smooth pick in her pocket.
The front yard of his house was covered in leaves. A familiar-looking car was in the parking lot. She swore she’d seen it before, in McKinley’s parking lot...
It could be one of his, well…less unsavory friends.  Maybe she shouldn’t go in…
But no. She wasn’t scared of one of his jock friends. She’d dealt with all their insults and tortures before, and she was already here.
Resolved, she walked up to the porch and knocked on his front door.
He didn’t answer for a minute, so she knocked again, then looked down at her watch to check.
Two minutes.
She bristled with impatience. She could hear music from inside, and she had the niggling feeling (people made fun of her for it, but she really was a little psychic) that he was inside.
Fine, then. He could consider this payback for all the times he jiggled open the locks to her house, all the times he snuck into her room through the window.
But she doesn’t end up needing to fetch the spare key from the bird feeder (where it’s been for the past ten years), because the knob gives on the first try.
Alright then.
Everybody loves a winner; so nobody loved me
It’s quite odd that he’s playing Broadway music.
 (That should’ve been her second clue)
She walked towards the kitchen, where the song’s flowing from, and called out, “Noah, you left your -“
And froze.
Because there’s Noah, and there’s her mother, alabaster skin glowing, and their mouths dancing together and his hand is fisted in her silky black hair and this isn’t happening this has to be a nightmare and what the hell is going on.
She started to say something else (she doesn’t know what) but her voice breaks, and his eyes fly open and he jumps away from Shelby like he’s been burned, and it’s remarkable that in that moment, when her throat is closing up and she tastes something bitter on her tongue, that she remembers, and she throws the pick on the ground (which is as dramatic as anything she’s ever done, really) and bolts out of there.
She heard him call out “Rachel, wait!” (or maybe she just imagined it?) but oh God there’s the cold air that’s bursting through her lungs, finally, and she runs, because she wants to be far, far away from whatever was happening there.
After she’s gone two blocks, she kneels on the sidewalk and her dinner gushes out of her into the bushes.
(She must have a gag reflex after all. Who knew it would take her sort-of friend and birth mother locking lips to activate it?)

*~*

God, he feels like shit.
He gives her a week. She’s all emotional and touchy-feely and never shuts up, so she’ll want to talk about this, right?

*~*

A week passes in which she doesn’t talk to him once. Finn doesn’t mention this, which isn’t a big surprise- dude’s as oblivious as fuck.
But she doesn’t even look at him, really- actually, she does this super-creepy thing that she must’ve, like, practiced or some shit, where she looks at him but not.
Basically, she looks through him, and it kind of makes him feel nauseous.
 (Though that could just be the fact that it’s Nacho Day.)

*~*

“You’ve been avoiding me.”
“Really,” she says slowly, smoothing out her skirt, “what gave you that impression?”
In retrospect, she should’ve never told him that she comes to this park’s treehouse (donated a few years ago by some rich mogul- she should remember, really, because it’s not like Ohio has many) when she wants to get away from it all, but here he is, accusing her, when she should be the one that does the accusing.
And how dare he, anyway, just come up here with no preamble, and sit down on the wood floor with his stupid big jacket (it’s freezing, so he shouldn’t have come for that reason alone) like he belongs here?
“Cut the bull, Rach.”
Sure, that nickname may have melted the edges of her heart before, but not anymore.
“We need to talk about this,” he says.
She studies her skirt intently. There’s a loose thread at the edge. If she tugged it, where would it go? How many tugs would it take for the whole thing to unravel?
“You should at least give me a chance to explain.”
“What’s there to explain?” she asks quietly.
“Just to explain,” he continues, as if she hadn’t said anything, “you owe me that much.”
At that her head snaps up.
“I don’t owe you anything,” she says viciously.
“Now that’s bullshit.”
“I’m leavi-“
“Hey!” he barks, holding her wrist and tugging it gently (which is funny, because his words aren’t), “no, you are not, and given all the times I’ve been there for you-“
“Yeah, you were really there for me when you were sticking your tongue down my mother’s throat.”
He flinches, but he cradles her chin and lifts it up nonetheless.
“I want you to listen.”
She steps back, crossing her arms over her chest.
If he steps a toe out of line, she’s leaving. She doesn’t care. She can do what she wants.
“I was there when all that Finn and Santana shit hit the fan, and I was there when he ditched you at a freaking Christmas tree lot. I was there when you wanted to sing a duet, and I was there when you wanted to let some loser scalpel out your face, trying to do everything I could to keep you from doing so. I was there to buy freaking puppies for Mercedes, and I was there to fix your freaking flat tire, and I was there when you twisted your ankle and we were nine. Given all that, I’d say you owe me a hell of a lot.”
But it’s everything he’s saying- all the true words of all his true actions- that made what he did shake her up so much.
She remembers he told her Quinn said Beth is her “perfect thing”. Noah’s not her “perfect thing”, not by a long shot, but he’s her constant thing. And he has been there.
Except this time, he wasn’t.
She listens anyway.

*~*

It’s a sordid tale, really. And he ends up telling it to not only her (well-not the whole hot-for-teacher part), but the police force.
And so, of course, everything pretty much falls apart.
Shelby drops most criminal charges against Quinn, but she does get a restraining order. She moves with Beth to Columbus after getting a teaching job at OSU, and works out a (very) partial custody agreement with Puck.
He’s able to come up and watch Beth most weekends, though, and it’s not as much as he used to get to see her, but he’s cool with it.
With no director, the “Troubletones” disband. Mercedes, Santana, and Brittany rejoin New Directions.
Quinn is still technically in school, but now she’s enrolled in the “Running Start” program and takes all her classes at the local community college, so she’s never really there.
The rest, as they say, is history.

*~*

Sort of.
They win Sectionals with a duet by Puck and Rachel.
The look they share during “ but you have suffered enough/and warred with yourself: it’s time that you won” is enough.
They are enough.

hearts: the mechanics of the matter
tootruthful
So far, this year has really not gone the way Santana’s planned at all.

For one thing, she totaled her car because some moron swerved into her lane like his ass was on fire, and now she’s driving an old, used Ford instead of Roxanne, her pristine Mercedes Benz, which is now banged up and sitting in the garage till she can afford to get it fixed.

For another, she’s eating Spicy Cheetos with a good shake of Tabasco sauce to speed up her metabolism because her tyrant of a coach weighs them every week.

In addition, she never planned to join cheerleading again, but Britt had offered them joining together as an olive branch after a summer of stilted conversations and ignored calls. She missed her best friend, so yeah, she took it.

Right now she’s driving around because her house is too quiet and big: even if she blasts music, she can hear the not-silence, the hum of the fridge and the heater that spells loneliness and gives her too much room for her own thoughts.

This shitty car, however, is small enough that the music thrums into her chest, and the chill autumn wind blasting through her windows drowns out anything else.

She checks the dash for the time, and figures that her parents are probably done with couples counseling by now.
When she sees the Burger King up ahead, she decides that a Coke slushie would be the perfect remedy to her fiery throat.

*~*

What the fuck is that? Santana thinks as she walks toward her car, bending down to a gross, cloudy brown-red liquid underneath the wheels. She coughs instantly, a burnt odor filling her nose.

“What,” she hisses to the truck, “did you have your period or something?”

When she gets no response, she sighs, gets in her seat, and drives somewhere she really doesn’t want to go.

*~*

Ray loaned this to me,” she bellows while driving, taking intermittent sips from her slushie, “as a favor. He’s a very respectable used car salesman- an oxymoron if I ever heard one… Isn’t that nice, Sanny? It’s already sort of banged up, so if you dent it again, so one will be any the wiser. Who cares if it’s a death trap?”

She pulls in to the autoshop, grateful to see that the lights are on at this hour.

Finn is hunched over some papers near the front, brow furrowed, the way it always is when he reads- dude probably has the reading level of a 4th graders, given all the stupid stuff he says.

“Where’s Burt?” she calls out, careful to walk around the dripping whatever-the-fuck it is.

He looks up, eyes lingering on her longer than is relatively normal.

“Look,” she sighs, “I know I look like crap. Can you get past it and find him to fix my car or whatever?”

So sue her- it’s a Friday. She’s allowed to wear sweats and a sweatshirt, her hair a mess around her makeup free face.

“You don’t- um,” he pauses, putting his pencil on the card table beside him, “he’s not here. He’s on a date with my mom.”

“How adorable,” she says, lip curling a little (whatever, they actually are cute together, but their wedding was not fun for her).

“I work here, though,” he says, pointing at his stitched name tag (God, what a dork), “so I can take a look.”

“Great,” Santana says flatly.

As Finn walks to her car, Santana walks away from it, sitting down in his vacated chair.

“Transmission leak,” he mutters, grabbing a stool and then popping open the hood.

Bored, she sifts through the papers on his table. Most of them have squares and measurements, but some of them have notes: “get 10 feet of cedarwood, 3 cans blue paint, 1 can white for trim”…

“Are you building something?” she asks.

“Yeah…birdhouse. It’s homework for Woodshop.”

Santana laughs. “You have homework in Woodshop? Really?”

“Whatever.”

He’s being entirely boring. Not a surprise, given that it’s Finn, but the not-silence of whatever he’s doing in her engine is just as bad as the not-silence.

With that in mind, she saunters over the passenger side, leaning against it with her elbow, hand tucked in her thick mass of hair.

“So…how’d you get the job?”

“I dunno…,” Finn trails off, taking a damp washcloth out of his back pocket and wiping his forehead, “Burt trained me, and I got, like…good at it.”

“Right. I’m sure that’s it.”

“What?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” she says with a shrug, “I thought it had something to do with the fact that you’re Daddy’s little hetero-he-never-had.”

“Don’t talk that way about Kurt,” he snaps.

“Why not?”
“Because it’s really mean, especially, you know…considering .”

“Considering what, Finn?” she asks, her voice suddenly higher and airy, lips curling like the cat that got the cream but eyes hard as diamonds.

“Considering that you’re…not,” he mumbles, turning back to her engine with sudden intent.

“Not what?”

“I need to jack this up, so could you just-“

“Don’t assume you know anything about me, yeah? Thanks.”

*~*
“What are you doing now?”

“Changing the gasket on your drain plug.”

“You’re, like, filthy.”

“It happens.”

“Were you right?”

“About what?”

“The transmission being all effed up.”

“Yeah.”

“Huh.”

“What?”

“I guess you are actually good at this.”

“Thanks,” he says, a smile dimpling his cheek.

“Are you gonna do this in New York?”

“…noooo.”

“I see.”

“What?”

“Does Rachel know you’re not doing this is New York?”

“I don’t- I’ll probably go with her.”

“And she’s all-on-board with you being an auto mechanic?”

His jaw clenches visibly, smoothing out any vestige of the dimples that indented his cheeks from her compliment.

“Shocker,” she says, flicking her manicured nails against the hood of her car.

*~*

“You look tired,” he mentions as he rings her up.

“So you do think I look like shit.”

“No…actually, I think you look nice- you should wear your uniform less often.”

“Don’t really have a choice about that.”

“Yeah you do. You could quit,” he says, like it’s that simple.

“No,” she says, signing the receipt, “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because.”

“It’s not like you don’t have anything else.”

It’s said with such clarity and innocence that she’s actually a little taken aback.

“Like what?”

“Glee. It’s the best part of your day, right?”

She honestly can’t believe he remembers that. Two years ago. They were sophomores. She took his virginity, Glee Club took her cool factor, Quinn had her baby…it all seems like a lifetime ago, already.

“What’s to keep Schue from kicking me out again?”

“You set fire to the piano, Santana,” he says like she’s an idiot.

“No, actually, I had my minions pour gasoline over the fire and Quinn set fire to the piano.”

“OK, so…I don’t get it. You both got back in.”

“I had to pledge my freaking allegiance. All Quinn had to do to get back in was look like she used to.”

Finn opens his mouth, as if to refute this, but then closes it again.

“Thanks for fixing it,” she says grudgingly, turning around to walk back to her car and get home.

“Wait-“

She shrugs the hand off her shoulder, gets into her car, rolls down the window and snaps, “What?”

“What do you think I should do about Rachel?”

“Talk about it. Don’t talk about it, whatever. But there’s really no use in delaying an inevitable.”

And with that, she peels out onto the road to her less-silent house.

coeur de leon
tootruthful

Different club, same old story, Cordy thought as she walked out of the Raven (an exclusive “adult only” nightclub on the outskirts of Sunnydale- her mature facial features would’ve gotten her in if her chest hadn’t), rummaging through her purse for her blackberry lip gloss.

            “Well, aren’t you a pretty little thing.”

            Cordy looked up from her bag to see the smirking, British vamp the voice belonged to. He was leaning against the wall of the front of the club like he owned the place, arms crossed and muscles bulging against the sleeves of his leather jacket.

            Luckily, her right hand was still in the bag, so she used it to grab the stake she carried there (and no, she didn’t carry one because she was a pathetic little Buffy wannabe- as if- but because she felt safer with the weapon knowing what she knew about the creatures of the night. Also, it came in use when some jackasses got handsy and/or didn’t grasp the concept of “no means no”- except for that one guy who hadn’t been threatened at all and had growled “kinky”…he she had had no choice but to roundhouse-kick in the groin) and pull it out.

            “Easy, love,” he chuckled, throwing his hands up, “I’m full. No worries.”

            He pulled out a lighter and a pack of Menthols from the inside of his jacket, emptying one into his hand.

            “Oh, how rude of me- you want one?”

            Hazel eyes narrowed in suspicion.

            “Fine,” she said coolly, “but you light it. I’m not letting go of this stake.”

            “Don’t trust me as far as you can throw me, eh?”

            “Not even that much…and that’s saying something, seeing that I can throw you pretty damn far.”

            “Oh, really?”

            “Yeah, I’m an athlete.”

            “What’s your sport?” he asked, handing her one. She placed it between her lips and he flicked the end with his silver lighter.

            Cordy held it with her index and middle finger, inhaled, and blew a perfect ring of smoke above her. Spike was impressed (which he rarely was…generally his expression ranged from “completely bored” to “somewhat amused”) that such a young thing even knew how.

            “Cheerleading.”

            Spike nearly choked on his cigarette.

            “Excuse me,” she said prissily, “you don’t get to laugh until you’ve done five rounds of cartwheels, handsprings, and heavy lifting without skipping a beat and a smile on your face. The only reason it’s not officially a sport is because of the goddamn patriarchy.”

            “You’re awfully cheeky, considering I could drain you of blood faster than you can say ‘boo’.”

            She shrugged.

            “Figure if you wanted to kill me, you would’ve by now. Besides, Buffy would see it as a direct message to her, since everything is always about her, and then you’d have to deal with her. Who wants that headache?”

            He stared at her, mouth agape, but it didn’t affect the blasé way in which she took another drag.

            “You don’t hold back, do you, poppet?”

            “Not really. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: tact is just not saying true stuff.”

            Spike pondered that for a bit.

            “You smoke kind of, like…elegantly,” he observed.

            “Maybe…I was a queen in a past life,” she said seriously.

            “I believe it.”

            “Yeah…I don’t really get why so many girls want to be princesses. I mean, I guess I saw the draw when I was younger, how you’d get power but no responsibility...but I think that’d get boring after a while. I’d much rather be a queen. They actually do things.”

            The vampire let his gaze sweep over her: long, tan legs, short, black skirt, silk, red blouse, chestnut waves falling softly around her shoulders, pouty, lipstick-covered lips…her body was developed for a high schooler, but other than that she could’ve been any beautiful girl, except for one thing:  her eyes were different than a typical American teenager’s, for the sharp, crystallized anger of cynicism resided within them.

            “There’s more to you than meets the eye,” he said simply.

            The snort she emitted at his observation was at odds with the languidly graceful way in which she smoked.

            “Well,” she said with a grimace, “you’re the only one who thinks so.”

            They smoked in silence for a while, looking at the parking lot across from them, the moon that hung in the sky among a sprinkling of stars and swirling clouds.

            “So,” he drawled, “what’s new with you?”

            “Well…I got a rebar to the stomach. I’m avoiding my old friends, and I’m avoiding my ex, since he cheated on me with Willow. So, you know… I’ve been better.”

            “Willow…d’you mean the little witch?”

            “The very same.”

            “Figures. It’s always the innocent-looking ones.”

            “Tell me about it.”

            A new, much louder band must’ve started playing inside, as the wall buzzed with the bass. A group of inebriated men opened the doors of the club, shoving each other all the way to their car.

            “You can put that away, you know,” he said, eyeing they weapon.

            “No thanks.”

            “I don’t…I don’t really want to kill you,” he said sheepishly, as if it were an embarrassing confession, “actually, I’ve enjoyed your company so far.”

            She shook her head adamantly. He shrugged, as if to say “suit yourself”.

            “What’s your name again, chit?”

            “Cordelia.”

            “Ah…heart of the lion.”

            “What?”

            “Your name. That’s what it means, near enough. Coeur de leon.”

            “Huh,” she said, considering.

            “I like that,” she decided.

            “Thought you might.”

            Cordelia flicked the remainder of her cig in the ashtray on top of the garbage can before tossing the rest in.

            “I gotta get home, so I should probably-“

            “I’ll walk you to your car.”

            “Alright.”

            The pair walked to her cherry Corvette.

            “You know…” he said finally, “just because we had some nice chitchat doesn’t guarantee I won’t kill you later.”

            “Whatever,” she sang.

            He almost snapped her neck right then and there for her insolence, but before he could even finish that thought she had sped away.

            Despite himself, he laughed at her license plate.

            “Queen C”, indeed.

           


chocolate stout and unlikely lovers
tootruthful

“I know you like reading, but doing it at a bar is just plain antisocial.”

Quinn looks up from her book on Gaelic mythology to see the identity of her accuser.

“Oh my God!” she squeals, sliding out of her booth, “Artie?!”

They hug tightly, and she helps lift him off his wheelchair and holds his hands as he slides in the seat across from her.

Since they haven’t seen each other in years, they both ask what the other is doing here. Quinn tells him she signed up for a study abroad program in college and simply never left Dublin. Artie says he’s been travelling through Europe with Puck this summer.

“How do you know I like reading?”

“I dunno…you always had a book out during Glee. And you were usually reading something that wasn’t a textbook under your desk in class.”

She had no idea he had noticed that much.

He asks her what’s good here and orders a round of her recommendation (chocolate stout…she didn’t even know she liked any kind of beer till she came here).

*~*

Quinn and Artie talk well into the night. At some point Puck joins them and exchanges pleasantries, but he’s soon distracted by a chesty barmaid in traditional costume.

She really does look great. She’s glowing, her hair tied back and no makeup on her face, but in his opinion she’s never looked more radiant. He always sensed she didn’t really like Lima all that much, that she felt trapped by its expectations.

She tells him that he looks good, but he’s pretty sure she’s just saying that to be nice. Besides some errant stubble, his appearance hasn’t really changed; it’s not like he can get any taller when he’s always sitting down.

~*~

…she asked me if I wanted to go to her place for coffee

Artie’s phone buzzes a minute later.

“Sorry,” he says sheepishly.

Quinn waves her hand, grabbing another chip off his plate

Oh man, the text from Puck reads, ur not coming back to our hotel 2nite

*~*

He doesn’t, it turns out.

Neither of them have any coffee at all, actually, until that morning.

*~*

Artie spends the next three nights in Quinn’s bed.

*~*

“We’re taking the EuroRail to Scotland tomorrow,” Artie murmurs after kissing her collarbone, “you should come.”

Quinn freezes, then rolls out of bed, pulling the shirt on her bedside back over her head.

“I think you should leave,” she says quietly.

*~*

I’m not going to drop my life here for you on a moment’s notice. We’re not there yet.

Of course she tells him this over text.

Still…it’s more than he expected. Given the last conversation they had, he figured they weren’t going to speak at all until an awkward encounter at their 10th high school reunion.

Do you want to get there at some point?

I don’t know, Artie…I haven’t been in a relationship since high school. That’s a LONG time.

OK. Neither have I.

OK.

“OK” is better than nothing.

He’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but he really hopes this ends up working out.







too many white russians
tootruthful





“You really need to stay away from White Russians.”

“You know vhat?” Rachel slurs, giggling at her own faux-Russian accent, “I vorked hard. I deserved vem.”

Puck sighs, tightening his grip around her waist as he tries to walk her up the stairs.

“Can’t argue with that, babe.”

“So many people wanted to sign at the after-party, Noah…I couldn’t say no to them. I’ve been practicing my autograph since kindergarten.”

“I know.”

“I can’t even begin to des- Shit!” she yelps, her stiletto banging against one of the stairs, “why don’t we have a goddamn elevator here?”

“Ssshhh.”

*~*

He had to undress and dress her, but she’s finally in bed in her flannel pajamas.

She does, however, refuse to sleep.

“What if it wasn’t good?”

“You were amazing,” he reassures, getting under the covers next to her and lacing her fingers with his.

“I mean, a debut can make an impression. If it was bad, I may never get work again, and I don’t know how to do anything else.”

“Rachel…trust me, it was incredible. I don’t even like musicals, but I liked this.”

“Yes, but you’re biased. What do you think other people thought?”

“Well…no one I saw was falling asleep.”

“Did anyone cry?”

“A few old ladies, yeah.”

“Okay. That’s good.”

She moves over to turn off the bedside light, then snuggles into his chest and says good night.

He kisses the top of her head.

When he can hear the heavy breathing of her sleep, he tells her that he loves her.

Maybe eventually he’ll man up enough to tell her when she’s awake.


moon river and me
tootruthful


It’s 30 minutes before the first Glee practice, and Rachel is busy at the piano in the music room. She’s really glad Brad wasn’t there when she came in, because last time she came and asked him if he would mind letting her play he looked at her as if he was willing her brain to explode.

She has so many ideas about what they should sing at Sectionals and Regionals that she doesn’t even know where to begin. Honestly, she’s been mapping out the group’s road to stardom (she finished her individual path years ago) since summer started, but she doesn’t know if she should tell them that.

Even though Rachel knows they’d never do a song that short, she starts playing Moon River to get the juices flowing. She bawled like a baby when she watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Finn, but he seemed rather unaffected.

The door opens. Rachel doesn’t look up from the piano.

“Who is it?” she asks.

“Maybe you should look up and see.”

Rachel’s hands freeze on the keys. She would recognize that voice anywhere.

“No,” Shelby says, her hand squeezing Rachel’s shoulder, “don’t stop playing. It was good. One of my favorites, actually.

What makes her think she can just touch her? What makes her think that after months of no contact and the years before the first one, that she has any right to tell her what to do?

“What are you doing here?” Rachel asks flatly.

“I…would you please look at me?”

As far as Rachel’s concerned, her biological mother is just another person in her life that decided that she’s not worth staying for.

“Why?” she asks bitterly, and adds, “You never did.”

But against her will (or so it seems), Rachel turns and does look into her dark, confused eyes. She’s biting her lip, like she’s guilty (which she should be), and her arms hang at her side like a disappointment.

She can’t deal with this, so she leaves, hoping that by the time Glee starts, she’ll have left.



(no subject)
tootruthful

“Okay…now you can take it off.”

Tina pulls off her blindfold (she can’t believe she let him drive her the whole way here like that) and is absolutely stunned by the site before her.

The pool is covered with floating paper lanterns (she and Mike have watched Tangled together at least a dozen times, and she will bitch-slap anyone that gives her weird looks for that… just because she’s Asian and Goth doesn’t mean she’s not allowed to enjoy a Disney movie that revolves around a white, blonde princess and Mulan). A “Congratulations” banner is draped across the scoreboard and there are lanterns up and down every seat on the bleachers.

When she had told him about the scholarship she she was awarded for RISD, he had only offered a sad smile, a hug, and said “I’m happy for you.”

She had no idea that he had been this happy.

“Do you like it?” he asks, his hands in his pockets.

“Are you kidding?” she asks, capturing him in a hug, “Mike, I love it!”

*~*

They change into swimsuits and swim and make out for hours. When they get tired, he opens his cooler and pulls out cookie and cream ice cream (her favorite), and they eat it while sitting on a raft.

He’s so good to her, she’s afraid of how much she’s going to miss him.



soft kitty: a puck/rachel oneshot/drabble
tootruthful

“Noah, wake up!”

Rachel’s husband didn’t stir. Sighing, she shook his bare shoulder and called his name more, hoping that would awaken him.

Still, nothing.

She leans down and covers his mouth with hers. She can’t help smiling when she feels the corners of his lips turn up.

“Morning,” he says, pulling her down on the bed with him.

“Actually- stop that!” she stops her point to slide his hand out from under her shirt, “it’s 5 past noon, and you need to get up.”

“No, I don’t. It’s Sunday. Day of rest and all that.”

“Yes, you do. And no, it’s not. We’re Jewish. And how is Sunday the day of rest for Christians, anyway? They have to get up at-”

Puck moves the covers so that they’re up over both of them

“What are you do- oh.”

“You were saying?” he asks, continuing his trail of kisses up her stomach.

“Um…they have to get up at 6 to listen to some insipid priest….drone on….and on about absolution, or, um…Protestantis…is…”

“You really need to stop talking.”

“Why?” she asks breathily.

“I’m naked, you’re not, and clearly we need to fix-“

“No!” she shouts, snapping out of bed and buttoning up her shirt, “no, we don’t. You need to get ready because Finn and Brittany are going to be dropping off Raine any minute now.”

“Why would they do that?” he grumbles, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.

“Because Finn is proposing today –“

“Took him long enough.”

“-and we agreed to watch Raine until they got back. Honestly, Noah, you were there when we said yes. And take a shower!” she yells as she leaves their bedroom.

“It’s gonna be a cold one!” he yells back.

Fucking mornings.

Or afternoons.

Whatever.

*~*

An hour later, they agree not to go outside because of the snow. It falls softly outside their window (or it would if it weren’t for the honking cars below), and Raine loves it, pressing her nose up against the glass and doodling across the condensation.

*~*

Puck turns the TV on (it’s Big Bang Theory time, and he and Rachel have always had a soft spot for it, given that it was one of the only things that made his mom laugh when she was in the hospital going through cancer treatment. She’s okay, now, though: as she told them, “God won’t let me die before getting to see my grandchildren. “ Apparently He had listened.

But that’s a whole other story)

Raine and Rachel remain engrossed with blocks on the floor until the Soft Kitty scene.

Soft Kitty is for when you’re sick, and you’re not sick.

Injured and drugged Is a kind of sick, Penny responds to the laugh track.

Raine claps her hands and giggles in delight when Penny and Sheldon sing the song.

*~*

Puck and Rachel are reading the newspaper (or, Rachel is, while Puck circles any good reviews and cuts them out and puts any reviewers that don’t give her good ones on his shit list, despite her insistence that  it “really isn’t necessary”) when Raine wakes up from her nap, crying.

For a good while, nothing works. She won’t eat, her diaper’s clean, rocking her doesn’t seem to help, and Puck’s ready to scream himself.

Rachel takes her from his arms and starts singing.

Soft kitty, warm kitty

Little ball of fur

Happy kitty, sleepy kitty,

Purr, purr, purr

Not surprisingly, it works.

As much as he loves when she pours her heart out in front of an audience, he almost likes her singing like this better, because it’s only for him.

*~*

When Rachel sees him holding Raine and feeding her from a bottle, she feels like her heart’s going to explode.

*~*

Finn and Brittany (with a new ring on her finger and a glow on her face) come to pick their daughter up around 5.

After they say their goodbyes and congratulations and Finn and Brittany close the door behind them, Rachel turns to Puck.

“We can do this,” she says with determination in her eyes.

He almost does a double-take, it’s so like that moment when he was 16.

But then he reminds himself that it’s not like that at all, actually, because neither of them are dumb kids( and yeah, Rachel was a dumb kid, even though she was really school smart, because she was dumb about other stuff…Finn comes to mind first) and she chose him first and she’s the one saying it(even though he was thinking it) and because, most importantly, she’s Rachel.

She’s Rachel and he’s Puck and they can do this.


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