DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To rsietz[at]gmail.com
Emperor of Maladies
She didn't remember how the lights felt unusually bright that day in the bathroom. She'd been cleaning herself off, scooping chunks of slushie out of her shirt when she rubbed against her breast and noticed how it felt unusually tender. It's the ice, she reasoned, without a blink of worry or concern. My period is in two days. All perfectly logical. A change of shirt, quick blow-dry so her hair was presentable, and it was back to class like normal.
Except normal doesn't usually include a mastectomy six months down the line and a night of being drunk and making out with Quinn Fabray at Puck's "We'll Miss You Left-Tit Berry" party. A numb moment alone amidst the debauchery had her crying in the corner of Puck's kitchen, when cool hands fanned against her back, curled in her hair, and pulled her into a hug that lasted for too long. That was all it took to break Quinn; a broken Rachel.
Now here they were.
A hot mouth trailed up her stomach and Rachel felt hands everywhere. But Rachel wasn't anywhere. She didn't know where she was. She jittered out of her body. She was in pieces, shattered and was barely held together by the threads of her own skin. Parts of her were in the clouds, the rain, the couch she sat on. Rachel felt herself vibrate in the air around her. She hadn't been able to settle down in ages. Not since the chemo. It drugged her body and she hadn't been able to settle in it since. It was wrong. It didn't feel like her body. She was stuck in a foreign body suit that was made for someone else. She didn't know where Rachel Berry had gone.
It didn't even matter, really, because she didn't want that Rachel Berry back.
She felt cool hands running along her sides, gripping tightly, her flesh pulling like Bernini's Persephone. This Rachel had Quinn's tongue swirling hotly in her ear and Quinn's heart burrowing into her own. New Rachel had hands on her hips, on her thighs, on the small of her back. Quinn was weighing her down - anchoring herself to her body.
They started small, after the surgery: intertwined hands gripping tightly. Kisses and pecks when chemo started. It's been building up; all the touches and feelings.
Because Rachel could barely stand to have her own body be violated and poisoned, let alone subject Quinn to it. She wanted to cloak Quinn from all of that.
Only after her hair started growing back did she allow Quinn to touch her. To really touch her.
And now here they were.
Rachel figuring out how to be Rachel again, Quinn tethering her to herself. With touches and fingertips and oh-
She gasped and looked down.
Quinn's whole body was still, eyes focused on her chest. Her chest. The scar didn't hurt anymore- just a thick line of skin like rope where her left breast used to be. It was a strange detachment. Rachel gulped thickly as Quinn placed a palm on her chest and closed her eyes to the tears that threatened to fall.
Her eyes fluttered open, and found hazel eyes looking up at her with a fierceness she hadn't yet wanted to see.
"Don't," Quinn repeated.
Her eyes bore into Rachel's like a laser beam. Like the goddamn lasers that cut out her breast. She swallowed and let out a whimper as Quinn closed her eyes, wrapped her arms around Rachel's back, and laid her head gently down on top of her chest. Rachel felt it in on her flesh, as Quinn's hair tickled her chin. She felt it in her bones, as Quinn's cheek lay flush and flat against her chest. And she felt it in her heart, as Quinn's tears trailed down her skin: baptizing her, bathing her anew.
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