DISCLAIMER: "Glee," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Ryan Murphy Productions, and 20th Century Fox Entertainment. The Hollows series and its characters are the property of Kim Harrison, and Harper Collins Publishers. This piece of fan fiction was created for fun and not profit.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To michkidd[at]earthlink.net
Witches, Vampires and Complicated Things
"Quinn.. Please.. Don't.."
That's when Quinn sank her fangs into Rachel Morgan-Berry's neck.
ONE WEEK LATER
No matter how many times Rachel saw it, it always took her breath away.
Quinn stood on the third story of the ten-story building. It was still under construction, still nothing more than a giant, metal skeleton of steel beams, cement floors and scaffolding. Quinn walked to the edge. Her black, leather coat flapped behind her from the strong breeze. She walked towards the edge and..
She fell gracefully through the air, landing in a crouch like a big cat. There was no sound, other than the whoosh of air from the sudden displacement and the creak of Quinn's leather. She rose to her feet slowly, gracefully, almost dangerously. Under the moonless night and the darkened lower level of the construction site, all Rachel could see was Quinn's white shirt, pale hair and the barely visible light reflected deep in her irises, like an owl caught on camera.
"What do you want, Berry?" Quinn asked, stalking predatorily towards Rachel.
"You bit me," Rachel snapped back, realizing a bit too late that maybe this wasn't such a good idea - confronting a vampire on vamp territory.
Quinn was almost on her, a mere foot away. Her eyes were hazel but there was a menace to them. "I'll do it again if you don't leave," she all but growled.
"No." Rachel stood her ground. "You bit me."
She was just a sophomore but Rachel had known Quinn for more than half her life. They'd never been friends. And once they hit High School, Quinn had spent the majority of her free time tormenting Rachel. Until the day Quinn didn't. The day Quinn kissed Rachel in the girl's bathroom. The day Rachel took Quinn home and Quinn let Rachel handcuff her to Rachel's bed. The day Rachel had her first orgasm by means other than her own fingers.
There'd been no time to talk the next day. Quinn's world had blown up. Because everyone found out Quinn - the vampire, head Cheerio, President of the Chastity Club - had slept with Puck, a werewolf. Rachel could only watch from the sidelines as Quinn tumbled hard down the social ladder. She could only imagine what life at home was like. The vampire world didn't look too kindly at werewolves, and didn't look too kindly upon vampires who slept with werewolves.
The day Quinn came to school looking paler than normal, a pair of wide and dark sunglasses on her face, Rachel could only smile sympathetically when Quinn adjusted her sunglasses and Rachel saw the large bruise around her eye.
Which was how Rachel had been bitten, offering sympathy to a vampire. Quinn was alone under the bleachers, crying. Rachel attempted to offer comfort. Quinn got mad. Quinn always got mad in Rachel's presence. Which, for some reason, aroused Rachel to an unbelievable degree. Rachel liked BOYS and she and Finn were dating since he and Quinn broke up. But there she was, under the bleachers with a pissed off vampire, a warm and increasingly damp feeling growing between her legs.
Then, Quinn was just on her. It started as kissing and Rachel being shoved up against a support pillar. Maybe it hadn't been such a good idea to moan so throatily when Quinn's tongue forced its way into her mouth, or grind herself against Quinn's thigh or slide her hand between Quinn's legs. Maybe she should have tried to stop Quinn when she pulled back enough that Rachel could see Quinn's eyes, the hazel completely gone, the pupils eclipsing her irises until they were pitch black.
All the maybe's and could've's and should've's meant nothing. Because Quinn's eyes went completely black, her fangs extended..
And she sank her teeth into Rachel's neck.
It hurt. It hurt like Holy Hell but it was nothing compared to the sudden and pleasurable sensations that rocked Rachel's body. It was like the orgasm of all orgasms but with no end. Quinn bit and, instantly, Rachel was coming, and coming, and coming.
Then Rachel fell hard to the ground, looking up at Quinn with dazed and confused eyes. Quinn -
Looked mortified. One hand went to her blood stained mouth, the other went to her stomach and she groaned as if she were deciding between crying or throwing up. Instead, she just ran away, leaving Rachel alone with a vampire bite on her neck.
The good news was Rachel hadn't been turned into a Shadow. The bad news was - she'd been bitten by Quinn and left unclaimed. Which made Rachel susceptible to the whims of any and every vampire she crossed paths with. Quinn's bite left Rachel vulnerable.
Rachel hated being vulnerable.
"You bit me," she said again, clenching her jaw in resolve.
"It's like they say," Quinn smirked. "You play with fire, you get burned. I couldn't give a crap about your problems."
Rachel inhaled, pursing her lips. "I could get you suspended."
Quinn tilted her head as her eyes blinked languidly. Her eyes flicked to Rachel's vamp scar and Rachel gasped at the sudden electric pull through the still healing tissue. "You wouldn't dare."
"I would," Rachel stammered, her resolve crumbling.
Rachel watched as Quinn's tongue slowly drew over her lips. Rachel shivered hard, the sensation rippling across her skin and ending with a dull throbbing heat pooling between her legs. Because Quinn licked her lips and it felt as if her tongue were actually drawing over Rachel's scar.
"Get me suspended?" Quinn laughed as she stepped closer. She lifted a hand, gently placed the backs of her fingers against Rachel's jaw and, instantly, Rachel's head was tilting to expose her neck as a small whimper escaped her throat. "Not if I turned you into my Shadow."
A Shadow, a vampire slave, one devoid of all free will and who's sole purpose was to serve their vampire master.
"You'd like that," Quinn leaned in, nose against Rachel's cheek as her fingertips danced over Rachel's scar. "Wouldn't you?"
"Quinn.." Rachel husked.
"I could make you do anything." She drifted her fingers down, slid them inside Rachel's jacket to cup Rachel's breast, thumb rolling over the already painfully erect nipple. "I could do anything to you."
The thought of losing control scared Rachel to death. The thought of losing her free will? Terrified Rachel. Rachel would rather be dead than be a Shadow.
"You'd like that, no.." Quinn chuckled as she began groping Rachel's breast. "You'd love that. You know why, Rachel? Because you're a freak."
"No.." croaked from Rachel's throat in a low whisper. Her arms, slack at her sides, refused to move. Her legs were already going rubbery. She had to force her eyes to stay open, to not just give in to the heated sensations coursing through her veins.
"It's okay, Rachel," Quinn taunted in a sickly sweet and cooing manner. "I'm just doing the world a favor."
The hand on Rachel's breast became fingers pinching her nipple. The pain instantly turned to pleasure, something Rachel wanted. The pain remained pain, something Rachel definitely needed. The pain sliced through the haze, just a little, just enough. It awoke the part of her that feared 'this', hated this.
It awoke the part of Rachel that didn't want this.
"NOOOO!" the scream erupted from Rachel, a scream of rage and fury mixed with the passion and fear coursing through her system. The surge of magic tapped into a distant ley line. Magic, pure and unadulterated and completely uncontrolled, burst from Rachel like an explosion. It hit Quinn like a concussion blast and Quinn was just gone, sent flying backwards.
Then, just as quickly as it began, it was over.
Rachel slumped to her hands and knees, trying desperately to catch her breath. Her skin tingled all over, to the point of numbing. Her ears had popped. All she could hear was the hard thumping pulse of her own heart.
She stayed there for several minutes, as her heart rate returned to normal, along with her hearing. Until she became aware of the dull throbbing between her legs and remembered just exactly why she was so warm and wet down there. Quickly and again, Rachel's heart began to hammer in her chest as she remembered she'd just hit a vampire with a blast of magic. She'd just hit Quinn with a giant blast of magic.
And Quinn was probably going to be really pissed off. Well, knowing Quinn, there was no 'probably' about it.
Rachel jerked up onto her feet, swaying just a little from the sudden dizziness. "Quinn?" she called out.
"Quinn?" she called out again, her voice uncertain.
A moan, low, barely audible but it was definitely a moan. Rachel turned, doing a full 360 as her eyes scanned the construction lot. Another moan, Rachel focused on the sound.
More than fifty feet away, Quinn sat slumped against a pile of construction refuse, her head slumped forward, arms spread out against the pile of garbage.
Rachel walked towards her, a triumphant smile spread across her lips. A smile that quickly turned to worry then concern as she saw the dark stain on Quinn's shirt.
"Oh God," Rachel whimpered. It was blood but more than that, it was the sight of the piece of rebar sticking out of Quinn's chest.
Rachel rushed towards her, dropping to her knees. She placed her hands on Quinn's face, lifting the blonde's head up. "Quinn!" she shouted. "Quinn, can you hear me?"
Quinn mumbled incoherently, followed by a pained mewl. Her eyes fluttered open then immediately closed.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid," Rachel admonished herself. She knew it was a bad idea to follow Quinn to the construction site. And now she'd used magic, again, to protect herself. Only this time, instead of trapping Quinn in a bubble of the Ever-after, she'd hurt her, seriously hurt her.
She stared at the metal pole sticking out of Quinn's chest, just below her left breast. Blood oozed freely from the wound, and Quinn's breathing was getting wet and ragged from her obviously punctured lung. Rachel had used magic to defend herself but there was no magic cure for this. Rachel knew if she didn't do something quickly, Quinn could die. Yes, Quinn was a high-blood vampire, born with the virus. But, she wasn't a true vampire, not yet. Quinn was still alive, still.. human even though she wasn't. Quinn still had a soul. All of which would change the moment her heart stopped beating.
"Rach.." Quinn lifted her head drunkenly, licking her lips.
"Shh," Rachel stroked her cheek. "Don't talk."
Fingers trembling, Rachel reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell.
"Rachel.." Quinn tried again, wheezing between her words. "Whatever.. you do.. don't.." Her words trailed off as she slipped into unconsciousness.
Had Rachel been thinking, she would have called her Dad's, or 911, or maybe even Finn, even though he would have just told her to call 911.
Had Rachel been thinking.
Five minutes later, three black cars sped onto the construction lot, their wheels skidding to a hard stop on the rocky surface. Rachel raised a hand to shield her eyes from the blinding headlights pointed in her direction. Her ears strained as she listened as multiple doors opened and the sound of feet on dirt filled her ears.
It was then Rachel realized calling Quinn's father might not have been the best of ideas.
An imposing figure in life, as an undead vamp, Russell Fabray was completely intimidating. The moment he stepped out of the car and walked towards the two girls, it was like the temperature dropped twenty degrees.
He stopped several feet from Rachel and Quinn, his frame backlit by the headlights behind him. Still, even in the dim light, Rachel could see his face. Rachel always knew when living vamps made the transition to undead vamps they lost their soul. She didn't fully understand it until she gazed up at Russell Fabray. His face was pale, the irises of his eyes full and black. He stared down at Quinn, his head tilted, like a child asked a hard question they didn't understand and searching desperately for an answer. He gazed at Quinn as if trying to remember what his own daughter's place was in his life, or what it felt like to love her.
"Ivy?" he asked, stepping towards her, Rachel scurried backwards out of his way.
Russell knelt down. He brushed the hair from Quinn's forehead, his face blank and pale and emotionless, his touch a mimicry of intimacy. Quinn moaned at his touch, tilted her head towards him. Then, Russell's hands were under Quinn's shoulders and legs. In one swift pull, he yanked Quinn's body up and off the rebar.
The scream that erupted from Quinn's throat would haunt Rachel for the rest of her days.
The sudden burst of pain temporarily awoke Quinn from her stupor, she blinked at her father. "Daddy?" she whimpered like a lost little girl before slumping her face against her father's neck.
He turned and began walking back towards the cars. His minions were in motion, flurrying before him, offering to carry Quinn, opening his door. He refused to let them touch her. Russell stopped in his tracks, turned his head back towards Rachel.
"Come near her again, witch," his voice was as low as a whisper but it boomed in Rachel's ears. "And I will tear you limb from limb."
Quinn wasn't at school the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that.
By the twelfth day, Rachel stopped looking.
All anyone knew was that Quinn had been in some kind of accident. Finn, having broken up with Quinn, was 'persona non grata' within the Fabray household so he had no idea. Even Brittany and Santana had no real details. Quinn wasn't returning their calls, although Santana didn't call as much as Brittany knowing full well what Quinn's parents would do if they knew Quinn was friends with a werewolf.
While Quinn was the only living, high-blood vamp in McKinley High. The only vampire born with the virus. She wasn't the only vampire. There were low-blood vamps at McKinley, normal humans infected by vampires. Humans like Karofsky. A vamp and a bully, the worst combination possible.
Rachel jumped as he slammed his hands, palms flat, against the lockers flanking hers. He leaned his face towards her neck, inhaling deeply. Rachel's scar tingled and she desperately tried to quell the shudder bubbling within her.
"You smell.." he paused, taking another sniff. "Tasty."
This wasn't fair, Rachel thought. She didn't ask to be bitten. She didn't ask to be turned into vamp candy. Now, she was trapped between a rock and a hard place, literally, with Karofsky practically trapping her at her own locker. "Leave me alone, Karofsky," she mumbled softly.
"Or you'll do what?" he chuckled. "Cream your panties?" He inhaled again, pulling at Rachel's scar, smelling the arousal she didn't intend or want. "I should have known with skirts like that you'd be a slut."
He pushed his hips, brushed his crotch against her and Rachel felt his erection. She shuddered in revulsion, at the betrayal of her own body because of the damned vampire saliva in her system. In that moment, she hated everything, herself, the world, Quinn Fabray for making her this.. vulnerable.
"Mmm," Karofsky continued, licking his lips and purring. "I bet you like it dirty too, nasty. I bet.."
"GET OFF HER!!"
One second, Karofsky was behind Rachel, pulling at her scar, grinding his crotch against her ass and the next, he was just gone. It wasn't until Rachel heard the hard slam of thin metal crumpling that she turned around.
Karofsky was on the other side of the hall, pulling himself away from a Karosky sized dent in the lockers behind him. He growled, fangs extending like a shot as his irises widened to pure black, fingers curling into fists just itching for a fight.
Itching for a fight with Quinn Fabray.
She stood between Karofsky and Rachel. She wasn't dressed in her regular Cheerios uniform but jeans and a blouse, her hair loose about her shoulders. But even in jeans and a blouse, Quinn Fabray could be the scariest thing on two legs.
"Back off, you date-rapey creep," she hissed, crouching slightly, her fingers wiggling like a gunfighter before a draw.
"You back off!" Karofsky growled back. "That's an unclaimed bite. Which means she's open season."
"You touch her, you're dead." There was no menace in Quinn's voice, no warning tone, it was a statement, a fact. If Karofsky touched Rachel, Quinn would kill him.
Students had begun to gather, building a circle around the two. The air was thick with adrenaline and fear, which was like heroin to two fighting vampires. Rachel began to wonder where the teachers were. Surely, by now, an adult had to have noticed the crowd gathering in the hall. The sense of anticipation and dread in the air because, if an adult didn't come soon, Rachel feared one of the two vampires squaring off against each other was going to end up dead.
Rachel inhaled. "Quinn.."
"Shut up, Rachel," Quinn snapped.
"Yeah," Karofsky snarled. "Shut up."
Karofsky couldn't be that stupid, Rachel thought. He was a low-blood vamp, the only thing lower on the vamp hierarchy was a Shadow. Quinn was a high-blood vamp, daughter of one of the most powerful vamps in Lima, with ties to the camarilla in Cincinnati. Going against Quinn? Even Karofsky wasn't that stupid. His lips curled into a snarl, his arms twitched and he rushed towards Quinn.
Apparently, he was.
But, it wasn't Quinn who grabbed Karofsky by the neck and slammed him back up against the lockers, it was Puck.
"That's enough!" he growled and, Rachel had to admit, his growl sounded way more intimidating than either Karofsky's.. or Quinn's. There weren't many vampires in McKinley but there were werewolves. And a werewolf never skipped the opportunity to put a vampire in his or her place.
"Stay out of this, Puck!" Quinn snapped at him. "I can fight my own battles!"
Suddenly, it was Santana standing before Quinn. Her face hard and serious, hands already balled into fists ready to go toe to toe with Quinn if need be. "Not today you don't."
Rachel caught the flicker in Santana's eyes, and Rachel knew Santana knew the true nature of Quinn's accident. It was enough to spur Rachel into action. She stepped forward, clasping her hand around Quinn's wrist.
"Quinn," Rachel said softly. "Please."
Quinn's head turned slowly. Her irises were pitch black, no hint of hazel. She was in full vamp mode. Rachel could feel it in the tense muscles held lightly in her grasp. Quinn looked down at Rachel's hand, then back up to Rachel. Her irises immediately contracting, the hazel growing, as if Rachel's touch had instantly snapped Quinn out of her haze.
"Don't touch me," Quinn said shakily, shirking her arm from Rachel's grasp. "Don't ever touch me," she said before disappearing in the crowd.
"SHE BIT YOU!?!" Finn paced back and forth on the stage, gesticulating wildly with his hands, like, he was about two seconds from completely freaking out. He'd been on the other side of school when Karofsky went into creep mode, Quinn went into vamp mode and Puck, of all people, came to both their rescues.
Rachel wasn't sure why she told him, other than they were making out and Finn had finally noticed the teeth shaped marks on her neck. Finn may have been a bit dim but he wasn't that stupid. So, Rachel explained how she got the marks on her neck, which led to Finn currently trying not to freak out and failing miserably.
"It's okay," Rachel sighed. All she wanted to do was make out with her boyfriend. Not talk him down from a meltdown. "I'm fine."
"She bit you, Rachel!"
"It's okay. Please Finn, the saliva will work its way out of my system and everything will be fine."
He wasn't listening, merely standing there on the stage and staring off into space, his hands balling into fists. Rachel wasn't sure if it would have helped had she left in some of the finer details, like the fact that she and Quinn had been actually kissing before Rachel got bit, or that this hadn't been the first time Rachel and Quinn had kissed. And she definitely left out the fact that Rachel had gotten further with Quinn than she ever had with Finn. The boy had been emasculated enough, first by his ex-girlfriend coming to the rescue of his current girlfriend and his former best friend who'd slept with his ex-girlfriend before she'd become an ex coming to both ex and current girlfriend's rescues.
"They should've never let vampires into the schools," he huffed, as if finally coming to a conclusion. "They should've never let any of them in."
"I'm a witch, Finn," she said, voice tinged with hurt. "I'm one of them."
Finn's eyes snapped into focus, the anger within him deflating. He walked towards the blanket spread out on the stage, sitting down next to Rachel. "You know what I mean."
"No," Rachel pulled her hand away from the one reaching towards her. "I don't."
"You, witches, you're not dangerous like vampires or werewolves.. or demons," he added sheepishly even though demons weren't allowed in public schools. Not that demons lived on this plane of existence anyway. At least as far as anyone knew, or hoped.
"Witches can be plenty dangerous," Rachel huffed defensively. "Especially if they practice black magic."
"But you don't practice black magic," he smiled his adorably goofy Finn smile. "Because you're a good witch."
Rachel blushed, dipping her head and smiling shyly. When Finn reached out to hold her hand, she didn't pull away. His thumb grazed over her knuckles and she really thought he was going to kiss her. But the time ticked by until Rachel couldn't stand the waiting any longer and lifted her head.
Finn's face was serious and worried. "She bit you."
Rachel sighed again, they really weren't going to be making out anytime soon. "It wasn't her fault."
"How can you say that?"
"It wasn't. Really. It's just.. every time I'm around her, I'm always doing the absolute wrong things that just wind up setting her off."
"Didn't you read the book?"
He released his hold on her hand, leaning back and reaching for his backpack. He pulled out a book. It was old, bound in material Rachel hoped was leather because it looked too much like human skin. Finn handed it to her. "Here," he said. "Quinn loaned this to me when we first started dating. It's probably why I've never been bitten."
Rachel set the book on her lap and let the pages drift open. She fought the urge to immediately slam the book closed as it opened on an illustration that definitely wasn't on the approved high school reading list. There were two, no, three people, doing something Rachel, in her wildest dreams, would never have thought of. It looked extremely painful except the illustration of the 'receiver' seemed to be of intense pleasure.
Rachel swallowed hard, her eyes unable to leave the page. "Quinn loaned this to you?"
"Uh-huh," Finn mumbled.
Rachel turned the page, her eyes widening instantly. "And you two never.."
"I gotta go!" Was all Rachel heard before Finn was up and running off the stage, his hands pulling the bottom of his shirt down to his thighs.
It took everything Rachel had to NOT thumb through 'the book' on the bus ride to her Dad's church. She had enough problems as is in regards to her reputation at school. Not that Rachel had a reputation, per se, but she was very aware of public perceptions and images and the last image she wanted people to think of her was 'the girl who read vampire porn on the bus'.
The church was quiet other than the sounds of Pixie laughter that filtered in from the garden. In between pulling down her spell pots and gathering her ingredients, Rachel skimmed through the non-illustrated portions of 'the book'. Her groans of irritation growing with each turn of the page because, honestly, it should have been titled 'The Idiot's Guide to Rachel Morgan-Berry'.
Every time she turned the page, she learned another thing she should never do but had already done. Of course, it didn't help that the damn thing was illustrated, and while Rachel hadn't done everything in the book there were a few things that made her think of Quinn and cause her pulse to suddenly rise and the heat to build between her legs. Thumbing through the book had also made her realize why Finn hadn't returned it to Quinn after they'd broken up. Hell, even Rachel wasn't so sure she wanted to give it back to Finn.
Eventually, Rachel put the book away for further 'reading', content to work solely on her spells without the distractions. It was after sunset when she was stirred from concentrating on her spells by the soft knock on the backdoor.
It's not like Rachel wasn't thinking when she opened the door without asking who it was first. It's just, no one knew she was here besides her Dad's and the Pixie's out back, who were protective enough to warn Rachel should their collective 'stranger danger' bells go off.
"Oh!" Rachel squeaked as she opened the door, her body freezing in surprise at the sight Quinn Fabray standing on her back doorstep.
Quinn stood, looking sheepish and kind of embarrassed, hands buried in her black, leather trench. "You know," she said. "You should really ask who it is before you open the door. And," she pulled a hand out of her pocket, pointing with her thumb over her shoulder. "Did I just see Artie in your backyard?"
Rachel chuckled, her eyes going to the tree stump where dozens of Pixie's flitted about. "Yeah, they were kinda squatting in the tree stump when my Dad's bought the property. My Dad's told them as long as they kept the bugs out of the garden, they could stay as long as they wanted."
She could see Artie in the distance, making his way towards the tree stump, a wailing younger sibling under each arm. Life for a Pixie was hard, evident by Artie's legs which he'd lost the use of during a battle against a Robin. A battle his family had lost, which was why they were squatting in the church's graveyard when Rachel and her Dad's moved in. She shook her head, clearing her thoughts of Artie and his Pixie clan, instead focusing her attentions on the blonde vampire standing on her doorstep.
Rachel opened the door wider. "Do you want to come inside?"
"I think it's best if I stay outside," Quinn shifted nervously on her feet, tucking her hand back in her pocket. With the added light from the opened door, Rachel could see Quinn's eyes fully, the pupils already wide. Quinn lowered her head, the blonde hair spilling about her shoulders waving loosely as she shook her head. "Why'd you have to call my Dad," she whispered.
"I.." Rachel stammered. "I didn't know what else to do."
"I know," Quinn sighed. She raised her head again, her eyes immediately squinting. "Your scar's gone."
Rachel blushed softly. "It's still there. I just used a concealer spell on it. Figured, until it heals, it'd be best not to advertise."
"Oh," Quinn managed. She shook her head again, a bit more resolutely as she took a step back. "This was a bad idea. I shouldn't have come here."
It was the wrong thing to do, Rachel knew it. Heck, she'd just read about not doing it in the book on the table. She just couldn't help herself. She couldn't stop her hand from whipping out and grabbing Quinn by the arm, the leather creaking as her nails dug in. "Quinn, wait!"
A low growl rumbled up Quinn's throat. She was already hot, already boiling, Rachel's grip like jet fuel thrown onto a growing bonfire. Quinn rushed towards Rachel, both hands cupping the shorter girl's face and crashing their lips together.
The kiss was hard, bruising, igniting a fire within Rachel through the throbbing scar on her neck. And Rachel slammed the door behind them as Quinn pushed her way in. There was the thump of the wall against Rachel's back, the rush of air pushed from her lungs. There was groping and fumbling, Rachel's hands threading into Quinn's hair, Quinn's hand on Rachel's breast, Quinn's hand fumbling with the material of Rachel's skirt.
Then, just as quickly as there was heat, the pressure of Quinn's body against her, Quinn's tongue in her mouth..
There was nothing.
Rachel gasped, forcing her eyes to open. Quinn was on the other side of the room, back pressed to the kitchen counter, knuckles white as she held a death grip onto the edge. Her eyes were closed, her lips a grim line as she forcibly inhaled through her nose.
"Quinn.." Rachel said, feeling the need to apologize, only she wasn't sure what she would or should be apologizing for.
"I was supposed to transfer out of McKinley today," Quinn said suddenly and Rachel felt something twist hard in her gut. "That's why I was there. And then I saw Karofsky.." her voice trailed and her entire body shook as if she were quelling the sudden rise of rage. "I got home and told my Dad I was staying at McKinley and we just got into this fight.." she paused, opening her eyes and all Rachel saw was hazel. "I've never gone up against my father before. But, this is my mess and I have to fix it. It's just.." Quinn opened her eyes, daring to focus on Rachel. The black gone, her eyes nothing but hazel and deep sadness. "I feel like I'm dying when I'm around you and I'm dying when I'm not."
Rachel's mouth opened like she was going to say something then immediately snapped closed. She liked boys, she was dating Finn. This was a complication in her life Rachel just didn't need. She just wasn't sure if it was something she didn't want. Quinn came into Rachel's proximity and weird things happened to Rachel, things she couldn't understand and, worse, couldn't control. She just knew being around each other had reached a certain boiling point, where what bubbled over didn't douse the flames, but fueled them instead.
"I understand," Rachel finally said. "It's best if we just avoid each other all together."
Quinn lowered her head, nodding. She pushed herself away from the counter, walking towards the backdoor and opening it.
"Quinn?" Rachel called out to her. The blonde paused in the doorway, keeping her back to Rachel. "I'm sorry."
"Yeah," Quinn sighed, closing the door behind her. "Me too."
It wasn't easy, avoiding each other like the plague. They went to the same school, shared several classes, were both involved in Glee. But, avoid each other they did. They sat on opposite sides of the classrooms, made wide berths around each other in the hallways, ate at separate tables during lunch.
After a couple weeks of this, Rachel became accustomed to the routine. It almost felt like before, when Quinn barely acknowledged Rachel's existence and Rachel ignored/avoided Quinn.
It got easier for Rachel to avoid Quinn, until it didn't.
Rachel got used to avoiding Quinn, until the bruises started appearing again. Bruises Quinn could no longer hide behind concealer and long sleeved shirts. How Quinn kept getting paler and paler, like she wasn't getting any sleep, like she wasn't eating.
Rachel entered the girl's restroom like she always did - head down, arms wrapped defensively around the book's pressed to her chest. Had she been paying attention, she would have noticed the restroom was empty aside from the three Cheerios standing by the sinks.
Had she noticed.
"Turn back around, Man Hands," it was Santana's voice that snapped Rachel to attention. "This doesn't concern you."
Rachel skidded to a stop. Quinn was standing by one of the sinks, her hands gripping the edge hard. Her head was bowed, body shaking as the hard sobs wracked her entire body. Brittany and Santana flanked her, both their hands on Quinn's back, rubbing in soft circles.
Rachel pursed her lips, brows furrowing. She set her eyes on Santana. "If it involves Quinn, it concerns me."
Suddenly, Santana was charging towards Rachel, her hands balling into fists. "I'm sorry, maybe you didn't hear me.."
"You're not helping!"
It was Brittany this time. Her hand whipped out, grabbing Santana by the elbow and Santana skidded to a stop, eyes ablaze. And there was this moment between the three Cheerios, as if they were speaking in a silent language spoken only with their eyes. Santana glared at Brittany, Brittany looked at Quinn then whispered something in Quinn's ear. Quinn merely nodded. Brittany lifted her head up, turning her gaze towards Rachel.
"He's starving her," Brittany said.
"Who?" Rachel gasped, her eyes focused on Quinn. "Your father?"
"No. God, you're such an idiot!" Quinn snarled, lifting her head enough to gaze at Rachel through the mirror. Her eyes puffy and tear stained, a fresh bruise under her right eye.
"Piscary," Brittany explained. "He's like a master vampire. He wants.."
"He wants to make me a monster, just like him!" she spat, voice dripping with venom. "I'd rather die."
Santana sighed, her shoulders sagging as she stared at her friend. "He's forbidden her to eat anything but blood."
"And when you refuse," Rachel asked, staring at the bruises on Quinn's body. "He hits you? Can he get away with that?"
"He's the head of the camarilla," Quinn exhaled as if the fight had all but drained out of her. "He can do anything."
Rachel didn't get vampire culture, not really. Mainly, she just avoided it like the plague. Now, she was up to her neck in it. She didn't know what her relationship with Quinn was, she just knew NO ONE deserved to be treated like this. Instantly, Rachel decided, if she had to fix this, even just a little. Her eyes went from Quinn to Santana, her jaw set.
"Guard the door," Rachel said. "No matter what happens, don't let anybody in."
Santana almost sighed in relief, like she was glad someone had an answer, even if that answer came from one Rachel Morgan-Berry. She walked towards the door, set her foot against the bottom, her palms to the door.
Rachel stepped towards Quinn. She removed the concealer amulet from her wrist, tucking it into her sweater pocket. Then, she unbuttoned the top of her sweater and the top buttons of the blouse underneath, revealing her neck.
Brittany stepped back, as if finally understanding what Rachel was about to do.
"Quinn, we'll figure something out," Rachel said, placing her hand on Quinn's shoulder. "But first, you have to feed."
Quinn rose to her full height, her arms suddenly wrapping around her stomach as she gazed at Rachel through the mirror. "I.. I can't.." Quinn stammered, eyes flicking to Rachel's scar then back up. "I'll lose control."
"No you won't."
"How can you be so sure?"
Rachel placed her hands gently on Quinn's shoulders and slowly turned the vampire around. "Because I trust you. Besides," she chuckled softly. "You know I can stop you." Quinn almost smiled at that. Rachel continued, "The only way you're going to beat him is if you stop playing his game and start playing yours. But, you need to feed Quinn. You need to be strong."
Quinn nodded. Then her eyes went to Rachel's scar and Rachel felt the sudden tingling in her gut. Quinn's hands went to Rachel's waist, pushing, guiding Rachel until Rachel's back was to the wall. Rachel understood, if Quinn was going to do this, she needed to do it her way. Rachel was content enough to let her.
Using the tips of her free hand, Quinn started with Rachel's lips. Some days, Quinn hated Rachel with the entirety of her being but, even then, she knew Rachel had a mouth that, like, went for days. Just nothing but soft and silky flesh. Then the lips parted and Quinn felt wet and warm breath on her fingers.
Quinn touched her lips and Rachel thought she would explode. She felt every ridge and whorl on Quinn's fingertips, how they traced the lines of her mouth, slowly, sensually, warm and electric. Rachel opened her lips, breathed onto the tips of Quinn's fingers. She watched Quinn's eyes, the irises dilating then restricting, Quinn fighting for control.
She slid her tongue through her teeth, grazing over the pad of Quinn's index finger. Quinn shuddered and Rachel felt it as it had been her. Lips constricting, they gently wrapped around the tip. Rachel tilted her head forward, just barely, and Quinn's finger slipped into her mouth. And then..
Something very strange happened.
A memory long forgotten but so much more, like the video jack to a DVD player was suddenly shoved into their brains and someone pressed play. They didn't just remember - they relived.
Eleven years ago. A warm summer day, a park, a playground, a little blonde girl crying because of the splinter in her finger. A little brown-haired girl wanting nothing more than to ease her pain. Little Rachel, with her pig-tails and missing front teeth, pulled the splinter from Quinn's finger. Blood. Not a lot but blood nonetheless and Rachel sucked until the bleeding stopped.
Blood. Vampire blood. But something more. They saw the scene with their older eyes; saw two auras, one yellow and one red, then it was just one aura - a yellowish orange. One.
Suddenly, Rachel reared back, the finger in her mouth pulling out with a wet popping sound. She felt dizzy and hot. Her chest seized and she couldn't breathe. Quinn had to have seen the same thing as Rachel but did she understand? Did she know Rachel, with that one simple act of kindness, had taken a piece of Quinn's soul and, in return, given Quinn a piece of hers?
They were yin and yang now, two halves of contrasting colors with a tiny dot of the other.
"Rachel?" Quinn asked nervously. Rachel smelled different and Quinn didn't like it at all. Something she'd never smelled before, neither fear nor arousal.
They'd both seen the past. But, when Rachel pulled away and in that nanosecond of time where the connection had broken but didn't, Rachel had seen the future. No, not seen but felt. Just a hint, less visual and more emotional, instinctual, they were bonded together. Forever.
Maybe Rachel should have been afraid. Instead, a feeling of peace and contentedness washed over her. She only understood enough of what she'd seen to know she was no longer alone. And neither was Quinn.
Rachel closed her eyes, tilting her head to the side and exposing her neck.
"It's okay," Rachel said. "You won't hurt me."
She didn't need to see Quinn to know her fangs had extended. She felt it in the sudden shudder of her body, how everything tingled and thrummed, the heat suddenly building between her legs.
There was a whimper, not from Rachel but Quinn. Then, the sudden slice of pain as Quinn sunk her fangs into Rachel's neck. Rachel's mouth went slack, the sudden cry dying in the back of her throat. Her hands at Quinn's hips, fingers balling into fists, gathering the material into her grip.
Quinn sucked, and Rachel felt the pull like a thousand heated fingers gliding across her skin. Quinn pressed herself against Rachel, thigh shoved between Rachel's legs and, suddenly, Quinn was grinding against her. All Rachel felt was heat, friction, pain and extreme pleasure. Pleasure she didn't want to end because she was grinding now, writhing against Quinn. The hands fisted on Quinn's hips were hands drawing around Quinn's waist and pulling her closer.
The name sounded distant and muddy, like a dream under water. There was a growl, Quinn, the sensation of pain as her fangs sunk deeper. Rachel groaned as if she were coming, like she'd actually stopped coming.
It was louder, somehow, Rachel knew that. But it was also softer, muddier. Not that it mattered. All that mattered to Rachel was 'this', pure and complete pleasure. She felt Quinn, inside of her, outside of her, all around her and as Quinn took another pull from Rachel's neck, and her arms went slack and all the energy sapped from her body..
Rachel stopped feeling anything.
"I think she's awake."
Rachel recognized the voice as Artie's. Recognized the object beneath her as a mattress, her mattress, and Rachel realized she was in her bedroom. Then wondered why Artie was in her bedroom. She attempted to open her eyes but her body seemed to not respond correctly, instead, she licked her lips and mumbled something incoherently.
"Oh thank fucking Christ!!"
Santana, Rachel thought again, definitely Santana. Rachel's tangled and jumbled thoughts formed into images, memories. She tried to turn her head only to be met with a slicing jolt of pain. She'd been bitten. No, not just bitten, she'd been fed on. By a vampire. Being fed on by a vampire could turn a person into a Shadow.
Rachel's eyes suddenly snapped open. Things were blurry at first and everything definitely hurt. There was a buzzing, flapping type sound. Wings. And suddenly Artie was in her vision, a sword dangling from his hips.
"You okay?" he asked, flitting back and forth like he was inspecting her.
"I'm fine," Rachel mumbled, finding the strength to lift herself up onto her elbows. She was in her bedroom at the church, not her other home. Aside from Artie, the next person she saw was Santana, standing by the door, arms folded over her chest, looking - quite frankly - like she wanted to throw up. Next, Rachel saw Brittany. She sat at Rachel's dresser, a dozen Pixie's flitting about her head, giggling and laughing as they braided her hair.
Quinn wasn't there.
Rachel rose higher. "Where's Qui.." It was like she'd stepped on a tilt-a-whirl, everything started spinning.
"Lie back down." A woman's voice. Artie's mother. "You've been bitten."
"No!" Artie snapped, drawing his sword from its scabbard. "Fed on."
"I had to," Rachel mumbled. "Where is she?"
"Outside," Santana answered. "You want me to get her?"
Rachel nodded, wincing as she did. Santana scurried out of the room, happy to have something to do. Moments, hours, days later, Rachel wasn't sure, Quinn entered the room. She stayed near the door, arms covering her middle. Her bruises were gone, her skin a normal color, but her eyes were empty, vacant and she refused to stare back at Rachel.
"Would you leave us alone, please."
"Are you sure?" Artie floated above her face. Rachel would never use the word 'brave' to describe Artie but the church was his home now. Rachel being bitten by a vampire could have serious repercussions.
"I'm sure. Thank you."
Brittany was the first to leave, a dozen Pixie's giggling enthusiastically at the suggestion they braid Santana's hair next. Rachel could literally hear Santana's growl as the Pixie's charged towards her head. Quickly, shooed out by Artie's mother, they were gone and Rachel was left alone with Quinn.
"I lost control," Quinn said.
"I could have killed you."
"Only because Santana pulled me off you. Don't ever ask me to do that again, Rachel. Promise me."
"I promise." Rachel paused, her brows furrowing. "Am I your Shadow now?"
"I.. I don't know."
"How am I supposed to tell?"
"I don't think you'd ask if you were one."
"Oh," Rachel didn't buy it. Her heart was already beginning to hammer, the fear rising within her.
"Rachel," Quinn's voice was soft, but still warning. She could already smell Rachel's fear. "Calm down."
"Ask me something," rushed from Rachel's lips. "Command me or something."
"I command you to shut up."
"Okay? Something else?"
"I don't know," Quinn snapped, flabbergasted. "Tell me how much you hate your Barbara Streisand."
Rachel gasped. "Never!"
Quinn chuckled. "I guess this means you're not my Shadow."
"Huh." Rachel should have felt better at the revelation. Instead, she just felt a growing unease. She just wanted to help. She ended up offering to let Quinn feed off her and almost died in the process. She'd been stupid, again.
Rachel rolled onto her side, groaning as she did. There was a tall glass of orange juice with a straw in it on her nightstand. Rachel began reaching for it and then Quinn was there, handing the glass to Rachel.
"Thank you," Rachel said after taking several healthy sips through the straw before handing the glass back to Quinn. "You look good."
"You look like crap." Which was enough to get Rachel to smile, which made Quinn smile. Rachel slid a hand across the mattress, inviting Quinn to sit down. The blonde approached like a wary animal, sitting on the edge of the bed and trying to keep her distance.
Rachel kept silent, watching Quinn as she placed her hands on her lap, fumbling with the hem of her cheerleaders uniform. Her face was tense, like she was trying to think of something to say but couldn't find the words.
"Did you see it?" Quinn finally asked, turning her head slightly towards Rachel. "The vision of us as kids?"
Rachel nodded her head softly.
"Was it real?"
"Yes," Rachel answered.
"Why don't I remember it?"
Rachel's brows crinkled. Until that moment, she hadn't remembered it either. She just knew it was real. The connection between her and Quinn was real. "I don't know."
Quinn began to fidget, moving like she was about to stand up. Rachel reached out, her grip weak as she placed her hand on Quinn's forearm. "Don't go."
Quinn looked down at Rachel's hand, her shoulders deflating as if in defeat, like she was tired of fighting. "I almost killed you."
"I almost killed you. Guess that makes us even," she chuckled quietly, watching the soft smile form on Quinn's lips. "Stay with me. Please. Just for a little while."
A nod of the head and then Quinn was climbing onto the bed, clambering over Rachel and then stretching out onto the mattress. Rachel rolled over, instinctively curling up against Quinn, head resting on Quinn's shoulder as an arm wrapped around hers. It was probably a bad idea, inviting a vampire into her bed when she was so weak with an unclaimed vampire bite on her neck, but Rachel couldn't remember the last time she'd felt so 'safe', or complete.
The bite on Rachel's neck may have been unclaimed but, as she drifted off to sleep, Rachel was certain of one thing - she was Quinn's.
Quinn wasn't there when Rachel awoke the next morning. She wasn't at school either. Then again, neither was Santana, meaning they were probably together which made Rachel feel a bit better.
She thought about texting Quinn, to ask if she was okay. Then remembered she didn't actually have Quinn's number. Which was funny since they were always finding each other in one way or another.
But, Rachel needed answers to some very hard questions. Something bad was happening to Quinn, something bad was being done to Quinn. The hardest part of all, knowing the worst was yet to come. Whatever it was, Rachel couldn't let it happen. She just had to know what it was before she could attempt to stop it.
Quinn wasn't at school, neither was Santana. That left Brittany. Rachel found her in the library, sitting alone defiling another yearbook with her colorful array of Sharpies.
Rachel was making her approach when Artie flew from out of nowhere and landed on her shoulder.
"You gonna talk to Brittany?" he asked, not waiting for an answer. "Ask her why she smells funny."
"What?" Rachel stopped in her tracks, lowering her voice to a whisper. "What do you mean?"
Artie lifted off her shoulder, flying in front of her face. He looked at Brittany then back at Rachel. "Pixies can tell, you know." He tapped his nose. "My Dad taught me. I can spot an Inderlander from a mile away. But her?" He turned his eyes back to the blonde Cheerio, face turning serious. "I don't know what she is. Other than she's not a human, a vampire, a werewolf.."
Rachel crinkled her brows, gazing at the blonde. It never occurred to her that Brittany was anything but human. "Thanks, Artie," she said, making her way towards the Cheerio.
"No prob, Rachel," Artie darted away then, just as quickly, darted back in front of Rachel's face. "I'll be in the Encyclopedia section.. if you need me."
"Thanks, Artie," she said a bit more irritated. She walked towards Brittany's table. She pulled back the seat across from her and sat down, Brittany gazing up at Rachel like the crazy homeless person about to ask for change. "We need to talk."
"Tell me about Quinn."
The girl snorted then went back to scribbling mustaches over the Debate Team's faces. "If Quinn wants you to know, she'll tell you."
"Tell me about Quinn," Rachel leaned forward, her whispered voice menacing. "Or I'll tell everyone your secret."
Blue eyes snapped up towards her, her face paling. "What secret?"
Rachel smirked. "That you're not human. I'm a witch, remember."
Brittany paled a little more, then turned a light shade of green. Her lower lip began to tremble as her eyes darted about, looking to see if anyone was listening, looking to see if Santana was around to protect her. "Please don't."
"Then tell me about Quinn."
It was cold outside, the bleachers empty other than the blonde and the brunette huddled in their long coats. They stared blankly out onto the empty field, not wanting to stare at each other. Rachel looked around a bit, making sure Artie hadn't followed her out with Brittany. Along with sensitive noses, Pixie's were often irritatingly nosy.
Brittany shuffled her hands inside her pockets, still not wanting to look at Rachel. "Can you really help her?"
"I.." Rachel stammered. She honestly didn't know. Her life would certainly be simpler if she didn't help Quinn. But Rachel knew backing away and leaving Quinn to deal with her own problems was no longer an option. "I'm gonna try."
Brittany nodded, coming to an understanding. She and Santana had reached the end of their rope. Even if it was in the form of Rachel Morgan-Berry, it was help and it was more than what Brittany had. "Vampire culture is weird," she finally said. "They say it's all about protecting the clan but it's not. It's all about the Master Vampire. It's why Quinn's parents left Cincinnati." She paused, staring at Rachel as if Rachel already knew this part, then realizing the girl didn't. "Piscary had started taking an, um, interest in Quinn. You know, like, creepy uncle kinda interest." Rachel's lips formed into an 'o' shape. "He wanted Quinn to start living with him, so he could begin 'training'," Brittany used finger quotes, "Quinn as his scion. Quinn's dad flipped out. He packed up their family, left everything, even his standing in the camarilla to protect Quinn from Piscary."
Brittany paused, wrinkling her nose like she was trying to stop from crying. "Then Quinn's dad died, I mean, became undead. It's not like Quinn says, they don't lose their souls all at once. It's more like most of it and the rest just kinda disappears after time. And Piscary's just been circling like some kinda undead vulture, chipping away at what's left of her Dad's soul to get to Quinn. He was here in Lima when everything blew up about Quinn sleeping with Puck."
Rachel stiffened. "He was the one who hit her."
Brittany's face went hard. Angry. Rachel had never seen the blonde Cheerio angry before. It didn't seem right on her normally docile face. "He's always the one who hits her. Because he can. He beat her until she was unconscious. It wasn't even because it was with a werewolf. He beat her because he was supposed to be her first."
An image began to form in Rachel's mind, all the things about Quinn she couldn't see falling into place. "It's why she formed the Chastity Club."
"Yeah," Brittany chuckled. "He was even pleased 'cuz he thought Quinn was vowing to save herself for him. When all she was doing was just biding her time. Then the thing with Puck happened and Piscary's not waiting anymore." She turned her head towards Rachel. "The night of her.. accident? Piscary made Quinn feed off him."
Rachel shuddered, then felt the sudden weight of guilt on her shoulders. She'd done that. She'd followed Quinn, confronted her, pushed Quinn's buttons, did all the things a person should never do with a vampire and, in the process, Rachel had hurt Quinn, placing Quinn directly into the hands of the ONE person Quinn hated the most.
Stirred from the beginnings of her own pity-party, Rachel lifted her eyes to see Brittany sniffling again, enough to wipe her nose with the back of a hand.
"Quinn's strong. But she's just a kid going against a 300 year old vampire," Brittany wiped her nose again, voice lowering to barely a whisper. "He's going to break her."
"No," Rachel reached out, clasping her hand onto Brittany's wrist. "We're not going to let that happen."
Rachel wrapped her arm around Brittany's shoulders as the blonde's sniffles turned to full on crying. They had to help Quinn. They were going to save Quinn. And maybe, Rachel thought, if she believed this enough it might actually be true.
Rachel sat at the kitchen island, surrounded by every spell book she could get her hands on, even the ones her Dad's owned that Rachel wasn't supposed to know about. Where she scribbled hastily on a notepad, eyes flicking from book to book.
Finn wandered about the kitchen, tossing up and down the mini-football in his hands. Sure, they were 'supposed' to be studying but they never actually studied when they were together. So, when Rachel asked Finn over to 'study', he assumed she meant 'making out' not actually studying.
He stopped, sitting on one the high wooden chairs next to Rachel, flopping back against the seat. "You done, yet?"
Rachel blinked as she raised her head. She'd forgotten Finn was there. He was supposed to be helping but he was human, and knew absolutely nothing about witches. "What?"
"Are you done? Because, you know, I was kinda hoping to hang out with my girlfriend."
The corner of Rachel's lip pulled coyly. "You think I'm your girlfriend?"
"Well, yeah. We're dating right?" He shrugged. "We do the kinds of stuff boyfriends and girlfriends do. Why wouldn't I think you were my girlfriend?"
"I.." Rachel stammered, feeling herself blush as she tucked a lock of hair nervously behind an ear. "I don't know. I just never had a boyfriend before."
Finn's smile widened. "Well, we are." He reached for her, fingers clasping around Rachel's, his thumb looking oversized as it grazed over Rachel's small knuckles even as his smile faded a little. "I just don't get why you have to do this spell stuff."
"It's Quinn," Rachel said, as if that one word could explain everything.
"She bit you, Rachel."
It had been days since Quinn fed off Rachel. Rachel hadn't told Finn that part, or the other parts like the kissing and the sex. Every time they talked about Quinn, Rachel just let Finn assume the fear that radiated off her came from the same place his feelings did. She didn't know how to explain her confused feelings towards Quinn. She didn't know how to explain that Quinn was a part of Rachel. As much as Rachel was drawn to this 'thing' between them, it also terrified her. She believed in choice. Free will. She wanted who she was with to be her choice, not something in her blood, or something deeper.
Rachel tightened her grip on Finn's hand. "I know she hurt you. But she's not evil." Finn snorted. "She's not, Finn. Something bad's about to happen to her. And no matter how much you or I don't like her, isn't doing nothing to help her just as bad or worse?"
Finn went silent, his lips pursing and his brows furrowing. Then, the smile returned as he chuckled softly to himself.
"What?" Rachel asked.
"It's one of the things I like about you," he grinned.
"Just one?" Rachel's smile began to widen. She lifted from her own seat, moving towards Finn and sitting on his lap, arm draping over his shoulder. "What are the other things?"
His smile broadened because, finally, they were getting back to that thing he'd wanted to do since he came over. "Well," he said, bringing his face closer to Rachel's. "You are a really good kisser."
Quinn was standing by her locker when Rachel entered the hall. She wasn't dressed in her Cheerios uniform but a white dress with matching ribbon tied in her loosely flowing hair.
"Quinn?" Rachel said, practically skidding to a stop at Quinn's locker.
Quinn sucked in a breath of irritation. She slammed her locker closed, turning towards Rachel. "What part of.." she stopped, her irises dilating. "You smell like Finn," she said, voice tinged with anger.
Rachel shrank inside herself, tilting her head down slightly as her cheeks began to burn. "He is my boyfriend."
Quinn snorted, shaking her head. "Jesus Christ, Rachel."
"Why aren't you in your Cheerios uniform?" Rachel blurted, just wanting to get the question out before she lost the nerve.
"They're called consequences," Quinn snapped back. "You know, to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. If I want to stay at McKinley, I have to give up something in return."
"He.." Rachel lowered her voice. "He made you quit the cheerleading squad?"
"No thanks to you!"
Quinn attempted to stalk off until Rachel's hand was, once again, grasping around Quinn's elbow, Rachel doing another one those things she shouldn't with a vampire. Quinn whipped around, irises widening further. Rachel gasped, a sudden jolt of fear radiating off her. But, she held firm.
"Just.." Rachel said. "Keep holding on, Quinn. I'm going to get you out of this."
The irises of Quinn's eyes constricted. Her face twitched and pulled, going through a flurry of emotions - shock, confusion, anger. Then, Rachel saw the tiny glimpse of the one emotion she'd been looking for, the one Quinn had always refused to believe in - hope.
"What's going on?"
It was Finn and Rachel found herself deflating once again as Quinn's mask returned taking that tiny little flicker of hope with it.
Quinn jerked out of Rachel's grasp. She glanced at Finn, then moved her eyes away from both of them. "Tell your girlfriend to leave me alone."
The two of them sat on the edge of the stage in the empty auditorium, their legs dangling over the edge. Rachel told Finn about Piscary and his plans for Quinn, the things he'd been doing to Quinn. Finn took it reasonably well, all things considered. He hadn't actually thrown up after his face went pale, then kinda green. But, she could see the guilt weighing down on his shoulders. He'd been Quinn's boyfriend for over three months and he hadn't known a thing.
"I didn't know," he said in a low mumble, eyes staring blankly at the seats in the auditorium.
"It's not your fault, Finn."
"I was her boyfriend. I should have known."
"Finn.." Rachel reached out, placing her hand on top of the one Finn had curled over the edge of the stage. Finn pulled from her grip then slid off the stage.
"I can't do this right now." He grabbed his backpack off one of the seats, slung it over his shoulder.
"Are you.." Rachel rose, standing up on the stage. "Are you breaking up with me?"
He stopped at the edge of the staircase, lowering his head. "I'm sorry, Rachel. I just wanna forget this. All of it."
She saw Finn ten minutes later. He was standing next to Quinn's locker, Quinn's face against his chest, Finn's arms wrapped around her as Quinn openly cried.
"It's okay," Finn repeated over and over. "It's going to be okay."
Rachel skipped Glee. She sat on the ground, her back to a tree on a far corner of the school property. Even from there, she could still hear the Glee club singing, like a soft echo carried on the breeze. Quinn had to quit the Cheerios, but she didn't have to quit Glee. Rachel could hear her voice, singing the solo meant for Rachel. It was another stab in the heart, how easily they could go on without her, how easily she was replaced. It was all just more pain creating more tears, adding to the ones already streaming down her face.
For one brief and shining moment, Rachel had everything she'd always wanted - a boyfriend, a role as the star in Glee, glimmers of popularity and the possibility of friends. But it was all a façade and Rachel was right back where she started.
She heard footsteps approaching softly on the grass. Rachel haphazardly wiped her face before lifting her head. It was Brittany. She smiled sheepishly as she stopped in her tracks, nervously worrying her fingers together.
"You weren't at Glee," she said.
"So!" Rachel snipped. "It's not like anyone misses me!"
Brittany shifted nervously on her feet. "Are you still going to help Quinn?"
Quinn. That's all anyone really cared about, fucking Quinn. The anger within Rachel burst open. Because, yes, she really was expected to help the girl who'd tormented her for half her life. Even when Rachel did try to help, she always came out on the losing end. Rachel was tired of wanting something she couldn't explain, just only knew it was something that would hurt her. She was tired of letting Quinn hurt her.
Rachel rose to her feet, gathering her books in her arms. "No," she said bitterly. "I'm not going to help Quinn."
The weekend finally arrived. Which was good because Rachel didn't have the energy to go to school. She didn't have the energy to do more than stay curled up in bed staring blankly at the wall, listening to the sounds of buzz saws and hammers as her Dad's worked on their church.
She thought about asking them what to do but she didn't want to reveal the bite on her neck or explain how it got there. She didn't want to explain the strange feelings she had for a girl she knew she shouldn't want and the boy she knew she should want but didn't. All they knew was that Finn had broken up with Rachel, and Rachel was content to continue letting them think that was all this was.
So Rachel stayed in bed, staring at the wall. She occasionally cried, which just made her feel guilty, then angry at feeling so damn guilty. She hadn't done anything wrong! This wasn't her fault. It was Quinn's fault. And Finn's fault. The school's fault. The ENTIRE state's fault!
"Rachel?" Artie darted into her peripheral vision. Rachel winced. No matter how hard she tried, those damn Pixie's always managed to find a way into her room.
"You okay?" He drifted closer to the bed, hovering by the far edge of her spare pillow.
"No," Rachel groaned, rolling onto her back. She pressed the palms of her hands against her eyes, rubbing until bright stars formed in the blackness behind her lids. "They're back together, aren't they? Finn and Quinn?"
"Yeah." He flew a bit closer, moving his legs beneath him as he took a seat on the top of the pillow. "Are you still going to help Quinn?"
Rachel slammed her fist down on the mattress. Artie immediately flew up, wings flapping heavily. "Why am I the one who has to help Quinn? Why can't any of her actual friends help her?"
Artie hovered over the bed a bit more. Comfortable Rachel really wasn't going to throw something at her, he sat back down on the pillow. "Maybe this isn't about Quinn. Maybe it's about you."
Rachel turned her head towards him. "What do you mean?"
Artie shrugged. "My Dad always says 'sometimes you have to do what's right even if it's something you don't want'," he sighed heavily, looking down at his legs and adjusting the tiny straps that kept them together. "Maybe you can't help her but you'll feel worse if you don't."
"I don't know," Rachel rolled her head back up, gazing blankly at the ceiling. "I'd rather just forget her.." Her voice trailed off and then her eyes went wide. "Forget!"
Rachel shot up to a seated position, tossing off the blanket over her legs and hurrying to her feet, the wheels in her head spinning wildly. "Artie!" she looked towards the space on the pillow except the Pixie was gone, frightened by her sudden movement and hiding in the rafters. She looked up. "Artie, I need you to contact everyone in Glee. Well, except Quinn. Tell them to meet in the choir room before school."
He drifted down, wings flapping excitedly. "Why?"
Rachel's eyes went wide as a huge smile spread on her lips. "I have a plan."
They were all there the next morning, even Finn who sat at the drum kit quietly tapping away with his sticks. Rachel entered the room and they continued chattering amongst themselves, not really acknowledging her arrival. She shouldered off the sudden feeling of resentment. This wasn't about her.
"Excuse me," Rachel said, straightening her shoulders as she stood by the piano. No one quieted. "EXCUSE ME!"
"Artie!" Puck called out to the Pixie, already irritated. "You did NOT call us here so Rachel could tell us she's quitting.. Again."
"No," Artie flew towards Rachel. He hovered by her shoulder. "C'mon guys. Just listen."
That seemed to get their attention because all eyes in the room were on Rachel. She always wanted to be a star, to have the spotlight all to herself. This time felt different. Rachel swallowed hard. "I have an announcement to make."
"Oh God," Kurt rolled his eyes. "Here we go."
"It's not like that," Rachel huffed, hands balling into fists. "At least, not this time. I think I know how to help Quinn. And.. I need your help. All of you."
The room quieted to a pin-drop silence. By now, they all knew what was going on with Quinn. They also knew helping Quinn meant getting involved with vampires. It also meant trusting Rachel, two ideas that totally didn't sound great together.
Puck rose from his seat, he slid his hands into his jeans pockets. He took a sideways glance at Finn then turned his eyes back to Rachel. "What do you need me to do?"
Brittany and Santana were quick to follow Puck's lead, rising from the seats. After that, it was like watching domino's fall.
Finn was the last to join. He grinned half-heartedly. "If it'll help Quinn, I'm in."
They were almost split evenly between Inderlanders and humans - Rachel and Tina were both witches, even though Tina didn't really practice magic, Puck and Santana, the werewolves, Artie, the Pixie, Mercedes, Mike and Kurt, the humans, and, well, whatever Brittany was.
They might not have been standing behind Rachel but they were all standing together. Which made them stronger. It made Rachel stronger.
It just didn't make her strong enough to not think - God help them all if she failed.
As much as Rachel wanted to question why or how Brittany knew magic, she didn't have the time. She had a spell to create. A spell that was definitely above her knowledge level and she needed all the help she could get, even if it was from Brittany, Tina and Mercedes, who's knowledge of magic came solely from Tina.
It had taken far longer to gather all the ingredients than Rachel thought it would, almost a week. The task of gathering the more obscure ingredients had fallen to Puck, being the only one of them who actually owned his own vehicle. But, seeing as how some of the ingredients were incredibly rare, gathering them all required a certain degree of both discretion and tact, qualities Puck seemed to lack. So, Rachel made Puck take Kurt with him on his trips to both Dayton and Columbus.
In the days it'd taken to gather all the ingredients for Rachel's spell, Quinn had skipped school. No one knew anything other than Piscary was back in town. Bad news for Quinn, worse news for Rachel.
The spell she planned to create was advanced level magic, like Master's Degree level. Rachel needed time, time to perfect it, time to make mistakes without actually harming anyone. With Piscary in town, Rachel's time had run out.
The solution to all their problems seemed simple. Rachel would create a memory potion, like a love potion, one which the receiver would be made to forget whatever memory the speller chose. Rachel planned to make Piscary forget Quinn. It fell under the boundaries of White Magic, Earth Magic, even though there were quicker, easier spells to create. Creating those spells involved using Demon Magic, or Black Magic, and Rachel didn't want to risk the smut on her soul. Especially if she screwed up the spell the first time and needed to do it again.
So Rachel stuck with Earth Magic, Tina and Brittany helping her measure and sort the ingredients in their proper order while Mercedes read from Rachel's spell book. It involved creating two separate pots, bringing them to a boil and then combining them into one pot. The last bit Rachel would have to do alone since it involved a drop of her own blood. After which, Rachel would pour the potion into a glass container. The hardest, difficult and most dangerous part would be getting Piscary to drink it. That is, of course, if Rachel's plan worked.
It was close to midnight by the time the second copper pot came to a complete boil. Long after Tina had excused herself under the threat of being put on restriction if she came home again after curfew, leaving Brittany and Rachel alone in the kitchen, and Puck and Santana alone in the main area turned living room. Rachel tried her best not to think of what they might have been doing, only hoping she wouldn't have to clean anything afterwards.
"Are you sure this is Quinn's brush?" Rachel asked after Brittany handed it to her. "The last thing we need is Piscary forgetting you ever existed because you grabbed the wrong brush."
Brittany rolled her eyes. "Of course it's hers. Mine has the Strawberry Shortcake stickers on it."
Several Pixies giggled, darting between Rachel and Quinn's heads.
"Artie!" Rachel shouted. He'd been on 'guard' duty all night, chasing his younger siblings out of the kitchen, dragging the younger ones from their hiding places practically kicking and screaming.
He dove in through a window, already corralling his siblings back out the window. "Sorry, Rachel."
Rachel sighed, eyeing Brittany. Her curiosity had finally reached its boiling point. The Pixies weren't just curious towards the taller blonde, they were downright obsessive. In her two visits to Rachel's home, there wasn't a moment where she wasn't surrounded by at least ten giggling Pixie's.
Rachel squinted her eyes. "What are you?"
Brittany gasped. "I thought you already knew?"
"I just know you aren't human."
"Oh," Brittany said, her cheeks suddenly flushing. She bowed her head, bouncing in her seat determining whether or not to tell her secret. "You promise not to tell anyone?"
Rachel lifted her hand, index and middle finger extended. "Scout's Honor, cross my heart and hope to die." Which was a serious thing to say as a witch.
Brittany smiled. She leaned towards Rachel, cupping her hand over Rachel's ear conspiratorially as she whispered. "I'm an elf."
"HA!" Artie yelled from somewhere within the kitchen. "I KNEW IT!!"
"ARTIE!!" Rachel yelled back. Apparently, next to an extreme sense of smell, Pixie's had a great sense of hearing as well. Artie darted towards the window once again. "Sorry Rachel."
Rachel turned back to Brittany. "But I thought, you know, you guys were extinct."
"Yeah, that's what everyone thinks. We're just all on the down-low."
"And that's why you know magic?"
"MmmHmm," Brittany nodded, fingers playing with one of the braids hanging off her ear.
"I don't get it." Rachel slid off her stool, circling around the island until she was before the second boiling pot. She grabbed a wooden spoon, circling the contents within the pot and making sure to go counter-clockwise. "Why the secrecy? Every one else has come out, so to speak, why not the Elves?"
"Because of the prophecy," Brittany shrugged.
Rachel stopped stirring, lifting her eyes and pointing her gaze directly at Brittany. "What prophecy?"
Brittany's head snapped up, her eyes blue orbs on a sea of white as her face went ghostly pale. "Um," she stammered, quickly rising from her stool. "I have to go to the bathroom."
"But.." There was nothing more to say. The blonde was off in a flash and Rachel couldn't leave her spells. She pursed her lips at the uneasy feeling washing over her. She didn't really believe in prophecies but, like magics, knew they were something not to take lightly. How bad could a prophecy be that the entire Elf population remained in hiding? If it was that bad, could it also be true? As if Rachel didn't have enough to worry about.
She lifted her head at the sound of Brittany's voice. She leaned through the door, just her head and a shoulder visible, the color seeming to return to her face.
"You know it's not just Quinn, right?" she said and Rachel shook her head no. "I know everybody's not always nice to you. But, we wouldn't be here if we didn't trust you."
A light pink crept onto Rachel's cheeks as the corners of her lips twitched into a smile. "Thanks Brittany."
An hour before dawn, Rachel completed the spell. With all the ingredients, two pots cooked to boiling, the final solution was nothing more than a few tiny greenish drops at the bottom of the vial Rachel poured it into. Potently powerful, Rachel could only pray she'd done the spell correctly.
Despite having been awake for almost 24 hours, Rachel was too wired to sleep. She fixed a pot of herbal tea, the one guaranteed to always put her to sleep. But, not too strong, there were still things to do and Rachel didn't want to waste the little time she had by sleeping.
She sat on the steps of the back porch, warm cup of tea clasped in her hands, her Grandmother's shawl wrapped around her shoulders. The sun, still below the horizon, began coloring the sky, turning black to blue to dull red. In the distance, she could hear leaves rustling from the light breeze, waking birds filling the air with song, a Pixie baby crying and the giggling of Pixies who'd awoken way before their parents preferred. It was going to be a beautiful day, a stark contrast to the darkness Rachel knew was coming. She sighed heavily, taking another sip of her tea.
Her plan was big. Crazy even. Together they were strong, Inderlanders and humans. But, they were still a rag-tag bunch of kids going up against a 300 year old vampire, the head of the camarilla. Maybe she should have talked to Mr. Schue. Maybe she should have talked to her Dad's. But, what could they do? What would they do? No one interfered with vampire business. Not the cops. Not Inderland Security. No one. By all rights, vampire or other wise, Quinn was Piscary's property. His to do with as he saw fit.
Vampire politics, Rachel thought. She could study it for a million years and never understand a whit of it.
"Is it done?"
Rachel clamped a hand over her mouth to contain the startled yelp, almost spilling her tea in the process. She turned to look behind her. Puck stood in front of the door, hands tucked into the front pockets of his jeans, eyes staring forward at the rising sun.
"Yeah," Rachel sighed. "It's done."
"Good," he answered. She saw the twitch of his jaw, the slight narrowing of his eyes. It would be two weeks until the next full moon, but she could feel Puck's 'wolfishness' radiating off him. His role was simple, should things get hairy (no pun intended) he was the muscle and Puck looked like he was itching for a fight.
"Why do you care?" Rachel asked. "I mean, about Quinn. After everything she did to you?"
He chuckled then turned his eyes towards Rachel. "Why do you care? After everything she did to you?"
Instinctually, Rachel's fingers went to the scar on her neck. In time although not soon enough for Rachel, the vamp saliva would work its way out of her system, severing her bond with Quinn. A bond. It wouldn't sever the other bond, the one that went deeper than blood and saliva. The one that bonded the two in ways Rachel still couldn't comprehend. The one weakening day by day, hour by hour, the longer Quinn was within Piscary's grasp. Rachel felt the tingles of fear. She hadn't really thought of what would happen should the bond she shared with Quinn were severed. She hadn't really thought if she wanted that bond severed. Now, everything was threatened and the only person who could make things right rested on Rachel's shoulders.
"What if it doesn't work?" she asked aloud. "What if I fail?"
"You won't," Puck answered, his tone definite and final.
"How can you be so sure?"
"We'll save her, Rachel." He stepped forward then sat down next to Rachel, draping his arm over her shoulder. "If we fail, we'll try again. We won't stop until we save her."
"She's part of your pack, isn't she?" Rachel finally understood. Barring his mother and sister, Puck was a lone wolf. Had been since his dad died and his mother left the pack to keep her children from following in their father's footsteps. Even alone, werewolves were all about the pack.
"No, she's not part of my pack," he smiled off Rachel's puzzled look. "We're part of yours." He kissed her on the temple then rose to his feet, heading back into the church. He stopped in the doorway, head slightly turned, features silhouetted by the light inside. "I'll always have your back, Rachel Berry-Morgan."
It'd been nothing more than a fling. A brief romance that flamed then just as quickly fizzled. It never occurred to Rachel that it meant something more. It never occurred to Rachel that it meant something more to Puck.
Before the beginning of the school year, most of them barely knew each other, let alone were friends. They had nothing in common other than Glee. Now, less than a year later, here they were all banded together under Rachel's roof, ready to follow Rachel's every word in an attempt to save one of their own.
It would have brought a tear to Rachel's eye if she weren't scared half to death.
"Breaker-One-Nine, Breaker-One-Nine, this is Finn the Fox.."
"Dammit, Finn!" Rachel barked into the two-way radio. "Quit foolin' around!"
The plan might have been in motion, everything just wasn't going according to the plan. The fake ID's Puck acquired wouldn't get them into a daycare center let alone an exclusive establishment like Piscary's. Mercedes and Kurt had yet to arrive because Mercedes' car ran out of gas. Brittany hadn't stopped throwing up since she and Santana arrived. And Mike Chang, he had to bail because of something he would only describe as an 'Asian emergency', whatever the hell that meant. Now, Tina was sniffling out of fear Mike was about to break up with her.
Some plan. Some leader Rachel turned out to be.
She grasped the tiny vial attached to her necklace. Her tell-tale heart. If this didn't work.. Rachel shook her head. It had to work.
It had to work.
"Bad Wolf to Barbara Streisand, come in," Puck's voice crackled over the tiny speaker. "Over."
"This is Barbara Streisand. What is it, Puck.. I mean Bad Wolf?"
Rachel's back stiffened, it felt like ice water had been poured into her veins. She looked up at the expectant faces looking back at her. Santana and Tina in their black sweaters and black jeans, Brittany still in her Cheerios uniform even though it was Saturday. They were on the roof of the hardware store across the street from Piscary's. At Puck's words, they all lifted onto their knees, elbows on the ledge and peering below. Rachel grabbed the sole pair of binoculars and placed them to her eyes.
Two black SUV's flanked a stretch black limo. They pulled up to the front of Piscary's, parking so the limo was the one in front of the entrance. The doors to the SUV's opened, the door to Piscary's opened, a flurry of activity as men in black, big and large and burly, surrounded the limo. Someone opened the door.
Rachel recognized Russell Fabray immediately. Even through the binoculars, his eyes were just as cold, if not colder than the night she first met him. The next to exit the limo was a woman, Judy Fabray. Rachel had never met Quinn's mother but Judy looked like Quinn twenty years from now (if Quinn lived that long). Her long blonde hair was pulled back and into an ornate bun, her skin pale and flawless. It was her eyes that caught Rachel's attention, blue to Quinn's hazel, the expression on her face. Vacant, no Rachel thought, haunted. The expression reminded Rachel of Brittany's words and how undead vamps lose their souls not all at once but over time. Judy Fabray looked like a woman who was losing her soul, who knew she was losing her soul and powerless to do anything about it.
"C'mon, Rachel, what do you see?" Santana growled, reaching for the binoculars.
"Dammit, Santana!" Rachel snapped back, slapping at Santana's hand. She gasped loudly, almost dropping the binoculars. She placed them back before her eyes, peering through the lens. "Quinn."
Quinn had already exited the limo, standing next to her father and mother. She looked pale, ghostly pale, fragile with her head bowed, hands clasped before her. There were dark circles under her eyes, bite marks on her neck, bruises on her arms. Not broken but close to the edge. Quinn wore a summer dress but it looked wrong; virginal in color, promiscuous in cut, the hem too high, the neckline too low, dipping down to mid-stomach and exposing the swells of both breasts, the material too shear, almost see through, too tight, curving against Quinn's body in all the wrong places. Not Quinn's dress.
He exited the limo last and Rachel felt her blood turn cold. Tall, black hair, broad shouldered. The entitlement radiated, buffeted Rachel from across the street. Arrogant. Not old money, but his countenance reflected a man who felt he deserved everything he'd taken by hook or by crook - past, present and future.
Soon, Piscary would take Quinn.
He approached the Fabray family, Russell and Judy turning and walking into the building. Piscary draped his arm over Quinn's shoulder, leaned down and pressed his lips to her temple, Quinn visibly recoiling at his touch. As they turned to enter the restaurant, the arm on Quinn's shoulder was a hand sliding down her back, down further, possessively cupping Quinn's ass.
Rachel's stomach churned. All her anxieties, fears, doubts turned to sheer rage. The air about her crackled as the rage streaked outwards, searching for the nearest ley line.
"Jesus," someone said, possibly Tina.
Rachel dropped the binoculars, hands curling into fists as she rose to her feet. "I'm going to kill him," she growled through clenched teeth. Damn the smut on her soul. "I'm going to kill him."
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