Never Asked To Feel Your Halo


Chapter Twenty-Eight: You're Making Me A Crazy Chick (I need professional help!)

Quinn tapped her pen restlessly against her knee as they watched television in Finn's bedroom.

She'd come over after school to hang out and do homework in the hope it would relax her and help her forget her infuriating day but so far being there was only making her more on edge than ever.

It might have had something to do with the shark attack show they were watching. It was gross and violent and for some reason all of the baby seals that were getting snapped up seemed to have Rachel's face.

And Great White Shark, Quinn decided, was not a good look on her, even if she could appreciate the deadly personality somewhat. She didn't want to tear Rachel apart any more though, no matter how much easier it would make her life if she did.

She sighed noisily, snapping her history book closed as she turned impatiently away from the TV.

"Are you okay? You've been touchy ever since you got here. Do you feel sick? Do you want me to make you a sandwich or something?"

"I'm fine. Can we just watch something else? This is disgusting."

"It's good, like nature and stuff, and anyway it's nearly over."

"Finn!"

"Fine!" He stabbed the remote, turning the set off completely.

"You could have just changed the channel."

He shrugged. "I thought you wanted to do homework anyway. We should probably get started. There won't be any point in using Rachel to get a scholarship to college if I can't even pass tenth grade."

"I wasn't using her!"

Finn sat back in surprise. "I . . . I didn't mean it like that. I just meant, like, taking advantage of how much stronger we are as a team and stuff when she's a part of Glee. Not using her as a person."

"Is that any better?"

Finn looked suitably confused. "Are you feeling bad about something to do with Rachel?"

"Of course not! I just . . ." She shook her head. ". . . I hate that we have to rely on Manhands for anything. It's degrading."

"But if it's for our baby . . .?" he shrugged helplessly.

He was trying, it wasn't his fault he was no good at giving her the answers she needed right now. She didn't know how to get the answers she needed. Maybe some questions were better left unasked.

"Finn, have you really stopped to think about this?"

"Are you kidding me? I don't think about anything else! I'm going to be a father. I don't know how to be a Dad! It's not like I ever had one around to teach me. So sure I've been thinking about it, it's like I'm always thinking about it well nearly always, sometimes I have to think about normal guy things, like burgers and football and, I don't know, your boobs and stuff . . ." Catching sight of her expression he stumbled over his next few words before rushing on. "A-and I, uh, I got it all figured out now, I think. So, like, first we win Sectionals, then we win Regionals and then we go on to kill at Nationals, because you might now like Rachel much but she is that good and she makes me better just being with her . . ."

Quinn was nodding thoughtfully, personalizing his words, and only recognized his slip-up when he made his correction.

". . . I mean us; she makes us better, New Directions." He looked shifty for a moment before getting back on topic. "Miss Pillsbury said winning Nationals should be enough to guarantee me a scholarship and then I can get a decent job and we'll me, you and baby we'll be okay."

She let the slip go. They actually had bigger things to discuss than his crazy obsession with Rachel Berry.

Nicely deflected there.

'I thought so.'

"Finn, how are you going to support us until you graduate college?"

"What?"

"This baby isn't going to live in me for the next six years! It's due in less than eight months. That's when we'll start needing diapers and food and, oh, maybe a place to live! Not after you've graduated from college."

He stared at her for a moment and then slammed a loosely curled fist down on his bed in frustration.

"Crap! What am I going to do? School won't even have finished for the summer by then. I'm going to have to drop out. How do I even do that. " He left the bed to pace the small space beside it, obliviously kicking and trampling balled socks, lidless pens and his English homework. As the fears he'd been hiding from her broke free, his gestures were as panicky as his voice, arms flailing in time with his words, giving Quinn the urge to duck if not the necessity. "How am I going to tell my Mom?"

"Finn." Seeing the tears in his eyes Quinn slid to the edge of the bed, reaching out to snatch his closest hand between hers and jerk him around to face her. "Calm down, okay?"

"Calm down? How can I . . .? I've been so busy focusing on how I can be a good dad I forgot this was, like, happening right now. I think it's 'cause you're still hot and everything; as soon as you get really fat it's gonna be like 'Oh yeah, shit! We're having a baby . . .'"

"Hey!"

He was too worked up to even realize he'd just insulted her. She wanted to be angry but it was guilt that surged through her. This shouldn't be his problem. She couldn't let him even think about dropping out of school over this.

She pulled him back down onto the bed, "Hey, what if there was another way?"

"For what?"

"To deal with this."

"I thought you didn't want to . . ."

"No. Not that. But there are other options, once it's born."

"What, like our parents supporting us until I'm done with college?" He sounded both hopeful and like his pride was about to take a battering.

She squeezed his hand. "Actually I was thinking about adoption . . . possibly."

Possibly as in she'd already told Mrs. Schuester yes.

She watched him silently watch her for a really long time, different emotions flickering across his face from confusion to understanding to relief. It was the relief she expected, she was giving him a way out, and she smiled softly to let him know it was okay.

What she didn't expect were the tears rolling down his cheeks, or sadness replacing the relief in his eyes and the broken catch in his voice. "You want to give my . . . our baby away."

It wasn't an accusation, just heartbroken acceptance and it caused her own eyes to fill with tears.

"No. I mean, I don't know. It's just something else for us to think about. Long term we have to choose what's best for the baby, not for us."

He nodded, "I know but . . ." He pulled away so he could rub the heels of his hands into his eyes, leaving them redder than before. "This is just too much. We're kids, Quinn! And we never even did anything wrong! I mean if we'd, you know, had sex, we could be like 'well that was stupid but at least we had fun' right?" He chuckled nervously, like he was hoping to convince her he was joking, and sniffed back the last of his tears.

She smiled coyly. "You mean you didn't have fun in the hot tub? You certainly seemed to."

His smile turned sheepish. "Sure it was fun; I just don't know if it was a 'knock-your-girlfriend-up-and-completely-screw-up-both-of-your-lives' amount of fun."

Quinn looked down as he looked back up, guilt pinching her heart again.

"Sorry, that was a dumb thing to say. I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I know this is all my fault for being, uh, well, all Quick Draw McGraw," he shrugged a shoulder. She raised an eyebrow and he gave another sheepish shrug. "You're not the one who couldn't . . . stop!"

No, but it helped that she hadn't really started in the first place. Not that she was going to tell him that. She wanted to make him feel better, not worse. He clearly already had a complex about it all.

"Hey, it wasn't your fault. It happens. It was a . . . a sexy situation and, hey, I'd have been more upset if you hadn't had that reaction kissing me when I was in my bikini . . ." She thought about that and knew she had to add something less soothing. ". . . Well, maybe not, because at least then I wouldn't be pregnant . . ." As he dropped his head into his hands she swiftly moved past it into pleasanter waters. ". . . but you shouldn't blame yourself, it was like a freak accident or something."

"They should really put a warning on the side of the hot tub," he agreed innocently, before letting his anxieties take the fore again. "But we still have to deal. I've been stupid, burying my head in clouds of scholarships and stuff. I need to start thinking about this little person . . ." he put his palm gently over her stomach ". . . so you don't have to give it away. You know, unless you actually want to."

This was the first time he'd physically acknowledged the baby in this way and his support in letting her know he'd stand by her in whatever decision she ultimately made just reminded her that she might have chosen him because he was the school's star Quarterback but she was still with him nearly six months later because there were a lot of reasons why she should love him.

And she really did.

But at the same time his hand felt too large on her stomach, somehow unfamiliar even though he was her boyfriend. She'd spent more time in the last few weeks physically closer to someone else and it may have been completely platonic . . . or whatever the hell it was, but that felt . . . God, she didn't want to be thinking about this now. She didn't want to remember how Rachel's hand had felt when it had been closer to her skin than Finn's, just that afternoon . . .

"We'll figure it out together." It was another lie but one he deserved for the time being. "But later. For now, come here."

She pulled him closer by his polo shirt as she leaned in and up to press her mouth to his. His lips tasted salty from where he'd brushed his tears across his face and she licked them instinctively, causing him to pull back with a surprised smile.

"I thought you wanted to study?"

"I opened the book. That's enough studying for now."

"Cool."

As they kissed again she pushed him back onto the bed, making his hand fall away from her stomach. She was much happier with it lightly gripping her shoulder. It still felt too big but that was okay. She didn't want to think about small hands anymore anyway.

She wriggled up on top of him until she was comfortable, smirking a little as he groaned low in his throat and forgot to kiss back for a few seconds he was so easy (unlike some people).

"You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm good."

They kissed until he pulled away, panting for air, and she dropped her head to his shoulder while he recovered. Feeling comfortable and safe in his arms, she didn't know why the thoughts came back again.

Comparing Finn to . . . um, anyone, especially right now, was so disrespectful and wrong but . . . How would it really feel to lie like this with . . . with someone else? To do what they'd just been doing? Would it feel completely immoral and horrible? Just thinking about it sort of did, as well as sinful and shameful and senseless and too strange to even consider.

'And surprising and stimulating and . . . okay, fine, if I'm already going as far as stimulating then, um . . . sexy? But only in a scandalous, living-out-a-bad-girl-fantasy kind of way, obviously!'

If God had made one mistake it was making it possible to blush at your own thoughts. It was a serious design flaw.

"Hey, what are you thinking about?"

She held her head up to see Finn giving her a gentle smile in her weakened state it unarmed her with its innocence.

"Rachel." The name clearly surprised him. Not as much as it did her. "Not in a . . . I . . . We . . . uh," 'Pick a reason, Fabray!' "We had words again earlier. After Glee. She was being her usual obnoxious self." That much was true. "And I was just thinking how much she would kill to be in my position right now."

She grinned, happy with her lie, but he didn't return it, obviously.

"Sorry, so that's mean. Whatever."

"I wish you two could just get along."

"That's never going to happen." Something that also seemed to be true.

"She's a nice person, Quinn."

"Not to me, she's not." Another truth, well a half truth at least.

"That's because you're always mean to her." Another truth, full one this time.

"She deserves it." Okay, that was an out and out lie, and she'd been doing so well.

"But she doesn't. So she dresses kind of old fashioned and weird and like has these really strong opinions that can make her kind of annoying sometimes, but that doesn't mean she deserves you picking on her all the time."

"Can we stop talking about Manhands now? God, it's like you're obsessed with her or something."

It was a thin line to tread, seeing as she was the one who'd brought her up, but Finn just looked worried.

"I'm not. I just like her. As a friend! She's pretty cool when you get to know her." Truth but not one Quinn wanted pointed out to her right now.

"Okay, I'm sorry. Can we just forget about her now though?"

She kissed him and for a little while neither of them mentioned Rachel's name again.

"She's just so frustrating!"

Finn looked startled. "Who?" She gave him a 'duh' look and he sounded even more panicked as he repeated, "Who?"

"Rachel!"

"Oh. Yeah, she can be but that's just because she wants to win so bad. She doesn't mean to piss everyone off, she's just, I don't know, like she has her eyes on the goal and people kind of get flattened by accident."

"What do you mean?" she asked, intrigued by the idea of getting Rachel-insight from possibly the one person in school who had actually taken the time to get to know the girl.

"Well, it's like . . . you know how when you get the football and suddenly all you can see is the end zone? Everything else fades out because you know you have the power to get that touchdown if you just have the guts to make it happen. So you just . . . charge and you don't even see the guys in your way, even though you're getting hit left and right, the only thing you can focus on is holding that ball in your arms as tight as you can and running. And you don't even notice all those guys you're driving through, even the really big ones, it's like they're not even there because you're just running to where you need to be. And then when you score the touchdown you turn around and are, like, whoa, how did all those other guys end up on the ground, I didn't even feel that happening."

Quinn had been listening carefully, waiting for that part the made sense about Rachel. "I don't understand."

"Rachel's like that. She knocks everyone down without realizing it because all she can see is that thing she wants you know, like solos and winning Glee competitions and stuff like that."

She frowned, "You know you're not painting your friend in a favorable light there. Telling me she's happy to knock us all down so that she can win is not going to make me suddenly like her."

Finn grinned. "You didn't let me finish. When Rachel stands there, the ball bouncing behind her, and sees all the people she ploughed to the ground, she's not like the guys on the team. She's sorry about it. And she, like, walks back up the field, picking people up and dusting the grass of their asses and apologizing and stuff. Like she did when she came to Glee just in time to help us sing 'Somebody to Love' for the Invitational. She doesn't mean to upset people, I think she just doesn't always think because she's so focused on what's important to her."

"Okay."

Did any of this apply to what was going on between them? If it did it didn't look promising, because Rachel certainly wasn't knocking people down to get her. If anything she was knocking people down Quinn down to get away from her.

"Okay you'll stop picking on her now?" he sounded hopeful.

"No, just okay I think we're done talking about her now."

"Quinn . . ."

"Look, would you rather be making out with me or trying to convince me why I should be best buddies with Berry?"

She nearly head-butted him in the mouth when he took a second to think about it. Lucky for him he chose wisely.

"Making out with you."

"Thank you."

He didn't seem to mind that her kisses were angry and aggressive all of a sudden. Although he did mumble at one point, "You and Rachel actually have a lot in common when you think about it."

"Take that back!" she mumbled.

He grinned into the kiss. "You do. You probably would be best buddies if you gave her a chance."

She'd thought that herself, although she knew she'd never be happy just being best buddies with Rachel now. Whatever was between them made her feel too much. It was why she was so scared to offer her real friendship; the thought that it wouldn't stay that way for long and she would be the reason why. She could admit that to herself now, Friday night and this afternoon had kind of made it impossible to forget how she felt or put it down to only curiosity, but that didn't stop her from hating it and hating herself for feeling it.

"Maybe we could invite her over for some Mario Kart tonight. You two could get to know each other better."

Too much of her wanted to say yes. And knowing that Rachel would probably turn the invite down purely on the grounds that Quinn was involved made her angry.

"No!"

"It could be fun. And she's never played before so you'd at least get some satisfaction out of beating her."

That could be fun . . . No! She had to stop thinking about fucking Berry!

"Finn, if I let you touch my breast will you shut up about freaking Rachel for five minutes while we're supposed to be making out?"

He pulled back abruptly and thank God there was at least one way to get a direct line to a teenage boy's brain.

"Under your shirt?"

Hell, she'd take her shirt off right now if she thought it would take her mind off of Rachel too.

"Over the bra," she said curtly, before kissing him again.

He wasn't slow in coming forward and she gasped when her left breast was completely engulfed by his right hand. It wasn't the first time she'd let him get as far as second base, but it never felt any less invasive and strange to let someone put their hands on her chest. She'd heard from the locker room and read in magazines that it was supposed to be just as fun for the girl as the boy but she couldn't attest to that. She'd been just as excited as he the first time she'd granted Finn permission to 'go there', expecting to get something amazing from the experience; instead she'd spent the next two weeks wondering if her nipples were somehow defective. By the time Puck laid his soft, meaty hands on her she'd already resigned herself to never feeling more than a sense of intrusive, uncomfortable pressure, both of the physical and metaphysical variety.

Finn, it had to be said, certainly did not share her apathy and after few seconds of nervous groping he froze completely. Seriously? Already? But then he relaxed back into it and she smiled despite herself. This might not be doing as much for her as it was for him but at least it was distracting. She hadn't thought about Rachel for at least . . .

Okay, that was stupid.

It was like ten minutes ago all over again. How different would this feel if it was . . .? No, do not go there!

Too late.

Crap! Did she actually just moan?

"Is this okay?"

"Yeah, don't stop."

"Okay."

Finn at least sounded more breathless than she did.

From experience Rachel's hand would be smaller, softer, gentler, less squeezing more caressing, knowing where to . . . Like he was reading her mind a thumb dragged gently over her covered nipple.

"Ohhhhh."

Okay, maybe not more breathless anymore.

"Sorry, did I . . ."

"Stop talking."

To drive her point home she kissed him deeply, until her lungs were burning and she had to drag her lips away. Her mouth moved to his neck. It tasted nearly as salty as his lips had from the tears but it smelled like it always did, like him and his shower gel, a hint of lime above the general clean boy scent.

She preferred lemon to lime these days but it was still nice. His neck was soft and warm under her lips, smooth against her tongue and she sucked hungrily like she'd wanted to earlier with R . . .

No!

Yes!

No!

YES!

She could feel Finn's hand sliding down over her ass like if he did it slow enough she wouldn't notice and she didn't even care.

"Kiss my ear."

"What?"

"Finn, just kiss my ear!"

"Oh!"

He did so and it made a sort of smacking noise that reverberated in her ear canal. She winced and it nearly pulled her from the moment before he got it together, moving his mouth at little so that his lips traveled in small pecks around the outside, up and then down.

"Like this?" he mumbled.

"Yeah." She sucked on his neck hard and his hand squeezed her ass. Why couldn't his hand be smaller? "More though. Like . . ."

She quickly showed him what she wanted before he could ask and then moved back to kissing his neck. Rachel's soft lips . . . Gah, Finn's soft lips closed around her ear lobe, gently sucking for a few seconds before his tongue swirled around the outer lip.

"Yes, like that!"

"Uh . . . Oh . . . uh . . . Q-Quinn . . . uh . . ."

It was only as the hand left her breast to tightly grip her side that she realized she was grinding down hard against a suddenly very prominent part of him. It wasn't like she hadn't been able to feel it before; she just hadn't been paying much any attention to how this was affecting him.

She almost didn't want to stop now but it was suddenly much harder to give in to the pull of her fantasy and as soon as the spell was broken she was mortified by her own behavior.

"Oh, I-I'm sorry."

"I'm not, I just . . ."

She wasn't even listening as she rolled off of him, pulling his hand from beneath her top so she could get away and sit up on the edge of the bed, hiding her ragged breathing from his eyes if not his ears.

"Are you okay?"

She didn't, couldn't, answer. She was very much not okay.

"Did you, like, wanna pray or something?"

He sounded so frustrated and yet concerned at the same time that if she wasn't feeling like she currently was she would have laughed.

"Yes," her voice was shaky as she slipped off of the edge of the bed to her knees, facing away from him.

Her eyes closed as she clasped her hands in front of her but she took a few seconds to compose herself before she reached out.

'Jesus, what is wrong with me?'

What do you think is wrong with you?

'I'm pretty sure I just fantasized about another girl while making out with my boyfriend.'

No, that's what you did, not what's wrong with you.

'Then what is wrong with me?'

What do you think?

'You're normally more helpful than this.'

No, I'm not. You know what the answer is. You just have to admit it.

'I've already admitted I like her!'

Then maybe that's not the answer.

'So, I don't like her?'

When Jesus rolled his eyes it was disconcerting. Or you're asking the wrong question.

'How do I know what the right question is then?'

What do you really want to know?

'Is it okay to like her?' she guessed.

That's up to you.

'Is it okay for her to know I like her?'

That's up to you.

'It's not okay to do what I just did.'

No.

'He's my boyfriend.'

Yes.

'I like Rachel.'

Yes.

'More.'

I figured.

'That sounded more like me than you.'

That's because it was.

'Oh. Okay. It's not always easy to tell the difference.'

That's why we call it having faith.

'Oh. What do I do now?'

Trust your faith.'

'So I should shun Rachel and my feelings for her and stay with Finn forever?'

Is that really what you believe?

'No.'

There you go then. You need to do whatever it takes to make you happy.

'That sounded like me again.'

No, that was all me.

'Are you messing with me?'

Do you not think God wants you to be happy?

'Even if it means hurting Finn?'

The challenge here is to be happy without hurting Finn. At least more than you can help.

'Okay, I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but I'm still pretty convinced I'm just talking to myself here.'

What will it take to convince you otherwise?

'Oh, I don't know, maybe you could turn my bottle of water into a wine cooler?'

Isn't that how you got into this mess in the first place?

'You're trying to tell me wine coolers make you gay!'

"Uh, Quinn, I don't wanna interrupt, but you've been praying for, like, fifteen minutes now. Do you need me to call your pastor or something?"

"Amen. Sorry." Quinn sat back on the edge of the bed. "That was just intense."

"Yeah." Finn grinned. "It was awesome." Well, at least he wasn't hurt yet. "Are you okay though? I didn't go too far, did I? I mean you seemed pretty into it but I kind of got, yunno, carried away at the end there."

Except he hadn't, she had! He'd been as much of a gentleman as a sixteen year old boy in that situation could have been. He was so good to her and she was so terrible to him, in ways he didn't even know. She felt tears well up because she never wanted to hurt him again.

"Hey, you're crying!" He moved closer to her on the bed and she tensed until he just put his arms around her, pulling her into a hug. "I'm so sorry. Really. I didn't mean to . . ."

"You were fine, Finn!" She couldn't believe she was sobbing into his chest over this. "You're perfect."

She could feel him smile against her forehead. "Is this a baby hormone thing?"

She didn't know. "Maybe."

"Do you want me to get you that sandwich now?"

Oh God, how could that make her cry harder?

"Yes please."

Mostly she just wanted a minute to calm down.

He kissed the top of her head before letting go and standing up. "What would you like?"

"Do you have any piccalilli?" she sniffed.

His nose wrinkled, "I doubt it."

"Oh. Anything's fine then."

"Bacon?"

That actually sounded good and she nodded.

"You want to wait here?"

"If you don't mind."

He gave her a grin and left the room. As the door slowly closed behind him she lay back on the bed.

Why was everything such a hot damn mess? Wasn't being pregnant at sixteen by a guy who wasn't Finn enough? Now she had to deal with the fact that she liked someone else too. And not in the way she'd liked Puck their one night together but in a way that involved actual feelings that she apparently couldn't ignore anymore.

Add to that it was another girl! Did this actually make her gay now? It was different to just thinking, yunno, perhaps girls might be better company on dates or secretly wondering if they kissed better than boys. This was more than that; it wasn't just a . . . a speculation or a passing fancy, she was into a girl, badly, she couldn't stop thinking about her! But was it possible she just liked this girl and once that was out of her system she'd go right back to liking boys? Liking Finn? Had she ever liked Finn, or any boy, the way she liked . . .?

And that was another thing! Fine, be gay or whatever, life was full of surprises, she could roll with the punches, but did her punch have to be packed full of Rachel-freaking-Berry? Of all the cruel jokes to play on her . . .

Rachel didn't even like her. She may still have been harboring a physical crush if that afternoon in the bathroom was anything to go by, but emotionally it had only made Rachel hate her. She'd never hated her before! In fact it seemed as though Rachel had liked her a hell of a lot more before Quinn had ever developed these horrible feelings.

So she didn't just have to cope with being gay, she had to cope with being terrible at it too!

'I'm not gay!'

She stared at the ceiling, tiredly wiping the tears from her face.

'I don't even care if I am! But I do not like Rachel Berry!'

Santana was hot, and you didn't need to be gay to see that. She imagined kissing her friend's neck while grinding on top of her as she been with Finn.

It didn't exactly turn her off but she couldn't picture ever actually doing it either. Maybe if she was drunk . . .

So Santana was her female version of Puck. That was okay. What was her female version of Finn?

It wasn't Rachel.

Brittany, maybe? Yeah, probably.

So what did that make Rachel?

'Nothing! Rachel is nothing!'

Cursing her brain, she rolled to her side and hugged an arm around Finn's pillow.

'If she's nothing why can I literally not stop obsessing about her?'

Finn's cell phone was on the chair by his bed.

No.

He was frying bacon for her; she probably had another five minutes at least. That's if he didn't burn the first lot which, from experience, she knew he was prone to doing.

Her hand reached for the phone like she had no control over it.

He's frying bacon for you! Probably twice! Doesn't that mean anything to you?

'It means I have about another five minutes.'

She found the number she was looking for and hit call. It was picked up after just two rings.

"Hello, Finn, how are you this evening?"

"It's not Finn, it's me." She hated that her voice still sounded a little snivelly.

There was a pause and then an audibly weary sigh on the other end. "I see. In that case, hello Quinn, how are you this evening?"

Quinn smiled even though the greeting sounded forced this time around. "I'm okay. How are you?"

"Honestly? Suspicious as to why you are calling me on Finn's phone."

Oh for God's sake, couldn't she just throw her one measly bone and not be such a jerk all the time?

As she didn't really know why she'd phoned, other than because she'd wanted to, Quinn played it safe. "Finn and I were talking, we wondered if you wanted to come over and play Mario Kart with us."

"I see, and what's in it for you?"

Quinn stared down at Finn's bedspread, her breathing was all funny and it took her a second to tell the truth. "You'd be over here playing Mario Kart with us."

It was Rachel's turn to pause and her voice sounded less disdainful when she finally spoke. "Oh. I . . . I appreciate the invite but I'm afraid I can't. Maybe another night."

"Why not?"

"I have homework to do."

"Blow it off. Finn really wants you to come over and I . . . I wouldn't be totally against spending some time with you tonight." She grinned, hoping her playful tone was carrying over.

Apparently it wasn't. Or Rachel just didn't care. "I'm not blowing off homework to play video games, Quinn!"

"Fine!" With difficulty she calmed her tone and changed the subject. "I picked your scarf up after school. It's as good as new. Do you want me to bring it over?"

"When?"

"When I leave Finn's. I won't be here much longer."

"Then why ask me over to play Mario Kart for the evening if you're not going to be there?"

"Maybe I would be here if you were going to be here but you're not!" she growled into the phone. Footsteps could be heard on the stairs. "I have to go. I'll be there in half an hour."

She had the phone back on the chair by the time Finn pushed open his bedroom door and she sat up slowly like she hadn't heard him coming.

She rubbed her eyes, "Hey, I was almost asleep."

He sat down next to her on the bed, passing her the plate. "You can take a nap after you've eaten if you like. Then we can study. Or watch something on TV without sharks."

She returned his smile as fully as she could. "I think I'm just going to go home, actually, and go to bed. I'm really kind of tired. Sorry."

She shoved the sandwich in her mouth before he could argue or ask questions.


Chapter Twenty-Nine

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