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Never Asked To Feel Your Halo

Chapter Forty-Three: No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Quinn watched her go, feelings pouring into her like nothing she had experienced. This was heartache. This was . . . horrible. And she only had herself to blame.

She'd transformed herself after leaving Bellevue, to the point where even her personality was unrecognizable. It had been necessary and she had never once regretted becoming someone new someone who had friends, a boyfriend, status . . . she was the freakin' most popular girl in school now! She'd overcome, she'd won, she was the person Lucy Fabray had had wet dreams over becoming.

And now Rachel had happened and Quinn had never wanted to be boring, mousy, ugly, friendless, disgusting Lucy Fabray so much in her life. And at the same time she despised her former self more than ever.

Lucy would have been honored to tell the world she had someone like Rachel in life actually she would have been honored to tell the world she had anyone besides her family and God in her life, but if these feelings had surfaced back then she would have run (or waddled) up to the top of Bellevue's bell tower in the center of the school and screamed out her feelings for everyone to hear (not that anyone would have bothered to listen, except maybe to laugh at her). Now, because she'd changed, worked her ass off to be like the girls she'd loathed but couldn't help looking up to anyway, she was too far removed, too popular to make any such announcements about Rachel the Lucy Fabray of McKinley High.

Rachel was right; Quinn could put her on a pedestal all she liked, but it would still never be as high as the one she'd put herself on three years earlier.

Quinn had been so determined to turn her life around that she'd done a really good job of it. She was a sophomore and she ruled this school. She was more popular than any of the senior girls even. How could that ever be a bad thing? And yet it was, because she might be head cheerleader and she might date the Quarterback, but the one thing she actually might want as much as popularity was walking away from her because of them.

No, not because of them, because of her; because she'd let that all go to her head and coupled with her desire to be the exact opposite of who she had been for the first thirteen years of her miserable life she'd somehow become someone not good enough for Rachel-freaking-Berry!

Tears pooled in her eyes, big angry and tears, and they reminded her that she was standing in the middle of the locker room and any second Mercedes and Tina were going to emerge and see her crying. And they'd see that Rachel was no longer waiting to shower. They'd either jump to the right conclusion which wasn't acceptable or the wrong conclusion and that, thinking of how Rachel would feel if more rumors were started, was even more unacceptable.

She straight-armed her way back into the bathroom and leaned on one of the sinks, keeping her head ducked low because she couldn't face her own eyes right now.

Even in here she could hear the two Glee girls' muffled talking and laughing. Mercedes and Tina were taking a shower long enough to grow gills and fins and Rachel had been waiting all that time to take her own before she'd given up and left. Rachel had implied they'd given her cause to not shower with them okay, Quinn had provided the cause but it wasn't like either Mercedes or Tina were the spitting image of her the exact opposite in fact so why would they assume that just because Rachel liked her, she'd want to look at them naked too?

She didn't hold either girl in very high regard generally, but she didn't think they were prejudiced in any way either, including against homosexuality. They were good friends with Kurt. Maybe Rachel being a girl made a difference; maybe it just made them feel uncomfortable being in the shower with another girl who liked girls.

For the first time Quinn realized that she'd outed Rachel to everyone in Glee. She hadn't even thought about it before! She'd just said what she needed to, to stay on top of things. She hadn't thought for a second about the consequences.

It was clear that Rachel didn't have a problem with her sexuality around her, but maybe she hadn't wanted the whole world to know yet. It should have been her choice to tell or not to tell and Quinn had taken that out of her hands and blurted it out there. And on the basis of a lie too! How would she feel if Rachel had done that to her?

Embarrassed, humiliated, like dirt. Like she wanted to crawl into a hole in the ground and never re-surface. Like she would actually need to drop out of school and run away from home to escape the ridicule and judgement.

She'd done that to Rachel, and not just once but over and over in the last few days.

Could she blame Rachel for wanting nothing more to do with her?

Even as she was condemning herself she was still thinking of Mercedes and Tina. Sure they might have taken two seconds to reassure her but they'd only ended up making her feel worse! And they hadn't needed to do that. They knew Rachel, not as well as she did but they knew her. She'd never given them a reason to treat her like a lesbian leper. It was far more likely they were just being insensitive because it was Rachel. Quinn had set an example and they were following it. It was actually the way things were supposed to work and a few weeks ago she would have been laughing about it.

She wasn't now.

In fact now was a perfect time to act on Monday's desire for some kind of punishment.

Walking to the far corner, Quinn pried open the maintenance cupboard with her fingers and twisted Coach Sylvester's special faucet. The one she was only privy to because she was head of the Cheerios.

She cocked her head and about three seconds later she was rewarded. Dual shrieks pierced the tiled walls of the bathroom, followed by the slapping sound of two pairs of bare, wet feet running from the suddenly freezing deluge pouring from the shower heads.

Quinn smirked as she set the faucet back to the proper temperature and closed the small door, but this payback was petty. She'd need something much bigger to win Rachel back.

She could break up with Finn, that would be a big gesture. Except she couldn't because of the baby, and would it make a difference anyway? As terrible as she felt, dumping Finn wouldn't make her suddenly ready to publicly embrace Rachel as her girlfriend.

And anything less wouldn't make up for what she had done. She finally realized that now.

But maybe she could think of something on par with it.

Quinn wasn't stupid, she knew there was only one way to make this better. Rachel had told her that much, for goodness sake. But . . . but . . . how could she do it without losing everything she'd worked so hard for, everything she needed to feel good about herself and have a decent chance at getting out of Lima?

To do so would mean losing her popularity.

But then, what was the point of being popular if you had no power?

Surely being the most popular girl in school meant she could do whatever she wanted; have whatever she wanted. That was the whole point of it, right?

If she ruled this school, surely that meant she also made the rules.


Quinn was suddenly terrified, because a really bad plan was forming. A really bad plan. It was taking shape in her brain and gaining ground; it was consuming her.

It was a really bad plan, and probably impossible to pull off, but her last plan hadn't worked and she knew this one, however terrible, would.

Did she really like Rachel enough though? Come on, it was Rachel-freaking-Berry! Was she worth it?

Quinn knew her head would say no, so she shut it down and listened to her heart and gut and soul. They were all in agreement. She was doing this.

Shit, she was doing this!

In the locker room Mercedes and Tina were halfway through getting dressed. Quinn stopped in front of them.

"Hey, you two are coming to the game tonight, right?"

"I wasn't planning on it." Mercedes looked wary; Quinn had never spoken to her directly except to bark orders and now she was sounding all sweetness and light.

"I d-d-don't know. I m-might be studying with Artie."

"Bring him with you," she said cheerfully. "You all have to come. It's an important game. And Kurt . . . you should be totally coming to cheer Kurt on."

"Since when do you care about Kurt?"

Quinn thought fast. "I don't, especially, but I do care about the rift in Glee club. Coach Sylvester is joining us next week and trust me when I say if she spots any weakness she will exploit it. If we're going to overcome it, her, then we need to show a united front and five Glee members are on that football team. Not to mention three Glee girls will be Cheering too.

"I g-guess."

Quinn beamed. "Exactly."

"Okay, we'll be there." Mercedes said, looking still only half-convinced that Quinn wasn't playing them.

"Awesome. Spread the word to the others. Artie and . . ." She rolled her eyes like she hated mentioning her. ". . . Berry, I guess."

"How are you doing with all that, with Rachel?" Mercedes sounded concerned, she was probably just digging for gossip though.

She walked towards the showers, pulling her Cheerios top off as she went. "Not an issue. I can handle Berry."

At least she wanted to.

And she was blushing again.

Quinn spent her shower going back and forth on her plan, but while she could appreciate it was stupid on so many levels it didn't deter her.

As soon as she was dry and in a clean uniform she went about putting it in motion. Her first stop was Coach Sylvester.

She wasn't blind to how single-mindedly evil Coach could be, but she'd always been good to Quinn. She'd trained her, supported her, given her the ultimate rise to popularity and even befriended her. They were confidants as much as it was possible to be between a sixteen year old girl and a thirty-something year old (Quinn actually thought she might be a little out of her thirties, but she wasn't going to call the woman a liar) and so she knew that her 'idea' would at least be taken into consideration.

"I have the perfect routine for Nationals."

The coach set her pen down in the center of her journal and gave her full attention. "Really? You think you've come up with something better than I have, Q?"

"You have us doing star jumps and leap-frogging, so yes."

"I'll remind you that you have to leap frog over two people on top of each other but go on."

"I can't really describe it in good detail," because she didn't know how it would go yet, at all! "But let me show you at tonight's game."

"Have you been practicing routines with my Cheerios behind my back? Because I've had people hung, drawn and quartered for less!"

"No! I just came up with it yesterday. But if you arranged for all the Cheerios to be free from afternoon lessons I know they're good enough to learn it that quickly. You've taught us well, after all."

Coach sat back in her chair, cupped her chin in her hand and Hmm'd. "How good is this routine, exactly?"

Quinn beamed, "It's going to blow people's minds."

She had permission and every Cheerio would be joining her on the football field after lunch.

Next stop: Brittany.

Quinn managed to catch her in the lunch line without Santana present and paid for her lunch to sweeten the deal before dragging her off to an empty table.

"You didn't have to do that, you know. I get free lunch anyway."

Quinn frowned, "Why? Both of your parents have good jobs."

"I don't know, I just do." Brittany's eyes went blank for a moment, she was thinking. "Wait, am I not supposed to get free lunches?"

"I won't tell anyone if you don't." Quinn moved some salad around her plate with her fork. She was hungry but the baby wanted something more substantial. Oh, who was she kidding? The baby wanted Rachel! She hated the baby! But she was going to try and please it anyway. "I wanted to talk to you about yesterday."

"About you and Rachel?" Even though that was her reason for initiating the conversation, Quinn still balked at the directness. "I haven't said anything. Not even to Santana."

"Good. Thank you. Because it's not what you think. It's complicated, but I want to tell you what's going on because I need your help with something."

"Okay. Wait! San says I'm not allowed to talk about girl-sex. I mean, I will if you really want me to, but you can't tell Santana that I did."

Quinn felt like a tomato, she had to be that red. "It's not about sex. Rachel just has something I want, need, I mean, a lot."

"Her lips?" Brittany guessed.

Quinn turned choking on her own tongue into a chuckle. "No, it's something for the baby. She was helping me with the baby."

Brittany sighed in relief. "Well, at least she's finally taking responsibility for it. I thought she was going to leave you to cope on your own and that's just not right."

Much blinking happened, there were just so many ways to say 'What the Hell?' but Quinn had a mission and not much time to complete it in.

"Yeah, anyway, she stopped helping with the baby and I got angry and did something stupid."

"What did you do?"

"I, uh . . ." Quinn drew a deep breath, ready to tell all.

Well, almost all.

Brittany was in. Too eagerly maybe, but Quinn wasn't going to worry about that right now. She still had more to do before she met the Cheerios on the field.

Apparently Santana had lunch time detention which was why she hadn't been in the cafeteria.

"Sorry I'm late," she said to the overseer as she breezed into the classroom.

Mrs. Boney looked down her list of names. "Are you sure you have detention today, Quinn?"

She adopted an irritable expression. "Would I be here if I wasn't?"

She slumped down in the chair next to Santana's and pulled out her Spanish homework as a decoy.

"You don't have detention," Santana muttered.

"I need your help with something," she murmured back.

"I think you're mistaking me with RuPaul, which, for the record, is damn rude."

"You wanted to help, I'm asking. And we don't have much time so can we drop the theatrics and get to the part where you say yes and I tell you what I need?"

Santana smirked, "Sure, but it better be good."

"The outcome might not be to your taste," she admitted. "But you get to throw your weight around and terrorize people first."

Santana laughed. "I'm so in."

Quinn explained what she needed with as little detail as she could get away with and then passed over two CD's she had burned in the computer science room before seeking out Brittany.

"Oh, silly me." Bag repacked, Quinn stood up and smiled sweetly at Mrs. Boney. "My mistake. I've just remembered my detention is tomorrow. I'll just be going."

The teacher didn't believe her for a second probably because tomorrow was Saturday but she had enough to worry about with the kids that were on her list and just waved Quinn out of the room.

Rachel had gone back to shower once she'd seen Quinn leave, because, well she'd just felt really unsanitary.

She was doing a splendid job of not thinking about Quinn (although not really) by filling her head with songs and music and coming up with ways to thwart Coach Sylvester's plans to destroy the Glee club from the inside. Until, that was, she went to her locker to stow her gym bag inside and was hit with the blonde's presence again.

The note on top of the flowers was like a smack to the face.

Pressing in closer to her locker anyway, she flipped the folded piece of paper over.

Come to the game tonight.

"No," she said aloud and crumpled up the note.

"I need to leave now."

"Why is that, Miss Lopez?"

"Coach Sylvester needs to see me."

It was an automatic pass in any situation and Santana didn't even wait for Mrs. Boney's resigned nod before walking out. It didn't take her long to find who she was looking for.

"Hey, Wheels, I need your help with something."

He'd seen her too late to turn around and race off. "Uh, I'd love to help you, Santana, but I was actually just on my way to get some lunch . . . "

"Did you hear a question mark at the end of my sentence? No." She grabbed the handles of his chair and started pushing him in the direction she desired. "Then I probably wasn't asking."

"Where are you taking me?"

"Media lab. You're the top AV dweeb, right? I've got a job for you."


Five minutes and some terse instructions later and Artie was on-board, and not just because he was being forced there. "So you want me to put these two songs together."

"Yeah, just like for the mash up assignments. I'd do it myself, but I don't have time to figure out how all this geek machinery works," she gestured at the mixing desk and digital turntables and whatever the hell else it all of it was.

"Well, I can do it, it's not hard. How long do I have?"

Santana checked her watch. "Twenty-five minutes, give or take."

Artie looked less excited at this news. "That's . . . not long."

"Then you better get started."

He did. Santana watched as he worked, not as bored by the process as she made out.

"I'll have to either speed one song up or slow the other down. Which do you think would be best?"

"We're Cheerios; we don't slow dance through our routines. Speed it the hell up. And make sure it's cut to exactly 3:05," she added, remembering Quinn's adamant instructions.

"That's very specific."

"Again, we're Cheerios."

He went back to it and Santana sat back in her chair, sighing noisily. She didn't know why she was doing this. It wasn't like Quinn had done a lot for her recently other than be a pain in her ass but her captain had pulled rank, throwing in that she had Coach's support, and had promised her that later that night, at the game, there was going to be her favorite kind of fireworks.

Seemed like Quinn was finally done toying with her little pet freak, and Santana sure as hell wanted a front seat ticket for that!

"Do you have any particular arrangement in mind?" Artie asked, breaking up her thoughts. "You know, a verse here, a chorus there?"

She shrugged and pulled out her phone. A quick call to Quinn later, she pointed to the track listing on the screen and told him. "Just make sure this chorus is near the end."

Lunch was as good as over and Rachel was back at her locker retrieving books for her afternoon classes. She sighed when she saw a fresh note.

Please come to the game tonight.

Quinn was at Brittany's locker down at the end of the hall with her two friends and angry at how the blonde was making this harder than it needed to be gave her a double shot of bravery. Slamming her locker shut she marched over there, note in hand, thinking this was also a sure-fire way to scare Quinn into stopping this hurtful hounding.

With no preamble Rachel thrust the note towards her. "Quinn, I appreciate the invitation, but I will not be coming to the game tonight."

Quinn did look frightened by the abrupt approach for a second, but there was no sneering or name-calling or gross accusations and she didn't look unduly upset that Santana and Brittany were there to hear her either.

All she did was smirk her knee-weakening smirk and drawl, "I have no idea what you're talking about, Berry."

Turning with a swirl of her skirt, she motioned with a finger for her henchwomen to follow before walking off. The effect was a little ruined because Brittany hadn't actually finished at her locker yet and found herself caught between grabbing books quickly and falling into step. As a result she left her locker wide open; she probably had all the wrong books too.

Rachel rolled her eyes, trying not to smile as she generously closed Brittany's locker for her and walked off in the other direction.

"It's . . . good enough," Quinn said after listening to the mash-up. "It will do."

Actually it was perfect, like really, and she was pretty sure Rachel would think so too. If she came to the game and heard it, obviously. Even if she didn't come, Quinn was still going to go through with it. It was mainly directed at everyone else anyway.

Standing up from the bleachers, she surveyed the full squad of Cheerios out on the field. Most of them were happy to be out of afternoon classes and doing something they loved instead. Hopefully they'd all still feel the same once she'd explained they needed to learn one of the hardest routines they'd ever done in one afternoon. That was the main reason she'd needed Santana and Brittany's help: moral support and an extra whip if anyone felt like mutiny.

"Okay, we have six hours to make this awesome."

Santana was looking over Brittany's rough notes and sketches of choreography. Britt was already working on a new set now that she'd heard the song a few times, but Santana held the general gist.

"We're gonna need six days."

Quinn shook her head. "We can do this."

Eyes still on the notes, Santana waved an incredulous hand in the air. "Squats, jumps, somersaults, triple back flips, hand springs, skipping?" she looked up bemused.

Quinn shrugged, "Coach insisted we included it. And the leap-frogging."

Santana nodded her head sideways as she read 'leap-frog' on Brittany's notes. "Sky-splits?"

She shrugged again, "It's my signature move, it's something I have to do."

"You're going to have your baby on my head is what you're going to do." Santana's eyes widened. "And a swan dive too!"

"Yeah, after my . . . I mean, at the end."

"Look, let's not pretend I care or anything, but are you serious?"

"I have to impress Coach Sylvester. I can't give her any reason to think I can't make it to Nationals." Her hand went automatically to her stomach, even though it was an excuse. She wasn't doing this for the Coach, but that didn't stop it being true.

Santana saw the gesture and after a beat she nodded. Quinn knew she was thinking she'd do the same to stay on top.

"Okay, then we're going to have to make this tight. So we better get started. You ready."

"You get them warmed up. I'm going to stay with Brittany for a minute and help with the choreography."

Santana walked onto the field towards the squad, calling everyone to attention in her less than diplomatic fashion. It was fine; it always worked.

"Are you sure about this, Q? Is she worth it?" When her eyes snapped to her, Brittany added. "Getting revenge on Rachel, I mean. Is it worth all this effort?"

"Yes." She smiled because Rachel was worth it, then she realized she was smiling and turned it to Brittany instead. "I like revenge, you know that. Besides, I trust you to catch me. Everything's going to be fine."

There was no way everything couldn't be fine after this. This was going to be awesome.

Rachel sat in class at the beginning of fifth period, lining her notebook and textbook up neatly and finding a good pen to write with. The teacher was in attendance but hadn't called the students to order yet and she couldn't help but hear the conversation from the desk behind her.

"I thought we'd decided not to. I was going to go straight home after the performance."

Mercedes chuckled. "It's a football game, not a performance." Kurt must have waved a hand or rolled his eyes in dismissal. "And I know we did, but Quinn got all up in our faces about going to the game and Tina and I decided if we were going to be at school anyway, we might as well go to the dance after."

"Oh, do you have a date?"

"No, none of us have a date! We figured we could all just go together in a group. Tina's asking Artie too."

Rachel turned in her seat. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop . . ."

Her two fellow Glee-clubbers looked annoyed by her interruption.

"Sure you didn't," Mercedes drawled.

Rachel ignored the hostility. "I was just . . . Did you say Quinn insisted you went to the football game?"

"Yeah. Why?"

"No reason." Rachel turned back in her seat.

If Quinn was insisting everyone went maybe the note in her locker hadn't been a special invitation after all. Maybe, in fact, Quinn had left the note so that she didn't have to talk to her as per Rachel's wishes. Now she felt bad for storming up to her and being so blatant with her refusal. What if she'd caused her more trouble with Santana?

"Oh, that's a point," Mercedes called to her. "Quinn told me to tell you to be there too."

Rachel looked over her shoulder, "Why?"

"Something about Glee unity. I'd be careful if you go though, Rachel." Was Mercedes actually concerned for her? "She wants you there 'cause you're in Glee, not because she wants to jump your bones or anything, obviously."

Obviously, because the notion that Quinn might be sexually attracted to her was just too far-fetched for anyone to believe. The fact that Mercedes was completely clueless held no comfort.

Well, maybe a little.

"Okay, that was good. Now let's do it again," Quinn called out.

There were groans through-out the squad. They'd only been at it twenty minutes and already most of them were wishing they were in class instead.

Quinn could relate, but they'd only run through the first ten seconds so far. She had a moment of doubt about pulling this off.

And then she quashed it.

"Okay, Charity, Jackson, Della, back into position!"

After a twenty minute discussion on the previous lesson Rachel finally opened her textbook. There was note waiting for her, in exactly the right page. Sitting at the front she had to be sneaky about reading it, which she didn't appreciate very much.

It's Homecoming! You have to come to the game.

Rachel refolded the note and stuck it further back in the textbook.

How did Quinn keep getting into her locker? There was no way her master key could work on lockers, could it?

And why was Quinn being so insistent that all of the Glee members attended the game anyway?

"Okay, good, good. We're really getting there. Okay, take five, guys."

Quinn managed to turn her imminent collapse into a controlled plop to the grass. Santana and Brittany sitting down beside her made it look more natural. At least, despite the clear sky and sunshine, it wasn't that warm today. October had kicked off mild, but without the cool breeze blowing across the field she might have passed out already under the exertion and the weak nausea rolling around in her stomach from all the flips.

"This was a bad idea," she groaned, falling onto her back and covering her sweaty face with an equally sweaty arm.

She smiled as felt Brittany pet her hair like a cat, but only had a few seconds of respite before Santana murmured, "Look alive, bitch at two 'o' clock."

Quinn sat up, confident smile on her face, just as Kassie's shadow fell over her.

"My double flip needs work," she started with, which was a surprise because the too-tall blonde rarely showed weakness. "I know I need to practice it some more, but . . ." Here it was. "I'm not staying out here all day."

"You'll stay until it's perfect," Quinn calmly countered.

"It's Homecoming, Quinn! I'm nominated for queen. I need time to get ready for the dance."

She stood up and was vaguely aware of Santana standing beside her. "Coach wants this routine perfect by tonight, Kassie, so I guess you have to decide: Homecoming Queen or Cheerio."

"I'm not the only girl on the squad nominated. And having to learn this routine this fast is insane."

And this was the mutiny she'd been worried about. She held Kassie's eyes and after a few beats said, "If you're waiting for my answer to change you're going to be staring at me for a long time."

"Time that might be better spent practicing your crappy double-flips," Santana added.

When Kassie huffed and walked off Quinn and Santana sank back down onto the grass.

"I don't think that's the last we'll hear of that," she said quietly, eyes raking the ranks of red, white and black for any more signs of rebellion and spotting them everywhere.

"You know, she does have a point, Q. She's not the only Cheerio nominated. Voting's been open since this morning; right this minute I should be walking around with a basket of gooey chocolate muffins and a stack of paper napkins sticking out of my cleavage."

"What cleavage?" she griped meanly when she could feel Santana's allegiance slipping away from her. At her friend's genuinely hurt look she quickly backtracked. "Sorry, you shouldn't have mentioned Homecoming, it makes my inner-bitch rattle her cage. Don't you think I know that? Don't you think I'd rather be in there campaigning too? I was supposed to have buttons," she remembered forlornly.

Had that afternoon really been over a month ago? The one she'd spent just up there on the bleachers with Finn, planning how they were going to dominate the school for their sophomore year. Okay, so the plans for domination had been more her thing, Finn had spent the 'planning' meeting delving into the orange segments and rice cakes she'd had left-over from lunch. It had been a wonderful afternoon in the sun though, with Quinn just happy he was agreeing with her every idea between mouthfuls. Homecoming was supposed to be their first big triumph, with Finn scoring the winning touchdown and Quinn cheering him on from the top of the pyramid; and later they would rightfully be crowned McKinley's King and Queen.

That afternoon had been before she'd missed her period, before her life had taken one drastic turn after another. Now tonight, she'd still be on top of the pyramid but she wouldn't be up there for Finn, and Homecoming had just become an excuse to hide behind.

"Look, you know what? We're not Kassie, okay? We don't need to be in there handing out muffins or flirting with guys to get votes. We're the most popular girls in this place. People aren't going to forget that just because they don't see us for an hour or two."

"Yeah, I guess," Santana reluctantly agreed, and then perked up. "Besides, when this routine puts you in the hospital, that crown is guaranteed to be mine! Come on, let's get it over with."

Quinn rolled her eyes as her friend hopped back to her feet. "That's the spirit."

Last class of the day. Rachel opened her textbook. "Oh for Barbra's sake!"

The note read: Come to the game, Gnome. I'll make it worth your while x

She slipped the note into a different page and then face-planted her book.

"Is everything okay, Rachel?"

"Yes, Mr. Wanly," she said, voice muffled by the pages. "Everything's absolutely fine."

'I'm just getting stalked by the love of my life. Everything's . . . gah.'

"We've got it. I don't freaking believe it, but we've actually got it." Quinn nodded at Santana; she was still too busy trying to catch her breath to speak. That last swan dive had nearly been a nose dive into the turf. Ricky had fumbled the catch but thankfully Brittany had compensated.

"Yeah, okay," she managed eventually. "If we can do it that good again, we'll call it a day."

Santana started shouting instructions while Quinn fought the urge to throw up.

School was finally over and all Rachel wanted was to go home and shut herself in her room until Monday morning. She had to stop at her locker first though.

She wasn't even surprised to find a note this time.

It simply said, Please! x

She was more surprised by finding Brittany standing right next to her when she stepped back. She shoved the flowers she'd been taking out back in quickly.

"You're coming to the game tonight, right?"

"Uh, no, I can't. I have homework to do."

"We all have homework, Rachel. Just do what I do and let your cat do it. Cats are way more intelligent than us anyway."

"That's . . . sound advice, but unfortunately I don't have a cat."

"That's a shame. You need to come anyway. Quinn will be upset if you don't."

"What?" As in, what did Brittany know? She'd caught them kissing! Rachel had assumed Quinn would have done damage control but maybe it hadn't sunk in. "I can't imagine Quinn will even notice if I'm there or not."

"Of course she will. So you'll come? Nice flowers by the way. Who gave them to you?"

"A friend. And I'll think about it."

She said it to get Brittany to go away; she had no intention of going to the game.

But she thought about it anyway.

A lot.

Chapter Forty-Four

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