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11 April 2010 @ 05:00 pm
Fic: The Way the World Ends  
Title: The Way the World Ends [1/1]
Author: unequivocally
Characters/Pairings: Finn/Quinn, Finn/Brittany (Puck/Rachel in the background)
Rating: Hard R for language and sexual situations
Word Count: 8,884
Spoilers: None
Summary: This is how it will always be: whole and undeniable. He knows it's not fair, but he never said he was perfect.
Disclaimer: Title is from The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot. I don't own Glee or The Hollow Men. No money is made, no infringement is intended.

Author's Notes: This takes place in the The Way We Are universe, but it stands alone easily. It spans from college to about two years before TWWA. Fair warning: If you flailed over how adorbs Finn and Brittany were in the Multichap, please enter with caution; Here there be angst. Thank you to andbless_mybaby for the beta, and the rest of my BBs for all the help and encouragement. They know who they are, ILU.



They’re in college the “first” time that it happens.

(Fourth time? Seventh? Twelfth? He can’t even remember. Finn tells himself that high school doesn't count—not really—because they were young and stupid, driven by uncontrollable hormones and whatever cheap alcohol they could get their hands on. Even years later, he still gets off to the memory of senior prom; fingering her in the girl's bathroom, drunk on peppermint schnapps. He only feels a slight stab of guilt when he thinks of how he later posed with Brittany for their portraits, his fingers still smelling of Quinn.)

Christmas holiday of his junior year finds him back in Lima, shacked up against the cold in Brittany’s tiny one-bedroom apartment. They make up for the time they lost during the school year and he finds that sex is better—so, so much better—when there’s no parents or roommates or stupid best friends banging at the bedroom door.

Puck and Rachel arrive a few days after he does, delayed because Puck had cashed in his ticket after a particularly nasty fight. Puck doesn’t even knock before barging into Brittany’s place, grumbling at the size of the apartment before his bags have even hit the floor; Rachel sweeps in after him and the sound of her and Brittany squealing with glee cause Puck to cover his ears.

“God damn, women,” he mutters, but his complaints are lost over their shrill You look great! No, you look great!

After they’ve settled, Puck opts for the four of them to go to the best (only) bar in town, claiming they never card and reminding Rachel that she was the baby of their group and the only one still under 21. Everyone else vetoes the idea pretty quickly, though, ignoring him even when he tugs his jacket on and stomps out into the snow, waiting a good ten minutes before realizing that no one had bothered to follow him, instead cracking open a bottle of wine from a box that Brittany had bought the day she was legal.

When he returns, grumbling about frostbite on his dick, Brittany and Rachel declare it a Lost Weekend—there is nothing, nothing, that would be getting in or out of that apartment for the next two days.

Barely fifteen minutes pass before there’s a knock at the door—Quinn yelling a hello? from the other side—and Finn nearly trips over himself on his way to answer it—”I got it, I got it!”

A flurry of people converge on her, and there’s a confusing moment where everyone is hugging everyone, even Puck, who nearly mows all of them over to scoop Barbie up in his arms and squeeze her until she squeals. Quinn works her way through them all—even hugging Brittany, though they see each other almost every single day—before reaching him last.

It takes every ounce of self-control he’s ever owned in his life to keep a straight face when he finally wraps his arms around her again—the first time since last Christmas.

“Missed you,” she breathes near his ear and he just smiles into her hair in response. She lets go of him first, and if their hug was too long, nobody seems to have noticed.

Once Quinn has settled in and Barbie is perched happily on Puck’s lap, Rachel and Brittany reiterate the declaration of Lost Weekend. Brittany’s apartment is small (“fuckin’ tiny,” Puck amends), but it has everything they could possibly need. Until they remember that they need to eat.

It takes a few rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors before Rachel is deemed the clear loser, and Puck mocks her the entire time she tugs on her fur-lined boots, shrugs into her heavy parka and wraps a scarf around her neck; until Barbie whines that she wants to go with Rachel, too, and after some grumbling of who’s fuckin’ kid are you, anyways, the three of them finally head out, leaving the apartment silent again.

It’s when Brittany decides that she wants to take a shower while she still has hot water that he finally flops onto her couch beside Quinn, his heart pounding as hard as it had been in choir room three days before graduation, up against Mr. Schue’s office door with his hand up her sundress. It’s an interesting realization—that this girl will seemingly always have this effect on him.

“It’s good to see you again,” she says, and he almost can’t hear her for the sound of blood in his ears. She reaches over to take his hand in her own, tracing her fingers across his knuckles, and it’s suddenly so, so easy to lean over and kiss her.

She tastes the way he remembers: distinctly Quinn. He’s always hated trite expressions of romance and sappiness, but he can’t really remember a kiss tasting so perfect.

Puck and Rachel return just as Brittany steps out of bathroom with a towel draped around her, shooting him a sly glance that he can’t quite bring himself to meet.

-

Barbie lasts longer than any of them anticipated, and it’s not until midnight that she finally begins to doze off on the couch.

“Baby, why don’t you go to bed,” Quinn presses gently, and after a bit of back and forth, the girl finally relents.

Of course, everyone agrees that she’d get the only bed in the apartment; then she says she wants her mom and daddy to sleep with her, too, and nobody can really bring themselves to tell her no.

As they gather pillows and blankets, Puck makes it a point to ask Rachel, over and over again, if she’s really OK with him sharing a bed with Q—”After all, I mean, she may get pregnant again, just breathing my air”—and it’s not until Quinn shoves him violently and snarls never again if my life depended on it that Finn feels like he can breathe again.

Once they’re gone, the conversation dies quickly, and the rest of them decide that bed does sound like a good idea. Rachel curls up on the futon while Brittany stretches out on the couch, and somehow, he ends up in the bathtub with a blanket pulled up to his chin.

Quinn wakes him in the middle of the night to her finger running down the length of his jaw, and when he clasps his hand over hers, she just smiles down at him, whispering a soft, “Hey.”

“Hey,” he whispers back, and he tugs her hand gently in silent invitation. She clambers into the tub beside him, and it takes a bit of rearranging and giggling before they’re situated.

“I’ve never slept in a bathtub, before,” she says, running her hand up his chest to rest at his collarbone.

“Never?” He wonders if the crack in his voice is from sleep, or the fact that her knee is pulled up, resting her leg across his thighs, just under a growing erection. “You’ve been missing out, clearly.”

It makes her laugh, though—he’s not sure if she’s laughing at what he said, or the prepubescent way that he said it—and suddenly, it’s worth it. He’s missed her laugh, he realizes. Like, a lot.

He shifts under her and turns the subject to school, football, his professors. It’s amazing, he finds, how easily conversation comes to them, even years later when he’d think they would have run out of things to talk about.

“This tub is very uncomfortable,” she says sleepily, interrupting a detailed story about a winning touchdown. He’s not actually offended, because she’s sorta right.

“Why are you here, then?” He doesn’t mean for the words to come out the way they sound, but they don’t seem to bother Quinn in the slightest. Instead, she just takes a deep breath and shrugs against him.

“I dunno. I wanted to see you.”

It’s all he needs to hear, really. It’s like high school again, that same undeniable pull she has over him, and when he ends up on top of her with his mouth sucking at her neck, she is the one to tug at his jeans and lift her hips to meet his.

She teases him quietly as he slides his hands under her shirt, whispering so that her voice doesn’t echo. “Ever make love in a bathtub before?”

“Not an empty one, no,” he whispers back, and as he settles himself between her thighs, he chuckles. “Not a full one either, to be honest.”

After she leaves, he turns the faucet on to start rinsing down the mess they’d made (he can’t explain it, but pulling out of her just in time, he felt some distant corner of his mind fall into a dark, angry place). Puck comes in not much later, pulling down his pants to start taking a leak without really caring about Finn’s presence (he’s come a long way from peeing out of the window of his truck, Finn’s hands steadying the wheel). He cocks and eyebrow at his friend over his shoulder, taking in his flushed face and wet pajamas.

“Bro, you’re a fucking disaster,” he shakes his head, turning back to the toilet.

Finn had to agree.

---

The rest of junior year passes by in a blur of exams and homework (and a few late night phone calls from Quinn, wishing him luck), and Finn makes it a point to visit Lima often, even if only for a weekend. Brittany’s apartment is always freezing, and her bed is too small for him, but while he’s there, he finds it a little easier to breathe.

When he’s with her, he’s able to just… not think.

Despite all things, he loves Brittany. He does. And every time Puck questions him, again and again (“really?“), Finn feels no hesitation when he shoves his friend and sighs, “Yes, really.”

Brittany is amazing (funny, pretty, kind), and way too good for him for sure.

It’s late at night over his summer vacation that she’s curled up against his side, stroking his chest and whispering, “I love you, Finn Christopher Hudson,” and he looks at her and wonders just what in the hell he’s doing to this girl.

“Do you really?” He questions, only half-teasing, and when she smiles brightly at him and nods, he rolls on top of her, peppering her neck and shoulder with kisses. “Are you sure?”

“Yes. I love you.”

Something in the way she looks at him when she says it makes him feel short of breath. (It does every single time.)

These are the moments that make him think that he’s a moron, clinging to memories of Quinn and fading whispers of a high school romance; he pushes the thought from his head as he moves inside of her, breathing “I love you, too,” against her skin.

-

Those moments of clarity never did last long.

Morning comes, and once Brittany has gone for her summer class, he leaves for the day towards his mom’s house, or McKinley, or the gym, he doesn’t even know. Either way, he inexplicably ends up at Quinn’s apartment, wondering just how he got there.

She answers the door with her lip trapped between her teeth, and the visit ends up the same way it always does: Quinn’s legs wrapped around his waist and their fingers tangled together, pinned to the mattress above her head.

Afterwards, he lays between her thighs, panting and spent, his forehead resting against her chest. She runs her fingers through his hair, and just when he begins to feel himself drift off to sleep, his phone cuts through the silence harshly; Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows blares over the sound of their breathing easily.

Brittany’s ringtone. She’d picked it out, herself.

Neither of them move (or blink or breathe) until the ringing stops, followed by the soft chime of a voicemail message.

“I should check that,” his lips graze her skin as his mouth form the words, but his heart’s pounding far too fast for him to enjoy the taste of her.

“Yeah.”

An unbearably long moment passes before he can finally bring himself to roll off of her, fumbling his hand around on the nightstand blindly until his fingers collide with his phone. Logically, he knows there’s just no way.

But that doesn’t stop the fear from settling deep into his stomach as he dials his voicemail box. She knows. She knows everything.

When he finally hears her voice tinkle tinnily through the speaker, he feels both relieved and nauseated at once. “Hi, baby! I saw a rainbow! Thought of you! Call me!”

“Fuck,” he breathes, and he tries to disguise the hitch in his breath, but Quinn sighs softly and rolls away from him, gathering her sheets up around her naked form. Another long, sticky minute passes before he finally says the words that they’ll come to know so well.

“This can’t happen again, Q.”

---

They become increasingly proficient at empty promises.

“This is the last time,” he whispers delicately as he pushes her shirt up her abdomen, trailing kisses along her belly as he goes.

“You said that last month,” Quinn replies, gasping slightly as he grazes his fingers across the flimsy material of her bra. She’s not challenging him. It’s fact. He pointedly ignores her, instead working his way up her body to lay a kiss on her chin.

“I mean it this time.”

“You said that last month, too.”

Things move quickly from there. A second kiss, on her mouth. A moan as he moves against her. Her fingers tangle in his hair and by the time his hands find their way to the button on her jeans, he has already forgotten his declaration.

It’s later in the comfortable silence that follows that Quinn turns to him and asks, “Do you think that we’re bad people?”

Yes. No. He doesn’t know.

She rolls onto her side to face him, but he’s barely had the time to open his mouth before her phone rings shrilly, shattering the quiet. He never did get used to making contact with the outside world while with Quinn; it made everything seem more real, and with the reality comes the guilt.

Q, on the other hand, seems to have no issues in answering her phone promptly, and he focuses on the shapes her mouth takes as she mutters distractedly, “Uh huh, of course, right away,” into the phone. When she hangs up, she stares at him for a moment before leaning over to plant a kiss firmly on his mouth. “I gotta go,” she says as she pulls away, “Barbara is sick. They need me to pick her up from school.”

“Right,” he agrees, drawing himself up off of the bed and beginning the hunt for his pants—he thinks he left them in the living room.

“Unless you want to come?”

Brittany should be getting out of class in an hour, and he knows that she expects him to be home when she returns—he promised her he’d cook lunch. But when Quinn scrambles from the bed, tossing him a smile over her shoulder before working her hair up into a sloppy bun, he finds that he’s just not ready for the afternoon to end. Not yet.

-

Barbie doesn’t even question Uncle Finn’s presence in the car, and when they return to Quinn’s apartment, she smiles shyly at him and attempts to explain the finer details of My Little Pony before her mom ushers her into her room to tuck her into bed.

“If you’re too sick for school, you’re too sick for My Little Pony,” Quinn says, running her hand through Barbie’s hair as she makes her way down the hall, and she sounds so much like a mom that it’s startling.

When Q returns to the living room, shoving a piece of her hair out of her eyes and muttering, “She’s already out like a light,” he feels a sickening heaviness in his stomach that doesn’t let up until he grabs her by the wrist and pulls her to him.

“She feeling better?” He asks, and she nods against his chest once before looking up at him.

“Of course, this means she’ll be up all night, now.”

He wants to say, “This should’ve been mine, this is how it should have happened.

Instead, he drops a kiss to her forehead and runs his hand up and down her back a few times before saying, “I really should be getting back.”

-

He’s not still bitter.

He’s not.

It was high school, they were young, and Quinn made a mistake.

(Besides, he reasons, it would certainly be hypocritical to hold it against her four years later as they make love in her bed.)

But he can’t help the suffocating feeling that takes over him every time Barbie tugs on his hand and smiles up at him with Puck’s eyes.

---

Quinn visits him at Penn State in late March of senior year, all smiles and giggles and surprise!, and her laughter’s contagious as he pins her against the door and drops kisses along her neck.

Somehow, he manages to choke out, “It’s a six hour drive, are you crazy?” as he carries her across the room, nearly tripping over his backpack as he goes. As he lays her out across his bed, he says a silent prayer that his roommate Liam will stay gone the entire day; he briefly considers hanging a tie around the doorknob, but then her legs are around him, pulling him on top of her and she smiles up at him as she answers.

“I don’t know,” she says breathlessly, running her foot along the inside of his knee, “Barbara is at her grandma’s this weekend and I just had to see you.”

Suddenly, every coherent thought he’d had just moments before is gone, and he slides his hands down the length of her torso to grip her hips.

“I’m glad you came.”

(Later, Liam tells him that he swung by in the middle of the afternoon, and his hand was on the doorknob when he heard a woman’s moan from inside their room, causing him to spend the rest of the weekend holed up in their friend’s dorm. Finn claps him on the back and buys him a case of beer as a thank you.)

-

Afterwards, tangled in a slick heap, she stares up at him, damn near beaming as she says, “God, I think it gets better every time.”

He can’t help the swell of pride he feels, and he grins down at her. “Oh, really?”

“Yeah. Really.”

He speaks before he thinks, chuckling as he lowers his forehead to hers. “I can’t wait to see what it’s like next year, then.”

The words echo in the air around him and he closes his eyes in pain (shame?). What the hell is he thinking?

It’s a sorry kind of revelation that hits him suddenly: even after all the shit they’ve been through, when he looks at Quinn he still sees that bright, sparkly girl he fell in love with in high school. And he could do this, he thinks. He could live like this with her.

But the fact of the matter is this: Brittany was there when he needed her most, and he can’t continue to do this to her. No matter how good it might feel (or how tight Quinn’s body was, or how his heart threatened to jump out of his chest when he was with her), it was wrong. Brittany needs him. They sort of need each other, to be honest, and he can’t keep doing this.

Not when it was sort of Quinn’s fault that everything broke the way that it did.

Quinn notices the change (she always does, they’ve become so acutely aware of each other), and she sighs and smiles sadly up at him. “There won’t be a next year,” she says finally, because somebody needs to say it and he can’t bring himself to.

---

After graduation, he moves to New York City, crashing Puck and Rachel’s guest room for a bit while Brittany finishes her degree back in Ohio. He takes a job as a summer school teacher that summer, and every paycheck is socked away along with grand dreams of their own house.

His fourth week living with them, Rachel kicks Puck out of the apartment after an extraordinarily nasty fight. Puck spends the evening packing while swearing up and down that she’s doing him a favor, thank you, and he nods at Finn and wishes him luck living with the fuckin’ shrew on his way out the door.

Puck calls him a few days later from Lima, reiterating the fact that he’s glad to be back, and seriously? Fuck Rachel. That night he finds a drunken voicemail message on his phone, incoherent for the most part. A string of rambling of Quinn and Barbie and the way it’s supposed to be, maybe for the best, and Barbie needs a family, doesn’t she? He would have shrugged it off as typical drunken yammering, if not for the very clear, very distinct, “We could love each other someday, I think,” before the phone went dead.

Finn tries not to think about it, pushing it from his mind as he helps Rachel with dinner.

He finds it’s easy, living with Rach. She’s a great housemate, even though she’s an awful cook, and that night after far too much wine, they sit together on her couch, way more than a little drunk. Rachel is a chatty drunk (Puck calls her sloppy, and he’s almost inclined to agree), and when the bottle is almost empty, she lets slip about Quinn coming to New York next week.

And David.

“Who’s David?”

She presses a finger to her lips conspiratorially. “Some trust fund baby,” she whispers back, scandalized. “He’s totally into Quinn, but…” she trails off, and a long beat allows her the time to kill the rest of her drink before continuing. “Did you ever wonder what could have been?”

She stares at him lazily, heavy-lidded from booze, running her finger around the rim of her wineglass, and he thinks of the voicemail Puck left on his phone just hours before.

“Yeah,” he finally admits, “Once or twice.”

(He tells her about Puck and Quinn the next day, it sort of slips out. The next forty-eight hours are heavy and they hole up in the apartment with movies and junk food before she finally gives in and calls Puck; he’s not sure what she says to him, but she’s up on the phone until 2:00 a.m. and Puck is home the next night. Quinn finally calls Rachel that night, and whatever her friend has to say must touch her, because Rachel forgives her, and then refuses to speak of the matter ever again, even when Finn presses for details.)

---

Quinn and Barbie visit the September following graduation, and Puck and Rachel’s apartment is nearly bursting at the seams for an entire week. She offers to take up a hotel room, but then Rachel says “Of course not!” at the same time Puck says, “About fuckin’ time you offered,” and they end up bickering in their room about it for ten minutes.

She ends up staying, of course, and Finn is relocated to the couch so that Q and Barbie can share the guest bed.

After dinner, full of Puck’s cooking (Rachel is banned from the kitchen when Puck is home) and a bit tipsy from a bottle of wine, they start reminiscing. Glee club and slushies, and he shares a secret smile with Quinn when senior prom is mentioned.

Rachel dozes off first, slumped against the loveseat, and Puck carries her to bed, complete with extravagant exertion noises that make Q roll her eyes. (He doesn’t come back and when the soundtrack to RENT starts playing from Rachel’s bedroom, he and Quinn just share a look.)

Barbie is the next to fall asleep, sprawled out on the floor with her blonde hair spilling all around her. Quinn nudges him gently as she asks him to carry her to bed, and he finds that he can’t quite bring himself to do it.

“Sorry, I’m sorry,” he mutters, staring at the sleeping girl’s form, “but I just can’t… touch her.”

His admission doesn’t seem to surprise her, and instead she closes the gap between them and buries her face in the hollow of his neck. He feels her lips move against his collarbone as she whispers something that sounds like, “I understand,” but all he can concentrate on is the way that she smells—like apple shampoo and a trace of wine.

“I know about Puck,” he finally blurts, and he feels her tense beside him. “I’m not…” he trails off. He’s been thinking of telling her this for weeks, and in this moment he’s unable to say it.

“You don’t know what happened,” she murmurs, not unkindly.

That’s all they say about it.

Minutes turn into an hour and finally, she pulls herself up off of the floor to collect Barbie in her arms delicately and carry her to bed, mouthing the word goodnight over her shoulder.

Later, she wakes him with her mouth on his jaw, and he’s fully alert by the time she settles on top of him, running her hands across his chest. She rides him slowly, one of her hands tangled in her hair and the other fisting a handful of his shirt, and when he opens his eyes and locks his gaze with hers, he arches into her and comes.

“Sorry I woke you,” she pants, and he just laughs in response.

-

They lay together for far longer than they should, and it’s almost 3 o’clock when the sound of Rachel’s bedroom door opening pulls them from their post-orgasmic haze. Though her footsteps head towards the bathroom rather than out towards their place on the couch, the scare is enough to cause Finn’s heart to pound loudly in his ears.

Finn doesn’t even have to say it, and neither does she; Quinn just kisses his neck with a sigh before untangling herself from him and standing, staggering slightly on sleepy feet.

When she says, “I know,” it’s so soft that he wouldn’t have heard her if he didn’t already know what she was going to say.

---

They do pretty well, truth be told.

For a while, anyways.

Months pass, and she visits New York again after the New Year, this time electing not to stay with Puck. The reason was never stated aloud, but finally on her third night in town, he overhears her talking with Rachel in the living room while he fills out a job application in his room.

“So, what’s he like?”

Quinn’s voice trickles down the hall, laden with fake-cheer. “He’s… nice. Barbie likes him.”

“And you?”

“He asked me to move in with him.”

The sound of blood rushing through his ears drowns out the rest of the conversation, and it’s not until Rachel knocks on his door to tell him that the pizza had arrived that he even realizes that he’d snapped his pencil in his fist.

-

It’s the first time they manage to go an entire trip without falling into bed together.

But her last night in town, their hug is a bit too long, too intimate, and he notices the way Rachel looks at him from the corner of her eyes when he pulls away from Quinn.

Three hours after her plane is gone, he books a flight to Lima.

Rachel doesn’t even bother to press him for details when he asks for the loan, but as she hands over her credit card, she lowers her voice and pointedly asks, “Going to visit Brittany, right?”

“Yes,” and he makes certain to hold her gaze the entire time, until she finally looks out the window of their apartment with pursed lips.

“See you when you get back.”

Within twenty-four hours, he’s at her apartment and she’s barely opened the front door before he’s crushing her lips with his, sliding his hands under her shirt and tracing his fingers up and down her lithe frame.

“Marry me,” he says breathlessly when she finally pulls away with a giggle.

Brittany doesn’t even think twice before saying yes.

-

Rachel Berry was never one to walk on eggshells, and certainly not for her closest friends. She was a firm believer in the truth, as he well remembered from his junior year when she brought his world crashing down around him after Glee practice on a Wednesday.

(“The baby isn’t yours, Finn.”)

So when she corners him in his bedroom a week after his return from Lima, Finn’s not at all surprised. He’s just impressed she managed to bite her tongue for so long.

“What the hell are you doing, Finn.”

It’s not a question, and he doesn’t dare insult her intelligence by feigning ignorance. “I don’t know,” he admits, rubbing a hand over his face as he groans, “I don’t know.”

She glares at him in response, but when he finally lifts his head to look at her with wet eyes, she softens. “Finn, this isn’t going to end well for anyone involved.”

“I love Brittany,” he says firmly, and when she opens her mouth to speak, he just shakes his head imperceptibly. “Rach, please don’t.”

---

Time passed, as it has a habit of doing.

The summer following their engagement, Brittany finally moves to New York, and they rent a tiny apartment in Brooklyn. It’s ridiculously small for the price they’re paying—(“Welcome to New York,” Rachel said)—and it’s drafty, a little creaky and sometimes it takes a while for the hot water to come on.

But Brittany loves it, every square inch of it.

“Don’t call on me to move your ass into that dump,” Puck swears one night when they’re out celebrating. Rachel rolls her eyes and looks at Finn across the table, raising her glass to him just slightly.

“Of course we’ll help you two move,” she says, pointedly ignoring the groan of protest Puck gives in reply, “We should throw a reunion party!”

“Why? We see their asses every single day. Can’t wait ‘til I have my apartment to myself again. Haven’t been able to fuck my girlfriend in the living room for ten months. Cryin’ shame.” He ignores the three disgusted looks sent his way and takes a deep swig of his beer. “Actually, now that you mention it, when are you moving out?”

Rachel scoffs in response, curling her upper lip in a way that looks distinctly Q. “No, you moron—God, nevermind. Quinn is moving to New Jersey next weekend! We should all get together.”

The voices of his friends buzz just barely out of focus, discussing Quinn’s new boyfriend—David—and when Rachel says the words “trust fund baby,” Finn shares a look with her that nobody else notices.

The rest of the conversation manages to hover just outside of his grasp, and he doesn’t catch much else, just a few words here and there.

Lawyer. Rich. A really great guy.

-

“I’m really happy for you,” he manages to strangle out a week later as they loiter in his new living room.

“Thanks,” Quinn says back softly and then smoothes the collar of his shirt, forcing a smile to her face. “You, too.” Off his confused look, she swallows hard. “I hear you’re engaged, now.”

Somehow (he is not quite sure how), he manages to function throughout the rest of the evening; through Brittany and Rachel’s excited chatter about the wedding, Puck’s vulgar comments about his secretary, and David grabbing Quinn’s hand and pressing his lips to her knuckles.

David finally introduces himself, and Finn has to mentally walk himself through the steps: handshake, smile, small-talk.

He makes it through ten minutes of discussing sports teams (“Giants suck,” Puck grumbles, throwing a “Browns.” over his shoulder on the way to the kitchen for another beer.) before he has to excuse himself, stumbling to the bathroom.

Finn barely sits down on the side of the tub before the door opens slowly and Quinn slips in. He doesn’t even get the chance to question her before she speaks.

“Almost a year,” she says, leaning against the door and shaking her head gently.

“What?”

“We almost made it a full year.”

He’s across the bathroom in an instant, and she whimpers a dirty word into his mouth as his hands work their way under her dress; he whispers back that she needs to shhh, baby and the words come so easily that it almost startles him.

---

By Christmastime, Brittany—(his fiancée, it sounds so foreign)—has decided that she wants a spring wedding.

“I do think I look spectacular in pastels,” Rachel prattles and Puck makes some comment (probably vulgar) that the rest of them ignore.

“This time next year, we’ll be married!” Brittany trills happily as she fusses with the tree in the corner, fully oblivious to Rachel’s rambling about how good her complexion looks in lavender.

“Who would’ve thought,” Finn says, running his hand down her back as he plants a kiss on her forehead. He hands her a bright pink ornament and she smiles brightly up at him.

“I did,” she hums back to him, “I knew we’d be together forever in high school.”

After Puck and Rachel have gone home, he makes love to her on the floor of their living room while the lights from their Christmas tree dance across her skin.

When she curls up against him later, trailing her fingers up and down his bicep, she asks, “What’s gotten into you?” with a breathy giggle that makes him smile.

“I dunno,” he whispers back and twirls a piece of her hair around his finger. “Merry Christmas, Britt.”

-

Brittany is nothing if not laid back during the planning of their wedding.

Rachel and Puck, on the other hand, are absolute messes.

Rach takes over the role of Wedding Coordinator and Puck hides out with Finn with a case of beer and a stern warning—”If Berry gets any fuckin’ ideas cause you went and popped the question, I swear, Hudson”—for the entire process.

Despite everything, though, Finn was mildly excited; even though he didn’t really care about the flowers that Rachel brought over to the apartment at all hours of the day, and watching Brittany deliberating between bridesmaids dresses got boring after a while.

(He did like the taste-testing cakes, though. That was easily his favorite part.)

RSVPs start trickling in as the wedding draws near; Rachel and Puck were the first, of course. Then Mike, Matt, Santana. Even Mr. Schue and Ms. P (she’d always be Ms. P, even though she’d been Mrs. Schue since senior year) promised they’d come as well. As the last few pile up on Brittany’s desk though, Finn starts to feel anxious.

Tina and Artie. Liam, his college roommate. Mercedes. Some of his old Penn State football team. Kurt was flying in from California to make it, despite his hectic schedule.

No Quinn.

He can’t say he blames her. He doesn’t blame her.

But that didn’t mean it doesn’t hurt a little.

Finn knows it wouldn’t be easy for her. Hell, it wasn’t easy for him, for either of them, but this was supposed to be his big day, and she was important to him (Too important, maybe. Way too important.) and he just needed her there.

It’s not until a Saturday night at Puck’s apartment that he finally hears confirmation from Rachel.

“Quinn said she wouldn’t be making it,” she laments from her place at the dinner table, organizing the seating arrangements with Brittany. If she looks at Finn, he doesn’t notice, instead keeping his eyes trained on the television in front of him.

Brittany sighs, pushing her pen around the table glumly. “Oh, that’s too bad, I really wanted her to be there.”

-

When he finally calls the next day, she doesn’t even sound surprised when she answers the phone. “I’m not going, Finn,” she breathes tiredly, “I can’t.”

“You think it’s easy for me, too?” The question hangs between them precariously for a long beat before she clears her throat.

“Why did we wait so long?”

“Wait so long for what?”

She doesn’t answer, and he doesn’t need her to. He knows what it is she’s asking.

“Ever wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t left the choir room that day?”

“I wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t fucked Puck.”

He doesn’t mean for the words to come out as harshly as they do, but the sting is still there just the same. It’s a question that crosses his mind often, followed closely by what Barbie would look like if she had his eyes.

(She RSVPs a few days later.)

---

As the wedding draws near, all of his thoughts become consumed with Quinn. Through dress rehearsals and parties, he wonders what could have been; how different I do would sound coming from her lips, or what dress she would have choosen. (Something simple, he’s sure. Elegant. Delicate.)

But when he stands at the altar and turns to watch his bride—his bride—walk down the aisle, all he sees is Brittany.

It’s later at the reception, slightly buzzed and feeling overwhelmed, that he sees Quinn step into the room and everything snaps back into focus.

-

He corners her at the bar, standing far closer to her than was appropriate, but he kind of can’t help it; his heart’s been racing the entire day and despite everything, she’s a calming force in his life.

“Congratulations,” she says, sipping at her drink and refusing to look his way. She swirls the drink in her cup, poking at a clump of ice in a bored manner before she finally continues, “I’m happy for you.”

“Thanks,” he replies and he makes it a point to stare at her as he finishes, “I’m really glad you could make it.”

Finally, she raises her eyes to meet his and she forces a smile to her face. “Yeah, me too.”

“You’re lying,” he says, and the smile she sends him this time is genuine, crinkling at her eyes. “Dance with me, Q.”

She lets him lead her to the dance floor, his fingers wrapped around her wrist and tugging her gently, weaving through the crowd and smiling when some stranger claps him on the back with a hearty congrats, mate!

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” she admits as they reach the floor and he turns to face her, resting his palms on her hips.

“It’s just dancing, Q,” he says back and pulls her body flush against his. Finn tries not to think about how perfectly she fits against him (it’s impossible not to notice it) or the way her arms feel wrapped around his neck; he tries not to remember the last time he gripped her so closely, up against his door just weeks earlier.

“I don’t just mean the dancing, Finn.” She fingers the collar of his tux gingerly as she moves against him, flicking away a bit of lint before finally meeting his eyes. He feels his thumb tracing slow, lazy circles across her hip, and when she glances up at him from under her eyelashes with a grin, he assumes that she can feel him through their clothes, hard and pressing against her.

“I know you didn’t.” He twirls her, letting his fingers trace her waist as she spins at his palm. Behind her, an old Penn State team mate raises his glass in his direction with a nod of his head in silent congratulations, and he nods at him in return.

“We’re finally done,” she whispers, sagging against him and the words hit him like a brick.

“We’ve been saying we were done for years, Quinn,” he murmurs back, but tightens his grip on her hips unconsciously.

“Yeah,” she replies, “but now it’s real.”

---

A wedding ring changes things.

Through the years, they’ve made countless promises of ending things; promises of being faithful to Brittany, to David. Promises to act like responsible adults in Barbie’s life.

But it’s a ring around his finger that finally makes things come to pass.

They’ve not touched since his wedding, hadn’t kissed since she pulled him into the restroom following their dance for one last kiss, please.

He never thought it was possible to miss someone so much when you saw them once a week, and his entire world feels saturated with her absence.

-

“Shit turned out pretty ok, didn't it?” Puck asks one night, tipsy and with a joint burning away on the coffee table. “Aside from your whole married at twenty-four thing.”

“Yeah,” Finn agrees, taking a long, slow swallow of his beer. Puck’s never been the type to share feelings, but he can’t help it when he asks, “Hey, you think I made a mistake, marrying Brittany?”

Puck snorts and kicks his feet up onto the table in front of them. “I think getting married is a mistake, period.” Finn frowns and Puck rolls his eyes in disgust, “Oh quit being such a pussy. Fine, ok? Brittany's a great chick or whatever.”

They sit in silence for a moment longer, and it’s when Puck leans forward to grab the joint off the table that Finn finally speaks. “I wonder if I got married too soon, sometimes.”

Puck scoffs, taking a long drag and passing it to his friend. “Shut the fuck up,” he groans, blowing the smoke in the direction of Finn’s face, “you and Brittany are like... the fuckin' Cleavers. I’ve never seen two people so damn happy. Brittany looks like she's about to explode like, all the time.”

Finn rolls the cigarette between his fingers for a moment before tossing it back into the ashtray. “Yeah,” he agrees again, “I guess you're right.”

“Fuck yeah, I’m right,” Puck mutters, standing and stumbling towards the kitchen, “Got anything to eat in this fuckin' place?”

---

They fall back into bed two weeks before his twenty-fifth birthday, and the contact nearly makes him collapse with relief.

Quinn stops by after dropping Barbie off at Puck’s house, arms laden with bags for Brittany; it takes one long gaze and him whispering that Brittany wasn’t home before they are stumbling towards his bedroom, tripping over each other as he pulls her shirt up over her head.

“Only this one time—” she pants, jamming her hands up his shirt and running her fingernails over his abdomen. He groans in response before breathing his agreement.

“Right, this one time.”

To be honest, he thinks that after having her again, there’s no way he could go without, there’s just no way; but he’ll tell her the sky is polka-dotted as long as she keeps grinding against him the way that she is, straddling his hips with her hands against his stomach.

“When will Brittany get home?”

Finn opens her mouth to tell her, but then her hand is down his jeans and wrapping around him, her mouth attached to his neck and sucking at the skin right above his carotid artery; he’d forgotten how soft her hands felt against him or how amazing-fantastic-incredible she sounded when she moaned his name.

“God, I’ve missed you,” he pants and he can feel her chuckle, hot and breathy against his ear as she slides down the length of him.

-

“She’s gone all weekend,” he says afterwards, pushing her slick bangs out of her eyes. “Lima.”

Quinn calls David shortly after that, claiming that she’s staying in the city with a friend for the weekend—”Girltime, you know.”

Finn doesn’t know if her boyfriend was suspicious, but when she hangs up the phone, she tosses it across the room before curling up against his side, and he finds that he just doesn’t care what the fuck David thinks.

Of course, she hadn’t brought clothes, and it’s sort of an unspoken agreement that Brittany’s things are off-limits; so she spends the rest of the day half-naked, dwarfed in his giant shirt and with her hair in a sloppy ponytail.

He can’t really remember her ever looking so beautiful.

-

At dinner, they stare at each other from across the table and it’s not long before Finn is pulling funny faces, trying to make her laugh. She used to kick him under the table when he did this at restaurants, the few times during high school when she’d managed to wrangle him into a tie and jacket and dragged him to some hoity-toity Italian place. Now, she just laughs before throwing a crouton at his face.

“It’s no wonder Barbie’s got terrible table manners,” she teases, “between you and Puck...”

“Hey, don’t drag me down with him,” he says, and she just rolls her eyes in reply. They sit in a comfortable silence for a moment, and he can feel her foot sliding against his under the table. “This is the first time you've ever cooked for me.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I mean, Brittany’s afraid of the stove and Rachel is shit at cooking, so... it’s kinda nice.”

She laughs softly, stabbing at her pork chop with her fork. “Yeah, Rachel is pretty bad, isn’t she?” She sips at her wine before continuing, “Part of me thinks that the cooking is the only reason Puck sta—”

The effect is immediate; the mention of that weekend falls over them like ice-cold water, and he can’t help it (he can’t) when he shifts in his seat and pulls his feet away from hers. The words leave his mouth before he can even stop himself, “What happened that weekend?”

“Nothing, Finn,” she sighs and adjusts herself in her seat, “I was overwhelmed. I needed some help, and we just… tried to do the family thing.”

“Did you fuck him?” He asks before he even thinks about it, and he half-expects her to tell him off for even bringing it up; instead, she purses her lips and sighs.

“Does it matter, really?”

“So you did, then.”

“The whole thing, it seemed like a good idea at the time, OK? I was just… clinging to some desperate wish.”

The comment actually makes his chest hurt, and his words are far more virulent than he expected when he spits out, “What’s that supposed to mean? So you love Puck, then?”

“Of course I don’t fucking love Puck,” she scoffs, pushing a bit of potatoes around her plate before she finally looks up and fixes him with a stare. “It’s just, a child should have a mom and a dad, Finn, don’t you think? I just… wanted Barbara to have a real family.”

“I could’ve done it,” he finally says softly, “I would have done it.” He means to drop his fork onto his plate, but he sort of ends up throwing it down instead, and he mutters an apology when he sees her jump. “Will there ever be a time in my life where he doesn’t have his hands all over what I want? He got the baby, and then Rachel, and then—”

She cuts him off, throwing her own fork down as she sits up and leans across the table, stabbing the tablecloth with her finger for emphasis. “Excuse me for not extending the invitation to you, Finn,” she hisses, low and dangerous, “I didn’t think that Brittany would appreciate it.”

“I would’ve come, Quinn! I always fucking come!”

“Right,” she scoffs, standing so suddenly that her chair topples over from the force of it, “You would have dropped everything to come play Daddy to Barbie? And tell me again, Finn, when is your wife coming home? When do I have to be out of here?” Off his look, she sneers and continues, “You chose her, OK? And that’s fine. But don’t you dare try to turn this around on me and my choices.”

It’s been so long since they fought (since he seriously raised his voice to anyone, let alone her), that it feels unfamiliar to stand up and yell back at her. “Brittany was there for me, OK? When you and Puck took it upon yourselves to take everything from me, she was the one to put it all back together. And I’m not…” He trails off, running his fingers through his hair angrily.

“So, what are we doing, then?” Quinn finally asks, shaking her head slightly, and she looks so much like that girl in high school that it takes his breath away.

“I can’t hurt Brittany,” he finally says after a horrible, tense moment, “I want to give you everything. All of it, you deserve it, Q. But I can’t leave Brittany to do it, not when I owe her so much.”

She doesn’t answer, just nods and turns on her heel, wiping at her eyes as she crosses the room. He can hear her moving around in his bedroom, and he drags his hands across his face as he sinks into his chair. He imagines that she must be changing into her own clothes to leave and as much as he wants to, he doesn’t have it in him to go stop her.

Finn definitely isn’t expecting her to return ten minutes later with puffy eyes and his sweatshirt still hanging off of her like a tent.

They stand like that for a long time, her sniffling and him staring at a spot just off to her left.

“C’mere,” he finally says, holding his hand out to her.

Quinn makes her way to him and settles herself into his lap, and when he runs his fingers through her hair he’s able to pretend that this is totally normal; they’re just another married couple and this was just another lover’s quarrel.

By the time he carries her to his room and lays her out on his bed, it almost doesn’t feel like pretend anymore.

---

When she shows up at his apartment the following Friday evening, teary-eyed and sputtering, his first thought is oh God, someone’s dead, because there was no way Q would have shown up at his place without calling first—not unless it was absolutely horrible.

“Brittany will be home any minute,” he says breathlessly and she just purses her lips and raises her left hand to show him the gigantic diamond perched there.

“David proposed. I’m engaged.”

His brain sorta shuts off and he can’t think—just stares, and finally she reaches up to tug at his tie in an attempt to get his attention.

Words escape him, and he just sputters for a moment before reaching out to take her hand and inspect the ring there.

“You’re going to do it?” He finally asks, and it takes every last bit of strength to will himself to actually listen to her answer.

“What choice do I have, Finn?”

He doesn’t answer, just tugs her hand as he steps out of the apartment and shuts the door behind him. “C’mon,” he murmurs, dragging her down the hall behind him, his fingers entwined with hers.

-

They don’t speak again until nearly an hour later, sitting in his Toyota, parked next to some playground with the radio playing softly.

“So, you’re really going to marry him.”

It’s not a question.

She scoffs, shifting in her seat to face him. “Finn, you’re married.”

Funny, how things work out, he realizes. Almost a decade later, and here he was again; sitting in a parked car with Quinn Fabray, painfully in love and unsure of how to tell her.

(It seems so much harder this time around.)

“I love you.”

It’s the first time he’s said the words since high school; they still feel just as right as they did back then (it doesn’t surprise him). “I think I always will.”

That forever stuff—those promises of true love and all that—even he knows that was the stuff you were supposed to say to your wife and not your high school sweetheart. And definitely not sitting in a tiny car while her fiancé sits at home.

But he still said it, just the same, and for the moment, the only people that matter are sitting in the car; not Brittany or David or anybody else.

Finn only starts to feel guilty when she begins to cry.

“I love you, too.” She says it so softly that he wouldn’t have heard her if he wasn’t watching her mouth make the words. He squeezes her hand when she starts to cry harder and he’s about to open his mouth to say, hey, don’t cry when she wipes her tears away and takes a deep shuddering breath before pressing a kiss to the corner of his mouth and forcing a smile to her face. “I’m getting married.”

“Yeah, you are.”

“And I’m in love with you.”

To this day, he thinks that this is how he’ll always remember her: a scared, beautiful (beautiful) girl that he’s madly in love with and completely unable to deny, jumping into the unknown while he waits below to pick up their pieces.



-----

This is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends
not with a bang but a whimper


 
 
(Deleted comment)
Shannon: Become the starunequivocally on April 12th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
Ok first: I love you more. The end. Abed<3

I could fall all over myself over how awesome you are and how awesome this comment is, but you already know ALL of that because I tell you, frequently.

I love you so much it hurts me bb<3
(Anonymous) on April 11th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Puck mocks her the entire time she tugs on her fur-lined boots, shrugs into her heavy parka and wraps a scarf around her neck; until Barbie whines that she wants to go with Rachel, too, and after some grumbling of who’s fuckin’ kid are you, anyways, the three of them finally head out, leaving the apartment silent again.
-------------
Angst isn't usually my cup of tea but you two write it so well and Finn/Quinn has always fascinated me. Well done and I look forward to the next installment!
Shannon: Binary Sudokuunequivocally on April 12th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

The sequel will be a long while away, as I have to wait for TWWA to finish before I can finish it and post it, because the sequel will be spanning the events AFTER TWWA and I don't wanna spoil anything!

But thanks for reading, I'm so glad you liked it ♥
becca_radcggbecca_radcgg on April 11th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
*sigh*

I agree with Molly's comments. I'm so proud of you for writing this, Shan. You've put your heart and soul into it and it really shows. The emotions are so real and tangible and you don't take the easy way out. You don't make everything okay because they love each other and nothing else matters because there are other things. And they do matter.

I love how you've written Brittany. I really love how you don't make excuses for them.

It's a very morose story you're telling here. And unfortunately sometimes real.

You write it real.

You have affected me with this piece. And affecting one person deeply is better than having a million "great story" comments! :)
Shannon: Coryunequivocally on April 12th, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
That means so much bb coming from you, especially given your feelings on Quinn and Cheating!Finn in general, so that you were able to enjoy the fic in spite of no love for Quinn makes me feel awesome =)

Thank you for reading it a thousand times and helping me when I needed it, even if you only prompted me with a drabble to get the creative process going again!



Thanks so much =)
Twizzlerfuzzy_paint on April 11th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
and Finn nearly trips over himself on his way to answer it—”I got it, I got it!” His excitement because it's Quinn kills me a little.

”After all, I mean, she may get pregnant again, just breathing my air”—and it’s not until Quinn shoves him violently and snarls never again if my life depended on it that Finn feels like he can breathe again. I lol'd at the first part, because PUCK LOL, QUINN LOL. And then, oh god and then. It's so clear that Finn's still in love with Quinn. And despite that love, I wonder if he's ever really going to get over the whole Puck/Quinn thing.

“Hi, baby! I saw a rainbow! Thought of you! Call me!” This broke me. Brittany has no idea, absolutely none. Of course she doesn't, she's Brittany.

I was very confused b/c I was rooting for Brittany and Quinn to get the guy. But it really wasn't about getting the guy in the end. It's a torrid affair, whether or not it's TRUE LOVE or whatever. And it's not going to end pretty for anyone involved.

The love FQ still have for each other was almost palpable, and the GUILT Finn (I saw it with Q too, a little bit, but more so with Finn because = his POV) had because of what he was doing to Brittany. OMG.

The angst was very well done. I usually make notes of things I love/strike me as I read am a giant dork, but I stopped about a third of the way through because I couldn't focus on anything except this story. It was written extremely well, and I'm certain it will resonate with me for quite sometime.
Shannon: Grown up loveunequivocally on April 12th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy you liked it, really. I was really worried about this fic, to be honest! You comment makes me so happy<3

I do have such a soft spot for these two because it seems like they were never really given a chance and I'm just so rooting for these two in show, but I know my heart will be broken. Sigh.

Anyways. Ilu and Il this comment and thank you so much ♥
fellowgleek: finn.fantasticfellowgleek on April 11th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
this was beautifully written. You did a great job with the angst. The ending was great. I loved the PR in the background (lol). amazing job :D
Shannon: Jamunequivocally on April 14th, 2010 02:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. =)

Of course, I am unable to write ANYTHING without adding PR to it, hahaha!<3
Yvettefickleheart on April 11th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
Oh Kill me much. THIS IS BREATHTAKING. Beautiful, every word.

I just have now word. When I muster some I will leave a proper review but in the mean time. Beautiful job.
Shannon: Finn/Quinn Hugunequivocally on April 14th, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
Thank you SO MUCH, bb! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it, really. I've been very nervous about this fic and so I'm loving to see that it's well received. =) Thank you for reading!<3
bridget_grey: Glee | bathroom scenebridget_grey on April 12th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
finally some GREAT FQ fic.
this is so amazing. just beautiful <3
Shannon: Stealthunequivocally on April 14th, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
There is a painful lack of F/Q love in this fandom, it hurts my soul. =(

Thank you for reading!
Sadiecomeundone on April 12th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
This was beautiful. I really liked Finn and Britt in TWWA but in this story, I really just want Finn and Quinn together. Of course I like the Rachel and Puck bits too. And Barbie, can't forget Barbie!
Shannonunequivocally on April 14th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
Never forget Barbie! She does not take it well!

I'm so glad that you liked it. =) I do love Britt/Finn, I do. And Finn loves Britt, too! But there's something about F/Q that I just adore and can't get over<3

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
LCxfindyourlight on April 12th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
Wow. This was brillant. I love Brittany and Finn together and how oblivious she is to everything. It's a tangled mess they've woven and there's no easy way out. I love how you showed the pull of each side. His love for Quinn, but his devotion to Brittany. It's sad that it had to be like this. Fabulously written and incredibly compelling. Excellent.
Shannon: Finn/Quinn Hugunequivocally on April 14th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
What lovely words. =) Thank you so much, it means a lot to me. I'm happy you enjoyed it and thanks so much for reading and commenting!
all dressed up for the wrecking ball: glee:puck(guitar)andbless_mybaby on April 12th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
Oh, love. You posted it! I’ve been waiting desperately for this fic, and to see what you did with it. And boom. You broke my heart all over again.

I really, really, REALLY loved the addition of extra Brittany. I feel that the extra light on her interaction with Finn was just the extra twist of that knife in my heart. (The scene with the Christmas lights – ow, ow, ow.) It’s a testament to your talent for unraveling a story that I was rooting for both Britt and Quinn, despite the fact that it was all so very fucked up and Finn was being a grade-A asshole to do the things he did. There were so many layers to this that it was easy to get lost in it and carried away in all that pain and jealousy. The Finn/Quinn interaction was so very real: how he was in love with her, and a little pissed off at her too. The kids are all only high schoolers when the baby stuff goes down, but it’s a fact that a betrayal like that claims a little part of your soul forever. Your Finn was very much a product of that reality. When he just same out and said it to her - I wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t fucked Puck. - it was breathtaking, in the most literal sense.

I think this part, near the end, summed it all up:

of course, she hadn’t brought clothes, and it’s sort of an unspoken agreement that Brittany’s things are off-limits

Terrible. It’s a terrible thing that they are doing, but they are doing it anyway. And that could be so melodramatic and obnoxious in the hands of someone less phenomenal than you, but you are of course a genius and so it was just subtle and lovely and… terrible. Did I mention that my heart is broken? I think it bears repeating.

I can’t let this comment go without talking about Puck/Rachel. Oh, bb. Your Puck gets me like no one else’s, except Teri’s of course. I really feel sometimes like you guys share a Puck, because I can’t tell the difference between the ones you two write separately. He’s perfect. But let me move on. Puck and Rachel and the bickering, and the RENT soundtrack… I was lol’ing and awwwing at the same time, which I find myself doing all the time when I read your stories. Their relationship, while dysfunctional, still managed to function as a bizarrely effective counterpoint to Finn’s Love Triangle O’ Despair. And that was REALLY awesome.

I know I said this already, but the pacing and natural rhythm of this story just swept me off my feet. It was an emotional rollercoaster. That’s a total cliché, but so fucking true. The ending was beyond killer. I’m a sucker for an ending that completely and totally slays me, and this is my new textbook example of that.

TL:DR – you are brilliant and I loved it. ♥
Shannon: Breatheunequivocally on April 13th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
Oh this comment makes me so happy. First, thank you SO MUCH for the beta, really. Second, I'm so happy you liked this fic--at the risk of seeming like a kiss-ass (I totally am by the way) you're pretty much my gold standard in terms of angst. Seriously. So, to get your seal of approval was the highlight of my month ♥

P/R really is a sort of solid couple next to Finn's triangle of angst (at least now, by TWWA the shit's hit the fan) and so that's really saying something!

Anyways. Affairs are painful and messy and hurty for everyone and so I was really nervous about this fic and so I'm so glad to see you liked it. Thanks again so much for your help, you're awesome, and ILU ♥
Sarah: QuinnFinn - {can we be in love again?}xbirdseyeviewx on April 12th, 2010 07:55 am (UTC)
Finally! Some great Finn/Quinn fic! Loved this.
(Anonymous) on April 12th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
"Fair warning: If you flailed over how adorbs Finn and Brittany were in the Multichap, please enter with caution"

Ok, I gotta admit that the above totally applies to me but you know that you guys are to blame for all that "adorb-ness".

But this, THIS...... *sigh*.... so despairingly sublime. Loved it all. I just want to wrap them all up in fluffy rainbow marshmallows to take their pain away... (weird, I know, but its how I feel so don't judge me lol).

Shannon: Finn/Quinn Hugunequivocally on April 12th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Haha, I apologize for the adorb-ness that is Finn/Britt. They really are cute though, it's hard to not write them as adorbs.

Anyways, thank you so much for such a nice comment. <3 And being wrapped in rainbow marshmallows sounds like the perfect way to ease your pain, to be honest.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on April 12th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
une_filleune_fille on April 12th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)
So.

I've been kind of dreading writing this review because I don't really know how to say what I want to say, and I kind of need you to know what I'm feeling about this.

This story has been your baby, from start to finish. While we were writing Puck & Rachel's story, you always saw this going on in the background so clearly. The way you write these two - their love, their pain, their guilt - it's like someone's squeezing my heart in a fist. I'm trying to think back to all the comments and notes I've sent you on this while you were putting it together, but my memory's failing me at the moment. Needless to say, the way it all came together is nothing short of beautilful.

I am so unbelievably proud of you.

This isn't the first time I've read this story, and it definitely isn't the last. But it still hits me every time.

I knew I'd fail at this review, but hopefully you got the gist of what I was trying to say: Good job, bb, I love it.

Shannon: Finn/Quinn Bleachersunequivocally on April 12th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
<3
Bb, I totally owe you for everything cause if you hadn't made that ONE PASSING COMMENT, none of this would have sparked. This is totally all your doing. Thank you for putting up with me when I wanted to bounce ideas off of you, even when you were busy trying to work or wanting to discuss something else.

I'm not about to get all mushy here, I promise, I'll stop or I could go on for ~DAYS.~ I loff you bb and thank you so much ♥

Edited at 2010-04-12 02:40 pm (UTC)
idek~: 1x10 Smug OTPipickquinn on April 13th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC)
I've read it like 4 times now, and each time it still hits me the same. The complexity of the whole situation, the heart breaking when Finn knows he love Brittany and can't leave her but at the same time Quinn is it for him.

“I wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t fucked Puck.” - This breaks my heart so much. Though in the show the pregnancy and how they relate to each other afterwards adds that layer to their relationship that makes me love them so much. So it's kind of a double edge sword there. Who knows how their relationship would have gone if Quinn hadn't gotten pregnant...

It feels so wrong to love all their stolen moments because really Brittany is just so nice and lovable and it is seriously like kicking a puppy, but Finn and Quinn have this undeniable attraction. They're like magnets in this story, always seeking each other out.

Gah, I don't even know. This was so fabulous and probably my new all time favorite F/Q fic. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Shannon: Aerisunequivocally on April 16th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that you liked it! There is a sad lack of F/Q fics out there and so I'm sort of making it my mission to write more! If only I had the time! =(

I'm flattered to hear how much you liked it, and thanks so much for commenting! I'll have to work extra hard on the sequel. =)
(no subject) - ipickquinn on April 24th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
sun gladiator arihariboo on April 13th, 2010 09:14 am (UTC)
OH, DUDE. How! How did you make me so torn?! This was rather amazing and my heart is sad now because they want to be together so badly, but can, because of their own choices and GOD FINN, WHY ARE SO YOU PRECIOUS EVEN WHEN YOU'RE CHEATING. I love that little moment between him and Rachel, where Rachel clearly knows what's up (she is psychic, dude) but Finn can't even really talk about it with her. AND BRIT! I felt so bad for her, I love her rainbow loving heart, and she doesn't even know Finn is breaking it. And I was still rooting for him and Quinn. TORN, I TELL YOU.
Shannon: Quinn Smileunequivocally on April 16th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
Heee! I'm glad you're torn! That's how I wanted you to be! I do love Brittany so believe me when I say my heart was breaking doing this to her, the poor dear<3

I'm so glad you liked it! This fic has been my BABY so I'm so proud to see it enjoyed. Thanks for commenting!