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Lima, Ohio: The Other, Other Hellmouth

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Summary: Instead of moving to Sunnydale, Joyce drags Buffy to the Midwest. The slayer expects to find boredom in Ohio but instead she finds vampires, witches, werewolves, zombies, robots - and glee club. Eventual Faberry and Buffy/Santana.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > GleerakestrawberryFR1535180,239047,18611 Oct 1219 Oct 12No

The Ballad

"Guys, I'd like you to give a big New Directions welcome to our new members; Noah Puckerman and Mike Chang," said Mr. Schuester.

Buffy and the others clapped half-heartedly as the two football jocks took seats by the cheerleaders on the plastic maroon choir room chairs. Buffy hoped she wasn't the only one who noticed the hostile look Quinn gave to the buff guy with the mohawk. Maybe it was just her imagination.

"Since when were you two interested in glee club?" asked Quinn coldly, tossing a chestnut coloured ponytail over her shoulder.

"Since we saw Hummel laying those moves on the football field," said Mike Chang, leaning back on the squeaky chair.

Quinn scowled and folded her arms, unsatisfied.

"What does Quinn have against the football guys?" Buffy muttered to Rachel, who only shook her head, staring down at Quinn from her seat on the top bench.

After class, Mr. Schuester walked April down the hallways. Swinging the hem of her green leather mini skirt, April wore a wide, white smile as she looked up at Will Schuester.

"It's been real nice to be back in Lima, Will," she said.

"That's great, April. It's been really good to see you again," smiled Will, "You look like you've been doing great. And the kids really like you, too."

"Oh, stop," blushed April, waving him away bashfully, "So how's Terri?" she asked, spying the pale circle around his ring finger where his wedding band used to be.

"I-I don't know," stammered Will, "I haven't seen her since the divorce."

"Oh, well. Who needs her, huh?" she grinned, playfully jabbing Will's side with her elbow.

Will chuckled alongside her until he stopped at the corner of the hall, bumping into a familiar redhead.

"Emma," said Will.

"Will," said Emma, her doe eyes widening, "And, um..."

"Emma, this is my friend April!" said Will, introducing the women.

April smiled and held out her hand for Emma to shake. Emma cringed, but decided to be polite, daintily shaking April's hand, and was unexpectedly pulled into a tight hug with the short woman.

"Oh, uh, OK," Emma stammered as April let go of the friendly hug.

"How have you been?" asked Will.

He hadn't seen the woman since he'd refused a date with her. He'd felt bad about it ever since, especially when she started to avoid him in the teacher's lounge. He missed her cute chit chat and the way she individually cleaned her grapes. And those brown Bette Davis eyes. They were so big he could fall right in and get lost.

"I've been fine," smiled Emma, faltering just a bit, "Busy, with work, I guess. But fine."

Will smiled tightly and nodded, an awkward silence passing through the trio.

"So I should get back to work," said Emma, "I have a session with Quinn Fabray so I'm just gonna let you go with your girlfriend-"

"Girlfriend? Oh, April's not my girlfriend. No. No, no no no," Will shook his head of curls vehemently.

"Oh, OK. Bye," said Emma, nodding her head and smiling ever so slightly, as April frowned in disappointment.

"Really? Five 'no's?" she asked when Emma was out of hearing distance.

"Sorry," said Will, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly.

"I'm guessing that's someone special," sighed April.

"Kind of. Maybe."

"Well, figure it out, boy, 'cause she sure likes you."

Hand in hand, Quinn Fabray and Finn Hudson passed their Spanish teacher and his weird witchy lady friend.

"Do you think they're dating?" asked Finn.

"Ew. Who cares? They're old," replied Quinn as the teenagers milled about between classes.

"Yeah, I guess. Hey, I had this... thought."

"Shocker."

"I was just playing video games last night, and I looked out of my window and it was drizzling, and I was just thinking how much I like that. When it's drizzling. Because it's kind of cool like rain but not wet enough to-"

"Is this going somewhere?"

"Yeah. I wanted to suggest that we name our baby Drizzle."

"Drizzle?" frowned Quinn.

"Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but celebrities are always naming their babies weird things. Like Nicholas Cage totally named his kid Kal-El, which I thought would be a good middle name-"

"Finn, stop it!" hissed Quinn, looking left and right as they walked through the hall, "We are not naming our baby anything, OK? It's not going to be our baby. We're giving it up for adoption."

"Right, I know," said Finn, looking down at his shoes, disappointed.

"So don't concentrate on baby names. Right now, why don't you just concentrate on paying the ultrasound bill, because that's kind of urgent."

"You got an ultrasound?" asked Finn.

Quinn sighed, tired. "Yeah."

"And... Do you know-?"

"It's a girl."

The dumb-founded look of both awe and sadness almost broke Quinn's usually icy heart, so she turned away to avoid his hazelly eyes and ended up with a face full of icy grape slushie. Finn and Quinn took a sharp intake of breath as the cold drink hit their faces. It had hurt more than they ever would have guessed, partly because it felt like getting smacked in the face with an iceberg and partly because everyone in the corridors stopped to stare at them, their jaws hanging.

Finn whipped around and slammed the culprit, Dave Karofsky, up against a wall of lockers.

"What the Hell, man? You can't do that!" he yelled in the meaty jock's face.

"I can do anything I want, Hudson!" yelled Karofsky, pushing the tall boy away from him, "You and girlfriend are fair game now that you ripped up your reputation and flushed it down the toilet. You have no one to blame but yourselves! You done screwed up!"

Laughing with his moronic friends, Dave swaggered away and Quinn stared at the linoleum tiled floor, her face dripping with a purple syrupy concoction. It was starting. Her life would crumble right in front of her eyes and this single slushie in the face was a symbol of the beginning. She couldn't just sit there and watch her world fall down around her, so she picked her pride up and tried to figure out her next move.

As per usual, the cheerleader's next move would be a hostile one.

"You told!" she fumed.

Buffy dropped her California roll into its plastic container as the cheerleader came at her in the auditorium, her porcelain face and her chestnut ponytail dripping with an icy substance.

"Did you get slushied?" asked Buffy, slightly amused.

"Because of one of you!" Quinn said, glaring at the scooby gang, her fists clenched.

"What did we do?" asked Mercedes.

"One of you told someone I was pregnant, and now the whole school knows!" Quinn cried, her face getting red with rage.

"None of us told," said Buffy, looking over at her friends hopefully, "Did we?"

"I didn't. I would never!" Rachel said defensively.

Tina only shook her head mousily, afraid to talk in front of Quinn after what happened last time.

"Don't lie to me!" yelled Quinn, and Buffy noticed with alarm that her clenched fists began to glow orange, plumes of smoke escaping from the palms of her hand.

Finn backed away a few steps from behind his fuming - literally - girlfriend.

"Quinn, calm down!" said Buffy, standing up with her hands raised in surrender, "What exactly happened?"

Quinn took a deep breath and tried to calm down, her hands still glowing hot. "Karofsky slushied us. He said we screwed up! What else could that mean?"

"Well, I think it would actually make more sense that he meant joining glee club, opposed to getting knocked up..." said Kurt.

Quinn closed her eyes and took deep breaths until the heat in her hands disappeared and they were back to their natural pale complexion.

"I'm starting to think that Ms. Pillsbury can't give you the kind of therapy that you need," said Buffy.

xxx

This was the kind of therapy Quinn Fabray liked. With little effort, she raised a 2B pencil out of Mr. Schuester's '#1 Teacher' mug. It just slipped out from under the ballpoint pens, and, for some reason, a Twizzler.

"This is too easy," said Quinn.

April frowned at her. The girls sat opposite each other on velvet Pottery Barn throw pillows that April brought from home, after school in the dark of the choir room with pumpkin scented candles burning on Brad's piano. Quinn levitated the pencil out of its holder and made it twirl itself around in the air, spinning faster and faster in a circle.

"Stop showing off," scowled April, "It's not about how much power you have, 'cause Lord knows you got a lot. It's about how well you control it."

Quinn smirked as she made the pencil twirl back and forth in an 8 motion, and spun it around with rapid speed over and over.

"I'd say I control it pretty well," scoffed Quinn.

The pencil twirled faster and faster until suddenly, Quinn lost the telekinetic grip, sending the pencil flying, its sharp led end sticking right into Mr. Schuester's white board.

"Okay, maybe I'm a little rusty," she cringed.

xxx

Santana tapped her fingernails against the kitchen table, her mouth shut tight.

"Santana? Did you hear me?"

After a few moments silence, Santana nodded, and looked up at Mrs. Pierce on the other side of the Pierce family's round wooden breakfast table.

"I don't understand. Why would it be... How could it go wrong?"

Phoebe shook her head, looking distressed. "Terri is a vengeance demon. Every spell has to be something... vengeful. I'm so sorry."

Santana frowned at the table top. "Where's Brittany?" she asked.

"Trying to get into Pottermore," said Phoebe, looking up at the clock hanging above the kitchen sink.

"Don't tell her. It'll only make her worry," said Santana, and Phoebe reached to clasp her hand from across the table.

"We are going to do everything we can to fix this, Santana, I promise," said Phoebe.

Santana nodded. "No, I know," she said, her voice quiet and strangely calm, "I'm just gonna say goodbye to Brittany. And go home."

Phoebe watched Santana slide off of her chair and saunter out into the hallway. Santana almost turned to go upstairs to Brittany's room, when she noticed the blond girl in a sleep cami, and, for some reason, a long black robe.

"Brittany?" said Santana, walking over to her best friend, her pale blond hair cascading down her back as she held a long stick in her hand with a rounded end, "What are you doing?"

Brittany smiled warmly up at Santana, peering at her with her cat-like sea blue eyes.

"Waiting for my Hogwarts letter to come," said Brittany.

Santana smirked. For one of the most popular girls at school, Brittany was a major dork.

"I love you, Britt," said Santana.

"I love you too, San," replied Brittany without hesitation, turning back to the post box in her front door.

But Santana wasn't sure how she'd meant it. She knew Brittany loved her, but was she in love with her? It's not like their attraction was a secret. They'd made out before - plenty of times. But they'd always waved it off as 'just a little bit of fun'. Did Brittany ever feel the need to settle down with Santana? To be in a real, honest relationship where Santana could kiss her in public and take her out for Valentine's Day? Santana decided not to dwell on it, as it would be too painful when she had to leave.

"Goodbye, Brittany," Santana smiled bitter sweetly.

"Bye," Brittany smiled, her eyes so warm and innocent.

Santana strutted out before she could get choked up by the sight of Brittany's naive eyes.

xxx

The next day, Quinn held her head high through the halls of McKinley High, her hands rested on her hips in her trademark authoritative strut. She felt confident that she looked amazing - not baby bumpy. Not yet. And she felt confident that nobody knew her secret yet. She was just being paranoid every time she thought someone was sneaking a peek at her slightly bulging stomach.

"Sup, Preggers," greeted Noah Puckerman, swaggering up in his McKinley letterman jacket.

"Puck!" Quinn hissed, whipping her head around to make sure no one heard.

Students milled about around her, apparently unaware.

"So I hear you're knocked up," said Puck, raising a fine, dark eyebrow.

"Who told you that?" grumbled Quinn.

"Finn. My boy tells me everything, and I'm pretty damn sure he would tell me if he lost his virginity. The hot tub? Really?"

"Puck, shut up!" hissed Quinn, "It's none of your business."

"I'd think it was my business, considering it's my baby," Puck said, his voice low and hushed as he peered around him to make sure no one was listening.

"Puck, listen to me!" snapped Quinn, "I don't care if this baby comes out with a mohawk, Finn is going to keep thinking that he's the father, and that's that."

"What makes you think Finn would be a better father than me, huh?"

"Because Finn is going somewhere. He may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he has ambition and morals. He can provide for me; and you... you're just a Lima loser."

Puck sighed, his face softening. "Q, I can be a good father. I wouldn't walk out on our baby like my old man did. I would be there for it."

"Her."

"What?"

"The baby's a her, Puck."

Quinn's heart broke as she watched Puck's face light up. Why do they all have to do this? thought Quinn, Why does knowing that the baby is a girl make such a difference, like it's so real now and one day it's going to be their little princess?

"It doesn't matter, okay, Puck? I'm giving her up for adoption," said Quinn, pushing past him on her way to the gymnasium.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"Cheerios practise," she grumbled.

"That's probably not good for our daughter!" said Puck, holding her back by her shoulder.

"She's not our daughter! She's not your daughter, she's not my daughter... She's not our daughter!" snapped Quinn, whipping back around to him.

"Well, then whose daughter is she?" snapped Puck.

Quinn shook her head, holding back more hormonal tears. "I have to go," she muttered, and stormed away.

She took deep breaths before she entered the gymnasium, where she threw her gear bag to the ground and stepped up to the horde of Cheerios already waiting for her in a group.

"Okay, girls, today will be less active and more about planning how to trump the Westerville squad this Spring," said Quinn, flipping her brown hair back.

She looked over to find Morgan Ru and all the other Cheerios huddled in a group, just staring at her, unwelcoming.

"Guys, what's going on?" asked Quinn, her arms folded over her abdomen.

Morgan looked at the other girls a moment before she turned to Quinn and said, "We voted."

Quinn frowned. "On?"

"On whether you should be cheer captain or not. In fact, whether you should even be on the team or not," said Morgan.

Quinn grimaced and jutted her chin out. "And?"

"It was unanimous," said Morgan, "Well, except for Brittany. But we didn't really take her opinion into account. She probably doesn't even know what unanimous means."

A few of the Cheerios snickered as Brittany blushed in the crowd, looking down at her white Keds.

"So, that's it?" asked Quinn softly, "I'm off the team?"

"Looks like," Morgan smiled, "Oh, and I quit glee club. There's no reason to keep trying to please you when you dropped so far down the food chain you're eating Rachel Berry's dust. Plus, I heard you attacked, like, the whole club with a knife. Joining Buffy's street gang, huh?"

"It wasn't the whole club. And there was no knife," grumbled Quinn, under the sound of the cheerleaders' cackling.

"And what was that you said before, Quinn? You could squash me like a bug?" laughed Morgan.

Rejected and embarrassed, Quinn felt hot tears dampening her eyes, and she ran out of the gymnasium before anyone could see her crying. She thanked God that everyone was in class, because she wouldn't want to face invasive questions if anyone saw her backing up against the wall and sinking down to the floor, tears sliding down her face as her chest heaved in heavy sobs. As much as she tried to plaster up some pretty floral wallpaper, she couldn't stop the walls from crumbling in on her. And this was just the start. First it was the slushie, and then it was getting kicked off of Cheerios. Then what? Would she get kicked out of school, and out of her home? Would Finn dump her when he found out that Puck was the father? All of her friends and family would leave her and what would she have then...? She thought for a moment that maybe she should keep the baby. Even if no one else cared about her, she would be able to hold on to that baby girl for her last source of love. But was that fair to her daughter?

"Quinn?"

Quinn looked up, her face red and streaked with tears. She was surprised to find Brittany Pierce standing before her. Sure, they were friends, but their relationship seemed to falter after Santana left. She was the one who made Quinn and Brittany hang out in the first place. That's when the trio's rule over McKinley started. Now it was all over.

Brittany sat down on the cold linoleum tiles, crossing her legs beside Quinn.

"I'm sorry about Cheerios," Brittany said softly.

Quinn shook her head. "It's not your fault, Brittany. You're the only one who didn't vote to kick me out."

"I think I'll quit, too."

"No, don't do that, Brittany. You love cheerleading."

"Not as much as I used to. It used to be fun, because I love to dance, and because Santana was there. But now, everything's different. I feel so lonely every day," frowned Brittany.

"I know what you mean," sighed Quinn.

"Well, if you feel lonely, and I feel lonely, why don't we just be lonely together? We can be like real friends again and dance at glee club instead of Cheerios."

Quinn smiled and nodded. "Thanks, Brittany. I can see why Santana liked you so much."

Brittany smiled and stroked Quinn's chestnut hair. "The unholy trinity always sticks together."

Quinn smirked. "Unholy trinity? I like that."

xxx

"Who can tell me what a ballad is?"

"A male duck," answered Brittany.

Mr. Schuester rested his marker back on the ledge of the white board and rubbed his temples.

"Buffy?" he asked, even though Rachel Berry's raised arm was sticking up in the air in front of her face.

"It's a love song, right?" asked Buffy, unsure. When she heard the word ballad she thought of Celine Dion belting on a boat deck.

Mr. Schuester smiled encouragingly. "Sometimes, but they don't always express love. Ballads are stories set to music," he explained, "Ballads are what we use to express feelings that we can't get out any other way."

From the corners of her eyes, Rachel spied Quinn snuggling onto the arm of Finn Hudson. Rachel used to think that maybe Quinn Fabray's beauty was just the illusion of her trendy cheerleading uniform, but she looked even more gorgeous out of it, and in her butter yellow babydoll dress.

"For Sectionals, the judges specifically asked for a ballad."

Rachel's eyes lit up. "That sounds like a perfect way to showcase my vocals," she smiled to herself, ignoring the grimace of the rest of the group, "I guess my bi-weekly letter to the Ohio Show Choir Committee finally paid off."

"That's why this week I want all of you to pair up and sing a ballad to each other," said Mr. Schuester.

"Then Finn and I will go together," said Quinn, her warm brown hair falling around her shoulders instead of tied up in a tight ponytail as usual.

"No, too easy," said Mr. Schuester, "You're all going to pick a name from out of this hat, and that will be your partner."

"I bet the duck is in the hat," Brittany murmured to Quinn.

"Who wants to go first?" smiled Mr. Schuester, shaking a fedora full of scrunched up pieces of paper.

Quinn and Rachel both leaped up at the same time, but Rachel stood back in surprise as Quinn strutted forwards to take her pick from the hat. She smiled softly as she unfolded the crumpled piece of paper.

"Brittany," she smiled, and went back to sitting beside her friend, stuffing the tiny piece of paper in the pocket of her cream cardigan.

Shaking back her taupe brown hair back, Rachel strode forward to unfold a piece of paper from Mr. Schuester's hat. She didn't even try to hide the disappointment in her eyes as she read the name on the note.

"Puck," she said, and took a seat next to the mohawked football player, who wiggled his eyebrows at her suggestively.

"Who's next?" asked Mr. Schuester, shaking up the papers in the hat.

Mercedes didn't hesitate to walk up and take hers. "Artie," she said, smiling at her friend, and passing Kurt as he walked up next. "Finn," said Kurt, smiling widely, and Mike got up to unfold a note that said, 'Tina'. He smiled sweetly as his eyes landed on the Gothic Asian girl smiling back at him.

"And since Morgan Ru dropped out of glee club," said Mr. Schue, "Buffy, you'll have to pair up with me."

Buffy rolled her eyes at the quiet giggling that followed. "Fine," she said.

"Can you clarify what kinds of songs you want us to sing, Mr. Schue," asked Artie.

"Why don't you let Buffy and I demonstrate?" asked Mr. Schuester, Buffy feeling the stage fright coming on under Mr. Schue's charming smile.

"I'm not Rachel, Mr. Schue, I can't just burst into song. I'm not that good, anyways," blushed Buffy.

Mr. Schuester just smiled and rolled his eyes. "Come on, Buffy," he smiled, taking her hand and pulling herself up with him in front of Brad's piano, "There must be something you can sing on the spot. What's your favourite ballad? It doesn't have to be vocal heavy, just something you know all the words to."

Buffy racked her mind for a song that matched Mr. Schuester's description. "Well... I-I know all the word to the Divinyls... um, I Touch Myslef... " she murmured.

"What song was that?" asked Puck, putting a hand around his ear and leaning forward.

Buffy rolled her eyes. "I Touch Myself!" she yelled at the club, who erupted into laughter.

Will smirked. "Wow, I thought you'd be too young to even know that song. I don't think it's very appropriate, though."

"Why? It's a great song, and it's an acceptable ballad," said Rachel, her chin in the air.

"I love that song," smiled Finn.

"Okay, no, that's fine," said Mr. Schuester, turning to Brad, "Can we the Divinyls, I Touch Myself. Something simple, B flat."

Buffy's heart thumped as Brad started playing out the starting notes of her favourite song. Her heart started thumping for a different reason when Mr. Schuester came in with the first line.

"I love myself, I want you to love me. When I feel down, I want you above me," he started to sing, his voice silky smooth, giving her a cheesy grin as he nodded his head to the music.

It sounded less like the 90s rock song she'd listened to a thousand times and more like a smooth easy listening piece, but she didn't mind it. And this was definitely an inappropriate song for a teacher and his student to sing together, but again, Buffy didn't mind it.

"I search myself, I want you to find me. I forget myself, I want you to remind me."

Buffy grinned at her dorkily adorable teacher and came into the song with her light but pretty voice.

"I don't want anybody else, when I think about you I touch myself," they sang together.

Most of the class snickered at the song choice, but Buffy chose to ignore them. Mr. Schuester sounded good - and looked good - singing. Oh, no, thought Buffy, warning signals flashing in her mind, Am I getting a crush on Mr. Schue?

"You're the one, who makes me come running. You're the sun, who makes me shine. When I'm around you, I'm always laughing. I want to make you mine." Buffy sang.

The girl couldn't help it. When she sang with Will it was like she was seeing him for the first time. And what she was seeing was super, super cute.

xxx

"Sing to me everything you feel," sighed Kurt.

He couldn't help but remember that the last person who helped Finn rehearse after hours in the auditorium got a big wet Hudson kiss. There was just one thing different about this time.

"I can't sing to a dude," sighed Finn, rising from where they sat at the piano stool and pacing down the empty stage, rubbing his forehead.

"Well, you have to try," Kurt said softly.

"I can't, okay?! I'm sick of everybody pushing me around and putting all this stress on me!" cried Finn, clutching his temples.

"Your lashing out at me is fantastically compelling and inappropriate," said Kurt.

Finn sighed and shook his head. "I know. Look, dude, I'm sorry. I just... Everything's so stressful nowadays, y'know? First I find out that vampires and witches and other random weird stuff was just walking around without anyone knowing. And then all this stuff with Quinn..."

"Sounds like girls are your problem," sighed Kurt, "They're up, they're down. Girls."

Finn nodded and sat back down at the piano seat, rubbing his lap. "It's the baby," he sighed, "She's my daughter. There's so many things I want to say to her and I'm never gonna be able to, y'know? Well, of course you don't know, but, you know what I mean. I don't want her to think me and Quinn just abandoned her. We love her. I mean, I love her. But Quinn probably does, too."

"You gotta let it out," said Kurt, putting his hand on Finn's shoulder.

"How?"

"By singing. I know this assignment is for you and me, but I think you should use it to sing to Quinn. Let her know how you feel. When's the next time you're going to see her?"

"Well, tonight. I'm having dinner at her parent's house," said Finn.

"Perfect! Sing to them, too. Just get your feelings known in a subtle and effective way," said Kurt.

Finn smiled. "Yeah, okay. Thanks, man!" he said, and gripped Kurt's shoulders in a short hug, making the smaller boy blush.

"My pleasure," sighed Kurt.

xxx

Will turned the key in his lock until he felt satisfied with the loud click. He hung his keychain up on the keychain holder that his ex-wife had bought at Pottery Barn and left behind when she moved out. Will threw his coat around a chair in the dining room and stumbled through, falling on the couch and flipping on the TV. It had been a long day of correcting irregular verbs, not to mention the googley eyes Buffy gave him when they sang I Touch Myself in glee club. Oh, why did he have to sing that song with her? He knew that look she'd been giving him, and he didn't like it one bit.

He sighed as a cold light beer was handed to him from over his shoulder, with the cap already off.

"Thanks," he sighed and clutched the damp beer by the bottleneck, when suddenly he sprang up off his seat and twirled around.

Buffy smiled at him from behind his couch, over dressed in a red satin Betsey Johnson halter dress and red lipstick that was a shade too dark. With her hair curled and smoothed, she looked like the modern interpretation of a 50s housewife. She made Will's jaw drop.

"Buffy, w-what are you doing here?" he stammered.

Buffy smiled up at him, her hazel eyes still innocent under her sexy appearance.

"Last time I was over I noticed how bare your apartment was. I thought it could use a woman's touch," she smirked, gesturing to the velvet throw pillows and the scented candles she'd put around his living room.

"Well, thanks, but... It's late, Buffy. You should be at home. Let me drive you-"

"It's only seven, Mr. Schue," Buffy chuckled, "And I can't leave now, I'm baking."

"You're... baking?" asked Mr. Schuester, raising an eyebrow.

Buffy nodded and smiled. "Cinnamon cookies. It's a family recipe."

"I didn't know you baked."

"I don't, usually..."

Mr. Schuester sniffed the air as he caught a scent of burnt cinnamon. He rushed to the kitchen and Buffy followed closely behind as plumes of smoke seeped out of the cracks of the oven. He flipped open the oven door and stood back, shaking an dish towel at the burst of smoke that escaped from the oven. He took the hot pan of blackened cookies out and dropped them into the sink with a clatter.

Will panted in the humid kitchen and pushed the window ajar so the smoke could get out.

"I am so sorry!" exclaimed Buffy, putting her hand to her chest in sincerity, fingering the cold silver cross necklace on her d├ęcolletage.

Will noticed it glinting beneath the smoky air. "A cross necklace?" he asked, walking back towards her and leaning against the island counter, "What, are all the girls following Quinn Fabray chic nowadays?"

Buffy pushed his arm playfully. "No, you dope, it's to ward off vampires! I'm the slayer, duh," she grinned, batting her eyelashes at him.

Will groaned. "Look, Buffy... You shouldn't be here."

"Why not?"

"Why not? Because it's inappropriate! Not only am I your watcher, but I'm your teacher! And I'm an adult. So not only is it inappropriate; it's illegal! It's immoral and illegal and frankly, scandalous-" babbled Mr. Schue.

"You seem a tad too defensive to me," said Buffy, kicking her leg out and dropping her hip.

Mr. Schuester sighed. Sure, Buffy was a great. She was smart, and brave, and witty. She was beautiful, too, and that red dress she was wearing hugged her curves in all the right places... But that was beside the point!

"Buffy, its wrong. That's the end of it, let me drive you home," he said.

Buffy sighed and dropped her hand on her hip. "Fine," she said, still batting her eyelashes at him with puppy dog eyes.

This is so not good, thought Will.

xxx

"Finn. Tell me, how are your parents."

Quinn frowned at her untouched glass of chardonnay. Her father always forgot that Finn's dad died in Desert Storm when he was just a baby.

"My mom is pretty good. She got promoted to Assistant Manager at the Pic 'n Save, so..." Finn trailed off.

Mr. Fabray nodded, disinterested. "Good, good," he said, rearranging his steamed broccoli on his plate, "This is terrific, Judy."

Mrs. Fabray stretched her stiff face to smile at her husband, showing off her pearly white veneers. "Thank you, dear," she said, sipping her wine.

"The ham's great," Finn mentioned nervously.

Quinn could almost see the beads of sweat dripping down his forehead. Why was he so nervous? Did he feel wrong, having dinner with her parents when he knew what they didn't?

"No beating Judy's ham," said Mr. Fabray.

"Well, I cure all my own meats," chuckled Mrs. Fabray.

Quinn grimaced under the radar of their mundane chit chat.

"I'd like to make a toast," said Mr. Fabray, clinking his glass of chardonnay.

"Daddy..." sighed Quinn.

"Russell and his famous toasts," smiled Judy, her eyes twinkling at her husband.

"The Fabrays are a tight knit family," said Russell, standing up with his drink in the air, making Quinn blush in embarrassment, "I have been blessed with a loving wife, two remarkable daughters - my first is studying Finance at Ohio State University and married a wonderful Christian man, owns his own chain of UPS stores."

Quinn rolled her light green eyes. Her father never tired of bragging about her sister, Francis, the family treasure, as if all of them didn't already know how wonderfully wholesome and mediocre she was.

"And my second, little Quinnie," he smiled, "We're just so proud of her. Captain of the Cheerios, president of the celibacy club."

The sound of her own heart beating filled Quinn's ears. She could almost feel the foetus kicking through her Calvin Klein sundress. All other sounds of her father's voice were drowned out by her heartbeat. She wanted to leap from her seat and run.

"I have to go to the bathroom," said Finn, leaping out of his chair, "Too much pop."

"It's through the kitchen, sweetheart," smiled Mrs. Fabray, her eyes wide in surprise.

Russell's mouth hung open as he watched Finn stumble around and disappear through the kitchen.

"He wears a helmet when he plays, right?" he asked.

"He's just intimidated by you, Daddy," Quinn told him as he sat back down with his glass of chardonnay.

"Well, I can understand that," said Mr. Fabray, "George was a bumbling idiot the first time we met him, but look at him now! I'm proud to call him my son."

Quinn sighed and leaned her head back. Here we go, she thought, she's been gone for a year and all he still wants to do is talk about Francis.

"He and Frannie would make a beautiful baby," sighed Judy.

"She's not even finished college yet," sighed Quinn, wishing she could down her whole glass of chardonnay.

"She will be. George will probably get her a job as an accountant for UPS and they'll finally be able to buy a house," said Russell.

"And then grandchildren!" cooed Judy.

Oh, you're getting grandchildren alright, thought Quinn as Finn walked back into the dining room, breathing deeply, with her mother's old radio in his hand.

"That's my kitchen radio," remarked Judy, confused.

"Finn, what's this?" Quinn asked as he set the radio down on the dining room table.

"In glee club we have this assignment to sing a ballad," explained Finn, "They're all about expressing things you can't find any other way to say."

Judy smiled sweetly as her husband chewed his lean meat and raised an eyebrow, convinced that Finn was a tool.

"God, Finn, don't," Quinn side through gritted teeth, "Please. Don't." She was sure the boy was going to make a fool out of himself.

"No, I need to do this. For both of us," he said sternly.

Quinn shook her head at him, confused. She wanted to kick him and tell him to shut up, but she sat in her seat and bared it as Finn flipped on a cassette tape in her mother's radio. Russell clutched his head, both annoyed and embarrassed as the sounds of some cheesy folk song filled the dining room.

Quinn could only stare at him, her mouth hanging open in despair and disbelief as he began to sing.

"You're having my baby, what a lovely way of saying how much you love me. You're having my baby, what a lovely way of saying what you're thinking of me," sang Finn.

Her parents watched, the words not quite sinking in yet. Quinn stared at the china plate of half-eaten ham and vegetables in front of her. It was happening - her world was falling apart so much sooner than she'd anticipated and all she could do was sit there and listen, watching the disaster unfold in front of her.

"I can see it, your face is glowing," he sang, "I can see it in your eyes, I'm happy you know it."

Quinn blushed as Finn walked closer to where she sat, singing right to her. She stole glances at her parents faces - her mother's expression seemed to fall and she was just staring at Quinn's boyfriend, looking unwell.

"You're the woman I love and I love what it's doing to ya. You're having my baby. You're the woman I love and I love what's going through ya."

Quinn couldn't help but smile as Finn sang to her, tears dampening his hazel eyes. She was sure in that moment, for the first time, that he truly loved her. It didn't stop her stomach from falling as she noticed her father becoming more aware, his mouth turning in a frown - no, a glare.

Finn was cut short as Mr. Fabray flipped off the radio and stood up. Quinn's father was a head shorter than her broad-shouldered boyfriend, but his eyes bore into them like an angry bull.
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