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FIC: Be Your Downfall (2/2)

Title: Be Your Downfall (2/2)
Authors: kben 
Rating: R
Character/Pairing: Quinn Fabray; Quinntana (and some quick Quick)
Word Count: 5860 (9300 total)
Spoilers: New York
Summary: Quinn has an addiction. It’s just not the one everyone assumed she would have.
Notes: This is something that came to mind one night and just wouldn’t leave me alone. The idea of Quinn as a sex addict makes so much sense to me. On top of that, watching her try to eventually maintain a functional relationship sounds like an amazing, fucked up, angsty, heartbreaking journey. So, let’s take it, shall we?

Part One | Part Two



4

“Tell me about Santana.”

“Santana is... the most offensive person I know. Which says a lot because I also know Puck.”

“Offensive in what way?”

“Just, in what she says. Because she doesn’t care what people think.”

“Does that bother you?”

“God, no. I love it. I give her a hard time about it, but for a long time I really felt like I never said exactly what I meant and she always did and it kind of helped me get over myself.”

“You two have known each other for a while?”

“Since the summer before freshman year of high school, yeah.”

“Where did you meet?”

“Cheer camp. She and Brittany were the first two real friends I made after... I transferred and stuff.”

“You’re referring to the personal changeover you made after the nose job?”

“And the exercise and everything, yes.”

“How close were you in high school?”

“Super close, then not so close. It depended on the day and the drama. By senior year we kind of had it sorted out.”

“And in college?”

“Still close.”

“How close?”

-

It’s Spring Break and they’re at some crappy motel in Key West. Santana has her hand shoved into Quinn’s bikini bottoms, but the angle’s not quite working for her so she yanks the material down and Quinn kicks them off.

“Fuck, San.”

Santana doesn’t answer, she just resumes her initial plan of action and pushes two fingers into Quinn and proceeds to leave at least three substantial hickeys on her neck.

They’re drunk on tequila and could probably be doing this with any of the friends they made in the bar that night, especially because it’s Friday and they’re heading back to Ohio tomorrow. But instead, they’re here with each other, writhing and panting and just plain fucking.

In the morning, Santana wakes up to her right hand tied to the headboard with Quinn’s bikini top. Meanwhile, Quinn can hardly walk straight and keeps flexing her left wrist like it’s really stiff, but she also can’t stop smiling (nor can Santana stop smirking). When they get back to Columbus, they both change their Facebook statuses to “In a Relationship” and they stay that way for the remaining six weeks of the semester.

Quinn doesn’t even think about sleeping with anyone else, because Santana’s sex drive is comparable to hers, plus she has a single this semester so there’s always a place to go when they aren’t feeling super adventurous and don’t want to fuck in the bathrooms or behind the stairwell in the Fine Arts building.

-

It’s Santana who breaks it off the first time. She’s staying in Columbus for the summer while Quinn goes back to Lima and it doesn’t make sense for them to stay together.

“Doesn’t mean I love you any less, Q.”

They’ve been casually trading the L word since high school, and this usage is the same as it’s always been. They’re friends, they’re occasional fuck buddies, and now they’re ex-girlfriends.

“I know.”

They agree that they’ll try again next semester. They’re getting an apartment together, anyway, so it’s kind of inevitable.

-

That summer, Quinn hooks up with Puck five times. And has twice as many one night stands with other people.

-

Life in the apartment doesn’t start out the way they plan. Santana met some girl named Jessa during the break and they’re kind of a thing. Quinn’s disappointed, but she doesn’t let it show, and anyway, she has a handful of regular suitors to turn to for attention. Given the amount she’s dished out, she thinks her contact list should actually be longer, but it’s not.

By Thanksgiving, Jessa’s been history since Halloween and it’s time to head back to Ohio for another holiday featuring Judy’s greatest hits. Quinn doesn’t even have to ask Santana, because she invites herself with the statement, “Fair warning, Fabray, your mom’s totally my rebound this year.”

Only, when they’re alone in Quinn’s room with half a bottle of sauv blanc, their hands linked together as they lie on the bed, and watch the Twilight Zone, Santana leans over and kisses her cheek, almost sweetly.

“I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“The summer thing. It was stupid.”

“It was fine, San.”

“No, it was a d-bag thing to do. We have fun and...” Santana rotates her hand in Quinn’s so their fingers brush back and forth. “I think we should try it, seriously.”

Having Santana Lopez solicit a relationship is a little unheard of, at least if you’re not Brittany Pierce, but then the girl’s come a long way since high school.

“Okay,” Quinn says as she taps their wine glasses together with a clink. “Let’s try it.”

It’s the best holiday season of her life. As soon as they get back to Columbus, they deck out the apartment with an insane amount of Christmas lights (to the point where they don’t even bother turning on the regular lights at night) and an artificial tree (because really neither one of them can handle the responsibility of the care and clean up of an actual tree).

Santana gives her a classy and somewhat expensive monogrammed stationary set (just the Q and the F, since the L’s a little controversial) because she’s, “Always handwriting stuff like it’s the 1800’s.” She’s always been accused of living out of sync with time, but this is the first time someone’s really embraced and encouraged it, at least in recent memory.

She gives Santana a new iPod dock, because her old one broke last semester and it only plays the radio, so all Quinn ever hears is her bitching about how there’s nothing ever on. She also steals her friend’s iPod and loads just about every cliched cheerleading song onto it and labels the playlist Hi Ho Cheerio, Motherfucker.

They both chip it to give themselves a brand new Keurig coffee maker because Santana likes French Roast and Quinn’s all about Extra Bold and now they can stop arguing.

Things are really, really good. For about a month.

Until Quinn cheats.

-

“Fuck. I’m sorry, San. It was a mistake. I was drunk and everything just... Jesus, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s... Shit, Quinn. This sucks.”

Santana paces the whole length of the living room. Quinn’s in the chair in the corner, watching her. She’s just recounted the events of the previous evening where she ended up in bed with some guy named Jeff after a rousing round of beer pong. The weird thing is, Santana doesn’t seem as angry as she imagined she’d be.

“I understand if you...”

“If I what?”

“Want to break up.”

“Over this? I mean, yeah, you banged some stupid frat guy and I’m not happy about it but... it was just sex, right?”

“I... yeah.” It definitely was.

“Okay, so. I already did a lot of my stupid shit in high school. You didn’t. And now you’re done, right?”

“Yeah. Yes.”

“Okay. I mean, I’m pissed at you, but... whatever. I’ll get over it, because I love you.”

“You mean that?”

Santana nods and perches on the arm of the chair as she looks down at Quinn. “Yeah, I mean it.”

-

Santana forgives the same mistake two more times in just as many months.

And then she’s done.

5


“Other than her ability to speak her mind, what else can you tell me about Santana?”

“She’s book smart, but she kind of keeps that to herself because she doesn’t want to seem like a nerd. She also likes to consider herself a bitch, but she has a really good heart under all the layers she puts up.”

“Sounds like you know her well.”

“I’d like to think so. Like I said, she’s been my best friend since we were fourteen.”

“Tell me about your relationship with her. The latest incarnation.”

“As girlfriends?”

“Yes.”

“We... started out really strong. We already know the weird crap about each other, we’d already had sex so we didn’t have to work up to it... it was just really good.”

“Did you ever fight?”

“Yeah, sure. San and I kind of argue all the time. Like, about little stuff. Are the Kardashians legit bitches or total sluts? Who’s supposed to buy more coffee? Is making the bed worth it if you’re just going to sleep in it, again?”

“What about larger arguments?”

“Other than the obvious?”

“Meaning?”

“Other than why I’m here?”

“Okay, yes, other than that.”

“Not really. Like I said, we’ve known each other for year, we’ve had our big blowouts. I guess, if we had one again, that wasn’t... about this... we’d work it out.”

“Do you think you’ll work this out?”

“I... want to.”

-

This time Santana doesn’t pace. Instead, she sits on the couch and stares at the television, but the volumes too low to actually hear anything. Quinn’s in the same spot she was the first time they had this conversation.

Except this one is going to be very different.

This is offense number four. Penny, some art student bohemian who likes absinthe and free love.

“San, I’m s--”

Santana doesn’t even look at her. “No, fuck you. I’m not doing this. I’m done.” She snatches up the remote and shuts off the television.

“Wait, no. San, don’t. I’ll fix it, okay?” Quinn can hear her the fragility in her own voice and knows she’s desperately clinging to something that’s already gone. “I’ll stop. I was just a mistake.”

“Yeah, it’s always a mistake.” Santana rises from the couch and Quinn stands, ready to move after her, but she spins around and they’re face to face. “You know what the worst part is? For some reason, I let myself get so pathetic that I’d put up with this shit from you.” She practically spits the words at her.

The only words Quinn can think of are: “I’m sorry.”

Santana just sneers at her, something she hasn’t seen directed at her since eleventh grade, not like this. “Sorry won’t cut it, Quinn. Not this time.” She turns and grabs her jacket off the back of the couch. Just two days ago they’d had an argument about how furniture wasn’t a coat rack or a dresser and they’d ended up having sex in the kitchen and breaking the salt shaker by knocking it into the sink.

She needs Santana not to leave, she needs her to stay. Because if she stays, this isn’t just like everything else in her life. If she stays, Quinn’s still loveable, likeable, at least tolerable. If Santana goes, she’s nothing.

“Don’t go. Please.”

“And stay for what, Quinn? You’re obviously not checked into this relationship.”

“It won’t happen ever again, I promise. I swear. Just please don’t leave me.”

Santana just shakes her head. It’s like she wants to be furious, but she’s just sad. “Don’t write checks your ass can’t cash, Q.”

“I need you.”

“Not more than you need to fuck some random hipster bitch. And... fuck, I was telling myself that if this had been another stupid frat jock, just some dumb guy you bumped into during a game of Flip Cup, that’d I’d be okay with it. You know? That it would hurt less. But, it doesn’t, Quinn. It hurts every fucking time.”

“I’m sorry.”

But Santana’s already out the door.

-

They still have to share the apartment for the time being, because neither one can afford to move out before the end of the semester. The common areas go unused when they’re both home, unless it’s to grab food from the fridge.

When they do cross paths, it’s silent and awkward.

The worst part is, not even a week after the break up, Quinn finds herself in bed with some girl she met at a coffee shop acoustic show. In the morning, when she leaves, she doesn’t even remember her name.

-

She tries to regulate it, to distract herself with homework, music, movies, stupid teen soap operas, but it doesn’t work. She can’t focus, she feels alone.

She knows Santana’s lonely, too, because there’s one night, maybe three weeks before the semester’s over, when she stumbles through the front door, totally drunk and Quinn literally catches her when she trips over her own shoes.

Santana tries to shove her off, but Quinn says, “Let me just help you to your room.” There’s no reply, but the struggle stops.

Once they’re in the bedroom and she has her ex-girlfriend seated on the bed, Quinn turns to leave, but Santana grabs her arm and pulls her back. They tumble against the mattress and they kiss this needy, wanting, desperate kiss before she’s shoved backward. She’s pretty sure if Santana weren’t so drunk and had better aim in the moment, she would have been slapped.

“I love you, but you fucked it up. Get out.” The words are slurred but incredibly clear.

-

She goes home to Lima for the summer, even though their original plan had been to take a road trip together. Instead, she gets a job in the mall at a kiosk that sells sunglasses and watches the high school crowd play all the same social games she practically invented.

Judy suggests they go to church together. Quinn’s not opposed and figures praying about stuff isn’t the worst possible thing she could do.

-

It’s Brittany who suggests therapy. They run into each other in the mall and end up having lunch together.

Quinn feels like Brittany’s probably the only person on the entire planet who won’t judge her for any of her current life experiences, so she explains her situation and waits for a slew of bizarre, non sequitur advice.

The only question Brittany asks is: “Do you still love her?”

“I... yeah.”

“But you can’t stop having sex?”

“Right.”

“When I couldn’t stop lighting things on fire, my parents made me see a therapist.”

“You really think that’ll work?”

“I stopped wanting to burn down Barbie’s dream house. It was too late for her motorhome, though. It smelled really bad when it melted.”

Quinn’s never been so terrified and thankful for someone as she’s always been for Brittany.

-


6
“At this point, what is that you'd like to get out of this program?”

“I need to stop doing... this. It's not good for me and it's not going to get me anywhere.”

“So, you feel your behavior is damaging to yourself?”

“... Yeah.”

“What's your ultimate goal for yourself, when you're discharged?”

“You mean other than to get my girlfriend to take me back?”

“If that's your target goal, there's likely a lot that needs to be discussed these next few weeks.”

“I know it's... like... you're not supposed to jump into anything after rehab. I just... what if I take too long and she finds someone else?”

“Is that a concern of yours?”

“Obviously. I just said it.”

“Would you wait for her if the roles were reversed?”

“If I wasn't so fucked up? Definitely.”

“Is that how you view yourself?”

“I'm in therapy and about to do twenty-eight days of sex rehab. I think it's an accurate perspective to have.”

-

Sex rehab's a lot like a fucked up hybrid of Celibacy Club and summer camp. There are group meetings and activities, but no one's allowed to touch each other beyond a handshake and that's only if both parties feel comfortable with it. Other rules include no drugs, no sex toys, no promiscuous dress. She can handle all those, because she's never had a problem with any of them. The no masturbation policy is going to be rough, though.

On top of the group stuff, there are also daily one-on-one sessions with her assigned therapist. It's all basically a deeper inspection of everything she discussed in the introductory interview. She talks a lot about Beth and her dad and her obsession with tiaras. Santana comes up less than Quinn thought she would, but as she progresses, she realizes this is definitely a lot less about her ex-girlfriend and much more about herself. Which, she knew. But now she really sees it.

She learns that her compulsion is more about a need for attention and acceptance than the actual sex. Yeah, she likes sex, she likes the way it makes her feel, she likes the control, but apparently she hasn't even been in control for most of it. At least, not in the way she thought she was.

Comparatively, there are people in the program who will have a much more difficult recovery period, but hers won't be so breezy, either. She does, however, have the benefit of abstinence training under her belt and she starts to rely on her old virginal standbys to make it through the day: Handwriting letters, watching old performances of The Supremes on You Tube, Jane Austen novels, movies based on Jane Austen novels... There's a Wii in the rec lounge and they're all encouraged to interact together, so she schools everyone in Wii Tennis and gets her ass kicked at kayaking by a guy named Kevin who's slept with over 3000 women.

Even though her personal numbers aren’t even ten percent of that (she’s calculated that it’s somewhere around seventy-five), she’s terrified to get the results of her physical exam. Fortunately, because she’s paranoid about pregnancy and due to the fact that there was rarely any oral contact in her encounters (she’s actually still never performed a blowjob and going down on girls was something she generally reserved for her more steady moments in life and/or Santana), she’s managed to dodge the STD bullet. However, it’s very likely that she may have been responsible for the mono outbreak on campus during fall semester.

She’s been ridiculously lucky and she sees that, now.

She graduates the program at the end of the summer, just in time for fall classes. She's had an apartment lined up and she's made sure her financial aid won't cover her entire rent, because part of her plan is to actually need a job. She wants to stay so busy that she doesn't even think about sex because she's too exhausted. The swing shift position she picks up at the diner just off campus is the perfect solution. She makes it known that she's always available to fill in and, before she knows it, she's either in class, sleeping, or slinging coffee.

While she was in rehab, she wrote two letters to Santana. The first one was written on day one, explaining where she was and what she was doing. The second was written during her final week, highlighting her plans for the next semester. She tells herself she doesn't even expect an answer.

It still sucks when she doesn't get one.

In mid-October, Santana comes into the diner with a study group. It's late, so Quinn's the only server on the floor because Marcie's taking her break (which translates to calling her boyfriend while chain smoking no less than three cigarettes).

She's been expecting this, because it's kind of inevitable. Santana gives her a polite smile and orders a cheeseburger and Quinn doesn't even need to hear the rest because she already knows: Cheddar, extra pickle, light onion, and curly fries instead of regular ones. When she glances back at her, she realizes she was talking aloud as she wrote it all down and it's obvious it means something to both of them, but it doesn't necessarily mean enough to mean anything at all.

They don't talk that night. But she doesn't get stiffed on the tip, either.

Two weeks later, Santana comes back in, alone. All she orders is a cup of coffee but Quinn lets her stay in the booth for three hours, because it's slow (and it's Santana).

“I got your letters,” she finally says while Quinn refills the cup.

“Oh. Good. I was wondering.”

“Seems like you're doing better.”

She nods. “Yeah. I'm just trying to stay busy.”

“Roommate?”

“No. Just me.”

“Fucking anyone?”

It's harsh, but it's also Santana's way of asking if she's clean and Quinn knows that. “Nobody.”

Santana doesn't really look convinced, but she nods as she picks up her coffee and goes back to her notes. “Good for you.”

That's the end of the conversation until Santana pays her bill and Quinn works up the nerve to ask about the upcoming November holiday.

“I know it's... weird. But Mom asked if you were coming.”

“I don't know if it's a good idea.”

“Yeah. Just, uh, think about it?”

“Whatever. Okay. I'll think about it.”

Thanksgiving Day comes and goes and Santana never shows up. Quinn wasn't really expecting her to, anyway.

Except, at about three o'clock the next morning, she gets a text.

Hey loser, if you're up, meet me at the mall at four. I need to buy a five dollar microwave and I can't run interference by myself.

They spend that Black Friday morning trash talking all the women in Mom Jeans and it's a lot like when they were fifteen. Any talk of their relationship is avoided, at least until they're in the food court celebrating their discount purchases with Cinnabons and Santana asks if she's actually been sex-free since she's been out of rehab.

“Yeah. I've had a couple almost slip ups, but I caught myself. I don't want to, like, end up where I was before.”

“How long has it been?”

“Three months, twenty-six days.” Quinn rattles it off quickly, because she knows in the same way she knows Beth is five and a half.

“Jesus, that's a long time.”

“Yeah, I know.” Quinn wants to ask how long it's been for Santana, but it's not really any of her business.

But Santana can read her, just like she always has. “Last month. And it sucked.”

Quinn's hit with a combined feeling of jealousy and satisfaction. “That's... unfortunate.”

“Do you want to go bowling?”

That's the least likely question to ever come out of Santana Lopez's mouth and Quinn just stares at her for thirty seconds. “Bowling?”

“I miss you, okay? You were my best friend before any of this and I'm probably setting myself up to get fucked over, but...”

“Bowling?” Quinn repeats.

“Shut the fuck up.”

They go bowling. It's a good choice because it's the least sexy thing they've ever done together. Though, that's counteracted by the fact that it's a competition and they both thrive on it. In the end, Quinn wins by four points and Santana insists she was robbed in her last frame due to “uneven planks in the lane” that caused her to throw a gutter ball.

“Is that bowling talk for how much you suck?”

“You barely won, Fabray.”

“Yeah, but I still won.”

She walks Santana to her car and they hesitate, not sure what to do when they get there, but then she throws caution to the wind and initiates a hug. They embrace for a period of time that would be awkward if they were anyone else, but they haven't even touched each other since that night at the apartment. Quinn finally pulls back, but not very far. There's so much familiarity in the moment, she can smell Santana's shampoo plus a hint of Ralph Lauren's Romance.

Before she can really weigh the consequences of kissing, she's already being kissed. It's not really that aggressive, but it's not totally chaste. Santana’s back on a smoking kick, Quinn can tell because she faintly tastes it under the hint of Doublemint gum. That explains why it took her so long to come back from requesting that Ke$ha song from the makeshift DJ at the rental counter.

She allows herself ten seconds, then she breaks away.

“I...”

“That's wasn't supposed to...”

“I'm supposed to take things slow.”

Santana nods. “Okay.”

She doesn't want Santana to think she's rejecting her. Because she isn't. “Like, friendly public dates. No sex. At least not for a while. If... you feel like this is something you can do, again. I get it if you don't.”

“I meant it when I said I missed you. But... You really fucked me up, Q.”

“I know.”

They both lean against Santana's car, arms touching, but no other contact. “Is mini golf public and friendly enough?”

“If you won't be humiliated when I beat you, again.”

“Really should let me win with all you put me through.”

“Please, you'd rather lose a good game than accept a pity victory.”

“I'll call you. Night, Q.”

“Night, S.”

They hug, again, but briefly and without any follow up lip contact. As Quinn walks toward her car, she feels like there's a promise of something, even if that something is just regaining her best friend.

She wants to be loved. She really does. And the biggest gain she's made from all this, from the therapy, from the rehab, is that before anyone else can love Quinn Fabray, Quinn Fabray has to love herself first.

And for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, she feels like she does.

-

EPILOGUE

As much as Quinn’s the one with the certified addiction, Santana isn’t having the easiest time.

She’s hot and she knows it, she has known it since, forever. She also knows she’s really good at sex.

Despite this and the more flexible ideas she had about relationships when she was seventeen, she’s faithful to Quinn, even though she hasn’t gotten any since that October night she slept with the barista from the campus cafe. Self love doesn’t count, because she’s only human, not some kind of superhuman who can activate an abstinence force field like Quinn apparently can. (Santana knows it’s not that easy for her, but Quinn’s ability to tune something out is worthy of the X-Men.)

But she loves Quinn and they’ve been doing this dating slash courtship thing that belongs in old movies or to that weird family with the twenty-five kids or whatever. They’ve done a little bit of physical stuff, but it’s fairly limited. It’s a lot like dating High School Quinn, except this one swears more and knows the difference between standard and Asian cowgirl. (And fuck, she really needs to stop thinking about sex positions.)

Before now, there was a good stretch of time where she tried to convince herself she was done, over it. But the naked truth is, she still loves her. And she wants this to work.

It’s late April and Quinn’s birthday is tomorrow. They’re supposed to go to dinner with Greg and Kody, their OSU version of Kurt and Blaine, but apparently Kody’s sick so they reschedule for later in the week.

“Whatever, we can go without them.”

Quinn shrugs. “We can stay in and watch a movie or something.” She’s already taking off her heels.

“It’s your birthday, Q. We should do something.”

“Um, no. My birthday is tomorrow. That’s when you’re supposed to wow me. This was just preliminary.”

“Your birthday is one day, not a whole damn week.” Santana’s fully aware that Quinn celebrates the occasion by milking it for as many days as possible.

Quinn just tosses her shoes aside and leans against the arm of the sofa. It’s different than the one they had in their old apartment. Everything in here is straight out of IKEA, which Santana teases her about at least once a week. They haven’t shared a living space since they broke up the second time.

“I’m just excited to celebrate life.”

“Please. You want so many presents and free dinners.”

“Then why am I the one trying to convince you to stay in for frozen pizza and Jennifer’s Body?”

Santana finally gives in to the fact that they aren’t going anywhere and sets her purse back down on the small table by the front door. “Fine. But I spent ten fucking minutes trying to get these boots on.” She slips behind Quinn and collapses onto the couch so she can undo the zipper on the back of the footwear.

“And you’ve looked totally hot for the whole fifteen minutes you’ve worn them.” Quinn pivots and slides down the arm so she’s sitting next to Santana.

“You saying I wasn’t hot before?”

“You were still hot, they just elevated your levels.”

“Smooth, Fabray.”

“I was going to say Scorchingly Fuckable, but I don’t think one of those is a word.”

Santana has one boot off and is midway through the removal of the second when she looks back over at Quinn. She really wants to have sex, but she also needs Quinn to be ready for it. “Still a good compliment,” she says, taking in the look on Quinn’s face.

“The secret is, it’s true without the boots, too. I just didn’t want to over inflate your ego.” Quinn wets her lips before she speaks again, it’s a habit Santana can’t remember ever not noticing about her. “San...”

She knows what’s about to be asked. Quinn’s been in weekly therapy ever since she finished rehab and they’ve been going to a couple’s counselor twice a month since February (it seemed like a weird Valentine’s proposal at the time, but it’s been good for them). The topic of sex has come up more than once and Santana knows she’s more than willing (though it took her some time to get there, because there are some definite trust issues, but she also feels like actually having sex is a part of that process), she’s just been waiting on Quinn.

“Yeah?”

“Do you... want to... try... sex?” It sounds clumsily virginal and kind of like Quinn’s a robot, yet still manages to makes Santana want this even more.

Boot number two drops to the floor. “Are you sure?”

“If you don’t think it’s a good idea, yet, that’s okay.”

“Quinn, I haven’t had sex since before Halloween. And I know it’s been even longer than that for you.”

“So... you’re saying you’re hot for me?”

“I’m hot for my right hand if you and I don’t get it on, tonight.”

They’ve never been overly romantic in any of the varied stages of their relationship, so when Quinn reaches over and grabs her hand, then looks at her like she’s about to recite a fucking sonnet, Santana just stares back at her.

“I don’t want anyone else. I just want you. I need you to know that.”

The words are definite deja vu from a time long since passed but Santana still remembers exactly what it took to say them. “I know.”

It’s incredibly unceremonious, the way they walk together into Quinn’s bedroom. It’s not explosive and no one’s slammed against the wall or the door or up against the dresser in some kind of feat of passion.

Instead, it’s a slow, steady exploration and redefining of boundaries. Before, things had been a mess, uncertain, even under the guise of monogamy. This time there’s a legitimate promise on the line.

However, going half a year or more without sex is new to both of them and once the temporary shyness of being naked together fades, Santana decides she needs to reassure Quinn that’s she’ll never need anyone else.

Before anything, though, she asks, “You’re sure?”

Quinn furiously nods, “Please, San.” There’s a pained expression on her face that dictates just how much she needs to be touched and it surfaces that part of Santana that expected there were some residual issues to resolve in this process.

She teases, but only briefly because she wants this just as badly.

Her fingers push and pull the tension, the stress, and all the bullshit further and further away. As she watches Quinn writhe and flex against the sheets, she realizes they rarely ever did it like this, in bed at night with the door closed, and it’s kind of super vanilla, but it’s also kind of comforting. They can be a little bit boring and they’ll still work.

When Quinn comes, she has tears in her eyes and pulls Santana so tightly against her she can hardly breathe.

The grip loosens and they lie there, Quinn sated and Santana just about out of her mind with how much she fucking needs to get off. Fortunately, Quinn’s eager to please and doesn’t need a lengthy recovery period, so it’s only about another ninety seconds before Santana has a beautiful blonde leaning over her, likely contemplating the best place to leave a hickey.

Instead of leaving marks in visible places, Quinn’s mouth is put to use saying, “I love you.” Santana’s instinct is to reply, but there’s apparently more. “And I mean it, I don’t want anyone else.”

“I know, Quinn. I know.”

“Good.”

Santana Lopez doesn’t fucking cry during sex. That’s the kind of stupid shit people make up for Lifetime Original movies and bad romance novels (which are basically Lifetime movies for people who read). Still, somehow, her eyes are wet as Quinn touches her in such a focused, gradual way that it can’t even be called fucking.

There’s a presence in her partner that she hasn’t seen in a very long time, and even then, it was different. This woman here, right now, has the same determination as that ex-cheerleader turned failed prom queen, but there’s also an added confidence to her.

When Santana comes, it’s not with the usual string of obscenities. Instead, she’s surprisingly non-verbal through her orgasm and just shudders against Quinn’s shoulder.

If Quinn notices she’s been crying, she doesn’t comment. For that, Santana’s grateful. She wipes at her eyes and kisses Quinn’s cheek.

“I love you, too.” She lets the moment linger for another beat, but even with all the progress and the therapy, there’s only so much sap she can handle. “But you’re still only getting one birthday present.”

Quinn chuckles and rolls away to get comfortable on a pillow. “We’ll see.”

“I mean it.”

“I’m sure you do.”

Things won’t be perfect, there will be rough patches, and God knows they’ll piss each other off plenty. But they can do this, they can make it work.

Because Quinn’s always made things work for her, overcome the crap, and found her way back to the top, even if she has to start back at the bottom. Quinn doesn’t fucking give up, she doesn’t stop trying, and when she’s set on something, she gives her all.

These reasons are exactly why Santana loves her, even if it takes another sixteen months and a princess cut diamond for her to actually say so.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
hi_hey_grey
Jun. 25th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
Wow, sex addict!Quinn is a very scary thought... I just couldn't imagine the incredibly hot Dianna Agron like that, but I guess you did that for me didn't you?:)

Anyways, this was a really good fic!
kben
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Yeah, it was a dark place to go, but it was something I definitely wanted to explore, because of all of Quinn's issues and insecurities. It made sense to me that she would try to find some method to cope and her early attitude toward sex in making it something forbidden seemed like it could become the ideal drug for her.

So glad you enjoyed it! :)
brown_twentysix
Jun. 25th, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
Loved it. It seems entirely plausible to me. Great job.
kben
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
:D

I'm glad it worked for you. I always worry about running off the rails, particularly in this case when I reversed the roles a little and made Santana the one wanting stability.

Thank you!
oh_hail_nah
Jun. 25th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
O M G. This was amazing. And so hot.

The way you wrote Quinn and San was gorgeous, and together they were mind blowing.

Fantastic work, loved it!
kben
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
:D!

Thank you so much.

I really do love writing Quinntana and this was so very different because they're normally surrounded by banter and in this case they really weren't, because of all the angst and hurt and feelings. so, it was an interesting process. Also, their on/off friendship in canon really made it a fun challenge to find the tipping points of their relationship.

Really glad you dug it.
sonofcameronfry
Jun. 26th, 2011 06:17 am (UTC)
Cracking stuff.

This is no surprise as I've been a fan of your work for years (all the way back to fluffy Buffy/Faith series you wrote that were highlights of UCSL, Excite groups, webrings and other hideously obsolete web media. Were you on Pink Rabbit?)

(Grumbling old man mode on: God, you try telling these spangly, creative, wi-fi, hi-tech, reblogging Tumblr kids about waiting 20 minutes for threads to propogate to plain text newsgroups and the like, they'd think you were mad. *sigh* I miss usenet).

What was surprising to me was how much I enjoyed this despite it being so far outside my ususal comfort zone of fluffy, romantic, and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after Quinn/Rachel fic.

Enjoying this fic felt like the time I was bored on an interminable KLM flight and ended up listening to freeform Jazz, a musical style I would never seek out in any other circumstance.

Sex Addict!Quinn? And... Santana? Hmmm. Now Q/S/B I get. Unholy Powerpuff Trinity OT3 4Eva! But I really wasn't looking for this.

Quinntana, despite my love for both girls, has never fit for me. I never saw them together, maybe because they were so similar or because I can never see San getting past her natural position as second-in-command to Quinn's born leader. (Not that there's any shame in that. Good 2IC's are a large part of why leaders become great, after all).

But no, you ground your writing superbly. You never get lost in emotion, be it romance or angst. Every action, reaction, decision is not only believable but entirely logical in the circumstance.

Real life ain't no fairytale. My parents celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary last week. There are raised voices in their home every day and they snipe and wound. But they love each other. They work every day to love each other. The Quinntana reunion sex was all the more powerful for it's prosaic, almost mundane nature.

You also leave just the right amount to the reader's imagination, not drowning every scene in pointless You don't tell me what the characters are thinking, you let their words, their actions show me.

I'm not converted to the cause of Quinntana but you made this visit to a strange land very enjoyable.

It's great work. Not my favourite of yours, but then there's a lot of competition there. But great nonetheless.

(I should really go comment on all your fic I've enjoyed in the last couple of months, but brevity is a problem for me and any review of "Nothing Like Love To Lift You Up" or "Lady Time Travellers Wife" would get hideously, fanboyishly, wanky very quickly).

It's late. I'm tired. I hope this makes sense. Thanks.
kben
Jun. 26th, 2011 06:40 am (UTC)
I have run into a solid handful of people within Glee fandom who hark back to the golden days of Buffydom. But UCSL is something I haven't thought about in aaaaages. (Also, omg, Excite. And I don't actually think I was on Pink Rabbit, but I could be wrong.)

(Patience used to be the primary virtue of the internet user. Twenty minutes for a single mp3 over dial up. And we thought it was downright magic.)

Rachel/Quinn is my bread and butter in this fandom, it's my go-to when I just want to feel good and write some fluff, even if I layer in some angst. They happen easily for me and feel like I can jump into just about anything with them and make it work.

For a long time, pairing them off with anyone else felt weird and unnatural, at least as a writer, because I was so fully invested in them, in Faberry and everything they are and how canon continues to nudge them toward each other, intentional or not.

And then I understood the possibilities of Quinntana. Yes, they are a lot a like and that does make it difficult. With both Faberry and Brittana, it's a lot about opposites and balance. With Quinntana, it's about how they're too similar to work... until they realize that isn't true, that their conflict derives from a need to push each other, that they probably know each other better than anyone else.

And this... this specific concept just hit me and wouldn't leave me alone. I doubt there is a single other person on the planet who would remotely understand Quinn's struggle and have the ability to look past it in the way that Santana can (and did). Had this been about Quinn and Rachel, it would have been too dramatic and emotional and I don't think they would have survived it, at least not in a way that would balance the reality of the situation.

I very much appreciate the lengthy review, particularly from someone who has been hanging around the same circles I have for so long. I'm toying with another extension of the Nothing Like Love 'verse, just for the record. :)

Thank you for taking the time, both to read and to comment.

adreamoutloud
Jun. 26th, 2011 08:46 am (UTC)
(Really Great!)
This was really great - Especially your parenthetical thoughts, like about lifetime movies and romance novels being the same thing for people who just read.
leformat
Jul. 2nd, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
I followed this on tumblr, but read it again because I loved it so much! I thought you did a wonderful job with the way you handled the story line. :) Great job.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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