The first tremor was at Puck's year end party where, as usual, she Santana and Brittany showed up an hour late looking stunning. Quinn, of course, was the designated driver meaning she got to be as much of a flirt as she wanted without fear of a date rape drug or waking up with regrets (oh how she wished she had stuck to her guns on that one), and unfortunately was privy to all the party goings-on without the buzz of alcohol make it all better.
She had been talking to Finn when it happened, he was rambling stupidly about football and she was trying not to look as bored as she was (the only reason she had stumbled into this conversation was because he had mentioned that Coach Tanaka had all but promised him Team Captain). Then out on the dance floor she saw Santana dancing lewdly with some boy who looked like he might cum in his pants if she kept grinding on him the way she was. Quinn found it amusing and (she didn't even try to lie to herself) incredibly sexy to watch, but turned her attention back to Finn (who somehow hadn't noticed her check out of the conversation) until she saw a flash of blonde and, moments later, loud whooping on the dance floor. She turned to see what in the hell it was all about and felt her mouth fall open at the sight of Brittany dancing with Santana in a way that was far too close to be friendly.
She had always known that they were more than best friends, but that didn't stop her from harboring feelings for Santana nor did it stop her heart from crumbling in on itself. And despite how it was shattering her heart into pieces and made her want to run away (and ignoring how in spite of that the sight of them dancing like they were made her underwear go damp), she moved forward and pulled the two (as it turns out incredibly drunk) girls apart.
This was met with dismay by every male in attendance and even Quinn heard a voice in her head groan at herself, but she collected their jackets and took them home because if she stayed there a second longer she would cry. On the drive back to Santana's she did a little, not that her passengers noticed since they were passed out in each other's laps.
Quinn had pulled herself together over the weekend, but she still needed time so she attempted to call off going to cheer camp another year, but Brittany and Santana made such a stink about it she signed them up for another summer.
Another summer of being alone in her bunk.
And when they did go places together Santana only had eyes for Brittany.
No matter what Quinn only had eyes for Santana.
She decided that summer that had to stop.
Sophomore year was another year of big changes and most of Quinn's own design.
Once Finn made Team Captain she walked up to him and formally informed him that they were now dating. Puck had been nearby, he looked like someone made him swallow a cactus. Quinn was declared head Cheerio by third period and by the end of the day everyone was calling them the power couple.
Now she had the Celibacy Club, her cross and a deep rooted disinterest in everything between a boys legs but she did still have needs. Needs that couldn't possibly be handled by making out with Finn Hudson of all people (the boy kissed like he was eating a sandwich and as unsexy as it sounds it is unsexier to experience). So she follows Santana's tactic of aggression (formally her tactic and she wonders later if there was ironic symmetry somewhere in there) and focuses on one person. Rachel Berry.
The girl is goofy, loud, obnoxious, poorly dressed and kind of cute.
She didn't captivate Quinn's soul like Santana has, not even close, but she has deep brown eyes and dark brown hair and a voice that is absolutely divine so she'll do. She's like diet Santana, for those who can't handle the rich heady flavor of the real thing (a phrasing that never ceased to make her tingle all over). Rachel is perfect, she almost makes things too easy. She posts videos and pictures up on her MySpace page (a page that had been hard to find because who the hell uses MySpace anymore?) and Quinn can watch and enjoy them at school provided she is sure to laugh derisively at them. She slushies the tiny girl and occasionally watches her change clothes in the restroom (not one of her prouder moments, but the distraction does what it's meant to do).
Things go awry when Rachel starts expressing an interest in Finn, they begin to boil when Finn seems to be interested right back.
She concocts a pointless scheme involving Glee Club to watch over them both, it is so convoluted and almost gets her thrown off the Cheerios all in the name of a straight girl she is crushing on and a boy she doesn't like.
Every once in a while she has to stop and actually look at what she's doing, but usually those moments happen when she's doing something like standing in a bathroom stall drawing Rachel naked on the door and she stops stopping because looking makes her crazy.
Though joining Glee does allow her to see Santana dance and sing and there are even points during the numbers where she can touch her (she knows that it's counterproductive and she does already get quite a few discrete feels in during Cheerios practice but she just can't help herself).
The card house was crooked and shaking, but it was still, for the most part, intact and she was sure she could get through it.
Once again, everything was fine until it wasn't.
And it wasn't on Tuesday afternoon 5:34 pm, in the Science lab after Celibacy Club let out.
She would never forget it because as an adult she was pretty sure this was the moment she lost all hope of having a normal future.
Santana had shown up afterwards which was weird in itself because she hadn't come in months (the club now mostly consisted of Cheerios Quinn forced to go), and it was even weirder that she wasn't with Brittany who was usually attached to her hip these days.
The smaller girl had looked vulnerable and that was an incredibly rare occurrence, as a matter of fact she hadn't seen Santana look that way since elementary school. So she had waited patiently for the other girl to speak and it took a while before the Latina hopped up on a desk and began to swing her feet.
"How have you been?" the question is calm, conversational and totally contrary to the shifty look on her face.
"Fine," she tries because she would like to get to the point.
And then came that painful, awful silence that made Quinn want to run up to the other girl, shake her and demand to know why she was looking so damn conflicted.
But she didn't have to because finally she spoke.
"So… I mean… you know about Brittany's list?"
Quinn frowned because she knew of the list and had an opinion of it that she decided to keep to herself, and she wasn't quite sure how she felt talking with Santana about Brittany's infamous Kissing (and, let's face it, Sex) List.
"Yes, I am aware of it."
"Well… I was talking to her about it," (a total and complete lie, she knew how much the mention of that list made Santana cringe) "and she said she had girls and guys on it and I thought that was a little weird, but you know how she is…"
Quinn really wanted their conversation to get to where it was going, but she knew one snide remark and Santana would have her shields up and at max power in a flash, "I do."
"So anyway we kind of have this bet going on," (there was no reason to call that a lie, but it was because she was tilting her head and looking at her nails in the way she did when she was telling a big one) "and I've kissed more people," (Quinn doubts that but doesn't want to think about it so she looks away in case Santana fails to display her tell) "but she's kissed boys and girls so she says her list is more valid than mine."
Quinn couldn't help but deadpan back at her, "Okay," she said carefully trying not to lose her temper because this visit was just hurtful and pointless.
"Anyhow I was wondering if you would be my girl," (Quinn's heart feels like it just exploded into a red mist) "to kiss, you know, to even it up. Nothing gay or anything. And I swear I won't tell anybody it was you."
Her heart pulls together in disappointment then almost explodes again after she comprehends the offer.
Quinn knows that it is a bad idea. For so many reasons. She can easily deduce that there is no bet and no list comparison meaning Santana is just plain asking to kiss her. Knowing how Santana feels about Brittany, but makes a point of teasing the (obviously) gay kid who flits around the school she can only assume her longtime friend is trying to honestly sort out her feelings about girls.
Scratch the previous statement; the idea is just plain terrible.
Quinn has always known her sexual preference and never at any point denied it to herself (to others yes, frequently and copiously albeit indirectly), but Santana was still struggling to see the truth. The fact that she was sleeping with Puck while obviously longing for Brittany was proof enough. Quinn knew that if she kissed the girl it would be wonderful and dream fulfilling and it would totally ruin her carefully fortified mental stability for all things concerning the darker girl. It was a setup for pain and she didn't like it.
It was a chance to kiss the girl of her dreams, and honestly, when put that way, how could she say no?
She should have said no.
She didn't say no.
Quinn agreed and Santana seemed surprised, but pleased and they kissed in that lonely empty room at 5:39 pm and it was… it was everything. Earth shattering, time stopping, totally arousing. It's fireworks on the Fourth of July, it's floating in the sky, it's… the best kiss Quinn ever had in her life.
There was tongue and she didn't mind in the least and she managed not to moan like the over excited virgin that she was when Santana moved closer. She doesn't think twice about wrapping her fingers in the hair she has loved from the moment she first laid eyes on it.
She doesn't know how long they kissed, but when they break apart they are both gasping for air and Quinn feels too unsteady to take so much as a step forward which is great news because if she could have she would have leapt forward and recaptured those now reddened lips.
"See? Totally not gay or anything," (it was literally the gayest thing they had ever done together) "thanks for the help," Santana said clearly trying not to be breathless and flushed.
Santana walked calmly out of the room and without even looking at a mirror Quinn knew she had that same stupid dumbstruck look on her face Puck had years ago (and sometimes now). It is now that she realizes for the first time what that face meant when paired with unrequited feelings. And she doesn't like it in the least.
Quinn knew at that moment that everything had flipped on her again and the rest of the year was going to be a fight for normalcy. Again she was right, but she was wrong to think that the kiss was where the life changing events would end (worse yet it would be years before she even knew to what extent that kiss had affected her).
The next few weeks weren't so bad. Nothing was awkward, Santana and Brittany even started coming to the Celibacy Club again and they even started to hang out like they used to. Then everything went from bad to apocalyptic.
Her cards fell in slow motion; the carefully stacked house fell off the table and scattered on the floor.
The locker room after cheer practice.
Quinn walked in after everyone else had gone (Sylvester had given a long speech about leadership, honor, crushing the Glee club and… something, she wasn't really listening) and was preparing to shower and go home when she heard something that made her pause.
The sound was low guttural and the voice that made it was not entirely unfamiliar, when she moved to the back of the locker room she saw Brittany pinned on one of the many narrow benches in between the aisles by Santana who was kissing her like it was her job and she was trying to get a promotion.
Quinn felt gypped (because her kiss hadn't been half as enthusiastic). And lost. And lonely. Santana had kissed her so damn well, but still went back to Brittany. She knew the Latina hadn't felt the same thing, but seeing living proof was agonizing, and she saw the way Brittany kissed her back and she wanted someone like that for herself. So bad. Even if it had to be secret, she wanted it so very badly.
And she wanted it from Santana.
And it wasn't going to happen.
She had immediately left to… she had no idea what, slushie Rachel, find Finn and tease him till he exploded all over himself like he did in the hot tub (her pleasure in other's discomfort is certainly a bad habit, but definitely a cure-all), instead she stumbled into Puck.
He saw her distress and offered to give her a ride home, and she wanted to refuse because Noah was sweet and kind whereas Puck is an ass, but she saw a glimpse of that dumbstruck boy still in his eyes and she wanted the companionship.
It was the wrong choice.
Well, it wasn't, the car ride was pleasant and he even bought her Starbucks on the way. When he suggested they go to his house she said yes and that wasn't too bad either. The wine coolers were inarguably a mistake though. She was so busy trying to explain her problem without exposing herself she didn't realize she'd had seven and soon she was blubbering about how fat she felt, (which in a way was true as she was constantly comparing herself to Brittany and that girl was flawless) and how alone she was with Finn (also true).
He'd held her and comforted her and told her everything she wanted to hear.
Later she found he had also gotten her pregnant.
And the downhill coaster wasn't done falling yet.
She lied again and again and again (about everything; the fact that she was pregnant, the father of the baby, the actual number of weeks she was along). After a while even she was confused, and that was bad because she was in the middle of a shit storm with no umbrella and no sense of direction. Her parents kicked her out so promptly it had taken receiving her first piece of mail at Finn's house to really grasp it. Rachel opened her big (cute) mouth about the truth and Finn left her (not that she was sure why she had been so determined to keep him, but it was a blow all the same), and Puck was in one ear with how he wanted to be with her and out the other with his sex shark garbage. It was like Noah and Puck were fighting an eternal battle and randomly one or the other would pop out and greet her.
In the middle of it all she hardly saw Santana. Not that she wasn't there. On the contrary she was always at her side (though occasionally with a hurtful quip or two, but honestly she deserved them), but she was in such disbelief at her situation she didn't take the other girl in. She couldn't because she was convinced the pain of it might give her a miscarriage.
Though she does it anyway. They sing for her and Puck. The whole Glee Club sings for her and she feels like she should pack her bags for Hollywood because through the whole song she manages not to look like she's having her entrails ripped out.
Santana comes to her later and tells her that even though the song was sappy and stupid she really will be there for her. It's a sweet gesture (even though it has Brittany written all over it), but she takes it at face value and later in the week after she went home to Puck's house she found a box on her bed full of her favorite books and pictures from her home that she hadn't been given the time to pack. She suspected that Puck had something to do with disarming the security alarm, but he had never been in her house nor had she told him anything about the things in that box and what they meant to her. It was too indirect and shady to have been devised by Brittany, though there is a Get Well Soon card in the box indicating she was involved in some way (Quinn could only smile), meaning it was from Santana and Quinn was glad it wasn't possible to die for loving a person because she would have then.
Beyond that box Quinn doesn't recall much outside of Mercedes randomly being her savior from Puck's (the sad part was she knew Brittany or Santana's parents would have taken her in, but she just couldn't bear to be so low in front of them), and her mother asking her back home after kicking her father out. Probably because she learning for the first time what Quinn had known for years; their house was a cold lonesome place.
The year was shit.
So she threw it away like an old diaper.
That's kind of how she felt about what happened with her baby but honestly what does it matter anymore?
Summer hits and this year all three of them ditch cheer camp (because it is just too easy after two years under Sylvester) so Quinn is on her own to lose the baby fat. For a while anyway because soon Santana joined her on her morning runs, but the blonde suspected she was only there because Brittany went to Italy for the summer. They run together and talk about all kinds of things and totally reconnect (she discovers that yes it was Santana's idea for them to break into her parents home and get her stuff) and it's good because they have always been friends and it was great to be back to the way they were before the craziness hit, but bad because Quinn can feel her heart swelling with love for the girl she knows she can't have.
Even if she wasn't scared of coming out.
Even though she no longer had a father to disappoint.
The love of her life's heart belonged to someone else.
The only solace she had was knowing Santana was just as firmly in denial as she always had been, though it was a little sad seeing her deny the truth even to herself.
Quinn even thought about bringing it up. Casually, maybe in the middle of a run. Until Santana informed her that she was going to get breast implants. That almost made the blonde trip and fall flat on her face.
She had always thought Santana's breast size was perfect, and she even said so before her brain was functional enough to turn the filter back on. Santana had let the complement slip with a sideways glance but pressed on saying she was getting it done over the weekend. She never said why, but it was pretty obvious it had everything to do with Brittany. Suddenly it wasn't so comforting to see Santana struggle with her feelings if they would lead her to do such rash things. Rash things like getting drunk and careless with some boy (and briefly the thought of Puck impregnating her friend filled her head and she almost threw up).
All attempts to dissuade the surgery were ignored and it irked Quinn to no end, even though the results were two mounds that she couldn't tear her eyes away from (she drove Santana home from the hospital and almost crashed twice). It took her the whole summer to recover, leaving Quinn alone again and irritated at the Latina for being so reckless for no reason (a nagging voice asked her how quickly she would go under the knife if she even thought it would make Santana see her in that way; she ignored it).
School started again and so did item 385 on the How to Fail at Proper Self-Expression list.
She ratted Santana out to Sylvester.
It was a low blow of the worst kind and she knew it when she did it, but she wanted her old life back (and, though she didn't want to admit it, wanted to be the center Santana's focus, if only for a moment, even if it was in anger). She knew Santana would blow up at her, she had expected it, hell she would have been worried if she hadn't. The smack was a surprise, but it shouldn't have been.
Quinn can feel herself tearing everything apart, everything she's worked for. For herself, for Santana, she feels her fingers ready to shred it all to bits and for a while she thinks she already has, but then there is Sam and he is so sweet and persistent (and somehow dumber than Finn) and she is able to take her mind off the whole thing just long enough for Brittany to work her magic and get Santana to talk to her again.
They are rocky at first, every word between them being bristly and irritated but just like she always had Brittany got them back to eating at Breadstix and laughing about old times.
Unfortunately it really was too late as it turned out. Quinn saw her fingers never moved and she was ready to rip it all apart. To rip everything to shreds because she's sick of it, she is sick to death of loving Santana, and she is sick of Sam (but he's so nice and oh so understanding) and she's sick of her mother still drinking like not a damn thing has changed and she is sick of her life (she's sick of hiding her true self, but what's that got to do with anything?). So began her passive aggressive assault on her life, she started by going after Finn again (which should have been a clear call for help to anyone listening) and Santana proves she is still trying on Rachel Berry sweaters in the closet of denial by snatching up Sam. Of course the moment he was gone she missed him dearly, or so she told herself when she saw him making out with Santana at Rachel's party. It wasn't that she was still infatuated with Santana because she was so over that shit.
Then she sees Brittany with Artie and she sees the heartbreak in Santana's face and it's all she can do not to just hold her till the pain stops.
Quinn decided two things that night before she got crazy drunk; to stay well away from Puck in any sort of secluded situation while intoxicated, and that she was a total idiot for continuing to try to not care about Santana.
A decision she makes too soon she thinks because maybe pretending to not care would have made Landslide not feel like a knife to the back.
She always saw the two of them together and Santana never went a day without giving Brittany that look. The, I-Want-You-More-Than-I-Want-My-Next-Breath, look, even if she never wanted to admit it. She looked at Brittany like she wanted to promise her forever and a day and when they sat down and sang, Quinn could see they would have it. They didn't see it, they wouldn't for a long time, but she did, she knew right then and there that there was quite literally no chance in hell for her with Santana. Ever.
So for the first time.
She was able to let it go.
To let her go.
Twelve years and finally she could let go because Quinn Fabray knew a lost cause when she saw one.
So she went after Finn yet again (she decided it was some form of self punishment) and she ran for Prom Queen (because what the hell else was there to do in Ohio?), and watched Brittany and Santana flounder in their own private, tragic, fated romance. Somewhere along the way she was even amicable enough to root for them.
At the end of Junior year she managed to keep herself together and even honestly connect with her friends once again (she really did love the haircut). During the summer however, she starts ripping at her life again but this time without the passive, it's plain aggressive. She couldn't be around Santana and Brittany anymore because it was just asking for the knife to be twisted in deeper, instead she spent it alone sending all sorts of warning signs to a mother that never noticed (but she hadn't realized yet that tearing her life down wouldn't give her a clean slate just a fuckload of rubble that would make it that much harder to build a new one).
So she goes back to school just as she is and purposefully pulls away from everyone. But Rachel speeches at her and Santana even tries to call her back to reality (which is really saying something since she is already co-captain and needs more competition like she needs thunder thighs) and even Puck and Finn try. But it's Brittany who ultimately sways her ironically, when she comes to Quinn's house and actually sings her this cheesy love song about not letting her leave and always being there (the song choice is way too romantic and personal, but Quinn gets the point). And she tells the taller girl how inappropriate it is, Brittany shrugs and her blue eyes are sad and glimmering and again Quinn can see how she has Santana so thoroughly wrapped around her finger.
She rejoins Glee Club.
She watches Santana rent a cottage in Narnia and move in.
She watches Brittany pout until she agrees to move out and at least consider telling their friends about them.
All she really does is watch them (not all the time, she still hasn't rejoined the Cheerios and like most things she does she really isn't sure why).
They struggle through the whole thing, but to Quinn it was like watching a long movie with an overdone plot that she's seen a million times before and already knows the ending to (but it stars her favorite actress so she doesn't leave). So when graduation rolls around there aren't really any surprises.
Brittany gets held back, a fact that has her in tears because Santana is going to Columbia State and she is so scared they'll drift apart (Quinn was a little surprised at how much she hurt for Brittany when she told her because honestly she was over this whole thing already). But it was made better when, after receiving her diploma Santana asked Brittany to marry her on stage in front of everyone (granted Quinn hadn't really seen that move coming but she knew the proposal was inevitable). Of course Brittany screamed out a 'Yes!' and the Glee Club erupted in applause (even Quinn; sure she knew how the movie was going to end but it didn't mean she didn't like it) because even though Santana thought her lesbianism was some big secret it was pretty much common knowledge to her friends by the end of Junior year.
Of course the proposal was the biggest thing to happen at a McKinley graduation since Rodney Parks ran on stage butt naked to get his diploma five years before.
It also made Brittany the only ever repeat Senior at McKinley that was engaged (let alone to a woman), and it drove all the boys absolutely wild (Quinn didn't get it but maybe because she was now extra forbidden fruit?), however, she only had eyes for Santana.
They were married the following year and the ceremony was massive (courtesy of Brittany's parents as Santana's hadn't gotten on board with the whole female/female marriage) and totally classy. There was every type of food and wine, the cake was enormous and instead of a bride and bride on top there were just two swans touching at the bill and chest to make a heart shape between them and Quinn found it incredibly appropriate.
There were speeches that were tear inducing, Quinn even said a few words having known them the longest, but she kept it simple and short (because yes she was happy for them, but it still stung like a thousand bee stings), their first dance was beautiful and the general festivities afterwards were pleasant and heartwarming.
Quinn lapped it all up (even though it went down her throat like broken glass) because she had put her hopes to rest (what little there had been) after Landslide and considered their wedding a celebration of letting go.
Which made it weird when she really didn't.
After their wedding Santana and Brittany moved to New York where their marriage was legal and both began their professional lives (Santana going to Columbia University and Brittany doing fashion design of all things). Quinn stayed in Ohio for a few years, going to school for a general studies degree until her grades start to garner attention and one of her professors offers her a chance to work with his colleague at Cornell University. In New York.
Feeling like a complete ass she goes and of course she looks up her old friends because apparently she is a glutton for punishment.
And she tells herself it won't be so bad after so long, that she has put it all to rest, and then she sees Santana and those dangerous smoky eyes, and that low voice and that hair (she can't believe she forgot how much she loved that hair) and she knows it was a mistake to call them. And she knows it's too late because Brittany is hugging her and talking excitedly like she used to do in elementary school and Santana is just looking amazed at her wife's ability to speak a mile a minute and it's all so nostalgic Quinn might cry. But she doesn't. She's a Fabray and now is a hell of a time to forget that.
They eat lunch and talk like old times, she finds that Brittany is doing quite well for herself in the fashion industry and had already been featured in several magazines. Santana was blazing through her courses and impressing her teachers quite thoroughly (she said it was because she was bad ass and Quinn knew it was because she wanted to graduate and start being the bread winner because that was just how she was built).
Quinn mentioned her successes and tried to keep the conversation out of her personal life which, with the exception of a few one night stands, was uneventful. Brittany did mention how after Santana graduated and got a couple of years under her belt at some company or another she wanted to start a family. Words that made Santana blush and Quinn nauseous because she was nowhere near ready to handle that (she vowed to be out of New York by then).
They met often, less than Brittany would have liked but well more than Quinn thought she could take. Watching Brittany or Santana walk into a room where the other was, was almost an unbearable experience in itself. Every time they would light up like they hadn't seen each other in years, they were so in love it was insufferable for a normal person let alone the poor soul who had feelings for one of them.
Later she discovered that Rachel and Kurt were around and she began to hang out with them as well and Puck did tours with his band in the city from time to time (mainly because he knew people he could crash with) and soon it started to really feel like old times. Only slightly better. Yes Brittany and Santana were a punch to the gut she could never get un-winded from but seeing the others made her feel less alone, even though not one of them knew the truth about her.
Well that wasn't entirely true.
Puck knew after she told him in a bar when she'd had way too much to drink (breaking her promise about being alone and drunk with Puck, but nothing happened so whatever). He was surprisingly cool about it though, of course, he made the obligatory sleezeball Puck jokes, but in the end he let her be and kept it to himself.
It really did help to have at least one person know.
And shortly after it was two.
Quinn didn't tell anyone else and Puck didn't either, she managed to deduce it on her own, not only Quinn's sexuality but the truth of it.
That damn Brittany Pierce-Lopez.
"You're in love with Santana aren't you?"
The question had come out of nowhere.
Quinn and Brittany had been sitting in her and Santana's home in the dining room waiting for Brittany's significant other to return home when the taller blonde had just dropped the question like it was 'Would you like some tea?'
Quinn just stared at her open mouthed before she said, "No!"
"Yes you are," she said simply, and there was no malice or anger, just a simple statement of fact.
"I don't-" Quinn started but she could already see Brittany wasn't buying it, "I would never-"
"I know," she said with a soft smile (and Quinn is lost because why bring this up if this isn't a confrontation?).
"When… when did you work that one out?" she asks carefully (because Quinn knows a minefield when she sees one).
"I didn't until you told me just now, but I suspected when you pushed me off the swing."
Quinn scrunched up her face, "I never pushed you off a-" then she stops because she realizes she isn't thinking back far enough and she is so (very, very) surprised that Brittany still remembers that, "Oh, right. Sorry."
"You already apologized silly," she laughs.
"Did you, want me to leave or something?" because what do you say in this situation normally?
"I just sort of assumed you brought it up because it was bothering you."
"Not bothering me, bothering me. It's like a riddle you think about for a long time, then give up and ask for the answer." (and somehow that makes perfect sense) "I don't blame you for loving her she's amazing."
"Yeah," she says (her throat feels like she has taken up sword swallowing when she knows she's bad at it).
Quinn felt a bit irate that Brittany was so damn confident that she wasn't a threat, that she never had been. And then she realized that was the case exactly. For the first time she realizes that the moment Santana laid eyes on Brittany she never had a shot, bullying kicks and swing shoves aside there was never a place for her.
She wanted to cry again.
She wanted to move to California because it's nice and sunny and so far away from Ohio and New York.
But she stayed.
Like an idiot.
She watched years of her life pass with the only highlights being occasional beers with Puck when he passed through town, shopping with Kurt and Rachel and watching Santana (and yes she is always in Brittany's arms, but it's better than nothing).
Then Santana finishes her third year with Garret and Forman and Brittany begins her pleas for a baby and suddenly Quinn prefers nothing.
Of course by now Quinn is one promotion away from being the Dean of one of the most prestigious elementary schools in the state. A position gained from knowing all the right people (and sleeping with a few of the wrong ones, but this is New York). It earned her envy and hate all across the board, but with the salary being what it was she didn't care (and that fucking stupid masochistic part of her brain says that she could help Santana and Brittany's baby receive an Ivy League education). The short version is she can't skip town like she planned.
So she gets ready to bleed herself dry on unfulfilled wishes and decides, what the hell? She can take it. It had to stop hurting at some point.
She was off to a positive start when Santana called her and mentioned they were actively trying for a baby and it just made her heart drop and tears run down her face. It was a much better reaction than she'd had the night before the wedding (which involved a pathetic display of sitting in the dark sobbing, holding the old box Santana had used to put her things in so long ago, while listening to sad love songs on repeat all night).
It was a great start.
Then it all flipped again, but not just Quinn's lonely island of sorrow.
The world flipped and crashed everything to the ceiling.