Quartie One Shots
Chapter 02: Quinn’s
By Wilde Abrams
Author’s Notes: The following is an excerpt from my story The Wildeabrams Season Six (Ch 20: Confused). I am including it here because I know that not all of my readers read both Quartie and Wildebrams, so more people will see it here.
This scene takes place after the Brittana/Klaine wedding (yes, Quinn was there in my version), where Quinn and Artie got together a couple days later, to catch up; and Quinn feels the need to give him an explanation/Apology for how she treated him after the events at the skatepark in the episode Big Brother. Unfortunately RIB never cared enough about their friendship to give us a scene like this and we are just expected to assume that they made up.
===> The Lima Bean — Monday Afternoon
Artie wheeled into the popular teen hangout a few minutes before one, and ordered his drink before wheeling over to the accessible table. Classes were in session, and the place was mostly empty.
A few moments later the barista, none other than Joe Hart came over and delivered it to the table for him. They had just seen each other on Saturday, so they just greeted each other casually before he went back to work.
A few minutes later, Quinn drove up in her rental car. She came in and waved, and smiled at him as she went over to the counter and ordered her own drink. When Joe silently handed her the beverage, she walked over and joined him.
She bent over and gave Artie an affectionate hug before taking a seat next to him.
“This place hasn’t changed a bit,” she said, glancing around. “Except the staff… Is that Mr Figgins?”
“Yeah,” he answered. “When Sue took his job, and demoted him to Janitor, he couldn’t make ends meet anymore, so he took a second job as a part time Assistant Manager here, or so Kitty told me.”
“I’m still struggling to understand that one,” she told him. “I wonder what Sue has on him or the superintendent that got him demoted like that?”
“No idea,” he said. “But it must be something pretty substantial.”
He took a sip of his drink, and she took her first sip.
“So how have you been, Quinn,” he began. “I haven’t heard much from you since you went away to college.”
She nodded, sadly. “Sorry about that!” Of all of the alumni she was the one that seemed to make it back to Lima, and to other gatherings the least. They weren’t even sure if she’d make the wedding. “I’m doing well academically. I’m on the Dean’s List. Top 10 of my class, just liked high school. I’m very busy with projects. Classes are very demanding and don’t allow me to return home as often as I’d like.”
But, he wasn’t going to accept a purfintory answer.
“Yeah, I already know that,” he asked again, “but how are YOU doing? Like personally.”
She sighed and nodded.
“I’ve actually been kinda struggling there,” she admitted. “While it’s been very eye opening, it’s also lonely attending a college where I don’t know anyone. I’ve made a few friends, but we aren’t anywhere near as close as The New Directions are. For my first year I coped by engaging in a series of relationships with men, none of which really made me happy, and I joined that secret society.
“Then I got back together with Puck, which turned out to be a huge mistake, both because of the obvious reasons, and because long distance relationships are hard; and he wasn’t fully committed to an actual relationship. He wanted to be close to me so he could potentially be close to Beth when Shelby finally finally forgave us again. But he never actually seemed interested in working on the relationship part of it. All he seemed interested in was sex.-“
“Quinn,” Artie told her, placing his hand on her arm, and looking her in the eye. “I know I’ve told you this before, but you are more than someone else’s sexual fantasy. You are one of the most amazing people that I know.”
She blushed. “Thank you, Artie. You have no idea how much that means to me! You’ve always been in my corner, and a personal inspiration to me.”
He nodded, choosing to ignore the ‘inspiration’ part. He was beyond annoyed about always hearing that from people. But Quinn was a good friend, so he let it pass.
“It happens to be true,” he told her, smiling.
Just then Joe came out from behind the count, walked across the room, and started busing some used booths across the room. He deliberately didn’t even look at them.
“What’s up with that?” Artie asked softly, gesturing to their now dreadlockless former glee clubmate. It hadn’t escaped his notice that the guy hadn’t greeted her when he handed her the beverage earlier.
She sighed, and asked, “Care to get some fresh air?”
He nodded, sensing that she wanted privacy for this particular conversation, and said, “Sure.”
He followed her as she rose to her feet, and headed out the door. It was early November. They didn’t have snow yet, but it was cool enough to require jackets outside.
She held both beverages while he zipped up his coat, and he did the same for her.
“I owe you a serious apology,” Quin said as she finished zipping up her coat.
He handed her cup back, and gave her a confused look.
“I know I said it before,” she continued as they began moving down the street, “but blowing you off in favor of Joe is one of the biggest mistakes of my life.”
“Oh, that …” of all the things she could have said this was one of the last things she expected. “You already apologized for that.”
“Yeah,” she admitted, nodding. “But never properly, and I never actually gave you a real explanation.
“You were there supporting me literally the entire time since my accident until after I returned to school. More than any of my other friends, and you probably spent more time at my bedside than my own family. It’s not an exaggeration to say that just like in that dream you told me about, you saved my life.
“You helped me through my early days of frustration and anger, of learning to use and transfer in and out of my wheelchair, and beginning to do other things for myself. You were patient with me through all of it, and while doing the wheelchair number in glee club definitely helped me develop a new appreciation of your daily struggles, being in that situation twenty four hours a day really made me develop even more admiration for you than I had before -“
“-Quinn-“ he interrupted
“-No, Artie, let me get this out,” she responded.
He nodded for her to continue.
“As you recall, despite our best efforts,” she continued, “my recovery wasn’t going as well as I had hoped. My therapy stalled, and then I had a setback. That day at the skatepark, you tried to help me see that my life wouldn’t be over if I didn’t completely recover, something you demonstrated to me everyday. But I was frustrated, and angry; and I took it out on you that day, because I wasn’t ready to hear it. I said some very hurtful things to you that I’ve regretted ever since.”
Artie involuntarily flinched as he remembered her barbed words as she told him that she wasn’t like him, and wasn’t going to end up like him. She wasn’t a Lima loser and, was going to get out of Lima and go to Yale.
“When I calmed down, and realized what I’d done, I tried to come up with an apology,” she continued, “but I was embarrassed, and wasn’t sure what to say. Everything that I came up with seemed insufficient, so I said nothing. I was very lonely.
“One day Joe approached me at my locker when l was having a particularly rough day. He offered to pray for me; not for me to recover, for me to accept wherever God’s plan was for me; and asked to come with me to therapy. It seemed rather unusual, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. I’d met him in the Celibacy Club a few weeks before. He seemed sweet, if a bit odd.
“So I let him come with me to therapy, and over the next few weeks, he helped me through exercises that I am sure you could have done in your sleep. But he encouraged me, didn’t try to give me any reality checks, and just gave me confidence, and I started to make progress again.
“One day, he was helping me stretch, and I felt a bulging against my leg. He backed away embarrassed, but I smiled. Ever since being injured I started to feel …”
“Broken?” He offered
“Yeah,” she answered. “I felt like less of a woman, and l was pleased that I was still able to turn an able bodied man on.”
“So the fact that you were still able to give him a boner made you feel good,” he told her with a bemused tone and expression.
“Yeah,” she laughed. “Then he confessed to having some very … impure thoughts about me, and when I asked what his intentions were, he said that he felt like he might be willing to give up his faith to be with me.
“That kind of creeped me out, but at the same time it made me feel good. I told him I’d never ask him to do that. In retrospect, I wonder if he thought I was easy because I’d had a baby.”
Artie nodded. He’d always wondered what had made the new guy start following her around like a puppy.
“We sang a romantic duet together in glee club, something that the rest of us all did without reading into it, but he had so little experience with girls that he may have misinterpreted that as my being interested in him. I think I may have let myself think I might have developed feelings for him in return because he was giving me all of that attention. But in retrospect, I think I was just feeling sorry for myself, and it felt good to be desired.
“Over the next few weeks he continued to help me with therapy,” she continued, “and I gradually improved enough to stand on my own, and later walk, a little bit, more and more at a time; but I asked him to keep it quiet. I think at first it was because I didn’t want to jinx it, but yeah I did also want to surprise people at prom. But not for the reasons that Finn thought I did.
“I let him escort me to prom, because Finn was with Rachel, and no one else asked.” Artie nodded. He had been planning to ask her up until they stopped talking after their fight, but he didn’t want to tell her that. She already felt bad enough about the fight. “But I guess he thought there was more to it than friendship, and I wasn’t sure how to explain it to him. He was very socially awkward, and he’d had very few friends before, and never actually had a girlfriend before.
“We were never actually dating, so I didn’t think I owed him an actual ‘break up’ when I graduated, but maybe I did, because when I came back for thanksgiving, he clearly thought we were together, and I had to break it to him. Things have been awkward between us ever since.”
“Joe is a good guy,” he said, “but he’s always been socially awkward because he was homeschooled all of his life until 10th grade.”
Quinn nodded, “Exactly!“
“You don’t owe me an apology Quinn,“ Artie told her. “I forgive you for this years ago, and I understood what you were going through. I went through it myself, only at a much younger age.
“I never wanted to discourage you, I knew that you probably were not going to end up like me, and really did hope that you would be able to make the recovery that I wasn’t able to; and I’m so glad you did. But it was hard for me to see how much you were hurting, and in retrospect, I think I hoped that if you were able to see things from my perspective, you might feel a little bit better about things, regardless of what ended up happening.”
She nodded. “You’re such a great friend, Artie,” she told him, and bent over and hugged him. “I’m so lucky to have you in my life!”
“The feeling is mutual Quinn,” he told her, returning the hug. “You mean a whole lot to me, and I hope you know that if you ever need me for anything, I’ll be there.”
“Me too,” she beamed as they ended the hug and she stood up again.
“What about you?“ Quinn asked. “How have you been? From the looks of things at the wedding, you and Kitty are about to get back together again.”
“I thought so too,“ he told her with a sigh. “But I’m afraid we might’ve ruined it the other day.“ He went on to describe what happened over the past couple of days and how frustrated he was with it.
“Wow,” Quinn responded with a surprised look. “I never saw that coming.“
“It’s probably my own fault,” Artie said. “I obviously miss calculated, and she wasn’t as ready to get back together as she led on.”
“Artie,“ Quinn said, giving him a surprise look. “I was there at the wedding. She was very clearly giving you signals that she was still interested. I don’t think that you miss calculated anything, especially since she’s the one who initiated the sex.
“If I had to guess, I would say that maybe she’s still confused about the depth of her feelings for you, or maybe there are lingering trust issues after the breakup. You’ll have to give her some time to sort things out.” He nodded, hoping that was all it was. “It would be pretty hard for you to get back together with her living here in Lima, and you living in New York for the next several months anyway. I’m pretty sure that when she figures out what she wants, she’ll let you know.”
“Thanks Quinn,“ he told her with a smile. “I really appreciate your insight. you’re such a good friend, and I really wish we had been closer when we were in school together.”
“That makes two of us,“ Quinn responded with a smile.
In the back of her head, she also wondered what it would have been like if they had been more than friends in high school. But that was a long time ago, and they were both in different places in their lives now. He clearly loved Kitty very much, and she was at the point in her life where she wanted to try being single for a while.
She leaned over and gave him another hug. When they broke the hug he smirked and gestured over his shoulder.
“Look familiar?“ he asked
She laughed out loud. Without really thinking about it, the two of them had walked several blocks and we’re standing in front of the skate park that he had taken her to for Senior Skip Day.
# # #
Author’s Notes: So what does everyone think?