(i’ve got new ways of) turning into stone
(because i saw this and couldn’t resist fic’ing it.)
[[punk!quinn and tina!rachel. sort of au but also not. references from the amazing phantogram. listen to “10,000 claps" for a good song.]]
(and i’ve got new ways of) turning into stone
wishing away, robbing my stones
kissing my grave
when can you take me back home?
one. i wish i could believe those devils
They meet, unsurprisingly, in a record store, during the summer before Quinn’s senior year. It’s the only one in Lima, and so it’s not that strange of a coincidence.
“Hey,” she says.
The other girl doesn’t look up. “Hey,” she says.
“I’m Quinn.” For the first time in a long time, Quinn feels self-conscious about her piercings and hair, even though the girl across a stack of Youth Lagoon and Yelle records—they’re at the back, towards the end of the multicoloured crates—has streaks of blue in her dark brown hair and a solid pair of Doc Martins. But she still looks clean.
Then the girl looks up; her eyes are surprisingly soft and bright. She rounds the Zs, comes around so that she’s on the same side of the aisle as Quinn.
“You don’t look like a Quinn,” the girl says, and then brings her lips to Quinn’s in a startling flash. Quinn doesn’t fight it—not anymore—and so when her hands come up on their own accord to brush against the other girl’s cheeks, and her mouth opens, and tongues swirl together, she only moans.
Then someone clears their throat and the other girl breaks the kiss, stares up at Quinn for a second. “You don’t taste like a Quinn either,” she mumbles huskily, then turns to leave.
“Wait!” Quinn calls, catching her bottom lip between her teeth at the deep, breathy sound of her voice.
The girl turns around expectantly.
“What’s your name?” Quinn asks.
“Rachel,” the girl says.
“Rachel,” Quinn repeats, and then the girl is gone. Quinn stands still in the store and then finally steals an old Pink Floyd cassette, even though she has nothing to play it with.
It’s the principle of the thing, anyway.
two. show me love, you’ve got your hand on the button now
They see each other again a few nights later at a party. It’s almost inevitable, what happens, because when Quinn gets there, she’s already high, and then she starts drinking, and when she sees Rachel—she certainly hasn’t forgotten—she stalks up to her, takes her hand roughly, and leads her outside to the backyard of whomever’s small, run-down house they’re at this time.
It’s with no pretense that Quinn presses her lips to the divot underneath Rachel’s ear, licks down her jaw, and it’s with no pretense that Rachel fists her hands in the bottom of Quinn’s shirt and tugs.
They undress each other in the moonlight and lay down in the cool summer grass, and no one says anything, asks any questions.
It’s simple, and Quinn is surprised at how gentle Rachel is with her body, how reverently her fingers skim up and down Quinn’s thighs, how she actually looks at Quinn—looks at her.
The first time they have sex is on someone’s back lawn, and Quinn is high and drunk, but she knows.
Rachel murmurs Quinn’s name, and even when she leaves a few hickeys on Quinn’s collarbone, she’s so careful with Quinn’s limbs that Quinn almost wants to cry.
They make love for the first time underneath a sky full of stars.
three. say i’m okay, bleeding fire, eating nightmares
They don’t ever actually plan to meet, or kiss, or have sex, but it sort of always happens. They run with the same group of people, after all, and Quinn doesn’t spend a whole lot of time at home, so she’s usually at whatever pointless thing they do next.
They don’t usually talk though—Rachel’s surprisingly quiet, which is fine with Quinn—even in the sleepy, tender moments after countless orgasms.
But then one night—they’re naked, holding each other tightly, Rachel’s chin pressed into the crook of where Quinn’s neck meets her collarbone—Rachel tilts her head up and asks, “Quinn?”
“Why are you like this?”
She doesn’t ask like what because there’s really no need to. Years ago she hadn’t been. There’s a before and after.
“Why are you like this?”
“I was bored,” Rachel says.
“But if you’ve noticed, I don’t really abuse too many substances.”
“Do you also read a fucking thesaurus in your spare time?”
Rachel ignores the question and then her fingers skim along Quinn’s ribs, then dip further to trace along the puckered scars on Quinn’s lower back. They’ve faded a lot since years ago, but they’re permanent. She whispers, “What are these from?”
“Nothing,” Quinn mumbles, automatic, a reflex. They’re in some stranger’s bed, tangled in some stranger’s sheets.
Rachel, however, is no longer a stranger.
So Quinn says, “My father,” and then Rachel’s face falls, and for the first time in almost three years, Quinn cries.
four. a hole is in the sky, it’s not your heart that you’ve been thinking of
Quinn learns things: Rachel moved her recently from Cleveland; she has two gay dads; they’re not necessarily happy about her hanging out with this group of people—when Rachel says that, Quinn glares, which makes Rachel smile—but they allow her to as long as she’s open to taking random drug tests, which they’ve only threatened because not once has Rachel ever come home high. Rachel’s going to be a senior, the same age as Quinn.
The only reason Quinn even goes to the first day of school is because Rachel promised she’d be there.
Quinn is invisible now, even though everyone stares at her. She’s invisible because she’s beautiful, because she’s smart, because she’s terrifying, because she’s completely and totally unattainable.
Quinn can’t find Rachel after she ditches the last three periods, smoking under the bleachers, so she wanders around.
She hears singing coming from an empty classroom—good singing, like, really good singing—so she peeks in the door. It’s Rachel.
Quinn leaves immediately, because she’s long been resigned to her fate, and one girl isn’t going to change that.
five. take me to the future now, you don’t have to be this
Quinn refuses to acknowledge Rachel after that, no matter what they’re doing, at school or otherwise.
But then one night at a party she does a combination of drugs that she looses track of pretty quickly, and things get worse than normal.
Rachel’s there, silently, and she holds her as she fades in and out of consciousness, and when Quinn wakes up an unknown amount of hours later, track marks tended to and a blanket draped over her legs, her head in Rachel’s lap and Rachel’s fingers running through her perpetually tangled, short hair, she blearily looks around and sees a neat series of Lykke Li posters on a pale wall and realizes she must be in Rachel’s room.
“You can’t ever do that again,” Rachel says.
Quinn shuts her eyes emphatically, but she croaks out an, “Okay.”
“Promise?” Rachel asks.
Quinn’s entire body aches, but she says, “Promise.”
six. your love is waiting on in the sky
“Thank you,” Rachel whispers one night.
Rachel sits up and her hair ghosts over Quinn’s bare chest. They’re in Rachel’s bed, and they didn’t go to a party this time. Quinn’s been sober for two weeks.
Rachel very seriously traces Quinn’s left ear. “All of those drugs would’ve killed you.”
“For a long time that’s what I thought I wanted,” Quinn says.
Rachel’s breathing never falters, but she closes the eyes at the admission.
“But not anymore,” Quinn says.
Rachel’s eyes open.
seven. are you staying warm?
“I love you,” Rachel says.
For days afterward, Quinn doesn’t return Rachel’s calls or her texts.
Rachel finds Quinn in the middle of the night at her house. It’s the first night Quinn’s been home all week, and she only opens the window. She’s drunk again.
Rachel stands outside, a ghost in a black maxi skirt and a ripped grey t-shirt that Quinn’s pretty sure had once been hers. It’s windy, and the fabric presses against one side of Rachel’s body, the other side floating around her skin.
“What are you so scared of?” Rachel shouts.
Quinn says, “Everything,” and then she says, “You.”
eight. she crawls inside and makes my home
“I don’t do this with people,” Quinn says, gesturing between herself and Rachel in front of Rachel’s locker.
Rachel rolls her eyes. “I don’t care.”
“You sing,” Quinn says.
“You write,” Rachel says.
“We’ll never have a future.”
“We can. If you want to.”
Quinn takes a deep breath. She nods.
For the first time in four years at McKinley, Quinn holds someone’s hand as she walks down the hallway.
nine. can’t remember the last time i felt so incredibly young
“I’m not going to save you.”
Quinn shakes her head. “You already did.”
references (all phantogram tracks).
title. “turning into stone”
quote. “10,000 claps”
one. “mouthful of diamonds”
two. “when i’m small”
four. “don’t move”
five. “make a fist”
six. “a dark tunnel”
seven. “all dried up”
eight. “futuristic casket”
nine. “let me go”