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fic: On Stranger Tides for texaswatermelon
amacha wrote in glee_rare_pairs

Title: On Stranger Tides

Rating: PG-13

Length: 3603 words

Summary: The Fabrays move to Newport, CA, turning Quinn's world upside down. But when she meets Brittany she thinks maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Characters: Quinn/Brittany, stealthy insertion of characters from The O.C.

AN: prompt was Quinn/Brittany - surfing. Hope this was in the vein of what you sought. I might write a sequel :)

It hadn't been long since they'd arrived in Newport Beach, a few days only, but it felt much longer to Quinn Fabray who's family had moved from Lima, OH. It's not that she actually missed Lima, God forbid if she ever started longing for that bumfuck town, but there was one thing that rural Ohio had provided her with that was now gone: security. Not financially, no, financial security was the least of her concerns seeing she had just finished her junior year, and her family was well off enough to live in one of the most affluent municipalities in the country. No, she was talking about social order. Quinn was a gorgeous girl and she'd known it, in a tiny midwestern town, she had shone like the Sun in the heliocentric models of our system, with the rest of the population being the planets that gravitated around her. In a place like Lima it was easy for her to rule the roost, especially in high school. She had the beauty, the brains, the cunning and the ambition to set her well above the rest- not that it was difficult on average. She'd been a cinch for prom queen in the upcoming senior year, at that point it didn't matter what she did or who she dated, it was just one of those things. She'd seen herself as one of those individuals that climbed to the top- no, that were born on top and that remained there from cradle to grave and her life had been all planned out. Until now.

Now she was in California and not just any place in California, Newport Beach, California. Not that the place wasn't great in her eyes or anything but it was completely foreign to her. When they'd driven in town and she'd peered out the windows to look at the people there she suddenly felt very small and insignificant, rustic, like a country bumpkin. All around were beautiful and refined people, people who wouldn't be impressed by her family, her looks or her provenance and track records. She'd have to learn a whole new way of life and the mechanics of high school life here, and as if being the new kid weren't enough, she didn't even have a full year to win people over. Assuming she'd meet people over the Summer that gave her roughly 9 months until next spring for prom. Not that she thought of it as an impossible task, but it was going to be an arduous one, and the mere fact there was even a possibility she might not succeed, a possibility she might not get her rightful crown was vastly unsettling.

So she had sulked for a few days, resenting the fact that the move couldn't have happened after her high school graduation, and mourning her security as queen bee. But ultimately she wouldn't let that get in her way and so, urged on by her instinct and desire to come out on top, as well as aided by her growing boredom, she finally decided to venture out and visit Newport. Her first stop was at the triangle which was some sort of plaza, it seemed nice enough but she felt terribly out of place with her clothing. She noted she'd definitely would have to change her fashion sense, judging by the way everyone else was dressed. It eventually unnerved her so much that she went back home deciding to head to the beach instead, changing in to some more appropriate bathing wear. Her white halter top bikini was partially covered by a pair of shorts and a loose shoulderless tee she pawned from her sister. Their house was actually within walking distance so she didn't have to take her car, and she didn't mind carrying a beach bag and a towel under her arm as she headed for the pier.

As soon as she found herself on the beach however, she was forced to remove her sandals because of the way the sand would get in and rub against her skin uncomfortably causing irritation. She groaned in exasperation and slipped her sandals in to her bag, walking down the shore, glancing at the water and looking for a good spot to settle down. Finding a spot that seemed convenient she was about to set up camp when she heard some shouts. “Is she actually going to do that!?” “No way!” “Duh you know her there's nothing she won't do.” Quinn looked up momentarily panicked that they may be talking about her, but she soon saw the group of teenagers that were in animated conversation and followed their gaze out to the ocean. Her jaw dropped as she saw a girl with a windsurfing board headed towards the biggest wave she'd ever seen. To be fair, Quinn hadn't seen many waves in her life, which is probably what made it all the more impressive to her, and she stood there completely awestruck, her bag just slipping out of her finger's grip and hitting the sand with a soft thud. She wasn't sure how regular surfing worked- how are you supposed to stand on a flat piece of wood or whatever on water without flipping over?- let alone windsurfing. She'd never seen anything quite like it, the way that girl seemed to manipulate the elements at her will, riding the wave and using it to jump start airborne nautical gymnastics.

Quinn was so mesmerized, that by the time she registered the athletic blonde coming her way it was too late to pretend she hadn't just seen the entire thing, or to act like she hadn't noticed the other girl coming her way. Quinn could feel her body tensing up a little, on the defensive ready for her first confrontation with what appeared to be one locally respected individual. The girl was about two inches taller than her, appeared to be around her age and Quinn could feel her own gaze gliding up and down the surfer's body very much impressed with its harmonious levels of fitness. She stayed silent, sizing her up and down, trying to get a feel for her. “You're not from around here.” Was it that obvious? Quinn didn't reply, not wanting to let anything that she may be thinking transpire. “I know everyone who hangs here,” the girl said with a grin. “I'm Brittany, Brittany S. Pierce.” Quinn rose an eyebrow. She hadn't expected friendliness. Some sort of territoriality, a silent struggle for power, so much so that she found herself caught off guard and disconcerted. “I- I'm Quinn Fabray.” Brittany extended a hand which Quinn took and shook.

“Nice to meet you Quinn. Where are you from?”

“Ohio.” Quinn cringed at herself for that reply, realizing just how lame it actually sounded.

“Do you surf?”

Quinn laughed, before realizing that Brittany seemed genuinely inquisitive. She opened her mouth and closed it a few times before shaking her head.

“No. I've never... There aren't many places to surf back home.”

It was Brittany's turn to burst out laughing, and Quinn could feel herself blush a little, feeling like an idiot for having doubted this girl she'd barely just met.

“Of course not, there's no Ocean in the midwest! But you're out here so I was wondering if that was why.”

Quinn shook her head silently, not exactly sure what to say more.

“I can teach you if you want.”

She looked up to Brittany, surprised, yet again, by the taller girl's words. Quinn recovered quickly however, a plan hatching in her brain, a plan that could be the solution to all her problems. Surfing was popular here, Brittany was clearly popular... Her mind ran off at a hundred miles per hour before she suddenly remembered that Brittany's board had a sail, interrupting her thought process, windsurfing looked considerably more challenging than regular surf.

“I thought what you were doing was windsurfing.”

Brittany shrugged, not in the least phased by the question, and answered as if it were the most natural thing in the world and everybody did the same she did.

“I do both. I started surfing first, it's a lot easier.”

Quinn's expression finally changed back to an air of confidence, complete with smug smile as she nodded.

“Then yes, I would love it if you taught me how to surf.”

Brittany's entire face lit up, Quinn was interesting. She was different and Brittany liked that.

“Great. I'll give you my number and you should totally drop by the beach party tonight, meet some people.”

With that, Brittany turned around, gracefully striding off with her board, leaving Quinn standing on the beach, trying to get a grasp on everything that had just happened. Funny how a few minutes can flip an entire situation around, and as far as Quinn Fabray was concerned, she'd struck gold. Watching Brittany walk away, she began thinking of what she could wear to the party tonight, and how she'd start weaving a web of acquaintances. “What a strange girl...”

As it were Quinn did end up going back to town to get some new clothes, ignoring her father's cluck of disapproval and smiling gratefully at her mother pointing out that it was normal of her to want to fit in, and that it was good she was going out and already making friends so fast. Naturally she didn't tell them that she was in fact going to a beach party, rather, she explained it as being a gathering for teens where they get around a fire and watch the ocean and grill marshmallows. It was quite amazing that her parents had let her go based on that presentation, because it had to be one of the most unconvincing lies she'd ever told them. To be fair she didn't actually know what would take place, even if she had a pretty good idea. The marshmallows wouldn't be grilled and they would in fact be vodka.

Quinn would discover upon her arrival that she was only partially right. There were marshmallows as well as the vodka. Well then, she hadn't really lied to her parents, meaning she had nothing to confess. Or so she thought. She waved at some people as she walked in the sand, the glow of the fire flickering over the features of the people closest to it, but ultimately she sought out Brittany. She was glad she'd thought of bringing a sweater because the nocturnal ocean breeze was unexpectedly chilly for southern California. In spite of this however, her thighs didn't seem to catch the cold, perhaps comfortably warmed by the flames. She had to suppress a smirk when she noticed the boys looking her way. She was a little self conscious as these shorts were much shorter than even her cheerios cheerleading skirt had been, but as evidenced by the stares she was getting, there was no reason for it and her insecurities were quickly dispelled. Her eyes finally landed on the person she was looking for, who was talking to a smallish, animated brunette with a golden tan. Quinn put on a charming little smile that however reeked of superiority as she gracefully plopped down beside Brittany.


“Oh hi Quinn! This is Summer. Summer, this is Quinn.”

“Nice to meet you, Summer”

Her tone was overly sweet, as she was caught between her natural desire to establish herself, but not knowing exactly whom she was dealing with. A single step out of place could send crashing down her best laid plans with no chance of recovery. Back home, she could easily tell right away who was in front of her and what their social status was, but out here many of the markers she had back in Ohio, were irrelevant, at times, inexistent.

“You're new right? From out of state? It kind of shows.”

Oh, okay. So that's how this chick wanted to play it. Quinn's smile widened, ready to send a proverbial poisonous dart right back, without missing a beat, but she was cut off by Brittany.

“If Quinn likes tanning, she'll definitely fit in and blend with the rest of us in no time. Why don't you come get some marshmallows with me, we're all out. And we can get you a drink too.”

Quinn bit the inside of her lower lip frowning slightly, not used to being cut off, ever. Aside from her parents maybe. However she breathed in through the nose and relaxed her facial muscles a little before nodding and offering a polite smile to Brittany, taking the hand offered to her to get up. Brittany waved at Summer mouthing that she'd be right back, and strode off towards the provision pile.

“So, you changed your clothes.”

“I went shopping.”

“Just for tonight?”

Quinn could feel a blush creeping up her neck.

“I, no! That's- I mean yes- I. I got these clothes because my wardrobe isn't exactly appropriate for Southwestern California. I figured I may as well change for tonight, so I'd be more accepted.”

“You know Quinn, people may like and accept you for just being you.”

Quinn went completely mute, in spite of the snappy retort on the tip of her tongue. For some reason Brittany inspired her to rein in her verbal venom, not to mention the fact that her words made Quinn's stomach flip. This girl didn't know, couldn't know. It was in essence a bit of a revolutionary idea to offer, particularly where Quinn came from, but that didn't mean Quinn hadn't thought of it before, or wished it were true.

“What do you want to drink? We have vodka, rum, tequila- although I'm not sure where the limes went and beer. There's also some soda and juice to mix with.”

Quinn was pulled out of her thoughts and back in to reality, her eyes landing on a bent down Brittany's backside, giving her a full view of her amazingly toned legs and glutes, wiggling slightly as the surfer rummaged through the ludicrously large cooler. She quickly looked away, stammering slightly as she answered.

“Um. Rum n' coke?”

“Coming right up!”

Why was she so nervous? She was cheerleading captain for two consecutive years, it wasn't anything she hadn't seen before. Yes but, there was a legitimate reason, on a cheerleading squad, to observe form as the slightest nuance could be a difference between first and second place at a cheer competition. There was no real motivation for her to be staring now, at least she told herself, and any kind of alternative, what it could mean, frightened her.

She pretended to be looking out at the Ocean, and didn't turn back until she heard Brittany's voice and felt a solo cup being pressed against her arm, causing her to jump a little.

“It's beautiful isn't it?”

Quinn nodded. If only Brittany knew what Quinn had been looking at moments earlier.

“We'll have plenty of time to stare at it later on, come on, I'll introduce you to everyone!”

She grabbed the cup that was being offered to her and took a sip before nodding, following Brittany with one last glance towards the water.

The night was still young a few hours and a couple of rum and cokes later, but already Quinn could tell most of the people were drunk. She briefly reflected on the fact that a bunch of inebriated teenagers on a spit of sand caught between the pacific ocean and several, huge, fires screamed every possible hazard she could think of, but somehow there hadn't been any deaths or significant injuries to report. Quinn herself had no real reason to be worried, she wasn't actually drunk. When she'd started making her own drinks she made sure to put as little rum as possible. She wanted to stay tipsy, just enough to be loose-tongued and congenial, while keeping a good grip on herself so as not to get sloppy. She'd met a few people throughout the evening thus far- Seth, Marissa, Ryan to name but a few. She was already weeding out the obvious dorks and working her way through the local high school social structure. One thing was clear though: Brittany was on top.

With that in mind, Quinn went wandering, looking for the surfer girl, who was, as Quinn had correctly suspected, the horse to bet on for a popularity payout. She found her further away from the fires, sitting in the sand alone, looking out to the Pacific ocean. Quinn sank down beside her, offering a barely audible “hey”, to which Brittany smiled and replied “having fun?” Quinn looked at Brittany's profile, the way the moonlight was hitting her face, with the glow of the fire coming in from behind them. There was something almost surreal about the girl and her mind vagabonded for a few seconds before she gained back her grip on it, nodding.

“Yeah, thanks for inviting me.”

Brittany turned to look at her, studying her without any trace of judgment.

“Why aren't you still back there making some friends then?”

Quinn's lips parted in surprise stammering a reply before her brain could filter it.

“Because I like you the best.”

She bit her lip automatically and closed her eyes, instantly regretting those words, and mentally kicking herself. Her mind started playing the sentence in a loop, as if to rub in exactly just how it sounded.

“Can I kiss you?”

Her eyes snapped back right open, her eyebrows so high on her forehead they looked like they were about to take off. Of all the reactions, that was the one that she had least expected. Brittany burst out laughing.

“Don't look so surprised! Hasn't your mother ever taught you that kisses make everything all better?”

At that point, Quinn was thankful for the darkness, hiding the blush that was heating up the skin of her cheeks and on her neck.

“Well I- it's just, I thought those were for booboos and bandaids.”

“Nonsense, kisses are good for everything.”

“Well, where do you kiss when it's the heart that hurts?”

“Right, here...”

Brittany leaned in and Quinn froze like a deer in the headlights, as her mind tried to deny the signals that her eyes were sending, about how Brittany was getting dangerously close, and... Oh. Her lips were incredibly soft against hers, and maybe it was the alcohol but suddenly her chest felt warm, her heart pounding against her rib cage. It felt nice. Real nice. And somehow completely different than any kiss Quinn had ever experienced before, there was something so light, so free about it. Maybe it was due to the fact it was completely spontaneous, unmotivated by any sense of obligation, entirely devoid of any kind of obligation. She found herself lost in the moment, soaking in every single second with her body and her heart, rather than her mind for once.

Brittany encircled her waist with her strong arm, and Quinn could feel the years of surfing inside it as it brought their bodies closer and held her safe. Safe. Why did the words safety and security keep coming back? Brittany must have felt her inner interrogation because she pulled away, whispering in the softest, most soothing voice Quinn had ever heard.

“Hey, it's okay, you're okay. Why don't we take a walk?”

Quinn could only nod silently, as they rose up to their feet. She looked out to the Ocean yet again. She'd only been there for four days, but it seemed to have become a recurring theme, and as she was pondering this she didn't anticipate the delicate tickling of fingers on her palm, Brittany reaching for her hand. It startled her but only for a moment, as she allowed their fingers to be laced. She didn't know why she allowed it either, and she wasn't just talking about the hand holding. Her brain felt muddled, and she hated herself for having taken any alcohol at all, it made her thoughts less clear, less concise... But maybe that was exactly what she needed. She'd rather not think of what had just happened, and what was happening as they walked out along the beach, each step taking them further away from the fires and the people, until the voices were so faint that the sound of the waves lapping against the sand drowned them out.

They walked this way in silence and oddly enough the incessantly agitated thoughts in Quinn's head seemed quelled. There was something about Brittany that was so mysterious and yet incredibly simple and that very much felt like it was rubbing off on to her. She glanced up at her... friend now, she supposed and smiled. Things were not going according to plan. At all. But she wasn't so sure that was such a bad thing. It felt like in a day, so many things in her world seemed unsure now, and as unsettling as it was, she couldn't seem to choke out the optimistic glow inside of herself. It was going to make her reevaluate a whole lot but right now? Right now, Quinn just wanted to enjoy the moment. For the first time in what seemed like forever, she was enjoying the moment, the company, herself- just that, with no ulterior motives or agendas. No acts.

“Hey, Brittany?”


“Thank you.”

The End.


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