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Young Quinn

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Quinn was 12 years old when she first met 8-year-old Rachel.

Quinn first heard about her younger brother's 8 year old friend when Sam came home one day from his music class, raving about his new, very talented friends Rachel and Santana. He wouldn't stop telling everyone who wanted to listen—and even those who don't, specifically Quinn—that his new friends were "nice and cool and funny."

During the summer, their parents wanted the Evans-Fabray kids to excel in extracurricular activities. Sam was enrolled in guitar classes at the local music center. Their youngest, Brittany, was enrolled in dance classes, while Quinn was busy with junior cheer camp.

From what Quinn heard from Sam's animatedly long narrations over dinner, his friend Santana was enrolled in piano lessons while his other friend Rachel frequently helped Sam with his guitar and Santana with her piano. She deduced that, maybe, this Rachel was one of those kid prodigies featured on TV shows or milk commercials who was really good with musical stuff. Quinn also presumed that this Rachel probably did not need lessons but were enrolled anyway because her parents are busy or she had no friends or she had nothing else better to do.

So when Quinn saw a small brunette girl in a short skirt, a sweater with deers on the front, long socks and Mary Janes sitting at their kitchen table hunched over a notebook, she presumed that this girl was one of Sam's new friends.

I bet this is the musical kid freak, she mused to herself.

As Quinn walked towards the girl, she realized that the girl was focused on writing in her notebook. She did not even hear Quinn come closer.

This is gonna be fun.

Quinn sat on the stool opposite the girl. Still, the girl did not budge. She leaned closer and rested her chin on the palm of her hand, with her elbow on the table. Still, no reaction. She cleared her throat. Finally, the girl looked up. Surprise registered on the little girl's face—her eyes widened and mouth agape. "Hi."

Quinn smirked at the girl's reaction. "Who are you? What are you doing in my house?" she asked, although she knows the answer.

"I… I'm Sam's friend." The girl was obviously nervous. Quinn realized that she liked making people nervous of her presence.

"Sam?" she feigned ignorance.

"Um..." The girl looked around, trying to find an indication that her friend lived here. "He lives here. He's-- he went upstairs to get his guitar and music sheets."

Quinn hummed in response. "What's your name?"

The girl smiled a little; finally hearing a question she knew the answer to. "Hi, my name is Rachel Berry. You can call me Rachel."

"Hmm. Berry like the fruit?"

Rachel nodded eagerly. "Are you Sam's sister?"

Quinn did not answer. She wanted to tease this girl, who was clearly afraid her for one reason or another.

"You have the same eyes," she added.

Quinn raised an eyebrow.

"You must be Quinn," she added further.

"How'd you know my name?"

Rachel, explained, self consciously, "Sam told me he's a middle child and has two sisters, Quinn and Brittany. He said the older one is named Quinn and the younger, Britt—"

"So you think I'm old?" Quinn asked, sounding hurt. She wasn't; she was just playing with Rachel.

Rachel, predictably, became defensive and apologetic. "No, of course not. It's just that you seem… taller than Sam, so I assumed you're…"

"I think most people are taller than you Rachel. Even Britt." Quinn chuckled.

Rachel pouted. She sat up straighter, and replied defiantly, "I beg to disagree. I am merely a late bloomer. I believe I will be as tall as my peers when I grow older."

Was this girl for real? Quinn couldn't believe her ears. Never had she met an eight year old who stood up to her before, and who spoke like an adult. This made her more curious. She asked, "What class are you enrolled in?"

"I am not enrolled." Her attention was focused on her notebook again. It was as if the notebook was more worthy of Rachel's time than Quinn. This irritated her further.

"What did you say?"

Rachel closed her notebook with a little slam that made Quinn inwardly cringe a little. "My dad teaches the classes. We own the studio. What's it to you?"

The girl was obviously pissed, and Quinn was amused. It's always fun to tease kids with short tempers.

Quinn shrugged as a reply. "I'm just curious about my brother's friends."

Rachel went back to writing furiously on her notebook, deciding to ignore Sam's annoying older sister. She wondered, what is taking Sam so long?

She heard Quinn ask. "How old are you?"

She sighed, and whispered without looking up, "Eight."

"Oh." She sounded amused to Rachel.

"You're shorter than most eight year olds," Quinn said, with a chuckle. She did not mean to be rude to Rachel. She was only stating a fact.

Rachel finally looked up at Quinn with fire in her eyes. "You're the meanest 12-year-old I know!" Her voice was a little louder, and it cracked a little because of anger.

Oh, someone's mad. Quinn was merely startled; she was not afraid. This was her house after all.

Rachel did not wait for Quinn's retort. She gathered her things—a pencil case and her all-important notebook—and slid off the kitchen stool she was sitting on, and walked away.

That went well, Quinn thought. She smiled. She decided that she'll play with Rachel again.

=====

Everything was fine for Quinn until Sam told their parents over dinner that his irritating older sister scared off his friend Rachel so much that she refused to go to their house to practice their group recital piece. Their parents looked at Quinn with disappointment, and demanded that Quinn, accompanied by Sam, go to Rachel's house to apologize for her behavior.

Quinn tried to reason with them by saying, "I was just making conversation with her!"

"You told her she's shorter than most 8 year olds!" Sam insisted with great emotion that made Quinn's eyes roll.

She was about to stand up to smack his brother on the arm, or the back of his head, or whatever part of his body she could reach but their father was quick to reprimand, "Quinn, enough. You will apologize to Rachel tomorrow. And Sam, say sorry to your sister for raising your voice."

Sam mumbled a soft, "Sorry, Quinn," but Quinn was not happy. She did not want to apologize to Rachel, or to anyone for that matter.

When Sam and Quinn went to the Berry's house the next day, Sam was so excited that he was pulling his sister by the hand skipping.

Quinn complained. "Slow down, Sam!"

"But we have to hurry!" Sam insisted.

Rachel must have heard them because she came out to meet them. She stood by the door, waiting for Quinn and Sam to approach her.

Sam waved when he saw her. "Hi, Rachel. Guess who I brought today?"

Quinn rolled her eyes at her brother's lame attempt at being coy. "I am standing right here, Sam. She can see me."

Sam ignored her, still waiting for Rachel's response.

Rachel gave Sam a small smile but didn't say anything. She did not even look at Quinn's direction.

"Quinn's here to say something," Sam said to Rachel. He seemed too happy and proud of this moment, Quinn observed.

Rachel shyly looked at Quinn.

Quinn rarely apologized. Whenever she did something mean to her siblings, she would do anything to avoid apologizing. She tried to pretend to be the victim, which stopped working as soon Brittany was old enough to learn that trick—consciously or subconsciously—or she cried really hard. But realizing that she cannot do either of that in front of the Berry's door, Quinn relented. She whispered, almost inaudibly, "I'm sorry for yesterday."

Rachel was visibly surprised at her apology. She was so happy that she broke into a smile and hugged Quinn. Her arms were tightly wrapped around Quinn. Her face scrunched up in the crook of Quinn's neck. She whispered, "I forgive you."

Quinn was too surprised to react. She was taken aback by the intensity of Rachel's hug.

Sam was watching the exchange, confident that his sister and his new friend will get along well from here on in.