Title: Safe
Author: overthetiber
Feedback address: overthetiber@gmail.com
Date in Calendar: 16 June 2010
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Mercedes/Quinn
Rating: PG
Word Count: 937
Summary: Quinn can’t sleep.
Spoilers: Up to 1.21, “Funk.”
Warnings: underage pairing, no sex
Archive: link pls
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD10

Disclaimer: "Glee", the characters and situations depicted are the property of Ryan Murphy Productions, Twentieth Century Fox Television, and Fox Network. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "Glee", Fox, or any representatives of the actors.


Quinn Fabray has a secret, and it is this: For most of her elementary school career, she suffered from chronic insomnia. Almost every night, no matter how many pages of the phonebook she read, cups of chamomile tea she drank, or prayers she said, she’d end up creeping into her parents’ or sister’s bed. Cuddled next to another person, close enough to feel the simple rhythm of their breathing, was the only way she could feel safe enough to fall asleep.

Quinn has slept alone for years now. But one night at Mercedes’ house finds her jittery, restless. She sits on the bed’s edge. She gets up, paces the room, and throws herself back into bed, only to rise and pace again. Around two in the morning, too scared and tired to worry about her dignity, she goes into Mercedes’ room.

The door creaks gently behind her. Mercedes’ back is to her, half-draped with a sheet. Her blankets have been kicked onto the floor. There’s a light buzzing sound, kind of like an electric toothbrush on low frequency, which Quinn at first can’t place; then she realizes Mercedes is snoring.

Quinn tiptoes to her side, nudges her shoulder. “Mercedes,” she husks.

The snoring stops with a kind of choked-off snort, and Mercedes rolls over sluggishly and raises herself up on her elbow. “Quinn? What are you doing up, girl?”

Quinn just stands there, fighting embarrassment. When Mercedes sighs and starts to roll back over, she bursts out, “I can’t sleep.”

“Are you sick? The baby?” Mercedes’ voice, though slow and drowsy, carries a clear note of concern.

“No, it’s not that. I just… Can I sleep with you?”

Mercedes is silent. For a moment, Quinn thinks she’s crossed the line. She’s debating whether to apologize tomorrow or pretend it never happened when Mercedes says, “Yeah, sure.”

Quinn’s not sure she heard right, but Mercedes is scooting over to make room for her, saying, “I’m guessing you wanna be big spoon?” And the bed smells like her (this should have been a warning, she remembered what Mercedes smelled like), and she’s warm and living and kind. Quinn climbs in and shuts her eyes.


Quinn has never had a friend like Mercedes. Not a black friend (though it wouldn’t be surprising, in a town as white as Lima), but a friend she considers an equal. Well, okay, Santana is Quinn’s equal. But they compete so much—over who gets Puck, the head cheerleader position, the first spot on the Glist—that they can’t really be friends. Brittany is a friend, a dim, sweet friend, and that’s just it. Quinn needs someone whose brain can hold thoughts besides those concerning ducks and cunnilingus. The other Cheerios (Kurt excepted) either fear or resent her.

Or maybe it’s that everyone wants something from her. Finn, Puck, even Rachel Berry. Her parents, Coach Sylvester, Mr. Shue. They pressure her, mold her with their conflicting desires. Quinn has tried to be what everyone wants. It never works.

Mercedes doesn’t want anything from Quinn, except what Quinn’s willing to give.


At breakfast, while her parents are occupied, Mercedes turns casually to Quinn and requests that she tie her hair in front, if she’s going to be sleeping with her.

“No offense, but your hair gel tastes like pony beads.”

“I mean!” she adds, watching Quinn’s expression switch from quizzical to vaguely insulted. “It works, right, but it tastes really bad.”


Quinn buys Mercedes a pack of nasal strips.


Apparently, Quinn snores, too. Sometimes. Maybe. A little.

Mercedes mentions it offhandedly at lunch, and everyone stares before Artie jokes that Beth is taking control of Quinn’s unconscious body to signal an alien fleet. Then he, Quinn, and Tina hash out the minutiae of such a scenario for a good fifteen minutes, Mercedes and Kurt trading disbelieving looks all the while. The lunch bell rings before anyone wonders how Mercedes would know.


They’re spending too much time together. Even Puck makes a joke about sisters doing it for themselves, which she would have disregarded as his usual buffoonery if he hadn’t approached her later to gauge the possibility of a threesome.

It was comfortable, but it’s starting to feel…strange.


Finally, one night, it’s too much. School is tomorrow, Beth is behaving, but Quinn can’t sleep.

She lies there, feeling Mercedes’ presence with dreadful acuity. Each brush of their bodies is simultaneously comforting and unnerving, good and painful, like scratching a bug bite.

Quinn breathes in the sweet, musky scent of the oil Mercedes has been using since Kurt and Tina “naturalized” her curls for the reggae number they did a while ago. Beneath, she can smell sweat, soap, girl. It feels like something is spinning inside her chest, like a pocket fan whose battery will never run out.

She whispers, “What are we doing?”

Mercedes’ arm around her goes still. Then she must feel Quinn freeze, because her thumb starts tracing circles on Quinn’s wrist. It’s barely a caress, but it makes her shiver all over.

Mercedes slips her hand over Quinn’s and says, “Whatever we want.”

She shifts, moving out from under Quinn, and Quinn rolls over to face her. They regard each other in the half-darkness. This is familiar, but it feels strange. This is safe, but it feels unsafe.

They kiss. Brief, light. It’s more of a promise than a kiss. But it lets all the tension out of Quinn’s body.

She rests her head under Mercedes’ chin, entwines their fingers over her stomach.

The last thing she remembers before falling asleep is Mercedes smiling into her cheek.