Characters (in order of appearance): Artie Abrams, Kurt Hummel, Quinn Fabray, Finn Hudson, Rachel Berry, Noah Puckerman, Santana Lopez, Tina Cohen-Chang, Mike Chang, Brittany, Mercedes Jones
Summary: Look at the title.
Note: For ipickquinn, my muse or something like that. Oh, and there's a mix that goes with this that will be posted later, also. Joie got impatient.
1) Falling Down; Space Cowboy
I close my eyes and put my back against the wall
Put my glasses on and I don't see no one at all
I'm in my own world and all that I can see is
Girls, girls, girls in the club
Am I rolling?
During some down time in Glee, Fall semester of his Sophomore year, Artie's phone buzzes in his pocket. He does his best to sneakily glance down and push just enough of the screen out of his pocket so he can see what it is. He just got an Android phone and even though he knows he shouldn't be checking it during rehearsal, the novelty of being able to see his emails right then and there is just too tempting still.
Hi, Artie Fa Sho
Captain Fantastic (cheertator) is now following your tweets on Twitter.
A little information about Captain Fantastic:
following 26 people
Artie furrows his brow a bit and slides his phone back into his pocket, then taps Kurt on the shoulder.
"Hey. Quinn just followed me on Twitter. As in right now."
"What? But she's holding hands with Finn right now," Kurt whispers back, wrinkling his nose delicately as though what he just said pained him. "He's got both of her hands. How did she just follow you on Twitter?"
"I don't know," Artie says, confused. "Her display name is 'Captain Fantastic' though."
"Oh, please." Kurt shoots him a look that says he knows more than he does. "More like Captain Sluttastic. Mercedes told me that Puck? Is actually the father of her kid." He pauses, waiting for the words to sink in.
"Oh," Artie says quietly, glancing over at Finn and Quinn. They seem so... happy together. Expectant. "Well, that's too bad. For the baby. I guess for Finn too."
"Maybe he'll need a shoulder to cry on," Kurt muses, still looking over at Finn.
Suddenly, Artie's phone buzzes again.
@artieabrams When do you want to meet for our ballad? PS your screenname is boring.
He looks sharply over at Finn and Quinn again, and this time he gets a glimpse of her tucking her phone back into her backpack and straightening back up.
@cheertator Whenever is good for you. PS: No, it's not.
He comes home to a response waiting for him on his computer.
@artieabrams Oh that's right you probably don't have any plans ever.
@cheertator I'm going to save this and turn you in for electronic bullying.
@artieabrams Lol you wouldn't. ... But let's just meet tomorow after school.
2) That Lady; Isley Brothers
Your eyes tell me to pursue but you say
"Look, yeah, but don't touch"
Something weird happens when they're meeting to rehearse their ballad.
They get through about half of their song ("Quando Quando Quando," the version by Michael Bublé and Nelly Furtado) when all of a sudden Quinn stops and turns to face him, her hands on her hips.
"Do you think I'm pretty?" she asks, almost challengingly.
"Um," Artie says in response. His eyes are kind of at the level of her bump and it's awkward. "Why are you asking me this?" But Quinn says nothing in response to that and he's beginning to get the feeling that she won't start singing again until he answers, so he nods a little, reluctantly. "Yeah, you're, uh pretty, I guess."
Quinn just rolls her eyes. "You sound so convincing," she says derisively, but he kind of gets the feeling that she's a little upset about something. Possibly.
"Sorry," Artie says, then tries to choose his next words carefully. "I guess I don't really feel like I should be looking at you like that. You're dating Finn. Plus you're pregnant."
One of her eyebrows raises, just by itself. "I know I'm pregnant. That's why I'm asking if you think I'm still-- whether you think I'm pretty."
Artie looks around the room helplessly, though he knows it's just them alone and no one will save him from this awkwardness. "You want me to appraise your attractiveness?"
She nods. It's almost businesslike. "Yes."
"And then we can finish our homework?"
Artie sighs and looks her over. She twirls, just a little, while he's watching, and he wonders if it's left over from when she had to perform with the Cheerios. "Yeah," he says, finally. "You're still pretty."
Her voice is cold the next time she speaks, and Artie can't help but think 'oh, back to normal.' "Good. From the top, now."
3) Nice Guys Finish Last; Cobra Starship
You got style, you got grace
You try so hard but she just laughs in your face
You're a nice guy with the wrong attitude
After Sectionals, most of his fellow glee clubbers' Facebook statuses are pretty celebratory. For example:
Rachel Berry While I did singlehandedly carry us when we thought all was lost (though I NEVER gave up!), I must give thanks to my dazzling fellow Glee clubbers. No one can rain on our parade! Things are looking up for everyone!
(12 like this)
While Artie is busy laughing to himself about how Rachel liked her own Facebook status, he can't help but notice that a few of the statuses are decidedly dreary.
Noah Puckerman fuck friends all i needs my bitches
(Santana Lopez call me <3)
Quinn Fabray I am not your ~bitch.
Finn Hudson so alone rite now
(Rachel Berry DISLIKE)
Artie decides to stay out of this. Clearly Quinn has issues, anyway, if she'd rather pick a jerk like Puck over a nice guy like Finn.
4) In My Head; Jason Derulo
You'll be screaming out in my head
It's going down
It's March and Artie is still dating Tina when he has his first dream about Quinn. He wakes up sweating, his sheets damp (though not from that; apparently his subconscious, even when asleep, can't let go), and breathing heavily. He doesn't even remember what he was dreaming about, but he knows it's enough to feel guilty. He picks up his phone, even though it's the middle of the night, and writes a tweet for her to see in the morning.
@tina_tvs Excited to see you in the morning. :)
And he shouldn't feel like a jerk about it, right? It's not like it's true. His subconscious decided to just mess with him.
5) Goodnight & Go; Imogen Heap
Must you make me laugh so much?
It's bad enough we get along so well
Quinn kind of becomes MIA, even in the world of social media, after the baby. Artie wouldn't have actually noticed if Tina hadn't mentioned that Quinn changed her profile picture to something decidedly pre-Babygate at the end of June, while they were hanging out and watching Zombieland, but he's suddenly wondering how she is and whether she's okay.
@cheertator Do you still use this thing?
He gets a response about a week later:
@artieabrams Are you stalking me?
He wonders why he's surprised. Even though Quinn had gotten a lot nicer second semester, she was still Quinn Fabray. What legitimately does shock him, though, is when Tina jumps into the fray.
@cheertator you wish /cc @artieabrams
@tina_tvs @artieabrams Actually I think I'm okay without that.
And then it just becomes Twitter chaos for a little bit.
@cheertator @tina_tvs I think cyberspace would be a happier place if we all just got along.
@artieabrams @tina_tvs Cyberspace? Really?
@cheertator @tina_tvs You stay classy.
@artieabrams @tina_tvs .... San Diego?
@cheertator @tina_tvs OMG I LOVE THAT MOVIE.
@artieabrams @tina_tvs Me too!
He hasn't noticed Tina hasn't been saying anything until he hits refresh and her icon pops up.
@cheertator @artieabrams wtf you leave to go do the dishes and there's talk of san diego?
Later that evening, though, Artie checks his email and finds this:
Drink it in, it always goes down smooth.
Direct message from Quinn (@cheertator) to you (@artieabrams) on June 27, 10:50 PM.
6) Ship Lost At Sea; Phantom Planet
Lost in a page, lost for an age
I could be your bonfire and you could be my ship lost at sea
It's the middle of July when everything starts changing. Really changing. As people notice the new relationship status, more posts start appearing on Artie's wall but if he deletes them people will know that he's upset.
Finn Hudson yo dude i cant believe tina broke up with u i kno how it feels
(Artie Abrams Thanks, Finn, but I'd really rather not talk about it. Especially on Facebook.)
Mike Chang still bros?
Mike Chang dude?
Mike Chang sorry
Brittany have a picture of a kitten!
Quinn Fabray I'm boycotting high school relationships. Care to join me?
(Finn Hudson what)
(Noah Puckerman what)
(Finn Hudson yo dude u stole my response)
(Rachel Berry FINN WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE ON A ROMANTIC NIGHT IN WHY ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK)
(Finn Hudson why r U on facebook)
(Artie Abrams Please stop invading my Facebook.)
(Artie Abrams Also, yeah, I'm down.)
8) Crush'd; Say Anything
I feel alive tonight, the possibility
That I'm your guy
Though I suffer from dyslexia, mild manorexia
And my hair cannot commit to one genre of popular music
Artie still doesn't know how they got to this point, but every so often he has to look up at Quinn just to make sure that this is really happening. She is in his room on a suffocatingly hot August afternoon, flipping through CDs and talking avidly about when she was researching for the funk assignment and listened to clips of all this stuff on Amazon and she actually really really liked it. Every so often Artie leans over and points out a track that she has to hear, then navigates to it in iTunes and cues it up.
He insists that she listen to the music with his big headphones, the ones that are entirely over-ear. She whined at first about how it'd mess up her hair but after he rolled his eyes at her she gave in and put them on, her mouth dropping open a little the first time he put George Clinton on. When she put her hand on his arm to comment on how the song was totally legit, he swore that he could feel the vibration of the music running through her and onto him.
Or at least, he could if that were possible.
An hour or so later, Quinn takes the headphones off and smiles at him, saying something about how it's past lunch time and she didn't mean to stay this long.
Artie nods a little, feeling bad for having kept her. "Yeah, I mean, you probably have other things--"
"Do you want to go get something to eat, maybe?" she interrupts, his headphones still in her hands.
Artie, to be perfectly honest, is completely unprepared for this. He stammers a little, suavely, then says, "Yeah."
He likes her.
7) Got My Mind Set On You; George Harrison
I got my mind set on you
And this time I know it's real
The feeling that I feel
By the time that school's starting again, Artie has gathered enough strength to face Tina and Mike in the hallways and at Glee. It helps that Quinn is actually legitimately his friend now, somehow.
(Texts From Last Night:
419: So I guess we have History together this year?
419-1: Bright and early... :/
419: Pickett's such a boring teacher though. What did we do to deserve this?
419-1: At least you won't be alone
419: Yeah, I guess not. We're friends, right?
419: That was stupid.
419: I didn't mean to send that.
419-1: I've seen your phone and I'm pretty sure it takes deliberate effort to hit that send button
419-1: And yes
419: Yes what? :(
419-1: Yes we're friends
And it turns out that History isn't so bad, even if Pickett does drone on and on and his chalkboard handwriting is tiny and Artie can barely read it, even with his glasses on and him working a good squint behind the lenses. Quinn, next to him, yawns a lot and writes notes in the margins of his textbook when she's especially bored but otherwise she's actually a pretty good class partner to have a lot of the time.
She comes over one Tuesday night to study for their midterm, and they get enough done in the first hour for Artie to allow them both an extended break of 45 minutes as opposed to just 35. Quinn rolls her eyes and pulls out a bag of Oreos, setting them on the kitchen table, and reaches for a cookie.
"Do you think we have a chance this year?" she asks as she twists the halves apart and starts scraping out the cream.
Artie pauses for a moment to watch her lick it off one of the chocolate biscuits. "You mean this midterm? It's not too bad. I just always get the--"
"I mean in Glee," she says quickly, to stop him from rambling. "I'm not good at losing."
"Well, no one likes losing," Artie says, reaching for an Oreo as well.
Quinn is silent for a little while. "I don't know how you coped for so long. Letting everyone treat you like they used to."
He looks up at her, surprised by the serious turn of conversation. "I didn't really have any other options. And it was okay in the end. Things got better."
"Look, I'm not good at stuff like this. Talking about emotions," she continues, and he's even more surprised this time to see that she looks genuinely uncomfortable. Almost like she's worried about saying the wrong thing. "I know I was a bitch last year."
"A little bit during the summer, too," Artie can't help but add, smiling over at her, but all of his other little comments are practically choked out of him by the next thing she says.
"I think I kind of. I like you," she says. He genuinely can't tell if she's joking or not, but she can probably sense the confusion he's feeling because she adds, "Really."
"Thank you?" Artie says, because he has absolutely nothing else, he's so stunned.
9) The Coffee Cart Gamble; The Monster Goes Rawrr
Let's take this slowly-- let's speed it up before we get let down
You'll never know me but if we don't start now
We're never gonna find out
"We should just start studying again," Quinn says after a moment, blushing. She puts her last Oreo in her mouth and opens her textbook again, flipping to where they'd last left off.
"Yeah," he agrees, kind of dumbly, and follows suit.
They stare respectively at their books for a few minutes before Quinn talks again, and this time she's mad. "Seriously? 'Thank you'? What the hell, Abrams? Who says that when someone says they like you?"
"I was being appreciative," Artie says, defensively. "I could've been like, 'get out of my house.' But I didn't. I was polite."
"Screw politeness," she says, forcefully. "Can we just settle this? Either you like me or you don't like me. I don't usually do this kind of thing. I don't know why I even tried to for you."
That gets his attention. "What do you mean by that?" he asks, eyes narrowing a little.
She shoots him a look that basically tells him that he's an idiot. "I'm Quinn Fabray," she says, by means of explanation.
"Yeah. I know who you are," Artie says, blankly.
"I don't just go after guys. They go after me and I decide how I feel about it." She says this like it's no big deal and it's infuriating, how completely smug it is. "Especially a guy like you."
"Oh. Excuse me? What does that mean?" Artie's getting really mad now by this point. He's never felt like this before, actually, like there's so much energy and he doesn't know how to get it out of him but he has to otherwise he'll go insane, so he starts wheeling back and forth a little bit while he tries to figure out what else to say to her.
Fortunately, though, Quinn has the gall to realize that she probably shouldn't have said it like that. "I just mean that... You're different. Good different," she says then, her voice a little quieter.
"I'd better be 'good different,'" Artie says, though, mostly to himself.
She makes eye contact with him, even though he's still kind of pacing a little next to the table. "You are."
And then all of a sudden they're kissing. He's not sure how this happened either. All he could remember was that he was still wheeling back and forth and then Quinn was leaning in and it was even better than he'd imagined. She's hesitant at first, waiting for him to stop moving himself around, but when he finally takes his hands off the wheels and places them on her waist it's like he's been waiting for this all his life.
Well, since he's been wanting to kiss girls, anyway.
10) Lucky Star; Madonna
You may be my lucky star
But I'm the luckiest by far
A few days later, Artie logs into Facebook and is welcomed by the little red badge saying he's got Notifications to view. He clicks on his Profile and waits for it to load.
Artie Abrams and Quinn Fabray are now in a relationship.
(Finn Hudson what
Noah Puckerman what
Mercedes Jones get it grrl!
Quinn Fabray Oh, I will.)
He grins, then decides to add a comment of his own--
(Artie Abrams Yeah she will.)
-- before closing his computer and wheeling back out to his living room, figuring he'd had enough social media lately to last him a while.
"I was wondering where you were," Quinn says from the couch as he positions himself next to it and transfers himself out and on. He scoots closer and reaches for her hand. "I cued it up right to the beginning of the yazz flute. Ready?"
"Born ready," he says, and hits play.