Scars of Truth

Rachel hasn't been at school for a whole week. Santana, Quinn, and Brittany are worried. What will happen when the glee club decides to go looking for her. Faberittana.

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1. Where is Rachel?

The branches swayed and shifted, hanging over the body. Leaves skittered across the browning grass and if you listened closely, you could hear birds rustling in their nests.

The sound of town traffic buzzed in the background, the sound swelling with each gust of wind, like the pulse of the small town. Like the pulse of her, curled on her side in the dirt; the oak looming over her frail, battered body.

She shivered in the wind, her blouse torn and agape, but she had no will to move, let alone tug the parting together. Blood trickled from a small cut below her left eyebrow and another on her cheek, dripping down the side of her face and dripping to the autumn leaves she lay upon.

The crimson melded with the russet colored leaves, sticking them together and forming a bed of nature beneath her. More fell from the twisted, gnarled branches and added to the pile.

One strayed across her cheek, the uncut one, and then continued onwards.
It flowed with the wind; twisting and turning, this way and that, before being swept up into the air.

It was at such a height before it descended, getting caught by a bubbly blonde. She held it carefully, reverently even, and turned it over in her palm.

The sun set it aglow as it passed through when she held it up, and she stared in awe at the beauty of nature. The stem was between her thumb and forefinger, and she span it, watching the light make the colour burst as she skipped to her friend.

"Look at this one, San!" The girl in question huffed, and were it anyone else; she would have torn the leaf from her grasp already.

"Look, Britt, the quicker we find the midget, the sooner we can get out of here. Just give us a hand already." Santana replies.

Leaves and branches crunched as footsteps approached them and they turned to the noise.

"Find her yet, Q?" Santana asks.

"Yes, she's standing right behind me." Sarcasm dripped from her voice as she picked a few small leaves from her short, golden hair. She shook it out and then flicked her head back, her locks falling into perfect place instantly. Worry was etched across her face, her brow dented and furrowed, her vibrant, hazel eyes brimmed with it and her lip trapped tightly between her teeth. Quinn wasn't used to worrying about the girl; it was an unusual but surprisingly comfortable feeling for her.

"Can we get a move on? I've got a life beyond searching for gnomes." Santana groaned despite being just as worried and anxious as her friend. She wasn't stupid. She knew the reasoning behind Quinn's crusade against Rachel, but that meant that she also knew why she joined in.

"We just need to find a pond then, that's where they go, right? My grandma's pond always has gnomes around it." Brittany tells them.

Brittany skipped off through a parting in trees but stopped abruptly. Quinn and Santana called after her, but she didn't move. In panic, they ran to her but stopped just the same as they caught sight of what she saw.

XXXXXXXX

Earlier with the Glee Club.

She wasn't there. Again. Her seat in the front was empty, and for the third day running, no-one noticed. No-one asked where she was, or why she wasn't here. No-one.

Quinn squirmed in her seat, anxious to leave.

'You don't care, Quinn. She doesn't matter.' Quinn thinks to herself.

Seeing that seat empty was slightly nerve-wracking. Not even the day of seven slushies kept Rachel away from Glee; and she had swollen and puffy eyes from the cornstarch, so swollen that it looked as if she had been infected with something. She shouldn't be surprised, to be honest, no-one had questioned her then either. No-one has even asked if she was alright.

'Not that you care, right? Right. I don't care. Just look forward, don't look around, don't think about her. Focus.' Quinn thinks to herself.

Her eyes drifted to the chair again and her stomach clenched painfully.

'What if something's wrong?' Quinn thinks to herself.

"Okay, guys! Let's see what you've got. Who's going first?" Silence. This would be where she would butt in. She would thrust her hand in the air and be out of her seat before Schuester even called her name. Mercedes would roll her eyes, Santana would huff and shift in her seat and Kurt would pick at his nails.

'But what would you do? Wait, don't answer that.' Quinn thinks to herself.

But she wasn't there. There was just silence.

"Rachel?" Schuester hadn't even raised his head from the sheet music it was immersed in. When there was no reply, he raised it. "Rachel?" Everyone turned and looked over every seat. "Where's Rachel, guys?"

No one had an answer for him. No-one cared enough to ask after the girl the first day, and no more cared the fourth. Her loud, obnoxious attitude had been ignored for so long, that when it wasn't there, it didn't even register. Quinn felt the guilt wash over her as she realized that she was one of them. She hadn't bothered to go looking for the diva when she hadn't shown up on Monday, and she was just as bad as the others. Schuester went to his laptop and flicked it open, pulling up her student files from the school network.

"Has anyone seen her all week?" No answers.

'What a surprise.' Quinn thinks to herself.

"Wasn't she here last Glee meeting? I could've sworn she did a cover of Dido." Mercedes says.

"No, that was last week. Didn't she do Adele?" Kurt replies.

"I thought she did Colbie Caillat." Artie answers.

'She didn't do any of that. She wasn't here.' Quinn thinks to herself.

"She's not attended all this week. No-one's heard from her?" Everyone shook their heads, Quinn's shook in shame. It was Brittany that spoke up about it though.

"Why would we? None of us even know her number."

'I do. I've had it memorized since she put it on that sheet before we went to New York.' Quinn thinks to herself.

Mr Schuester grabbed his own phone and typed in the numbers he read from the laptop screen.
"Rachel! Oh…" He flipped the phone shut. "Just voicemail. Look, this Glee club meeting is cancelled until we find our captain." A chorus of groans rung out, but Quinn couldn't bear to join in.

'Did I do something to force her away? I don't remember even talking to her on Friday.' Quinn thinks to herself.

"Everyone get into a car, we're going on a school trip." Schuester says to the group who all groan.

They all drove in a convoy and parked in line out side her house.

'Her car is here.' Santana thinks to herself.

Will knocked at the door, but there was no answer. He kept knocking and asked gave his phone to Tina, asking her to keep calling. 'Something's wrong.' Quinn thinks to herself

A sharp tugging at her arm made Quinn turn. Brittany was pulling her to the side and down the path running the length of the house. She opened the side gate as Santana saw them and followed, the three walking into her back garden.

The branches swayed and shifted, hanging over the body. Leaves skittered across the browning grass and if you listened closely, you could hear birds rustling in their nests.

The sound of town traffic buzzed in the background, the sound swelling with each gust of wind, like the pulse of the small town. Like the pulse of her, curled on her side in the dirt; the oak looming over her frail, battered body.

She shivered in the wind, her blouse torn and agape, but she had no will to move, let alone tug the parting together. Blood trickled from a small cut below her left eyebrow and another on her cheek, dripping down the side of her face and dripping to the autumn leaves she lay upon.

The crimson melded with the russet colored leaves, sticking them together and forming a bed of nature beneath her. More fell from the twisted, gnarled branches and added to the pile. One strayed across her cheek, the uncut one, and then continued onwards.
It flowed with the wind; twisting and turning, this way and that, before being swept up into the air.

It was at such a height before it descended, getting caught by a bubbly blonde. She held it carefully, reverently even, and turned it over in her palm. The sun set it aglow as it passed through when she held it up, and she stared in awe at the beauty of nature.

The stem was between her thumb and forefinger, and she span it, watching the light make the color burst as she skipped to her friend.

"Look at this one, San!" The girl in question huffed, and were it anyone else; she would have torn the leaf from her grasp already.

"Look, Britt, the quicker we find the midget, the sooner we can get out of here. Just give us a hand already."
Leaves and branches crunched as footsteps approached them and they turned to the noise.

"Find her yet, Q?" Santana asks.

"Yes, she's standing right behind me." Sarcasm dripped from her voice as she picked a few small leaves from her short, golden hair. She shook it out and then flicked her head back, her locks falling into perfect place instantly. Worry was etched across her face, her brow dented and furrowed, her vibrant, hazel eyes brimmed with it and her lip trapped tightly between her teeth. Quinn wasn't used to worrying about the girl; it was an unusual but surprisingly comfortable feeling for her.

"Can we get a move on? I've got a life beyond searching for gnomes." Santana groaned despite being just as worried and anxious as her friend. She wasn't stupid. She knew the reasoning behind Quinn's crusade against Rachel, but that meant that she also knew why she joined in.

"We just need to find a pond then, that's where they go, right? My grandma's pond always has gnomes around it." Brittany says.

Brittany skipped off through a parting in trees but stopped abruptly. Quinn and Santana called after her, but she didn't move. In panic, they ran to her but stopped just the same as they caught sight of what she saw.

Laying in front of them was the body of one Rachel Berry. She didn't seem to have noticed them until Brittany ran to her body and kneeled down.

" Rachel what happened?" Brittany asks; sad blue eyes bore into scared brown.

" Nothing." Rachel replied in such a quiet voice you wouldn't have heard if you weren't close enough.

" Fuck, Berry this ain't nothin'." Santana growled as her and Quinn kneeled next to Brittany.

" I don't want to talk about it. Please I just want to take a nice warm bath but I can't stand up." Rachel mumbled.

" Okay I will help you." Brittany said as she stood up and lifted Rachel bridal style and carried her back through the woods and to her back door.

Opening the door she followed Santana and Quinn into the house and up the stairs to Rachel's bedroom.

" Is everyone here?" Rachel asked in such a small voice that Santana's face softened.

" Yeah they are Rachel." Santana answered.

" Please make them leave." Was all she got in reply as Brittany carried Rachel into her bathroom and started a warm bath.

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