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Chapter Title: Hummled
Disclaimer: Fox owns the Glee money making machine and RBI came up with the original show idea. Still not mine.
Pairing/Characters: Quinn/Rachel, Santana/Brittany, others mentioned.
When/Where: AU. Post Opening night (by several weeks).
Note: Still AU season 3 (and now 4). I'm finding it harder to do these long form ficlets for this story. This one has too much introspective Quinn in it. Yes, I've fallen behind. I'll try to catch up before NaNoWriMo starts but no promises.
Word Count: 1,307 (3 of ?)

Stepping out of the elevator, Quinn cautiously approached her office. She'd been in one meeting after another with the mayor's office all morning, doing her least favorite part of her job, dealing with politicians and the City Planning Commission. It wasn't her job to stop development in the city but at least once a month she had to fight for more time to document a historic site before contractors and their crews, bulldozers and shovels destroyed it.

Today had been more successful than most. She'd finally convinced the right people that it would go a lot faster if she could hire some help, though she suspected the budget the Mayor's Office would give her would barely cover the cost of an intern or two. But it was still progress.

On her way back, when she'd stopped to pick up a sandwich, Dave had txt'd her a warning that Kurt was waiting for her at the office, though he hadn't given her many details - something about a dress and a picture of her on some gossip blog, but it was enough that she was tempted to stay out in the city for the rest of the day. If Rachel hadn't been busy at the theatre and everything she needed for field work had not been in her desk she would have just kept going. There was an old theater down by the wharf that was right in the middle of a planned mall she'd been meaning to look at.

But this was just Kurt, she reminded herself, as she firmly opened the door. She was dating, living with in fact, one high maintenance diva. She could handle Kurt. On a scale of one to Rachel Berry, he barely counted as a minor annoyance.

Nodding to Dave, she strolled casually to her desk, ignoring Kurt sitting on the leather sofa next to the door. Placing her lunch on one corner, she pulled several folders out of her bag and put them in her desk.

"Lucy, you have some 'splaining to do," Kurt said, shaking a finger at her, his voice a bad imitation of Ricky Ricardo.

"I don't need to explain anything," she told him dismissively, placing several paper napkins on her desk. Opening the brown paper bag, she removed her sandwich, a small bag of Doritos, and a juice box. Holding up the chips, she waved them at Dave. At his nod, she tossed them to him across the room.

Unwrapping the sandwich, she took a bite before placing it in the middle of one of the napkins.

"I was preparing to come to see you about your dress last week," he began, "when I ran across this little gem." Reaching into his man-bag, he pulled out a large piece of paper and handed it to her.

Raising an eyebrow, she took the paper. It was a print-out from some fashion blog, she assumed. Taking up half the page was a photo of herself, Brittany, and Santana, about to enter the theater. "And?" she said.

"Read the fine print," he said smugly.

"Blah, blah, nice dress from up and coming designer Kurt Hummel, blah," Quinn muttered.

"We do need to discuss the dress, but look closer," he said, smirking.

"Lucy Q, and friends go to girlfriend Rachel Berry's opening night on Broadway!" Quinn read. Shaking her head, Quinn took another bite of sandwich, trying to appear calm. "Not sure what you want me to say," she said, licking the tips of her fingers before wiping them with a napkin.

"I did some research on this Lucy Q," he told her, giving her a smirk. "Since you seem to be keeping your little foray into the clutches of Hugh Hefner's evil empire a secret, I thought you could do me a small favor."

"There's no big secret," Quinn said, shaking her head. "I had my reasons for using an alias. Besides, it was years ago and the people who matter do know about it. No one else cares," she added, hoping it would stop him.

"I'm hurt you didn't think I could be trusted with this secret, but I can work with that," Kurt said, giving her a faux frown. "But you still owe me a favor."

"What kind of favor," Quinn asked, glaring at him in passing, as she got up to throw the remains of her lunch away.

"The dress."

"What about it," Quinn said.

"Runway does this feature every quarter on new faces in fashion, on their website, and I've been asked to contribute," he said.

"What does that have to do with me?" Quinn asked, suspiciously.

"Miranda Priestly wants to feature the dress you wore to Rachel's opening night," he said.

"You can have the dress back," Quinn said.

"She would also like to use your sketch," Kurt said. "And she'll let me pick my own model."

"I gave you the sketch," Quinn said. "Do whatever you want with it."

Kurt nodded. Reaching back into his bag, he pulled out a folder and handed it to her. Opening it up, she saw what looked like a standard model release form, and her original sketch.

"What I want, is for you to model the dress as Lucy Q," Kurt said, "and give me first dibs on any future designs."

"Find someone else to wear the dress," Quinn said firmly. "And I just gave you the sketch. Do whatever you want with it."

"I can't do that," Kurt said, shaking his head. "I know we aren't really friends, and don't argue about that," he added, waving a hand in dismissal. "The only thing we agree on is how special Rachel is. This dress is something different. I'm good but I couldn't have come up with it on my own. It has a flare that's you, not me."

"I'm not a designer," Quinn said. "I'm a historian."

"And underneath all that educated, professional exterior, you're still Quinn Fabray, Head Cheerio, and Sue Sylvester protege," Kurt told.

"What does that even mean?" Quinn asked, frowning at the smirk Dave gave her before going back to his own lunch.

"Everything you do is about control," Kurt said. "Doing this will give you one more thing about Rachel that you can control. Once she sees what I can do with your designs she won't wear anything else. Besides, I told Miranda that the dress was a collaboration."

"I don't control Rachel!" Quinn protested. "Have you met the woman?"

"I've been there for THE woman," Kurt said, shaking his head. "While you were off proving whatever it was you were trying to prove with that Lucy Q stunt, I was there for all of the heartbreak Finn put her through when she started NYADA. All the midnight breakdowns when some two-bit has-been stomped all over her dreams. She's my best friend. Who are you?"

Quinn stared at him, unable to think of a comeback. She wasn't that controlling, was she? That Quinn was buried at sea, cremated, and locked in Azkaban, long before she set foot out of Lima. Wasn't she?

"I thought so," Kurt said. "Rachel's show hasn't been on Broadway long enough for any Tony noms, but a little bird told me that she might be asked to do something that night, so she'll need another dress. I'll want sketches for dresses for both of you."


"No arguments," he said, "Sign on the dotted."
After she grudgingly signed the release form, Kurt grabbed the folder from her desk and put it back in his bag.

"You have a month," he said. Nodding to Dave, he squared his shoulders and slipped out of their office.

"What just happened?" Quinn said, staring at the closed door in disbelief.

"You just got Hummled," Dave said, laughing and ducking the wadded up ball of paper she threw at him.


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