Disclaimer: I own nothing. All belongs to Glee writers and creators.

Surrender

Christmas lights were hanging from every corner, wrapped around every post, mistletoe in every doorway—even the one to Mr. Schuester's office—the piano was even hanging with garlands and bows. Generic Christmas music was blasting out from the player, the usual tunes they all stopped to sing to once in a while. Red punch, checked twice for alcohol, was in almost every hand, and the glee club was back together again. Milling, talking, laughing, singing, hugging, dressed up in their best, thrilled to be back in the choir room, together again, to tell each other every detail of their lives over the past months of missing each other.

That is, almost everyone was focused attentively on this particular chore.

Quinn Fabray, always the odd one out, had been standing just in the hallway, silhouetted in the door frame with those folded arms, cocked knee, red dress. She'd been talking to a tall man in a business suit with a face to match for the past ten minutes, nodding and shaking her head and sending the loose gold from her bun sliding back and forth over her cheeks and neck as she listened to the man in front of her. Her body seemed to grow more and more rigid with every word that passed his gentle lips. It only took about five minutes for her to decide she couldn't stand looking at his soft, sympathetic grey eyes. Rachel had been keeping track.

As much as she had tried to distance herself from the eavesdropping girl she'd been in high school, Rachel Berry was still Rachel Berry, and on this particular occasion she couldn't help herself. As soon as the man had arrived, quiet and solemn, calming Quinn's radiant smile to the pursed neutrality Rachel had become accustomed to seeing during high school, she hadn't been able to stop looking at the pair. She'd tried to occupy herself, of course. Looking at her fruit punch, the clock, Finn across the room, Mercedes and Kurt talking around her, Mike and Tina close to making babies against the piano, Santana and Brittany pretending not to touch each other on purpose.

Nothing seemed to help.

Rachel couldn't quell the quivering in her stomach, the portent of bad things to come, as soon as the two had finished talking. She half hoped they wouldn't stop, so she wouldn't have to face the consequences of what she'd done. Again.

Finally, the man rubbed the back of his neck, straightened his tie, and awkwardly kissed Quinn's forehead, half-expecting her to lean into it. She didn't. She only stood and nodded and watched him walk away.

And then she snapped.

Quinn whirled, facing the choir room with a deadly glare Rachel knew only too well, and she hastily occupied herself with what was left of her punch, expecting a sharp set of nails in her elbow at any moment.

But Quinn's raging heels stamped straight past her, straight to Santana, her nails went straight to her elbow, and red punch splattered the floor with a quiet splash.

"How could you do it?" Quinn's only question sounded so angry it filled the entire room, and Rachel half-expected Jingle Bell Rock to come to an unceremonious, screeching halt like in the movies. It didn't.

Santana could only stare for a moment, shifting from indignant anger at losing the rest of her punch to total confusion. "Do what?"

Quinn seethed, her arms folded. "Oh, don't. Don't even go with the innocent routine, it's so tired."

Santana's voice went noticeably softer as she turned to face her more fully, placating. "No, Q, seriously. I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Really, so you've done so many diabolical, underhanded things lately you can't even remember which one involved me and my boyfriend you hate?"

Rachel flinched at the steel in Quinn's voice, the look on Santana's face. On Quinn's, too. Pure betrayal. She should step forward, admit her guilt.

She couldn't get past something in her throat.

Santana looked so…wounded. Rachel's stomach flipped.

"Look, I'm sorry if something happened between you two, but I swear I had nothing to do—"

"Right, because you only told me a hundred times how someone should report him, that he should be fired for being with me!"

Santana only gaped for another moment, hesitated, glanced around for help. Everyone avoided her eyes, pretending their punch was far more interesting. Rachel winced and chewed at her bottom lip, staring down at the punch at Santana's feet. She blew out a breath, and softened her voice another octave.

"Quinn, I promise, I didn't do anything. I was going to, but I didn't."

"Why should I believe you?"

Santana was growing a little desperate. "Because no matter what, we're honest with each other. Right? I wouldn't lie to you, Q, I swear, I didn't do anything to your boyfriend! Believe me."

Quinn was faltering, giving in, but she hadn't quite yet. She wasn't letting this go. Rachel's lip turned white under her teeth.

Quinn huffed, almost a roar from her pink lips. "If you didn't, then who—"

She stopped, abruptly. Rachel looked down, drawing blood from her lip. The room had gone deadly silent again.

Rachel waited—for anything. The slap, the yelling, the nails digging. Nothing came.

It took her a moment to gather the courage, but she dragged her eyes up, slowly. Across the white tiled floor, to the pool of red at high heeled feet, up pale legs and the curve of an athletic body under crimson satin, to disbelieving hazel eyes. Staring at her. She swallowed.

Everyone was looking at her now. Santana's expression was the most unreadable of all. Disgusted, surprised, impressed, angered—she couldn't seem to decide. Rachel would have to apologize for leaving the heat on her later.

In the meantime, Quinn was blowing out another breath from her chest, like someone had just sucker punched her—right in the stomach. She shook her head, minutely, just the slightest movement making blonde curls quiver. Rachel pushed her voice out.

"Quinn, I…"

Speaking had been a bad idea. It only confirmed her guilt, and sent Quinn flying out the door, heels slapping the tiles rhythmically.

Rachel could only follow her instinct to fly after her, to ride on the waves of her speed. She set her punch glass on the piano on the way out to the hallway, trotting after she hiked up her dress, just over her knees for better movement, and gathered her lungs.

"Quinn! I'm sorry! Please, just let me explain!"

Quinn stopped and Rachel almost regretted asking her to, because as she whirled, the betrayal was branded into her eyes and fury was written all over her face. Rachel nearly lurched backward, but she forced herself to keep her ground, swallowing as Quinn leaned forward, sneering.

"Explain what? That you went behind my back? That you sabotaged my relationship? Again?"

Rachel tried again to put force in her lungs, but the look on Quinn's face, the power of her, was making her feel very tiny, and her voice only managed a little wave between them. "I'm sorry. I was only looking out for you…"

"Bullshit! You thought our relationship was wrong, so you came in and 'fixed' it! Your little tip to the school board got him fired, and he just broke up with me! He's leaving, Rachel. Because you didn't like it. After you gave me all that crap last year about Shelby and Puck!"

She found a tiny bit of strength under Quinn's anger. "That was different! Beth needs a stable life an-and you agreed with me. And he's twenty years older than you, Quinn, I just—"

"I don't care!" Rachel could only stare, a little wide-eyed, as Quinn's arms flew. "Do you get that? I don't care. He wanted me! Me! He listened to me, and took care of me, and he looked at me like I…" She paused, her tongue swiping over her lips, her breath coming more ragged. She swallowed. "Like I was the only one in the world. He is the first person to look at me that way, since before I ruined things with Sam. I wanted it back. I needed it back. I needed to stop being invisible, and you just…didn't care." She shook her head, gradually, and backed up a couple steps.

Rachel thought she saw a flicker of something glistening in her gaze, but Quinn hid herself too quickly.

She abruptly stepped after her, again. "Quinn, I do care. I do, your happiness means so much to me, I—"

"Are you my friend?"

"What?"

Quinn's teeth went tight. "Are you my friend?"

"Yes, of course, why would you even ask—" She went forward again.

"Then you don't get to talk about who I date. You don't get to have an opinion about it." Rachel gaped, and Quinn tightened. "Those are the rules of our friendship, remember? You made that perfectly clear when I tried to advise you not to marry Finn."

Her jaw flapped, she softened. "Quinn…"

"You don't get to do anything about it, understood?"

She was faltering and stumbling, and Quinn stared. "Quinn, I'm sorry, I didn't think—I just…I was worried… I mean, who knows how many other girls he was—"

"Listening to, bringing flowers to, being honest with, being respectful to?"

"You don't know that he was entirely honest, or faithful, Quinn. He couldn't be open with you, and that means any other girl would have been a secret, too."

"No, you don't know either. You don't know that there was anyone else, you just assumed he was some sick sexual predator and leapt at the opportunity, without any regard for the fact that I was finally in a good relationship. And for that matter, without caring that I am a grown woman who can make her own decisions!"

Rachel stumbled again, took a little step back, and blinked. She took a breath.

Her voice went mouselike, and she couldn't meet Quinn's eyes. "Quinn, you have to admit, the last time you were in a relationship with an older man, you were…"

"Seventeen and depressed?"

She chewed at her lip and winced, licking over it. "A little lost."

Quinn fumed. She almost seemed to get taller with it. "I am so sick of all of you, standing there, telling me who I am, how I feel, what I should be doing! You don't know me! None of you! You don't get to decide that!"

Rachel swallowed, deep. "Quinn, we're not trying to, we just want to help, I'm sorry…"

"No, stop! Just…stop! Stop acting like you care!"

"But I do!"

"No, you do not care about me." She laughed, mockingly, wickedly. "I'm the trophy. I'm the obstacle, the dragon Rachel Berry had to defeat to get her prince, the dragon she tamed, the accomplishment of a lifetime. Well, I'm sorry, but no. Not anymore, I'm not doing this anymore. I am not a character in your script who sometimes doesn't behave the way you want her to! I am real, I am here, I get to decide what I do and how I feel, and I count!"

Rachel swallowed again, helpless. She stared wide-eyed. "Quinn, that's not—"

"No, don't look at me like that, look at me!"

She lurched forward, into Rachel's space, staring her hard in the eyes. Her hazel eyes were burning and sparkling. Rachel started to back up, to put more space between herself and Quinn's anger, but hands were clasping around her upper arms, holding her in place. The nails were unexpectedly light, the grasp firm but not trapping. Rachel's heart still panted.

"Look at me, Rachel."

Rachel did. Straight into her eyes. Unable to look anywhere else.

Quinn's burning hazel. Fireworks inside. Entire worlds inside those eyes.

A few beats passed by them. Rachel could feel both of them working for breath. She wondered if Quinn's heart was panting for oxygen, too.

She kissed her. Fierce, firm, hard, and harsh. Quinn didn't pull away, and Rachel had tasted the fruit punch on her tongue before she pulled back herself, searched Quinn's eyes, flashing with confusion and lust and a million other things. She whimpered.

"I don't know what I'm doing."

She wrenched away, pulled out of Quinn's hands, and ran fast down the hallway, in hopes that she could outrun the tears already trying to choke her. Leaving Quinn to stand there and catch her breath and maybe try to figure out just what Rachel was trying to figure out.

What the hell just happened?

#

There had been no contact from Quinn since Christmas. Which, really, was fine. As a matter of fact, it was good. What had happened had been an anomaly, a mistake. Rachel had been overwhelmed by the moment, all the anger and heat between them, building up for so many years. It had needed to be released. So they had, in a silly kiss, far better than the slap that might've happened instead, and now they could go back to their lives.

At least, Rachel tried to. Upon arriving back in New York after the holiday break, she attended her classes, practiced hard, spent some time with Brody now and then, and put kissing Quinn to the back of her mind. It was almost as if it had never happened, some of the time, which was nice.

Unfortunately, Mr. Schuester and Ms. Pillsbury were insisting on this marriage deal and that meant seeing Quinn again. Rachel could hope beyond hope that Quinn would choose to skip it, but when she was being realistic, she knew it was nothing to hope for. Quinn would come, because she fulfilled her obligations, and really, their little kiss had to have meant next to nothing to Quinn. So why avoid Rachel?

And when the night came, with an open bar, a setlist, and dancing, dancing, dancing, sure enough, Quinn came waltzing in, side by side with Santana, of all people. The two of them whispered back and forth, headed almost directly for the bar, and, once they had their illegal drinks, leaned into each other and threw back glass after glass. Neither looked around, not even for Brittany, it seemed. They were perfectly content on their stools, whispering and giggling to each other and getting drunk.

Rachel only knew all this, of course, because she could not stop staring at Quinn. Despite Kurt whingeing to her over Blaine's appearance in the hall, bemoaning his sleek dress, his dapper step, his cute little bowtie hugging his chin while he danced with Sam, all Rachel herself could do was silently whine about Quinn Fabray. Her slimming red dress, her graceful movements, her mischievous smirk as she leaned to whisper in Santana's waiting ear.

How had she never noticed before?

"We're pathetic," she muttered, over the rim of her cup.

"Huh?"

"We're pathetic! Sitting here and crying over people who aren't even ours when, geez, we could be having a good time like them." She huffed to herself, lowering her cup to her side, and pinned a surprised Kurt with a scowl. "Do you want to be with Blaine?"

His mouth flapped. "I…well, ye—but…"

"Then go be with him! I mean, my God, he's spent the last months just waiting for you to bestow your forgiveness, don't make him wait any longer, or you might just lose him for good." She pressed her pointer finger to the middle of Kurt's chest for good measure.

He stammered quite a bit before regrouping. "Well, what about you?"

"What about me?"

"Finn isn't exactly looking for anyone else."

"Well, maybe he should."

"What?"

It was Rachel's turn to stammer. That is, until she spied her knight in shining armor, waving from across the room.

"Oh, look, it's time to sing. Go talk to Blaine," she blurted, pressing her cup into his palm and dashing away to Finn, her hero of the moment.

The two took to the stage quickly after it was vacated and plucked up their microphones, exchanging a smile as they sang. It was all old hat, of course, singing together, and Rachel reveled in the comfort of its familiarity. Still, she couldn't help a glance, or maybe two, toward the bar—where Quinn suddenly was not. And neither was Santana.

Rachel's eyes darted about the room, searching for a blonde head and a red dress and though she found many, it wasn't until she looked to the dance floor that she found Quinn, slow dancing with Santana. Her grip unconsciously tightened on her microphone. The two turned in tight, lazy circles, and Rachel caught, just briefly, the smirk on Quinn's face. A very familiar smirk, one she had used in high school quite often when she was around the boys.

And good God, her hands were lowered on Santana's back, almost to the curve of her ass.

Finn nudged Rachel's ribs, and when she glanced up at him, it was to find a very scrunched up nose. She smiled, reflexively, and his expression relaxed. At least until Rachel went back to staring very intently down into the crowd again, eyes narrowing and widening, back and forth, leaving him puzzled as ever.

And in the meantime, Rachel was feeling just the same, with an edge of roiling stomach to join the sensation, as she watched Quinn mutter something to Santana's ear, and receive a giggling nod. The song was hardly over when the two grabbed hands and started for the exit, lightly rocking into one another as they trotted the last few steps.

Rachel couldn't get off that stage fast enough. As soon as the final note had played itself out, she shoved her microphone into Finn's hand and booked it across the hall, through the lobby, to punch the elevator button a few hundred times in a row. It wasn't coming fast enough, and with a glance to the stairwell, Rachel hiked up her dress and marched on up, until she found Santana and Quinn at last, stumbling into each other in the hallway and laughing it up.

"Quinn!" Her face flushed bright red, and she swore her ribs were just going to fall out, but Rachel straightened herself, and approached the two against the wall, Quinn flattened up against Santana.

Quinn tilted her head with a tipsy grin, and Santana just snorted into her hand. "Yes? What can I do you for?"

Santana laughed even harder at this, and Rachel felt her cheeks go even hotter.

"Can I talk to you? Alone?" Her gaze darted briefly to Santana, who was still giggling.

Quinn shrugged, glancing down at her, and Santana grinned. "No problem. I'll just go slip out of something less comfortable. Or something." She kissed Quinn's cheek, or the corner of her mouth—Rachel couldn't quite tell—and pranced off to the door across the hallway, while Quinn leaned into the wall where Santana had been.

Rachel cleared her throat, smoothing out the skirt of her dress, and preparing to say—something surely magnificent and well thought out. Quinn beat her to it.

"So, here to lecture me on what a mistake I'm making this time?" she drawled, tracing patterns on the wall with her pointer finger. "I guess it's a step up from just straight up sabotage."

A beat passed, while Rachel tried, and mostly failed, to compose herself.

"That depends. What are you planning on doing in there?" she squeaked out.

Quinn gave her what Rachel could only describe as a leer. "Isn't it obvious?"

Another beat, while Rachel swallowed down her bile. "Why?"

She shrugged. "Because it sounds like fun."

"Since when do you do things just for fun?"

"I'm a college girl now. Supposed to have all kinds of experiences, aren't I?" Quinn retorted.

Rachel breathed out a slow sigh, and fidgeted. "You know this would break Brittany's heart if she ever found out."

Quinn laughed. "Oh, there's the sabotage!"

"I-I didn't mean I would tell her, I only meant…Brittany's your friend, Quinn." Rachel folded her arms, and scratched her wrists. "And…and do you really want to make another drunken mistake with someone? Puck and now…Santana?"

"People are supposed to make mistakes, Rachel, it's the ones that don't turn out to be mistakes that make it living. And maybe this won't be. And even if it is, no one's getting hurt this time. I don't have a boyfriend to be cheating on. Remember?" Quinn's sharp eyes narrowed, and Rachel shifted her weight.

"You're very…existential when you're drunk," she said lightly, hoping beyond hope to assuage the anger.

Quinn just scoffed.

Rachel sighed, and tentatively took a step closer. "Don't do this."

"Why not?"

"Because…you know it's not right for you, and…"

"And you don't want me to." Quinn's eyes focused on Rachel again, and she found herself looking away just as quickly. "Right? Once again, I'm acting out of line in your little play, mm? Tell me, what should I be doing, Rachel? What do you want me to do?"

Rachel bit on her bottom lip, glancing up. Quinn hadn't looked away. Her eyes fell to the floor again, scanning the patterned carpeting beneath her feet, squeezing her toes into her shoes. Quinn's feet came into view, and she resisted the snap reflex to look up at her again.

"Is this what you want?"

Before Rachel could question her on what, exactly, Quinn was referring to, she felt her closing in on her, and just as suddenly felt those soft lips on her neck. Her toes clenched tightly and her eyes shut just as swiftly, as Quinn pried and prodded at her with kisses traveling ever downward, and was there anything Quinn wasn't the best at? Rachel could feel herself giving, tingling through every nerve and it made her buzz with energy, and her hands came up to Quinn's shoulders, perhaps to pull her closer—but she pushed away at the last second, recalling abruptly that mixed in with Quinn's sweet perfume was the smell of too much alcohol.

"No—no," she repeated, shaking her head of its haziness and peering up at Quinn and her quirked eyebrow.

"Why did you kiss me?" Quinn prompted, and Rachel's jaw flapped.

"I-I don't know."

"Yes, you do, you've had plenty of time to think about it, and I know you have."

"You kissed me back," Rachel tried, going for accusing but coming out rather more whining.

"And I just kissed your neck, that doesn't tell you something?"

"That you're drunk."

"I wasn't drunk that day. Were you?"

Rachel stared up at Quinn's pointed expression, at her eyes. God, why did they have to be so all-knowing?

"No," she admitted, in a tiny whisper. "But I…I was just caught up in the moment, that's all."

"The moment? I was yelling at you, that's not a moment, that's an argument," Quinn scoffed.

"I don't know! We've always had this-this heat or something between us and I just, I got lost for a moment!"

"Heat?" Quinn's eyebrow popped up.

"Or something," Rachel sighed, folding her arms.

"No, you meant heat," she said simply. "So admit it to yourself, or I'm doing what I was going to do anyway after you decided to ignore me, and go in there, and have sex with San—"

"Okay, FINE!" She felt her arms flailing quite uselessly before she got them back under control. "Just don't…say that. I wanted to kiss you."

Quinn, of course, looked annoyingly pleased with herself. Rachel answered with her best scowl, but Quinn only moved closer, and leaned for her neck again. Rachel only just barely put her hands up to Quinn's shoulders in time.

"But that's not what I want tonight," she said slowly, and immediately hated herself for it.

Quinn's hands found hers, and Rachel found those eyes inescapable with Quinn this incredibly close.

"What do you want tonight?"

Rachel chewed on her bottom lip. "I want…you to let me take care of you."

Quinn's eyebrow popped up.

"You're drunk, Quinn. I don't want to do something you may not even remember tomorrow. And you were just about to have sex with Santana, and I don't want to feel like I'm just your second option. I just want to go buy some snacks and water from the vending machines, take you to your room, get you all snuggled in for the night, and then…in the morning, talk. About…about us," she explained haltingly.

Quinn nodded, slowly, and Rachel offered a questioning look in return.

"Okay," she said simply, and Rachel blushed and smiled all at once.

"Really? You'll let me take care of you?" She set her hands on Quinn's shoulders, hesitantly petting her blonde hair.

"Yes," Quinn confirmed, and Rachel smiled brilliantly.

#

By midnight, Rachel was quite pleased with herself. Quinn, true to her word, had allowed her to tug, drag, feed, dress, and tuck her to her heart's desire, with not a sound of displeasure. Well, maybe one. And she had only requested that they peek in on Santana before Rachel started her quest to save Quinn from a nasty morning hangover. Fortunately, Santana was already passed out in a pile of blankets on the end of the bed, so they locked the door behind them and took off, starting with the vending machines to get water bottles and snacks.

Once they were in Quinn's room, Rachel had made her chug down one water while she made some coffee on the counter, to chase down the granola bar and cheese and peanut butter crackers she had bought at the machines. After the water, half the coffee pot, and the snacks were gone, Rachel was satisfied with Quinn's stomach status, and sent her to the shower. Of which she spent the entirety listening anxiously outside the door, hoping not to hear a thud.

Quinn returned thankfully unharmed and mostly dressed in the pajamas Rachel had set out on the bathroom counter for her, and Rachel helped her with the buttons on her silk top before she combed the blonde hair out and, finally, tucked Quinn in under the covers.

Quinn was almost instantly out like a light, warm and sated under the covers. And likely tired out from Rachel's prodding and bustling and talking.

Still, Rachel was pleased, and she kicked off her heels and settled down on the blankets next to Quinn with a smile on her face. She was awake before Quinn, as well, and set about ordering a proper breakfast and refilling the coffee pot instantly. It was only too bad, she reflected, that she couldn't order aspirin, but the thought occurred that Quinn might've had the presence of mind to pack some in her bag. She was just rummaging through the Ziploc bag containing bathroom supplies when Quinn's hoarse voice pleasantly interrupted.

"Nothing worth stealing in there, trust me," she grunted.

Rachel bit at her bottom lip, but a glance back found Quinn looking merely amused, if tired.

"I was looking to see if you brought any aspirin, for your hangover," she explained, keeping her voice as low as humanly possible.

"I'm fine," Quinn said simply, and slumped back down under the covers.

Rachel's lips twisted momentarily, but she popped up straight again anyway, trailing over to settle on her knees on the bed. Quinn's eyes found her, and Rachel attempted a smile.

"I made coffee," she offered.

"So I smell." Quinn cleared her throat and pushed herself up to lean back against the headboard, squeezing the bridge of her nose.

Rachel hesitated. "Do you…do you remember last night at all?"

Quinn nodded, hand dropping to the blankets. "Yes. I was with Santana…you intervened." She waved her hand vaguely, before meeting Rachel's eyes directly. "I apologize for my behavior."

Rachel opened her mouth, puzzled, until Quinn gestured toward her own neck, and Rachel flushed from her toes to her hairline.

"Oh. It's okay." She squirmed on her legs. "I mean. It would have been different if you weren't so drunk. Or so angry with me."

"I'm not angry with you," Quinn answered after a moment. "I was, when I thought I understood why you did it."

Rachel rubbed her hands over her knees, pausing. "You don't understand anymore?"

"You kissed me. It kind of threw my whole theory for a loop," Quinn said wryly.

Rachel felt herself redden again. "I'm really sorry, for what it's worth. For breaking the two of you up, I mean. And for attacking your face."

She spied the corner of Quinn's lip quirking, and her shoulders dropped a fraction.

"And…I don't know, I guess for stopping you from sleeping with Santana. Not for stopping you while you were drunk, because we all do stupid things when we're drunk and who knows how you'd feel this morning if you had gone through with it, but if you regret not doing it now, then I guess I'm sorry for that."

Quinn was in full-on smirk mode by the time Rachel had finished. "Actually, I…appreciate you stepping in. You were right, I wouldn't want to hurt Brittany that way. And my intention was never to sleep with Santana. Flirt with her, maybe, but."

Rachel's head instantly tilted. "Why flirt with her if you didn't want anything else?"

"To see what you'd do," she said simply, and Rachel's confusion hit the roof. "You kissed me. And ran. I didn't know what to make of it, and when you didn't…ever come back or talk to me, I decided I needed to take this opportunity, seeing you, to test my new theory." She paused. "Then I got drunk."

"Your new theory?" Rachel prompted, flushing brightly despite herself.

"That you like me," Quinn explained. "I think that pretty well proved itself out last night. Unless you want to provide a different explanation."

Rachel ducked her head down, palms going to her hot cheeks. She thought she might start sweating, and Quinn's searching, amused eyes weren't helping matters. She giggled despite herself, in embarrassment, though it was cut short when Quinn's hand curled around one of her own, tugging it away from its duty of hiding her face. Once her hand was in Quinn's, and she was tracing circles in Rachel's palm with just her thumb, it became impossible to hide away, and she dropped her free hand to her lap.

"Okay. Okay, I like you," she admitted quietly, and proceeded to chew on her bottom lip.

Quinn smiled, letting that dangle for a moment. "I like you, too."

Rachel jerked, letting herself meet Quinn's earnest, amused eyes again. "You do?"

Quinn nodded, squeezing her hand. "Yeah. "

Rachel smiled. She dropped her head again, not necessarily to hide this time, but to look at Quinn's gentle hand encompassing her own, sweeping across her palm, grazing ever-so-lightly with the tip of her nail. It sent a tingle down Rachel's spine, and she shivered before letting out a breath and a little grin.

"So. So what…what now?" she prompted, meeting those expectant eyes again.

Quinn smiled, then lifted her shoulders in a shrug. "I would think…you know, we should spend some more time together. I can come down to the city on weekends. Every other, or once a month, or as often as you can stand, and we can just…spend time."

Rachel bit back a grin. "I'd really like that. I've really missed seeing you every day. Well, everyone. But especially you."

"Good." Quinn smirked slightly, and Rachel squirmed on her legs again.

"So what now? For the rest of the day, I mean," she laughed out.

Quinn chuckled. "It's…up to you. I don't know when you have to be back, but I have the rest of the weekend that I can be here. I don't…really have any plans."

Rachel glanced around the room for a moment, fiddling with the hem of her dress, and then promptly scooted herself closer to Quinn on the bed.

"I could drop by my room, get my suitcase, and then, when I get back, change into pjs and we could just…spend the day here? Talk? Watch TV? Maybe…cuddle?" She bit her lip hopefully, twisting the dress between her fingers.

Quinn smiled. "Okay."

"Okay." Rachel grinned back and, without a thought, popped forward to leave a kiss on Quinn's lips. She intended for it to be a short one, once she realized what she was doing, but Quinn was having none of that, and she found herself being gripped close by the arms, by those firm, but not rough, hands, and being kissed like she'd never been before.

Rachel's eyes remained shut long after Quinn had pulled away, and she breathed in the honey sweet of her with a smile, while Quinn stroked her arms.

"Or…we could just…do this for a while. And worry about your luggage later," she said softly, and Rachel found herself nodding her head as she sank forward for Quinn's lips again, barely allowing herself a breath to answer, "I like that plan."

It was a long time before Rachel's luggage was remembered.