Quinn is having a breakdown and Rachel sympathizes.
Rachel Berry was, once again, woken nearly two and a half hours before her alarm was set to go off. She could hear the plunking of a coffee machine in the apartment next door and the whirring of a laptop working on its last leg.
She could also make out the sound of a frustrated groan just before a sound that resembled hands smacking down the screen of a laptop. Clunking of the coffee pot was then clear, and then came a series of sniffles accompanied by helpless whimpers of a girl trying to keep herself from crumbling. Rachel was used to hearing everything happening in the apartment next to her, the wall which Rachel's bed was pressed against also being the one to her neighbor's kitchen. It just saddened her that she couldn't do anything to help the girl.
The girl, Rachel's neighbor, was actually a young woman. She must have been twenty or so, with blonde hair and hazel eyes and a body to die for. Rachel had seen her here and there and exchanged a smile. A few appearances of a Columbia University t-shirt had told Rachel that she was a student and a literal run-in a month or two back provided the girl's name: Quinn. How someone could pull off that name was beyond Rachel but it suited the blonde perfectly.
Rachel knew how stressful being a student could be and so she felt for Quinn. After all, it was only last year that Rachel finished her run at Julliard. Now, hearing Quinn break down alone in her apartment for the third night in a row gave Rachel the strangest need to comfort the girl. Maybe it was because she'd been there or maybe it was because she and Quinn, though never friends, were always friendly to each other in a way that made Rachel wish she knew her better.
Whatever the case, Rachel decided that she would help the girl somehow. So, at 4:42 in the morning, two hours and eighteen minutes before she was set to be awake, Rachel hauled herself out of bed and sprinted to her kitchen to get to work.
Forty-three minutes later, with minor difficulties due to lack of sleep, Rachel had perfected her gift that would, hopefully, cheer her neighbor up.
She walked into her bedroom to make herself a bit more presentable because, let's face it, would you want to knock on a beautiful girl's door looking like you just rolled out of bed and into a human-sized sack of flour? Hell no. After pulling on a pair of sleep shorts and adjusting her tank top, Rachel patted down her hair in the bathroom mirror until she looked somewhat presentable. She nodded to her reflection and slid into a pair of slippers, heading back to the kitchen to grab her treat.
Knock knock knock.
It wasn't until she was standing in front of Quinn's door, platter in hand, that it occurred to Rachel that her neighbor may have fallen asleep. Feeling her face heat up with the realization that that's most likely exactly what had happened in the time it had taken her to get to this point, Rachel got ready to turn and leave to wallow in her embarrassment. But, thankfully for her ego, just as she took a step away, the door swung open.
Red eyed and with slightly mussed hair, Quinn stood in her doorway with the most adorable confused expression Rachel had ever seen. The girl was wearing sweatpants with Columbia running down the leg, the top rolled down around her waist to leave a small stretch of skin between the pants and her white tank top. Recognition appeared on her face as she connected the dots of "who is this girl standing at my door before the sun's up." But the confusion didn't disappear.
"Hi," Rachel started with a careful smile. "Um… I know that it's very early… or late, I guess, for you. But, as I'm sure you know, the walls are very thin and so I couldn't help but hear and be woken by your activities of the night."
Quinn's eyes went wide, "Oh my god, oh I'm so sorry. I didn't realize I was being so loud. It's just that I've got this paper due for this stupid history class tomorrow and I don't even like history and I shouldn't have put it off so long but I had a presentation to give for my psychology course and-"
"Quinn, relax, take a breath." Rachel put her free hand on Quinn's arm and smiled gently. Quinn allowed herself a few deep breaths and looked to Rachel again once she had calmed down. "I was a student just a year ago and I know how hard it can be. You're juggling classes and homework with, no doubt given the fact that you have an off-campus apartment, a job, plus your personal life. Really, I'm not angry with you. I just heard you getting yourself worked up over what I assume is that history paper and I wanted to bring you something to cheer you up," she held up the platter in her left hand, "Cookie?"
It seemed as though Quinn had just now noticed the tray of cookies that Rachel had brought with her. They were cut in the shape of stars; ten sugar cookies with pink frosting and a blue piped letter on each to spell out the words "Feel Better." The smile that crossed pale pink lips was genuine.
Quinn grinned as she looked at Rachel, "This is really sweet of you Rachel." Rachel blushed under Quinn's gaze, "Why don't you come in and share them with me?" The older woman beamed at the invitation and stepped across the threshold and into the apartment.
"So…" Rachel glanced around the space and then back to the blonde who was now sinking her teeth into a fresh cookie. "How about we tackle that paper?"
Quinn smiled with a blush and grabbed Rachel's hand, tugging her to the couch where they spent the remainder of the morning completing Quinn's paper and eating "Feel Better" cookies.