Warnings: This story is Faberry. That means femslash. That means girl/girl. If you don't like it... well, your loss.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.
"I'm not sure Kurt."
"Why? I mean, it's going to be just us."
Rachel gives him a look as if to say "yeah, sure".
"Okay, well maybe there's going to be a few more people. Still, I don't see the problem, you've been to parties before!"
A thick silence falls into the pink room. Kurt looks at his best friend, who is laying on her side on Rachel's bed and has just frozen with the page of the magazine she was flipping in mid air.
"Rach? You've been to a party before, right?" Mercedes asks softly.
"Well, if you consider the yearly Berry reunion…" Kurt gasps, falling backwards on the desk chair and pretending to faint. Mercedes fans him with the magazine.
"How is it even possible that being in junior year you still haven't gone to any high school party?" The boy asks in disbelief.
"As you must know, I am a very busy woman. I have very high expectations for my future and if I am to reach them- which I'm entirely intending to- I have to focus on my classes, my vocal training, Glee, among a long list of other activities and that leaves little time for parties." She says the last word bitterly.
"I-I… I still can't grasp the fact that you've never been to a party." Kurt mumbles, shaking his head.
The short diva huffs, and drops herself into her bed, next to Mercedes. She crosses her arms and pouts adorably, and the other girl can't help but giggle a little at her antics and put her arm around her slim back comfortingly.
"Hey girl, it's okay, Kurt's just a party boy, he could never live withou'em. That's why it surprises him so much."
"Hey! I resent that!" Kurt's whine is ignored.
"Can we please get over this little tidbit now and focus on the matter at hand?" Rachel asks hopefully.
"Yes. Puck's party," Mercedes takes up the abandoned conversation again. "You have to go Rach. We are celebrating that we won Sectionals. Again!"
Mercedes' attempt at cheering Rachel up seems to work this time. Of course she knows the best way to approach the subject is to remind the brunette that Glee Club was throwing a party because they are going to Regionals, and this time, they are absolutely convinced they're going to beat them all.
"I don't know…" Rachel says with a half smile, giving up rapidly.
"Quinn's gonna be there." Kurt adds, sending her a wink and a smirk.
"What- what's that supposed to mean?" Rachel stammers nervously.
"Oh, nothing, he means nothing. Just... We know you guys are good friends now, so she could be good for moral support." Mercedes hurries to fix her best friend's slip, then sends him a warning glare when Rachel is not watching.
"Oh, then..." She closes her eyes, breathing deeply, and when she opens them again, both of her friends can see the firm Rachel Barbra Berry determination in them. "Okay, I'll go."
The cheers and happy dances of her friends interrupt her sentence. "But," she adds raising her hand and successfully silencing them. "As you know now, I've never been to this kind of reunions and I'm not familiar with the proper etiquette, so you guys have to help me get ready."
"Sure thing, babe!" Mercedes exclaims, continuing with her happy dance while Kurt wipes his suspiciously shiny eyes and murmurs something that sounds like: "I thought the day would never come."
"Why is the music so loud?" Rachel yells to be heard over the music.
Kurt looks at his best friend dumbfounded and Mercedes just shrugs and leans to the girl.
"You'll get used to it. You just need a couple of shots."
"Shots? As in alcohol? I don't think so missy."
"It's a party Rach, live it up!" Mercedes rolls her eyes and grabs her friends by the hand, making her way through the crowd and to the kitchen. Quinn, Mike, Matt and Puck are already there; Puck taking a few wine coolers from the fridge and the other three talking animatedly while sipping from their respective drinks: beer in the case of the boys and a soda in Quinn's.
"What's up people?" Mercedes greets, immediately hugging Quinn who returns the embrace warmly. The rest of the group waves and raises their drinks in greeting.
"The life and soul of the party has arrived." Kurt says with a hand flourish, making the rest laugh and earning a scoff from Puck. Do not ever hurt his manly pride.
"Hi." Rachel steps in the room shyly and all the eyes fall on her, some surprised, some ogling and some damn proud of their work.
"Hey, Rach! I wasn't expecting seeing you here! I'm glad you came." Mike exclaims hugging the girl briefly. Their friendship doesn't phase anyone anymore; the others don't even bat an eyelash at them.
The Asian boy has been incredibly nice to her since the day she found out about Finn and Santana's rendez-vous. Rachel broke up with him in the middle of the hall and while she was storming to the nearest bathroom to cry in peace and solitude, she collided with Mike. The boy, who always had a secret soft spot for the small girl, was saddened and angered by Finn's actions, so he drove Rachel away from school and stayed with her while she drowned in her sorrow. That day, a lovely friendship was born and since then, the always smiling dancer has proved to be a great friend and confident.
"Yeah, Rachel. You look amazing." Matt adds with a kind smile.
"Thanks." Rachel says softly, shaking off the non-existent dust of her dress in nervousness.
She has to admit that Kurt did a great work. She's wearing a dress she didn't even know she owned; it must be one of her Daddy's attempts to give her some fashion sense. It's a second skin black dress, with a dangerous V neck as sinfully short as her skirts, topped with beautiful black stilettos. Kurt also did her make up and her hair, curling it and letting it fall naturally.
"Holy fuck, Berry. Where were you hiding that?" Puck says, always the sensitive one.
"Close your mouth Puck, we don't want you to flood the kitchen with your drooling." Kurt teases, grabbing a wine cooler from the boy.
"Oh, she was hidin' it alright. You should've seen our faces when she came out of the bathroom with that smokin' body clad in that dress."
"True that. Almost turned me straight. Almost." This earns a good laugh from the group and a deep blush from Rachel.
They quickly take up the conversation they were having before the trio came; all but Quinn who still hasn't uttered a word. She's been watching the petite diva with a blank expression on her face since they came in. Rachel takes her time to observe her. She's wearing a pair of tight jeans, a black blouse and black pumps and her hair is down in soft curls, the diva's favorite way. She notices they kind of match tonight.
After a few minutes, Rachel decides she should talk to the girl she has started a tentative friendship with, because Quinn doesn't look like she's going to any time soon.
"Hi, Quinn." She says walking to the blonde and leaning on the counter next to her.
"Hey, Rach." The girl answers with a small smile.
It's a new thing this "Rach" thing. The first time she called her that, they were at the mall with Mercedes, Kurt, Tina, Artie, Brittany and Santana. They sometimes call her Rach- minus Santana, never gonna happen- and she figures the blonde must have picked it up. She still remembers how it happened, giving her the familiar butterflies in her stomach.
It was barely a couple weeks ago. They had just had lunch and the group was sitting in a bank eating ice-cream. All but Rachel because of her veganism and Quinn who said that she was still trying to get rid of the pregnancy fat.
'What fat?' The brunette thought.
She still doesn't understand how the blonde can't be satisfied with her body; for her, Quinn is completely gorgeous. The only one who knows about her little- or not so little- crush on the hazel eyed girl, is Mike, and just because he's kind of very observant when he wants to.
Mike tries to stay positive about it, but, hello, Quinn Fabray, reinstated Head Cheerio, ex-president of the Celibacy Club, who got pregnant by her boyfriend's best friend, straight as an arrow, Quinn Fabray? If the girl knew about Rachel's feelings she would torture her to death. Or probably not, because Quinn really is a new person, and Rachel doubts she would hurt her consciously now, but she could lose her friendship and that's a risk she cannot take.
The two girls were getting bored of watching their friends eat their dessert, so they decided to go to an arcade that was around the corner. The place was full of annoying kids and over-excited nerds but soon the girls engaged in a heated conversation about Star Wars and forgot about the rest of the world. It was a surprise for Rachel when she found out about Quinn's passion for the fandom. Since then, they've found a liking to their discussions about which one is the best movie.
Some would say they are natural enemies and have to fight somehow, but they both and separately love the fire that ignites inside them when they're arguing. Thanks to this, the pair has found other things they have in common, but one way or the other, they always end up with their little banter.
"Bullshit." Quinn stated when she realized she was lacking on arguments. She had to bit her lip to keep from smiling when she saw the outraged face on her friend's face.
"You- you can't end an argument like that! You know I hate when you do that, Quinn Fabray!"
"Aw, Rach, you're such a sore loser."
The brunette froze at this. Quinn just called her Rach. Her biggest crush since she had come to terms with her sexuality, just called her Rach. She realized it wasn't a big deal, but for her it was huge.
"Hey, I was just kidding, you know that right?" Quinn asked, a little worried.
"Yeah… yes. I just… Never mind, let's go play skee ball, yes?"
"But you hate skee ball."
"I do," Rachel nodded. "But you like it. Now, come on." She grabbed the blonde by the hand and dragged her where the skee ball game was.
They lost track of time. Their friends called and said they were leaving but they stayed, playing and laughing and arguing and then making up again. At the end of the day Quinn had gotten a good lot of tickets while Rachel only got a few.
"I told you, you were throwing too hard."
"It is not my fault that this game doesn't require the multiple abilities I possess. If we had to throw the ball with our vocal cords or follow some rhythm or melody to insert the ball in the holes, you'd be beaten by now." Rachel said, her pride hurt.
"Probably. But it doesn't. You only have to have good aim and coordination, which you don't." Quinn teased.
Rachel huffed indignant and crossed her arms pouting. She was trying to look angry and failing miserably; she only looked adorably mad to the blonde. Quinn bit her lip and headed to the office where the tickets were exchanged by prices, leaving the pouting girl alone.
A fluffy gold star pillow materialized in front of Rachel's eyes. Astonished, she grabbed the star and caressed it softly, then turned to her friend who was smiling shyly at her.
"I can't believe there actually was a gold star. I just- I saw it and thought you would like it. You didn't really want to play, so… I guessed this would be like… you know, payback. Or something."
"Thanks, Quinn. I love it." Rachel said softly, hugging it against her chest.
"You're welcome, Rach."
"You don't want anything to drink?" Quinn asks suddenly, breaking Rachel's reverie.
"Uh?" She blinks, hearing the music and the voices again and remembering where she is.
At the sight of the confused girl, Quinn bites her lip- something she realizes she's been doing a lot lately- trying not to giggle at her deer caught in headlights expression.
"Where'd you go?" She asks teasingly.
"I- eh, nowhere. What did you say?"
"If you want something to drink." Without waiting for an answer she pushes Puck out of the way to reach for the fridge.
"Sure, I'll have a soda too."
"None of that!" Mercedes, who has been watching their exchange from afar, interrupts. "First we're going to do a round of shots. Where's the rest of..." she looks over at the mass of bodies, trying to spot their fellow clubbers with no luck. "Oh, never mind. It's gonna have to be just us then. C'mon Puck, bring the Tequila."
Puc grabs the bottle and enough shot glasses for all and pours them a good amount.
"Bottoms up, wusses." He says, smirking and holding his shot up.
"I'm not sure of this-" Rachel starts.
"You need to try it Rach, once each remember?" Mike winks at her. While the rest don't understand the meaning behind those words, the brunette knows what her friend is trying; it's kind of a deal they made actually.
"Seriously, what is that?"
School was over for the day and the peculiar pair was sitting on the bleachers next to the football field, where not long ago Mike was being shouted at by Coach Tanaka. When the team finished practice, the boy showered, changed and told his best friend Matt that he was going to stay a little bit longer with Rachel. Matt, being used to the strange but somehow functional friendship, just waved and left with the rest of the team.
Mike had taken a seat next to Rachel who had her eyes fixed to the jumping cheerleaders who's practice wasn't over yet and noticed that the brunette was eating one of her home-made vegan meals that looked so gross.
"It's called humus, Michael. And I'll let you know that, although even I am aware that it looks slightly unappetizing, it's a delicious meal that provides all the necessary nutrients for a body in development like mine."
"Right. Body in development. That meaning you're still hopping to grow a few inches, am I right or am I right?"
Rachel opened her mouth to argument that, but she soon saw the mirth in her friend's eyes, revealing the joke in his words.
"Shut up, you... Frankenstein." She muttered with a smile, earning a good laugh from the boy.
"Anyway, why are you eating that now?" Mike actually wondered where the girl was during lunch. He could only hope not in the bathroom, cleaning some slushie of her hair.
"I went to the choir room during lunch to prepare my next solo- which, I should warn you, it's going to blow your mind- and lost track of time. I didn't miss class when I had the allergic attacks that made my eyes look disturbingly similar to a pair of tomatoes, back in ninth grade, so I wasn't going to miss class now just because I haven't had lunch. Then I remembered my dad's might be late tonight because of their monthly Book Club meetings and I'd have to wait until then to have dinner. I can't go a whole day surviving only with breakfast, so now that I have a moment, I thought it would be better to take advantage of it."
Mike nodded all through her rant, making a double take at the allergies comment but deciding not to press further. He eyed the thing the brunette was raising to her mouth and cringed.
"Really, it's not that bad. Here try it."
"Oh, no. Thanks, but no."
Rachel rolled her eyes and decided for a different approach.
"Look, I know from experience that you are a very open minded person, so how is this any different? See, from my point of view, you have to try everything in life at least once, for you have only one and you can't waste a minute of it." She said wisely.
The boy shifted in his place.
"Try at least once, each thing you find in your way, uh?"
"Exactly, as long as it's not greatly negative for you or others, of course."
"And this... humus, is not greatly negative for me, right?" He asked, eyeing it suspiciously.
"Okay. Once each." Mike murmured like a mantra, as Rachel raised the spoon to his mouth.
"Once each," she breathes. "Okay, I'll do it."
"Yeah, to celebrate Rachel's first party!" Mercedes exclaims.
"Wait, this is your first party?" Quinn asks surprised while handing her her shot.
"Are you going to make fun of me too?" Rachel huffs.
"Nah, I think it's cute. For Berry's first party!" She says, raising her shot with the rest of the group.
This shot is soon followed by another and some beer Mike gave her, repeating the same motto as before and a wine cooler from Puck under Quinn's surveillance and the condition of being the only one. An hour later, Rachel is a little tipsy for the first time in her life, dancing with Kurt to a Lady Gaga song and having an amazing time.
"So this is what I've been missing this whole time..."
"Yep! You can catch up though." Kurt jokes.
She sways her hips to the beat slowly, running her hands through her hair and feeling the warmth the alcohol created, spreading through her body. There's a bead of sweat running down her temple and cheek but she can't be bothered to wipe it, so it runs freely down her neck and disappears in her cleavage.
Even though she doesn't realize it, there are at least a dozen people in the improvised dance floor in Puck's living room watching her every move with hunger in their eyes. Kurt, aware of this, drags her friend away from the crowd to take a break.
"Oh great, a break. I need to alleviate the dryness in my throat."
"You mean you're thirsty."
"Yes. Let's get some beverage to fix it." She trips over a crease on the carpet.
"Woah. Water for you missy. No need to 'catch up' in one night."
"I agree, wholeheartedly."
There are bottles of water on a table next to them, where a laughing Quinn stands, chatting with her Cheerios friends. Kurt doesn't miss the longing glances the ex-pregnant girl is throwing Rachel's way. He smiles a little secret smile, disappearing from the scene surreptitiously.
"Brittany, Santana, I haven't seen you all night. Where were you hiding?"
"Oh, you don't want to know, trust me." Quinn mumbles.
"I was between San's legs, but I wasn't hiding." Brittany states simply, leaving Rachel gaping at the pair, speechless.
"See? Told ya."
"Let's go B, I know I place I can hide too." Santana smirks, pushing the tall blonde lightly by the hips.
"Oh, are we gonna play Hide and Seek?" Britt squeals.
"Maybe. Later losers." Santana throws back at the girls and Rachel realizes that Kurt is nowhere to be seen. Looks like he ditched her to gossip about some hottie with Mercedes, no doubt.
Rachel watches the cheerleaders retreating form and shakes her head, still affected.
"I shouldn't have asked." Quinn laughs at this.
"I warned you. Fortunately I'm used to it by now."
"Doesn't it freak you out?" Rachel can't stop herself from asking.
"Why should it?"
"I don't know. I just thought that, with your beliefs and all..."
"Rach, when you go through what I've been through, you start questioning all you've been taught and making your own beliefs and values and rearranging your list of priorities." Quinn sighs. "They're happy. They love each other even if they can't admit it and that's the only thing that matters."
Rachel feels her heart skip a beat and her stomach flip-flop.
"You've changed a lot. For good. I'm really proud to call you my friend, Quinn."
The blonde smiles sadly. "Rach, I know I already apologized, but I'm s-"
"You're right. You already did and I already forgave you. It's all in the past now." Rachel nods finally.
"Okay." The cheerleader smiles gratefully, deciding to let it go. "So, how's your first party going?"
Rachel and Quinn have barely talked for 15 minutes, when a flustered Mike appears in front of them.
"Hey, sorry to interrupt. But I have to steal Rachel for a minute." Without waiting for a reply, he takes the brunette a few feet apart. "Jamie is here."
"Jamie is here." He repeats calmly.
"My auditive skills are better than the average person, Mike, I mean, what do you mean Jamie is here? What Jamie?"
"How many Jamies do you know?"
Rachel face contorts darkly, her mind drifting to those events only a very few are aware of.
They met during summer. Lima's Theater Company was doing a local play and Rachel thought it would be a good way to train her vocal cords and do something productive with her free time.
She had a nice voice, along with icy blue eyes and dirty blonde short hair, much like Keira Knightley in Domino Harvey. She found out she went to Lima's catholic boarding school but she was staying home for the summer.
Jamie was flirty with every young person in the play, but she seemed to take a special liking for the short brunette. Rachel was flattered. Most of the time she loved the attention and soon enough she found herself fantasizing about the sexy blonde while she was with Finn.
But the play ended, they performed it a sunny day of July and each of them went their separate ways. Not without exchanging phone numbers, of course. School year started, she lost a boyfriend and gained a friend the very same day and slowly but steadily she found herself thinking about Jamie more and more.
"You don't like her."
It was a couple weeks after Finn and Rachel's break up, and the girl and her new friend were at the mall, looking for a nice gift for Mike's current girlfriend, Laura. He had asked Rachel- who had met the red head a couple times before- for help and she agreed, happy to have something to do that boring Saturday morning.
"I'm not saying I don't like her per see. I'm just saying she's kind of plain. Dull." Rachel explained.
"She's not dull. She can be really fun."
Rachel raised both eyebrows skeptical. "Really?"
"Well... once she told me a joke... at least I think it was a joke..." The boy mumbled scratching his head.
Rachel stopped suddenly, inspecting the shop window of an accessory store, before going inside, followed closely by Mike.
"You only like her because she's hot."
"Hey, that's not true, I resent that you think I'm so superficial."
"You're right, I'm sorry. I'm just saying that you deserve better. Someone more insightful, or at least someone who's favorite movie is not Twilight."
"I thought you liked Twilight." He said with a smirk, picking up a pair of sunglasses.
"Don't be a smarty pants, Michael. You know you don't stand a chance against me." She hissed, snatching the sunglasses from his hands and putting them back in its place. Mike made a zipping motion on his lips, trying not to laugh.
"What I'm trying to say is," she checked the price of a pale pink scarf, before moving on again. "I will accept whoever you want to be with, and refrain myself from judging your decisions, but, I'd prefer if you chose a brighter girl. Someone more energetic and lively, who shares your same interests. Honestly, someone who can actually make you happy."
Rachel looks up from the bowl of bracelets she was fishing in, to find her friend gaping at her.
"You know, it'd be weird if you were saying that in a 'I'm-jealous-that-you-have-a-girlfriend-now-you-won't-have-time-for-me' mode or whatever you chicks worry about, but I would live with it. But you acting like my mom, now that is freaking me out."
"Oh well, sue me for caring about your happiness!" Rachel huffs indignant making the boy roll his eyes.
"I'm not- look, I just think you worry too much. And you know why?"
"Why?" She asks hesitantly.
"Because you have too much free time since you broke up with Finn. Honestly, I don't care that much, but you're starting to get on other people's last nerve. You need to go out more, meet someone, date again."
Rachel knew Mike was right. She had been meddling in other people's business just to get Finn's debacle out of her mind. It was time to get over it, and move on. And she had a pretty good idea where to begin.
"Well... there's actually someone..."
"That's a good start." He said smiling while trying on the scarf, the sunglasses and the bracelets Rachel was inspecting before and looking completely ridiculous.
"Get the scarf. Then we're going to have lunch and I'll tell you about my plan."
That day, she told him about a certain someone, who she met at the play and he insisted to know the name. After a long-winded speech about tolerance and friendship and whatnot, Rachel explained him that she was bisexual and the person who held her interests was a girl called Jamie. Mike accepted it with his trade mark smile, like she was just informing him about the weather and encouraged her to go for it.
How could they know what a big mistake she was making? Getting in contact with her was easy and she soon started visiting every weekend or even breaking out and doing short trips to Rachel's house during the week. They started dating three weeks later.
It took almost a month for Rachel to realize the flirty blonde was cheating on her with so many people she lost count. It hurt more than Finn's betrayal. When they were together, Jamie acted like the brunette was the center of her world and gave her all of her attention, making her feel loved and cared for and wanted and desired at the same time.
When Rachel Berry falls for someone, she falls hard, and this time it wasn't an exception. So when all the mixed texts situation happened and the lies and made up stories where revealed, she couldn't help but feel completely stupid again. One liar (because Finn wasn't really a cheater considering they weren't together then) and one cheater is all it took for the brunette to say enough.
"The one and only."
"What is she even doing here?" She seethes.
"No idea, I just thought you'd want to be aware. But remember, she's not worth your anger."
"I know, thanks Mike."
"No problem." He smiles and leaves, leaving the girl deep in thought by herself.
Rachel has always wanted to get even. She knows the girl hated when she was with other people, she'd get extremely possessive and jealous, ironic as it is. For once, she wants to be the bad guy. She wants to hurt the girl like she did to her. Rachel wants vendetta.
"Hey, everything alright?" Quinn asks touching her arm lightly.
"Hm? Oh, yes." Rachel frown turns into a smile.
"What did Mike want?"
"Nothing. Just... some lame joke Matt told him." She lies pathetically.
"Right..." Quinn doesn't believe it for one second. "You guys are really good friends now."
"Yeah, you could say he's my best friend. Who would have guessed, uh?" She smiles at the warm feeling that comes from talking about her friend.
"Is that all he is? A friend?" Quinn eyes her warily.
"What do you- oh. Oh! No, God, no!" She laughs, shaking her head fervently. "I don't have an ounce of romantic interest in him and I know the feeling is mutual. We're just friends."
Quinn drops her tense stance, relaxing her shoulders and letting out a small sigh, something that Rachel doesn't miss. She's about to ask why the sudden interest, when a figure on the doorway catches her attention.
The blonde looks at her strangely. "What-"
"Quinn, I know our level of trust may not suffice but I swear I will never ask anything else from you if you help me in something."
"Rachel, what's wrong?"
"Listen, I promise you I'll do anything you want. Anything. If you do this for me."
Quinn stops for a second to think about it. "Okay."
"Good. Now hold my hand."
"What?" The blonde asks bewildered.
Out of the corner of her eye Rachel sees Jamie approaching them.
"Hold my hand, dammit!"
Quinn obliges quickly and the petite girl intertwines their fingers, both girls aware of the warm feeling that comes with the gesture but deciding to ignore it. The brunette steps closer to Quinn just when a third body, with a pretty face with cold blue eyes, clad in a designer red dress, materialises in front of them.
"Rachel? Rachel Berry?" Jamie asks surprised. "Oh my God, I wasn't expecting seeing you here and... with... who are you?" Her voice trails off as her eyes run from Rachel, to their joined hands, to Quinn.
"Quinn Fabray, and you are?" She asks with her best HBIC tone. Quinn doesn't like this girl's attitude or the way she is glancing at Rachel and their joined hands all the time.
"Jamie Lawrence. Sure Rachel mentioned me."
"No, not that I recall, no."
"Well that's strange, seen as we were so close."
The cheerleader furrows her brow in confusion and Jamie smiles satisfied. Right on cue, Puck appears out of nowhere.
"J, babe! How are you?" Now Rachel knows what she's doing here. Also, who.
"Oh my, look at this! It's the Puckasaurus Rex. I'm fine, babe, thanks."
"Yeah, I can see that." He says putting his whore lips.
Quinn takes advantage of the girl's distraction. "Care to explain what's going on? Who's thisperson?" She spits the word with venom.
"I promise I will explain everything to you later, but now you have to play along with me, okay?"
"Play along? To what?" Quinn only wants someone who enlighten her.
"Just do it, please. Anything you want, remember?"
She sighs. "Okay."
Jamie turns back to them just then, showing an arrogant smirk.
"So, what are you doing with blondie here?"
"She's my girlfriend."
"She's what?" Jamie seems taken aback, but Quinn keeps her cool, although her hand stiffened in Rachel's hand at the statement.
"Yeah, we've been together for... how long, baby? A month?" The brunette faces Quinn, pleading with her eyes for her to play along.
"And a half," she answers, quickly getting in character. "Take away her planning agenda and she'll get adorably lost." Quinn smiles at the shorter girl lovingly, and pecks her on the cheek.
Rachel blinks, digesting Quinn's actions and the increasing flutter in her stomach.
"Uhm..." She musters, earning a suspicious look from Jamie. Quinn chuckles and releases her hand to put her arm around her waist, then gives her a meaningful squeeze to break the girl from her haze. Finally she seems to snap out of it.
"Yes! Yeah, I'm so lucky to have such an amazing girlfriend. We really complete each other, I'm the planner, she's the improviser."
"Right..." Jamie seems hurt and angered, but her suspicion doesn't falter. "So, how did you two met?"
"Well, we've been going to the same school since kindergarten." Quinn says honestly.
"That's right. In later years Quinn would be a little bit mean, but it was all because of her undeniable attraction to me."
Quinn shifts uncomfortable, not because it is a lie but because it hits dangerously close to the truth.
"Oh my God. This is the 'insanely gorgeous but forced to be evil by the masses cheerleader'." Jamie scoffs, all the pieces falling into place.
The cheerleader in question raises an eyebrow at Rachel who's currently blushing beet red from the neck to the hair line.
"Well, uhm... she's changed. Not physically, of course, as I'm sure you can observe, but mentally." Rachel nods to herself, regaining her confidence. "She's kind and sweet and takes really good care of her friends, plus, she would never ever hurt me, not on purpose, not anymore."
Reaching for her hand again, Quinn smiles, deeply touched by the girl's words and the way she defended her in front of this annoying stranger. She squeezes and looks her in the eye, trying to convey all her gratitude and unconsciously loses herself in a pool of chocolate brown orbs.
"Whatever." Jamie scoffs again before leaving.
"Thanks for that." Quinn mumbles.
"No, thank you." Rachel releases her hand and the blonde tries not to show her disappointment. "You shouldn't have to stand how she treated you, or help me in any form or shape either. But you did anyway and I'm very grateful."
"It was nothing, really. But can you explain to me who's this Jamie?"
Rachel takes a deep breath. It's the moment. "She's my ex-girlfriend."
"I figured that much."
She inspects Quinn's face, trying to find any sign of discomfort or disgust but finding only patience.
"We met this summer, while I was with Finn. I did feel some sort of attraction to her, but of course didn't- couldn't act on it; I had a boyfriend. However, at the beginning of this school year I had to end that relationship. Honestly, it wasn't so much the fact that he did lose his virginity to Santana but how he made me believe otherwise. And well, finding out that we had nothing in common was an important factor too. After Mike's advice that I should try to engage in a new relationship to get Finn out of my mind, I called her. I'll spare you the details and summarize it all by saying that we dated for about a month and she cheated on me, uncountable times-"
"What? That bitch." Quinn cranes her neck to spot the girl, making the brunette chuckle. "Sorry, sorry, go on."
"When I broke up with her, she wasn't even ashamed; she never regretted what she did. No, Jamie was actually indignant that I was breaking up with her."
"I'm gonna punch the lights out of that filthy, little whore." Quinn starts making her way to the mass of people, but the shorter girl stops her grabbing her arm.
"Quinn, stop!" Rachel says chuckling again.
"Why are you laughing?"
"Because we already gave her the worst punishment she could have. She was possessive and jealous to the extreme. With the knowledge that something thatbelonged to her, is now completely over her, not interested even in the slightest and dating another person- and you non the less- that is a kick in the stomach."
"Oh, I see." Quinn nods understanding.
Silence falls between them and Rachel begins to freak out. The prospect that Quinn won't want to be her friend anymore strikes her hard.
"So... insanely gorgeous but forced to be evil by the masses cheerleader, uh?"
"Oh, god," she groans, hiding her face in her hands. "You weren't supposed to know that."
The other girl laughs openly. "It's okay, if it makes you feel any better I used to think that although being breathtakingly beautiful, you were an insufferable little brat."
Just as Rachel's head moves up, Quinn realizes what she just said and averts her eyes blushing.
"Yeah." The blonde buries her hands in her jeans pockets, without looking at her. Through her mind are running all kind of theories: 'Why did I say that? Oh God, she's going to think that, now that I know she likes girls, I'm trying to get into her pants or something. You're such a moron, Fabray! Not that I wouldn't like that but- oh God! She didn't need to know!'
Through Rachel's mind though, is a very different story: 'She regrets saying anything. She regrets it because now I'll think she meant it in another way, which, I don't! But she thinks I'm going to get the wrong idea, no wonder this situation turned so awkward.'
Fortunately, not even an uncomfortable situation can keep Quinn from staying alert and she doesn't miss how Jamie is looking curiously at them from the dance floor.
"I know what you're going to say, Quinn, and I-"
"No Rach, Rachel." Quinn shuts her, before turning to her and invading her personal space.
"She's is looking our way." Rachel still seems confused. "Jamie is looking our way!"
"Oh," the brunette looks out of the corner of her eye and sees the girl sipping from her glass, focused entirely on them. "What should we do?"
"Uh, I don't know," Quinn puts her arms around the diva's waist, clasping her hands at her back. "Is this okay?"
"Yeah," Rachel croaks out. She clears her throat before adding: "It's okay."
"Is she still looking?"
Rachel glances again. "Yeah," she decides it'd be okay to take it a step forward. With trembling hands, she puts her arms around Quinn's neck, threading her blonde locks through her fingers. "I'm sorry for getting you into this mess."
"It's okay. The bitch deserves it, I'm glad to help."
Disappointment fills Rachel's petite body and she scolds herself mentally: 'What did you expect? That she was doing this because she likes you? That she's enjoying this as much as you do?'
"Plus," Quinn adds as an after-thought. "This is nice."
Rachel's heart stops. She has to remind herself to breath and to not jump into conclusions.
"It- it is?"
Somewhere along the conversation they forgot about Jamie and started to sway to the music, like the pop song that was blasting through the speakers was instead a slow song.
"Me too- I mean, it's nice. For me, too." Rachel briefly wonders when she lost the ability to talk like a grown up.
"Would it be okay- can I-"
"Guys! You guys! Come see this!" Mike shouts, breaking their embrace. They jump apart a few feet, even though the boy doesn't seem to notice their previous compromising position. "Finn and Puck are being beaten at beer pong by Tina and Artie! It's priceless!"
"Uhm, yeah. Let's see that."
Quinn flies from the room in a heartbeat but before a giddy Mike can follow her lead, the petite girl steps in front of him with a murderous look on her face. The boy's smile falls.
"Michael Ling Chang." Rachel has used his full name only once since she learned it that afternoon at the Chang's and if he knew then that he was in a lot of trouble, now he thinks he's faced with the cause of his death. "I've never hated anyone in my entire life, but you may have just broken my record."
"I- I- I'm sorry?"
"You better be."
"I've never imagined Artie was such a master at beer pong! Dude, and Tina? That girl knows how to drink!" Matt relates a while later.
A pouting Mike struts to the sofa where Rachel is sitting and throws himself next to the girl, crossing his arms like a scolded kid.
"And I missed it! I missed Tina and Artie kicking Finn and Puck's ass at beer pong.Tina and Artie! That's like the Haley comet, it happens once in a lifetime!"
"Well, consider it your punishment. You ruined a potentially crucial moment in my life, Michael. Something was about to happen, I could feel it and now I'll never know what could have been!"
Mike rolls his eyes, his expression changing to a more serious one.
"Rach, really, don't be so dramatic. Whatever has to happen between you and Quinn, will happen eventually. You'll see, trust me. Let it be. We Asians have this gift that makes us give great advice. You know Confucius? We're kinda related."
Rachel snorts. "Yeah, right."
"Really! We are! In a more spiritual way than you think. Here, look. The superior man is modest in his speech, but excels in his action." He says with a deep voice.
Rachel raises an eyebrow, very much like one blonde she spends some time with. "What am I seeing exactly?"
"My advisory skills. And my oriental eyes, see? We are related, it's a final."
This earns a chuckle from the girl. "You are ridiculous."
"Yeah, but I made you laugh and that means I'm forgiven."
"Your twisted logic scares me."
Mike puts his arms over the back of the couch. "You actually love it."
"You are so full of yourself."
"Had the best teacher."
Rachel squints her eyes at him. "I hope you're not insinuating what I think you're insinuating."
"Damn right, I am." He nods.
"Why am I friends with you again?"
The boy seems taken aback by this. "Dunno. I give great advice?"
The party goes on without stop. People Rachel hasn't ever seen in her life wander around her and Mike, asking her to dance, but she's too deep in thought to care about any of this. She finally gets bored and decides to see what the other Glee clubbers are up to.
She finds Artie, Tina, Kurt and Mercedes sitting on the stairs in the hallway, where people come and go from one room to another.
"What are you guys doing here?" She leans on the wall facing them.
"People watching," Kurt answers curtly, not taking his eyes away from the crowd.
"He means criticizing," Tina clarifies from her spot on the third step.
"Yeah, they've been tagging every single person that has entered the house for the last half an hour." Artie adds, his hand holding Tina's through the banister.
"That's not nice Kurt, Mercedes. You know it happens to me daily and it's a rather unpleasant feeling to acknowledge a pair of critic and never satisfied eyes watching your every move, waiting for you to err and throw it at your face, or just judge you because you're style is not what they consider appropriate."
"We know babe, but that's not your case tonight. You look stunnin', so relax."
"Besides, it's innocent entertainment," Kurt shrugs it off with an eye roll.
"Yeah, we ain't hurtin' anyone."
"But those just might..." The boy points to a girl wearing a pair of sandals with killer high heels. Said girl is walking like a penguin and hissing at each step.
"You know, as much lovely as the shoes are, it's not attractive if you walk like you're on hot coals!" He yells to the girl, who just flips him off. Kurt raises a hand to his chest offended. "Ungrateful."
"That shirt is cool," Tina shyly contributes.
"You only say that because it's gothic."
"I like it," Artie says defending his girl.
"Oh, that dress is killer," Mercedes gushes.
"I know, I saw the girl before. Was wondering who she was," the stylish boy agrees.
"Uh guys..." Tina mumbles nervously. "She's coming this way."
Rachel who was halfheartedly listening to their chit-chat, perks up at this. She mentally prays 'Let it not be her, please let it not be her...'
'Shit.' Rachel turns to the voice slowly, with a chorus of hi's and hey's from her friends, all looking open mouthed at the sexy blonde that, for whatever reason, stopped there.
"Rach, can we talk?" Rachel swears she's seen a jaw or two bouncing the last two steps of the stairs.
"I don't think we have an-"
"Please." Jamie is using that voice. And those eyes. Don't look at the eyes, don't look, don't- too late. "It'll be a minute, let me say what I need to say and then you can go if you want."
Rachel knows she shouldn't. All that comes out of her mouth are lies. She's has seen Jamie plead before, she's a master at this art. She's an actress, and she acts. But Rachel's curious nature and her good heart end up winning.
"Okay." She turns to her friends and curses silently, figuring she'll have to explain it later. "I'll be right back."
"Uh, huh," Kurt mumbles, while the two girls disappear.
Silence falls between them.
"What just happened?" Artie voices what everybody is thinking.
"I- I have no idea," Tina stammers.
"Our little diva has a lot of explaining to do later."
"She was hot," Mercedes gushes still shocked.
The chill air of the night raises goose bumps on Rachel's bare arms. She walks towards the railing of the backyard's porch and looks over at the dark silhouettes of the trees behind Puck's house.
When Jamie leans on it next to her, she avoids her gaze.
"The other day, this song came on the radio while I was driving," The blonde starts. "I don't know the name or who sang it but it said something about not realizing what you have until you've lost it."
Rachel recognizes her tactic, to warm her up then attack when her guard is down.
"It made me realize that I never appreciated you like you deserved. I didn't understand how important you were to me. How important you are."
"Could have fooled me," Rachel says sarcastically. "You have a very peculiar way to prove it."
"Ugh, I know." She sighs. "It was all a huge mess, and I regret it."
Rachel is not stupid. She's been victim of her manipulative ways before and she doesn't miss how the girl hasn't apologized yet. In fact she said she regrets the mess, which means she regrets that Rachel found out.
"Rach, look at me." But she's too good of a person to snap or turn her back at her. It's just how Rachel Berry rolls. "I want to be with you. For real."
She ponders this for a second. There's the fact that she's a liar, a cheater; she hurt her and made her feel stupid. Also, she has to consider that Mike would kill her if she were to go back with her. And then there's Quinn. But, it's not like Quinn is her real girlfriend! Why is she even a factor to consider? Oh, yes, there's her huge crush on the cheerleader, and the "potentially crucial moment" they shared. And God, where's the blonde when you need her?
"Hey guys." Quinn waved to the group. "Have you seen Rachel?"
"What's with hot blondes asking about Berry tonight?" Kurt wonders, his eyes squinting with suspicion.
"What do you mean?"
"This girl came while Rach was here with us and asked to talk with her," Tina explains.
"Yeah, they left like fifteen minutes ago," Artie adds.
"What girl?" Quinn asks panicking.
"Short hair, blue eyes, red dress," Mercedes enumerates.
The blonde expression darkens. "What way?" She asks scarily.
The four of them point to the living room. Without another word, she makes her way through the mass of bodies, but they are nowhere to be seen. The blonde is fumming, but she's not sure why; she only knows she has to find them.
"S." She spins the Latina by the arm. "Have you seen Rachel?"
Santana scoffs. "No. And why would you want to know where Berry is? What's going on between you two?" She asks suspiciously.
"Nothing. Just, tell me if you see her."
"See who?" Brittany bounces next to her best friend with a bottle of water.
"Rachel, have you seen her?"
"Yeah, she went outside with that pretty girl with the mean eyes."
"Thanks B." Quinn barely says before sprinting to the door that leads outside with a feral expression on her face.
"Look Jamie, I don't-"
"You said everybody deserves a second chance," the girl pleads. "You gave it to Finn, why don't I get one?"
"It's hardly the same situation." Rachel shivers from the cold breeze. It is really cold outside.
"I just want," Jamie steps closer to her, rubbing her hands up and down Rachel's arms, warming her up in more than one sense, "a chance to win your trust back."
"I..." The brunette is hypnotized by the girl's movements. Jaime leans close enough for Rachel to smell her perfume. Peaches. It's sweet. Always too sweet.
"Take. Your paws. Off. My girlfriend." Comes a cold voice from behind Jamie. "Or I'll rip them off."
Rachel's blood would have frozen if she were the receiver of that icy tone. Jamie's expression, on the other hand, morphs to her usual arrogant self so quick, it even surprises Rachel how easily she fooled her.
"Well, well. Look who joined the party."
They hold a heated stare contest; it reminds Rachel of a pair of lionesses ready to pounce on their enemy. When Quinn steps threateningly forward, the brunette holds her breath.
"Get the fuck away from her. I don't want my girl to catch all kinds of nasty STDs, you pathetic whore," she spits adopting her best Head Cheerio stance. Jamie's smile falters a bit. "Hasn't she made it clear enough she doesn't want you anymore?"
Jamie sneers. "Well, your girl, as you put it, was about to give me another chance, so I wouldn't be so sure about that, blondie."
Quinn seems taken aback. She acknowledges Rachel for the first time. "Rach...?"
"Wait! I never said- I wasn't-"
"She hurt you!" Quinn yells, confused.
"Like you didn't?" Jamie snorts. The cheerleader drops her gaze in shame. She feels disappointed, although she knows she doesn't have the right to. They were never real girlfriends in the first place.
"Oh, please. Don't act like you even care." The blue eyed girl rolls her eyes. " Do you really think I believed for a second that you two were together? That the head cheerleader, Miss Popularity, Quinn Fabray, would go gay for the pariah of McKinley?"
"What are you talking about?" Is Quinn's weak attempt to save their lie.
"Your little pantomime of a relationship was entertaining, but never convincing enough. I'm an actress, it's my thing. You should go back to your pompoms, blondie."
Quinn sees red. "Oh really?"
She turns to Rachel who's watching the exchange with wide eyes and acts on her instincts. Grabbing her face with both hands, she crashes their lips forcefully. The brunette doesn't kiss back at first, shocked and unprepared by the 180º turn the situation has taken. But she soon catches up with it and starts responding.
The moment Quinn feels the other girl's lips moving with hers, all thoughts of revenge and smug smirks that have to be erased disappear. The kiss loses all its forcefulness, but not its intensity. Soon enough the mouth against mouth contact becomes lips sliding softly and tongues meeting halfway to taste each other.
One of Quinn's hand drops to Rachel's hip, pulling her even closer. Small, not-manly hands tangle through golden locks, giving a slight pull when Quinn's teeth bite her lower lip lightly and causing them both to moan. At the small sound, the girls seem to break from their haze.
They break apart, but only a few inches, foreheads resting against each other and breaths mingling.
"I think she left," Rachel breathes, eyes still closed.
"What?" Quinn mumbles, trying to catch her breath and steady her erratic heartbeat.
Rachel opens her eyes, glancing around briefly. When she looks back, she sees Quinn's closed eyelids. She watches her face intently, convinced that this is going to be the last chance to see that angelic face this close and committing each feature, freckle and scar to memory.
"Jamie left," she clarifies.
"What are you-" The blonde cuts herself off. She analyzes the situation, her hand on Rachel's hair, on her hip, Rachel's arms around her neck. Reality comes crashing down on her.
This kiss had a purpose. It was fake.
"Oh. Yeah, sorry." Quinn quickly disentangles herself from the diva, but this time, she doesn't miss the disappointed look on Rachel's face, even though she can't figure out the reason.
Rachel, for her part, is devastated. Not only did she have an awful encounter with her cheating ex, but she got to taste what would it be like to be with Quinn, only to have it snatched away after, reminding her that the blonde- hell, they both were only doing this for vendetta.
"Guess your plan worked."
"Yeah," Rachel agrees, when actually her plan backfired and she got more heartbroken than before.
"Good." The situation can't be more awkward.
"No problem." Quinn walks back a few steps. "I'm... just going to... get inside."
Rachel swallows her tears as Quinn enters the house. She follows a couple minutes later with her head held high, spotting Mike instantly.
"Hey." He turns around beaming, but his smile falls at the sight of his friend.
"Can you drive me home?"
"What did that bitch do this time?"
"Nothing. Please Mike just... just take me home."
He sighs and nods, draping her shoulders with his arms. "Let's go."
Quinn is sitting on the couch, next to Finn and Puck who are playing some lame video game with cars and mushrooms, when she spots Rachel leaving with Mike.
She forces herself to look away.
Rachel doesn't want her, right? She was just using her to take revenge on Jamie, wasn't she? And when it was over, Quinn became useless.
But that kiss... her lips are still tingling, her tongue still tastes the coconut lip-gloss of one Rachel Berry. The brunette has to have felt something too. And that disappointed look? What was that about?
"Damn right, you just got owned by the Puckanator."
"Aw man..." Finn whines.
"Sorry dude, now bring me my beer."
"The best of three?"
"No way, dude. A deal is a deal. Now pay up."
Quinn freezes.A deal is a deal. She stands in a rush, propping herself up using Puck's shoulders. The boy looks at her strangely, but when the question is out of his mouth, she's already in the hall and reaching for the door.
She runs like a mad woman to the sidewalk, looking frantically for Rachel. She sighs relieved when she spots her sitting on the curb, looking smaller than ever.
"Rachel." She calls, out of breath.
The girl wipes at her eyes furiously, composing herself before turning to the voice.
"Quinn?" She stands, looking confused.
"What- are you-" she says in between gulps of air, "doing here?"
"Mike is going to take me home. He went to get the car," Rachel explains. "What areyou doing here?"
"We have a deal. Anything, you said," Quinn says confidently. "You owe me."
Rachel's heart breaks all over again.
She feels the tears prickling at her eyes, threatening to spill and never stop. She can't believe her horrible night hasn't finished yet.
"I do," she croaks, the pain of the disappointment and the humiliation constricting her chest. "What can I do for you?"
Rachel shakes her head. "Excuse me, I think I misheard that."
"A date. You know, when two people hang out and do stuff together. That'd be you and me."
"I- I'm sorry, Quinn, I don't think I understand you."
"Berry," Quinn groans irritated at the girl's stubborness, but with no real malice. "Would you stop being so damn stubborn? Yes, I'm asking you out."
"Quinn, I don't think Jamie is going to bother me anymore, you can stop pretending."
"Oh for God's sake!" The blonde grabs her by the back of her neck, and kisses her quite like before, but without the anger Jamie created. It lasts for a shorter amount of time, but it's just as passionate, if not more tender. They part and Quinn smiles when Rachel fists the front of her blouse, not letting her go any further.
"Now, you said anything and I want my date. Tomorrow."
Rachel thinks she must be dreaming. Yes, she fell asleep on the curb and now she's dreaming Quinn is kissing her in the darkness of the sidewalk, her fingers drawing lazy patterns on her nape and looking at her with an adoring smile on her face.
She finds herself tentatively returning the smile and the hazel eyes seem to brighten even more.
"Okay," she whispers.
Quinn bites her lips, trying not to beam and/or burst into a song at the top of her lungs; that'd be embarrassing.
"Okay, I can... call you in the morning. You know, just to make sure. If you want."
"Yeah, I'd... I'd like that."
"Great." Quinn can't seem to walk away from the brunette and, if the way Rachel hasn't loosened the grip on her shirt yet is any sign, Quinn thinks she can't either.
"Rach!" Mike calls from his car.
They finally break their embrace, and Rachel waves at the boy, asking for him to wait a moment.
"So..." Quinn mumbles awkwardly.
"So... I'll talk to you tomorrow?"
They stand face to face, any of them really sure how to say goodbye. Finally Quinn, steps into her, and with a lightly shaking hand, she brushes a lock of brown hair behind the brunette's ear, before leaning in and pecking the pouty lips softly.
The blonde smiles shyly, then turns to walk back into the house again, where she'll get her things and go home to drown in her utter happiness in private.
"Goodnight, Quinn," Rachel whispers, watching her retreating form. She sighs and climbs into the car, with a huge smile that threatens to break her face in two.
"So... care to explain?" Mike asks amused, but mostly happy for his friend.
"What was that?" He says nodding over to the curb.
Rachel grins wider.
"That, my friend Michael, was me following your wonderful advice."
So... whacha guys think? ;)