Hi! So, wow, this is undeniably nerve-wracking for me. I finished this story quite a while ago, about two months or so, and I didn't intend to add to it. Since then though more than one person has said to me that that they were a bit disappointed with how it ended, and honestly, I was a bit disappointed too. So officially, this is an epilogue, to try and make up for that. If you liked the ending then, and hoped everything would stay the same forever, you can either not read this, or read it and just accept it as an extra to the actual story. If you hated the original ending though, and hoped bad things would happen to me after you read it, then I hope this will make you feel better about it.
This chapter goes with thanks to kissingthebee, who both encouraged me to write it and read it for me to make sure it didn't completely suck. Hope you enjoy this :)
The following weeks passed in a blur of sending coy grins across classrooms in school and spending as much time together as possible out of it, of Santana miming throwing up and Puck informing them it was "totally hot" when they so much as held hands. The Glee club was briefly divided by the release of a new Harry Potter movie, split into two camps of those who thought "magic is really lame and fictional" and those decrying the others as uneducated muggles. Rachel performed "I Kissed a Girl" for everyone one day, and a short war over whether Mr Schue was homophobic ensued when he informed her it wasn't entirely appropriate, much to Quinn's continued embarrassment. For the most part though, Rachel and Quinn surprised even themselves by how easily their tentative friendship transformed into a relationship - without being asked Quinn started acquiring memorabilia when a royal wedding was announced, and Rachel's presence at football games, cheering for Quinn as she cheered, was nothing short of adorable.
Soon though it was the week leading up to Sectionals, and, as ever, they seemed to be woefully under prepared, having spent much of their time up to that point singing their emotions rather than anything that could really be used in a competition. With only a few rehearsals left to go then, the Glee club found themselves nervously anticipating the announcement of what they would be singing, Rachel clutching several pages of sheet music and lists of potential musical numbers, and each of them quietly hoping that this would be their turn to shine with a solo.
When Mr Schue finally arrived (ten minutes late, Rachel noted), the room fell quiet, but it was nothing compared to the deathly hush that followed the announcement that Quinn and Sam would be performing a duet, and Santana a solo at Sectionals. Santana and Sam were grinning, but Quinn's eyes were on Rachel, who seemed to be staring fixedly at the wall in front of her as if she had suddenly found something fascinating in the chipped paintwork.
"Rach..." Quinn said, "Are you okay?"
Rachel's mouth hung open as she turned slowly towards her girlfriend, she closed it once or twice, seemingly at a loss for words, before managing to burst out, "Of course I'm okay!" at speed, "Why on earth wouldn't I be? Although I must comment, Quinn, that we, along with Sam, I suppose, will have to begin practising immediately if we are to retain our title next week."
The Glee club looked at Rachel. Rachel looked at Quinn.
"She's finally cracked." Puck said.
"Rachel, you know we have to give everyone a chance - I think Quinn and Sam's voices will sound awesome together, and Santana really proved herself with that solo she sang for Brittany." Mr Schuester tried, by now well versed in the signs of an oncoming diva tantrum.
"Mr Schue," Rachel admonished, "I feel it would be rather remiss of you to suggest I am anything less than completely supportive of my girlfriend. If I am to be relegated to swaying in the background then I assure you the audience will be blown away by how dedicated I am to swaying."
Quinn took her hand and smiled, "Thanks Rach, that really means a lot."
Rachel looked like she was going to pass out.
"So, why MySpace? Isn't that a little...I don't know, 2005?"
Trying to do her homework with Kurt and Mercedes in the library, Quinn frowned across the table at him. "What?"
Kurt put his pen down on the notebook open in front of him, the main contents of which seemed to be drawings of hearts and the words "Mr Kurt Timberlake", "If you're going to win over a girl you claimed to hate for several years, why use MySpace? At the very least, if you were so set on the internet thing, it could have been Facebook."
Quinn looked at Mercedes, who seemed just as curious, and then back at him, "I don't know, Rachel likes MySpace. And I really don't see how getting together over Facebook would work at all. Why do you care?"
"He's just mad because "school's biggest bitch and school's biggest loser get together" is a good scandal, but "school's biggest bitch and biggest loser get together over MySpace" automatically makes it lame." Mercedes explained.
Quinn rolled her eyes, "Would you not call her a loser in front of me? Or not at all, actually."
Soon the inevitable occurred, and Rachel appeared in the library, ignoring stern looks from the librarian, holding a towering pile of music books, and tottered towards the table they were sitting at. Quinn got up quickly to help her, while Kurt and Mercedes barely raised their eyes from their books.
"Hey Rach," Quinn said, putting a pile of books down as Rachel smiled gratefully at her, "I thought you were boycotting the library since they won't let you record audio books for them?"
"Well, although McKinley's blind student is still missing out on hearing my musical rendition of "The Lovely Bones", I've decided to temporarily forgo my boycott in order to help you decide which song you'd like to perform at Sectionals, so we can begin rehearsing immediately. What's your opinion on t.A.T.u.?"
"Wow," Quinn chewed her bottom lip nervously, "I thought you'd be mad about this."
"It's my duty as your girlfriend, and as Glee club captain, to support you! Not to mention helping you will be good practice in case I'm ever forced to live out my dreams through my children."
"Yeah, well..." she glanced back at Kurt and Mercedes, who seemed utterly uninterested in what they were talking about, and lowered her voice, "I don't know if I'm going to go through with it. I'm thinking about telling Mr Schue to get someone else to do the duet."
To her credit, Rachel didn't immediately start thinking of solos she could sing herself. "What? Why?"
Quinn shrugged, "I don't think I can do it - I mean last time I was on stage my water broke, I've never sang the lead in front of so many people... and I've never sang with Sam at all, to be honest he kind of grosses me out."
Rachel took her hand gently, still balancing sheet music in her other, "Regardless, it's your opportunity to shine - I think this is just nerves."
"I don't know. Maybe a different competition, but not this one."
Standing at her locker talking to Brittany, Santana looked around in confusion. "Did you hear that?"
"It sounded like someone trying to get my attention with a method they stole from a cartoon." she looked around again, and seeing nothing out of the ordinary, shrugged, "Anyway, so like I was saying - at best epilogues are just an attempt to drag out the story for a little longer and disguise the crappy ending, they're never - "
Santana sighed, "Why do I feel like my day's about to take a turn for the tedious?"
She turned around again to find Rachel's face peering out at her from the janitor's closet. She looked her up and down slowly, "I seriously hope you're not trying to lure me in there with you, Berry."
Brittany looked over Santana's shoulder and smiled brightly, "Hey Rachel, are you a janitor now?"
"No," Rachel whispered, "I need your advice."
"Oh," Brittany nodded in understanding, "So you're in the janitor's closet because you need to clean up your problems."
"Something like that... I need to hurry in case Quinn comes by, you can't let her know what I'm about to ask you."
Santana looked at Brittany, "Or we could go away, and then we wouldn't have to know either."
Brittany hit her arm gently, and, rolling her eyes but clearly admonished, Santana turned back to Rachel, "Fine. What's going wrong with Pinky and the Brain?"
Rachel looked around furtively, before explaining (having already forgotten she was supposed to be whispering), "I'm not sure how to handle this situation with Quinn, she wants to tell Mr Schue she can't do the duet - and if she drops out the duty would clearly fall to me. On one hand I want to show her she would be excellent, but on the other, my career ambitions obviously dictate I should ensure I can show my talent as often as possible as well as guarantee victory for the club."
Santana rolled her eyes, "Okay let me start off by mentioning that you're insane. Second, if this is the kind of dumb problems you normally have, definitely do not make a habit of coming to me and Britt for advice. Thirdly, you're an idiot. Quinn got one solo that you didn't - that's not exactly going to ruin your career, is it? The fact you're probably going to be committed by the time you're 21 is a much bigger issue there."
"So you're saying I should make sure she performs?"
"Sometimes you've got to step back and have a bit of loyalty for your girl, Berry, it's not all about you. Thank God."
Rachel was mercifully silent, and Santana and Brittany took the opportunity to make their escape, but before they did Santana looked back, and called over her shoulder, "Oh, and Streisand? Don't worry about winning either," she smirked at the blonde cheerleader next to her, "Me and B have definitely got this." Rachel barely heard her however - Santana was right, she'd let Quinn down, and she'd make sure she made it up to her.
"I don't know," Finn said, tossing a football to Puck on the other side of the room, the rest of the Glee club gathered round, "They really seem to like each other. I think they'll last."
Santana snorted, "Please. If by the time we're all thirty, Rachel Berry is not living alone with seven cats, I will personally give you all $100."
"I'm pretty sure Quinn will be living in the suburbs with a pretty-boy husband and a bunch of kids," Artie said, "The evidence is all there - just look at her past boyfriends." Puck threw the football at his head.
Standing in the doorway, Rachel folder her arms and pursed her lips, "Are you all taking bets on how long Quinn and I will stay together for again? I told you that was particularly unkind."
"I said you wouldn't break up!" Finn exclaimed, "I can totally see it - ten years from now you'll be on Broadway, Quinn will...I don't know...read a lot and listen to Swedish indie singers, and you'll be together!"
"Quinn does love Lykke Li," Rachel said thoughtfully, "Thank you, anyway, Finn. As for the rest of you, perhaps think more on the longevity of your own relationships, given that the majority of you are currently single."
There was a general groaning and a chorus of "shut up, Berry". Rachel smiled, "Well, now I have your attention, I have something I'd like to say - "
"You got voted "most likely to become a serial killer" and you asked us all here to get a head start?"
Rachel sighed, "I will ignore your witty quips, Santana, since I have a favour to ask of you all."
As Rachel explained her plan, the Glee club (minus Quinn) collectively recoiled. There was nothing worse than being unwittingly involved in a Rachel Berry scheme.
Rachel was unusually inattentive in history class the next day, barely aware of what was going on around her - although she still managed to correct Finn's spelling, Santana went completely unreprimanded for trying to distract the teacher from setting any homework ("So, couldn't World War II have been avoided if Abraham Lincoln just like...shot Hitler? And I thought Nazis were made up, like unicorns and feminists.") She couldn't concentrate on anything except her plan to build Quinn's confidence in her singing ability, which was to commence as soon as the bell rang. The Glee club had been surprisingly compliant after she bought them all hot dogs, though she wasn't sure how well they'd carry through with it - the collective agreement had been that she was "batshit insane", and they had been distracted frequently by the need to make crude jokes centred around sausages.
The bell rang, interrupting their teacher's flustered attempt to explain that the Cold War wasn't named such because it's cold in Russia, and Rachel looked at Finn and nodded.
He crossed the room to approach Quinn, busy putting her books away, "Hi, Quinn." he said in a voice that suggested he'd memorised everything he was about to say (he had, it was written on his hand), "I found this note on the floor. It is addressed to you." he handed her a piece of paper, which she opened, frowning suspiciously.
"This says to come to the auditorium after school. Did Rach put you up to this?"
Finn turned to look at Rachel helplessly, and she shook her head furiously. "No." he said, "I have to go now. I have to...uh...help Sam. With his, um, pokemon. Yeah."
As he left, high-fiving Sam on an acting job well done, Quinn crossed the room to join to her girlfriend. "What are you planning?"
"Planning?" Rachel looked shocked, "I'm not planning anything Quinn, why would you think I am?"
"This note may not be written on your stationary, but I'm pretty sure no one else would write "Ms Fabray, I formally request your presence in the McKinley High auditorium after school.""
"I assure you, Quinn, I had nothing to do with this escapade."
Quinn pursed her lips, "If you say so."
They walked to their next class together, discussing what exactly Puck and Lauren Zises could be doing with each other every day after school (most people seemed to think it was shoplifting Big Macs, but they thought it might be more than that). They stopped briefly at Quinn's locker, and while the cheerleader retrieved her books Rachel busied herself making sure her relationship calendar was up to date.
"Okay," Quinn said, with a smile, holding out her hand for Rachel to take, "Ready to go?"
"Yes," Rachel replied, peering over Quinn's shoulder into her locker, "Are you sure you didn't see anything unusual in there? For example in between your math text book and the pamphlet Miss Pillsbury gave you about dating highly-strung bisexual Jewish girls?"
Quinn raised one eyebrow and turned back to look, "What's this? A CD?"
"I have no idea, Quinn, I suppose it might be."
With a sigh Quinn put the case in her bag, "Well, it says 'play in the auditorium', on it. I'm sure this is completely innocent and not part of an insane scheme on your part. You want to go to class?"
Rachel was tempted to be offended by that statement, but she was too pleased when the other girl pulled her in to kiss her on the forehead to pay much attention.
Gym class typically meant any Cheerios present would disappear for cheerleading practice, while the rest of the students would be subjected to the whims of an eternally sadistic gym teacher, who refused to believe that a teenager could get enough exercise from a daily session on an elliptical, and instead felt the need to subject them to twice weekly hour long sessions of such endlessly pointless activities like climbing ropes and dodgeball. These activities occurred on such a regular basis that Rachel had the strong suspicion that their teacher didn't know how to play any other sports, or at the very least learned everything he knew about teaching gym class from made-for-TV movies.
Quinn left the other girl behind then, a familiar refrain of "the throat muscles need to be exercised just as much as any others!" ringing in her ears, simultaneously grateful she didn't have to suffer those excuses for lessons, and pitying her girlfriend that she did (although she was sure the gym teacher always had a worse time of it - he paled whenever Rachel entered the room). Since Sue Sylvester couldn't always be there for the Cheerios practices (something to do with time zones and China), it was often left to her to run things - which meant she typically spent the period arguing with Santana about which routines they should do and dealing with the cheerleaders too scared to tell Sue they had become fat, pregnant or male.
Making her way out on to the football field today however, she was surprised to see Santana, unusually on time for class, leaning against the preposterously large trophy they'd won her first year as captain. Nearby Brittany seemed to be practising one of their more complicated routines.
"What's going on? You know Coach will kill you if she sees you've got that out here."
Santana shrugged, buffing her nails on her shirt, "We'll have it back in the trophy room by the time she gets back from that UN conference."
"Okay, so why do you have it here? Hoping you can look at your reflection in it?"
"Nah, Berry bought us hotdogs and paid us $20 to haul it out here and remind you how you helped us win. Or something."
"San," Brittany hissed, stopping what she was doing and coming closer to join the conversation, "You weren't supposed to tell her who it was."
"Oh, you're right," Santana nodded solemnly and turned back to Quinn, "An anonymous oompa-loompa bought us hotdogs and paid us $20 to haul it out here."
Brittany smiled, "That's better."
Quinn stared at them in confusion, "To remind me of winning? At Nationals? Does she think I forgot or something?"
They both shrugged, clearly not interested at all in the motivations behind Rachel's plan.
"Come on, she has to have told you guys something? What's she planning?"
Santana smiled, "I could tell you, but then I wouldn't get to bask in having knowledge you don't for the next hour. Yeah, I think I'll stick with that."
Quinn sighed, "Britt?"
The other girl shrugged, "I don't get to know things that other people don't very often."
"Great." Quinn said, "Hope you guys are gonna enjoy running laps all period."
Puck cornered her as she was leaving the locker room after getting changed. She sighed, "Puckerman, I have to go meet Rach in the auditorium. I don't really have time to hear about you shooting Japanese alien zombie cowboy girls on the Playstation 4 or whatever."
Past the point where he bothered to try and correct her knowledge of video games, he offered her his arm, "I'll walk you." She looked up at him with a frown, sure he'd never been this chivalrous while they were actually dating, but figured she didn't have anything to lose - he was pretty good at elbowing freshmen out of the way when they got too close. "So, uh, we're friends right, Quinn?" he asked, "I mean I know we broke up, and now you're dating Berry and stuff, and every time I think about that I get kind of confused and horny, but we're still buds, aren't we?"
She was beginning to wonder if this was another part of Rachel's plan, "Uh...sure...I guess."
He seemed genuinely pleased, and she had to admit she was slightly touched. "Cool. But you know, if you hurt Berry or whatever, I'm gonna have to slash your tires. I gotta look out for my fellow Jews, I'm pretty sure it's one of the ten commandments. Or it's in a Billy Joel song. It's sacred, anyway."
"Don't you spend most of your time either ignoring her or trying to make out with her?"
"Well yeah, but that doesn't mean I don't like her. She's kind of like the pet hamster I had when I was a kid that my mom had to look after because I got bored when I realised it couldn't fly. I never looked twice at the dumb thing, but I was still totally bummed when my sister tried to dress it up like it was in Slipknot and it suffocated."
Quinn was endlessly surprised by his ability to be sweet in a horrible sort of way, "Okay then. Well, I'm not going to hurt her."
"Awesome," Puck said cheerfully, as they reached the doors of the auditorium. "Anyway, I have to give you this." He handed her a sheet of paper and she looked down at it in confusion.
"Lyrics for "Time of My Life"? Let me guess, this is another part of Rachel's plan?"
He looked at his bare wrist, "Would you look at the time? I gotta go spit at cats." he patted her on the shoulder affectionately, "Later, bro."
She watched him go, and then looked at the doors of the auditorium in trepidation of what she was about to find inside.
The room was almost dark, only the stage dimly lit, when Quinn entered. "Rach?" she called out, squinting past the empty seats, "If you don't come out I'm going to use that rape whistle you made me buy..." There was the definite sound of someone moving near the stage, but no one emerged, so, sighing, Quinn made her way down the stairs.
As she got closer, she realised there was a CD player on the stage that had been hidden in shadows before. The fact it could be hidden from anyone within a mile radius was slightly surprising given how thoroughly it had been bedazzled - Rachel was consistently unsubtle, you had to give her that.
"Well," Quinn said out loud to the empty room, "I guess I'm supposed to play this CD." There was a noise from the wings that sounded suspiciously like someone trying to muffle giggling, and she rolled her eyes with a chuckle, rummaging in her bag for the disk and setting it to play.
Music filled the room, and Quinn heard Rachel before she saw her, blinded slightly by the lights that suddenly illuminated the stage.
"Now, I've had the time of my life," Rachel sang, and beckoned the other girl across the stage to stand next to her in the light, grasping her hand, "No, I've never felt like this before." Her girlfriend's voice filling the room, Quinn couldn't help grinning. "Yes, I swear, it's the truth," Rachel squeezed her hand, "And I owe it all to you."
They looked at each other.
Rachel's smile dropped in disappointment and she crossed her arms over her chest, "Quinn, you missed your cue."
Suddenly jolted out of being enchanted with the other girl's voice into apparently being reprimanded, Quinn was confused, "What? My cue?"
"Yes, your cue! I even sang the male part for you!"
"What? Rach, just giving me a CD and some lyrics doesn't mean I'm going to be able to sing something right away."
Rachel bit her lip in thought, "Now you mention it, that does seem slightly ridiculous." she pouted, "I just wanted us to sing together to show you how well you could do it."
"So that was what this whole plan was for?"
"Well, yes, the rest of it was just...kind of for fun, you know? I wanted to do something for you the way you did for me so I asked Finn and Puck to help, and Brittany and Santana to get the trophy to remind you you're already a performer and a good one too, and I was so distracted someone managed to steal $20 from my purse without me even noticing - " she paused for breath, looking miserable, "I'm sorry, it was a silly idea. I just wanted to show you that you could do it, and not let you down so soon in our relationship."
"Okay," Quinn said slowly, "Let me see if I understand - you spent the day getting our friends to give me stuff to help me sing a song, pretending you had nothing to do with it, so you could show me I should sing the duet at Sectionals?"
"And you did it anonymously, because...?"
Rachel shrugged, "It seemed appropriate?"
Quinn shook her head incredulously, pulling the other girl closer to wrap her arms around her, "That is such an incredibly bizarre plan I'm actually surprised that even you thought of it." she kissed her quickly, a small smile forming on the other girl's face, "But it was very sweet. In a convoluted sort of way."
"Does this mean you're going to do the duet?"
She looked down at Rachel, smiling hopefully up at her, "I don't know, Rach, I don't think...I don't know if I'm ready for it."
Rachel's arms tightened around her waist, "You are, and as you know, my opinion is likely the most expert you'll receive on the subject. Trust me on this."
Quinn looked dubious, "I suppose..."
Her eyebrows raised, Rachel stepped back slightly, "Yes, you should trust me. I think given that I trusted an anonymous enquirer on my MySpace page, and I trusted you when you seemed to want a friendship with me - despite all previous evidence to the contrary - and even now I'm trusting that it's possible, and not just an incredibly realistic dream, that dorky Rachel Berry who wears animal print sweaters and once wrote a letter to John Travolta asking him to star in a remake of Grease with her, is dating the head cheerleader and the hottest girl in school, I feel you should trust me on this one, relatively small, issue."
Managing a small smile, Quinn exhaled slowly, "I guess I can do that."
Rachel beamed and clapped her hands together, "Excellent - we can begin rehearsing immediately!"
Quinn watched as the other girl went to reset the CD player, and this time, she couldn't stop the smile from breaking out.
They stood together behind the curtains, waiting for their entrance at Sectionals, Sam nearby talking to Finn. Quinn pulled nervously at her clothes, "Do I look okay? I feel like I look weird. Do I look weird? Is this dress too short?"
Rachel put a calming hand on her arm, "You look lovely, Quinn."
The other girl managed to stop panicking for long enough to blush, "Thanks. You should go, you have to go on too. You don't want anyone to miss out on a second of Rachel Berry swaying."
Rachel rolled her eyes, "I know you're being sarcastic, but I'm going to accept that as a compliment regardless." She leaned up to kiss the other girl on the cheek quickly, "You'll be amazing, I know."
She turned to leave, beckoning Finn to follow, when Quinn called after her, "Oh, hey, Rach." She turned, Finn pausing impatiently, looking at his watch. "You look beautiful." Quinn said, "Definitely the hottest girl in school."
Rachel grinned, and she was still grinning as she took her place on stage.
A week later, after a decisive draw at Sectionals (Rachel had assured her they hadn't won due to anti-discrimination laws, not because of anything they'd done wrong), Quinn arrived at her girlfriend's house at midday, clutching vegan cupcakes she'd probably be scolded for bringing ("you are not required to buy my love with sweet treats, although they are very much appreciated"). Rachel opened the door to her with a flying hug, and they retreated upstairs quickly, since Quinn was anxious to avoid any awkward conversations with her fathers for as long as possible.
"Come here," Quinn said, settling herself at Rachel's desk and patting her lap, "I want to show you something."
Rachel approached dubiously, but sat on the other girl's knee and put her arm around her shoulders readily enough, "I thought we were going to watch a movie?"
"We are," Quinn said, distracted as she opened the laptop and brought up MySpace.
Rachel looked at the page. "Why have you logged me on to MySpace? You're putting us behind schedule on - " she paused, stared uncomprehendingly at the screen, blinked and rubbed her eyes, "Does that say I have thirteen new friend requests?"
Quinn grinned, "Yep."
Tentatively, Rachel clicked, "Everyone in Glee has joined MySpace?"
"Yeah," if possible, Quinn's smile only got wider, "Everyone in Glee, along with Mr Schue and ... Karofsky, for some reason. I mean, Puck's already figured out how to change the background on Finn's page to naked guys, and I don't know what Mr Schue's doing on there, but Mike has a lot of cool dancing videos. Kurt's getting a lot of anonymous messages from whoever, and Brittany just posts about her cat, who I think needs a support group or - "
"Wait," Rachel interrupted, having managed to click on to a different page, "What's this?"
"Oh - that's the best part."
Rachel scrolled down the page with a small frown, "'New Directions - McKinley High Glee Club'" she read, "You made a MySpace page for the Glee club?"
"Yeah," Quinn said, suddenly slightly nervous, "Do you like it?"
Turning to look at her finally, Rachel smiled widely, "Of course I like it, Quinn. You'll obviously have to give me administrative rights and - is there a way to update everyone by text message when I post a news bulletin?" she pulled the other girl towards her to kiss her quickly.
"It was kind of a gift," Quinn said with a slight blush, "For helping me out with Sectionals and stuff."
"That was just...being a good girlfriend, but this - this is being an excellent girlfriend. I mean I'd considered doing this myself of course, but with only myself as a member it would be something of a pointless exercise..." She gasped suddenly, "There's music there too? How did you do that?"
Quinn rolled her eyes, "I know you make secret recordings of every performance, Rach, and Puck's girlfriend helps you. Everyone knows that. And Lauren Zises will do almost anything for a cheeseburger and a flash of Puck's abs, so..." Holding the other girl closer, Rachel pressed play on the first song on the page.
"Just a small town girl," Finn's voice rang out, "Livin' in a lonely world."
"Not so lonely anymore." Rachel said. Quinn grinned, and kissed her.