Hi Friends! This is a birthday present for Rachberry, but it's a day late because the snow storm knocked out my internet. It's also a prompt but I just can't figure out how to get the link to properly display, i'm the worlds worst web design major i suppose.
Oh and Crazy on You is still being written so look out for that as well.
Rachel couldn't even recall how she'd let her obsession get to this point.
It started out like any other normal Monday.
Mondays were good to Rachel. Everyone would always speak ill of Mondays, but never Rachel. Weekends were once again rough for her, especially after her break up with Finn. She'd at least had places to go when she was dating the love of her life. She used that term loosely now, considering Jesse was also the love of her life at one point in time. She'd gotten swarms of text messages about weekend plans right after the breakup, but she always politely declined. She just couldn't bare to see the babyfaced boy that broke her heart, which in turned caused her to break his.
Things would never be the same between them. The trust was gone and so were her feelings. She couldn't look him in the eyes without seeing Santana's reflection staring back at her. She couldn't have a conversation with him without hearing Noah's smooth talking in her ear. She couldn't love him no matter how hard she tried.
Especially now. Especially because there was someone out there that could set her body on fire without making any effort, could make her forget to breathe and lose track of time, could make her want to love again.
It was just like any other Monday. Except, different.
Mr. Schuester was getting better at controlling his temper around the club and had allowed them to leave early from their afternoon practice. Rachel was mortified with the lack of drive that the club was exhibiting. Sure, they'd just tied for Sectionals and the club was finally in a good place after both of their captains worked through their issues, but slacking off would simply not do. Groans and eye rolls were what met the brunette when she suggested they go over some more songs choices for the upcoming Regional's competition. Sunshine was a strong singer and Rachel had to admit, if anyone could beat her in vocal range, it was the new foreign exchange student at Carmel High. With that mindset and stubbornness to always be better, Rachel decided to do what she did after every glee rehearsal, and that was to continue practicing.
She got lost in the music as she tended to do when playing the piano. There wasn't really anything that she wasn't good at in the musical field. She'd put in the time all her life and she didn't mind every once in a while enjoying how truly rewarding her hard work was. She could appreciate it, even if no one else ever did.
Rachel didn't hate her life, she was quite fond of it as a matter of fact. She just wished that someone would come along and sweep her off her feet. Jesse was the closest she'd ever gotten to something like that, and if the boy's intentions weren't to ruin her life and psych her out before Regionals then she just might have fallen in love with him. But he was evil and she found that out soon enough, and naturally it was accompanied by her fellow glee member's I told you so's.
She wished that people would appreciate her more because she knew that if people gave her a chance, she'd change their minds about her. She'd done it with Finn, and while she was still working at it, she could tell that people were aggravated by her mere presence alone. How do you work harder at not existing? Rachel had far too much pride and frankly was too selfish to stop existing in the world she loved despite everything. The glee members would come around soon enough. She really wasn't as big of a diva as everyone made her out to be, it was just convenient to write her off that way and it often upset the brunette. She just wanted a chance.
Her cell phone vibrated on top of the piano and she noted that it was time to get home for dinner. Her fathers didn't necessarily love the idea of her being in the school all by herself after hours and she understood entirely. There were a few creepy janitors that roamed the hallways at night. One time she saw Mr. Schuester and that had completely freaked her out.
She walked back towards the risers and shouldered her school bag, immediately searching for the car keys that had a tiny can of mace attached to them on a key chain. She was always prepared.
It might as well of had a mystical glow around it. It being the leather journal that was sitting innocently on one of the maroon chairs. It sucked her right in and she should have known at that exact moment that her life would be forever altered. The black leather was slightly worn, the suede string wrapped around it's exterior was tied in a loose bow; it was intriguing and very much enticing. Rachel normally had somewhat of a self-proclaimed photographic memory but for the life of her she couldn't recall who sat behind her earlier during rehearsals. Her immediate thought process led her to believe it was Noah, but then she started picturing Santana there and pretty soon every glee member's face was being pictured in the seat. It was a lost cause. She cursed Will Schuester's refusal of assigned seating, she realized that she'd have give him another lecture on the importance of such things that the teacher found trivial.
She hesitantly ran her fingers over the book, just to make sure it was real. She picked it up and untied the string. Of course there was no trace of ownership. Kids could be so reckless sometimes. All of her personal items were either stamped, engraved, or sharpied with her full name and contact information. Either this person was careless or didn't want to take responsibility for such a beautiful journal.
She threw the journal into her bag and proceeded to turn off the lights on her way out. She gripped her keys when she heard footsteps coming from down the corridor. Someone was around the corner and she was absolutely terrified.
"Who's there?" she called out, hoping all traces of shakiness hadn't made themselves present.
When there was no answer she began to panic even more. If they weren't a killer than why wouldn't they just announce their name and social security number like any reasonable person would when asked who's there in a dark deserted hallway? She was too young to die, she hadn't even had a chance to leave behind a legacy. And there was no way that she would die in the halls of McKinley. She was going to get out of this godforsaken town.
"I have mace!" she squealed once it became apparent that her attacker had a death wish.
"Seriously Berry? Mace? Whoa! Watch it."
"Quinn! You startled me!"
Quinn removed both hands from her face. The mace was pointed directly at her and she didn't know how trigger happy Rachel could get if given the opportunity.
"What are you doing here?" Rachel asked after lowering her firearm.
"I forgot my math book." Quinn replied, "You?"
Rachel nodded, "Getting in some extra practice."
Quinn waited for the inevitable rant that was sure to come and was pleasantly confused when Rachel made no attempt to continue talking.
"Wait. In the choir room?" Quinn asked, her eyes suddenly darting around the hallway.
Rachel looked at her weirdly. Where else would she practice? She reserved the auditorium for her heart wrenching and soul bearing performances.
"Of course. I apologize but I must get home, good luck with your math homework."
"Um, yeah. Thanks."
Rachel moved swiftly passed her and continued out to her car that sat under one of the lights in the parking lot. The sky was dark and the light tended to make her feel safer while she was fiddling with the lock on her driver's side door. She was always prepared.
Dinner was pasta. As it was every Monday. It was normal, expected, and also Rachel's favorite type of meal. Vegetable lasagna was Rachel's absolute favorite meal.
Rachel often acted on impulse. She'd sent her competition to a crack-house, she made out with Noah Puckerman to extract revenge, she gave her underwear to Jacob so he'd keep his mouth shut, and she even reported the old glee instructor for sexual misconduct with a student. It really was no surprise when she opened the leather journal, regardless of whether or not she was serious when she told herself it was just to find further clues as to whom the owner was. It took longer than it normally would have to pry into the secret life of one of her fellow glee members, and that was only because she had completely forgotten that she had the book at all.
She shuffled through the first few pages, expecting to find gossip and nonsensical ramblings of the average teenager. Maybe even a few drawings. After those first few pages she realized that it was not what she had stumbled upon at all, it was something deeper. Far more deeper than she could even comprehend. She wouldn't be able to just glance through it either, she had to read it.
She was captivated. Entirely enthralled and she wasn't even halfway through the first page. She forgot she was even still standing. Her eyes glued to the neutral pencil markings on the off-white canvas, her heart beating as she traced over the words that weren't meant for her, her guilt setting in each time she'd turn another page.
And she finally understood, they were song lyrics.
Meaningful, thoughtful, heartbreaking, unrequited song lyrics.
They made her cry.
Each song made her cry harder than the last. They got deeper and more emotional as they went on. Each one a little more soul bearing than the last. Each one with more erasure marks in an attempt to find the right word to describe the object of their affection. Each one pulling Rachel closer and closer towards this unknown person in something that would never be broken. They were connected as far as Rachel was concerned. Rachel felt the writer's pain, the heartbreak, the hoping, and the longing.
They were absolutely beautiful, even without hearing the music behind them. They made Rachel's heart ache for the writer who was only able to admit their secret love on paper and it ached for the person unaware that someone felt that strongly about them. To have someone want her as much as the writer wanted this person is the only thing that Rachel had ever wanted. She had her voice, she had her music and she had her talents, all she'd ever really wanted was for someone to love her unconditionally and without reserve.
She had to find out who wrote them.
She had to find out who the person was that could make her fall in love with words.
She had to find out who she could potentially fall in love with.
At the very least to help them confront their crush, she told herself. And at the very most, hopefully hear that the writer was writing about her.
It made her cry even harder when she realized how ridiculous it all sounded.
You're the words that come out easy, and I am speechless at best.
For once in her life, Rachel was unprepared. She had no idea how to go about finding out who the journal owner was. She contemplated holding it up at glee practice and waiting for the person to fess up. And while she was trained in various ways of torture and could withstand hours of silently staring at someone until they cracked, she knew the odds of that working were slim to none. She considered putting up flyers around the school of the found item. She considered leaving it in the choir room for someone else to deal with. She vetoed that idea before she could even jot it down into her notebook with her Gelly pen during Math first period. She'd already had to take an unprepared for not having her homework so she figured she might as well not pay attention at all. It wasn't like her to not do homework, but she had honestly forgotten she had outside responsibilities. She was too preoccupied with the journal.
It was an emotional weight that she intended on guarding with her life.
She was working out possible plans of attack. Writing samples were a must, as was breaking into the English teacher's grade book to see who had the potential to write such in depth passages. Interviews had to be conducted but they needed to be sneaky. She couldn't risk having the owner finding out she was in possession of the surely beloved journal and being spooked into anonymity for the rest of their lives! Rachel Berry was a planner and plan she did. She was so involved in her work that she didn't notice Quinn Fabray staring at her from the other side of the room, nervously biting her nails as she tried to figure out what it was that the brunette was up to.
No one could be left out of the equation. Rachel decided that once she realized that she'd been surprised by almost all of the current glee member's talents and interest in music and she absolutely could be surprised again with their ability to write such moving lyrics. She jotted down everyone's name and found herself wincing at a few of them. It's wasn't that she didn't think they were capable of having such feelings for someone else, it was just that Rachel had it in her head that the writer was writing about her. She wasn't crazy, contrary to popular belief. Sure, she had a sixth sense and it was definitely kicking in to fuel her fantasy that some of the lyrics not only spoke to her but they were about her.
Your star it seems to shine above the rest.
Everyone knew that stars were her metaphor. Even if that was really the only thing she had that made her believe the words were about her. But she got it into her mind and even though she'd be heartbroken when it was over, it was kind of like her secret fairytale that she could vicariously live through for a while. Maybe she could play matchmaker. At best it was a nice distraction from the train wreck her life had become after breaking up with Finn.
And while she found herself grimacing at most of the list, she promised herself to be thorough and leave no rock unturned.
You're the face before the cameras, the smile I'd like to earn.
She made her first move during lunch the following day, unable to contain herself any longer. She decided to see if anyone spoke up about losing a journal during glee and when the entire hour and a half went by without a word, she made up her mind that she'd begin her assault the next day.
She spotted Tina and Mike in the cafeteria, two birds with one stone.
"Hi friends!" Rachel plopped down at the table and rummaged through her brown bagged lunch, she wasn't really that hungry but she needed to look trustworthy and easygoing.
Mike and Tina were quite smitten with each other and the odds of them wanting to hide their feelings from the other was probably minimal. Unless, Rachel thought, they had feelings for someone else.
Rachel read the journal as if it were a bed time story, and she was entirely convinced. She had a secret admirer. In one song, the writer referred to someone as having chocolate eyes and a spotlight smile. Clearly, it was Rachel. Her brown eyes were quite delicious and her smile could light up a room. It was getting easier and easier for Rachel to make connections, she refused to acknowledge the fact that she was looking quite hard for them.
She'd have to conduct a sting operation. Mike and Tina's responses to her questions weren't in the least bit suspicious so she'd have to bait herself and see if Mike took advantage. When Tina excused herself to go to the bathroom, Rachel put the moves on him. She didn't take it personal when Mike denied any attraction towards the brunette, she actually considered it a small victory. She could avoid being in love with her friend's boyfriend and Mike wasn't her type…at all.
They were put on the back burner as Rachel rethought her approach to the entire thing. Considering that maybe the best way to figure it out was to observe human behavior and interaction. She spent the rest of her night when she got home from glee researching body language and facial cues.
You're the beauty that is deeper, than eyes can merely see.
She was called into Principal Figgins office Friday afternoon when school ended.
"You simply cannot follow students around and take notes on them."
Rachel didn't understand why.
"Brittany Pierce is convinced her cat sent you to spy on her and Artie Abrams claims you followed him into the men's restroom!"
Rachel rolled her eyes, she didn't mean to follow him in. She didn't realize he entered the men's room…her head was trained down as she was jotting notes.
"I'm sure that it was just a misunderstanding. Right, Rachel?" Mr. Schuester turned to look at her, almost willing her to agree with him as if he'd also be implicated should she get in trouble.
She also didn't understand why Mr. Schuester had to be present, it's not like it had anything to do with him. She was in tons of clubs, why weren't any of her other instructors informed?
"Yes, of course. I'll apologize to them, I was conducting an experiment and they must have misunderstood."
She wasn't going to apologize to them. They got her in trouble.
Mr. Schuester thanked Principal Figgins while Rachel stormed out of the office. She'd been let go with a warning and reminded to respect the student's privacy. The teacher caught up with Rachel halfway down the hallway. He was worried about her.
"What's going on? You've been very distracted all week."
Rachel decided that maybe the best way to go about it was to be blunt.
"Mr. Schuester, do you write lyrics about people?"
He stood a little straighter and studied the girl curiously for a moment before answering.
"Of course, what's—"
Rachel felt her heart drop at the admittance, she'd found her secret admirer—as she decidedly deemed this person—and maybe she would have been happy about who it was at one delusional point in her life but she couldn't say that was the case anymore.
"I understand that you may have an attraction to me but I must preface—"
"Rachel! Wildly inappropriate." he barked lowly before guiding her into an open classroom, "What's this about?"
Rachel sighed heavily, once he had his journal back he'd understand completely. She dug through her school bag and pulled out the leather book that she'd been attached to for almost a week and handed it to him. She felt a piece of her heart break off as he accepted it.
He turned it over and looked at it, "No, it's not."
Rachel looked up, her pulse quickening at the possibility of having another life in this manhunt.
He laughed a bit and handed it back to her, "No. I'm assuming this is another misunderstanding?"
Rachel nodded until she felt like her head might snap from her neck and swiftly moved past Mr. Schuester, hoping to forget about the entire interaction.
Will watched her go, undoubtedly a lot more confused than he was while sitting in Figgins' office. He avoided eye contact with the brunette as he entered the choir room but he got the feeling that her mind was somewhere else entirely. Rachel's behavior was bizarre lately but if he honestly thought about her inconsistent behavior all the time, then it was just another normal day.
The only thing that was never inconsistent with Rachel was her need to sing. And he hadn't heard her sing in nearly five days, that in and of itself was strange.
Artie was still slightly creeped out by the brunette's earlier behavior but he didn't hold it against her. Brittany still couldn't shake the feeling that it had something to do with her diary, and her cat's need to know every detail of the blonde's life.
Brittany approached Rachel after glee club while she was writing something on a pad of paper. The brunette looked up when she felt a shadow cast over her.
"Have you been reading my diary?" she asked with no trace of expression.
Rachel felt her heart once again drop into her stomach.
Rachel had found the idea funny when she originally considered Brittany to be the one writing her inner most workings on paper. She knew it was entirely possible and she would never put anything passed the ditzy cheerleader.
"Whiskers gave it to you, didn't he?"
"It's her cat, ankle biter."
Rachel felt her mouth go dry. She was used to Santana's berating and constant put downs so that wasn't what bothered her. She had caught Quinn's eye from across the room as she talked to Sam and for some reason she felt the strangest feeling in her stomach.
"I'm sorry Brittany, but your cat didn't give me your diary."
She wasn't lying. No cat gave her a diary. Unless, she thought, the cat snuck it in while she was practicing on Monday. She shook her head, the notion was absolutely ludicrous. She was going crazy.
She was on a roller coaster of emotions since finding the black journal and she just wanted it all to end. It was consuming every aspect of her mind. She couldn't remember the last time she heard herself sing, she couldn't recall what she'd learned in any of her classes the past few days, and she couldn't even remember what she had for dinner the night before. It was torturous.
"Whatever, just give Brittany back whatever you took from her and I won't have to beat your face in."
"S-Santana, I c-can assure you that I—"
"Now!" she barked.
Santana felt powerful when Rachel withered under her intense glare. She knew the petite brunette was afraid of her. Especially, after she found out that Finn slept with her. She had felt bad about it but she was sick of coming in second to naturally everyone in the glee club. Puck would always choose Quinn over her, Brittany had chosen Artie, and Finn had chosen Rachel. For once, she wanted some kind of acknowledgment.
Even though guilt ran through her body when she yelled at Rachel, she was blinded by the blonde next to her. Clearly, Brittany came before everyone in her life and if Brittany said that Rachel took her diary then Rachel took her diary. And Santana couldn't afford that diary to get into Rachel's hands. The girl would have endless blackmail material against her.
Rachel was screwed. She was screwed whether or not she handed Brittany back her leather diary. If she withheld it, Santana would kick her ass. If she gave it back, Santana would kick her ass for having it in the first place.
Everyone looked up to see Quinn walking over towards them. Rachel panicked, she really wasn't in any shape to defend herself against the head cheerleader. Even if the accusations against her were crazy. Quinn frightened her. She was like the calm before the storm, except she was the calm and the storm. The tiniest things could set the blonde off, and the weirdest things could make her smile. She was expressionless most of the time, never letting off what it was that she was truly thinking. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind when it was called for, and that's what ultimately had Rachel frightened.
She could take Santana's jabs and name calling because that's how the girl had always been with her. Quinn was starting to be kind of nice to Rachel for some reason and she didn't want to piss the blonde off so that she'd be mean to her again. Quinn's loyalties resided with the Cheerios, Rachel reminded herself as she approached. She mentally prepared herself for any verbal blow she was about to be dealt.
Quinn had been aware of the conversation that was taking place. She also knew that Santana was overly protective of her blonde counterpart, and it sometimes even led her to go against common logic. It sometimes had her overlooking facts, like that it was impossible for Brittany's cat to give Rachel the girl's diary.
Rachel was stuttering, she was nervous, and she wasn't very confident. Quinn had seen this new side of the brunette more and more after she broke it off with Finn. She didn't like it.
Everyone watched as Quinn whispered something into Brittany's ear, they watch as a smile slid onto Brittany's face, and they watch as she clapped before bouncing out of the choir room door. Quinn smiled softly to herself at the retreating form of one of her best friends before turning towards her other best friend and letting a scowl settle over her features.
"Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?"
Quinn was the only person who could intimidate Santana Lopez. Even when the blonde was pregnant and off the cheerleading squad, Santana bit back most of the comments she wanted to make. She knew that Quinn would be back after giving birth and she knew she'd want revenge. Quinn was remarkable in that kind of way.
Santana crossed her arms over her chest, trying not to show off how momentarily frightened she was and how stupid she did just sound.
"Whatever. What did you tell her?"
"That her diary was in her locker." Quinn stated, her eyes cast down to the seated Rachel before moving them back to Santana's.
"You realize she's going to be upset when her diary isn't in there." Santana snapped back, already pissed off at the blonde for further upsetting Brittany.
"Good thing that it is in there."
Santana refused to back down.
"And how do you know that?"
Sam wasn't a moron. He knew that his girlfriend was relatively closed off and he had been working on getting her to open up. He tended to set off a switch in her almost every time they hung out that made her go from zero to bitch in .3 seconds. He noticed that she rarely went off on him when they were in public which is ultimately the reason why he decided to throw in his two cents.
"She's quite handy with a nail file and a lock." He joked.
His laughter died as Quinn turned her glare on him.
He should have known better. They were starting to fight more and more over petty nonsense. Over things that he didn't even realize mattered to her, things that none of his other previous girl friends would get upset over. At first he figured that she just liked to pick fights with him so their make-out sessions would be hotter, but then the make-out sessions started to drop a significant amount. He figured out a long time ago that she was using him and it was oddly okay with him because he'd been pretty much using her the entire time too. He got the street cred for dating Quinn Fabray and his popularity was only getting better. He does care about her even though he knows that she doesn't care about him. He had to commend her on her acting skills though, sometimes she was even able to convince him that she actually loved him.
This week she was particularly on edge for some reason and he couldn't get her to calm down no matter how hard he tried.
"Whatever." Santana huffed before she stormed out the door.
Rachel was shocked and a little bewildered as she stared up at Quinn. She came to her rescue. She was also some kind of criminal if she could pick locks that easily. She didn't know which one she was more shocked at.
She could also be shocked that once again she almost gave away the sacred journal to someone that it didn't belong to. She had yet another chapter to write for this detective novel.
"Th-thank you, Quinn. Uh, thanks."
Quinn's lips formed a small frown. Rachel's stuttering was throwing her for a loop.
"Are you okay?"
Rachel couldn't form a reply, she didn't know what had come over her so she just nodded.
Quinn's eyebrow raised as she studied the small girl. Rachel stared up at the blonde intently trying to figure out her motives for helping her. Sam watched both girls and felt the strangest sensation that he should leave the two of them alone.
Quinn was the first one to speak. But it wasn't directed towards Rachel.
"We should go."
Sam nodded, a bit confused. Quinn always complained about Santana being a terrible friend most of the time and Sam tended to think that maybe what his girlfriend needed were some more girl friends that she could hang out with. He learned quickly of the school's dynamic when he moved there but he never understood what everyone's problem was with Rachel. She'd always been overly nice to him, but people acted like they couldn't stand her the second she opened her mouth. She tended to make some accurate points and she cared about winning which he could always get behind. Sam had never heard of Quinn's personal distaste for Rachel when they were alone together but it was common knowledge that Quinn and Rachel weren't friends. He just didn't understand why.
The closest thing to perfect. But the farthest thing from me.
The journal was eating Rachel alive. Never had she spent so much time thinking about something in her life. Her nerves were shot, and her senses were on overdrive. If she so much as heard a familiar word in the hallway she zeroed in on that person until she was sure they weren't the author.
She spent her free time Googling the lyrics written to see if maybe any of them were already recorded songs. None of them were actual songs, they were all originals.
Rachel was laying in her bed, staring up at her ceiling, fantasizing about who the secret admirer could be.
Quinn was across town staring at her cell phone. It took her all morning to find someone that had the brunette's cell phone number, everyone either not answering or just simply never added it to their phones. It's not like she ever thought she'd need to use it or else she would've had it in her phone. Although, the main reason it wasn't in her phone to begin with was because she thought she'd be too tempted to use it. It took her twenty-five minutes to write the text and it took her another twenty minutes to hit send.
Rachel's phone vibrated on her nightstand but she was too zoned out to realize it.
Quinn realized what she was doing on the fourth ring but was too late and Rachel had picked up the phone. She couldn't believe that she actually called the brunette when she didn't respond to her text message.
"Um, hey. It's Quinn."
Rachel shot straight up in her bed. She couldn't believe it. She had studied the caller ID to see if she could recognize the number but every number she knew was already saved into her phone under the appropriate label. Quinn was literally the last person she ever expected to get a call from. She'd expect it to be Finn or Santana before it would be Quinn.
"Hello?" Quinn asked after silence.
She was nervous. Rachel hadn't answered yet and Quinn knew nothing good could come of having the brunette's number. Which was why she never had it to begin with. Her mother was away for the weekend visiting her older sister in Youngstown and she'd told Sam that she'd gone with her. She was in no mood to hang out with Santana as she pretended not to care about Brittany and Artie. She was utterly bored. Idle hands were the devil's workshop.
"Yes, I'm here. I apologize, I just wasn't expecting it to be you."
Of course Rachel wasn't expecting Quinn to call her. Quinn wasn't expecting to be the one that called her either.
"What are you doing?" the blonde asked.
"Well yeah, or later. Are you doing anything later?"
Rachel was still in too much of a shock to hear the uneasiness in the blonde's voice.
Quinn was pacing the area rug in her bedroom. She didn't mean to ask the brunette what she was doing later because it implied that she wanted to hang out with her. She did want to hang out with her but she didn't really want to sound pathetic about it. It was too late for that.
Rachel's weekends consisted of lounging around the house. Occasionally her fathers would take her out for a matinee movie or a shopping trip but that day she was home alone and the only thing on her agenda was reading the journal for maybe the thirtieth time.
Rachel didn't realize it but she was making it extremely difficult for Quinn. The blonde had been expecting a detailed account of what the rest of her day consisted of. At least then Quinn wouldn't have felt compelled to actually go through with what she was considering.
"Did you want to hang out?"
"Hang out? With you? Alone?"
Quinn was silently panicking. She couldn't tell if the brunette was disgusted with the thought or genuinely curious. Just because they were starting to become civil towards each other didn't mean that they'd become best friends overnight. If only it were so easy.
Quinn decided to change her route.
"Um no, I'm having a few people over." She lied.
"Is this a prank?"
Rachel couldn't help but put her defenses up. She'd gotten hurt far too many times in the past from people she trusted. She couldn't imagine what someone could do to her that didn't care about her.
It pained Quinn that Rachel thought she was still capable of such cruel behavior.
Rachel sighed, "Will Finn be there?"
No one was going to be there except for the blonde, but Rachel didn't know that. Quinn wasn't sure if Rachel wanted her ex-boyfriend there so they could rekindle their relationship or if she wasn't going to show if she knew Finn would be there. She hated both options.
"I haven't invited him yet." She decided to go with.
"Would you mind not inviting him? I understand it's incredibly rude of me to ask this of you, especially because you're being so considerate to even invite me at all, but it would mean a lot to me—"
Quinn didn't need to be sold any further.
"I wasn't really planning on inviting him at all actually, so it's fine."
She smiled to herself when she heard the sigh of relief from the other end.
"What time should I arrive?"
"Oh um," Quinn glanced at the clock on the wall, "How's six?"
Rachel bit her lip, that gave her exactly three hours to get ready.
"Okay, I'll see you then."
"See you then."
Quinn ended the call and fell back on her bed. She couldn't believe that she made it through that phone call in one piece or that Rachel had accepted the invitation. She tried not to think about how screwed she was at the fact that the brunette was expecting other people to be there when she arrived but she'd get over that obstacle when it got to her. She had to prepare the house, she had to make it look like there was supposed to be a party.
She heard the booming doorbell echo throughout the large empty house from the other side of the door. Quinn's car was the only one she saw and she realized that she must have been early. It took all she had to wait as long as she did to arrive as she was quite bored and needed to get out of the house. Which was why she took a trip to the local supermarket to pick up some things.
Quinn's stomach flipped when she heard the doorbell, she'd been trying to convince herself that she was anxious for no reason and was failing miserably. She inhaled deeply before pulling the wooden door open to reveal the smaller brunette. She opened the door wider and gestured for the girl to come inside her home.
Rachel looked around in awe. She'd never been inside the cheerleader's house but it was exactly how she pictured it; antique furniture, vintage art on the walls, pale colors and affluent decorations.
"What's this?" Quinn asked as Rachel passed over the tray of food she'd spent an hour on.
"Oh, just some light snacks. Cheese and crackers, fresh fruit, and some crudités. It's not polite to show up empty handed to a house."
"You didn't have to do this."
Rachel shrugged off her jacket, scarf and matching gloves.
"It's quite alright. I had some free time."
Anything to keep her mind off the journal that sat on her nightstand.
Rachel followed Quinn through a few rooms until they got to the kitchen. The blonde made room in the refrigerator for the platter and turned back to the brunette who was still studying the house. She noticed Rachel's coat was still draped over her arm.
"Oh here, let me take that for you."
Rachel wasn't used to having the blonde being so nice to her but she figured that it was Quinn in her natural element and she also seemed like the type to be an excellent host.
Quinn hung up the jacket in a nearby closet.
"So I guess I'm early?"
"No, you're fine." The blonde replied with her back still turned to Rachel as she fiddled with the coat hanger, "Can I get you something to drink?" she asked before the brunette could ask any more questions regarding everyone else.
"I'm okay for now."
"We have some really good iced tea. Are you sure?"
Quinn just needed to keep her hands busy for the time being.
Rachel gave in. Her mouth was suddenly dry. She didn't know how to act around the cheerleader as they were only alone a few times and never in such a setting as this. Quinn wasn't intimidating her like she normally could, and it appeared that she was actually nervous.
"So," Quinn cleared her throat after taking a long sip from the glass of tea which Rachel had to admit was quite good, "I figured we could order some food." She said as she took something from the drawer, "My mom's not the greatest cook so I'm pretty sure we have every restaurant within a five-mile radius. If they don't deliver then we can go pick it up."
Quinn slid the manila folder of menus across the green marbled counter top of the island that Rachel was sitting at.
"Shouldn't we wait for everyone else to show up?"
Quinn set her glass down and opened the folder, pulling a few off the top of the pile that she already set aside for Rachel.
"This place has really good Italian food." She pointed, "Really good vegetable lasagna."
She knew that Rachel at least somewhat enjoyed that food because she noticed that she brought it to lunch sometimes on Tuesdays.
Quinn looked up, not even realizing that she'd gone off on a tangent about the food at the various places.
"They're coming around 9."
"I'm three hours early!" Rachel often didn't mean for her voice to raise as many decibels as it normally did when she was surprised.
"This is what time I told you to come, remember? I thought we could get food and hang out until everyone showed up."
Quinn quickly realized that hanging out with Rachel Berry for the entire night might be a little hard for her and decided that she needed the buffer of some of the other glee members. She compromised however; she would have her alone time with Rachel for three hours and then everyone else would show up. If she was being truthful, it was because she was afraid that she wasn't interesting enough to keep the brunette occupied for that long of a period of time. Rachel would probably get sick of her.
"Oh." Rachel was at a loss for words and she found it was happening more and more lately, "Okay."
"Is that okay?"
Maybe she shouldn't have even allowed for them to have any alone time, judging by the look on her face.
"I apologize, it's just, I can't seem to get over the fact that you chose to hang out with me. We don't exactly get along."
"Which is why I wanted to hang out. There's really no reason why we shouldn't be friends, I mean you're not running around trying to steal my boyfriend anymore."
Rachel assumed that she was talking about the days when she used to pine after Finn while he was still dating the blonde. Or the time that she hooked up with the father of her unborn baby. The brunette hadn't realized just how inconsiderate she was to the cheerleader the previous year.
"Unless…" Quinn stopped to think, "You have a crush on Sam or something."
Quinn was entirely joking. Rachel didn't know that.
Her mind flipped through the journal pages filled with beautiful lyrical feelings and she began to panic. What if the writer was Sam?
"Oh goodness, no! I know that I don't have the best track record with people you've been involved with, but I can assure you that those days are long gone. I wouldn't even think of doing that to you again, besides you have kind of bad taste in guys. Wait! Not that I'm saying that Sam is not attractive, he is. Well, I'm not attracted to him per say but I can see why you would be. Not that you're shallow or anything. Or that you need to worry about me cornering him in the locker room. You probably don't need that image. What I was trying to say was that, well Finn cheated on both of us and Noah impregnated you and then chose your best friend. I'm sorry, you probably don't need to be reminded of such things. I'm sure Sam is an amazing boyfriend to you, it's what you deserve at the very least."
The blonde couldn't take her eyes off of the brunette's lips as she fumbled over her words throughout the entire monologue. She was absolutely mesmerized. And it wasn't the first time she found herself zoning out when Rachel was speaking. She found the entire thing kind of cute. Her flushed cheeks, her stuttering thoughts, and her bitten lip were all quite amusing.
"Y'alright?" the blonde asked through a small giggle.
"Wow, I'm sorry." Rachel shook her head and took a gulp of her iced tea, "I tend to ramble when I'm nervous." She replied a little breathless.
"Only when you're nervous?" Quinn teased.
"Well I suppose not."
"It's good to know that I make you nervous."
Rachel felt like the main character of her very own movie. Audible gulp and all.
"Where is Sam anyway? You have the house to yourself for the weekend, I'm surprised he's not walking around in a robe or something… I mean, not that I want to see him in a robe or anything."
Quinn let out a hearty laugh; the thought of Sam walking around in her dad's old robe was funny to her, "Um." The blonde focused her attention on the glass of iced tea, watching her pointer finger as it traced the rim, "He's away for the weekend" she shrugged.
Rachel realized that she was the second choice but couldn't find comfort in the fact that she was a choice at all. She couldn't stop the small frown that her lips moved into and she hoped that Quinn would think it was for sympathy reasons and not disappointment.
Quinn obviously noticed the sudden shift.
"That's a lie. I told him I was away for the weekend."
Rachel's neck practically snapped up at Quinn's confession. She was not expecting that.
"Why did you tell him that?"
"I needed a break from him. He's kind of clingy."
Rachel's eyes rolled on their own accord, "I've noticed."
In her own defense it was kind of obvious that the blonde boy followed his girlfriend around like a lovesick puppy. Even Rachel Berry didn't seem that desperate for attention in her attention-seeking days. Honestly, the brunette felt kind of bad for the new kid, it was clear that Quinn didn't really like him as much as she let on. It wasn't hard to see, regardless of the fact that Rachel tended to observe Quinn more than the others. She'd also known the cheerleader since kindergarten so she kind of knew what her mannerisms meant. At least, she thought she did.
Quinn's eyebrow perked up at Rachel's slightly irritated tone.
"I think everyone has. It's not a bad thing. I wish someone would want to be around me like that at every moment of every day. You can tell that he really cares about you."
"Yeah" Quinn trailed off as she got lost in her own thoughts.
She didn't care about the boy like she knew she should. She hoped it didn't show too much.
"So what do you want to get?" Rachel said, sensing that they both needed a change of subject.
"You're the guest, you get to choose."
Rachel gnawed on her lower lip as her eyes scanned over the never-ending menus. She had to admit that she was starving. Friday was normally Pizza night and Saturday was normally Chinese night. She could throw caution into the wind for one night and give it hell.
"The vegetable lasagna does sound good." She contemplated.
Quinn's small smile widened when Rachel looked back up at her. The blonde snatched the menu from under the brunette's fingertips and picked up the cordless house phone. She knew that if she didn't order the food at that moment Rachel would continue to debate about what she wanted. Quinn was hoping that Rachel would choose that restaurant because she was in a serious mood for some carbs.
Rachel watched silently as Quinn walked around the kitchen while she talked on the phone. She had such an elegant grace that complimented the way she moved, especially in her own home. Quinn gestured for the brunette to make herself comfortable in the living room and the blonde joined her shortly.
Rachel wasn't used to seeing the blonde in normal clothes once again. After regaining her spot on the Cheerios, the brunette figured Quinn would never take off her beloved uniform ever again. Sometimes Rachel imagined that Quinn slept and showered in the status indicator and it made her smile.
Quinn didn't disprove of Rachel's weekend attire. She didn't necessarily disprove of her school attire either. She'd grown fond of the animated sweaters that the brunette wore every day, and she couldn't complain when she'd wear the colorful dresses. Rachel only wore jeans for competition or dance numbers, but she felt she could make an exception for the night. She was going to be at a party at Quinn Fabray's, and she didn't want to give the Cheerios any ammo to use against her. They loved to make fun of her outfit choices. Well, just Santana.
Quinn had been right, the vegetable lasagna was almost better than her father's. And Quinn's dish tasted exquisite.
The girls found themselves entering an easy conversation as the minutes ticked by. The blonde learned that Rachel doesn't really talk as much as she thought she did, she actually tended to ask a lot of questions. She liked to listen. Rachel found out that Quinn had a lot to say if she was asked the right questions. Quinn realized that she could divulge a lot of information when she felt comfortable enough with a person. She hasn't felt that comfortable in a long time. Rachel sensed it.
Rachel helped Quinn bring their dishes into the kitchen after a while and that was when she offered the brunette a drink.
Rachel wasn't a heavy drinker, she sometimes was allowed to indulge in a glass of wine or two on holidays when she was safely with her parents and she sometimes partook in drinking games when Finn brought her out to parties, but only after she felt safe enough to trust him to get her home okay. Rachel knew that she shouldn't feel entirely safe under Quinn's watch because it was technically the first time they'd ever hung out.
"Um, that's okay."
Quinn watched her for a few seconds. Rachel was shifting her eyes and rubbing her palms, it was clear that she was nervous.
"I'm not going to let anything happen to you."
Rachel looked up and released her lower lip from between her teeth, "You promise?"
Quinn nodded, "Promise. Trust me, I know the affects of alcohol and I won't let you anywhere near Puckerman or his smooth talking."
Rachel laughed and looked down to the ground, that wasn't what she was worried about but of course the image wouldn't leave her mind.
"How will I get home?" Rachel asked just as she was about to take a sip of the glass of wine Quinn had handed her.
Rachel found it cute how Quinn's eyebrows scrunched together when she was contemplating things.
"You can sleep here." She answered simply.
"My mom's gone for the weekend and I hate sleeping in this house alone." She answered before taking a sip from her own glass, "Besides, I'm sure everyone will end up sleeping over."
Rachel nodded and finally took her own sip. She followed Quinn back into the living room. She didn't know why she thought she'd get special treatment from Quinn, that she'd be the only one sleeping over at the end of the night. She didn't really understand why she was so disappointed that she'd have to sleep amongst the other glee kids. She didn't trust Santana, if the girl got her hands on shaving cream or permanent markers, Rachel was doomed. Not to mention, Noah sleeping in the same living space as her made her extremely nervous. Perhaps she wouldn't allow herself to get too drunk, just so that she could be on high alert at all times.
"You can sleep in my room if it makes you feel better." Quinn said as she sat on the couch, tucking her legs beneath her.
"Oh, no. I couldn't put you out like that."
Rachel wanted to question what that possibly meant but she couldn't find the courage to pursue the matter. She stuck to sipping her wine casually as her and Quinn launched into another conversation.
Quinn found the brunette to be an adorable little drunk. She also found out what exactly went down between her and Finn those few weeks ago. Quinn had to admit, the gangly boy infuriated her sometimes. He could be extremely selfish when it came to relationships and she found herself only getting more upset as Rachel explained the entirety of the situation. The fact that he had ample opportunities to come clean about what happened and be truthful only aggravated her further.
Rachel never really had many friends, so she wasn't sure if what they were doing was what friends normally did on weekends. She was finding herself quite enjoying Quinn's company and the blonde felt much the same. She almost wished that she didn't invite the rest of the club, she wondered if Rachel felt the same way. Rachel of course did.
The doorbell chimed throughout the house and it startled both girls. They were each on the end of their second glass of wine and had been munching on some of the cheese and crackers that Rachel so thoughtfully brought over.
Quinn disappeared into the foyer and returned with Kurt. Rachel practically fell off the couch in her haste to reach the boy. Though he was a different type of competition now, she truly missed him. They'd made a connection a while back and with that Kurt embraced the girl as if they'd been best friends all their lives. Rachel was formally introduced to the Blaine and she wondered why Quinn didn't get the same introduction. She shrugged it off as more and more people started to arrive.
Rachel sat back down in her previous spot as Mercedes, Tina and Mike arrived. They looked a little shocked to see her but she was able to shake it off. She hadn't really been out in over a month so their shock was normal. They were actually shocked that Rachel was sitting in Quinn Fabray's house as if she'd been there all night.
Noah arrived next with both Cheerios and Artie. He handed Quinn a brown bag and continued to wheel Artie into the living room.
"What are you doing here, Streisand?"
"I actually consider that a compliment Santana, thank you."
Santana didn't like the fact that Rachel Berry was sitting on her best friends couch. Especially after Quinn came to her rescue the previous day in the choir room. She didn't like it one bit.
She opened her mouth to lay into the brunette.
"Rach?" Quinn called as she passed by the couch, "You want to help me in the kitchen with this stuff?"
Rachel nodded and got off the couch. She wasn't sure if Quinn was once again saving her from Santana's evil, if she truly needed help, or if she just wanted to be with the brunette some more. Regardless, Rachel helped the blonde pull out the bottles that Puck brought over and emptied the bags of chips and pretzels into the bowls that Quinn had lined up.
Quinn took pity on Rachel as she tried to decide what she wanted to drink so the blonde made the drink for her. It wasn't much, just some vodka with diet soda but Rachel acted as if it was the greatest thing she'd ever tasted. The rest of the group filed in little by little until they all had their beverage of choice in hand. Rachel felt herself unwind a little as she allowed the alcohol to settle into her body. She'd been on edge all week with the journal investigation and desperately needed something to help her calm down for a bit. She found Quinn's presence was the reason she was feeling relaxed.
Kurt wasn't an idiot. He was far from it. He had style, he had charm, he could sing, he was smart, and he was one hell of a people watcher. He understood the inner workings of people's minds, he knew things about people that they didn't even know about themselves, and he prided himself on being able to read interactions.
No. He wasn't an idiot at all and he knew what was going on. He noticed the flush of Rachel's cheeks when he'd first arrived. He saw the two takeout containers of food sitting on one of the counter tops. He noticed the half empty bottle of wine. He saw that Sam was nowhere in sight too. Which was odd, because he was like a leash kid at Disney World when it came to being by Quinn's side. It was pathetic.
He noticed the way Quinn would refill the brunette's drink before she even needed to ask and he watched with intrigue as Rachel would every so often give Quinn a piece of whatever it was she was munching on, whether it was fruit, carrots, or some pretzels. He saw how Quinn moved towards the brunette in an almost protective manner when Finn showed up. He had a feeling that it was unplanned. And it wasn't so much a feeling as it was overhearing Quinn yelling at Puck for inviting him, or the blonde attempting to explain to her new friend that she was sorry.
It wasn't hard to pick up on how Quinn would always be somewhere in the vicinity when Santana would open her mouth to hurl an insult towards Rachel. It also wasn't hard to predict what would happen when their eyes would meet from across the room on those rare occasions that they weren't near each other.
It made him laugh when he realized that virtually everyone was coupled up—save for Finn and Mercedes— except the two girls. But he supposed that turned them into a couple anyway.
"Have there been some new developments since we last saw Quinn?"
Blaine was also quite keen. Kurt had never been prouder to have the boy as his wingman, as he jokingly called him occasionally.
Rachel couldn't believe that she was having this conversation with Mercedes at that moment. She'd lost count of the number of drinks she had and she could no longer taste the alcohol in them. Either because she was that drunk or because Quinn was giving her less and less each time. Regardless, she couldn't believe she was having the conversation.
"Do you write, Mercedes? I mean, write from your soul?"
Rachel's eyes were closed as she clutched her chest. Mercedes didn't know whether to laugh or walk away.
"What are you—"
"What are you guys talking about?" Quinn asked as she took a seat at the edge of the coffee table, facing the other two girls who seemed to be deep in conversation.
"She's going off about soul writing and falling in love." Mercedes explained as her hands moved furiously throughout the air.
"I'm talking about something so compelling, so beautiful that the mere thought of what it means could bring tears to your eyes. Being so captivated that you forget where you are or that you're falling in love with something that will never be yours. Falling asleep to the image of something so perfect and right that you don't realize it's not even real, that it might never be real. That you've given up every ounce of your sanity just to make believe that it could be real. Something that constricts your chest when you think about it, like your heart is breaking into a million tiny pieces because you know it's foolish and you know it's crazy to be in love with someone who you don't even think exists in a real world, but you have to hope anyway. Hope that on the off chance, someone feels exactly the same about you as you do them. Even if you can't bring yourself to care who they actually are because love can be blind and magical and breathtaking all at the same time if it's with the right person. That's what I'm talking about."
Both girls were silent. Entirely silent. Rachel buried the lower half of her face into her solo cup in embarrassment. She was known to ramble and her drunk rambling may have been far too revealing.
Mercedes stood from the couch, not really having anything to say back to Rachel. She put her hand on Quinn's shoulder as she steadied herself.
"Yup, your girl is crazy." she joked before making her way over to Kurt and Blaine who seemed to be watching the entire conversation intently.
"I suppose you think I'm crazy too?"
Quinn was still stunned into silence at how passionately Rachel spoke about her feelings like that. How open and vulnerable she'd just put herself. How moved Quinn felt just by hearing her speak so emotionally about something she longed for, about being in love.
"No." she spoke softly, "I don't think you're crazy at all."
Quinn's hand reached across the invisible threshold between them and covered over Rachel's own hand that draped lazily over the front of the couch. She didn't know what made her act on her sudden urge to touch the brunette in some way but she felt the moment called for it and she hoped that Rachel wouldn't mind.
Rachel's eyes were fixed on the blonde's hand as she watched it envelop hers, she didn't trust herself to look up to Quinn just yet. The hand blanketing hers was lightly clammy and warm, she didn't want to move incase Quinn broke out of her reverie and freaked out on her. They'd made such big strides that night and Rachel would hate for them to go back to square one.
"Do you believe in stuff like that?"
Did Quinn believe in everything Rachel just described? She'd like to. She'd like to believe that true love really did exist. She had started to lose faith in all of it. Rachel seemed to spark the fuse within her again.
"I think there is someone out there for everyone, it just takes some people longer than others to realize it."
Rachel nodded thoughtfully, what Quinn was saying did make sense, "I very much doubt there's someone out there like that for me."
Quinn didn't like the trace of sadness in her voice. She'd heard it when they were earlier discussing Finn. Quinn let her fingers circle around the brunette's palm until their hands were momentarily intertwined. Rachel was still watching carefully and saw the entire thing with her own eyes. If she hadn't, she might not believe that they were holding hands at that moment.
"Get a room already!"
Santana had been watching them out of the corner of her eye all night. She tried to question her best friend about why Rachel Berry was at her house before everyone else and she got the cold shoulder. She got an even greater cold shoulder when she attempted to find out why Sam wasn't present.
Rachel was aware that they weren't the only ones in the room, she wasn't that conceited but she momentarily forgot that they were in the middle of a room full of people. She couldn't recall how it had happened, how her tunnel vision could only focus on Quinn, but she couldn't seem to shake out of it.
"You're not crazy." Quinn whispered before giving the brunette's hand one last squeeze of reassurance before getting up from the coffee table.
She peered into the red cup and found that Rachel's drink was practically gone. She easily pried it from her hands and walked into the kitchen silently, ignoring the disgusted look on Santana's face as she passed her.
Kurt watched with slight excitement as a bewildered Rachel turned to watch Quinn as she went.
Quinn woke up before Rachel did the next morning. She always woke up earlier than normal when she drank and that morning was no exception. She would have liked to go back to sleep after checking to make sure Rachel was still breathing but her body was hyper aware of the brunette that lay sound asleep just inches away from her. She decided to shower. She could at least be productive while she thought about how complicated things were bound to become.
Rachel's pounding head woke her up out of her slumber and she was instantly reminded why she wasn't normally a heavy drinker. She peered over to the nightstand with one eye and noticed the bottle of unopened water. She noticed the white pills as she reached for the water. She couldn't quite pin down what it felt like to have Quinn taking care of her like that. She blamed it on the fact that she didn't have many friends, it was probably what everyone did for their hungover friends.
Quinn wondered if Rachel would remember everything from the night before or if she'd have to recap the night for her. She was trying to figure out what to leave out of her summary. The blonde had been doing a good job of pacing the brunette and controlling her alcohol intake the night before and everything had been going fine until Finn decided to openly flirt with Santana, even if for once in her life Santana didn't look interested at all. Quinn wondered if the look of disgust on her face was because she didn't want Rachel to think she was the one doing the seducing, if you could even call it that. While Santana acted like she didn't care about the brunette, Quinn knew that deep down she had a soft spot for Rachel.
Quinn had never seen the brunette react the way she did. She just got eerily silent and refused to talk to anyone. She'd ignore anyone that approached her. Quinn also now wonders if Rachel would have ignored her if she'd tried to talk to her during her silent treatment stint. Quinn found Rachel doing shots with Puckerman in the kitchen twenty minutes later after she'd searched the entire house for her. She was afraid that she'd try and walk home but then she realized that was the least of her problems once she remembered that she was doing shots with Puckerman. Quinn couldn't let the brunette's cute slurring distract her from taking care of her and she had to make sure she didn't sleep with Puck. The evil glint in his eyes would forever unsettle her.
Quinn finally got her up the stair case after her impromptu performance with Brittany of the Ke$ha song that came on the iPod.
Rachel buried her face into the plush white pillows as the memory of her dance moves came flooding back to her in vivid color. She couldn't believe that she'd thought she looked sexy. Hopefully everyone forgot about that part of the night. She'd made the mental note of asking Quinn if she danced to any other embarrassing songs the night before after she was done in the shower.
The blonde felt her body grow hot when she thought about having to help Rachel change into the pajamas she provided her with; hopefully Rachel wouldn't recall that part. The brunette of course remembered painfully how Quinn's hands fumbled as she dressed the girl into her red Cheerios sweatpants and a white tee shirt that sort of hung off the smaller girl. Quinn had never realized how tiny the brunette really was. She had to roll the top of her sweatpants nearly four times so that they weren't too baggy for Rachel.
Quinn had contemplated sleeping in her parents' room but Rachel immediately protested and brought up the fact that Puckerman surely had a radar for girls that were all alone in a room. Quinn's next thought was to sleep on her floor and as she began laying down extra blankets to provide her with some cushion Rachel sloppily reached over the edge of the bed and pulled Quinn towards her. The blonde was relieved, she loathed sleeping on the floor and she had to do it quite often during Sylvester's mandatory team sleepovers. She always woke up with a sore back and a kinked neck. The silent pep talks that Quinn was giving herself seemed to convince her that it wouldn't kill her to get through a night sleeping next to Rachel. If she could survive a week camping in Canada with her coach than she could surely survive sharing a bed with someone else.
She was happy to announce that she'd passed with flying colors but she believed it was only because Rachel had literally passed out within seconds of her head hitting the pillow, Quinn followed soon after. It was entirely harmless but if the blonde allowed herself to stop and think about it, it was a huge deal.
She turned the water to the shower off and wrapped herself in a towel. Of course she hadn't thought to bring clothes into the bathroom with her, when was the last time she had someone sleeping in her room that wasn't Santana or Brittany? She released a breath before turning the doorknob and entering back into her room, maybe Rachel wouldn't even be awake yet.
Quinn never had that good of luck. Rachel looked up at the sound of the door opening and sat a little straighter against the headboard.
"Oh. You're up."
Rachel nodded and looked down, seeing Quinn in nothing but a towel wasn't doing anything to dull the throbbing in her head. The Advil she'd just consumed needed to start working and fast.
"How are you feeling?"
Quinn believed she could get through this if she acted like it wasn't a big deal that she was standing before the girl essentially naked. She rarely showered in the locker room with the other Cheerios and if she did, she made sure she dried off and dressed herself in the shower stall before entering the main locker area. She tended to shy away and sometimes envy the girls that could strip unabashed and walk around as if they'd never heard of such a silly notion as clothes before. Even if she was in better shape than before giving birth, she still didn't entirely feel comfortable with the whole expressing your body thing. She'd found out the night before that Rachel was definitely one of those girls and it only made her feel more intimidated. But she had to act natural or else things would just turn from awkward to brutally awkward in no time.
"My head hurts, but other than that I think I'll survive."
Quinn smiled and nodded, she'd felt that way many times before.
"Thanks for um, taking care of me." Rachel spoke up after Quinn walked passed the bed in order to get to her closet.
Rachel felt like she could look up again once the blonde disappeared into her closet to find something to cover herself with.
"No problem." The blonde called back to her, "Did you have fun?"
Rachel traced over the lifelines in her palm as she thought about the question, "I did." She called back.
"What are you doing today?" Quinn bit her tongue, she was concentrating on trying to find an outfit and she didn't mean to once again allude that she wanted to continue hanging out with the brunette.
Rachel's fathers were due home sometime after noon and she really had nothing planned other than attempting to catch up on homework before completely abandoning it for further research regarding the journal. Perhaps later she could prowl the social networking sites for clues as to what some of the interests were of the remaining people on her list.
"Yeah, my mom won't be home until tomorrow."
Rachel frowned when she thought about what the blonde said the previous night about how she hated to sleep in her large house alone. Quinn actually didn't mind too much because when her mom was away it meant she didn't have to attend church. She was in high school, sometimes she wanted to have other priorities, like lounging around the house all day with her hung-over friends.
Quinn walked out of the closet after double checking her appearance in the full length mirror on the back of the door. Rachel couldn't get over how poised and calm the blonde always was. In reality, Quinn nearly fell four times as she struggled to get the clothes over her damp body in case Rachel decided to get out of the bed and catch Quinn entirely naked.
"Wanna go downstairs and wake up everyone else?" Quinn asked with an unmistakable devious smirk.
"They're still sleeping?"
It was ten in the morning and Rachel already felt like she'd slept the day away, she was used to waking up at five on school days and she allowed herself to sleep in until eight on weekends. She made a special exception that morning.
"Santana can sleep until two if you let her. C'mon," the blonde gestured as she ran a brush through her wet hair, "It'll be fun."
"Shouldn't I get changed first?" the brunette asked as she stepped out of the bed and looked down at what she was wearing.
Quinn bit her lip, she couldn't help but feel that Rachel looked damn good in the clothes she already had on. It had nothing to do with the fact that they were Quinn's clothes either.
Quinn shook her head and Rachel sighed before following the blonde out into the hallway and down the stairs.
"I've died and gone to hell." Santana mumbled as she rolled over and opened her eyes to see Rachel giggling above her, next to her was Quinn with a smirk and old field hockey stick of her sisters, "Quit poking me, I'm up."
"I think I'm still dreaming, Rachel's a cheerleader in my dream." Brittany stated in her signature monotone voice.
"What the hell, Fabray! Why is she wearing Cheerios stuff?"
"All of you shut up." Puck groaned from somewhere in the living room.
Quinn shrugged and once again poked Santana in the stomach when she went to open her mouth.
"I'm starving." Santana mumbled instead.
"You know where the bagels are." Quinn replied before pulling Rachel with her into the kitchen.
Rachel sat in the same chair that she did the night before when she'd first arrived while Quinn ran around the kitchen preparing them both something to eat. Rachel was still nursing the bottle of water she'd woken up next to and her headache was finally starting to subside.
"Rach, are you gonna stay and hang out with us today?" Brittany asked as she bounced into the kitchen.
"Oh…um?" Rachel looked to Quinn for help but she wasn't facing her.
"We always spend the day watching TV and eating junk food, right San?"
"Quinn's basement is so cool." Brittany's eyes were lighting up just thinking about it.
It was kind of hard to say no to her and for some reason it looked like Santana was glaring her into saying yes as well, probably because she didn't want Brittany to be upset the remainder of the morning if Rachel declined.
"And sometimes I'm allowed to build a fort between the pool table and treadmill." She continued.
"That sounds really fun, Brittany."
"I bet Q will let us build an even bigger one since you're here!"
"You should stay." Quinn finally spoke up.
Rachel bit her lip out of habit. The awkward morning she was anticipating never came and the fact that the girls kind of wanted her to stay made her feel good. She didn't have any other people knocking down her door to hang out with her and she'd always wondered what it would be like to hang out with the popular kids. Popular. They were the most popular girls in school; surely they were bound to gossip about people she knew so if anything she could perhaps get some further dirt on her fellow glee members. All for the journal, of course.
"Sure." Rachel shrugged easily.
Brittany clapped before reaching over the island to snag a piece of fruit off of Rachel's plate and popping it into her mouth. Brittany grinned at her, Santana rolled her eyes and Quinn bit her lip.
Okay so maybe the real reason she wanted to stay was so that she could continue to hang out with Quinn.
"But neither of you are allowed to dance to anymore Ke$ha songs. I'm scarred for life."
Rachel blushed and looked down.
"Aw c'mon, it was kind of cute." Quinn laughed before flashing her white teeth toward the embarrassed girl.
Rachel nearly melted when Quinn threw in a wink for good measure.
I'd love to be, the shoulder that you cry on.
Finn wasn't as dumb as he let on. He understood early on in the game that he could get away with murder if he furrowed his eyebrows and scratched his head when questioned. He just pretended to be slow on the uptake; he found that if people thought he was an innocent moron then he wouldn't be held responsible for anything. The only person he wouldn't dare mess with was Quinn Fabray. She had him figured out from the beginning. She knew that he played up his dumbness—no rational human being would want to name their baby Drizzle— because he thought girls would find it cute. Quinn found it endearing for about a week before she couldn't stand it. Rachel on the other hand was so entirely blinded by the pedestal she had him on that she could overlook the fact that he was really just a clean shaven caveman.
Finn knew exactly what he was doing when he asked Sam how his weekend was while the two boys were in the locker room during Gym. He also knew that Sam would ask him what he did over the weekend too. He knew exactly what would happen after he told him he was at Quinn's on Saturday night with the entire glee club. Well, with everyone except the girl's boyfriend.
Rachel glared her hatred at Finn the second Sam barged into the choir room demanding answers. Quinn was seconds away from attacking the boy as he sat with sky high eyebrows and a mouth that resembled an O. It wasn't hard to put together the pieces, especially after Quinn had embarrassed the boy in front of everyone at the get together on Saturday night. Hell, he was probably still a little bitter about the fact that she had a baby with his best friend.
Quinn's eyes darted around the choir room; she didn't spend much time looking at each person, she just knew that all their eyes were trained on the two of them arguing in the middle of the room.
"You told me you were in Youngstown and then I find out that you had a party and didn't invite me?"
Quinn doesn't often see Sam showing emotion, especially in front of people. He was too new to stir up drama but he was pissed. He was so pissed that he was practically laughing as he spoke.
She felt bad. She didn't really feel bad that she didn't invite him or that she lied, but she felt bad because he really never stood a chance.
Her eyes stopped on Rachel's brown ones. She was at the crossroads and she could practically see her life changing in some kind of weird out-of-body experience.
The brunette knew what it felt like to be the center of attention, not that it happened a lot or anything but recently she knew what it was like to have a major relationship fight in front of the eager gossip mongrels that made up glee club. She'd hoped that someone would have stood up for her like she was about to do for Quinn.
"It was my fault." She announced and it startled even herself.
Quinn's eyes were still on her but now her expression was confusion instead of panic.
Rachel stood from her chair and walked down to the center of the room where the two were standing. She always needed to make it a scene.
"I was particularly upset this weekend, and I—, well I needed a friend and Quinn was the only one nice enough to answer the phone." She knew that this was a lie, but judging from the guilty shift of the room, she knew that it sounded like something everyone would do to her, "She drove back from Youngstown to keep me company and I asked her to have a few people over so it wasn't awkward. I apologize Sam, I didn't mean to take your girlfriend away from you for the night."
The boy opened and closed his mouth a few times, unsure of how to combat against Rachel Berry's innocence.
"If it makes you feel any better, Finn wasn't invited either" she turned her attention to the boy with a hard glare that would make even Santana proud, "He just showed up."
Quinn watched Rachel in awe as she fiddled with her hands. Even after creating the lie of the year to get the blonde out of trouble—and completely calling out her ex-boyfriend who certainly caused this drama—she still looked utterly shy and nervous. She could hear Sam drowning in the background, surely throwing around apologies and begging for forgiveness for yelling at his girlfriend, but she couldn't really make out anything that he was saying. She just knew that he was that predictable. Entirely different from the person standing next to her.
"No." she stated, still watching Rachel run her thumbs over her palm in a nervous habit she noticed.
She turned to look back at her boyfriend.
With renewed vigor, she stood taller, "Sam, I'm sure there is someone out there that will love you, but that's not me. It will never be me."
"Are you seriously breaking up with me right now?" he asked through another humorless laugh of disbelief.
His eyes glanced over to the risers where just about all of his friends sat in silence, waiting to hear what the cheerleader had to say for herself. He knew that it was bound to happen, — which was just another testament to his insecurities— he just never assumed it would be in front of all these people. Quinn was a very private person, she kept her feelings to herself and she rarely talked about what was bothering her, even though they had been dating for almost three months. She rarely talked about anything regarding the life she had before he came into the picture.
He didn't even mean to start an argument in the middle of the choir room but he couldn't help himself once he realized that Quinn acted normal towards him for the entire day. Like she didn't really care that she lied to him. If he'd known it would land him here, he never would have opened his mouth.
"I um," Quinn really had nothing else to say and with one last look towards Rachel she made up her mind, "I'm just gonna—"
Rachel watched as Quinn left the choir room. She'd seen it happen on more than one occasion in the past but this was the first time that she'd felt the strongest urge to chase after her. It was foolish to think that just because they hung out without clawing each other to pieces that it meant they were good enough friends to comfort each other in the time of need. Quinn had dozens of friends that would probably do a far better job than Rachel could and that's exactly what the blonde was silently telling herself as she ran to her car in the parking lot. She shouldn't need Rachel and it shouldn't have hurt that the brunette never came after her.
Rachel took her seat on the riser after Sam left the room, presumably to go find his newly ex-girlfriend in hopes that he could convince her that she was making a mistake. Finn reeked of guilt and just about everyone knew it.
Sam made no attempt to search for Quinn after he'd left the room. He simply made his way to the lower gym where the weight room was virtually empty and sat on one of the benches. He never imagined that Quinn breaking up with him was going to be the outcome of the confrontation. He provided her with security, with status, he was nice arm candy, and he didn't even pressure her into having sex; he couldn't believe that she was willing to give all of that up. It's not that he was that conceited, he just didn't understand why anyone would give up all of those things. Love be damned. It was high school, you didn't have to be in love, you just needed to get by.
Quinn's car was long gone by the time the glee members walked out to the parking lot after glee rehearsal that day. Mr. Schuester was met with silence when he asked where the two members were and what had happened. Instead of lecturing the group on tardiness and taking practice seriously he just introduced them to a new style of music and had them start working on the assignment for that week. Rachel halfheartedly made her way through practice and couldn't wait to get home so she could read the journal again in case there was anything in there that she missed the first fifty times around.
It was her one week anniversary with the diary. It had only been seven days since discovering what was hidden underneath the protective leather of the journal and it had felt like a lifetime. She was no closer to finding out who the owner was than she was two weeks ago, when she didn't even know of it's existence. She still didn't know if she was better off knowing about it or not.
I'd love to be, the friend you call when things are great.
Rachel stared at the remaining people on her list. It was dwindling down and just about everyone left on the list scared her in some way. That was the only reason why it had taken her nearly a week to confront anyone else. She didn't know how to approach any of them and she also didn't know how she would feel if any of them ended up being the admirer. She supposed she would be happy but she knew that it was probably a slim chance of it being someone that she actually wanted. Various lyrics that she had found even more connections in were floating through her mind as she zoned out once again during Math class on Friday morning, and she realized that it didn't matter who it was. She had to know.
She saw Sam sitting by himself in the cafeteria. She noticed that he and Quinn hadn't spoken since Quinn pretty much broke his heart in the choir room earlier in the week on Monday. They all shared a lunch together but sat at mostly separate tables for some reason, not on purpose but it just happened that way. Rachel glanced at her normal table where Tina and Mike Chang were already sitting with Mercedes and then sought out the table that held the Cheerios and Puckerman. Finn had been sitting with Sam at their own table but the taller boy was nowhere in sight. Rachel took pity on the blonde boy, she knew what it felt like to be the outcast and she'd wished someone would have taken the initiative to join her when she sat alone after her breakup with Finn.
"Hi Sam." She said in her normal cheery tone as she plopped her lunch on the table.
The boy still seemed either utterly distraught or just really confused, Rachel couldn't tell but she knew that he was out of it. His eyes stayed downcast during most of the day and he sat as far away from the cheerleader during practice as physically possible, and that was if they both showed up.
"How have you been?" she asked as she took out the Tupperware of food that her father packed her that morning, she was waking up later and later each morning and normally ran late. It was only because she was up so late thinking about the journal and fantasying about what it would be like to meet the person of her dreams.
"Oh ya know, same old." He answered humorlessly, "I just don't get it."
"Look, I know what it feels like to be involved with someone and minutes later have your heart savagely ripped out of your chest and smashed on the ground."
He looked up and had a small smirk on his lips, "Gee, thanks."
"Sorry, I'm probably not helping much." She replied.
"No, it's fine."
She shrugged and began eating her food and it seemed to make him feel at least a little more comfortable because he started to eat as well. All throughout lunch Rachel had the strangest sensation that someone was watching her, she tried to shake it off but it wouldn't go away.
"Ya know, Rachel…you're pretty alright."
It was such a lame compliment but it made her blush and duck her head regardless. She wasn't used to people telling her that she was cool enough to hang out with.
"You've been pretty cool to me since I've gotten here, I never felt judged by you."
Rachel smiled and she knew that was exactly how her parents raised her.
"I don't judge people Sam."
The boy's cheeks turned a crimson color and he ducked his head this time, "I kind of had a small crush on you when I first moved here, ya know, before I started to date your enemy."
Rachel frowned for a few reasons. She didn't like that he referred to Quinn as her enemy. She'd referred to her that way once before the girl joined glee and she'd never used that term to describe their relationship ever again. It was kind of undefined. Sometimes they were civil to each other, sometimes they could even be friends, but other times they could go a month without acknowledging each other. Recently though, Rachel had considered them friends. Even if Quinn and her hadn't spoken since Rachel lied for her at glee practice. But the main reason she was frowning was because there was a very huge possibility that Sam was the ghost writer—the person may as well have been a ghost at that point—and that he was about to confess his undying love to the brunette. She could see herself falling in love with the boy, he was easy on the eyes and he seemed to care about people, but her heart dropped at what that would mean.
"C-can I ask why Quinn broke up with you? Surely you guys have talked about it by now?"
He nodded and pushed the food around on his plate with a fork as he leaned back, "She kept going on about how love was supposed to be magical and breathtaking and something that was so real that people wouldn't believe that it actually was real. It sounded like a big fairytale to me, either that or she already has an image of someone she can love the way she couldn't love me. What she wants seems risky and not at all like her, it sounded kind of crazy to me."
Rachel concentrated on her breathing as she listened to everything Quinn wanted and it sounded much like what she wanted for herself. The nagging feeling was back that someone was watching her but she didn't want to turn around just yet.
"So you don't believe in any of that?"
He laughed, "Not what she described."
Rachel nodded slowly and swallowed some saliva to hopefully soothe her suddenly dry throat. She reached across the table and found his hand. She felt an overwhelming sense of relief wash over her as she realized that he could never be the writer because whoever wrote those lyrics, also feels those lyrics.
"I believe in it, and I believe that you'll find someone like that for you." She said softly.
She ran a thumb over the back of his hand and Sam found himself briefly lost in those brown eyes that he always thought were kind of pretty. He wondered if he had made a big mistake in being shallow and going after the head cheerleader instead of waiting for the brunette to become single. It was too late now; even looking in the girl's direction was going to get him in trouble.
"Ut oh" he muttered as he looked over her shoulder.
Rachel whipped her head around to see Quinn glaring at their small table and she pulled her hand away from Sam's as if he was a hot burner on a stove. She was only offering comfort to the boy because he seemed kind of hopeless even though she knew that he'd have someone new within the month.
"Looks like she's not quite ready to cut off all ties, I guess." Sam said under his breath.
"Yeah" Rachel answered absently as she watched Quinn's features soften as she made eye contact with her finally. Rachel watched her intently until her face smoothed and became expressionless, until Quinn turned to laugh at something that Santana said across the table from her.
Quinn had been watching them from the moment she saw Rachel glance over at his table. She didn't expect anything less of her, in fact she'd expected it much sooner but normally Finn occupied the lunch table with her ex-boyfriend. Rachel took sympathy easily on people and acted on impulse, she'd never shy away from making a new friend.
She didn't like the way Sam was getting lost in Rachel's eyes and she certainly didn't like that he'd let her put her hands on him, even if it was something as friendly as holding his hand. They'd just broken up less than five days ago and it didn't take much for him to find a reason to cling to someone.
You're the dream that hasn't ended, And I'm still anxious for rest.
Rachel was used to this dream by now but it didn't mean that she wasn't disappointed when it came to an abrupt end. When she'd be launched out of fantasy land and hurled back into the reality of it all. She never took naps, she never found reason for them. She'd been losing a significant amount of sleep during the week and by the time the weekend hit, she was drained both physically and emotionally.
It would always start the same, she would be reading the leather journal and the words would come to life around her but suddenly the book would gravitate into the air and move away from her. It was taunting her. She was forced to chase it, first the pace was slow and she was able to walk in order to keep up with it, and then she'd have to move swifter in order to not lose it. She'd be sprinting and out of breath as she dodged the most random of obstacles just so she could keep the journal in her sight. She knew it was leading her to something, to someone. Presumably the writer but by the time she'd reach the clearing that the book normally led her to, she couldn't see anything but a static figure with no face or descriptive features to make out. The figure would beckon her towards a small pond and if she could just squint hard enough she'd be able to make out the reflection staring back at her. But it was black emptiness and that's when she would realize she was falling down some kind of endless hole. She'd jolt awake, out of breath and barely grasping onto reality as she came down from her dream. It was infuriating to the point that she didn't even want to fall asleep because she didn't want to wake up realizing that the dream was basically telling her that her search was pointless.
She heard the reason why she woke up in the first place and looked around her bedroom in a haze. It was daytime. It took her a minute to remember that it was the weekend and that she was only taking a short nap in order to make it through the day. The doorbell chimed again and she nearly tripped as she climbed down from the bed. She took the stairs down to the first floor one by one but as fast as she safely could. She was known to be rather clumsy after just waking up.
Rachel wasn't expecting any visitors and she knew that her fathers were still visiting one of her great aunts in the nursing home that afternoon so she really was expecting it to be a Jehovah's Witness when she threw the door open. The last person she expected to see was Quinn Fabray biting her bottom lip and looking around her front porch as if she was afraid someone was going to jump out of the bushes.
"Quinn! W-what are you doing here?"
"Well, I uh, I called you a few times and you didn't answer and it didn't really seem like something you would do so I came over to see if you were okay."
Quinn realized that her new need to act on impulse was starting to get her in trouble. Just because someone didn't answer a cell phone call didn't warrant a personal visit. Quinn contemplated that maybe Rachel was out with her family, or that the girl's phone was on silent but she couldn't sit still until she knew the reason that Rachel was ignoring her. Her biggest fear was ringing the Berry doorbell and being greeted by Sam Evans in one of Mr. Berry's bathrobes. An image that wouldn't leave her mind since Rachel brought it up exactly a week prior.
"I apologize, I must have fallen asleep." Rachel answered.
She attempted to lean her hand on the door but nearly fell over when the door began to move from the pressure. Quinn stifled her laugh but she could tell the girl had just woken up. She'd feel guilty for waking her up but she kind of found Rachel's sleep face adorable.
"Are you okay? You've been acting different lately."
"Oh yeah." The brunette shook off, "I'm fine."
Quinn smirked as she watched Rachel attempt to fix her hair and disheveled clothing blindly.
"Am I allowed in?"
"Oh right! Of course, would you like to come in?" Rachel opened the door wider and Quinn stepped inside, "The living room is right through there. I'd just like to freshen up a bit and I'll join you in a second."
"I want to see your room Berry, I have the strangest suspicion that you have glow in the dark stars on your ceiling and colorful beads instead of a door."
Rachel's mouth dropped open, "Give me at least some credit!" she began walking up the steps and Quinn followed her, "The stars don't glow in the dark and the beads are one color." She threw over her shoulder.
Quinn laughed behind her and Rachel felt proud after successfully coming up with her first witty joke.
"God, I hope you're joking."
Rachel lead the girl into her room with a ta-da and everything before walking into her closet to find something that didn't look like it had been slept in for three hours. She moved into her bathroom as Quinn bounced onto the bed. Rachel smiled to herself as she shut the door. She hadn't stopped to realize that Quinn Fabray was suddenly sitting on her bed and it felt like the most natural thing in the world.
Rachel took a little bit of extra time in reapplying her light makeup just so that she looked presentable for the seemingly flawless girl that was waiting for her in the next room.
"So you called?" she asked as she walked out of the bathroom, "Any reason?"
Quinn shrugged but her eyes were down casted to the black leather that was lying near one of Rachel's pillows. How could she have been so stupid to leave it around like that? She was supposed to protect it.
Rachel cleared her throat and leaned over the bed to pick up the journal before placing it in the draw of her night side table. Quinn watched the book the entire time that it was in Rachel's hand, she winced slightly as the drawer closed shut.
It also seemed to have broken Quinn out of her trance, "I realized that I broke up with my boyfriend and didn't get the cliché and very obligatory ice cream binge and marathon of love movies that make you sob like a pathetic loser."
Rachel bit her tongue, she could tell Quinn was making fun of people that did that so she wouldn't let the girl know that it was exactly what she did after breaking up with both Jesse and Finn. Even Puckerman.
"I haven't had a good sob since I gave birth to Beth and I'm due for a few pints of Ben & Jerrys. What do you say?"
Rachel smiled and nodded, "That sounds like it's exactly what I need right now, strangely enough. You have impeccable timing, Quinn Fabray."
Quinn brushed some dirt off her shoulder and it made Rachel laugh. She'd seen Santana do it a few times and the gesture was so completely opposite of how Quinn acted normally that it was the perfect gesture to convey how the rest of the day was about to go.
Rachel followed Quinn out of the house and to the girl's car. Quinn handed the brunette her iPod and let Rachel choose the music for their mini errand roadtrip.
"So where are Santana and Brittany?" Rachel asked after the first song played through in its entirety, "I'm assuming they were your first choice, are they busy?"
Quinn glanced over to the girl in her passenger seat, "Santana and Brittany?" she couldn't help but laugh, "Brittany's ideal movie consists of Sesame Street characters and Santana ridicules every single movie she watches. I don't know, I just thought you'd appreciate a good movie marathon."
Quinn really didn't know why she decided that she wanted to do that with her day or why she was so hell-bent on Rachel joining her but she didn't give it too much thought, it just seemed like something that would be normal in an alternate universe. An alternate universe that she was desperately trying to make a reality.
"Ah, so I'm the choice because I tend to cry a lot?" Rachel was laughing but Quinn didn't want her to think that it was the reason she'd showed up at her house.
"You were my first choice because I liked hanging out with you last weekend and we haven't really seen each other this week."
Rachel didn't really have anything to say. She never imagined she'd be Quinn's first choice for anything unless she was dictating who to throw slushies on, but that was so far in the past that it
felt like it never happened at all.
"Speaking of this week… Thanks for trying to get me off the hook with Sam the other day."
"Oh, it was no problem at all, Quinn.
"I appreciated it, but it wasn't necessary."
Rachel scrolled through the blonde's iPod to find another song, she had to say she was pretty impressed with her musical collection, "Why did you break up with him anyway?"
She shrugged, suddenly not feeling as talkative as she did moments ago, and Rachel sensed it, "I don't know. I don't really feel good enough for someone like him."
Rachel tended to make noises when she thought, she often got lost in her mind and tended to forget that other people were present. Quinn could see the girl was deeply concentrated on something and needed to know what had Rachel pondering.
Rachel's head snapped up to look at the blonde as they stopped at a red light, "He made it seem like he was the one that wasn't good enough for you."
"So that's what you were talking about yesterday?"
Rachel nodded, "I felt bad that he was by himself, I know what that feels like." She trailed off when Quinn averted her eyes away from her, "Anyway, he actually admitted that he had some sort of crush on me and he told me why you guys broke up."
Quinn's attention was back on Rachel at the news that Sam had told her all of that.
"Oh." She cleared her throat and began to drive as the light turned green, "I won't make you choose between the two of us." She annunciated slowly.
Quinn actually believed that Rachel and Sam might just make the perfect couple. Rachel needed someone that would give her every ounce of their attention and Sam needed someone to hang on. It was almost like a match made in some weird kind of stalker heaven.
"Choose?" she laughed and shook her head, "I was just being friendly. I know my past tendencies would suggest that I would immediately jump on him because he smiled at me but I can assure you that he is not my type. Besides, I'm in love with someone else."
Rachel let her guard down easily when she wasn't paying attention. And she wasn't paying attention when she was with Quinn. She played back the small rant in her head and her eyes widened comically when she realized what she had said. The blonde nearly swerved off the road when she heard Rachel confessing her love for someone, and she immediately assumed that she was still in love with Finn. She really needed this movie marathon and ice cream buffet.
Quinn couldn't believe how hard she was laughing with Rachel Berry when they were supposed to be crying over the death of the main character's wife in the movie they were watching. They'd picked out four movies and made a pact that they'd get through them all, no matter how ridiculous they were. Considering they weren't mainstream movies, they were bound to be pretty ridiculous. They'd picked the most drama filled and soap opera-y themed movies based on their descriptions on the back cover of the DVD cases and set off to purchase their ice creams. Not being able to settle on just one flavor, they ended up getting nearly half the selection.
Both Berry men—with shiny and cascading tears— glared at the two girls set up on the loveseat and it only made them laugh harder. The movies were apparently intriguing enough to catch the men's attention long enough to sit down and after a few minutes of explaining who the characters were when they appeared onscreen; both men abandoned their dinner plans and sat in for the long haul. They each had two pints extinguished on the coffee table in front of them and they hadn't even made it to the fourth movie yet.
Rachel couldn't believe how much more fun she was having with Quinn than anyone else she had ever hung out with. When Finn would come over for a movie, his hand would be sweaty and too big for her tiny hands. He'd end up just annoying her halfway through the movie and she'd be too distracted to get back into it. With Quinn, she found it was much more fun to make fun of the movie rather than watch it. And it didn't bother her one bit when her fathers sat to join, something that would never happen if Finn was there. She couldn't figure out if it was because her parents didn't like Finn too much or because she didn't want Finn to do anything embarrassing when they were around. When the men invited Quinn to stay over for dinner she realized that it was probably a combination of the two, because they would never invite Finn for dinner and Rachel would never allow him to even if they ever did.
But Quinn was a friend and she didn't know why she was comparing her friendship with her to the relationship she had with Finn. As if they were comparable.
Your words they seem to hang above my head.
Quinn seemed to have a certain babydoll attitude that she once had when she was pregnant and it was kind of charming. She had a certain pep to her step as she walked through the halls of McKinley and the demeanor was kind of contagious.
Rachel glanced up from her notebook full of graph paper to see Quinn leaning over in her chair to see what she was doodling.
Her classes had flown by and it was thanks in part to the small drawings that started in the margins of her math notebook earlier in the morning, by the time glee practice arrived she was using full pages to pass the time. She didn't even realize that she'd started to write some of the lyrics from the last song of the journal, as it was her absolute favorite. She wished she could hear it being sung aloud. The singing in her head probably wasn't doing it justice. The words and the way they were written just fascinated Rachel. The entire song was an elaborate way of trying to tell someone that you love them; it was the simple things, the things that meant the most to the writer about their subject. It was about loving someone that you longed for but considered them out of your league, and it was just because that was how you saw them, not that they actually were.
Quinn stared at the notebook in Rachel's lap as they waited for Mr. Schuester to walk into the room. There was something different in her hazel eyes when they reached Rachel's again.
Your words they seem to hang above my head.
Quinn cleared her throat, "Are those, um, are those song lyrics or something?"
Rachel looked back down at the penciled sketch of the elegantly scripted letters that she'd been working on for nearly an hour. Shading in all the right places with tiny embellishments over a few of the letters, when she looked at it in its entirety it was kind of pretty. Not as pretty as the words themselves or the meaning behind them but she could take some pride in her ability to mindlessly doodle.
Rachel rarely wrote in pencil because it allowed for mistakes and she didn't like mistakes. She found that she made more mistakes when she knew she had room to erase. But her secret admirer wrote in pencil. And that changed her thoughts on pencils entirely.
Quinn nodded, "What's the name of it?"
Rachel shook her head while glancing down, "I don't know."
Quinn studied the girl as they both wore tiny frowns for two entirely different reasons.
Mr. Schuester walked in as Rachel was closing the notebook and preparing to put it back into her bag. Quinn's palm landed on top of it and it slightly startled the brunette.
"Can I have it?" she whispered.
"The piece of paper?" Rachel asked for clarification.
Quinn could only nod.
Rachel bit her lip and looked down at Quinn's hand that was barely touching her own hand. She finally nodded and handed the blonde the notebook so she could rip out the piece of paper. Quinn carefully placed it in one of her folders.
As Rachel passed Quinn's locker the next morning, she noticed that the penciled drawing was hanging on the door.
You're the bud before the flower unfurls into full bloom.
Rachel and Quinn somehow became sort of inseparable when they were together. Which was really only Glee practice and lunch. But they had graduated from nodding acknowledgements in the hallway to full blown waves and smiles, and occasionally they'd even walk together if the timing was right. Quinn saved Rachel a seat next to her at the Cheerio's lunch table and glared down any snide comments Santana thought about throwing at her. In glee, they sat next to each other on the risers and each day Quinn would ask to see what Rachel drew when she wasn't paying attention in class.
Sam watched as his ex-girlfriend went on with her days seemingly unaffected by their breakup and there was really nothing that he could do about it. At least, her and Rachel were becoming friends.
Santana had questioned Quinn's judgment on wanting to be seen with the brunette in public numerous times and each time Quinn ignored her or told her to shut up. Santana didn't push it as far as she could have and it was only because she hadn't seen Quinn smiling that much since the summer before their freshman year in high school. When things didn't really matter yet.
If the glee club was confused about the sudden close friendship between the girls, they didn't really let on. It became normal to see the girls talking at one of their lockers and it became kind of comforting to see the two of them showing up somewhere together. The Berry's adored Quinn and constantly asked about her, which was good because Rachel was always dying to talk about her.
As natural as their friendship looked on the outside, they still didn't know where the boundaries were and what they could or couldn't talk about with the other. Rachel still got butterflies when she'd meet Quinn's eye in the hallway and Quinn would bite her nails with anxiety when she thought about seeing Rachel between classes. Rachel felt like she was in the middle of having a very serious crush on the girl and she knew she couldn't have that for two reasons; Quinn Fabray was Quinn Fabray and Rachel still had the matter of the little black journal that burned a hole into her as she held it when she slept at night. She felt like she was cheating on one of them but she just didn't know who.
Rachel hadn't meant to abandon her quest for finding the writer, she was just simply sidetracked.
Finn had been trying to get his ex-girlfriend back for a while now. Even though he was the one that officially broke it off with his pint-sized spitfire, he wanted her back. He never thought that their breakup would last as long as it has and in all honestly he thought that she'd at least have tried a little harder to make it up to him. He never expected her to give up on it completely. Every time he tried to talk to the brunette, he found Quinn somewhere not far away and she always spooked him away. Quinn was intimidating when they were dating and now that she had her status back he was even more frightened of her, especially after Rachel had found out about him and Santana. It was weird to him, Quinn was one of the people that told the other glee members about their one time affair but she remained emotionless about it until Rachel found out. He didn't really like the friendship and weird alliance the two girls were forming.
He timed it just right. Quinn wasn't around and Rachel was by herself.
"Rach, can I talk to you about something?"
Rachel shut her locker quickly and turned to find Finn casting a large shadow over her.
"Sure Finn. To what do I owe the pleasure?"
Finn would never understand why Rachel just couldn't say what's up instead of finding different ways to say the same thing. It was something he'd gotten used to when they were dating and it normally took him a few seconds to register a translation. He'd forgotten that conversations with Rachel could sometimes lead to headaches so he was going to make it as short and painless as possible.
"I was just kind of wondering if I could take you out on a date."
"We broke up Finn." She replied by no means amused.
"I know. But people break up and get back together all the time. At least, on TV shows they do."
"I think it's in both of our best interests if we stay broken up."
Rachel really didn't have time to go into long winded explanations on why she would never date the boy again. Quinn was supposed to meet her at her locker soon so that they could go drop her mother off at the airport for a business trip. She was still in Coach Sylvester's office.
Finn frowned, "Does this have something to do with your weird relationship with Quinn? I know that she kind of lied to me about the whole baby thing so if that's what you're worried about, it's cool and I'm over it. I won't ask you to stop being her friend."
Rachel couldn't believe how self-centered and thick-headed the boy could be sometimes.
"Not that it's any of your business now but my friendship with Quinn has nothing to do with my refusal to be in any sort of relationship with you. We've grown apart Finn and I'm sorry but there's someone else in my life now."
Well Quinn was in her life now and she certainly wasn't going to make things uncomfortable for her seeing as how the blonde recently opened up to her that she really disliked the boy, especially after he'd told Sam everything that resulted in their breakup. But that wasn't who she was referring to, what she was talking about really wasn't a person at all yet. It was an inanimate journal.
"You kind of have the same look in your eyes that you did when you first gave me your crazy cat calendar. Are you like, in love with her or something?"
"Finn Hudson! That is entirely inappropriate and I'm kindly asking you to stay out of my personal life!" she shrieked.
"So you do?" he was confused.
"No! We are simply becoming close friends, it's only natural for me to be excited about the prospect of having someone I can consider a best friend. Especially if it's someone of Quinn's stature, we didn't exactly get along all our lives so excuse me if I'm happy."
All Finn heard was excuses. Quinn was sort of evil and he knew that first hand. She could be cruel and heartless most of the time, he'd heard the things that she said about people when they were alone together. He knew that she was just going to get hurt and he still cared about her, and he really missed touching her girl boobs.
"Look I may have lied to you about Santana but I only did it because I knew it would hurt you."
Waves of pain rolled through her body when she thought about what she felt when she'd first discovered—in front of everyone— that he'd slept with Santana. It was the lying aspect of the entire thing. And then it was the realization that she was still a virgin and he'd been tainted by arguably the easiest girl in school behind Brittany. They may have been hanging out more thanks in part to her friendship with Quinn but it doesn't change the truth, and Santana herself would probably agree.
"It's in the past Finn, why are you bringing this all up?"
He rearranged the strap on his backpack, "Because I miss you and I want to be with you."
Those words were probably what most girls sought after, to hear that someone wants to be with you. Rachel couldn't say that was the case anymore, at least not with Finn.
"I'm sorry Finn, I just can't."
Finn wasn't above begging and he knew the kind of girl Rachel was. Music meant everything to her, "I'll do anything. Do you want me to perform a song in glee for you? I could even try to write a song for you."
"What did you just say?"
"You're kind of desperately romantic and I'm sure you'd like that, right? I mean I could try to write you a song or something."
Rachel's eyes closed on their own accord. She couldn't calm the rapid beating of her heart. Was this Finn's way of admitting to her that he was in fact the secret admirer that she was hopelessly trying to find? She knew from the beginning that Finn Hudson was not capable of writing such beautiful words about anything, no less her. She crossed him out long ago and she couldn't find herself feeling relief at the thought of him being the owner of the journal. She dated him for six months, surely she would know if he secretly had a black journal that held his deepest lyrical secrets. He was immature and the extent of his adjective vocabulary ended at cool and awesome. He was not the person she was looking for.
"Finn," she opened her eyes after releasing a heavy breath, she'd need all her strength for this, "the fact of the matter is that you did hurt me and what I need right now is someone that won't hurt me whether it's intentional or not."
"And you really think that playing house with Quinn will lead to your happily ever after? Wake up already, Rachel. She's probably just using you for something."
The thought had crossed her mind that maybe Quinn had ulterior motives for wanting to hang out with her but when a month went by and they were only getting closer, she realized that maybe Quinn just wanted a friend. If she was out to get her then she was putting in a lot of leg work just to get to the payoff. Because sometimes Rachel would get home from a singing lesson on a Thursday night and Quinn would be casually chatting with her fathers in the kitchen as they made dinner. And other times Quinn would jump on her bed early on a Saturday morning to wake her up with Dunkin' Donuts and a random season of The OC, one time it was all three Godfather movies. Occasionally she'd call just to tell her something her mom said at dinner and they'd talk for an hour about what their names would have been had they been born boys. Her favorite was when she got random text messages that merely stated an outfit and Rachel got to go on a scavenger hunt during school to find the person wearing said outfit. Their own game of I Spy. There was no way Rachel would allow herself to believe that this was all an elaborate hoax.
"Contrary to your beliefs Hudson, not everyone that is friends with Rachel is using her for something. Some of us actually enjoy her company and would never ask her to change."
Quinn had heard almost the entire conversation and couldn't bite her tongue any longer. She knew that it wasn't her place at all to come to Rachel's rescue but Finn crossed a line by once again bringing her up in the conversation. He was preying on her weaknesses and didn't really know what he was talking about. Her meeting with Coach Sylvester ended quicker than she thought, she'd heard the two talking and decided to wait around the corner in case it was something important. She felt a little bad for eavesdropping but her curiosity ultimately won the debate on whether or not to listen or leave the two to themselves. She didn't wholeheartedly trust Finn, he'd really done nothing to have her trust. He cheated on her when they were dating and he also lied to Rachel about sleeping with Santana. Quinn didn't take kindly to cheaters, regardless if she herself was a cheater. But Quinn honestly didn't really care if Finn trusted her or not, that wasn't the person she was worried about.
Finn felt his heart drop into his stomach when he heard his ex-girlfriend behind him. Her voice could give him that reaction. She truly terrified him sometimes. Sure anyone would be angry if they overheard people talking about them in the hallway but Quinn's reaction was much different. She was collected and calm, as if she knew that her look alone would intimidate the boy into an apology.
Finn swallowed thickly as he watched Quinn take her position next to Rachel and glare up at him with a small scowl and narrowed eyes. As if she was conveying all her hatred with just one look. He hated when she did that, it made him feel insignificant. He had to overcompensate so it looked like he wasn't affected by her.
"That's really cute Quinn, coming from you. You haven't ruined enough lives already? You won't settle until you hurt every last one of us? Why don't you just leave Rachel alone?"
Rachel shook out of her shocked daze at the mention of her name. Her mind was still spinning at the sudden presence from the blonde, she couldn't even think about everything Quinn just heard, she'd probably pass out. How long had she been around the corner?
"That's enough! Finn, I'm sorry but I don't wish to pursue a relationship with you at this point in time, please respect that. Attacking Quinn because you think she has something to do with my decision is childish. I demand that you apologize to her at once."
Finn had felt bad once Rachel put it into simple terms. He was being unfair and childish about the entire thing. He couldn't believe that he was blaming Rachel's reluctance on Quinn. As if they'd ever have anything that would threaten his existence in her life. He knew that it was only a matter of time before Rachel came running back into his arms and he didn't mind waiting for her. Rachel was one of the coolest girlfriends that he'd ever had.
His demeanor changed once he saw the confident smirk on the blonde's lips as she raised her eyebrow. She was enjoying this and took pride in the fact that Rachel had taken her side instead of reasoning with Finn's logic.
"Fine. I'm sorry Quinn that you'll never be able to return Rachel's feelings for you."
He turned quickly and hastily walked away from both girls, not believing that those words just came out of his mouth in a moment of pure infuriation and jealousy.
"Finn, come back here! How dare you—"
"It's fine, Rachel." Quinn spoke softly next to her, she knew Finn was immature so she really wasn't expecting a real apology.
"It most certainly is not fine. He can't just say things like that and expect to get away with it."
Quinn leaned up against one of the lockers, "Is it really worth it to you whether or not you guys are on good terms?"
"It's not that."
It was the fact that he took his anger out on Quinn when she was undeserving of such treatment.
"What was he talking about? Your feelings for me?"
Rachel panicked. She was hoping that Quinn wouldn't question the things that the boy had fired off in the last few minutes. She decided to be honest because if you took it for what it was, it really was innocent.
"I told him that there was someone else and he automatically assumed it was you."
"Why would he assume that?"
Rachel shrugged, she had no idea, "I don't know. You know how dimwitted he can be sometimes."
Quinn did know that. Still, the way he had said it made it seem like there was concrete evidence that Rachel had feelings for her.
"Ready to go?"
Rachel nodded, "I made a playlist that I think you'll enjoy. And you only get three skips so you'll need to use them wisely."
Quinn rolled her eyes and pushed off the locker, "Fine. But I'm going to need one of those crazy cat calendars for Christmas."
Rachel turned to her sharply, "Were you listening the whole time?"
"Well I didn't want to interrupt."
Rachel understood the value behind Quinn's logic, she loathed interruptions.
"Well, it would have been nice if you did. That was a painful conversation."
Quinn held open the door for Rachel and they made their way across the parking lot.
"Quinn Fabray, what have I told you about locking your car doors! All kinds of murderers could hide in your backseat! You must always be prepared! Don't you know the rules?"
"No, but I'm positive you're about to tell me them." She sent her a crooked smile as she started her car.
"Always park under a light, always lock your doors, and never under any circumstance park next to a windowless van. Or any van for that matter, you never know what kind of masked delinquents could be behind those sliding doors waiting to kidnap you."
"You watch way too many crime shows."
"All of those things could happen in real life." Rachel defended.
"I can tell you're making fun of me and as your punishment, you now have no skips and you can kiss that cat calendar goodbye."
"Tell me you have a warehouse stocked full of them somewhere?"
Rachel hmph'd and plugged her iPod into the car so that she could put on one of the few songs that she knew Quinn hated. Quinn didn't really hate any music, she just loved watching Rachel get flustered.
"I'm picking out our calendar, by the way."
Captivating beauty, but it may be all too soon.
She zeroed in on Puckerman as he flirted with one of the younger Cheerios.
"Puckerman, follow me."
"I'll follow you anywhere, Berry" he smirked as she pulled his arm.
She rolled her eyes in disgust as she continued to pull him towards the empty choir room. She waited for him to fully get into the room before turning around.
"I'm in love with you." She stated.
"Is this a joke? Who told you to do this? Did Karofsky? I'll kill him if—"
"Don't you love me too?"
Puck was unconvinced that this wasn't a prank. He was still waiting for the camera crew to pop out and tell him that he was being Punked. Maybe Rachel got the help of Artie and the AV club and she created her own reality show called Berried. He was dreaming, or something. There was no way that Rachel was in love with him. Well there were ways, he was a stud and all, but chicks knew better than to drop the L word around him. The only girl he loved had gotten away and he swore it off forever. Rachel was kind of batshit crazy sometimes and he always felt like the girl skipped her meds on more than one occasion, and he knew she took meds because she was that crazy to him. Although, she could be normal and she was the closest person behind Quinn that he had some kind of feeling for that wasn't strictly physical. She was nice to him and didn't judge him, maybe she did love him. Could he love her?
Noah Puckerman may not have made the best choices in life but he wasn't stupid. His intentions were always good. He stole fundraising money in order to try and provide for his unborn family, he stole the ATM machine so he could help his mom with the bills, and he slashed Vocal Adrenaline's tires because he was defending the honor of glee and more importantly, Rachel. No one messed with one of their own, especially if it was a fellow Jew. He liked Rachel and he knew that if he went along with this to get into her pants again, it wouldn't just hurt her but it would hurt the girl he truly loved. And he couldn't be responsible for two broken hearts. He didn't roll that way.
"No. And you don't love me."
Rachel's lower lip quivered as he looked at her with his smoldering eyes and pursed lips, she could handle it if Puck turned out to be her mysterious writer. Her emotions were shot at this point and she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown if she didn't solve this entire thing. At least so that she could move on with her life. Even if nothing ever came of it.
She nodded firmly before storming passed him out of the choir room and down the hallway.
She'd sat in Quinn's car during her free period. Quinn still neglected to lock the doors but for once Rachel was thankful. And after thoroughly checking the interior of the car for any mysterious people, she allowed herself to finally relax. Quinn gave Rachel a lift to school one morning when Rachel's car was "acting up"—Rachel lied— and now the girls just took turns driving each other. Rachel's not sure if she'd sit in her own car if she had the choice, she thinks she'd choose to sit in Quinn's car regardless.
She pulled out the leather journal and flipped to the last page, her favorite of all twenty-four. She ran her fingertips over the words and got a little grey lead on her as she normally did when she traced the letters. The last song was unfinished and Rachel cried when she realized that she might never find out what it was supposed to say.
By the time she heard the last bell ring, she was done crying. She hoped that all hints of her tears were gone and got out of the car. Quinn immediately knew when she saw her but chose to wait until after glee practice to say anything to her.
Rachel was sort of a horrible liar. But in a way she knew that Quinn would know regardless so what was the point in even trying to lie in the first place?
"Is this about your conversation with Puck?"
"He told you?"
Quinn nodded a little sheepishly, she was sworn to secrecy but she had to know if it was true. Sometimes Puckerman could exaggerate the truth.
"So it's true?"
It was Rachel's turn to nod sheepishly as she admitted that she'd been so frantic to find the owner that she told the boy that she was in love with him just to see his reaction. When did she becomemore desperate than usual?
Quinn bit her lip and closed her eyes as Rachel avoided looking at her.
"I just wanted to tell you that I think I'm going to stay back and practice the new routines that Coach gave us last week, do you think you could get a ride home from your Dad?"
"Um sure? I could just wait for—"
"I'm going to be a while."
"Oh, right. Of course. No problem."
Rachel didn't understand the sudden shift in attitude that came from the blonde and she didn't have time to further investigate as Quinn turned and walked out of the room.
You're the song that writes a story, but leaves a lot to read.
Rachel didn't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that Quinn was avoiding her. She got the feeling that she was being ignored when Quinn didn't respond to any of her text messages later that night. The feeling only escalated when for the next four days Quinn magically had something to do early in the morning that would prevent her from being able to drive Rachel to school. Rachel knew that Quinn didn't have a math test to make-up because they were in the same class. It was painfully obvious and it made the brunette want to cry when she thought about it.
"Why are you ignoring me?"
"Jesus Rachel! Hiding in my backseat seems a little stalkerish, don't you think?"
She was out of options. Quinn had stopped making eye contact all together with her in the hallway and she once again sat powerless as her impulses kicked into gear and she found herself making lists of different ways to corner the blonde.
"All my other attempts failed, this was the only way. And I've warned you about leaving your doors unlocked, you should be more careful."
Quinn thought it was funny the way Rachel would huff as she got into the red car after discovering that it was once again unlocked. Quinn was sometimes forgetful when it came to locking the doors of her car but it was only because she had other things to worry about. She had to say that she was thankful that she was so forgetful because she was quite relieved when Rachel popped up from under a blanket in her backseat.
"Okay, you've made your point."
Rachel crossed her arms over her chest, her emotions were shot and her nerves were frayed. She felt like she was constantly drinking 5 hour energy's and snorting pixie stix.
"So? Why?" she asked as she began to tap her fingers on the small bicep of her arm.
Quinn sighed and rubbed her tired eyes, she hadn't been sleeping much, "Can you at least come sit up here?"
Rachel studied Quinn through the rearview mirror and felt she could make it out of the backseat and into the passenger seat before the blonde could start the car and drive away.
"I'm not ignoring you." The blonde stated once Rachel was finally situated in the front seat.
It was obvious that Quinn was lying. Her voice would have given her away if Rachel hadn't experienced the dodging first hand.
"I'm offended Quinn, I thought we were friends."
Quinn felt the guilt wash over her. They were friends. She'd finally had that friendship with Rachel and she was basically throwing it away because she was jealous of something that she had no right to be jealous over anymore.
Rachel watched the grimace that overtook the blonde's face, she felt like crying again.
"It's clear that it pains you to be my friend."
Quinn closed her eyes. Maybe she shouldn't have told Rachel to join her in the front seat. At least if she was in the back she wouldn't be able to see the blonde's features so clearly. She focused on the steering wheel so that the brunette couldn't read her anymore.
"That's not it."
"Then what is it?"
Quinn didn't know what she had been thinking when she started to avoid Rachel as if she were a disease. Maybe the problem was that she wasn't thinking.
"Do I really have to say it?"
It physically pained the girl to think about it let alone say it aloud.
"I can't read minds." Rachel reminded her unnecessarily. If only it were that easy.
"You're in love with Puck." The blonde finally managed to choke out.
Rachel laughed, "No, I'm not."
"That's what you told him a few days ago."
"But I'm not seriously in love with him. Oh god, is that what you thought? Why you've been avoiding me?"
Quinn started to panic. The brunette was bound to get the wrong idea or maybe get the right idea which was probably scarier.
"Rach, Let me explain—"
"You've probably been upset with me because you thought I had feelings for the father of your child."
She continued on without acknowledging the blonde's attempts to clarify any confusion as to why she was essentially jealous.
"It was entirely inconsiderate of me to not explain the full story to you."
Quinn stopped trying to get a word in edgewise with the girl and became intrigued. Full story? There was more to the story than what she already knew? She supposed that it made sense, all she knew was that Rachel walked up to Puck and told him she loved him. She never stopped to question herself why Rachel would do that, especially after being so frightened of him the first weekend they hung out.
"What's the full story?" she asked carefully.
Rachel sighed, "Can you keep a secret?"
Quinn thought the brunette's dramatics were cute sometimes, "You were the one that told Finn about Puck being the real father, not me. I'm pretty sure I can keep a secret."
"Right. Well you're going to think I'm crazy."
Rachel took a few deep breaths. There was no going back once what she was about to say got out into the open. She trusted Quinn though, and it's not like she had tons of other people to confide in. Surely Quinn had noticed how different she'd been acting the last couple of weeks. Quinn braced herself, she could tell that whatever the brunette was about to tell her was pretty important. Rachel tended to build things up but this was different, this was clearly occupying her mind at all hours of the day.
"I found this journal in the choir room about two months ago."
"Who's is it?" Quinn asked once she was sure that Rachel was done speaking.
"I don't know."
Quinn scratched her cheek as she thought, she didn't really understand, "I'm confused, how does this make you crazy?"
Rachel closed her eyes. This was it.
"I'm…I'm in love with the writer."
Saying the words out loud to someone made her instantly feel weightless.
Quinn wasn't quite expecting those words to tumble out of the girl's mouth and it took her a minute or so to process it.
"But you don't know who it is?" she asked again.
Rachel shook her head, "I've been going nuts trying to figure it out. I've been investigating and questioning people. I've followed them around shamelessly. I have no leads."
It all finally made sense to Quinn. Why she'd followed Artie into the men's room, why Brittany thought she had her diary, and why Rachel was talking to Mercedes about writing and being in love.
"Is that why you told Puck you loved him?"
The brunette nodded slowly before looking down to her lap, "It's pathetic, I know."
She was waiting for some kind of joking comment or maybe some hearty laughter. Quinn took her time to form an appropriate response. It killed her to see Rachel so worked up over something and she could tell that what the girl really needed at that moment was a friend. And Quinn was her friend. First and foremost.
"Well it definitely sounds like something you would do but I don't think it makes you pathetic."
Rachel picked her head up in surprise, "Really? You're not going to call me a loser or tell me to get a life?"
"Do you know me at all?"
She knew this Quinn. The Quinn that wouldn't go to sleep without texting Rachel a goodnight, the girl that brought Rachel a bagel every morning from her mother's never ending stash, the cheerleader that would abuse her power in order to leave class early so that she could walk with the brunette to their next class together, and the person that was secretly—not really—learning to cook so that Rachel didn't have to eat takeout when she was at the Fabray house. But in the back of her mind she supposed she was still expecting the old Quinn to resurface occasionally, the one that would feel like punching her every time the brunette opened her mouth, the cheerleader that would make sure Rachel felt inferior to her every time she'd walk down the hallway, the girl that used to call her anything and everything but her real name. But how could Rachel ever know that Quinn would only want to punch her so that she wouldn't do something else, or that she'd only acted superior because she liked how the brunette looked at her like she was a goddess, and the only reason she didn't call her by her name was because it felt too intimate. Rachel was being silly and Quinn was a bit offended that the brunette still thought the blonde was capable of being intentionally mean to the smaller girl.
"You're right. I'm sorry."
"No." Quinn sighed, "I'm sorry. I should have talked to you instead of running away. You didn't deserve the silent treatment."
"I accept your apology Quinn. I've—" Rachel closed her eyes, "I've just really missed you the past couple of days and I know we only recently became friends but I didn't like the feeling of losing you. I felt like I couldn't breathe or something."
Quinn's jaw was firmly set as to not lose control of her emotions. She knew what Rachel was talking about because she'd felt the same way. She couldn't look Rachel in the eyes when they'd passed each other in the hallway because it hurt too much and that thought alone was scary enough.
Quinn saw a tear slide down Rachel's cheek followed by another one, her heart broke as she saw what she'd done to the brunette by avoiding her.
"Hey, none of that." She spoke softly, reaching out to wipe the wetness away with her thumb, "I felt the same way, it was like part of me was missing." The blonde admitted.
Rachel's tears ran into Quinn's thumb as the girl held her firmly in place, "So then why did you do it?" the brunette asked as she brought her other hand to wipe the other eye.
Quinn winced a bit as she heard the brunette's voice crack, "I was being stubborn and stupid. It's not the easiest thing in the world for me to speak my feelings, you know? I promise that I won't do anything like that again, okay?"
Rachel nodded before letting out a small laugh and sniffling, "I'm sorry. I don't mean to be so emotional, it's just this journal has me on edge."
Quinn smiled softly, "You're kind of reminding me of when I was pregnant. Chocolate helps, by the way."
"I'll remember that." Rachel replied after laughing a little harder, thankful that the heavy moment was passing.
Between thinking she'd lost Quinn and still not knowing who the journal belonged to she was a downright mess. At least she'd gotten one of the two things she'd wished for the past couple of nights and that was having Quinn back.
"We'll find that owner for you, okay? And they're stupid for making you suffer like this."
"I can't help but hope that it'll be worth it."
"Me too" the blonde replied softly as she removed her hand from Rachel's cheek finally, "Here, I'll drive you to your car."
Rachel nodded and buckled her seatbelt regardless of the short drive down the parking lot. Quinn laughed to herself as she put the car in reverse and backed out of the spot. She was relieved for a few reasons, avoiding Rachel took quite a toll on her over the past few days and it was becoming harder and harder to keep her emotions in check. She was glad that everything was just a big misunderstanding.
Quinn slowed the car to a stop as they approached Rachel's four-door Sedan. The brunette took her time in unbuckling her seatbelt, not ready to leave the blonde's presence just yet. She'd admittedly missed Quinn and after the initial shock that such feelings brought her, she just wanted them to be okay again. Her fingers lingered on the handle of the door, hoping that one of them would find the courage to initiate some kind of plans.
"I'll pick you up tomorrow morning."
Rachel bit her lip as she smiled, she was sitting on an indecisive edge as her eyes locked with those hazel ones that she'd craved to see the past few days.
Quinn was a little stunned when she saw Rachel shift over the center console and towards her, her tensed body was a natural reaction. The brunette's arms reached around and held her close until Quinn felt her body relax into the girl's so she could return the embrace.
It was the most intimate gesture either of them had shared with each other and it left them both a little dazed as Rachel finally exited the car. Her hand was on the door as she turned back to look into the car.
Rachel had the strongest urge to ask Quinn if the journal was hers. It seemed fitting. Quinn rarely showed emotion and writing was sometimes a good outlet for releasing bottled up emotions, which is what her therapist sometimes told her. But there was stacks of evidence against her that would disprove her sudden theory. Quinn had seen the journal on Rachel's bed the first time she'd been over and didn't immediately accuse the brunette of stealing it. She also didn't recognize the lyrics Rachel would doodle in the margins of her notebooks. And there was also the small matter that Rachel just admitted she was in love with the writer and Quinn hadn't reacted at all in a way that set off the brunette's alarm. It was far-fetched wishful thinking because yeah, Rachel had finally admitted to herself that she wanted the owner to be Quinn. It would make things easier for her whole having-feelings-for-two-different-people debacle but it would make it complicated for her in regards to liking a girl who she was almost positive would not be receptive to those types of feelings. Finn just might have been right. She was foolish for thinking that Quinn was someone that would want to be with her. And even if the blonde turned out to be the owner of the leather journal, there was no way that those lyrics would be about the brunette. Just no way.
"Nevermind." She waved off.
Quinn knew that whatever was dancing on Rachel's tongue was pretty important to her.
"Are you sure?"
Rachel nodded, "I'm sure, I'll see you tomorrow."
Quinn supposed it was better that way. She had a feeling she knew what it was in regards to and she wasn't sure she was ready to field that question.
"See you tomorrow."
The closest thing to perfect, but the farthest thing from me.
Things were back to normal if not better than before between the two girls. They were back to their standard routine of hanging out on Saturdays and sometimes going to parties on Saturday nights. Brittany and Rachel managed to convince Quinn to let them build the biggest fort that they'd ever attempted to make and even Santana had fun when they played hide and seek in the dark of Quinn's basement. It became normal for Rachel to get home from her Thursday night singing lesson and find Quinn helping with dinner instead of just watching. And Mrs. Fabray calling her so that she could speak to her daughter was also something that became natural. Quinn tended to silence her phone and forget about it when she was at the Berry's house, she often forgot that she had to check in with her mother. But the same went for Rachel when she'd be at Quinn's, it wasn't until her father's called her that she'd realize she hadn't been home in nearly 36 hours. And even after arriving home late Sunday nights for their respective family dinners, one would end up losing the bet they'd made to see which person could hold out the longest on not calling the other person after they'd showered and gotten ready for bed. Quinn normally lost the bet which meant she would have to drive the girl to school in the morning. She didn't mind.
Quinn learned all about both sides of Rachel's family and passed the test the brunette created with flying colors, Quinn was an absolute charmer at both the Berry family reunion and Grandpa Ray's eightieth birthday party on the Danford side of the family. Rachel understood the dynamic of Quinn's family but still listened when the blonde would occasionally open up about it, and she was also quite a hit with Quinn's two nieces when they visited her sister one weekend. They were dying for her to come back so they could play American Idol with her, of course Rachel also begged Quinn to go back for that very same reason.
Abigail, Quinn's sister, found Rachel to be endearing and entirely hilarious, exactly as the blonde had described her the countless times they'd talk about it on the phone. Abigail clearly realized quickly that Quinn held this girl in a higher league than her other friends, the fact that her baby sister even brought someone that far into their admittedly dysfunctional family was saying something huge. She noticed that for the first time in nearly three years Quinn was acting like her real self, that her and her mother could get through a dinner without one of them being silent, and that the brunette had everything to do with it. But she also noticed there was a different kind of sadness behind her sister's eyes and she couldn't help but think the brunette had something to do with that too, unintentional and unaware of course.
The Berry men absolutely adored their daughter's friend, they'd adore anyone that could make Rachel so continuously happy. Their playful banter and bickering was amusing to them, as was Rachel's new repertoire of songs to sing in the shower. It was painful that both girls had no idea how obvious they were being about their magnetic attraction towards one another, and even if it wasn't necessarily always in a romantic sense, they had chemistry. The men would try to sneak up on the girls as they'd watch a movie to see if they'd be startled enough to move away from each other guiltily but they had to be touching in order to move away from each other. Their attempts to catch the girls never died down because the men were sure that they were too infatuated for something not to be going on.
Judy Fabray, however, saw plenty of the touchy-feely moments between the girls when they thought no one was around. She saw her daughter's hand linger on the brunette's arm for longer than an appropriate amount of time to pass off as innocent, she noticed the proximity of their closeness when they'd set in to watch a movie, she couldn't help but smile to herself on those few occasions that both girls would be sound asleep peacefully on one of the couch's together and that shimmer in Quinn's eyes was unmistakable every time Rachel would smile in her direction. While they were nothing like Quinn's two Cheerio friends, it was still clear that her daughter and Rachel were either very close friends or very close friends that both wanted something more…meaningful. While it caught her off guard the first time she'd witnessed one of their rare intimate interactions, she had time to accept it as something that was going to be a familiarity. It was that undeniable. And she had her daughter back, she could sacrifice a few reservations about their relationship if it meant having her baby girl once again.
Finn tried and failed miserably to get Rachel's attention by dedicating countless songs to her during glee but she had too much on her mind to really worry about his efforts. Under different circumstances she probably would have already taken him back, if it wasn't for the leather journal sitting in her bag and the blonde girl sitting next to her on those days.
Anyone that hung out with the two girls felt like a third wheel but it didn't stop them from wanting to hang out with them. Rachel was more than bearable when she was with Quinn and the blonde could make you believe that she'd never said a hateful word before in her life. They kind of brought out the best in each other.
Rachel stared at the last name on the list. She'd been putting it off for quite a while and she couldn't put it off any longer. She didn't want to think about what it meant should this person turn out to be her admirer. It might just ruin everything.
Rachel ignored Quinn as she walked past her and into the choir room. She was on a mission.
She made a beeline towards Santana. She didn't even have time to take a breath before her mouth opened.
"Are you in love with me?"
The words Santana was exchanging with Brittany died in her throat as she looked at the shorter girl like she had four heads.
"Are you in love with me?"
It made perfect sense in her mind as she went over everything before reaching the door to the choir room. Santana was constantly putting her down which meant she was obviously repressed. It's not like she had never been with a girl before, Brittany was evidence of that. She had a weird obsession with needing to constantly add in her two-cents on anything Rachel was talking about. It all made sense seconds ago, until she saw the way the fire burned hatred in her eyes as Santana stared at her.
She looked to Quinn who was standing with her jaw opened behind Rachel.
"Is this a joke?" she asked her friend, "Tell me this is a huge joke."
Rachel turned to look at Quinn over her shoulder before looking back at the intimidating cheerleader, Rachel's emotions were spiraling out of control and she could feel the tears making their presence known again.
"This isn't a joke."
"It has to be! Who in their right mind would love you?"
Rachel opened and closed her mouth a few times. Normally words just appeared and made their way out from behind her lips but she had nothing to say. Santana was absolutely right.
She turned around to where she knew Quinn was.
"Drive me home."
"Take. Me. Home."
Quinn nodded and allowed Rachel to move past her before she shot Santana a hard and disappointing stare and followed the brunette out of the room.
The two girls walked in silence as they maneuvered through the halls of McKinley. It wasn't until Rachel was safely inside the interior of Quinn's car that she spoke. It startled the blonde who was expecting the brunette to have one of her silent hissy fits. She didn't have them often but since learning that Rachel was in possession of this journal, she noticed that Rachel sometimes needed to get her bearings straight before trying to voice her thoughts.
"She's right." She stated lowly.
Quinn didn't believe that for a second.
"Oh c'mon, it's Santana. You can't take anything she says seriously. I thought you knew that."
Rachel used to know that but now she wasn't so sure.
"No, she's right this time. Who in their right mind would love me? I've been going crazy for I don't even know how long trying to find this person who I'm not even sure exists the way I want them too."
Quinn could tell that the brunette was growing more and more upset the more she thought about what Santana had said to her.
Rachel ignored the blonde's request. She was worked up now and she was rambling a mile a minute as Quinn tried desperately to concentrate on both what she was saying and watching the road.
"I don't even know how to stop all of this. I found that journal and my life completely turned upside down. I'm eating irregularly, I'm not sleeping normally, I have no idea what's going on in any of my classes, and I'm entirely unprepared for Regionals which is in two weeks. It has me questioning every single person in glee club, I mean, Santana? Really? What is wrong with me?"
Quinn noticed that the brunette was off her normal routine but she didn't think it was that bad. They spent the majority of their time together and everything had been normal. Quinn realized that there was really no way to know what the brunette did when they weren't together, and even though they said goodnight to each other around the same time every night it didn't mean that Rachel actually went to sleep at that time. Who knows how late she stayed up every night thinking about things. Rachel's eyes were always trained down on her notebooks during the classes they shared but it didn't mean the brunette was listening to a word the teachers were saying. Quinn should have taken more notice to the little things, she felt responsible.
"Nothing is wrong with you."
Rachel heard Quinn's words but she was too caught up in her mind to fully acknowledge them.
"And the worst part? I don't even know if the lyrics are about me. I've got to be all kinds of delusional to think that there is someone out there that can write such beautiful things about me or be that deeply in love with me. In fact, I doubt any of the songs are about me, I just want them to be so badly that I've convinced myself that they are. The last song isn't even finished and I've read it over and over again a thousand times and it can still make me cry. Please just tell me I'm crazy."
There was no way Quinn was going to adhere to that request.
"I've told you before, you're not crazy."
"I'm in love with someone that I have no business being in love with and I have no proof that anything they've written is about me. I'd say I'm pretty crazy."
"Maybe the pretty part."
Rachel stopped her long-winded rant and looked at Quinn. The blonde's eyes were slightly wide. Quinn didn't think that the brunette was even listening to her side comments. She'd figured out that most of the time Rachel's questions were rhetorical.
"You think I'm pretty?"
Quinn shifted in the black leather seat and rearranged her grip on the steering wheel, "Well, yeah." She shrugged.
People have told Rachel that she was pretty before. Her relatives, her dads, the few boyfriends that she's had, but none of those times compared to having it come from Quinn Fabray.
"You're a beautiful person, Rach. I'm sorry that I've wasted so much time and waited so long to get to know you. I'm sure whoever wrote all of those things was talking about you and I bet you're pretty special to them."
"It's not like I'll ever find out."
Quinn frowned at Rachel's dejected attitude. They stayed silent
"You shouldn't stop looking just because Santana was a bitch."
Rachel did know that Santana was always a bitch and that it shouldn't change anything, "It hurts too much not knowing."
Quinn was confused by the girl's logic and let out a small laugh, "All the more reason to keep looking."
Rachel shook her head and turned to look out the window, "I don't think I can do it anymore."
Quinn mindlessly gripped the steering wheel tighter as she continued to drive, they were almost at Rachel's house and the blonde didn't know what to say.
She'd hate to see all of the girl's efforts wasted because of Santana's tendency to bring the girl down every chance she got. Rachel was overly nice to Santana when they would hang out but for some reason the stubborn cheerleader would always forget that when they were in public. She had to find a way to lift Rachel's spirits.
"And what if they are writing about you?" she finally asked.
Quinn pulled into the Berry's driveway and put the car in park, "I just need to move on and accept the fact that whoever it is doesn't have the courage to let me know."
"Maybe they want to but it's just complicated."
Rachel turned to look at the blonde sharply, "You know who it is, don't you?"
"I'm just playing devil's advocate." She shrugged.
Rachel studied the girl for a few more seconds before she unbuckled her seat belt and reached for the handle of the door.
"I appreciate it but I can't waste any more of my time on this." She replied and opened the door, "I'll see you tomorrow, Quinn."
Quinn waited until the brunette made it all the way up the walkway and into the house before she pulled the car back out of the driveway in order to get home. It was weird to drop off the girl without getting an invitation to go inside and hang out but she had a feeling she would have declined the offer. She knew that Rachel needed to be alone for a bit and besides, her day just freed up an hour earlier than it was supposed to and she already knew what she was going to do with it.
And like I really deserve a chance to sit across the table, and tell you that I think you're wonderful.
Rachel actually fell asleep earlier that night than her new bedtime. She woke up feeling refreshed before she realized that she'd wasted three months of her life and had virtually nothing to show for it. She'd burn the book if it wasn't already such a part of her.
She sent Quinn a text message to let her know that she wouldn't need a ride to school that morning and left nearly an hour before she had to be there. She needed to clear her head. She needed a good drive in order to compose her thoughts and feelings, she needed to detox.
She pulled into the parking lot before most of the students got there and spent the remainder of her morning in the choir room, gingerly playing the piano.
Quinn straightened up in her seat when she saw Rachel walk into their first period math class. For the first time in a very long time, Rachel paid attention. She wished she hadn't, she started stressing about how lost she was with all the new material they covered. She'd have to get the notes from Quinn so she would be able to catch up. She felt Quinn probably took meticulous and perfect notes, except the blonde hadn't taken notes for just as long as Rachel hadn't.
Rachel opted to skip out on the cafeteria during lunch, not being able to sit at the same table as Santana. She was truly humiliated.
Halfway through eating her sandwich there was a knock on the choir room door.
"Can I come in?"
"Santana." Rachel corrected her posture upon seeing the girl and immediately grew nervous, "W-What are you doing here?"
It physically pained Santana to be in the same room as Rachel Berry, especially with knowing what she was about to do. She felt a slight tinge of guilt when she saw the brunette's face fall after the comment she threw at her the previous day. It escalated when Brittany reprimanded her for being so cruel and refused to talk to her the remainder of their glee rehearsal. Quinn had presented her with a rare opportunity and it wouldn't be such a devastating blow to her ego or overall badass-ness. And the only reason she agreed to it was because it would make things right between her and Brittany. Not because it meant something to Quinn. Well, maybe she thought more of her friendship with Quinn than she believed, because the blonde didn't even have to threaten her into apologizing.
"I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for what I said yesterday. I'm sure there is someone out there that loves you and all your crazy."
Rachel swallowed and wiped her hands on her bare thighs, sometimes she wished she wore jeans for when her hands got clammy.
"Though I can't see why. And I can't really say that I understand it."
"I think the point of an apology is—"
Santana didn't feel like getting lectured on the science of apologizing properly.
"Save it. I know what the point of an apology is. All I'm saying is that whoever your person turns out to be or whatever, just don't hurt them or scare them away."
Rachel's ears perked up and she started growing hot, "My person? Who told you that? Did Quinn say something to you?"
Santana rolled her eyes, Berry could be so dense sometimes, "Why do you think I'm here apologizing in the first place?"
"I suppose you weren't visited by three ghosts last night that helped you change your perspective on life?"
Santana leveled her with a glare even though she probably would have laughed if it came from someone else that wasn't her.
"Sorry, that was a joke."
"Whatever, Berry. Just…remember what I said."
Rachel couldn't be sure but she thinks that she just had the strangest encounter with Santana in the history of strange encounters. Twilight Zone weird. Santana actually showed traces of being human, in a weird sort of roundabout way. It was a good thing really, her and Quinn were close so maybe if her and Santana could bury the hatchet, it wouldn't be too awkward when she hung out with the Cheerios. Brittany and Quinn tended to be a nice buffer between the girls however.
She stopped at her locker after lunch so she could grab the books she needed for the next few classes and was surprised to find a small present waiting for her inside. Attached to it was a folded up piece of paper. She knew that she had about two minutes to get to her next class but her curiosity got the best of her and she just wouldn't be able to wait until the end of the day.
She opened the small box first. It's not like anyone cared about what the attached notes said anyway, she guessed it probably said her name or something. The only time she cared about the accompanying card to a present was when there was money in them, and she was pretty certain the folded piece of loose-leaf didn't contain any money.
Inside the small box was another folded up piece of paper and she rolled her eyes as she tried to decide which piece of paper to unravel first. What if it was a weird game, where if you don't choose the right one, you died? Ridiculous, she thought as she took the piece of paper out of the box. Her knees nearly gave out from under her. She knew exactly what she was reading.
And I think you're something special.
I guess this is my only chance to say I wish I knew you,
Because I'm sure you're wonderful, If I'd get to know you.
It was the rest of the lyrics to the last song in the journal; her favorite song. It was about her.
She read over the words until they were etched into her mind. She'd completely forgotten that there was another note.
Soon? What did soon mean? Did it mean the person was going to pop out from around the corner? Or was soon a week away? The universe ought to have a standard table of what certain words meant in regards to time. Soon could mean anything.
Just when Rachel was starting to get back onto some resemblance of her old scholastic routine, she gets blindsided and thrown upside down again. This changed everything. The person was finally reaching out to her, which meant they knew she had their book. Honestly though, her intentions and ulterior motives were probably see-through to the owner, it wasn't hard to pick up on the fact that Rachel was acting crazier than normal in her search. The writer was probably having a good chuckle at the fact that Rachel's life was heading in a downward spiral, she was sure they were pure evil.
But she couldn't stop the relief that flooded through her. She had been right, someone was writing about being in love with her. She did have a secret admirer. It was all so fairy tale romantic and she felt like spinning in slow motion as Everlasting Love played while the camera panned out. She was going to get her happily ever after. She was undoubtedly in love with this person, their musical talent, their charm, and even their handwriting. She was beaming at the two pieces of paper before she tucked them into the leather journal. Soon.
If she thought she was going to continue focusing during the rest of her classes, she was sorely mistaken. She was more unfocused than she had been in the past months. It was like the days leading up to Hanukah, or Christmas Eve. It was like waiting in the airport for a delayed flight to a tropical destination. It was like waiting for the bell to ring on the last day of school to signal the start of summer vacation. It was like waiting in the green room ten minutes before going on stage for a national competition for the first time. She was anxious and jittery.
Maybe the romantic lead actor in the love story she'd created in her head was going to sing a dazzling, heartfelt, and perfectly arranged number that expressed every feeling they had for Rachel. And of course, somehow the wiring for the school's P.A. system would get screwed up and every student in the school would overhear her true love cementing their new relationship in stone by announcing they were in love and were going to elope. Yes, sometimes Rachel knew that she could be far-fetched but it didn't stop her from playing out the various scenarios in her mind as she waited patiently for each bell to signal the end of her classes.
The wind in her lungs was literally knocked out of her as she turned the corner and ran directly into a bright red brick wall. Well, it was Quinn, but it felt like Rachel was the unstoppable force and the cheerleader was the immovable object. Rachel fell to the ground as Quinn balanced herself before helping up the petite brunette that was desperately trying to breathe back in the air that she'd lost on her fall. Quinn's books had slammed right into her chest and it felt like she'd gotten hit with a 90 mile per hour fastball.
"Oh my god, I wasn't paying attention. Are you okay?"
And then she lost her breath for another reason.
Rachel tried to listen to her but she now felt like she was having an anxiety attack.
"Rach, you're okay. Just breathe."
"I. Can't." she rasped out.
Quinn's eyes went wide as she watched the brunette wave her hands toward her face, hoping to suck in any oxygen that would be willing to go her way. She made a split second decision and though the thought of leaving Rachel alone for any period of time killed her, she obviously needed someone better equipped to handle this. Luckily someone turned the corner at the exact second Quinn was about to sprint to the nurse's office and she instead demanded that the Freshman boy get the elderly nurse.
Rachel was hunched over when she felt Quinn rubbing a hand on her back, and it was a few seconds before someone in white leant down into Rachel's vision and began directing the brunette with small orders. She could hear Quinn tell the nurse what had happened and she could tell by the shakiness and edge to the blonde's voice that she entirely blamed herself. It was just a careless accident, neither of them were paying attention and they'd collided but Rachel was reprimanded when she tried to open her mouth to tell Quinn she was fine.
"Sit and try to control your breathing, Sweetie." The nurse spoke softly as she handed her a glass of water.
Rachel closed her eyes, if she wanted to control her breathing than she'd have to not look at Quinn and she'd have to ignore the blonde's hand that was tightly clasped with her own. She truly was fine. She'd simply gotten the wind knocked out of her upon the collision and it wasn't until she realized who she'd ran into that she started gasping for air for an entirely different reason.
She couldn't refute that she'd developed strong feelings for the girl. She realized that she was at a figurative fork in the road. She'd been so wrapped up in receiving the end of the last song that she'd completely forgotten that Quinn existed. That was a lie, she was very aware that Quinn existed, but she existed in a way that Rachel craved would be different. She couldn't deny that she'd often pictured her admirer with blonde hair, fair skin and hazel eyes. It was somewhat unavoidable.
Running into Quinn reminded her that she wasn't going to get the true fairytale that she was hoping for. She was only going to get half of it but which half did she want?
The nurse retreated into the main section of the office after a few minutes and left the two girls to sit on one of the cots in one of the back rooms. The door was half ajar and they could faintly hear the nurse talking on the phone with each of Rachel's parents. Rachel's dads demanded to be notified if something ever happened to the girl, regardless of how miniscule.
"Where were you off to in such a hurry?" Quinn asked once she was sure that Rachel was okay to talk again.
"Sorry, I was distracted. Are you okay? We crashed into each other kind of hard."
"I'll say." Quinn mumbled before shaking her head, "I'm fine. Coach's techniques while questionable are quite resourceful in the real world. I barely felt you."
Rachel looked down shyly and nodded to herself. She noticed that her hand was still in Quinn's and she knew that she should retract it but she suddenly forgot how to move the left side of her body.
Quinn knew that she was still attached to the brunette's hand but she'd be damned if she was going to remove it. Not after feeling helpless as Rachel struggled to breathe.
"You scared me." Quinn spoke softly.
"Yes well, I was startled by you as well." Rachel replied through a small laugh. It was like the blonde literally popped out from the corner.
"No I mean, I was scared that something terrible was happening to you." She clarified.
"Well at least it was you and not like Finn or something."
Quinn laughed, "Or Santana." She mused, "You're lucky I like you, Rach. I think you're the only person in this school that could run into the head cheerleader and get away with it."
That was oddly true and she couldn't believe she was the one person that Quinn wouldn't yell at. She knew that at one point in time that was the furthest thing from the truth but now she had to feel a sense of pride that she was that close to the girl that she could get away with such things. She thought about what would have happened if it had been Santana that she'd ran into. Not pretty. She wondered if the girl would have apologized again for being mean.
Rachel pulled her hand away from Quinn's almost immediately.
"What's wrong?" Quinn panicked, "You know I was just kidding, right?"
"Santana." She stated before pointing a finger at the girl next to her, "You told Santana about the journal."
"You told her. You told her how I was searching for this person. I told you that in confidence, Quinn. You said you'd keep it a secret."
Quinn realized now what Rachel was talking about and how she indeed did inadvertently let it slip that Rachel was in possession of the journal and believed she was in love with the person.
"It wasn't like that." She tried.
"I trusted you."
"You can still trust me." Quinn had never recalled her voice sounding so desperate and full of pleading.
Rachel hopped down from the cot and backed away from the blonde, "I can't."
Quinn lowered her head, she couldn't believe how badly those words stung her. Rachel could trust her. They knew each other better than they knew anyone else, Quinn had told her so many things that she never thought she could tell another person. She made her feel safe enough to let her guard down when they were together at the blonde's own house, a place that she rarely thought she could be herself. Quinn thought the world of Rachel and now she was telling her that because of one stupid mistake, she couldn't trust her?
"Rachel, please. Think about what you're saying."
That was Rachel's problem, she wasn't really listening to a word that Quinn was saying. She was making something out of nothing for no reason and it was only because she was upset that Quinn wasn't her Juliet.
"What if she tells the whole school? Santana hates me."
Quinn shook her head, "She won't. And I wouldn't let her even if she thought about it."
Rachel stopped her pacing, "And who are you? How would you stop her?"
Quinn couldn't help but be the slightest bit offended at the way it was so easy for Rachel to forget about all the good things that came from the blonde's power at the school. She was writing her off so effortlessly that it not only discouraged Quinn but it kind of pissed her off. Rachel was acting thick-headed.
"I got her to apologize to you didn't I? Is it impossible for you to be the least bit grateful?"
"Oh. Please, don't do me any more favors."
Quinn sighed and realized it was stupid of her to try and argue with the girl when she was so set in her views, "That's not what I meant."
"I was foolish to think that you were someone I could trust."
Quinn realized they were still in the nurse's office as she tried not to once again let the girl's words sting her. The nurse's office they were in because of Rachel's earlier and very recent panic attack and inability to breathe properly. Quinn was starting to grow worried at all the excitement the brunette was putting her body through and didn't want to re-live what she'd felt as she watched the girl gasp for air.
Quinn stood and slowly approached her, she hesitantly reached out and took the girl's hands. Rachel looked into her eyes and for a second the blonde believed she saw regret and maybe hints of what she hoped Rachel could see in her own eyes. The brunette couldn't look at Quinn without feeling her heart shatter. She would never get what she truly wanted.
"Please, you're getting yourself worked up."
"Don't touch me."
She pulled her hands away from Quinn and the blonde felt her own heart shatter.
The brunette winced when she heard how vulnerable the girl across from her sounded.
"Don't look at me like that, you're the one that messed up." She reminded her.
"Look, I'm sorry, okay? I didn't mean to tell Santana about what you told me, it happened kind of indirectly."
"How did you indirectly tell Santana that I found a journal and fell in love with it's owner?"
Quinn realized that she probably could explain it to the girl but not in the nurse's office, it just didn't seem right.
"Uncomplicate it for me, Fabray."
The blonde took a step back at the fire in the girl's tone, "Where is all this coming from? Why are you being like this with me?"
"Because," Rachel had thousands of things running through her head, "Because you knew how serious and important this was to me and you just threw the information around as if you didn't care what mattered to me. If you weren't going to take this friendship seriously then why did you even bother to be my friend to begin with?"
Was she serious? Quinn felt herself snapping. She couldn't understand why she was so bent out of shape about this. There had to be more to the story, there had to be another reason why Rachel was acting this way. This went beyond Santana knowing because deep down Rachel knew that Santana wouldn't tell a soul if Quinn promised she wouldn't.
Quinn felt the rest of her resolve slip away when Rachel wouldn't even make eye contact with her any more.
"Why are you being so dramatic about this? It's a stupid journal and I'm sure whoever wrote all that stuff doesn't deserve you anyway. You're in love with someone that probably can't live up to the pedestal that you have them on."
Rachel stood for a few seconds with her jaw dropped until she was finally able to collect herself, "Thanks, Quinn. You really put things into perspective for me."
"What does that mean?" she asked trying her hardest to not sound irritated with the girl's cryptic sentence.
"Don't worry about it." She threw over her shoulder.
"Where are you going?"
Rachel didn't know where she was going; she just knew that she had to get away from that awful smelling nurse's office as soon as possible. She felt stupid and foolish. She had no idea what to think anymore. She was certain at that point that both Quinn and Santana knew who the journal belonged to and she needed someone to talk to that wasn't clouded and could be impartial to her situation. And maybe could help her understand how her infatuation with Quinn came about. She needed someone that wouldn't judge her and that could give her life some kind of direction.
Kurt wasn't surprised to see Rachel in the least bit. Well, he would have been under normal circumstances. McKinley was still in school for another ten minutes which meant Rachel left early for some reason and he had a feeling he knew why. Luckily his Warbler practice didn't start for another half hour.
"Rachel, to what do I owe the pleasure?" Kurt asked after he excused himself from the group of boys he was talking to.
Rachel, who was once again acting on complete impulse, drove the few miles across town lines to Dalton Academy in hopes to catch Kurt after school. She knew that private schools ran on an entirely different schedule than public schools so she took a chance and threw caution into the wind.
"I need your help." She stated hastily, she was a little out of breath after searching his large school for five minutes.
He grimaced, "Is Mr. Schue still oppressing the voice of New Directions? Has he once again allowed his personal love for the Pillsbury dough girl to cross with his glee song selections so he can somehow impress her?"
"Well…" Rachel thought, "Yes. But that's not why I'm here."
Kurt's head tilted up and he studied the girl. She was a hot mess. But he had to say that her style was vastly improving with each time he saw her. He led her into one of the many study lounges that were unoccupied and directed her to sit on the brown leather chair before taking his seat in a similar chair across from her.
"Spill. I haven't seen you this worked up since your secret love affair with Jesse St. James."
Rachel bit her lip. That had been somewhat of an emotional train wreck for her as well but it didn't compare to the mess she was currently in.
"Oh my god. He's back in your life isn't he? Are you pregnant?"
Kurt knew that the boy was living it up in Los Angeles but he was using his humor to diffuse Rachel's tenseness, he could tell that she was in dire need of a laugh.
"I'm in love with two different people." She suddenly blurted.
If Kurt didn't already know the situation in excruciating detail, he might actually believe that his Jesse theory was true. He had to admit that the Finn, Jesse, and Rachel love triangle did make for an interesting soap opera.
"I see." He leaned back in the chair and crossed his legs.
"That's your reaction?"
Kurt forgot that he wasn't supposed to know any of this already.
"This is brand new information to me, Rachel. I can assure you that I'm shocked into a state of speechlessness." He replied dryly, but it seemed to appease the brunette across from him.
"Tell me about it."
Oh, would he love to.
"I found this journal and…"
Kurt checked out of the conversation. He was already bored but only because he'd heard the entire story before. He had to confess though, the first time he was hearing everything, he was shocked into a catatonic state.
"Kurt, do you enjoy writing lyrics for people?"
"I can't say that I do, Blaine tends to write his own music though." He answered.
Rachel sat up straighter, "Is he around? Can I question him?"
Kurt watched as Rachel's eyes darted around the room as if he'd appear magically from out of the closet. Funny.
"Rachel, no. Neither Blaine nor I are your secret journal lyrical admirer."
Rachel's eyes narrowed into slits before she pointed an accusatory finger at him.
"How do you know there's a secret admirer?"
Kurt was confused, hadn't she just went into the whole story?
"You just said there was."
"I did not. I said I found a journal and was hoping to return it to its rightful owner. I never said anything about it containing lyrics of unrequited love or that I thought they were in love with me. You should really start paying attention when I talk." Rachel leaned back in her chair and grinned triumphantly.
"Rachel, darling, look who you're talking to…I'm still the eyes and ears of McKinley high school. Of course I know that you've been on a stalker scavenger hunt to find this mysterious person. I'm a little offended you haven't come to me sooner."
"Do you also happen to know who it is?"
Kurt weighed his options, "I do. But I'm not saying a word until that person is ready for you to know. I don't think it was necessarily part of their plan for you to discover their beloved journal."
Rachel was ready to lunge out of her chair and attack the boy until he gave her the information that she desired but she decided that his logic made sense.
"Well it doesn't matter because it's not going to be the person I want it to be." She mumbled.
"Ah, the other half to this double love saga."
Kurt continued, "So let me get this straight, you're in love with the owner of the journal and you also have feelings for someone else that you're sure isn't the owner of the journal?"
"And you're positive that they're not the same person?"
"So, now you don't know who you want more? The invisible ghost writer or the real live person?"
Rachel nodded, "Well I now know that I do in fact have an admirer as I'd earlier received a very telling gift in my locker."
Kurt noticed the small smile that she was failing at fighting off at the mention of whatever she'd received earlier in her locker. He'd ask what it was if he didn't already know.
"And how does this other person feel about you?"
"I think they might be able to return my feelings, and I get the vibe that they want to be more than my friend but I also thought that Carly Simon was singing about me."
Kurt laughed, "If you're vain than so am I because I thought the same thing."
"I don't know what to do, Kurt."
Kurt's heart went out to the helpless Rachel Berry, she was vulnerable and truly distraught over everything that was happening in her life. He once felt his own life was out of his hands a few times. It's not a fun feeling. If anything, maybe he could have some information to relay back to the owner of the journal.
"Okay well, who is this other person?"
"You're going to laugh." Rachel was already anticipating a negative response.
"Laugh? Please. I once liked Finn Hudson, I'm in no position to judge who someone is attracted to. Oh, it's not Finn, is it?"
Rachel huffed, "No, but I also dated him for a few months so I should be offended by your little comparison."
Kurt rolled his eyes, "Just tell me who it is; Puckerman, Sam? Mr. Schuester…again?"
She sighed, might as well get it over with, "Quinn Fabray."
"Oh?" Kurt perked up a bit, this was finally starting to get somewhere… and it was going somewhere quite interesting.
"Again, that's your reaction?"
"I just wasn't expecting it to be her based on your earlier descriptions."
"So you think I'm delusional for believing we'd ever have anything more than a tentative friendship?"
"I didn't say that." Kurt quickly corrected her.
"Not that it matters anyway." She mumbled.
Kurt frowned, "Why do you say that?"
"We kind of got into a fight before I came here. I wasbeing dramatic about everything and she had every right to call me out on it."
"I'm taking that this is an afterthought? Why do I get the feeling that this fight is still unresolved?"
"Because she called the journal stupid and told me that I thought too much of whoever it is."
Rachel thought that maybe Quinn was right about both things. This was technically their first fight as friends and she knew that she'd be at the Fabray doorstep later that night with a batch of cookies and her overnight bag. She'd apologize to Quinn for her dramatics and they would be fine. Besides, Quinn still owed her for the little ignoring charade she pulled last month and this was just another misunderstanding. She'd felt bad about storming away from her and couldn't wait to make it up to her somehow. Quinn was her best friend, and even if they'd never be anymore more, she'd be damned if she lost her over a stupid heated argument.
Even though Kurt hadn't been there, he could imagine Quinn saying those things and it wasn't hard to picture Rachel getting defensive about everything. It was no wonder she'd showed up at Dalton looking for guidance. Kurt needed to do something to help the situation. Blaine was somewhat of a romantic and he'd surely be proud of his boyfriend for intervening.
"Can I ask you a question?" Kurt continued once Rachel nodded, "Why is it so farfetched to you that the journal couldn't possibly belong to Quinn but you felt it was entirely reasonable to ask me? Or even want to question Blaine?"
She knew they were together right? And if that didn't enter her mind, didn't she realize that they were entirely gay?
"I-I don't know."
"I mean, you earlier said that you thought Quinn could return your feelings."
He knew that he hadn't imagined that.
"While that's true—"
"I'm going to ask you another question now, okay? Have you even asked Quinn if it was her journal?"
Rachel backtracked in her mind to the various times that the two of them talked about the journal and as quickly as possible, replayed the conversations to the best of her memory.
"So then isn't it plausible that they could be the same person?"
Rachel thought about what he was saying. He was insinuating that Quinn owned the journal.
"I suppose, but Quinn she's- that's not- she would have reacted- said something- how?"
"She's quite handy with a nail file and a lock."
"It's not the easiest thing in the world for me to speak my feelings"
"…and I bet you're pretty special to them."
Kurt watched with amusement as the realization finally dawned on the brunette's features. He promised that he wouldn't get involved but this was a code red situation! He wouldn't be doing his friendly duties if he didn't step in and save the day. He couldn't wait to find Blaine and tell him everything that had happened. He'd been going crazy for nearly three months. He was a true bread gossip and he'd been sworn to secrecy, it was literally killing him. Luckily he had his boyfriend to discuss the matter with or else he would have blown the cover off this scandal long ago.
"Oh. My. God."
How could she have been so stupid? Everything had been right in front of her the entire time, she just chose to ignore it. The more she thought about it, the sicker to her stomach she got. She felt foolish and played. Quinn knew the entire time and allowed Rachel to go on a wild goose chase around the school for over three months to try and find someone that was basically by her side the entire time. Oh, she was furious.
"Where are you going?"
Kurt watched as Rachel got up from the leather chair and began to pace across the Persian area rug.
"I'm going to kill her." she stated.
The smile slid from Kurt's face, "Wait, what?"
"Her. It was her this whole time. She's dead."
"Rachel, this is what you wanted." He called out to her as she got to the door.
Rachel didn't hear him as she stormed out of the lounge, maybe if she had, she would have stopped long enough to realize that it was what she wanted.
Rachel's thoughts were like floodgates, and they segued into further evidence that she neglected to collect during her massive manhunt. She'd ran into Quinn minutes after discovering the journal, why hadn't she picked up on the girl's uneasiness once she learned Rachel was in the choir room? Why hadn't she thought it was suspicious that Quinn bothered to come to Rachel's rescue when Santana accused the brunette of stealing Brittany's diary? It was clear now that Quinn just didn't want Rachel to hand over the leather journal to the girl's best friends, they'd probably recognize it and expose Quinn then and there. How had she not found it further suspicious that Quinn asked her to hang out that weekend? And again the next weekend? She understood Rachel's spiel on love. She was constantly telling her that she wasn't crazy in her efforts. She'd essentially frozen up on her when she misunderstood the intentions behind telling Puck she loved him, and there were countless other things. Of course Santana threatened her earlier; she was taking a pre-emptive strike in protecting one of her best friends. Is this how dumb Finn felt all the time?
As if she'd unlocked a secret room in her mind, she saw the scene of Quinn sitting behind her in glee the day she'd left her journal behind. Why could she suddenly remember it but on the actual day she couldn't decipher who had been sitting in that seat? It was like one of those in hindsight situations, of course once you know the answer, it's like everything comes back to you. And she was absolutely positive that it was the blonde that sat behind her because Santana made a big ordeal that Quinn didn't have any pens in her purse, only pencils. Even further proof that Rachel was foolish. If she hadn't been so preoccupied with being disgusted by the other glee member's lack of drive, maybe she would have taken the time to take in her surroundings. It might have saved her all this time and trouble.
She pulled into the school parking lot and saw the red car sitting in the spot that she'd saw it in when she left the building earlier, under one of the light posts. Rachel parked a few spaces away and got out of the car. By her calculations, glee was about halfway done but because Rachel had neglected to plan what she was going to do, she was entirely unprepared. She remembered a time when she was never unprepared. She remembered a time when she was only slightly irrational, a time when she could breathe without being constantly aware of the people around her, a time when she wasn't always on the edge of an emotional breakdown.
She knew that if she went into the choir room, the confrontation that would occur would be something along the lines of two trains colliding into each other and she wouldn't be able to sit on the risers in the same room with Quinn and contain her words. It just wouldn't be physically possible for Rachel to do that. So she'd have to wait for her. She'd done it before and it had worked out nicely. Knowing Schuester, he'd probably end practice early that day because it was a Friday and the brunette wasn't demanding him to run through the songs again.
She reached for the handle of Quinn's door and almost fell backwards when it didn't open as she pulled forcefully. She looked up to the sky and let out a hearty laugh. Of course, Quinn chose that day to finally adhere to Rachel's requests that she be more careful and lock her doors, it was just her luck. Instead of feeling the sense of pride that would normally accompany the fact that she'd converted another person to see things her way, all she felt was more spite towards the blonde.
Quinn was the last one out of the building doors, naturally. Because it wasn't like Rachel neglected to sit in her warm car and wait or anything. No, Rachel had to pace the length of the red car so that the cheerleader would know immediately upon seeing her that she meant business.
"Where have you been!" Quinn picked up her pace once she could make out who it was that was angrily stomping back and forth.
"You choose today to lock your doors?"
Quinn reached into her bag and luckily found her keys on the first blind grab, she had a feeling that Rachel was not in any mood for dillydallying. She supposed that Rachel was still upset about their argument in the nurse's office, and Quinn was as well but for different reasons. They had a lot to talk about.
The car doors unlocked and Rachel was inside a second later. Quinn threw her bags in the trunk, thankful that she wouldn't need to see them again until Sunday night when she would eventually get around to her homework, and braced herself for whatever wrath was heading her way.
Rachel's arms were crossed over her chest and her leg was bouncing with a rampant cross between manic and pissed. She had so many choice words for the blonde only moments ago but now that she was so close to her, she'd forgotten them all.
"Where am I taking you?" the cheerleader spoke up after counting to 60 in her head, "It's the weekend, we can do whatever we want." Quinn said, hoping that it would break Rachel out of her reverie.
Rachel absolutely loved Fridays since becoming friends with Quinn. Thursday nights were a close second but only because it meant that the following day was Friday.
Quinn put the car in reverse and backed out of her spot when Rachel didn't answer her.
"Look, we should talk." Quinn said after driving for a bit, Rachel assumed that the girl was just going to drive around aimlessly like they normally did when they were bored and didn't feel like staying in the house on the weekends.
"Do you have anything you need to tell me?" Rachel asked finally.
Quinn glanced at her before turning back to the road, the turn she was looking for was coming up and she often missed it when she wasn't paying attention, "Just that I'm sorry about what happened in Nurse Cranwell's office. I didn't mean to upset you Rachel, I hope you know that."
"That's it? That's all you want to say to me?"
"Um?" Quinn shifted in her seat as she pulled onto a road covered in rocks, "that I'm really sorry?"
She knew that it would probably take more than a simple sorry to get back on Rachel's good side and she was prepared to make it up to her. The rocky road turned into a rocky parking lot, the brunette was staring incredulously at the blonde as she parked the car.
"I was just with Kurt."
Quinn cut the engine and unbuckled her seatbelt, "Oh? And how is he?" she asked, hoping her voice was as even as she was willing it to be.
"He had a lot to say."
Quinn knew what that meant.
She nodded and reached for the handle of her door, "Come with me for a minute."
She was out of the car before she could hear Rachel's protesting. The brunette had no choice but to get out of the car and follow the cheerleader as she walked a few feet in front of her.
It was a beautiful day. It was the kind of day that you longed for after months of cold weather, the fact that it was a Friday on top of that made the day perfect. It wasn't blindingly sunny out, or even that hot. It was a Spring day that let you know that winter was finally over. The breeze that rolled through the air smelled like the beginnings of a teenage summer full of late nights and careless days. It was Quinn's favorite kind of day.
Rachel was too caught up in everything that she was dealing with internally to appreciate the weather. She too loved this kind of day. It reminded her of being a little kid and staying out passed her bed time so that she could soak up the last few minutes of sunlight before it disappeared into the ground, as she would assume at that age.
"It's you." She spoke carefully; it had all the accusatory factors behind it but no threat at all.
Quinn had already stopped walking and was facing her when she heard the words. She was expecting some variation of them but it didn't necessarily prepare her to hear Rachel speak them to her.
"Let me explain."
Rachel shook her head. She was emotionally drained and had been for weeks. She literally felt like she could collapse, "Just tell me…yes or no?"
Quinn was silent as she watched Rachel. It wasn't supposed to happen the way it was unfolding, they weren't supposed to be standing there talking about it.
"Quinn, please. Please just be honest with me. D-Does the journal belong to you? Did you write all those things?"
The blonde closed her eyes and felt herself sway slightly as she momentarily forgot that she had to worry about keeping her balance as she stood, "Yes."
Her eyes snapped open when she heard Rachel gasp.
Even though Kurt had directed her towards this conclusion and she'd put together all the pieces, she was still expecting it to either be false or a huge hoax. The last thing that she expected was for Quinn to confirm her suspicions, to confess that it was her journal, that she was the one who wrote those things. What did it all mean?
"And the note in the locker?"
Rachel's eyes were shining as she brought both of her hands to hold her temples, still unable to fully process what everything meant.
"This whole time? You knew this whole time?" the blonde flinched as both Rachel's voice and resolve finally broke.
"Let me explain."
Quinn really had no idea how to explain it but she hoped that she'd have the opportunity to try.
"What are you going to say? How are you going to explain this? You're standing there and telling me that you're who I've been looking for, Quinn. What exactly do you want to say to me? Because I'm not sure I even want to hear it. You saw what it did to me, you saw how my life turned upside down, and now you're telling me that you are the reason?"
Quinn wasn't sure how she made it not sound that bad in her own head but when Rachel spoke it out loud she was hit with wave after wave of guilt for what she'd put the girl through. It was all an accident of course.
"I never meant to do any of that to you."
Rachel stepped back and dropped her hands from the side of her head, "Oh. So I should be relieved because you didn't mean it? Was this just some huge game? Have Rachel fall in love and then break her heart?"
"No!" Quinn raised her voice, she contained her composure and tried again softer, "How could you even think I would do that to you?"
"I don't know, Quinn! I'm sorry if I'm having a little trouble comprehending the fact that it's you having this conversation with me and not someone else."
The blonde looked to the ground and nodded a few times to herself, "This is exactly why I didn't want you to find out it was me. I knew you would be disappointed."
Rachel took a figurative step back, "Disappointed?"
"Yeah, disappointed. Clearly I'm the last person you ever wanted it to be."
"That's not true."
Quinn scoffed lightly and bit her inner lip with a pained expression, "Look at how you're reacting to this, Rach." She gestured towards the girl, "I get it, okay? The journal and words were one thing but not when my face is connected to them. I'm sorry that you ever found the journal to begin with, none of this would have happened to you if I'd just paid more attention that day."
"Don't say that. I'm not disappointed, I'm just a little…shocked? Yes, shocked. You're just the last person I expected it to be."
"I get it. I'll drive you back to your car now." Quinn said as she began walking back towards Rachel.
"No, you're really not getting it at all." The blonde stopped walking and looked up to find Rachel hesitantly coming closer to her, "You may have been the last person I expected but you were the only person I wanted. I'm only shocked because I've wanted it to be you for so long that I can't believe it actually is you."
The blonde's eyes ran over the smaller girl's face in an effort to maybe understand better, "You wanted it to be me?"
Rachel nodded shyly, suddenly realizing how close their proximity was to each other, "That's the reason why I've been so emotional lately, it's because I was torn between needing you and wanting my admirer."
Quinn took a deep breath to steady herself, "You're not disappointed?"
"No." Rachel shook her head softly and finally let out a small laugh, "And I don't regret any of this, Quinn." She gestured between the two of them.
The blonde stepped closer with a bashful smile on her face as she tried to keep it at bay. Rachel didn't bother taming the grin that spread on her face as she brought her arms up to lazily lay around Quinn's shoulders.
Quinn appreciated everything about the brunette's size. On the rare occasions when Rachel would be tired enough to lean her head on Quinn's shoulder while watching movies, the blonde found how they fit together all too comforting. She knew she was in trouble when she'd started falling asleep to the images of her and Rachel cuddling, to the thought of her holding the brunette as she slept. She'd never felt more content than she did in those brief seconds or minutes where she got to touch or embrace Rachel in some manner.
But nothing could ever prepare her for what was running through her body when she put her hands on the brunette's waist as she felt Rachel reaching up and enclosing on her lips, there was nothing in the world that could compare either. From the second Quinn felt those lips tentatively touch her own she was an absolute goner, and she knew that there was no hope of surviving Rachel Berry. She was in it for as long as the brunette would have her.
Rachel felt as if her lungs would surely collapse, or her heart would stop beating as she saw the way Quinn's heavy eyes languidly followed her lips as she moved closer. She looked like she'd just gotten home from a night of drinking as she tried to focus on the lower lip trapped between the brunette's teeth. Rachel felt intoxicated just but watching Quinn's eyes fully close in anticipation milliseconds before their lips met.
Rachel's own eyes gently closed as the blonde fused them closer together. The red cheerleading uniform under her fingertips was definitely a material that she never imagined herself gripping at as the blonde softly moaned into her mouth in a way that was entirely uncontrollable. She could practically feel her insides stirring as her body lined flush against the blonde's, tiny jolts of pleasure jumped through her body every time she felt Quinn's tongue brush up against her own, and she was only spurred further each time the blonde's teeth gently bit down on Rachel's lower lip.
Few things in the world felt as good as that moment for Rachel, she just couldn't think of any off the top of her head. Everything about Quinn was filling her mind and incapacitating her to the point where Rachel wouldn't mind having all of her memories erased in order to only have memories of her and the blonde. She was knocked entirely off her feet. It had finally happened, she found who she was looking for and she got who she wanted. Maybe there wasn't a feeling better than that.
Rachel was the first one to pull away but not without three short chaste kisses to the blonde's wet and slightly reddened lips. The brunette watched as Quinn smiled lazily with her eyes still closed and it made her giggle.
"Just give me a minute." Quinn whispered with her eyes still shut.
Rachel hugged the blonde closer and her face disappeared into the crook of Quinn's neck as they both tightened their grips around the other, protecting each other from the light breeze that picked up. It may have been finally warm enough to leave home without a jacket but maybe their chills were from something else entirely. Quinn's hands extended to grip the brunette's upper back with open palms before Rachel felt the girl place another kiss on the top of her head. The blonde smoothed her hand over the back of Rachel's head, gently caressing her way down the girl's brown straightened hair.
Rachel pulled back slightly so that she could see the blonde's face, it was flushed and it felt hot under the brunette's fingertips as she lightly traced the girl's cheek. She pulled Quinn towards her for another brief moment of kissing before she pulled away, leaving them both once again dazed and weightless.
"Can I ask you something?" Rachel whispered.
Quinn nodded as she rearranged her hold on the smaller girl so that she could see her eyes. Quinn's favorite part about Rachel was first and foremost her eyes, and she would relish in the few opportunities she had to openly gaze at the brown orbs without alerting the people around them that she had a serious weakness for Rachel Berry. Most times Quinn thought she was being too obvious in her attraction towards the smaller girl. While her eyes were at the top of the list, Rachel's lips came at a close second. She didn't mind listening to Rachel talk about depressing topics like starvation in third-world countries or the importance of helping out at local food kitchens because she was mostly just mesmerized in the way the girl's lips moved. She supposed that made her a horrible person but she kind of already knew that, and at least she wasn't openly making fun of said third-world countries like some other people. Santana. And in third place for the Rachel Berry appreciation list was a tie, between everything else. What kind of world would they live in if Quinn had to choose between the girl's naturally tanned legs and her incessant need to show how much better she was than everyone else in Lima? It wouldn't be a world Quinn wanted to live in at all, she'd grown to like everything about Rachel and while some things took longer to appreciate, she couldn't think of one thing that she disliked about the girl.
"How long have you known that I had your journal? I mean, before I told you."
Quinn was having trouble getting over the shock of it. She couldn't believe that she could finally speak about everything so freely with the girl opposite her and it took a few seconds for her to calm her nerves. Quinn had waited just as long as Rachel for this moment to happen, and a little longer. She could recall the exact moment when she'd realized it was Rachel that she wanted.
She took a deep breath to steel herself before launching into an explanation, she still didn't trust her voice and she was trying her best to remain calm so Rachel didn't feel her shaking, "Well I knew you were the last one in the choir room that day, so that's partly why I called you to come over that weekend. I was hoping you'd say something about it, I guess. I figured that you were just going to hold onto it until someone claimed it and I was going to ask if you had it but then I heard you talking to Mercedes at the party. And I found out for sure when I saw it on your bed a week later."
Rachel nodded slowly, "So if I never found it, we probably would have never became friends?"
Rachel thought that the blonde looked rather nauseous at the thought. Quinn felt nauseous when she thought about all the what if scenarios that could have played out. The main one being; what if she never lost her journal? It was something that the blonde refused to think about because she knew the answer already. She really didn't want Rachel to know the truth. No matter which way you chopped it up, it still left Quinn being somewhat of a selfish coward, and the blonde accepted that. She didn't want to be that for Rachel.
Rachel however could figure out the truth by Quinn's hesitance to respond.
"The only reason you wanted to hang out was because of these ulterior motives to see if I had your book." Rachel spoke sadly as realization dawned on her, "Did you even want to hang out with me? Or was it always about getting your book back?"
Rachel once again looked completely vulnerable and open as she waited for the blonde to compile her thoughts. Quinn knew that in the beginning she was scared and terrified that Rachel would read the lyrics and immediately figure everything out, and the blonde just wasn't ready for her secrets to be exposed. Sure she accepted it but that was entirely different from announcing it to the world. She'd hoped that if she hung out with Rachel, she could monitor the girl's activity regarding the journal. She quickly realized that getting her leather bound diary back without bringing the unwanted attention was virtually unavoidable and so changed her game plan.
"Losing that journal finally gave me a reason to get closer to you, to really get to know you. So yes, I used that as my excuse to initiate a friendship." Quinn paused in order to gage the girl's reaction. She could see Rachel's face falling and she panicked, "I've always wanted to talk to you Rachel, but I was scared."
"Why?" Rachel cut in quickly, not understanding.
Rachel figuratively threw her back out on multiple occasions in order to help people, she strived to become the person that everyone could go to for help and more importantly, for a friend. She made herself as approachable as possible: she never judged anyone, she was a phenomenal listener and an even better advice giver, she was very organized and she knew that if given the chance, she would surprise a lot of people. It doesn't exactly make her feel good that Quinn was afraid to talk to her, especially because she tried so hard to reach out to the cheerleader numerous times before. But she was trying to understand, maybe if Quinn could tell her why she was scared than Rachel could change that about her.
"It wasn't you, it was me." Quinn could tell by the look on Rachel's face that the brunette assumed it was something wrong with her, "I'm not a nice person. I've hurt so many people, Rachel. I've hurt you the most. I expected you to automatically hate me because we haven't always gotten along."
"I don't hate anyone."
"I wasn't giving you enough credit. I should have known better." Quinn breathed as her fingertips moved through the brunette's soft hair, "I have no excuse but I guess what I'm trying to say is that, by losing that journal, I finally had a reason to get closer to you." She shrugged, it made sense in her mind but words were sometimes hard. Especially when Rachel Berry was looking into your eyes as a portal into your soul.
"So being in love with me wasn't a good enough reason for you to get to know me?"
Quinn's neck craned back and her hand stopped moving through Rachel's hair, "I never said I was in love with you."
Rachel panicked, she hadn't said she was in love with her. She just assumed that because the lyrics ended up being about her that Quinn loved her. It was highly doubtful. Writing song lyrics and being in love was something reserved for crazy people like Rachel. The odds that Quinn loved her were about the same as Finn being able to impregnate someone in a hot tub without having sex.
She'd just gotten caught up in trying to further understand the blonde, she was such a complicated person and even though she'd opened up a great amount in the past three months, this topic was untouched territory.
Rachel's eyes widened to the extent of resembling a shocked Emma Pillsbury and her hand covered her mouth as she stuttered out an apology, "Oh god. I-I'm sorry, this is so, so embarrassing. Quinn, I'm—"
"I mean, I am. I just never said it."
Rachel was about to launch herself into a full-fledged apology and explanation as to why she'd jumped about a thousand steps in her assumptions. Quinn resembled a baby deer sometimes in that she could be spooked easily, and Rachel surely thought she'd scared the blonde off indefinitely.
"You love me?"
Quinn's cheeks were twitching under Rachel's stare, she felt like now she was the one that was being too forward, "Well, kinda."
The blonde bit her lip in order to suppress the small whimper as she watched Rachel's eyebrows scrunch together in pure confusion. It was adorable.
"You kind of love me?"
Quinn promised herself that when she woke up earlier that morning that she'd be honest with herself and her feelings. She knew that things were going to change indefinitely either in a good way or a bad way but she knew things would be different. Just because this wasn't how she imagined her day going didn't negate the promise she made that morning.
"I guess? I don't know, Rachel." She spoke and chastised herself internally. She needed to be honest, "I have feelings for you, like really strong feelings for you. And they've really only escalated." She admitted.
Rachel's smile beamed briefly and it was contagious as the blonde soon found out, "I understand Quinn, and I understand as to why you'd be afraid to come to me before and even during the start of our friendship but why were you so afraid to tell me after you found out that I was very much in love with the writer of all those lyrics?"
Rachel always asked the money questions. The questions that made people think and challenge themselves. The questions that were often overlooked by the average person. Rachel was remarkable in that way, she had an undying thirst to ask why and comprehend the things that made people tick.
Why hadn't she admitted it to the brunette at that moment in the car, when Rachel had unknowingly at the time confessed her love for Quinn? It would have been so much easier and less tortuous than dragging the process out a month longer, it would have saved them both a lot of tears and a lot of pained expressions when they had to hide how they felt.
"You were in love because of words written in a journal, I needed you to be in love with me. I didn't want you to find out they were my words and that be the only reason you wanted to be with me, as if you were obligated or forced. And that was if you wanted to be with me at all. I guess the main reason was because I had you in my life finally and I was afraid you'd freak out if you found out it was me. I don't think I could have handled it."
Quinn realized that she'd have to deal with that fear sooner or later, and the longer she waited the more devastated she would have been if that had been the outcome.
"I did fall for you. Really hard, Quinn."
Rachel laughed and nodded her head before bringing her lips to Quinn's cheek in order to give her a shy kiss, "It wasn't exactly difficult. You made it incredibly easy."
Quinn ducked her head and ran her hands up and down the sides of Rachel's body, "I suppose I could say the same thing about you."
"God, you don't know how relieved I am." Rachel breathed into the blonde's shoulder as she pulled her as close as she could.
The blonde's eyes were beginning to gather tears so she looked to the sky in an effort to maintain her emotions, "You don't understand how relieved I am to hear you say that." She closed her eyes finally as Rachel gripped her shoulder blades tighter.
The two stayed melded together as they stood in the woodchipped area near a few picnic tables under the shade of some trees that had finally gotten their green leaves back. Quinn didn't even bat an eyelash at the fact that they were outside and virtually glued together, even if there was not a soul in sight. It still felt good to openly hold the brunette and have her return the gesture with the same appreciation.
"I'm sorry for overreacting earlier, I have the tendency to be dramatic." Rachel stated as she pulled away and hastily swiped her hands over her eyes.
Quinn pulled her hands between them to grab the brunette's arms and halt her attempts at clearing her blurry eyes. Quinn noted that the second her hand touched Rachel's, that the girl calmed her body down and allowed the blonde to openly stare at her, tear streaked face and all.
Rachel finally felt free and for once in three months like everything was going to be fine. She could breathe again and she had the only person she wanted to breathe in reciprocating her feelings.
"You weren't overreacting. I'm sorry for giving you reason to be so dramatic though." Quinn flashed the brunette a teeth bearing smile when the girl's jaw opened. Rachel half heartedly tried to break out of the blonde's embrace in a joking matter but Quinn wouldn't allow her to escape, "I like you." The blonde whispered once Rachel finally stopped her fruitless struggles.
Quinn was met with a teeth bearing smile of her own as Rachel gazed up at her, "I like you, too."
The blonde could only imagine what was going on inside the pretty little head of the brunette. Cat calendars, for sure. She'd have to make a trip to the jewelers to begin designing a gold encrusted and scripted Quinn necklace to be worn at all times to show her devotion to the blonde. She'd have to put away her catalogue of unrequited love songs and once again gather songs about true love and happy endings. Of course, she'd have to begin arranging a special solo to sing in front of the entire glee club that would be dedicated to the cheerleader. She probably couldn't wait to update her relationship status on Facebook from Single to It's complicated.
But for once in her life, none of that scared Quinn. She found that she was kind of excited for it all. And if the brunette could be inside the blonde's mind at that moment she'd have found that Quinn was already planning on not only having the cat calendar in her locker but one in her bedroom too, and maybe even a pocket calendar for her purse. That she'd be going to the jewelers with Rachel to pick out her own gold cursive R—because Quinn wasn't flashy enough to pull off the full name—necklace that would compliment her cross quite nicely. That she'd be there helping Rachel rearrange the musical filing cabinet in her closet so that the only thing in there was about being in love. However, she wouldn't let Rachel sing the solo to her in glee club and only because Quinn would whine until they made it into a duet that they could sing together. Quinn would change Rachel's relationship status when she wasn't paying attention to In a Relationship, and if she was feeling particularly risqué that day, maybe she'd change their default pictures as well. As long as the picture captured Quinn's good side, which was naturally Rachel Berry.
Quinn was finally ready for it all.
"So what does this mean?" Rachel asked after a few moments of enjoying their arms wrapped around one another.
Quinn pulled away and dropped her hand to Rachel's in order to guide her towards one of the wooden picnic benches that wasn't entirely rotten or decayed, "It means that I want you and I'm pretty sure you want me too."
Rachel rolled her eyes and smiled as she took her seat next to Quinn and faced her.
"You're pretty sure? Have you not been around the past month? I want you."
Quinn laughed and nodded, it felt good to hear Rachel correcting her for reasons like that, "We can be together in any way that you want."
Rachel bit her lip nervously, one of the reasons that she never expected it to be Quinn was because of how big of a devout catholic the girl was. And if that wasn't a big enough reason, the fact that she was the head cheerleader and the essential control center for the student population had her believing that she'd never come out. Her image and family meant everything to her and Rachel understood that.
"You're ready for that? I mean, being exclusive and public?"
She really didn't want to know the answer. While the brunette would die at the chance to be seen with the blonde on her arm, she knew that the possibility that Quinn would go for it would be almost non-existent. If anything, Rachel was anticipating a nice secret relationship with a side of code words.
"Definitely the exclusive part." Quinn answered, "And I think I can do the public part if that's what you want."
"I don't want to pressure you." Rachel answered quickly, that was the last thing she wanted to do was pressure Quinn and scare her away.
Quinn leaned over and placed her palm on the crook of Rachel's shoulder soothingly, "And I don't want you to think for a second that I'm ashamed of you." She said softly as her thumb padded across her jaw line causing Rachel to lean into the movements.
"I wouldn't- you know, think that. I'd understand."
Quinn straightened her posture and sat up, "Well I'm pretty sure I overheard your dads making bets on how much longer it would take for us to get our heads out of the clouds and admit that what we have is inevitable and timeless."
Rachel snorted softly as a laugh raked through her body, "That does sound like something Daddy would say."
Quinn laughed and pulled the girl into her, wrapping her arm around the back of Rachel and allowing the brunette to rest her head on Quinn's shoulder.
"And in that case, I'm pretty sure your mom suspects something too. I have a weird feeling she's been to Miss Pillsbury's office because I saw a She's here, she's queer: Get used to it, your daughter's gay pamphlet sitting on the island last week."
"Oh god." Quinn deadpanned before open palm smacking her forehead in embarrassment, "Okay well," she started through a laugh "Let's start there."
Rachel bit her lip to end her laughter before looking hopefully up to Quinn, "You're sure?"
Quinn threw her free arm in the air, "I'm here and I'm queer apparently so why not?"
Rachel squealed and leaned up to capture Quinn's soft lips to reward her for being so open-minded and willing to let the brunette be who she was. Quinn wouldn't even think of oppressing Rachel in that way.
"Dad and Daddy will be beyond thrilled and demand we announce it in next month's edition of the Berry Bugle."
Quinn could imagine them hiring a photographer to take the relationship announcement photo and she found herself mentally preparing what outfit to wear instead of worrying that her face would be sent out to the hundreds of Berrys across the US. Rachel's dads did have a nice garden in the corner of their backyard near the hammock, she'd have to propose that as an option when they discussed spots to take the picture.
"Sure." Quinn answered easily, "And after we'll tackle my mother. And then we can record YouTube videos together to your little heart's desire, okay?"
The brunette simply beamed and Quinn would promise the world to the girl if it meant she'd look like that every day. Rachel sighed contently and rested her head on the blonde's shoulder. Rachel absolutely loved Fridays especially when she got the girl. She remembered why she loved Fridays so much and realized she had the entire weekend of spending more time with Quinn in this new way that already felt familiar to her. She couldn't wait for the two of them to walk through the front door of her house holding hands; her dads were going to go nuts. She couldn't wait until the Berry Bugle went out next month; her cousins were going to simply die. Of course they'd remember Quinn from the family reunion as she was quite the charmer with the entire family, Rachel just couldn't wait to show her off some more.
As badly as Rachel wanted to rush home to tell her fathers of the news that her and Quinn were an unofficial official couple, she could stand to sit contently with the girl for a few more peaceful minutes. They were sheltered from the sun as they sat in the picnic area and ahead of them appeared to be an old baseball field with a playground off in the distance. It was kind of beautiful in a serene sort of way.
Rachel looked around, "Quinn?"
"Um, where are we?"
Quinn breathed in deeply. She'd come to love the smell of the grass in the spring time, "I don't know the name of it but me and my sister used to call it Rainbow Village"
Rachel looked at Quinn and then down to herself before gesturing between the two of them, "Hmm, seems fitting."
Quinn laughed and nudged the brunette in the shoulder, "Shut up, we saw a rainbow the first time we were here."
Rachel nodded thoughtfully and then turned back to the entirely empty field, "I don't think I've ever been here. Why are we here?"
"Because no one really knows that it exists." Quinn answered.
Quinn lazily traced her fingernails up and down Rachel's upper arm as they sat together, "This is where I was when I realized that you were the person I was writing about."
Rachel turned her head to see if the girl was serious and she was met with a soft closed lipped smile, the brunette leaned up and kissed the corner of her mouth before settling back against her.
"I still can't believe they were about me."
"I didn't know what I was writing about at first. They were just feelings I had and one day I was sitting at that table over there and that's when I started envisioning you as I wrote. I don't know why or how it happened but I guess I was subconsciously writing about you the entire time."
Rachel smiled to herself, "That's really romantic, bringing me to the place where it all began." She said and then lifted her head to give Quinn a cheeky grin, "And a little cliché."
"Here I've been thinking that you were a sucker for stuff like that. Good thing you left school early."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Rachel asked with narrowed eyes, she was still in detective mode she supposed and she wouldn't mind interrogating until she got her answers.
"You know," Quinn chuckled to herself, "if you'd have just waited until glee practice today, I was going to sing the last song to you. Well you'd know what it was, no one else would."
"You were not."
"I guess you'll never know." Quinn shrugged before removing her arm from around Rachel in order to brace herself while attempting to stand.
Rachel stayed seated on the small bench as Quinn hummed her way back towards her car thoroughly amused. That definitely would have been an interesting glee practice if she was telling the truth. Rachel's mind kicked into gear and she jogged the short distance that Quinn had already walked, taking one of the blonde's hands that were clasped around her lower back.
"Were you really?"
Quinn nodded, "That was the plan."
"You know, you can still do it." Rachel urged as they approached the car.
"We'll see." Quinn replied lightly.
Naturally Quinn sang the song for Rachel later that night after they'd arrived home from Breadsticks. It was her fathers' treat after they'd learned of the news. As it turned out they had made bets and Rachel demanded at once that the money be put towards dinner, which was just what they did. It was cute when her fathers tried to make Quinn sleep in the guest room. As if Rachel would have ever let that happen.
Judy had dozens of pamphlets scattered throughout her master bedroom that Quinn finally saw when she went into the room to speak to her mother later that week. It was an initiative that Quinn was proud of, and it was a little comical at how textbook her mother sounded during their conversation. Clearly she had been manically memorizing certain key phrases. Her daughter appreciated it all none the less. In the beginning, it was her mother that she'd worried about being receptive to it all. But she was glad to report back to Rachel that an invitation had been extended her way for a dinner that night, and it wasn't nearly the train wreck that Quinn originally envisioned. Quinn was actually comfortable enough to hold Rachel's hand in front of her mother and she was pleasantly surprised when Judy didn't even bat an eyelash. They were baby steps.
Rachel soon learned that Santana had found out about Quinn's secret the same day that she'd apologized in the choir room. Brittany apparently claimed to have known the entire time, and neither girls dared to question her when Santana was around. Sam was the next one to piece it together but he couldn't say that he was entirely shocked. He was sort of happy for them. Finn was furious, but they weren't sure if it was because all his attempts to court the brunette had failed, because Quinn took something else that he selfishly claimed his, or because he was the last find out.
Every time they would get together with Kurt and Blaine, the two boys would watch them with a glazed over look in their eyes at the progress their prodigy Quinn had made. They after all knew of Quinn's feelings before she had even lost the journal. They were proud.
Their first time was naturally on a Saturday night. Judy was visiting Quinn's older sister for the weekend and both girls felt the elephant in the room as soon as the town car drove her off to the airport. It was the first time since they'd gotten together that they were absolutely home alone for more than a few hours. They'd attempted to occupy themselves by watching a movie but soon they grew antsy and gravitated up to Quinn's bedroom. It was kind of magical for Rachel, and she still couldn't believe that her first time was with Quinn Fabray. It was kind of magical for Quinn too, she felt like she got her first time back. She felt like crying afterwards because it had been with Rachel, someone that she trusted her entire life with. It may have ended magical for the both of them but the getting there was quite awkward. They fumbled, they stuttered, and they felt out of sync to the point where they both thought it wasn't supposed to happen yet. But they trusted each other and they got over their nerves and let their bodies guide them as their eyes stayed connected. They were even more addicted to one another after that, and they could rarely keep their hands off each other.
Sometimes Rachel would be overdramatic and irrational during glee practice much to everyone's expectations and Quinn soon became the only one who could talk her down off the edge. Naturally Quinn would wake up on the wrong side of the bed some days and take it out on the general population of McKinley or glee club and those days people were beyond thankful for Rachel, she was the only one that Quinn would listen to. They calmed each other, whether it be by their mere presence or by their words. It was comforting to them to know that their other half was not far away.
They absolutely loved each other.
Rachel knocked on the white door timidly. Quinn looked up from her laptop and smiled when she was met with the sight of her girlfriend. Rachel wasn't supposed to be at her house for another few hours so that they could head to Brittany's surprise party together.
"Hi." Quinn smiled and shut her laptop, Rachel tended to get her undivided attention.
"Your mom sent me up, I hope that's alright. I know I didn't text you or anything…"
"You know I love seeing you."
Rachel nodded and stepped further into Quinn's room, sort of like a second bedroom for her. Some of her clothes were even in the hamper.
"I thought you were going with your dads to Columbus for the day… everything okay?"
Quinn was right, the brunette was supposed to be with her dads but she decided to stay behind at the last minute. She kind of just wanted to see Quinn. They'd both been weirdly busy the entire week and didn't get to see each other as much as they both would have liked, Quinn with Cheerios and Rachel with preparing for Nationals.
"Yeah… Just missed you, that's all."
Rachel mirrored the smile that broke out on Quinn's face, she held her hand out so that the brunette would join her on her bed.
"And because, well I wanted to give this to you. It's yours and you deserve to have it back." Rachel pulled out the object that she'd been death gripping behind her back and handed it to Quinn.
It was the leather journal.
It had still been in Rachel's possession, and she finally convinced herself that Quinn should have it back. She'd paced across the carpet in her bedroom earlier giving herself a pep talk, she didn't want to give it back but she knew that it was right. It was Quinn's after all.
Rachel had grown to adore the leather bound diary and she'd made sure it was somewhere under her pillow each night before she went to bed. Quinn had been aware that her girlfriend held it with the highest regard which is why she never asked for it back.
Quinn traced her fingers over the top of it before she opened it and flipped through the random pages, instantly recognizing her handwriting and the words she wrote lifetimes ago. A weird nostalgic feeling washed over her as she once again felt like what it was like to write those words at one point in time. It was oddly nice to have it back.
She looked up and met the chocolate eyes that she claimed a long time ago. She closed the book and handed it back to Rachel. She didn't need it, she had the real thing.
"It's yours." She stated.
"What? No, Quinn…these are your words."
Quinn nodded and uncrossed her legs before leaning forward and giving Rachel her hello kiss, "Maybe. But I wrote them for and about you, therefore they're yours."
Rachel went to protest once again.
"You've had it for months already, it's really okay." she replied and leaned in to give her another kiss.
"Because I really didn't want to give it back, it feels like it's a part of me, you know what I mean?"
Quinn smiled, "I know exactly what you mean."
"Sweetheart, it's been yours from the beginning, keep it in a safe place for me?"
Rachel smiled wide before meeting Quinn's lips once again, "I can think of a few places."
Quinn smiled, and pulled Rachel further onto the bed, "Besides," she started before reaching over the side of her bed and to her night table, "I've been using this."
She handed the brunette an almost identical journal to the one that was already in her hands except the new one was brown leather instead of black leather.
"Can I?" Rachel asked hesitantly, Quinn nodded, "There are so many." The brunette commented as she flipped through the pages.
Quinn laid down on her bed and began rubbing her fingers over Rachel's back as she peered down at the book.
She laughed softly and continued her patterns, "What can I say? You're kind of my muse."
"They're all about me?" Rachel asked in pure disbelief.
Rachel turned slightly so that she could see Quinn's face, "Can I- can I read them?"
The brunette momentarily got caught up in marveling at how Quinn could smile with her eyes and she broke out of her daze when she felt the blonde tugging backwards at her shirt. Rachel found her back flat on the top of the comforter and her head perched on the flat of Quinn's shoulder. The cheerleader was wearing one of the brunette's few sweatshirts, Rachel noticed. Quinn's arm pulled her closer and their legs lazily tangled as Rachel flipped back to the first page.
"Quinn, these are beautiful." The brunette spoke through a few tears, she still couldn't keep her emotions at bay when it came to her girlfriend's writing.
"Well I have beautiful inspiration."