Chapter XI

"I cannot believe this,"

Quinn grinned and rolled her eyes as she shimmed Rachel's dress up over her hips and around her torso and zipped it up. From the morning when Quinn picked her up to the time they finished their hair and eased into their attire, Rachel had repeated the same sentence over and over again.

"Believe it, Rach," Quinn answered back as she had done the whole day. She ran her hand down the back of the dress to smooth out the silky fabric.

Standing up straight she looked over Rachel's shoulder to eye them both in the wall mirror. Jesse's mom was in the back corner helping one of Rachel's cousins into her flower girl dress while Brittany put a dash of pink eye shadow on Tina.

Her eyes studied them all, landing back on Rachel last. She had to admit, she could hardly believe it herself. It was like the other day she was in high school convincing Rachel that some boys were a waste of time to chase after and now she was helping her get married to a man that was more of Rachel's equal than anyone she had dated before.

"You look beautiful," Quinn whispered, running her fingers up the side of Rachel's hair to smooth out a tiny bump in her do.

Rachel smiled, reaching back to squeeze Quinn's other hand. "Thank you," She said back. "For everything."

She pressed her lips to Rachel's shoulder. "Thank you for everything,"

Turning around, she wrapped her arms around Quinn's neck holding her tight. Brittany and Tina smile happily over at them.

"Is everything ready?" Rachel asked letting her go. Brittany came over to guide Rachel down into a chair to apply her make up.

Quinn nodded as she slipped in one of her earrings. "Last I checked, the ushers have everything in control." She slid her feet into a pair of heels. "But I'm going to go check."

"Please do," Rachel said. "I want this wedding to go perfect."

"And it will," Quinn rolled her eyes from the door just before slipping out.

The taps of her heels bounced of the walls to join the voices of the crowd of people in the hall foyer. Her eyes scanned the place checking up on the ushers who were assigned to pass out programs and to take guests coats.

She picked out a few relatives of Rachel's she had met at the few family reunions she had attended with them and offered smiles and waves. A couple people from the show stopped her to praise her for all she had done to decorate the hall.

"Miss Fabray," One of the ushers tapped her on the shoulder. "We're ready to open the doors to let in the guest."

"Go ahead, we're almost ready,"

The usher nodded to her then waved a signal to the ones at the door to allow the crowd in.

"You'd think the girl was a celebrity or something with all these people here." Santana hissed from behind her.

Whipping around, Quinn cocked an eyebrow. "I thought you weren't coming until the reception."

She shrugged and ran a hand through her dark hair. "I got bored waiting around the apartment."

Quinn laughed. "I'm glad you came,"

"Oh, please," She snorted, waving a hand in the air and followed the last few people into the hall.

Once the doors were closed, Quinn doubled back to check in each room to make sure the rest of the wedding party were ready before she pulled them all into the foyer to begin the ceremony.

"Are you ready?" Quinn asked doing a once over of Rachel's dress, hair and make up. She was simply breathtaking all draped in white.

Rachel nodded excitedly. "I am so ready,"

"We're very proud of you, Rae," Hiram Berry said pinching her cheek.

Leroy draped an arm around her shoulders to pull her in. He kissed her softly on the cheek. "Don't forget your dads when you're big and famous, okay?"

Rachel bit her lip and nodded, eyes blinking to keep back the tears that were starting to wield up in her eyes.

"Is everyone ready?" One of the ushers by the door asked. Everyone glanced at one another nodding. He gave a terse nod and sent a signal to an usher on the inside of the hall.

"Are you ready?" Brittany asked and Quinn nodded receiving a quick kiss on the cheek.

The music in the hall began.

"Congratulations, Rach," Quinn beamed. Rachel returned it just as the doors cracked open.

All heads inside turned towards the entrance. Quinn felt a wave of nervousness pass over her as she watched Jesse's parents filter through the doors. Cameras flashed left and right and family members did tiny waves and smiled as they passed them.

"Quinn?"

She blinked up to Jesse's older brother who was The Best Man. He grinned down at her with just as brilliant of a smile as the younger St. James. Quinn placed her hand in the bend of his elbow and smiled.

She walked in tempo with the music, a grin stretching across her face and eyes forward. All she cared about was not tripping in the high heels that Rachel had practically demanded her to wear.

"I'm going to break my ankles then crack my neck on the fall in these things." Quinn had grumbled, glaring down at Brittany who was buckling the stray around her ankle at the shoe store.

They got to the front of the aisle and Quinn started to pull off but the boy held her back for a second to whisper, "Dance with me at the reception?"

Quinn stifled a laugh, nodded to his pretty boy wink and split to stand at the top step on the left side of the platform.

From the top, Quinn watched Tina walk down the aisle on the arm of another one of Jesse's siblings or cousins or friend. She didn't care to differentiate. They all looked the same with their pretty eyes and gleaming grins. They looked like a bunch of frat boys if Quinn had to describe them.

Tina climbed up behind Quinn and both turned to watch Brittany come in.

Quinn nearly fell off the step watching the girl walk through the doors. She was smiling with such an illuminated grin, Quinn thought the entire hall would go blind from it. Her legs moved her gracefully across the carpet with her baby pink dress whipping around her ankles like sheets in the wind.

She caught Quinn's eye and her smile turned shy, accompanied by a tiny blush. Quinn bit her lip and gave her a wink that only made her blush even deeper.

"Save your excitement for the bride," Tina hissed jokingly behind her. Quinn chanced a glare back at her.

She looked back down the aisle watching Brittany make the rest of the way up and to her place when her eyes caught a pair in the crowd staring directly at her.

Quinn blinked. She blinked again and again. There was no way that he would be there. He shouldn't be there and didn't belong there. He wasn't a friend of Rachel's and he was only an ulcer in Quinn's stomach.

His mouth lifted at one corner in a sideways smile. Quinn felt an array of emotions go through her at it. It had been years since she'd seen that smile - that smirk. She never wanted to see it again. Not directed at her and not in this new place where her life had finally begun to look up.

But as the crowd rose to welcome in a beaming Rachel Berry flanked by her two dads, Noah Puckerman rose along with them.

-/-/-/-

"Hey, ma," He greeted.

"Don't call me that." Quinn bristled. She felt Brittany tighten her arm on her waist.

Puck shrugged and turned to Rachel. "Hey, Berry,"

"It's St. James now, Noah." She smiled. "I'm glad you and Finn could make it."

He shrugged loosely with that stupid crooked smile on his face all the while. "Why wouldn't I? Us Jews gotta support each other."

Quinn rolled her eyes. He was still a teenager just trapped in an older body.

"I suppose," Rachel turned to Finn who was hiding behind his friend. "Finn,"

"Hey, Rach," He waved awkwardly. "Uh, congratulations."

"Thank you,"

Puck slapped Finn in the chest with the back of his hand. "Lets go congratulate the lucky bastard who swept short stack here off her feet."

"That's Puck?" Brittany asked, watching Quinn closely.

"That's Puck," Her eyes were still on him and his old school friend. He slapped Jesse's hand like they were old bros. "You invited them?" Quinn wheeled around on Rachel.

"I invited Finn," Rachel clarified. "He didn't tell me he was going to bring Noah with him."

"They're, like, attached at the hip. Did you really think the whole baby drama would keep them from becoming friends again? How didn't you know he'd bring him?"

"Quinn, I'm sorry. I really am, but I didn't know. Neither of us really knew if they had stayed friends all these years." Rachel sighed at Quinn's eye roll. "I honestly didn't. If you'd like I can ask him to leave."

Quinn shook her head, frustrated. "That means Finn has to leave and you invited him."

"So what do you want me to do?" Rachel asked, throwing her arms up.

Brittany brushed a thumb against Quinn's side and she felt herself calm down a tad. "I don't even understand why you invited Finn." She said quietly.

"We were in glee club together, if you don't remember, and probably the closest thing I had to calling a friend before you came along." She sighed. "I thought it would be nice, you know? We talk every once in a while. I thought it rude not to invite him."

"You could've invited anyone. You pick Finn. Finn."

"Quinn, you're only upset because he brought Puckerman."

Her teeth gritted together. "Quinn," Brittany tugged her closer. "It'll be okay. I'll be with you."

"You have Brittany. You'll be okay." Rachel jutted her chin over to the dancer holding securely onto her best friend. "But if it really does make you that uncomfortable, I will ask them both to leave."

Quinn turned to see the two boys talking with some of the groomsmen then wondered over to the two Berry men to congratulate them. She blinked a few times to wash away the film from her eyes that was only allowing her to see the two high school boys she had once been with.

Past regrets, broken promises and deceiving words sprang into her mind. But that was nearly seven years ago and Quinn was in a different place. That was nearly seven years ago and Puck and Finn were older. That was nearly seven years ago and things like that, she had already been slowly letting go.

Quinn turned over to Rachel. "Let them stay."

Rachel smiled slowly. "Are you sure?" Quinn nodded and Rachel turned to Brittany. "Keep her calm, okay?"

Brittany grinned and nodded, leaning down to kiss the top of Quinn's head. With that, Rachel went off to speak with all the people who were waiting to speak with her.

Quinn groaned and spun around to face Brittany. "You okay?" Brittany asked.

Quinn nodded and glanced over her shoulder once more. Puck was talking animatedly to Mike while Finn stood by him looking more than awkward and out of place.

"It's just been so long," She said more to herself. "I never expected to see them again. Not here."

"I know," Brittany pulled her into a hug and kissed her forehead.

Quinn took in a deep breath to soak up Brittany's scent. It sank deep inside of her. It pulled her head out of her high school years and into her years of being with Rachel and more so into the time she had come across Brittany. What happened before, what happened back in Lima, couldn't touch her anymore.

"Stay with me?" She asked sheepishly, needing that bit of strength she knew Brittany would provide her.

Brittany removed a strand of stray hair from her face. "Always," She brushed her lips across Quinn's cheekbone.

She looked back inside.

Both boys were talking to the Berry men. She could see the tightness in Hiram's face as he spoke to Puck and the way Leroy kept switching his eyes between Puck, Finn and Quinn every once in a while. Rachel joined them talking and Quinn figured she was explaining the situation.

Hiram looked at her with a raised eyebrow. Quinn nodded and he echoed it, finally taking Puck's hand in a handshake and gave Finn a good slap on the back.

"Can we get away from here?" She asked, turning away.

It was all too much. As if her parents popping up out of nowhere hadn't been enough, bring her ex boyfriend and the father of the baby she gave away. It was like on, big soap opera.

Brittany nodded and took her hand.

They left the buzzing crowd and entered the elevator that took them up to the ballroom where the reception was held. People rushed left and right putting the last minute touches on tables and lighting candles.

Quinn stepped inside awestruck by the decorations. She had seen it the previous day, but everything looked magnificent lit up by the golden hue of the candles and the accent of the pinks against the silvers.

"Put it down, blondie. I can do this." Santana's voice coasted across the room. "Go put some lemon juice on your roots or something."

Brittany led Quinn over to where Santana was setting up the last of her DJ equipment. Sam was crouched on the floor with a cord in his hand, staring up at Santana worried and confused. Brittany smiled at him and ruffled his hair like he was a little puppy.

"Everything okay?"

Santana grumbled something intangible. She snatched the cord out of Sam's hand and rounded around to plug it into a socket. Suddenly, the hall was filled with loud, dance music. The jazz band that was set up on the stage across the way turned and glared and complained at her.

Quinn caught Santana's hand before she could throw her rude gesture at them.

"Everything's fine," She flicked off the tunes and ducked down to grab a water bottle that Quinn knew very well, even if it was clear, didn't have water in it. "Where's everyone? I'm starving."

They turned towards the doors of the ballroom. A few people from the wedding came trickling in. They took to a table and set down their things. After them came a few more. Quinn chewed on her lip watching them all look about the room with wide eyes and dropped jaws.

Setting everything up hadn't been easy in the slightest. There were late nights spent up in the ballroom on the days leading up to the wedding. Sam would bring them Chinese take out and they'd flick on some music and get to work. Some of the other tech members that had been apart of Jesse's show came and helped her as well. Still, it had taken a long time.

Quinn craned her neck back to look at everything once again. Silvers and pinks sprang up into her face. A few golds were here and there but the way Sam had rigged some of the lighting, it had turned a lot of the golden furnishing into a pale gray that sparkled just as well as the silver.

The crowd inside of the hall grew steadily bigger and the jazz band began to play. People who hadn't attended the wedding joined the ones who had. Quinn felt a little bad for cutting so many people off the guest list. The ballroom was big enough for however many people wanted to invite. Though, Quinn knew she only wanted so many because Rachel liked everything big.

"Couldn't wait for the toast?" Quinn nodded over to Santana who was drinking from her water bottle.

Santana feigned confusion. "Whatever do you mean, Q? Would you like me to get dehydrated and not be able to provide your music for you? I have to make it through this thing somehow."

She took a long gulp of whatever it was she was drinking and Quinn rolled her eyes.

"Can we get in line before the food gets cold?" Santana snapped.

"There's Mike and Tina," Brittany pointed out.

The trio went to join the couple in the line for food and fell into the table that had their spots reserved.

Quinn fidgeted in her seat, glancing over her shoulder. Puck and Finn grabbed plates of food and walked to a table near to the back.

"Paranoid much?" Santana muttered.

"Are you sure you're okay with them being here, Quinn?" Hiram asked.

"It's fine," Quinn whipped her head back around to face her table. All eyes were on her. "Rachel wanted Finn to come and neither of us knew he would bring Puck along with him."

Leroy furrowed his brow. "We can ask them to leave."

Quinn shook her head, dropping her eyes to the plate of food in front of her. It shouldn't matter. She needed to get over it. That was then and now was now. She couldn't go the rest of her life avoiding the people of her past. There would come a time she'd have to see their faces again.

They were older now, far removed from the terrible days of high school that had been both pleasant but painful for Quinn. One night with them around wouldn't be nearly as disastrous as those three years. Nothing could ever be as disastrous as those three years.

"No," She pushed on a smile and turned to look at each pair of eyes. "It's okay."

-/-/-/-

Jonathan St. James spun Quinn around. She laughed, falling into his chest that vibrated with his own deep laugh. He steadied her on her feet, pushing strands of blonde hair out of her face.

"I told you I can't dance," She found her balance and smoothed down her dress.

He laughed, running a hand through his curls. "Did a hell of a lot better than me."

They shared another laugh. It was true. Jonathan might be just as glamorous as his younger brother, but he lacked the talent of him. Brittany's faces and giggles as well as Mike's glances at them told her that they had probably looked like fools trying to dance together. At least with Brittany, Quinn could pretend she knew what she was doing.

Jonathan sobered from his laugh. "Thank you for the dance,"

"If you can call that a dance,"

The voice spilt down her back with the burn of acid but with the chill of ice running down her spine. Her jaw clenched as she turned to Puck.

"From what I remember, you could hardly do any better." She said, acidly.

He gave a forced smile and turned to Jonathan. "Mind if I steal her?"

Steal.

Quinn's mind flashed to that night. That night his hands had shoved her, had bruised her, had pulled her along. He was going to steal her then. There were times Quinn wondered what would've happen if Rachel hadn't come outside. The alcohol in his system would've turned the night black for them both.

Jonathan nodded and Quinn almost reached out to keep him from going.

"Another dance later?" He flashed a pleasing smile.

Quinn nodded, swallowing hard. "Of course,"

He nodded to her then to Puck before walking off.

Quinn zeroed in on him. "I'm not dancing with you,"

"You don't have to," He stepped back, dropping his hands that were about to land on her waist.

She looked over his shoulder to see Brittany watching them closely. "Then what do you want?"

"Can I talk to you for a minute?"

"Go," Her arms crossed over her chest. She watched as Brittany rose from her seat and began her way towards them. "Talk."

Puck shook his head. He ducked down to whisper, "In private?"

"Is something wrong?" Brittany threaded a protective arm around Quinn's waist pulling her tight.

Puck looked from the possessive arm, up to Quinn who wouldn't meet his eyes then over to Brittany.

"Just wanna talk to Quinn real fast." He said to Brittany. Her eyebrow creased and he rolled his eyes. "Right outside the door. Cool with you?"

Brittany washed over him with her eyes before dropping them down to Quinn. "Quinn?" She nodded.

"Fine," She pulled out of Brittany's arm right after she kissed her softly on the mouth. Quinn saw Puck's eyebrows shoot up then quickly fall.

She fell into step behind him as he weaved them through the mass of people. A few people she remembered from the show stopped to compliment her on the ballroom. She could feel the eyes of the Berry men and Rachel on her back as she hit the outer lines and headed for the door. She turned over her shoulder to smile for assurance that she was okay.

Puck stopped them on the far side of the wall where it was quieter. They both looked inside to find Brittany sitting at a table watching them closely.

Puck cleared his throat. "I've been in contact with the people that adopted Beth."

"Beth?" She choked out a laugh. "They kept the name Beth?"

"Elizabeth is her full name." He deadpanned. "I never see her in person or anything, but they give me pictures and stuff and I thought you might like to see what our daughter looks like now."

"First off, she's not our daughter. She's there's." She said with the attitude she once commanded with during the days of polyester, cheer uniforms and tight ponytails and curls. "And I gave her away. Why would I want to see her?"

He shrugged. "Because I thought the same thing, but I was still curious." Digging into the inside pocket of his jacket, he pulled out a folded envelope. "Take it. If you ever decide that you want to see what she looks like then open it."

Cautiously, Quinn reached out and took the envelope. She held it between her fingers like she was holding glass. "Thank you,"

"Yeah," He ran a hand over his head. Though the mohawk wasn't there, Quinn could still see it. "You probably don't want us hangin' around, so me and Hudson are gonna get out of here."

"You don't…" She bit her lip. It was too weird feeling as at ease that she did. With Brittany there, she didn't feel as anxious as she had at the beginning. "You don't have to go."

"It's cool. They don't have any beer here and one glass of toasting Champaign is not going to be enough to get me ready for all the clubs downtown."

A tiny smile tugged at the corner of Quinn's lips. "How long are you here for?"

"We're flying out tomorrow afternoon."

"Be safe and have Finn drive you to the airport." She warned. "I know he won't have a hangover."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, you too." He laughed, waving a dismissing hand in the air. Quinn was surprised to hear her own, soft laugh complimenting his.

He sobered from the laugh and Quinn saw him shrink just a little. It was rare to ever see Puck come down from his high horse and look as vulnerable as he was presenting himself to Quinn at that moment. She felt a flicker of nervousness flutter in her chest.

"Blondie you've got-"

"Brittany," She corrected.

"-Better take good care of you," His eyes dropped away from hers for a moment to focus on a spot behind her. "'cause God knows I didn't."

"Puck," she frowned, "I know it's taken me until recently to even start to let it go, but we were in high school."

"Almost seven years of guilty feelings is a little hard to get rid of." His fist bumped against her shoulder. Quinn gasped. She didn't jump or flinch or move away. "See you at the ten year reunion?"

She coughed out a laugh watching him build himself back up. "I'll think about it."

He grinned down at her, and Quinn found herself smiling back. "See you, Fabray,"

"Bye, Puck,"

Spinning on his heel, Puck walked back towards the reception to gather Finn away from where he was standing dumbfounded by the punch bowl. Both boys threw their hands up in a wave as they headed out of the ballroom and out of the door.

"You okay?" Long arms wrapped around the front from behind. Brittany's chin rested on her shoulder. Quinn could smell the vanilla fragrance of her chapstick.

Quinn covered Brittany's hands with hers over her stomach. She took in a deep breath and closed her eyes, letting the whole encounter sink in. Was she okay?

"Yes," She answered after a moment. "I'm Fine."

Brittany kissed her cheek as she pulled away to stand in front of her. She tapped on the envelope. "What's in that?"

"A picture of my daughter." She said shocking herself yet again. It felt weird and wrong in her mouth to say. "He's been in contact with the family who adopted her."

"Oh,"

"He doesn't talk to her or anything, but they give him pictures. He thought I'd want to see what she looks like now."

"Open it,"

"I don't think I can," She said quickly, getting that rush of nervous butterflies again.

Brittany cupped her hands over Quinn's that clutched tightly onto the envelope. "I'll help you."

She slowly began to nod her head, then quickly started to shake it. "Not without Rachel," Brittany smiled

Splitting off, Brittany bounced over to the dining area and tapped Rachel on the shoulder. In a couple minutes, they were both walking through the tables, across the dance floor and out into the hall where Quinn was standing.

She took them to the end of the hall, farthest away from the noise and stopped in one of the corners. Brittany came up behind her, holding her again while Rachel stood at her side looking just as anxious, nervous and excited as Quinn felt.

"Are you ready?" Rachel asked, unfolding the envelope in Quinn's hands.

She nodded and let Rachel and Brittany get the envelope open and pull out the photo.

All thee girls gasped when they saw the little five-year-old girl smiling up at them in the picture.

She had blonde hair, bright, silky blonde hair brighter than Brittany's with deep brown eyes close to Rachel's with little specks of hazel dotting the irises. Her smile was smug like Puck's but tugged at her wide eyes in a sweet sort of way that was all Quinn.

"She's pretty," Brittany said.

"Just like her mother," Rachel put in, grinning at the picture.

The arms around her tightened and Rachel brushed her fingers across Quinn's cheek. When had she started to cry?

"And that smile," Quinn laughed through the tears that started to flow even more. "She's going to be just as troublesome as Puck."

"But sweet like you." Rachel put the photo back into the envelope and Quinn took it from her, holding it close to her chest. "How do you feel?"

"I don't know," Quinn answered honestly.

She wasn't sure how she felt. She felt a lot of things. She felt warm and safe in the arms of Brittany and she felt appreciated and supported by Rachel. She felt loved and cared about and protected by them both and empty. Empty?

Her shoulders shook and Brittany came around to pull her into a hug. Rachel threw her arms around her from the side, both girls rubbing her back and speaking kind words that things would be okay to her. But that wasn't it.

She was okay and that's why she was crying. She was okay and that was why she felt empty. She felt empty because she didn't feel all the pressure of her past pushing against her. She felt empty because when she closed her eyes she didn't see images of parents who didn't want her. She felt empty because all the weights she had been carrying on her shoulders were no more.

She felt empty because she was free.

And in that emptiness she was being filled with love and compassion and worth and forgiveness and care and being wanted. It dripped off of Brittany and Rachel and rained down on the desert inside of her that brought her back to life - life that she had been missing out on and hadn't been living because her mind was still stuck years back.

"Quinn?" Brittany drew back from her and Rachel brought her head up.

Rachel's eyebrow cocked. "Are you laughing?"

"Yes," She laughed even with tears still coming down her face, streaking her make up. "I'm okay."

Brittany beamed and drew her into a kiss that knocked her off kilter, but Rachel's tight embrace around her kept her from keeling over.

Their cries of happiness filled the silence as they held onto each other in hall. The sounds of the reception going on hit Quinn's ears and she remembered that Rachel was now married and would be gone with her loving husband to New York for the second time in her life in a couple of weeks to finally obtain her goal.

The sounds of Brittany's sniffles and tiny giggles hit Quinn's ears and she remembered that Brittany, her loving, warm and security that was Brittany, was staying and loved every part of her flaws and imperfections and all. The sounds of their hearts beating together hit Quinn's ears and she remembered that they were living, striving and living. Living in the present.

She was no longer stuck in her past.

This was the present.

And Brittany…

Quinn squealed as she was swept off her feet and cradled in strong arms against Brittany's chest. Latching her arms around her neck, Quinn nuzzled her face into the place just beneath her chin, breathing in the wonderful scent that was the blonde as she carried her up the stairs and into the apartment.

Quinn got ready to get down, but Brittany held her tight leading them into their room. Cushion pressed into her back as she was laid down onto the mattress. Her arms stayed around Brittany's neck as she climbed over her with her legs on either side of Quinn's body.

She leaned down to take up her lips with hers. Quinn sighed into the gentle caress of their mouth on one another's. She shifted, scooting up until she lay the length of the bed and Brittany laid flush against her.

Brittany left her mouth to trail down her cheek and over her neck while her hands slid along Quinn's bare arms leaving traces of electric heat on her skin. Her eyes fluttered shut as Brittany's mouth found her pulse point just below her ear and sucked. Quinn slid her hands from around Brittany's neck to cup her face in her palms.

She held her face above her own so she could look into the beautiful seas that were washing over her. They were soft and calm, full of desire to take them on a heated journey, but were full of patience and gentle passion that would make the moment more than a fleeting moment.

She brushed her fingers over the arch of Brittany's eyebrow and down her nose and over her lips all the while never breaking eye contact.

They were stuck, suspended in a realm where there was nothing more but them and all else had faded away. All was still around them yet everything was raging within her.

Her heart pattered against Brittany's and their chests pushed together with each deep, quick breath. Her stomach was a blissful aching storm of things she had never felt, of things she had never thought she would feel and of a feeling she had never expressed or felt in the way she did with this woman – with Brittany.

She blinked her eyes to break the motionlessness. Her heart swelled up almost choking her, almost forcing the words out of her.

"I love you," The words fell off her lips like a foreign language and as soft as she would utter a bedside prayer.

"I love you," She said again.

A blinding smile stretched across Brittany's face, and in her eyes were warm tears. She leaned down, giving Quinn a long, deep kiss; a kiss that knocked all the air, all the sense, and all the thought from Quinn's mind.

"I love you, Quinn," Brittany said in midst of the kiss, and Quinn felt her heart explode and the tears streaming from Brittany's eyes mixing in with her own that seeped out from her closed lids.

"I love you,"

Brittany was her future.

fin.

AN: I want to thank all of you who have stuck with this from beginning to end and all of your kind reviews. I'm glad you all enjoyed it. Many, many thanks.

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