CHAPTER 6

They were almost back to McKinley when Quinn finished off the last of the pumpkin bread Rachel had baked her for the trip. As she devoured the last bite, Rachel watched, feeling quite proud of herself.

"Good?"

"Too good," Quinn groaned and laid her head back. "You've got to stop baking for me. I'm getting disgustingly fat. I've gained two and a half pounds despite upping my cardio and Coach Sylvester looks like she's going to punch me in the face every time I walk into practice. If it wasn't for the control top in the uniform, my stomach would be bursting through like a pregnant woman."

"Sweetie, that's absurd," Rachel rubbed her thigh. "I know every inch of that body and you are beyond perfect, believe me…"

"No," she said determinedly, throwing off Rachel's reassuring caress. "I forbid you to bake for me anymore. I won't eat it! And if you try to force-feed me, I'll die first!"

"And I thought I was the melodramatic one in this relationship…"

"I'm serious!"

Santana and Brittany were in the seat in front of the two girls, blatantly eavesdropping.

"Why does Q think she's fat?" Brittany asked.

"Because she is?" Santana replied as if it were obvious. "I don't call her 'Tubbers' for nothing."

"SHUT UP!" Quinn kicked the seat.

Santana just snickered.

Brittany frowned in confusion. "I thought it was because she liked bathtubs..."

"I only bake non-fat, low-sugar, vegan items for you, Quinn," Rachel said reassuringly. "I know how important your figure is to you and your athletic career."

"Oh, so now it's my fault I'm fat!"

Rachel rubbed circles at her temples to relieve the tension. "I refuse to speak with you when you're like this. You're being completely irrational."

"Just say it, you think I'm disgusting. You're repulsed by me."

"I know I am!" Puck quipped from further back.

Rachel threw a crumpled up paper bag at him.

"I highly doubt you believe I think you're disgusting."

"How could you not? Look!" She rubbed her flat stomach with a frown. "And my thighs are like tree trunks."

"Okay, I give up." She sighed and threw her hands in the air. "It's true, I'm repulsed by you. I just hide it. In fact, every time we're intimate, I'm forced to keep myself from gagging."

Quinn gasped and her eyes nearly bugged out of their sockets. Sarcasm was practically unheard of in Rachel Berry's repertoire, she barely even understood it half the time, so such a blatant usage of it nearly had Quinn falling off the seat. The other girl smirked.

"Don't worry, sweetie, I love you for reasons other than your looks. It's what's on the inside that counts." She nodded and turned to look out the window.

Santana was laughing hysterically. "OH NO SHE DIN'T!"

"Rachel…Barbra…Berry…" Quinn could hardly speak she was fuming so much.

The brunette couldn't help it anymore, she started laughing as well. The bus pulled into the parking lot and everybody started shoving each other out of the way just to get to the exit first. Quinn grabbed her bag and leapt up before Rachel could catch her. She made her way off the bus and stalked quickly through the parking lot towards her car without a word to any of the others.

She didn't know why Rachel's teasing made her so angry. It really shouldn't have, she knew she was being ridiculous, but there was still something inside her that had been truly wounded by the words. Her complaining, while somewhat embellished, was due really to her mentally preparing herself for Sue Sylvester's inevitable verbal barrage. She had just started thinking of all the things the Coach was going to be screaming at her on the field through the megaphone and got a bit carried away in the nightmare.

Quinn knew she was pretty. Hell, she knew she was more than that. She had her moments of doubt, like everyone else, but for the most part she was assuredly confident in her looks. There were few people in the world that even stood a chance of making her doubt that confidence.

It wasn't until Rachel had taken this one opportunity to not be reassuring as she usually was, to strike fear in Quinn's heart. Just the simple, fleeting thought that Rachel might not find her attractive enough was more than she could bear. Santana could snark until kingdom come about Quinn's looks and she would never bat an eye, knowing the truth, but to have Rachel, even in jest, allow that crack of doubt…

Quinn didn't like this. She didn't like this at all. No one should be able to make her feel like this. No one should have this power. She was Quinn Fabray and dammit she was hot – even if she was two and half pounds over! All the guys wanted her. All the girls (even those not batting for the home team) wanted her too. This was absurd!

Then why was this feeling not going away?

This uncertainty?

This rejection?

Her name was being called, but she ignored it. She pulled out her keys, trying to make as smooth a getaway as possible, but as soon as she touched the door handle, someone grabbed her arm and spun her around. Rachel ripped the bag out of her hands, dropping it on the pavement, and propped her hands on her hips in as fierce a pose her tiny stature could manage.

"Quinn! What is wrong with you? You know that was obviously my attempt at a satirical form of humor of which I am unaccustomed."

"It wasn't funny," she shot back and threw the car door open.

Rachel slammed it shut. Quinn narrowly avoided pulling her body out of the way in time.

"Hey!"

"Why are you so upset?"

"I'm not!" she huffed.

"I am very certain you are."

Quinn started to say something, but Rachel pushed her back against the car, stepping in between her legs in such an intimate way, she hardly had the means to protest.

"Tell me what I can do to make it better," she murmured in a low, seductive voice that made Quinn shiver.

She reached up tucked back some of the blonde hair that had fallen forward. Quinn let herself look at her and found wide, dark eyes looking back at her. She sucked in a breath. Rachel caressed her cool cheek and let her fingers drift over her jaw and down her neck in an almost absent gesture.

"Quinn, you are, without a doubt, the most beautiful person I have ever seen. Your body is extraordinary. Sometimes I still can't believe that someone as exquisite as you is allowing someone like me to touch them. Making love with you is an exhilarating, unbelievable, and altogether sacred experience that rivals anything I could ever feel on the stage. I could say many other things about you, far deeper than just the way you look, but since you seem to be dogmatically focused on that at the moment, here's the truth. You're not fat. You're not repulsive. You don't have thighs like a tree trunk. You're perfect just the way you are and I love you."

Quinn tried to swallow, but there was this huge lump in her throat preventing it. She wondered, and not for the first time, just what she had done to deserve someone like Rachel Berry in her life. Her eyes stung with tears.

"Just…get in the car," she said thickly.

Rachel nodded and bent over to pick up her bag, but she was yanked back up all of sudden. Quinn kissed her deeply and lovingly, heady with the feeling and taste of Rachel, until the need to breathe became too great and they were forced to break apart. She rested her forehead against Rachel's, sighing heavily. Her thumbs stroked gently across her cheeks as she held her there. Rachel brought her hands up to cover hers.

"For the record?"

The brunette's brow furrowed with curiosity.

"I think you're the most beautiful person I've ever seen."

Rachel blushed furiously.

"You believe me, right?"

"I'm trying to," she answered honestly. "Do you believe me?"

"I don't think I have a choice, do I?"

They both giggled at that and picked up their bags, throwing them into the backseat.

"Ugh, seriously, who needs a finger in the throat with you two around?"

Simultaneously rolling their eyes, the two turned to see Santana and Brittany standing behind them. Brittany effortlessly tossed two large duffel bags at their feet.

"You forgot these."

"Oh, how sweet of you, Brittany. Thank you!" Rachel beamed and tried to lift one, but it was so heavy she could hardly get it an inch off the ground. "I'm really going to have to ask you about your upper body regimen," she grunted with effort. "It's quite impressive."

"Oh, it's easy," she shrugged and looked between Santana and Quinn. "I spend three hours a day holding them in the air."

"Hey!" The two girls snarled, unappreciative of the insinuation.

Rachel glanced worriedly at Quinn. "Thank you again, your thoughtfulness is much appreciated, but we really must be going now."

Brittany nodded and took the bag Santana was holding to sling it over her shoulder, leaving the Latina unburdened.

They heard Santana say as the two walked away, "Just what was that supposed to mean?"

Together, Quinn and Rachel worked to get the rest of the bags in the car. When Quinn shut the door, she turned to the other girl almost shyly.

"Come home with me?"

Rachel didn't hesitate for a second. "Yes."

However, there was a humorous curve to her lips, as if she had said some kind of inside joke, which prompted Quinn to inquire after it.

Rachel shrugged. "It's just a good thing you asked because otherwise I would have ended up dragging you home with me. By force, if necessary."

She skipped to the passenger side and wiggled her eyebrows mischievously at the blonde across the hood before ducking inside. Quinn just stood there for a moment, picturing what it would be like to be kidnapped by one Rachel Berry, before shaking her head. It was an arousing, yet slightly frightening sort of scenario. A cross between "The Princess Bride" and "The Postman Always Rings Twice"…

The rest of the Glee members were filtering through the parking lot now with various shouts of goodbye. Kurt blew kisses, Santana flipped them off, Brittany waved enthusiastically, Sam nodded in acknowledgement, Finn gave an awkward salute, Mercedes and Tina shouted, "See you, bitches!", Mike pirouetted between cars as a send off, and Artie gave them a fist pump. Puck was still standing by the bus with his hands shoved in his pockets, pouting, as Miss Pillsbury reprimanded him for something…yet again. Mr. Shuester stood beside them looking exasperated. Quinn and Rachel called and waved back to everyone. As they pulled out of the lot, Rachel took her hand and interlocked their fingers between the seats.

"Are you happy, Quinn?" she asked quietly.

"Maybe…" she teased.

"Oh, so you can be sarcastic, but when I do it, you act like a kicked puppy?"

Quinn squeezed her hand tightly, the smile never leaving her lips. "I'm very happy."

"Good. Because so am I."


A/N: Yes, a sappy ending. Kill me. lol. This really was only meant to be a one-shot and then I ended up with 6 chapters? Yeesh. If you got this far through the fic than I sincerely applaud your efforts! haha. Thanks for reading! :D