Sypnosis: Quinn kept Beth. And in the future Rachel bitterly reflects over how this changed everything. But when she has a chance to fix everything, will she take it despite the gaping hole it might leave behind?

Spoilers: Season One finale, "Journey." 1x22.

Author's note: I just wanted to say that I'm currently working on Bound For The Floor and Enemy Of My Enemy. So keep an eye out.

P.S. - This contains a scene of lesbian smut. And it's my first doing that. Please let me know how I do on that.

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"Cause in your sad machines

You'll forever stay

Burning up in speed

Lost inside the dreams, of teen machines"

(Here Is No Why) - Smashing Pumpkins

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Wise scholars and performers have said it was lonely at the top.

It was too bad that she wasn't even at the top.

Actually, her life at this point couldn't have been any lower. She had gotten out of Lima like she had always said she would. In fact, she was the only one from New Directions that had gotten completely out of the state of Ohio. After Finn had gotten kicked off the football team Junior year after his break-up with Rachel, he had seen the thin chance of getting out of Lima decrease exponentially; he had decidedly thrown himself into his studies with an admirable vigor, getting accepted to Ohio State University. Sure, he had remained the male lead of the group for the remainer of high school, but his dedication to them wasn't nearly as what it used to be.

She hadn't heard anything of Mike Chang and Matt Rutherford.

They had been working at the local grocery store and saving up money before they graduated. That's the last she heard of them.

Santana had gotten demoted to the bottom of the pyramid after Quinn had taken back over Junior year. And the last of her strings of friendship with Quinn were detached permanently after that whole debacle. They had snapped at each other and competed viciously with each other the remainer of high school. And since it was hard enough getting a cheerleading scholarship - despite having Sue Sylvester on your record - to anywhere and being just another cheerleader on the squad, Santana had received nothing but her diploma on graduation day; no scholarships or offers. It had made her even more sour with her former friend.

Quinn had received only one offer. But that's because she had forced her way back on the top with a scary vengeance.

But with the struggles of taking care of Beth and attempting to go to college, it was inevitable that her grades slacked and she lost her scholarship to Ohio State.

She hadn't heard about Kurt or Mercedes, though.

After Kurt had transferred to Dalton after some rather crude bullying from Karofsky, his contact with his former teammates had slowly sizzled out until not even Mercedes knew what he had been up to.

Mercedes had been heartbroken to lose her best friend, and her battles with Rachel had increased ridiculously over solos and just about everything else. They hadn't parted on great terms.

Artie and Tina had finally gotten back together, after using Mike Chang and Brittany to relieve their temporary anger at each other. They had both always gotten fairly decent grades, so they had signed up to a community college somewhere near the campus of the University of Ohio. Last she heard they were still together.

Brittany had just kept dancing at anywhere she could get. The girl never had the strongest gradepoint average. And after her falling out with Santana and her rather painful relationship with Artie had fizzled out, she had just went and auditioned anywhere she could. Rachel had secretely slipped upcoming auditions for musicals and dance numbers into the girl's locker when she hadn't been looking.

She had heard that the girl had finally been recognized by some choreographer who worked a lot with the Ohio State Theatre Department.

And Puck's story was absolutely heart-breaking.

After realizing the full load of taking care of Beth and Quinn, he had bailed and moved to his cousin's place somewhere in northern Ohio. Everyone had tried to reach him for months and months following his departure, but it was to no avail. Puck obviously didn't want to be found. A bitter part of her still wondered if he was ashamed for what he had done.

Quinn had been completely heart-broken. As well as completely and utterly livid.

Rachel couldn't count the times she had heard Quinn screaming out curses like a sailor on the boy's voicemail.

Despite her own rage at the boy at leaving her and Quinn to take care of Beth, she had felt the tiniest smidgen of pity. He had thought he had known what he wanted. The idea of proving himself to Quinn and to everyone else that he was not a deadbeat and could be a genuinely good guy at heart had prompted him into making a hasty choice. The wrong choice.

But he wasn't entirely to blame either. A lot of that had fallen on Rachel herself.

She just couldn't stand to see him sitting there in the hospital chair, looking like a a scared and hurt little boy.

And she couldn't stand to see Quinn in a simliar funk, looking through the window at a child that she had given her heart to the first time she had seen her.

But sometimes Rachel would feel overwhelmed with guilt when she thought that her reckless decision to convince them to keep Beth had gotten her where she was today.

She would feel the ice cold fist of revulsion squeeze her insides when she blamed Beth for her own bleak future.

She had nothing to blame but herself. Because while Quinn and Puck had been completely devestated at the thought of not keeping Beth, Rachel had been the one that had truly talked them into keeping the girl. It had taken a lot of begging on her and Puck's part, and Quinn had been particularly hellbent on adoption. The false promises that both her and Puck had made its own little spot in Rachel's mind, and it would remain there until the day that Rachel died. She had thought her high school pains would stay in the past and not come anywhere with her on her road to a bright future, but instead a series of mistakes had left her feeling like she had been dragging an entire car filled with regret and pain to New York with her.

And the look in Quinn's eyes as the brunette left for New York still cut her in two.

Her guilty and bitter side still resided with her in New York.

And the other half was gone somewhere; presumably with the hazel-eyed blonde and her hazel-eyed daughter.

Beth made her feel so many things. Adoration...and at times, regret.

But it wasn't Beth's fault that Rachel had left Quinn behind when they truly realized the weight and implications of attempting to bring Beth to New York with them. They couldn't afford to have a child with them in this city. Hell, Rachel was struggling on everything for herself. Her family offered to pay for her schooling, which she would be eternally grateful for. But NYU was ridiculously expensive, and they didn't give out scholarships. So Rachel had decided to get a job and help her family a little on the education payments. And adding on to the dancing and acting workshops she was taking, Rachel barely had any time to herself anymore. She rarely was in her crappy apartment, and when she was she was there to just eat and sleep before she was back up again.

A part of her was happy, because it took her mind of the agony of leaving Quinn and Beth behind. But a part of her was just so tired, because she performed these tasks now as if she was on an automatic gear switch. She just didn't really feel anything anymore. Because after her ego had taken a bruising hit of being rejected by Juilliard, it didn't help that she was all alone in New York. And it hadn't helped that she hadn't gotten any major roles either. The biggest she had gotten was as a background dancer in an off-off Broadway production.

Rachel took another sip of her alcohol.

She could remember detesting this stuff in high school.

But as time flew by and as Rachel grew lonelier in this gigantic city of broken dreams, she had grown to appreciate it.

And as much as it pained her to think about the past, it occasionally caught up to her.

Rachel released a breath as she stepped out of the elevator.

She had been trying to get the win of Vocal Adrenaline out of her head on the drive over to the hospital.

After she had sat dejectedly on the counter in the dressing rooms, still mulling around because the team captain had to stay and represent, she had finally gotten a call from Kurt.

"Quinn had Beth!" He all but squealed into the phone.

Rachel attempted to smile, because she honestly was glad that the girl was okay after the ordeal. She hopped off the counter and then nodded to one of the event organizers, who had stopped in the doorframe and made the motion of them clearing out. She released a breath and went to the corner to grab her bag.

"I'm on my way over there," she murmured, moving around hastily. "I will just take a cab seeing as you all have taken the bus in order to get Quinn there."

The cab ride only lasted five minutes, but that was more than enough to put her game face on.

And as she looked at Puck who was slouching dejectedly in one of the waiting chairs off to the side, she realized that it wasn't her time to be sad about losing.

He still had the green sheet on his body. And he was currently gazing at the recovery room with a wounded look on his features. She had no doubt that Quinn reminded him that they couldn't keep her. And seeing Puck slouching over in the chairs, looking so defeated and so alone in his misery, she felt just as pained as he did. She couldn't help but want to be optimistic for the couple; try and reason that if they did keep this baby then Rachel and the rest of New Directions would undeniably have their backs. Because she couldn't remember the last time she really baby-sat for anyone. And even though she partly knew it wasn't good that her head was already filling with ideas of how to help them if they did keep the child, she couldn't help it.

"I'm very glad that Quinn has survived the trauma known as giving birth," stated Rachel, forcing her voice to be optimistic.

Puck finally realized she was there, and his lips twisted up in a smirk at her attempts.

"She wasn't the only one traumatized," muttered Puck. "I'm pretty sure my hand is broken and Mrs. Fabray was shooting me death glares."

Rachel couldn't help but smile softly. Puck returned it, but it didn't completely reach his eyes.

It hadn't been that that had been her undoing, however.

It had been Quinn that had turned everything around.

In the past if you would have told her she would have given anything to see Quinn Fabray's eyes light up like they did when she looked at Beth again, she would have already had her therapist on the phone with an appointment booked for you. But when she had finally found Quinn who was staring at Beth's form through the glass window, it had started something that forever changed everything.

They hadn't known that at the time, though.

Rachel loved the wise saying of, 'If I knew then what I know now.'

It defined her life.

Rachel released a heavy breath as she stepped silently next to Quinn in the hallway.

The rest of New Directions had headed back to Lima on the bus; their faces were fallen because of their loss and their eyes reflected the worry that they had for Quinn. Puck had adamently refused to even go near the bus; his face was resolute as he determinedly stated that he wasn't leaving Quinn or Beth. And noticing Mrs. Pillsbury's quick expression of regret, she quickly chimed in that she would stay as well.

She just got a nod from Puck, but she knew he appreciated her efforts with him tonight.

And now she was here, just watching the hunched and exhausted form of Quinn take in her child that resided on the opposite side of the glass.

Quinn didn't seem to initially notice her presence; maybe that or she just didn't care. The blonde's lips only tightened as Rachel hesitantly laid her hand on the blonde's wrist. Rachel didn't do anything, and she didn't dare make any sounds or offer any optimistic outlets to the girl. Because she was even hesitant to be holding on the girl right now; she was suprised Quinn hadn't yanked her hand away.

Quinn's heavy breathing wrung out; her eyes were focused intensely on Beth. "I-I thought that I was prepared for the pain...you know, of giving birth. I wasn't."

Rachel stayed quiet and watched the blonde with rapt attention.

"Watching her hurts more than feeling my insides getting ripped and torn," swallowed Quinn.

The brunette felt her breathing stop for a minute at the blonde's almost inaudible confession. She hadn't been prepared for this much emotion to be exuded from Quinn in almost painful waves; she had secretely expected the blonde to throw up her walls and meet everyone's gazes with her familiar expression of detachment. She knew that Puck was probably just as helpless, or just as hopeless, as the blonde was at that point. But she also knew that despite his very obvious pain and the inconceivable sadness that reflected in his tone, that he was nowhere near the particular crossroads that Quinn seemed to be at in this point of time.

Rachel hesitantly replied, "I'm suprised you haven't asked why I'm here."

"You're here because you're a good person, Rachel," sighed Quinn, her voice barely above a whisper. She just seemed to shrug non-committedly after her little confession.

The blonde didn't seem to feel the complete astonishment of the gaze that Rachel suddenly bestowed upon her.

"W-well, you certainly seem to have a better reaction than what I initially thought you would," breathed Rachel.

Quinn made a quiet noise in the back of her throat; she suddenly pulled her wrist away from Rachel's grasp softly. Her hazel eyes darted to Rachel's briefly before her lips barely quirked up.

"There are times that I want to punch you in the mouth or strangle you senseless -" Rachel's mouth opened offendedly, " -but there are times when I tolerate your presence; when you're not so bad."

"And you're not so bad right now," added Quinn, her tone of voice gentle. She seemed to release a soft breath of amusement following her statement. The small diva opened her mouth a couple of times to seriously rebut Quinn's hurtful comments, but the blonde's lip was almost unnoticeably tilted up, and there seemed to be a slight peacefulness that currently surrounded her; she refrained for Quinn.

"Thanks," she murmured.

Quinn talked as if she hadn't heard her. "And at least you're not like the others. Because they would just try and convince me to keep her and do something that I simply can't."

Rachel suddenly turned her head away to mask the sudden guilt that overcame her features. Because thoughts and ideas of what to say to Quinn in a hasty movement to convince her had been roaming needlessly in her mind all night. Hell, even wishful fantasies of her helping with Beth had been running rampantly through her thoughts since she had seen Noah slumped in that chair. She had to stop her breathing from becoming too ragged; she could feel her throat swallow the spit that wasn't even present in her now dry mouth.

Rachel threw the now empty bottle in the trashcan that was now placed right next to her. It was ashamedly up to the brim in empty glass containers.

She just shook her head and leaned her now light-head against the counter of her kitchen table.

She hated thinking about Beth. Because when she did she felt regret well up to every single space in her entire body. And it wasn't the simple kind of regrets that you casually think about in your life; this was the kind where it was deemed completely unhealthy to even be stuck into that part of your past with those trains of thought. She had been unhealthy since she had left Lima.

She still felt her lips pull up into a betraying smile as she remembered her first time holding Beth.

Rachel felt a blinding smile cover her face as she gently craded the sleeping infant in her arms.

Quinn was watching her with hawk-eyes, and she was monitering every single breath that the brunette breathed out. Rachel tried to ignore the obvious over-protectiveness of the newborn's mother, but it was still quite disconcerting. She just swallowed and pulled the baby closer to her chest; she didn't even realize that she was faintly humming until Beth had opened her eyes lazily and just quietly observed her. She could hear Quinn suck in a breath and she guessed that the blonde was worried that the baby would begin crying once more. She hummed slightly louder and Beth's eyes closed once more.

"So, um, we'll be back around seven, " muttered Quinn, keeping her voice quiet. "And you know I wouldn't have asked you for anything like this unless -"

"Unless it was a true emergency, I know," whispered Rachel, not taking her eyes off the beautiful child in front of her.

"And don't forget that we will have our cell phones on and all the -"

"And all the emergency numbers are on the fridge," she interrupted once more. "And yes, Kurt is on his way over as we speak so that I have 'back-up' with me."

The blonde just swallowed and nodded, fiddling with the straps of her purse as Judy Fabray finally re-entered the room with the appropriate earings on. Quinn nodded at Rachel and turned and walked out the door after a teary-eyed glance at the form in the brunette's arms. Judy shot Rachel an appreciative smile she hovered in the doorway with her keys. The older woman nodded at her as she backed away and shut the front door behind her.

And after that, her and Quinn seemed to grow a little closer.

Quinn had finally let some of her earlier fears decease and she started calling in Rachel once a week as the primary baby-sitter of Beth. Besides Noah and Judy, of course.

It had really thrilled the brunette when the blonde finally dropped her stony acceptance of her company and accepted her offer of friendship. And she wouldn't lie and say they started off great, they most certainly hadn't, but over time they eventually just became more comfortable with each other. And by October of Junior year they had moved up to reasonably close friends.

She could always remember feeling smug when the others sometimes complained that they never got to see Beth; she had on a semi-regular basis.

But then her break-up with Finn had happened and she could remember closing herself off for a few weeks.

And she faintly remembered Quinn storming in on her with a vengeance and demanding that she put it behind her, because her and Beth needed Rachel.

That had been when their true friendship had cemented itself in her mind. And that had made Rachel forget all about Finn and his ridiculous insecurities; she had been needed elsewhere. And her and Quinn had only grown even more close because she had dedicated her time strictly to the blonde and little Beth. And it had helped take her mind off of Finn Hudson for once.

And then Noah had left in November and everything had gone straight to hell.

She remembered Quinn crying and screaming furiously at the walls in her room. The blonde's face had been a feverish shade of red and her eyes had been positively wild; dead and wild and pained. She had tried calling Puck for a week after that; she had tried mercilissly to bring him back - along with everyone in New Directions - to Lima but it never happened. She just remembered genuinely hating him in that moment when she had cradled a broken Quinn in her arms with an angry and still slightly stunned Judy Fabray watching on with a wailing Beth clutched tightly into her arms. The blonde had clung to her for the rest of the night.

It had taken Quinn until Christmas to finally be pulled out of her shell.

And it had taken until Valentine's Day before Rachel finally realized that she wanted more.

"Liar", snorted Quinn.

They were currently at the Fabray house and eating an obscene amount of chocolate; Rachel liked to think that they were drowning in their misery. Well, Quinn seemed to be polishing off the gigantic box of Russell Stover's while Rachel semi-politely ate her vegan substitutes. And as soon as they put The Notebook in and began attentively watching it, she began to believe that they were torturing themselves unconsciously.

"Quinn," she sighed, her voice coming out more patronizing than she intended, "I know we don't have the best romantic history to draw from but could you please refrain from -"

"No," interrupted Quinn, her voice clipped. "Because it's obvious that he doesn't really -"

"QUINN!"

The blonde turned wide eyes onto Rachel, who was currently looking at her with a firm glare and her arms crossed angrily; it could be considered petulantly, because then it would be no real suprise. The brunette huffed as Quinn just rolled her eyes and settled back against the couch, her lips pursed and her eyes slightly distant. Rachel just released a breath and uncrossed her arms; her gaze softened when the blonde sunk against the sofa even more until she was completely laying down. The brunette bit her lip and felt herself hesitate; even though her and Quinn were close now and they had hugged on many occasion, they still weren't the type of friends who just randomly cuddled.

"I-I'm sorry for yelling," murmured Rachel, her voice meek. "I just don't want to see you upset. I understand that this holiday isn't your best but I just wanted to be enough for you to take your -"

She was swiftly interrupted by a hand gripping her upper arm in a firm grip. She felt herself being yanked forward forcefully; she squeaked when her body landed on top of Quinn's in a perfect and tight alignment.

"You're right," whispered Quinn.

"I-I am?"

Quinn's hold on the brunette tightened significantly as the silence hung in the air. Rachel opened her mouth to push the blonde once more but she was distracted by the sheer warmth of her. A part of her felt slightly awkward in this position; it was admittedly in a delighted fashion, though. Because if felt nice that someone needed the physical comfort of her from time to time. And even though she felt something warm erupt in her lower stomach as her head nestled snuggly against the crook of Quinn's neck, she also felt less alone on this admittedly bad holiday. It was just...nice.

"You're all that I need today," whispered Quinn, after minutes of silence.

Rachel's mouth opened in shock - and rapture, admittedly - and she nearly shot up and away from Quinn in suprise.

But the blonde held her firmly down and kept her against her tightly. And the brunette felt her body completely freeze when hazel eyes glanced down into her own. Quinn was just gazing at her softly, and a part of the look she was giving Rachel just seemed to scream vulnerability and trepidation. The diva tried to placate the blonde by giving her a soft smile, one of which Quinn returned almost shyly.

She nestled her head back in the crook of Quinn's neck.

She closed her eyes and all sounds of the movie playing on the television was wiped away by the sound of the cheeleader's even breathing.

It wasn't like they had magically confessed their love for each other after that.

In fact, it had taken another two months before they had even admitted - very subtly - that they had feelings for each other. Rachel could remember how shockingly shy Quinn looked that day.

And they had mutually agreed that they were to take it slow. Because two girls who had only ever dated boys and had never so much as looked at another girl were bound to rise up some heat and complications. They had been dutifully prepared for that. Because they had come out to the Berry's first. And then they had come out to Judy Fabray; the woman had looked as if she was to faint at the very moment. And as much as Judy adored Rachel and was forever grateful towards the brunette and all of her help, it had still taken the woman a fair while to accept it for what it was.

They had been especially careful on school grounds.

Quinn's reputation had been brought back up to the top once more; two girls couldn't just come out of the closet - one who had a child the previous year and then one who had already been speculated about - and expect zero consequences. Because despite the fact that they were good-looking and Quinn was popular, there was no way that they wouldn't receive even just a little backlash.

So it had been safe to say that they had been slightly on the down-low; the select few that they had told had been in New Directions.

And it was also safe to say that their relationship had been no walk in the park.

Her and Quinn had fought just about every day. Whether it was over something that was serious or if it was over something demure. And Rachel knew that the relationship had been considered toxic and non-healthy; she heard this from Finn, and if you took relationship advice from him than you knew it couldn't be going too well.

Their shouting matches had became legendary by Senior year. Luckily, no one had found out about the two of them; they had always been careful to hide it, even when arguing furiously in public.

Many of the arguments that the two had held had been over sex. Because Rachel could deal with not going too far with Quinn; she had even respected it because she wasn't fond of moving too fast either. But when it came to the summer of Senior year, and they had been dating for a few months then and had feelings for each other for much longer than that, then yeah, she most certainly cared at the time.

She had just wanted to be able to make her girlfriend feel good.

Because given school, Cheerios, and Beth, affection - even heated making out - was hard to come by.

So Rachel had been honest with her girlfriend. It was July and they had nothing to worry about except Beth so they should enjoy it while they could. Quinn had initially stormed off and accused Rachel of wanting what all the boys wanted. Rachel had been furious and called her girlfriend out on her insecurities. It had led to a two day fight where Rachel had finally given in and apologized. But apparently her little method of telling Quinn the truth worked. And Quinn had called her over. She had been shocked at what happened that day; it was mortifying.

I mean, it wasn't every day that you're having first-time awkward sex with your girlfriend and her mom comes home early with said girlfriend's child.

Rachel was breathing heavily through her nose.

But as Quinn's mouth pressed insistantly and passionately upon hers, she couldn't really bring herself to care about the lack of oxygen.

They were currently in Quinn's bed and in a complete state of undress. It had been awkward at first; the shy glances and the trembling fingers and nervous squeaks. And when they had seen each other naked...well, it had taken away their awkwardness for one heated moment as dilated eyes took in bare flesh. And now they were in Quinn's bed and Rachel was pressed deliciously on top of the blonde.

But as her hand nervously gripped Quinn's thigh, she found the awkwardness return again.

"Is this okay," she breathed, tearing her mouth away from the eager blonde's.

Hazel eyes looked at her slightly dazedly, and Rachel felt her breath leave her once more as Quinn nodded at her with a soft smile on her lips. The brunette felt the lump in her throat grow slightly larger as she could feel the soft curls on Quinn's womanhood press against her own; the wetness of the two was almost ridiculous, and she shuddered in pleasure. She watched as the blonde exuded ragged breaths as the girl underneath her began to move her hips in a clumsy manner. She was clearly signalling her go ahead. Rachel released a shaky breath and she cupped Quinn's center with a trembling hand.

Rachel watched in rapture as Quinn's mouth opened the slightest bit. Hazel eyes slowly closed.

The diva stopped for a brief moment, altering her position to lay on her elbow half-way on top of the blonde. She struggled with her new position for a minute; it was slightly difficult due to her inexperience, Quinn's impatient whining, and the soreness of her elbow. She eventually was able to get herself in the exact position, and by then Quinn was glaring at her.

"Sorry," whispered Rachel, her voice husky but her face a lovely shade of magenta.

"Just keep going," insisted Quinn, her voice sensual but tinged with irritation.

Rachel cleared her throat and nodded, moving her hand back over Quinn's wet center and pressing down with her palm.

The Cheerio released a shaky breath, biting her lip and moving her hips up jerkily against Rachel's hand. The brunette had to concur that despite the complete and total awkwardness and inexperince on both of their parts, it was nice to be able to learn from each other and savor the knowledge of what to do next time. She couldn't think of a better person to share an embarrassing first time with.

Rachel bit her lip and allowed her thumb to slide over the Quinn's clit, rubbing it up and down experimentally to garner a response.

"Oh!" Quinn breathed out, biting down tightly on her lip. "O-oh God."

The diva smiled in relief and began rubbing it in tiny circles, watching her girlfriend's eyebrows furrow. Uneven breaths and the tiniest little whimper escaped the blonde as Rachel sped up her circular motions with her thumb. The brunette could only watch in fascination as Quinn's hips began to copy the circular motions that Rache's finger as making. And she felt heat soar throughout her entire body as Quinn's nails dug into her shoulder and back slightly; she relished the throbbing of her own womanhood as she heard a gently supressed moan escape her girlfriend's lips.

Rachel was suddenly determined to get her girlfriend to drop her guard during this intimate moment.

She very hesitantly leaned forward and let her mouth surround Quinn's erect nipple, and she sucked gently as she pressed she took her thumb away and put two fingers on Quinn instead.

"R-Rachel," swallowed Quinn, breathing harshly and keeping her eyes screwed shut.

Now the brunette was even more determined. She released Quinn's nipple from her mouth and moved her mouth up to Quinn's earlobe. She suckled on it gently and nibbled it between her teeth as she tried to rub Quinn's clit gently between her two fingers. Apparently she succeeded, because her girlfriend let a groan escape the back of her throat and she felt her body arch slightly.

"Q-Quinn," panted Rachel, still her fingers movements.

The blonde opened her out-of focus hazel eyes and breathed a soft noise of question.

"Can I -?" Rachel let the question linger as she head gestured down toward Quinn's center. Her girlfriend just frowned in confusion, her eyes still trying to catch up to the uneven sight of Rachel above her. She opened her mouth in question, but Rachel just allowed her two fingers to trace Quinn's lower lips gently. The blonde's eyes fluttered back closed and she gave a jerky nod of acquiescence. The brunette on top of her released a nervous breath and gently pushed her finger against the same region as previous; she tried to distract the blonde of her nervousness and failure to properly enter her by kissing her gently.

The blonde kissed her back distractedly, breaking apart their lips as she felt Rachel's second attempt fail.

"Here," the blonde offered shakily, gently reaching down and grasping Rachel's fingers and pushing them in slightly.

Rachel forgot her embarrassment as her eyes widened at the feel of Quinn surrounding her fingertips. For having already haven sex -albeit drunkenly- and having a child, the blonde was reasonably tight. She released a breath and carefully watched Quinn's face as she moved her fingers a little deeper with each second that ticked by.

At first Quinn seemed to shift uncomfortably at the intrusion and her face seemed to tense. But as Rachel slowly entered her and softly filled her, the blonde's bottom lip was slowly snatched by her teeth, and the creased brow on her forehead seemed to give away to smoothness.

Rachel slowly moved her fingers out until only the tips were inside, and then she experimentally turned them over before moving them back in softly.

She was rewarded with a slightly audible moan and nails digging harder into her shoulder.

And just as she did it once more, only this time slightly harder and with more speed, and Quinn gave a whimper, the door to Quinn's room suddenly burst open.

Rachel could only messily pull her fingers out of Quinn and whirl around with the sheets clinging tightly to her and Quinn's luckily shaded forms. Her eyes widened and her mouth opened in horror when she noticed the completely stiff form of Judy Fabray. The woman was holding Beth in one hand and had her purse in the other. The woman's face probably matched hers. She could almost feel the heat of Quinn's face and she most certainly heard the horrific yelp that escaped her girlfriend's lips, who was currently clinging on to her desperately.

That had easily been the most mortifying memory she ever possessed.

She was cringing drunkenly in her kitchen chair just thinking about it.

But she got to her feet unsteadily, trying to forget the past memories of Beth and being with Quinn. Because she couldn't do it; she had been doing this and she just couldn't muster up the strength to do it anymore. Even if she somehow became famous and surrounded by these cameras and fans, she would still be looking for a particular face in the crowd. And that bothered her.

When she tried to make it to her bedroom - which was a feat, because her apartment floor was covered in litterings of everything - she tripped over a phonebook and was lucky enough to land part-way on the couch.

It was awkward because half of her body was just hanging off the couch.

But she didn't really notice as she just closed her eyes and burrowed her face into the homemade quilt her Grandma had made for her before she left for New York.

She closed her eyes and a final memory overtook her.

"This is bullshit, Rachel! It's bullshit and you know it!"

Rachel winced as Quinn's shout echoed off of the walls of her bedroom. She couldn't really blame the blonde; she would definitely be angry if she were in her position too. She just closed her eyes and tried to rein in the pain that was currently running rampant throughout her veins and heart. She tried to tune out Quinn's heavy pacing and just focus on doing what she had to do.

"I-it won't work, Quinn," swallowed Rachel, her voice trying to regain its confidence. "Both you and I know it won't. We've been looking and searching for months and -"

"And we'll continue to search until we find a proper daycare for Beth and find a somewhat livable apartment!" Quinn was resembling a tomato and her eyes were blazing.

Rachel swallowed heavily and she had to look away from Quinn's battlefront. She could feel the beginnings of tears prickle her eyes and she felt her fists clench up as her heart began to hammer violently in her chest. Have you ever had that feeling of foreboding that rang true in your head? Because Rachel did right now. They had been searching for months and found absolutely nothing that they could make work. Even if they could afford the three of them out there - which they couldn't - then they had to worry about all the other things. Rachel knew that they just wouldn't have time between school's, auditions, daycare, and work. Time and money just wasn't on their sides.

Maybe...just maybe the two of them could make it out there. But there was no way in hell they could if they took Beth with them.

And the funny thing is is that her girlfriend seemed to unconsciously know that her daughter was the true obstacle of all of it. They just didn't have the hearts on betting on who would say it.

Rachel knew it was gonna have to be her; she was going to be the heart-breaker of the situation.

But it was just so hard; she felt her saliva dry up before it could exit down her throat in a swallow and she felt her hands grow nervously clammy. And she tried to ignore everything else; the burning gaze of her girlfriend seared into her, and the sudden hit of betrayal and over-whelming love for the little girl she almost raised as her own.

"W-we both know -" Rachel could feel the tears absolutely stinging, " -that we wouldn't make it if we had to take Beth with us."

Quinn opened her mouth in a fury, but Rachel lurched forward with her hands up and her gaze pleading. She stepped a little bit closer and felt an inaudible cry of despair leave her throat as Quinn backed away from her like she had the plague. She dropped her hands helplessly and was barely able to get her next sentence out.

"Please! Just listen to me, Quinn." The brunette's voice was shaking hard, and Quinn's body was mimicking the vibrating shakes of the voice.

"Just-just listen to me. That's all I'm asking of you, Quinn," managed Rachel, her voice for the first time in her life wanting to recede and never come out again.

Quinn's arms crossed and she stiffened in the place where she was standing. She wasn't even looking at Rachel anymore; her gaze was now penetrating the floor with its fury and sadness. The brunette was even more worried than before as she noticed how stiff and straight Quinn stood. The hazel-eyed girl's expression was almost blank except for the slightly pursed lips. And the diva knew that the was probably the scariest feature to have on Quinn Fabray; if she was detached then she had the ability to be ruthless and cold and completely unsettling.

"We've been searching for months, Quinn. And we can't find a single damn thing. And you know as well as I do that we wouldn't even have time to even take care of -"

"Don't," forced Quinn, her voice expressing its fury. "Don't you dare give me that excuse. Because we were able to manage it through high school and we sure as hell could -"

"No, Quinn! No we couldn't! This is not gonna be high school, Quinn! Your mother won't be there to help and we will have to pay for our living expenses this time and we just can't!"

"Yes we can!" Quinn's shout was by far the loudest. She was panting and her gaze was no longer cold and detached; it now reflected back at Rachel with a look of almost unmatched rage and contempt. And that broke Rachel's heart and left it shattered on Quinn's floor. Rachel just shook her head and attempted to move closer once more, only to be shunned by a furious blonde.

"If you could just be realistic for one damn moment, please," whispered Rachel.

Quinn looked completely and utterly infuriated. Her voice was practically encased in a snarl. "Realistic? So you don't think I'm being realistic, Rachel?"

The tone of her girlfriend's voice positively frightened Rachel. She had never seen her girlfriend like this before; it was frightening and painful. She had seen Quinn angry before, boy had she, but this version of the blonde surpassed angry and went into a realm of pain and rage that she had never seen on another human being before. This even surpassed Quinn's little rage fest after Puck had bailed on her and Beth. The small diva felt her breath hitch when Quinn stalked forward and put herself in touching distance with her face mere inches from Rachel's own.

Quinn's laugh was chilling. "Would you please like to inform me of what you think I'm being unrealistic about, Berry?"

Rachel's mouth opened and her heart gave a pre-emptive strike at Quinn's addressing of her.

"You're obviously not thinking clearly," swallowed the brunette. "So I'm gonna go and come back later."

Quinn's hand slammed hard above the wall of Rachel's head, and she jumped in fear. She knew the blonde would never hurt her physically, but she was also very scared of this version of Quinn. Her breathing hitched and her eyes fluttered as Quinn leaned in close to her face and seemed to inhale strongly, before pulling back slightly.

"If you walk out of here Rachel Berry, then don't even bother coming back," growled Quinn, her eyes flashing with anger and an undescribable amount of sheer depression.

"I'm gonna go," whispered Rachel quietly, ducking her head from under Quinn's arm and making her way out the door without looking back. She was gonna give Quinn time to cool down and think it through and she would stop by the next day. She battled with that warning siren that was blaring through her head as she walked down the long staircase and finally arrived in the foyer.

She froze in complete shock when she heard the sounds of violent crashing echoing throughout the whole house; no doubt from the room she just left. And could only manage up a thick stream of tears as she heard loud curses interwoven with absolutely heart-breaking cries. The blonde almost sounded like a wounded animal. She backed up towards the front door with wide eyes and fumbled for the knob behind her as she met a devestated Judy Fabray's eyes across the foyer. The older woman was holding a toddler Beth as the girl slept soundly against her shoulder.

Rachel slowly backed out of the house and met the older woman's eyes and they seemed to both nod at each other.

Rachel turned around and the vision of Quinn's rage and Judy's sadness seemed to echo in her mind as she shut the door.

She would fix this tomorrow.

She hadn't known at the time how completely wrong she was, because that was the last time she saw Quinn and Beth and Judy.

Rachel's eyes fluttered open as she heard the unmistakable sound of a person crashing into a hard object.

She glanced up hazily and winced as a bright light surrounded her face in an almost painful fashion; this was common after nights she drank and got completely hammered off her ass.

She quickly shot up to her feet - readily ignoring her throbbing headache and dry throat - as she heard an old, yet weirdly familar voice call her name. Her brows furrowed as she glanced around her environment and she came to the obvious conclusion that she wasn't in her apartment. Which she found to be rather odd, because she knew she had passed out on her crappy couch with dreams and memories of Quinn on her mind. But she took in the large vanity and mirror with the rather spectacular lightbulbs surrounding the edge of it. And she looked at the empty couches and a pair of regular set-up chairs with duffels and random products thrown on them. She frowned when she felt a tug of something familiar envelope her chest as she noticed the surroundings of what appeared to be a dressing room.

She just opened her mouth and looked down to make sure that she hadn't simultaneously combusted and ended up on another planet.

Her brows furrowed and a shaky breath left her throat when she noticed a black and gold - and familiar - dress adorn her body.

She stumbled quite clumsily over to the mirror and vanity that she had apparently been resting at. Brown eyes widened and a panicked - and disbelieving, rightfully so - shriek left her throat. She remembered this outfit! It was the outfit that they had worn to Regionals their Sophomore year of high school.

As far as she knew she hadn't kept the damn thing and she sure as hell didn't curl her hair last night.

She was panting now and whirling around to face the room with a pair of hyperventilating eyes. She quickly shuffled over to where the duffel bags currently resided and her hand flew to her mouth when she moved the straps and noticed the McKinley High insignia on the front of it.

This had to be a dream!

A completely batshit and needlessly cruel dream.

This feeling only doubled when she heard the door pound harder and that oddly familiar voice shout at her that they were going on stage in ten minutes.

She sucked a breath between her teeth and strolled to the door with a determined air and hoped to God that when she opened the door it would serve as a portal back to her apartment and life. But as she got even closer to the door and went to turn the golden lock that was connected to the golden knob and promptly turned it and opened it, that feeling of foreboding hit her once more.

And she promptly fainted when she met the concerned gaze of Finn Hudson on the other side.

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