A/N - So first of all thank you so much for the reviews and for those who wanted an Epilogue, I hope this meets with your expectations. I had so much fun writing this story and reading all the PMs and reviews. SO for all of you who read, took time to review, favorited or just followed the story, thanks again.
Get It Right
It's a beautiful spring day in New York but no one cares about the weather outside because within the four walls of a small church on the edge of Manhattan, a small group of people have gathered, family linked not always by blood but by promises and love. All of them there to support the two women standing at the altar, facing each other.
"I promise to always be there for you, always by your side and holding your hand every step of the way. And I promise to ensure that you will always know how much I love you, every millisecond of every day for as long as I live. You're my life, my love, my heart." Quinn's words echoing in the small church as she faces her soon to be wife, one hand holding the ring while the other grasping Rachel's left hand.
"I've loved you even before I understood what love could mean. And after I finally worked up the courage to embrace that love and accept that you were it for me. All I know is I was made to love you and every day, I will always love you more than the day before." She's had the words for years, changing a word here and there. Testing her inflection but always knowing exactly what she wanted to say to Rachel when given the chance.
"With this ring, I pledge my love, fealty, my heart and soul to you." She hears a few sniffles from their small group of family and friends but all she really has eyes for is the one person standing next to her as she places the ring on her finger.
Rachel's never been at a loss for words. Even when she had felt downtrodden and knew that her life was going around in circles and she felt like she had nothing to look forward to except for regrets, she was still never bereft of her ability to express herself. The only thing she had really stopped doing was to sing. Even when she gave lessons, she focused on pitch and tone but never really sang herself.
But with Quinn standing before her saying her vows, Rachel really has no words. Every nuanced emotion she had been feeling had been so eloquently expressed by the blond. Her own vows, written longhand on four single ruled pages are so clear in her mind and she knows Quinn will listen and love what she has to say. She plans to quote Keats and the Bible, throwing in some Shakespeare and Rilke for good measure so that she could tell Quinn just how much she meant to her.
Only, she wants to give Quinn something more than just her words. Quinn had given her everything and Rachel knows that the one thing she's always been thankful for, her one saving grace had been her voice. "You made me want to sing again."
Rachel sees the shimmer of tears in Quinn's eyes at her simple declaration. "I want to tell you how much I love you and I will forever ensure that I commit to memory how many times I declare my love for you because whatever number I get to, it will never be enough."
She looks down at the ring adorning her finger and puts a similar one on Quinn's finger. "Bright Star, would I were steadfast as thou art…"
She feels Quinn squeeze hand and instead of continuing with her written vows, she starts to sing to Quinn instead. Her voice soft at first, the melody simple but it builds within the confined space of the church as she knows that she's finally getting her happy ending.
Rachel hears the knock and smiles, knowing immediately that it's Quinn even before she hears her voice coming from the other side of the locked door.
"Rach, come on, you can't be serious." Her tone is part exasperated, part cajoling but overlaid with love because she just could never hide that fact and there really was no reason to.
Quinn's hand goes to the back of her neck, her fingers massaging the knot she knows is forming there and hoping that she'll manage to at least get Rachel to open the door. "Please." Her voice goes softer, her palm now splayed on the door and she's almost sure Rachel is now standing on the other side, her hand on the handle.
"Quinn, I just think it's bad luck." Rachel smiles as she says the words, knowing that she'll garner a sigh from Quinn but she gets more than she bargains for as she hears a soft thunk when Quinn's head collides with the door.
"Sweetheart" Quinn's voice is pleading now, "you do know that's just for your wedding dress and not the opening night of you first Broadway show, right?"
Everything hadn't been going like clockwork; the whole day leading up to tonight had been less than perfect. The weather overcast for the longest time and even the infamous New York traffic had decided to give them an even harder time than normal.
The rain had started pelting down and the cab ride to the theatre taking longer than required because the cabby was new to New York. Quinn's stomach rumbling but she hides it behind a cough because she knows she doesn't have time to pick up any food for herself and at least was happy that she had made Rachel eat something at home.
Rachel's hand firmly held in Quinn's as the Iranian cab driver tried to make sense of the GPS directions. At least he recognized Rachel although him wishing her a broken leg in his limited English made her wince.
At least Quinn's heart had swelled when the cabby smiled indulgently at the both of them and the wink he give's Quinn enough for them to realize that he's also rooting for them together.
Leo, Kurt, Jackson and Julie had already arrived and Quinn had been tempted to open the champagne bottle she had in her bag but she held back, because her entire focus was on Rachel as the brunette walked around the stage, gently touching the props there, her neck craned to look out at the seats, an almost wondrous expression on her face. Like she didn't believe all this was happening.
Quinn just felt so blessed to see her there, so in her element yet still keeping that wide eyed enthusiasm despite every difficulty she had to endure to get here."You're going to be amazing." She takes Rachel's hand and can see the brunette swallow nervously.
It was endearing though in her mind wholly unnecessary. They had planned to have ten preview performances at their off Broadway venue but had to cancel six of them when Rachel came down with laryngitis. Even then, word of mouth for the show was so good that tickets were selling out fast but according to Jackson, not as fast as to make it an instant hit, at least not yet.
So Quinn can understand Rachel's nervousness. This had been her dream for so long. When she had been friendless, tormented with slushy facials and cruel taunts, her dream of opening on Broadway was the one thing that kept her going.
Rachel turns to her, her profile so familiar that Quinn closes her eyes because she's memorized every contour of that beautiful face and knows that Rachel's going to kiss her. The kiss so soft but she feels it from the top of her head to the tip of her toes. "Thank You."
The word not necessary because Quinn feels thankful everyday but she understands what Rachel is telling her. It's not about the opportunities Quinn had created for her but the fact that Quinn was there with her, that they were together in all sense of the word. For that, Rachel would always be thankful too.
"You need to get dressed. I'm going to say hi to Steven and the other investors and then I'm going to be front and centre waiting for you to come on stage." She sees Rachel nod and is reluctant to let go until she gets another kiss from Rachel. This time, she feels Rachel's hands cupping her face as the brunette stands on tiptoe.
Quinn had a whole list of things planned in her head, thanking all the investors for still believing in them and ensuring that all the press had their tickets reserved at the box office. She even stopped to give Leo a pep talk, his nervousness actually eclipsing Rachel's as Kurt just barely managing to talk him out of a panic attack.
She had planned everything to the last second knowing that in the end, she would have maybe five minutes to wish Rachel good luck and kiss her before she had to go on. It wasn't ideal but this was Rachel's debut and she wanted it to be perfect despite the small setbacks.
But apparently, that wasn't going to be the case when Kurt interrupted her to inform her that Rachel had locked herself in her dressing room, refusing to see anyone. It made her drop everything and rush backstage, her list unfinished and abandoned because nothing was more important than Rachel.
She takes a deep breath and tries one last time, "Please." This time her voice is much softer, her forehead resting on the door and she can almost picture Rachel on the other side, biting her lip. She sighs and straightens as soon as she hears the lock disengage.
Quinn rushes into the room, ready to offer words of comfort or anything else that is required, only they die on her lips as she sees the room awash in candle light and a fully set table with bacon and eggs on one plate and one of Rachel's vegan tofu meals on the other.
"I love you." Rachel smiles. (nine hundred and eighty seven)
"You made sure I ate before we left but knowing you, you never got around to it. So for the next hour and a half you're mine." Rachel looks at Quinn, her expression morphing from worry to surprise and finally settling on that special smile that she recognizes now. It's dazzling because Quinn looks happy and at peace and most of all, she looked like a woman in love.
"And you want to spend the time eating?" Quinn's voice drops again, this time coming out in a seductive purr that sends electric sparks up Rachel's spine. She kicks the door shut and pulls Rachel towards her, her hands already undoing the buttons of Rachel's top. Quinn swallows Rachel's answer with a kiss, knowing that she needs to satisfy one particular hunger first. The moan she elicits from Rachel is enough to know that they both want exactly the same thing.
Instead of taking her seat front and center, Quinn spends the whole show in the wings even though Rachel's perfect, never missing a cue and singing the house down. Her voice meant for the stage and the standing ovation lasting for more than ten minutes but as soon as the curtain comes down, she rushes into Quinn's arms.
"I love you." (Nine hundred and eighty eight she counts)
They're all planning to stay up the night at a small restaurant around the corner. It's Quinn who's nervous about the reviews while Rachel just holds her hand and traces her palm with her finger as if invisibly marking Quinn as hers and the blond truly was. "Stop fidgeting, I love you." (Nine hundred and eighty nine)
And Quinn actually does stop because it's her turn to surprise Rachel as she draws her attention to the door. "Our family's here." She does not take her eyes off Rachel as she sees her face light up when her dads walk in but it's that look of utter surprise when she sees the rest of their defacto family walk in as well.
Mr. Shue, Emma and the whole Glee club as well. Tina and Mike with their baby son and even Santana and Brittany with their daughter. Finn does not show but he does send flowers and she cries when Kurt tells her that Finn's seeing a woman he met in church.
Her tears are tears of joy and relief, to finally understand that her life, the one that she had stopped living for a while was finally back on track and she was where she was suppose to be, sitting in New York, with Quinn's arms around her and surrounded by family.
Everyone's still with them when the first reviews come out and Quinn cannot keep from crying as she reads all the gushing praise heaped upon Rachel. Each word so true but to see it in print and to see the joy suffusing Rachel's face was an amazing thing.
The feelings of joy only eclipsed when Rachel pulled on her arm, getting her to her feet. "You guys have been amazing and I love you all but I need to get my wife home." There's this look on her face as she turns to Quinn. "Because I need to show her just how much I love her.(nine hundred and ninety). She sees Santana and Noah smiling widely at her declaration while Kurt clapped so wildly until she was sure his hands would be red for a week. And even if the rest didn't get what Rachel had meant, her searing kiss just as they reached the doorway finally gave it away.
Winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical gave Rachel about even odds for winning the Oscar as well. But the only trophy she still kept on their mantelpiece at their New York house was the glued together Nationals trophy she had.
To her, it signified that anything that was broken could be pieced together with a strong enough force. And she's more than sure that they love she and Quinn shared was strong enough for anything even never ever wining another award.
Quinn feels Rachel shift next to her and places her hand on Rachel's thigh. It's an hour into the awards show and she can feel the tension in the brunette ratcheting upwards by the second. "Remember our bet." She whispers in Rachel's ear and is rewarded when she feels her love shiver in response.
"So you're referring to the bet wherein if I lose, you'll distract me with your feminine wiles and if I win, we'll celebrate by locking ourselves in the hotel for the week?" Finally there's a smile tugging the side of her mouth as she exhales, trying to relax despite the butterflies in her stomach. "Why aren't you nervous?"
Quinn looked positively serene and Rachel can't fully comprehend exactly why. Their movie was up for four awards, of which Quinn could actually win three of them for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Yet, she was almost slouching in her chair, seemingly uninterested in the proceedings and totally just focused on Rachel. "Because I have everything I've always hoped for. You're all I ever wanted."
"I love you" (one thousand three hundred and four) Rachel feels the butterflies disappear, only to be replaced by a sense of contentment. Of knowing that she would love to win but not really caring because she's already won the most important prize in her life.
And the smile she has almost glows such that when her name is actually announced and even though she does not win, it remains on her face as she turns to Quinn and gives her a kiss.
"Let's go." She feels Quinn tug on her arm and has to pull back because Quinn's categories are coming up.
"No, you're going to win and we're staying here." Her voice is firm even as Quinn shakes her head.
"Rach, I..You deserved to win." Quinn knew all the stats by heart, the odds of Rachel winning not too bad but she had been up against more established actresses. The fact that Rachel looked happy despite the loss still did not make Quinn happy about it.
"I don't believe that you're upset that I lost but don't care if you win or lose. You are crazy." Rachel shakes her head as she stares at her wife.
"Crazy for you." It's a cheesy line and Quinn is almost sure she can do better as she leans in, betting that her rusty high school French was still passable. "Amour de ma vie. Jje t'aime de tout mon coeur."
She sees Rachel's pupils dilate and hears her short intake of breath and figures she's convinced Rachel to leave until she hears her words.
"We're staying although, since I did lose the bet, I guess you've already started your campaign to distract me." Rachel leans in for a kiss.
Rachel feels like she really does win in the end as she holds onto Quinn's hand when they announce the nominees for Best Original Screenplay. Quinn's name announced as the winner just as she turns to kiss her again, "I love you." (one thousand three hundred and five), their show of love caught on camera for all to see.
And in Quinn's acceptance speech she spends all of it talking about Rachel and thanking Jackson, Steven and all the cast and crew only in the last fifteen seconds but nobody takes offence because Rachel's a mess of tears and Quinn can't stop staring at her.
Rachel rushes through the doors, pushing with all her might and not slowing down as she runs towards the stairwell. She can hear Jackson's footfalls behind her and represses the urge to shout at him to keep up. She's at least glad that he had been driving and knows she owes him for reacting as quickly as he did with stepping on the brakes when she opened the car door, planning to jump out.
She's barefoot, her five inch louboutins in her right hand as she takes the steps two at a time. And as soon as she opens the door to the third floor, she swears she can hear Quinn's voice, like she's muffling her scream of pain and it hits her such that she almost stumbles.
Rachel rushes into the room, her hand on her chest as she tries to catch her breath, her eyes darting about as she skims from face to face, finally focusing on the woman on the bed, her hands holding tightly onto the bedrails.
"I'm here. I love you." (four thousand five hundred and forty one) her voice breaking on the last word as she goes to hold her wife's hand.
Quinn's been through this before although she cannot quite remember the pain, only the relief she had felt when she held Beth in her arms for that small amount of time. This time the entire experience had been one of pure bliss, Rachel's excitement and happiness fuelling her every step of the way.
Seeing Rachel's astounded expression as she explained that she wanted to carry Rachel's baby was at that time, one of the top three reactions she had managed to elicit from the brunette. The first being Rachel's look when she opened her door to her in LA and the second being the way Rachel looked at her on their wedding day.
However, right now, the way that Rachel is looking at her, like she's her entire universe, wrapped up in miracle and infinitely precious. It takes her breath away but it also takes away the pain as she focuses on Rachel's voice, breathing in tandem with her words, hanging on to each word because they echo in her heart.
"I love you." (four thousand five hundred and forty two), Rachel wishes she could do more but the serene expression on Quinn's face, so different from the pain filled one when she first entered the room, makes her think that perhaps she's doing alright.
Quinn knows Rachel counts each time she tells her she loves her, not because she's rationing them out like Halloween candy but just to see how high up she can go. And just hearing the words makes her feel safe and loved as she realizes that everything would work out for them.
He's ours and he's going to be beautiful."
And that one look from Rachel supersedes all the ones before because they're going to have a son together, a baby that they will love unconditionally.
Who will get christened in a church in Lima like his mom and undergo B'rit Milah with his Uncle Puck when he's eight days old. And always knowing that he will be looked over by an extended loving family that they chose.
A boy who will learn to play guitar from Uncle Artie when he's five and slamming dance moves from Uncle Mike when he's eight. And when he's ten, he learns about heartbreak when Tiffany Chang lets him down gently and he cries on Aunt Tina's shoulder.
A son whom Aunt Santana will take aside when he's fourteen and explain the right way to treat women because that was what eventually got her Aunt Brittany. Who learns how to put together a V8 engine from Uncle Finn when he's fifteen. And who gets the scariest talk of his life from Aunt Lauren when he's sixteen such that he almost does not date the whole year.
A young man whose graduation speech references the ACLU and quotes from Dylan, Kennedy and the Dalai Lama which gets him a standing ovation led by his big sister Beth. A man who proposes with his momma's ring after she slips it to him when he's rushing to catch his flight back to Chicago without a plan but with the knowledge that if it felt right, he couldn't waste his chance.
Each and every one of these milestones just waiting to happen and all because they finally let themselves love each other like they were always meant to be.
"I love you" (eighty nine thousand five hundred and sixty nine)
Awards and babies and happily ever after, what more could you ask for :)