Alright everyone, I want to thank you again for the wonderful reviews and for sticking with me through this story. I really hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved writing it:)
Quinn, Rachel, Mercedes and Kurt spent the last hour they were supposed to be packing joking around, taking goofy pictures of each other, and rolling down the hill like children. Except Kurt. He took the camera while Rachel, Quinn and Mercedes rolled down the hill. They were later joined by Tina, Mike, Sam and Puck. Lauren, Artie and Finn joined Kurt in taking photos of the group. By the time they finally stopped everyone was covered in grass stains, dirt and sweaty – none of them had ever been happier. When Will, Emma, Sue and Beiste came to get them for the final campfire, Brittany and Santana finally showed up both looking rather pleased with themselves.
"I hope you're happy." Rachel muttered to Santana with her arms crossed.
"I am Berry. I am very happy. And nothing you say or do is gonna bother me." Santana replied with a grin. This didn't seem to enhance Rachel's mood one bit. Quinn noticed that she was about to wind up to give Santana some sort of rant about the importance of time, or respect of others, or who knows what. She quickly moved over and placed herself into the middle of Rachel and Santana.
"Leave it Rach. She's happy, its very, very rare, you always just go with it."
"I didn't pack hardly anything Quinn! And now I'll have no time."
"Rachel, shut up and enjoy yourself." Quinn said.
Mike began telling another story that Quinn knew, and Rachel groaned. "How can I possibly enjoy myself when I will be shaking with fear?"
"You are too dramatic for your own good sometimes." Rachel pouted. Quinn just smiled and ignored her.
As Mike's story began to grow more terrifying Rachel quickly forgot her annoyance with Santana and Quinn and scooted closer.
"Are you happy Berry?" Santana whispered from around Quinn with a smirk. Her voice caused Rachel to jump.
"Santana, cut it out." Quinn said as she gave her a small smack. Quinn opened her arms with a gentle laugh to Rachel and the tiny girl immediately moved into them.
"This is the worst story yet!" Rachel hissed.
"Well it is the last night, Mike's gotta step it up. This one is a great story Rach."
"This is horrible."
Quinn laughed – but it wasn't bitter or harsh in any way – and rubbed Rachel's arms a little to comfort her. "Its almost over. I promise."
"I hope you know I'm going to need about seven bodyguards just to get back to the cabin."
"I would expect nothing less."
Mike reached the end of his story and everyone – aside from Quinn – screamed their heads off. To calm down, the group began making s'mores again. Rachel even got into it and started to forget the frightening story Mike had told. By the time the embers had finally begun to die down, the whole group had stuffed themselves with s'mores and were all half asleep. Even Sue was content to sit quietly and just enjoy the moment in front of her.
"Okay guys, we better try to get some sleep." Will finally said. There was much groaning and whining, but everyone dragged themselves up and made their way back to the cabins. Quinn ordered Puck, Sam, and Finn to walk Rachel to their cabin. Gratefully, Rachel grabbed Quinn's hand and told them all to please run or at least attempt to speed walk.
"Night guys." Puck said as soon as the four girls were safely in the cabin.
"Thank you Noah!" Rachel called out from her bed. Santana laughed and jumped on top of Rachel, reciting lines from Mike's story. Rachel screamed and tried to push Santana off, which only seemed to amuse her further. "Santana!" Rachel screamed. "Stop it!"
"Holy shit Berry there is some creepy dude's face in the window!" Santana yelled as she pointed. Rachel screamed with a pitch higher than anyone thought was even possible and dove away from Santana. As she ran, she barreled into Quinn and Brittany, clinging to them.
"San, if you don't stop being mean to Rach I'm not having sexy times with you all summer."
That shut Santana up.
Per Brittany's request – Santana was ready to say yes to anything at this point – the girls shoved all four bunks together to create one giant bed. Their bags and clothes were all strewn all over the floor and on Rachel's insistence the giant bed had to be directly in the center of the room away from all windows and entrances that men with chainsaws could get into. The four girls climbed in and comfortably melted into one another, Santana on the left, Brittany and Rachel in the middle, with Quinn on the right. All four of them took longer to fall asleep than normal, none of them spoke it out loud, but they each knew the other was thinking the same thing. How different life would be outside of their little glee camp bubble, how their summer would be, what their senior year would hold for them, and – the most unnerving of them all – what life would be like after high school. Rachel heard Quinn give a deep sigh and she curled away from Brittany a little bit to wrap Quinn into a hug. Quinn felt herself smile and she gave Rachel's arms a slight rub to let her know that she appreciated the gesture.
"Can I ask you guys a favor?" Rachel whispered a few minutes later.
"Sure." Brittany answered.
"Tomorrow before we leave, can we go down to the lake? I really like it there."
"Sounds good Berry. Go to sleep." Santana groaned. Rachel smiled and complied.
Rachel woke up and found herself alone in a gigantic bed. She was instantly disappointed. Throughout the week and a half Rachel came to find that she slept much more soundly with other bodies in the bed with her. Having three best friends, female friends – as much as she loved Kurt, it was nice to have friends that were girls – was amazing, and she missed them. As Rachel sat up in the middle of the huge bed, she felt very small. When she looked around, to her confusion, the floor was no longer littered with clothes and bags. Off to the corner, Rachel saw four bags stuffed to the brim, completely packed. Someone had packed all of their things – Rachel's things – for her. She smiled, then panicked and bolted out of bed to check that everything was there. As she tore into her bright pink bag Santana walked into the cabin.
"Seriously? I freaking did that all by my damn self. There is nothing else in this cabin. I got everything."
"You did?" Rachel said not hiding her shock well.
"Yes Berry, I did. I am capable of doing nice things."
"Brittany made you did it didn't she?" Rachel said as she stood up. Santana crossed her arms and clenched her teeth together. One sharp nod of the head was the answer Rachel was looking for.
"I still did it! That counts for something!"
Rachel smiled and jumped into a hug. It was a bit awkward since Santana's arms were still crossed and she was leaning away from the tiny brunette. "Yes Santana. It counts. Thank you very much."
"Okay Berry enough hugging. Lets go eat."
"How is it that everyone keeps waking up before me? I am usually up around six!"
"Were in the woods. Weird shit happens."
"That's not a valid answer."
"Well its the one you've got."
Rachel huffed in frustration, but hurriedly changed into her green group shirt, some cloth shorts and tied her hair up with her bandana. Santana telling her to hurry the whole time.
"I'm going as fast as I can! I would like to shower!"
"Not enough time."
"No Berry! Move it." Santana grabbed Rachel and hauled her out of the cabin.
"There you are!" Brittany yelled happily. "Took you long enough."
"Not my fault." Santana grimaced.
"I only woke up a few minutes ago." Rachel protested.
"Hurry guys!" Quinn yelled as she ran to them – never stopping – snatched Rachel's hand and bolted down the lane. Brittany and Santana right at her heels.
"Quinn!" Rachel yelled as she found herself being pulled around for the second time since she awoke four minutes ago. "Where are we going? What about breakfast?"
"In my hands." Rachel looked over and saw some bananas in Quinn's arms. Finally realizing their destination as they neared the lake, Rachel relaxed a bit. The four girls slowed down and sat along the edge of the dock. Quinn and Brittany let their barefoot feet dangle into the water. Their girls peeled their fruit and ate in silence, enjoying the calmness of the water and the gentle breeze.
After about ten minutes Rachel couldn't stand the silence any longer. "We're gonna stay friends right?"
Three heads whipped towards her. "Seriously?" Santana scoffed. "I am not gonna spend the rest of my life reassuring you that we're friends. We're fucking friends Berry get it through your thick little diva head."
Quinn and Brittany smiled at Rachel. "What San said only a bit nicer." Quinn said with a laugh.
"We love you Rach!" Brittany yelled happily. Rachel burst into tears and Santana groaned. Rachel stood up and walked around Quinn and Brittany to hug Santana. She held on tightly and cried into her shoulder. Santana did not do well with tears. She was clearly uncomfortable but she let Rachel hug her. Her patience could only go on so long and after a minute or two Rachel showed no signs of letting go.
"Okay Berry." Santana said giving her a pat on the back. "Come on, you're fine. Rachel...Rach...RACHEL!"
"Sorry." Rachel whimpered.
"Oh jesus. Its fine okay. Just, fuck! Just stop crying!" The four girls sat down, this time Rachel clinging right next to Santana. Quinn looked out at the water and decided that despite the sign by the dock saying it was not allowed, she wanted to jump in the lake. She stood up, untied the bandana around her head and placed it down on the dock.
"What're you doing Q?" Brittany asked.
"Going in." Quinn said as she climbed up onto the dock railing.
"In the lake!" Rachel yelled. "Quinn! That's not allowed. Its states it specifically right there!"
"I don't care."
Brittany grinned and stood up as well, she took off her bandana and set it down next to Quinn's before easily climbing up next to Quinn. "Me too!" She yelled.
"Brittany!" Rachel protested.
"It'll be fun Rach."
"Ready?" Quinn asked Brittany. She nodded and the two blondes held hands and took a deep breath. Santana backed up and pulled Rachel with her – still yelling at both Quinn and Brittany. "One!" Quinn yelled.
"Two!" Brittany responded.
"Stop right now!" Rachel screamed.
"Three!" Quinn and Brittany yelled together and then jumped into the water fully clothed. Luckily, since Santana had pulled them away, she and Rachel didn't get splashed. Two blonde heads came bursting up out of the water and their screams penetrated the air.
"It's freezing!" Quinn screamed. Both girls paddled quickly to the dock and Santana and Rachel helped to haul them up over the railing.
"Oh my god." Brittany said shivering. Santana wrapped her up into a hug. Rachel refused to hug Quinn as she was all wet. Quinn pouted but Rachel sat down away from her in protest. She didn't notice Santana and Brittany whispering to each other, or Santana coming closer to her. When she felt arms around her lifting her up she started to scream. Santana ignored her and told her to take a deep breath. Rachel screamed bloody murder but was cut off as she hit the freezing cold water. Rachel came up sputtering and screaming.
"I'm a horrible swimmer!" She yelled as she attempted to doggie paddle. Santana wasted no time – in case Rachel really wasn't a strong swimmer – and got a hold of Rachel.
"Calm down I got you."
"I hate you Santana!"
"Love you too Berry."
Quinn and Brittany just laughed as they helped the two brunette's out of the water. Rachel was shivering violently and Quinn wrapped her into a hug.
"We should all jump together." Brittany stated a minute later.
"Are you crazy? We probably already have hypothermia!"
"Its June Berry. The lake is not that cold, we don't have hypothermia."
"Come on! One jump all four of us, then we have to go." After much grumbling, Rachel finally agreed. All four girls climbed up the dock railing and held hands, after counting to three the girls flew into the air and splashed into the cold water. Screaming with delight they popped up and paddled back to the dock. Brittany, being the most athletic of the four quickly hauled herself up the railing and turned to help the other girls. She pulled Rachel out first as she was the weakest swimmer and the smallest, so she got cold faster. The four girls stood wrapped up in each other, shivering and looking out at the lake for one more minute before turning around and sprinting to the showers. They quickly turned on the showers to hot and jumped in clothes and all. They could hear the other glee members calling for them and they quickly turned off the showers, laughing hysterically and ran back to their cabin to change before the bus went out.
Gathering their bags and shedding their wet clothes Rachel picked them up and put them all into a plastic bag she had brought. Hair still wet, but now in comfortable, dry cloths to wear on the long bus ride, the four girls were ready to head off after one final sweep of the room. They had decided to leave the giant bed as it was, because of lack of time, and they simply liked it.
"Wait!" Quinn yelled just as they were about to leave. "Rachel, do you have a sharpie? Or San, do you have a knife?"
"A knife? Yeah but why?"
"I want to carve our names in the cabin, like the others. Prove we were hear."
Santana and Brittany didn't seem to care too much about that, but Rachel beamed. "I've got a sharpie."
"Here's the knife." Santana said digging it out of her bag. Quinn took both of them and went right to the doorway and quickly carved out and then wrote over in sharpie. "Rach, take a few pictures of it please." Rachel quickly snapped a few photos with Quinn's camera and then they ran out to get on the bus.
Q, R, B and S were here 6/12/11
"Hurry up! We've been waiting! Why is your hair wet?" Kurt asked as the girls climbed onto the bus.
"None of your business Hummel." Santana scoffed.
"I'll tell you later." Rachel whispered to him with a smile. She gave a smile to Finn as well who was sitting next to Kurt. He returned it. Santana and Brittany sat down and instantly relaxed into each other, settling to wait out the long ride. Rachel slid down into the seat across from them with Quinn. The last time she had been on this bus, she was in a miserable relationship, almost friendless aside from Kurt, lonely, and not looking forward to the summer at all. She had been dreading the trip and indulging herself in Barbra. Now, she was happily single, on good terms with Finn, still best friends with Kurt, had an amazing time in the woods! Listened to multiple horrible stories, went hiking, sang perfectly – of course – and had three new best friends. Friends who loved her. Friends who she was going to start her future with. Rachel Berry was finally happy.