A/N: This is my first story ever, though I've been a reader on this site for a long time. I'm currently looking for a beta to help me with my insecurities. Reviews are welcome. Let me know what you think...
A/N updated: I made a few changes to this first chapter, but it still goes with the rest of the story.
Quinn woke up with a start, the remnants of a nightmare still fleeting in her brain like fog on a rainy fall night. Her heart was racing, her eyelids fluttering and she was almost screaming as she was waking up. Without thought, she dropped her left hand to the other side of the bed, only to come up with loose papers, a laptop and her reading glasses. Confused for a second, she finally opened her eyes. This was most definitely not her bedroom or her home.
Then, she remembered; she had flown into Seattle early this morning for a medical conference and finally, after a day of preliminary meetings at the hotel, dinner with her bosses and a last review of her speech and the workshops she was leading, had fallen into bed for a restless sleep. She was far away from New York, her family and anything remotely familiar.
Sighing and breathing in deeply, willing her heart to slow, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed and allowed herself to glance at the bedside table. The glaring red numbers seemed to mock her: 3:10AM. If memory served correct, she had only been asleep for a little over an hour. A nap, really, but she knew with the time difference and the stress of being the keynote speaker at this conference, sleep would be hard to find for the rest of the night. She turned on the lamp, blinded for a split second, and then got up to use the en-suite bathroom.
She eyed herself in the mirror for a minute. Quinn had always known she was attractive and at 29 years old, she could finally accept that truth without being conceited about it. Rather, it gave her a quiet confidence she had always lacked in high school. After the rash decision to cut her hair short at Nationals, she had kept the style for the past 12 years, loving the light feeling of it.
Plus, she didn't really have time to fuss over her hair while she was in med school and then doing her residency, which she completed just over a year ago. She splashed cold water in her face, then turned the light in the bathroom off and made her back to the bed. She was now even more awake, understandably so since this was about when she would be getting up in New York.
Or, when someone else would wake her up to be more precise.
Smiling, she picked up her phone, went to her favorites and clicked on Rachel's name. She didn't want to call her this early, just in case she was sleeping later than usual, but Quinn couldn't resist looking at the picture she had saved.
She had just added it last week, taken it without Rachel even knowing. She wasn't even sure if she had seen it yet. Rachel had fallen asleep on their bed, not even bothering to get under the covers or take off her clothes. Exhaustion had taken her over and she was curled up on her side, breathing deeply, mouth slightly open, hair in a loose ponytail behind her. One arm was under her head, while the other, her right, rested lightly but protectively on the small infant boy to her side.
Quinn couldn't help but sigh at the sight at the time, or now. Rachel had looked as exhausted as Quinn felt, with another, identical baby girl in her arm that had just finally fallen asleep but when she saw her wife on the bed, she couldn't help but take the photo.
It was the picture of perfection to her and for the millionth time that week she was asking herself why she was in this non-descript hotel suite and not in their bedroom with her family. But, Rachel and Beth had argued that the conference had been set for months, that they had known the babies would be so little and that they were perfectly capable of taking care of them without Quinn for five days. It was Beth's spring break and she had free time and was more than willing to help out. Quinn was so proud of her in this moment, that she had nodded; eyes filled with tears and hugged her fiercely. She had whispered, "I love you", in her oldest daughter's ear and received a, "You, too, mom" in return.
Thus, she found herself in Seattle for the week, missing her family immensely.
Still shaken from the nightmare she couldn't even remember now, and with sleep coming to her no time soon, she got back in bed, and opened her laptop, which was still running her email program.
Rachel had sent a message about an hour ago, which had Quinn worried. Rachel, as a rule, despised email. She texted and called, that was it. Quinn had never quite understood why, but she also preferred more intimate forms of communication, so she had never questioned that particular trait of her wife. Therefore, for Rachel to send her an email, at that hour, was peculiar and Quinn found herself even more awake and alert than before. She opened the message and calmed down immediately:
RELAX! Everything is fine here. The twins are okay, Beth is okay, I am okay. Better now?
You are probably wondering why I, a self-proclaimed email-hater, am using the barbarish (is that a word?) form of communication with you. Well, funny thing you ask – apparently New York City is not the great center of the universe it once was and a small storm has knocked down all cell networks. Okay, so maybe it was this huge thunderstorm that is still going on, but come on! This is unacceptable and I have already typed out letters to our cell provider and the city as to why they have allowed this travesty to happen. Yes, you can still call 911, but what if I have a real emergency? (Quinn chuckled at this – Only Rachel…)
I digress. If you are trying to call or text me this morning before your speech, I will most likely, unless they fix this mess before then, not available, which is why I am using email. I don't think I've typed message this long since high school, at least college. I have people that do this for me now! And as to why I am still (yes still) awake at this ungoldly hour – the kids wouldn't sleep or even just quiet down. I thought we were past this by now, Beth was sleeping in 5-hour spans by the time she was 3 weeks old. I don't know if it is b/c you were gone (none of the guilt, Fabray, we already talked about this – A LOT) or because of the storm, but neither Olivia or Ethan would go down for longer than a few minutes at most. Beth was such a trooper and stayed up with me all night, I finally got her to lay down about 4 am. Thank goodness it's her spring break, I think I would have to write her an excuse for school today. We did good with her, ya know? I kept telling her to go to bed, but she would say, "Mama, I know for a fact you did this for me when I was this little, so it's only fair I help out now". I think she was trying to make me cry. Well, she succeeded.
Anyway – I miss you. I'm sorry this is so long-winded but really you should be used to that now, after 13 years. I hope you knock 'em dead today and I will try to stay in touch with you through email and let you know when the networks are supposed to be fixed. The storm doesn't look like it will let up anytime soon though…
We miss you here, hurry home.
Quinn blinked back tears as she re-read the email twice more. She could practically see Rachel being livid, stuck in their apartment overlooking Central Park, with no link to the outside world other than internet or TV. She chuckled quietly to herself before hitting reply and glancing at the clock again. 3:47AM. She wasn't scheduled to speak until 11AM but had to make an obligatory appearance at the brunch beforehand. She really should get some sleep; it would be a long day. She would properly write to Rachel after her speech, but still typed out a quick reply now:
It's almost 4AM here and I can't sleep because I'm not home. Why did you make me come here again? Don't worry, I will keep this short and try to get some rest. I'm sorry about the networks, but email isn't so bad. Hopefully we'll get to talk tomorrow. Give everyone hugs and kisses from me, and tell Beth she is not too old for those when she argues!
I miss you all more than you know, I am hurrying home.
PS: Yes, we did good with her. Thank you for that night. Again, and again and again.
She closed out of her email, shut down the computer and put it in her bag. She picked up all the loose papers from her bed and dumped them on the floor next to the bag. Then, she took off her glasses, and shut the light off. One last check on her phone to make sure her 8:30AM alarm was set and Quinn Fabray was going back to sleep with a smile on her face.