Title: Unexpected Expectancies
Pairing: Quinn Fabray/Rachel Berry
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. Just having a little fun.
Summary: "But for now, for now Rachel wants to carry the child. It's her biological clock that feels like a ticking time bomb ready to explode and if she isn't bearing a child soon she feels as if her nest will forever be empty."
A/N 1: This is mainly rated R because of the small birthing scene. It's not graphic by any means but I wanted an R rating as just a little red flag saying that a birthing scene is in fact in this chapter.
A/N 2: I want to take this time to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone that has read and reviewed this story. It truly does mean a lot that you all take the time to drop a line and say whatever's on your mind about the story. I've enjoyed writing and I hope you all have enjoyed reading. :)
Rachel is patient. Really, she is. For the most part. She's also trusting. When Quinn tells her that there is nothing going on with her and her boss then she believes her wife because she's never known the blonde to be a liar. And after being with a person for seven years, married for five, a certain level of trust and respect tends to develop that snowballs just as much as the love does. And Rachel has a lot of love for the blonde.
She had let it go. And for a month, she and Quinn continued on as they were, happily in love and expecting a baby. She's eight months and, in her opinion, big as a house. The bigger she gets the more Quinn can't seem to keep her hands away, though. The blonde constantly has her hands on Rachel in some way, whether stroking her womb, giving her back massages when Rachel's had a particularly rough day, or making love to her until neither of them can move.
She was sated. Blissfully so, in every sense of the word and she did everything in her power to ensure the blonde was just as satisfied. Everything was as it should have been.
Until this afternoon. While the blonde was at work Rachel busied herself around the kitchen, preparing a meal in advance for her wife until receiving a firm knock on the door. She had opened it, greeted the mailman just as she always does, collected the mail and closed the door. In the comfort of her home she scanned through the mail, separating hers and the blonde's when an interesting envelop caught her eye. It was addressed to the blonde from a Wanda M. Her curiosity had gotten the better of her and she opened it, read it, and saw red.
It was a love letter. A rather detailed one that shamelessly divulged Wanda's ever growing attraction to the blonde. Rachel read the entire letter multiple times, her heart twisting each time. She eventually balled it up and threw it away, wondering who does things like this? Who, in a position of power, would risk losing her job over an employee?
Deciding she wasn't going to play victim, Rachel promptly hopped in her car, driving to the blonde's job to once and for all end whatever relationship Quinn's boss was desperately trying to have with her.
"Greetings," she politely greets a tall man as she walks through the lobby at Quinn's job. "I'm looking for a woman named Quinn Berry-Fabray and a Wanda—" she pauses. "I didn't get a last name. But her last initial is M."
He looks down at her. "Quinn's office is the last door on the right." He gestures vaguely behind him and Rachel flashes a smile before walking past him. She squeezes the balled up letter Wanda had written tightly in her grasp, walking determinedly forward, head spinning with anger and frustration. She knocks on the door labeled Quinn Fabray before opening it and walking inside.
She instantly finds three pairs of eyes on her. Quinn at her desk, Santana in a seat in the corner of the room, filing her nails, and Wanda, in the middle of the room. Rachel bristles at the sight.
"Rachel." Quinn's the first to speak, voice sounding squeaky with surprise. "Hi, baby. Is there something—"
"You." Rachel points an accusatory finger towards Wanda. "I have been searching for you and the fact that you're in my wife's office is even better. I need to talk to you."
Quinn gulps loudly. Wanda's wide eyes dart between Rachel's and Quinn's. Santana's nail filing slows down as she focuses on the scene before her. This should be good. This should be really fucking good.
Santana guffaws as Quinn's eyes widen.
"Ms. Berry, I'm not sure what the problem is, but—"
"That is the problem," Rachel says evenly. "The fact that you don't recognize the sanctity of marriage, my marriage, is a big problem. Quinn is my wife. And no one will take her away from me."
Quinn bites her lip to keep her smile at bay. She's never known her wife to be so assertive with someone before. Not even that time when they were in college and Quinn was stupid drunk at that party.
Wanda steps forward. "I'm sure this is a misunderstanding—"
"The only misunderstanding is you thinking that for even one second my wife would throw away seven years of being with me for you. I know Quinn. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Do you know anything about her besides her outer physical beauty?"
Quinn gapes openly, her fiery eyes focusing intensely on her wife. Never has she seen Rachel so bold and confident outside of an audition or Broadway stage. She knows she should stop her but the passion in Rachel's eyes is something that can't be stifled at the moment. She keeps her lips sealed, knowing that all of this has been bubbling in Rachel for weeks.
"I need some popcorn for this," Santana says quietly to herself. Her eyes fly from Rachel to Wanda like a Ping-Pong match. "This hobbit is fierce."
"Rachel, allow me to explain—" Wanda says but is cut off.
"Do you know her favorite color?" Rachel asks suddenly. "Yellow. Do you know her favorite food? Bacon. Do you even know how she likes her bacon? Crispy but not too burnt. Do you know about that little spot on the small of her back that drives her wild?"
"Way to go, Berry!" Santana catcalls.
"Okay, that's enough," Quinn finally pipes up, red faced. "Santana, Wanda, I'd like some time with my wife."
"I'm not finished," Rachel insists. She unfolds the letter in her hand, smoothing it out to present to everyone, the closest thing to a sneer that Quinn's ever seen on her face. "Tell me, Wanda, how can one possibly misunderstand a detailed letter written to Quinn about how smitten you are with her?"
"What?" Quinn asks coldly. Suddenly, things are a little more serious than they previously were.
Wanda shivers at the angry tone of voice before turning to Quinn. "I don't know what she's talking about."
Her eyes harden. "Are you calling my wife a liar?"
"N-no, not at all."
"I have the letter right here, Quinn," Rachel says shrilly.
"Shit's getting real," Santana mutters from her seat. "Somebody's getting fired over this one."
"Let me see." Rachel walks over, bypassing Wanda to hand it to the blonde. Quinn looks to Wanda briefly before she reads the note. Rachel watches with an odd sense of satisfaction at the blonde's stony expression. Quinn looks back up a moment later. Her lips press tightly together as she crumples the letter once more.
She glares directly at Wanda until the brunette averts her gaze. "You remember that line between professionalism and sexual harassment I told you about? You just crossed it. Completely."
"Dumb bitch," Santana mumbles quietly.
"Please leave my office," Quinn says. Whether she's talking to Wanda, Santana or both, no one is really sure. Wanda keeps her mouth shut, preserving what little dignity she has left. She walks silently out the door and Santana follows, kicking up her heeled shoe and mock kicking her, as she, too, walks out the door.
Quinn quickly walks around her desk and wraps Rachel in a hug. "I hate that you had to read that," she murmurs into her hair. Rachel sighs quietly. She wraps her arms around the blonde just as tightly, her head resting on Quinn's shoulder.
"I do, too," she mumbles. "What are you going to do about it?"
"I guess I'll have to file a report." She had been hoping this whole thing with her boss would just blow over because the last thing she needs is work drama.
"You don't sound too happy."
"Didn't feel like going through all of this," she admits. Her hand lifts to gently comb through Rachel's hair. Her body tingles a little with excitement at Rachel's display earlier and how assertive and aggressive she was. She chuckles a little. "And did you really have to mention that spot on my back?"
Rachel giggles quietly. She flashes a sly smile in Quinn's direction as her hands slowly crawl down her spine.
"Don't," Quinn warns.
The command is ignored. Rachel's hand reaches her mid-back, digging slightly into a silk blouse and soft flesh. Quinn gasps. "Rachel, don't."
Ignored. Rachel's hands skate lower. Her fingertips flutter just above the blonde's ass and Quinn inhales deeply. Her entire body trembles as she arches into Rachel. "I told you not to do that," she rasps throatily.
"Oops." Rachel leans up to place a lingering kiss on the blonde's lips. "I'll leave you to your work." She smiles brightly. "I've cooked for you today."
"And you honestly think I'd cheat on a wife that cooks me food?" Quinn teases.
"Never," Rachel says sincerely.
"Good." She leans down to connect their lips one more time. "I'll see you when I get home," she whispers. "And we're good, right? No more Wanda problems?"
Rachel shakes her head, dark hair splashing to and fro. "No more problems."
"That's what I like to hear," Quinn purrs. She kisses Rachel a final time before pulling back. "I have to work at some point, baby."
Rachel pouts but relents, pulling back and holding onto the blonde's hand until the last possible second. "I'll let myself out," she tosses over her shoulder.
"And could you tell Santana to come back in?"
The door knob twists in her grip but she freezes. She feels wetness on her inner thigh. Her heart stops and she briefly wonders if she's lost control of her bodily functions. "Baby?" she squeaks.
A light trickle of something begins to slide down her leg. "Quinn?" she cries.
The blonde looks up at the alarmed sound. "Baby, what's wrong?"
Rachel turns around. Quinn gasps audibly as the wetness continues to slide down Rachel's thighs and onto the carpeted floor. "M –my water…"
Quinn nods with owlishly wide eyes. "Definitely broken."
"What do we do?"
The shocked stupor finally wears off and Quinn stands from her seat, briskly walking toward Rachel. "Umm…well, we get you to the hospital, I suppose."
Rachel panics. "But it's not time yet. Our baby hasn't been incubated for the proper amount of time; it's too early!" she cries hysterically. "Quinn, she's too young. She hasn't matured enough for me to birth her yet; what if something goes horribly wrong?" At this point Wanda, Jesse, everything she and the blonde have been through over the past eight months seem so microscopic compared to what really matters—them and their daughter.
Warm palms graze the side of her face. Quinn leans in closer until they're centimeters apart. Her calm hazel eyes stare deeply into dark brown. Rachel catches a hint of anxiety in their depths and the knowledge that Quinn is just as on edge as she is oddly comforting. "Calm down," Quinn says quietly. "We can worry about all of this when we get to the hospital. But right now we actually need to get to the hospital."
Rachel nods numbly as the blonde pulls away. Quinn rummages around her desk, grabbing her cell phone, keys and turning her computer off. She walks back over to Rachel and lightly grasps her elbow. "Come on."
"Do you think she'll be okay?"
Quinn bites her lip as they walk down the hallway and into the lobby. Rachel recognizes it for the uncertainty it is. "I'm sure she'll be fine," Quinn whispers as they continue walking.
"Hey, where you go—whoa, Berry, what the fuck happened to you?"
"My water –fuck!"
Quinn instantly stops them both in their tracks. Her eyes dart to the worried man behind the desk in the lobby before focusing on Rachel. "What's wrong?"
Rachel breathes deeply. Her hand brushes over her stomach as she takes several quicker breaths before offering the blonde a weak smile. "Contraction."
"Your first one?"
Quinn runs a hand through her hair. "This baby is definitely coming then?"
"Your stubbornness combined with my determination? This baby never stood a chance of being carried to full term."
The blonde laughs slightly despite the current situation.
"Wait, so you're seriously having this baby now?" Santana asks. "Bob, I'm out." She throws up a peace sign to the man behind the counter, flanking Rachel opposite Quinn and the two help the brunette out the door.
"B –but, Santana—"
"Gots to get my god-mother duties on!" she calls over her shoulder.
"Thank you, Santana," Rachel says as they walk through the parking lot.
"Don't mention it, Berry."
They walk toward a familiar Toyota Prius and Rachel pauses. "We're taking my car?"
"Well, we aren't taking my car," Quinn replies. "You might ruin the upholstery."
"What a great wife you are," Rachel complains.
They quickly put Rachel in the car and Quinn runs around to the other side. "Are you coming?" she asks Santana.
Her best friend waves her off. "You go ahead. I gotta get B. Get Berry to the hospital as soon as you can; we'll be on the way."
"Hey, can you call everyone for me?" She doesn't wait for a response as she hops in the car and puts the key in the ignition. "Quinn, put your seatbelt on," she hears Rachel murmur beside her. It's on a second later and she turns to the brunette as she puts her car in drive. "You okay?"
Rachel rests her head against the seat, facing Quinn. Aside from everything going on around them, Quinn can't help but notice how beautiful she looks, how her skin is glowing. "I'm fine, really. Just a little nervous about Gabrielle."
She swallows thickly, turning ahead as she pulls out of the parking lot. Rachel says nothing more, leaving the blonde to her thoughts as she tends to her won. A million questions run through her head and she curses herself for not foreseeing and preparing for this moment. She wonders if the baby will make it, if she will make it. If the choice came down to her or the baby, will she risk her own life? It stuns her completely when the answer is a resounding yes.
"Hey," Quinn calls softly.
She regroups and faces the blonde. She smiles dazzlingly. "Hmm?"
"Don't do that," she mutters.
"Put on a show."
Her smile dims until it diminishes completely. "I'm nervous, Quinn."
A second later her hand is enveloped warmly. She looks down at the contrast of tan against pale skin, intertwining their fingers. "Me too," Quinn whispers.
The arrival to the hospital and checking in is a blur. Rachel sits tightly in a wheel chair while Quinn commands the floor. She orders everyone around from the woman at the check-in desk to the nurses in uniform. Nothing even seems real to Rachel until she's on her back in a bed, stirrups staring at her that she has yet to put her feet in. She turns to see Quinn's wary features.
Another blur passes as an IV is administered. Her whole life up until this point flashes through her mind. All of the decisions she's made to get her to this point. She looks to Quinn again, suddenly afraid. "Quinn, please come here."
The blonde grabs the chair she's sitting on and scoots it as close to Rachel's bed as it can possibly go. She's seated again, grasping Rachel's hand. "Better?"
Rachel nods, giving Quinn's hand a squeeze. She looks down at their joined hands, the thoughts and memories of how they both got to this point still flooding through her head. "Do you think we got married too early?"
Quinn looks visibly uncomfortable and Rachel reasons that's a reasonable reaction. "Why are you asking that?"
The grip on her hand slackens but Rachel just grasps Quinn's hand even tighter. "These past eight months have just sort of been an eye opener. The jealousy, the insecurities, I just wonder—"
"Do you want a divorce?" Quinn cuts in.
"I was merely wondering what you thought of our relationship." Her face knots in pain and Quinn is out of her seat in an instant.
"Your child's a monster," she groans. She feels as if her entire womb pulses.
"Breathe, baby," Quinn soothes. She pushes Rachel's hair behind her ear and presses a kiss to her temple. "Just breathe. You'll be fine."
Rachel nods, whimpering as the worst of her contractions die down. "Dr. Steinberg said she'd be here in ten minutes, but to call her before if we need her."
"Do you need her? Do you think the baby's coming now?"
"I don't think so," she whimpers. Her forehead breaks out in a sweat. Quinn continues to dot kisses along the side of her face and she sighs quietly, sinking back into the bed. "Thank you."
"This is where I want to be," Quinn says softly. "I don't care how many problems we have. We've worked through them to together these past seven years, these past eight months, and we'll keep working through them together for the rest of our lives."
"Good, because—" Her body convulses as she feels another contraction. Quinn reaches discretely behind Rachel's head to press the button for a nurse. "Because it's been seven years."
"I know that."
"I'm not finished," she grits out. The door bursts open and two nurses walk in along with Dr. Steinberg. She eyes Rachel curiously. "What were you doing before your water broke?"
Rachel at least has the decency to look sheepish. "Giving Quinn's boss a piece of my mind."
Dr. Steinberg chuckles quietly. "That would explain why you're in here, then."
"I don't understand."
"Stress hormones. They must have skyrocketed while you were cursing Quinn's boss out and induced your labor earlier than any of us wanted."
Rachel bites her lip guiltily. If anything happens to the baby, will she be the one to blame?
Dr. Steinberg looks at the worry on her face. "Don't worry though. Your baby will be delivered today courtesy of myself," she chirps. "And I'm a damn good doctor." The nurses busy themselves around the room and Rachel breathes deeply in relief. Her eyes peel away to look at Quinn again to carry on their conversation. She feels as if she's going to faint with the million things happening at once.
"I love you," she whispers. "I love you and I love our family. You can't go anywhere."
"I'm not going—"
"And we're married. I proposed to you; you have to be with me." Quinn leans forward to kiss the senseless rambling away. She pulls back to look her in the eye.
"Look, Rachel. I know these last eight months have been more of a roller coaster than our entire relationship combined, but I'm still here and I'll always be here." Rachel opens her mouth to respond but Quinn shushes her. "Let's just have the baby, okay? I really want to see our girl."
Rachel nods as Dr. Steinberg approaches the pair. "The baby will be preterm, but only by a week," she states. "I'm thinking she's developed enough to be able to independently function, but we'll only be able to know for sure once we get her out. And even if she can't function and breathe on her own quite yet, we have plenty of resources to take care of her until she can."
Rachel takes a deep breath. "And me?" she asks shakily.
Dr. Steinberg winks. "You will be just fine, my dear."
Quinn releases a breath she didn't even know she was holding. Her hand tightens around Rachel and the brunette squeezes in return.
"I've got five centimeters already," Dr. Steinberg calls from between Rachel's legs. "Nice going, Rachel. Ready to get this show on the road, I see."
Rachel smiles. Quinn looks around. "Is there anything I can do?"
"Right now? You can help Rachel onto her side as I administer this epidural. Later on down the road? Just hold her hand. And no matter what she may scream at you, take it in stride."
Quinn nods, suddenly a little scared. She grasps Rachel gently, helping her over. The next thing Rachel feels is a sharp pinch and then nothing. And then more pain. Her legs are on the stirrups again and the only thing she can hear besides her own screaming and Quinn's shushing is Dr. Steinberg firmly telling her to push. "Push harder."
She does. .She pushes harder and then harder again. Quinn winces at her side at the vice like grip her hand is in but she soldiers through it. Rachel's eyes clench shut. Everything hurts and burns and this baby is literally killing her.
Again, she does. A broken cry is torn through her and it grips Quinn's heart just as hard as Rachel's grip on her hand. The blonde isn't sure she can take this much longer. Rachel sounds so hurt and every instinct Quinn has is telling her to just make it better. The frustration of knowing that she can't makes her restless.
"I can't," she wails.
Quinn's heart breaks. "You can, baby; you're stronger than that. Don't you want to see Gabby?"
She whimpers softly. "I do."
"Then push harder." Quinn reaches up to wipe the hair from her sweaty forehead. "Keep pushing so that we can see her and talk to her and see how beautiful she is. Don't you want to hold her?"
"I see crowning," Dr. Steinberg announces. "Keep talking to her, Quinn. And Rachel? Keep pushing."
Relief flashes briefly across Rachel's face as she continues to push. Her entire pelvic region hurts and she has a right mind to sue whoever invented epidurals thinking they actually helped. "Quinn," she pants.
"Go –go see what she looks like. What her head looks like." She pushes harder, wanting the motivation of having knowledge of what her daughter looks like to keep her going.
Quinn reluctantly lets to of her hand. She walks toward the edge of the bed, looking over Dr. Steinberg's shoulder. Her jaw drops in awe. Her stomach knots in sympathy for the pain Rachel must be in but the sight before her is nothing short of amazing.
"Keep pushing, Rachel," Dr. Steinberg coaches.
"What does she look like?" Rachel whines.
"Brown hair," Quinn says in awe. "Rachel, she has brown hair that I'll go to the grave swearing it's from you and not Jesse."
Rachel laughs breathlessly. "With all the work I'm doing, I'll go to the grave saying it's from me."
Quinn walks back to the side of the bed. She scoops Rachel's hand in her own, unable to help peppering a few kisses along her face. "I'm so proud of you."
Rachel bites her lip, a particularly hard push shooting pain through her. If she opens her mouth she has no idea what will come out.
"I'm doing the best I can!"
"Baby, calm down."
"Don't tell me to calm down!" She sits up in a surge of energy. Quinn's hand flies to her back to support her. "None of you know what I'm going through!"
"We're getting past shoulders," Dr. Steinberg calls, completely unaffected by Rachel's ranting. Almost every pregnant woman she had dealt with was the same. Nervous when they come in, scared right before delivery, and complete terrors during the birthing process. "Keep pushing."
"Shut up," Rachel cries. "I just want everyone to shut up."
Quinn looks mildly offended but otherwise does as asked. She pushes Rachel's hair back every few seconds, having stopped kissing her when Rachel would complain and turn away. "It hurts, Quinn."
"I know, Rach." She rubs soothing circles along the back of Rachel's neck. "Just a little more, baby. You can do it."
"One more push, Rachel. Give it all you've got."
Rachel jerks back into the bed. Her eyes squeeze shut tightly as her back arches. Her cracked voice releases a pained wail as she pushes for all she's worth. Everything burns for what feels like an eternity. A second later she slumps back against the bed. She hears a weak, high pitched cry and she smiles. Tears prick her eyes and a watery laugh escapes her lips. She opens weary eyes to finally look at her daughter.
Quinn has on a hair cap, and a gown, cradling the baby in her arms and Rachel has never been more in love. She watches Quinn carefully cut the fussy baby's umbilical cord. She smiles briefly at Rachel before handing the baby to Dr. Steinberg. "I know you're dying to hold her," the doctor says. "Just give us a few minutes to check her vitals, breathing and all that good stuff and if she can handle it, I'll give her to you."
Rachel just nods, throat incredibly dry and raw.
"Can you get her some orange juice?" Quinn asks a nurse.
Dr. Steinberg walks out with the baby in her arms and takes two hearts with her.
"Rachel, she's so beautiful." Quinn walks over to the prone brunette and kisses her thoroughly. Rachel lets the blonde lead the kiss, entirely too tired to do anything else. Quinn pulls back. She kisses Rachel's cheeks, her nose, her eyelids, and finally her forehead. "I love you. I love you. I love you," she mumbles.
"I love you, too," Rachel rasps.
The nurse comes in with her juice and the doctor is back a few minutes later. Gabrielle is wrapped snuggly in a hospital issued blanket. Her pale skin and brown hair, just a shade lighter than Rachel or Jesse's is the first thing Rachel sees before her daughter is placed right in her arms. Rachel stares down at the tiny baby in awe. Creamy skin like Quinn, short, choppy brown hair, a tiny nose, balled up lips, and—she smiles with a quiet giggle—big ears.
Gabrielle moves jerkily. Her tiny hand not encased in the blanket clenches into a fist. "Oh, is my laughter disturbing you?" Rachel murmurs teasingly.
Quinn leans over the pair. "She's perfect," she whispers.
Rachel hums in agreement, leaning forward to press a tender kiss against her daughter's head. "I don't regret anything," she says. "Not one moment."
"Neither do I."
She looks up into those hazel eyes she fell in love with so long ago. There's a smile on the blonde's face. It isn't a smirk, none of her mischievous smiles. It's genuine. Genuine affection and happiness and Rachel can't help the answering smile she returns. "I wonder what our parents are going to say."
"Well, I'm sure as soon as I call Leroy and Hiram, they'll be on the highway five minutes later."
"We have to tell everyone."
"Later," Quinn says. She looks down at the two most important people in her life. "I want to stay like this for a little while longer."
Gabrielle jerks again and both sets of eyes lock in on her. She squirms in Rachel's arms and her face scrunches up. "I think she's about to cry," Rachel whispers.
"I wonder what's wrong."
"I don't think she likes it when we talk while she's trying to sleep."
"Ah, a high maintenance diva," Quinn says knowingly. "It's going to be hell living with two of those."
"Quinn," Rachel hisses. "I am not a diva." Then belatedly, "And no cursing in front of the baby."
Gabrielle's lids slowly rise, revealing the biggest pair of eyes Rachel and Quinn have ever seen. Rachel instantly melts. Quinn leans in closer. "Blue? I wasn't expecting that." She grins down at her daughter, waving her hand in greeting. Her breath hitches as a tiny, uncoordinated arm reaches up and a fist latches onto her index finger. "This baby…" is all she says.
Rachel smiles fondly at the blonde. "I think her eyes are going to get darker within the next few days. I don't know what the final color will be but I'd bet money on hazel."
The emotion behind the blonde's voice tells the brunette all she needs to know. She leans over to place a kiss against Quinn's cheek. "I know, baby," she whispers. "I love you, too. And our family."
They sit there in solitude for as long as they can, all three of them learning each other. Gabrielle's hand latches onto Quinn's hair at one point and Rachel laughs uncontrollably, grabbing a golden lock as well and tugging until Quinn's face is smothered into the baby's stomach. She looks up into those big eyes and in that moment, both parents would swear they saw her smile.
Sometime later an obnoxious pounding is heard on the other side of the door. Quinn hears something about Lima Adjacent and races to the door to open it up for best friend. Santana, Brittany, Mercedes, and Kurt file into the room one by one, Jesse bringing up the rear. They all gawk and stare and fuss over the baby, each one taking her and having their turn to see her.
"She'll love me and Britts more than she'll love any of you, including her parents."
"How did the baby get blue eyes? Am I a mother, too?"
"Kurt, we need to go to Baby Gap and splurge!"
"And I can get us a discount. The cute guy behind the counter's been eyeing me for a while."
"You shop at Baby Gap, Jack McFarland?"
"Can I hold her?"
That stops all conversation in the room. Quinn turns, baby in her arms, to find Jesse in a small corner of the room. She takes a deep breath because this is her moment to finally prove to Rachel, her daughter, and herself that she can do this. She slowly walks over to Jesse and he stands to meet her. Their eyes lock, a subtle warning is issued and received but with a hint of trust, Quinn carefully places Gabrielle into his arms. She watches the awestruck look on his face and smiles a little, knowing that's how she looked when she first held her.
"She hardly weighs anything," he murmurs.
"Six pounds, two ounces," Quinn says.
"She's a week preterm," Rachel adds.
He continues to marvel at the little girl in his arms and Quinn is surprised to note that she doesn't feel an ounce of jealousy. She feels protective but she reasons that's because he's holding her daughter.
"How bad did it hurt, Berry?" Santana asks.
"It was dreadfully painful, Santana. Imagine passing a watermelon through the size of something that you can hardly stretch with three fingers."
The mood in the room turns from somber and loving to uncomfortable in an instant. Santana surveys everyone's face with a snort. "That tight, hmm?" she prods further.
Quinn flushes and turns back around to face everyone. "The point is; it was painful. That's all you need to know," she says pointedly, glaring at Santana. Santana smirks but raises her hands in mock surrender. She can at least cut her best friend a break. If only for one day.
The sound of the baby sniffling catches both mothers' attention. Rachel is halfway out of the bed, before Kurt and Mercedes gently push her back down and Quinn whips back around to find Jesse. Blue eyes stare back up at her as Gabrielle's arms fret to and fro. She quickly scoops the crying baby in her arms without a second thought.
"That baby is gonna have Q wrapped around her little fingers," Santana says.
Brittany smiles. "She already does."
Quinn swallows thickly as she walks back over to Rachel. "I don't know what's wrong," she admits.
Rachel looks down at her daughter's face pinched in worry. She specifically looks at her lips and the suckling shape they've taken on. "I think she's hungry."
"Oh. Uh…" Hazel eyes scan everyone in the room. "Sorry, guys, but I think Gabby is hungry. Rachel's about to feed, so could you all wait outside?"
There's some grumbling, but everyone slowly files back out of the room. "Jesse?" Rachel calls.
He turns back around, jamming his hands into his pockets. "Yes, Rachel?" Quinn bites her lip.
"I just wanted to say thank you for everything. I know this is only the beginning, but I wanted to thank you for even agreeing to this."
He nods with a small smile. "What are friends for?"
Rachel echoes the smile. "And would you please track down a nurse for me. I'm a little uncertain about the breast feeding process."
"Sure. You guys take care." He's out the door a moment later.
Rachel turns to the blonde who's seemingly lost in her own thoughts. She brings a hand up to gently cup her cheek. "Hey, come back to me."
Quinn snaps out of whatever thoughts she had to look down at Rachel. "Hmm?"
"Are you okay?"
She turns to gently nuzzle the warm palm on her face, pressing a kiss there. "I have a beautiful wife, a fussy baby, and great friends. Why wouldn't I be okay?"
Rachel smiles brilliantly. "I have all of the same things and I'm the happiest I've ever been."
"Me too," Quinn murmurs. She presses a kiss to Rachel's forehead and they spend the rest of their time before the nurse comes practicing techniques on how to quiet the fussy baby. Rachel sings You'll Be in My Heart while Quinn does backup vocals. Gabrielle looks on confusedly until her hands swing and she begins to gurgle animatedly as if trying to sing along. Rachel and Quinn smile down at their daughter, already seeing the bright future she has ahead of her.