This happens between Be Your Downfall and Snakes in a Dishwasher. Because those were always the same 'verse, even if I never told you.
"Move in with me."
Quinn almost chokes on her BLT, not because it's an entirely absurd request, she just wasn't expecting it. Especially not over the lunch counter at the corner deli. She takes a swig of Coke Zero and once she's convinced she can safely breathe, she asks, "What?"
"You, me, an apartment." Santana's being so casual about it, which makes Quinn a little nervous, if only because this is the first time it's come up.
In November, it'll be two years since they agreed to start seeing each other, again. This past April was the one year anniversary of their physical relationship. They're not really sure which one counts as their official anniversary, but neither of them are overly sentimental people, so no one's losing sleep over it.
"You think so?"
"We lived together before."
Everything's been good with them. Like, really good. Between preparing for graduation and working, Quinn was always occupied enough with life to keep herself from even thinking about the temptation of anyone else. It didn't matter, though, because the desire to hook up with random people wasn't even there, anymore. She'd dealt with her issues in rehab and it had been rough for a while, because she was lonely, sometimes. Even when she was first seeing Santana, again, the lack of sex made it hard.
But she's overcome her demons, she now has a girlfriend who loves her and can also rival her skills at Wii tennis.
They work together. More importantly, they work well together.
Still, the idea of taking this kind of step freaked her out. They'd been living together when she'd cheated on Santana so many times, she worried it would cause post-traumatic stress or something.
"Sorry, I was just thinking."
"What's there to think about? We rarely spend our nights apart, anymore. There's really no point in paying rent twice."
"Do you... not want to?"
"I do want to." Quinn drew in a deep breath and dropped a napkin over the crusts of her sandwich. "And it makes sense."
"You still sound... weird about it."
"I just don't..." Her eyes find Santana's and she knows she just needs to say what she's feeling. "I don't want to fuck it up, again."
"Okay." Santana's arm slides around her shoulders and there's a kiss pressed to her cheek. "I have my interview and then we're still on for movie night, right?"
Quinn nods. "Yeah, I'll meet you at your place. Chinese sound okay?" She takes both of their trays and dumps the trash into the nearest garbage can.
"That or Thai. Better yet, we can try that new Asian fusion place." She takes Quinn's hand in hers as they exit the deli into the hot August afternoon.
"Hey, San... about the moving thing, I-"
Santana shakes her head. "Don't worry about it. We'll figure it out."
It's only a few steps to the subway station where Santana needs to catch the 4 train. "Good luck. I hope you get this," Quinn says, squeezing her hand.
"Me too." The interview's for an position with a moderate record label. It's not anything big time, but it would pay a hell of a lot more than working the fragrance counter at Macy's.
Once her girlfriend disappears down the steps, Quinn wonders why she didn't just say yes.
Nearly five hours later, she's in Santana's apartment. They already have keys to each other's places and the more she's thought about it all afternoon, the more the proposition of them moving in together makes sense. She's not even sure why she questioned it. Which is why she plans to accept as soon as her girlfriend shows up.
The key rattles in the lock and she lowers the volume on the television. "How'd it go?" she asks, as the door opens.
"Good, I guess. It was fast," comes the reply. Santana shut and bolts the door behind her. "I need to talk to you."
"Okay." Quinn sits up from her reclined position on the couch. "I need to talk to you, too. About earlier."
Santana kicks off her shoes and drops her purse next to the sofa before she sits on the edge of the coffee table, directly in front of Quinn. "Forget earlier."
Quinn feels her stomach drop a little. She'd blown it, at least for now. "Oh."
"I thought about it, you know, on my way to the interview. After the interview. Fuck, during the interview. And we've done that before, the living together thing."
"San, I know I fucked it up once, but I-"
"Yeah, you did. Not only that, you fucked me up." Quinn tries to interject, to defend herself, but Santana puts up her hand and keeps going. "You still do, Quinn."
"I've watched you fall apart and put yourself back together more than once. And no matter how fucking low you seem to get, you pull yourself right back up. So, when I say you've fucked me up, I mean I'm never going to love somebody else the way I love you, Q." Santana's hand dips into the pocket of her jean shorts. "So, I don't want you to move in here and shack up with me."
"I love you, too, San." Quinn's on the verge of tears, because this conversation has yanked her left and right and she's not sure where it'll end. "What do you want?"
"Marry me?" It's simple, but the princess cut diamond makes a much bigger statement.
"You want me to..."
"I believe in you, even when you don't. But any shit you have to deal with, ever again, you don't need to do it alone."
Quinn looks from the ring to Santana's expectant face. "Yes."
"That's what I just said. You can't take it back, Lopez."
"Shut up and give me your hand."
"I'm keeping my name."
"Good. You're too white for mine."
"Maybe now I want it for diversity."
"Maybe you should shut up and kiss me before I change my mind and keep this ring for myself."