Charlie caught a blurred glimpse of color rushing past her office door. "Rachel?" she called sharply.
Rachel appeared sheepishly in the doorway. "I know, I know," she began apologizing immediately, her hands fluttering in front of her. "I know I'm not supposed to be here, but I needed some copy paper and there's none at home."
Instead of the scolding she expected, Charlie waved her into the room. Rachel lingered in the doorway. "Look, I know we agreed I wouldn't show up here all the time," she continued, reluctant to step inside. "But I want to print out this script Tina sent me so I can run lines with her."
"Yeah, fine, whatever," Charlie replied and once again she motioned for her to come inside, then added, "Little Bit, come in here please."
"Why?" Rachel asked as she stepped gingerly into the room.
Charlie noted her wary expression and laughed. "Come on." she coaxed, extending her hand and wiggling her fingers to beckon her over. Rachel took another shy step. "Closer, please." Her fingers waggled again. "Oh, and close the door."
This wasn't typical Charlie office behavior. Rachel narrowed her eyes at her as she backed up against the door until the latch clicked.
"Good. Now, come closer," the blonde implored. Rachel took careful steps across the office and closed her fingers over Charlie's.
"Sweetheart, what's going..." Rachel asked, then she squealed as Charlie pulled her down into her lap. "Charlie, what are you...?" A pair of earphones dropped over her ears. "Why are you..."
"Shhh, just listen,"
Rachel watched silently as Charlie dialed the main office number and then listened while the main greeting played:
"Thank you for calling Q. Fabray Enterprises. If you know your party's direct extension you may enter it at any time.
For Q. Fabray Outfitters, press "2"
For Q. Fabray EcoStructures, press "3"
For Sam Evans, press "4"
For Noah "You're go for Puck" Puckerman, press "5"
For West Coast Operations Director Artie Abrams, press "6"
If you're trying to reach Charlie Fabray, please press "1" now.
If you're trying to schedule a speaking engagement or for other promotional considerations, please contact Santana Lopez at Lopez Artist Management. To be connected directly, press 666 now."
Rachel felt Charlie snicker and scolded, "Santana doesn't find that at all amusing."
"Like I give a..."
Rachel's elbow snapped back and Charlie gave a hearty grunt.
"To you, always."
Rachel eased back against her and Charlie pressed a kiss to the side of the head as she pressed in what seemed to be a long string of random numbers. "What' this all about?" she asked, her brow furrowed.
"Just keep listening," she insisted.
They threaded way through several layers of "yes/no" menus. Rachel grew restless and began flipping through the paperwork on the desk in front of her.
"Almost there. Yeah, that's it." Charlie tapped Rachel on the knee as a voice came up in her headphones.
"Hello tech savvy friends."
"Artie," she said softly.
"If you've reached this message then you have successfully navigated through the Chang/Abrahams password encryption. Your patience shall be rewarded with a fun little Easter egg courtesy of Puck and Sam. It's a little something they like to call: 'Why Charlie never gets any real work done.' Enjoy."
Rachel's mouth dropped open and she turned to look at Charlie, who was glowering as the message began to play.
"Hi, this is Charlie Fabray. I'm not in the office right now and that's why you've reached this message.
"What are doing?
"Rachel, just, shhhh, I'm making a voice mail message. Ah crap, now I have to start over."
"Oh, sorry, shhhh, I'll just sit here, quietly."
"All right, fine, but don't talk, okay? No talking. Shhhh.."
"Stop shushing me."
"Well, stop talking. See how that works?"
"Of course, I see. You don't have to..."
"What? Oh, right, shhh."
"Hi, this is Charlie Fabray, I'm away from the office today."
"Don't you have to start this over again?"
[Firm tapping on the microphone)
"Rachel, I'm practicing. Just shut it off.
(Machine turns off and on, off and on)
"Hello, this is Qui..."
"Why can't they just call your cell phone?"
(Loud, pained grown)
"Rachel, go sit over there. Just... over there. Better yet, go out the door."
"It was just a question. I'm sorrrryyy."
"Just let me..."
"Yes. Just let me finish this, five minutes."
"Noooooo. Charlie, no."
"All right. Fine. You can stay, but no..."
"I'll just sit here quietly."
"So quiet, you'll see."
"Fine, but not another word."
"And don't pout. It's not cute."
"Okay, it's a little cute."
"Hey, that's not cute either!"
(Giggling and slapping sounds)
"Stop doing that. And that! Augh, Rachel, I can't think when you do that.
"I want to talk, too. Give me something that I can read."
"I can be like your official company greeter. Hello. Welcome to , wait, what is this place called again?"
"Honestly, Charlie, if you must know, all these names - highly confusing."
"Oh, quit pointing at the door."
"I need to warm my voice up. Hmmmm. Hmmmm. Hmmmm."
(Rachel sings scales up and down)
"Let me practice with something else. What's this stuff over here?"
"Would you leave those, stop...don't. Put that..."
"Why are you so disorganized. You really should let me..."
"Here, Rachel, just take this one. Here."
(Rachel clears her throat several times)
"Hey, what up? What are you wearing right now? Not very much, huh? Boy, that sounds like it could be fun."
"Rachel, what the hell!? Let me have that."
"Let go of it."
"Please, give me...that."
"Damn it, Rachel. What...what is this? That's not us is it?"
"Umm, no. Let me see it again."
(Sound of Rachel muttering, skimming through text.)
"Eww, no, that is so not us. Look see, it says 1HOT_PMAN and 87CNDYGRL. I wonder what the 87 stands for?"
"Their collective IQ."
"Don't be mean. Why do you have this here on your desk?"
"Like I know?! Look at my desk, Rachel. I don't know what half of this crap is. Clearly this is some of Puckerman's handiwork."
"Well, I suppose it could be Sam,"
"Really, Rachel? You think 1Hot_PMAN could be Sam?"
"Okay, fine. We both know it was Noah."
(Tapping noise on microphone)
"Is this thing still running?"
"No, I turned it off."
"Rachel, are you sure? Because it looks like it's still running."
"Charlie, see right there, it says OFF."
"Okay, okay, whatever. Listen, Rachel, pleasssse go do something for ten minutes and let me finish this.
"Stop whining, you sound like me."
"Not so cute is it?"
"Well no, not when you do it. It's definitely much cuter when I do it."
"Everything is much cuter when you do it."
"Yeah, pretty much everything."
(Wet kissing sounds)
"Mmm, that's nice."
"Mmm, it is."
"Hello, pretty girl. Have I seen you today?"
"No, you were gone when I got up this morning. I hate that"
(More kissing sounds)
"I hate that, too. "
"Well, not that. That I like very much. I meant that I hate it when I have to leave before you wake up."
"Because we can't do...this?"
"I'm very serious about doing this. And this"
"Serious is good. In fact, I could get very serious here, except this thing is in my way."
"Charlie! Don't rip that, I like this outfit."
"Yeah, that's nice, be patient. Oh my god, that feels so...mmm."
(Wet sucking sounds. Heavy breathing.)
"Oh my, " Rachel commented, her eyes bright as she listened. She had one hand resting on her headphones, the other stroking Charlie's arm. "I remember that day." she added, grinning. "It was...fun."
(Sounds of Rachel panting, whimpering, repeating Charlie's name)
"See," she continued, "Now that's definitely us." She glanced at Charlie, who had her face covered with both hands. The tops of her ears were bright crimson.
"We've heard enough, let's just..." She tried to stand up but Rachel refused to budge. "Turn it off," she said, reaching to disconnect the call. Rachel grabbed her wrist and held it.
After a few more panting, groaning moments, the tape ended.
"Thank god," Charlie snapped.
"Well, that was...interesting."
Charlie yanked her headphones off and skipped them across her desk. The cord slipped off the edge and the whole works clattered to the floor pulling a stack of paperwork along with it. Rachel placidly removed hers and placed them carefully down in front of her, then smoothed her hand over her hair.
"Charlie, don't," she said, knowing what was coming.
"Oh, those fuckers," the blonde hissed. "Especially Puckerman,"
Rachel sighed. "It's really kind of funny," she observed lightly.
"Really? You think so? " Charlie fumed. "And I told you that damn thing wasn't turned off, Rachel."
"Yes, you did." Rachel acknowledged. She had been waiting for that to come up.
"I am going to cut Puck's fucking nuts off," Charlie declared, her voice dead calm. She began rifling through desk drawer looking for something sharp enough for the task.
"Rachel, what?" she repeated tersely. When she glanced up Rachel was already working her doe eyes.
"No. Don't." Charlie warned. "Don't you dare take up for them."
"It's not that big of a deal,"
"Don't you dare take up for them!"
"Charlie." Her fingers tickled across Charlie's wrist. "I'm sure no one will hear it."
Charlie scoffed and gave her daggers. "They probably sold copies," she huffed, then gave a triumphant "ahhh" as she pulled out a letter opener. Rachel plucked from her hand and tossed it in the trashcan.
"You're being ridiculous."
"Maybe. But I still need that." Charlie caught the edge of the wastebasket and dumped the contents on her desk before Rachel could stop her.
"Oh, Charlie. Gross."
Chuckling, Charlie dropped the basket back on the floor.
"Seriously, can't you think of a better use of your time?"
"Paying attention to me."
"You're kidding, right?"
Nonplussed, Rachel put a hand against her cheek and kissed the corner of her mouth, first one side, then the other. She dropped her hand to Charlie's chest, grazing across her breast.
"Are you kidding me?" Charlie sputtered. "Did that tape not teach you anything?
"Yes," Rachel said, nodding. "How ridiculously hot you sound when you..."
"Gahhh," Charlie groaned. "Rachel, for all I know this whole freaking office is wired for cable," She glanced around, searching for tell-tale red dots.
"That could be fake." Charlie pointed at the smoke detector slow blinking at her from across the room. "I've seen them in magazines."
"Charlie," Rachel repeated with a laugh.
"Will you please stop doing that?" Charlie stared hard at the bookshelf. That's where she'd put a camera. It would be easy to carve a space inside one of those books no one ever read.
"Doing what?" Rachel asked, still petting on her.
"Saying 'Charlie' like that," she answered. "Like I'm a child." Charlie scowled as Rachel very deliberately turned in her lap and tucked her knees on either side of her hips. She pushed her fingers through Charlie's shaggy hair and brought her mouth against her neck. "Charlie," she repeated, her voice smoky. "I don't think you're a child."
"Rachel, please," Charlie said weakly.
"Yes, I will definitely please, absolutely," she purred against Charlie's ear as her hand found its way inside her shirt."This is why Charlie doesn't get any real work done." Realizing it was a lost cause, Charlie went limp as the brunette worked her fingers into the cup of her bra until she moaned. "Isn't this better than plotting revenge?"
"So much better," Charlie agreed, then gasped as Rachel bite down on her shoulder. She was just starting to entertain the idea of biting something herself when the office door burst open and Sam and Noah rushed in. They each carried thick reams of reports and were preoccupied with squabbling about the contents.
"Charlie, we don't think these figures look ri..." Sam droned, but stopped when Puck grabbed him hard by the arm and yanked him to a halt. "Oh, shit," he exclaimed before he could stop himself.
"You didn't lock the door?" Charlie asked, pulling away from Rachel's mouth. Rachel tweaked her nipple, hard.
"I didn't think I needed to," she whispered, clearly annoyed. "I didn't realize the staff was raised by wolves."
Charlie grinned and moved back toward Rachel's lips, but she jerked her head away. Charlie frowned and Rachel stuck her tongue out at her. Charlie moved quickly and bit down on it, quirking an eyebrow as if to say "gotcha." She closed her lips around it and slowly slid her way back to Rachel's lips again. Rachel moaned her approval.
There was another faint gruff whimper and Rachel poked Charlie soundly in the shoulder.
"Are you two still here?" Charlie asked, her eyes on Rachel.
Sam's mouth opened and Puck slapped him hard on the chest before he could say anything.
"Because clearly this is why Charlie never gets any real work done," she said pointedly.
Spying the discarded letter opener, she snatched up the letter opener and slapped it down on the desktop. Puck and Sam turned in unison and collided hard, spilling their paperwork everywhere and nearly knocking each other over. Sam scrambled to pick up papers.
"No!" Puck hissed under his breath.
"I'm just gonna..." Sam whined, grabbing crumpled handfuls of his report.
"Dude!" Puck barked and nudged him hard with his foot. "Leave it!"
"But we need..." Sam argued.
Puck grabbed him by the back of the shirt and more or less tossed him into the hall, then bolted behind him, slamming the door shut.
Rachel leaned her head down on Charlie's chest giggling as they listened to them bickering down the hall. "Oh damn," she said, sitting up with a sudden scowl.
"Now they'll erase the tape," she said.
"So?" Charlie asked, confused. "They better!"
"I wanted a copy," Rachel explained coyly.
Charlie grinned at her. "We could make a new one." She patted the top of her desk. "Come on," she teased. "Why don't you jump right up here and we'll get started."
Rachel threw her arms around her neck and leaned her head down on her shoulder. "Better yet, why don't we just go home," she suggested. "I'll fix you a sandwich and we can spend the rest of the afternoon watching old movies and eating popcorn."
"I dunno," Charlie replied, ambivalent. "I've got all this work, you know." She motioned to the mess on her desk and pretended to be conflicted, mulling the idea over.
Rachel pulled away, disappointed. "Charlie, really?"
Charlie narrowed her eyes at her, making an effort to appear gruff and failing. "Well, okay," she relented. Rachel snuggled back against her. "But only if I can have butter and salt on my popcorn."
"That's sooo bad for you," Rachel fretted as she climbed off her lap. She stood smoothing out her skirt, while Charlie made a feeble attempt to organize the chaos on her desk, shifting piles from one place to another.
"Yeah, but that's what makes it so good," Charlie argued. She pushed her chair back and stood up, scooping up items and dumping them into her messenger bag.
"I could put olive oil on it instead, you know," Rachel suggested.
Charlie made a face. "Er, no. Blechh," she said. She looked around to see if she'd missed anything, as if she could tell. Satisfied, she picked up her bag and draped it over her shoulder.
"Or Butter Buddies," Rachel offered helpfully, still fixated on their popcorn.
"Those sound dreadful," Charlie replied, making animated gagging noises. "Whatever they are."
"No, not all," Rachel insisted. "They're surprisingly butter-like."
Charlie scoffed. "Oh, right. Butter-like."
"Surprisingly. Are we ready?"
"I think so. Except for..." She chucked her chin and Rachel took two skipping steps, no doubt expecting to be kissed."Butttteeerrrrr," she droned in a low chant and Rachel rolled her eyes.
"You're so melodramatic."
"Yup, that's me, Charlie the drama queen." She put a hand on the small of Rachel's back, leaned in and kissed her cheek. Her hand drifted lower and cupped her cheek.
"Go, Butter Buddy." She gently scooted her out the door into the hallway. They were both careful to avoid the paperwork strewn across the floor.
"We shall see," Rachel said evasively as Charlie took her by the hand.
"We shall see butter and salt, right?" Charlie countered hopefully. "Otherwise..."
"Charlie," Rachel said, resigned.
"See," Charlie retorted. "There you go again with the 'Charlie' business."
"First of all, that is your name," Rachel pointed out reasonably. "I happen to like it. Besides, if I'm not mistaken, you've been known to 'Rachel' me, too."
Amused, Charlie hip-checked her and Rachel pushed her back playfully.
"Rachelllll," Charlie growled, reaching for her with both hands.
"See," Rachel shot back, poking her in the stomach with one finger. "Rachel."
"Rachel, Rachel, Rachel," Charlie chanted while trying to tickle her ribs.
Rachel squealed, swatting her hands away. When Charlie persisted she ran halfway down the hall, then turned back, watching as Charlie kept advancing at her same steady pace, indifferent to her antics. When Rachel dropped her eyes for a moment, Charlie bolted and snatched up around the waist.
"Ha!" Charlie barked.
"No fair, put me down," Rachel protested between shrieks and laughter.
Charlie twirled her around until she felt lightheaded. She stopped and rested her head against Rachel's stomach waiting for the dizziness to pass.
"You caught me," Rachel said breezily, still bubbling with giggles.
"I did," Charlie agreed, smiling up at her.
"I wanted you to, " she confessed as though it was a secret.
"I know," Charlie replied as she eased Rachel down until her feet touched the floor.
Rachel raised up on her toes and rubbed their noses together. "Let's go home," she said. "I'll fix you some buttery, salty popcorn just the way you like it."
"What a great idea," Charlie praised, smirking.
Rachel planted a light kiss on her mouth, then looped her arm through Charlie's as they walked through the lobby towards the exit. "I was thinking maybe we could take a nap together," she suggested, leaning into her as they walked.
"Sounds great, except I'm not sleepy."
"That's okay," she answered with a throaty chuckle. "Neither am I."
"Hmm." Charlie paused, replaying what she'd heard over in her head. She pulled Rachel up against her, pecked her lips, then quipped, "You have to catch me first."
Without another word, she sprinted out the door.
I guess that's only fair, Rachel thought as she ran after her.