Disclaimers: All previous disclaimers apply. I own nothing.
Rachel stretched as she sat up in bed. It was four minutes before her alarm was set to go off. She sighed and looked around the room. She should be eager to begin her daily routine, everything on it designed to get her closer to her goal: Broadway Star.
Her elliptical would keep her in shape and give her the stamina needed. Her mattress was designed for optimum support and allowed for complete, restful sleep. Everything was preparing her for her role on Broadway. But nothing in her room was preparing her for what she knew was going to happen when she went downstairs.
Quinn would be gone. Rachel knew this as sure as she knew she would be a star someday. Quinn hated...hated...appearing weak and last night Rachel had never seen Quinn look so weak before. She was a wreck. Not that Rachel would ever make fun of Quinn for that. But Quinn would hate that Rachel knew it and so she would do what she always did when she was faced with something she couldn't deal with. Quinn would run.
"She probably left sometime last night." Rachel said softly, heading into the bathroom to brush her teeth. She had hoped that Quinn would stay, that she would confide in her and at the very least allow her to be there to vent to. It couldn't be healthy keeping all of that inside. Sighing and deciding to just accept her fate, she got out of bed and headed to the bathroom to begin her morning regimen. Quinn would either be there or not be there. Rachel, being the eternal optimist, hoped she would still be there.
Downstairs, Quinn cracked an eye open as her nose caught a scent. She knew Berry was vegan AND jewish, but she would know the smell anywhere. She got up, ran a hand over her hair to make sure that it wasn't to awful, and made her way to the kitchen, following the heavenly scent. There at the stove, watching over a pan stood Rachel's uncle Eliot. In the pan, adding distinctive sizzling to the heavenly aroma, there was bacon cooking. Not the fake veggie bacon that tasted like someone dipped cardboard in bacon grease. But actual bacon. Quinn sat numbly on a stool and stared at the pan, nodding slightly to the man also sitting at the counter. Rachel's daddy Leroy sat there, also staring lovingly at the pan sizzling on the stovetop.
The kitchen had a center island that had six stools around it for casual dining. She knew they had a formal dining room, with a very nice table. But this was more intimate.
Eli Berry walked into the room, adjusting his tie and smiling. "You're drooling." he said, chuckling.
Eliot turned and caught sight of Quinn, nodding and smiling. "Morning." he said softly. "There's coffee." he nodded towards the machine at the end of the counter.
Quinn just nodded, her eyes never leaving the pan.
Eliot raised an eyebrow.
Quinn smirked inside and now knew why HER eyebrow never seemed to phase Rachel. Eliot was a pro.
"I'll save you some if you grab me a cup too." Leroy said, also staring at the pan.
"Can I trust you, though?" Quinn countered. "It's bacon. I'm guessing it's rare in the house?"
Leroy nodded. "Very. I can't actually remember the last time I had it."
"You had some the other day." Eli sighed, sitting at the counter as well.
"But honey, this is different." Leroy protested. Eli rolled his eyes.
"We're getting rid of that pan." Eli grumbled, kissing his husband. "Good morning."
Leroy's staring contest with the sizzling pan was broken as he turned and kissed his husband softly. "Morning." he smiled.
Eliot sat the plate of fresh, still sizzling bacon on the table, and Quinn took the opportunity to snatch up a good portion of the apparently rare commodity while Leroy was distracted. She smiled in triumph. "The price you pay for true love. "she smiled as Leroy pouted.
"Good morning everyone!' Rachel walked briskly into the kitchen and stopped short. She was dressed in red shorts, a black sports bra and white Nike's with red highlights. She stopped abruptly and gasped. "Quinn." she breathed lightly.
Quinn turned and almost stopped breathing. Rachel looked...well...Rachel looked HOT. Quinn felt her face turn red to the tips of her ears. She just sat there as Leroy took her plate, and even the piece of bacon in her hand, halfway to her mouth, as she stared wide eyed and frozen.
"Isn't it though." Leroy said, grinning.
Quinn just nodded, still staring at Rachel. Rachel had legs. Rachel had NICE legs. And abs. Dear god, she had NICE abs. Quinn swallowed as Rachel moved closer.
"Are you ok, Quinn?" Rachel asked, moving closer.
Quinn nodded. She then shook her head, realizing that she was staring to hard and to long. "Uh...yeah. Yeah, I'm good." she smiled. "Um...I was just...I just never saw...I mean, you look..." she stammered, finally sighing and closing her eyes and taking a breath. "
Rachel smiled bashfully, reddening slightly. "What are your plans for today, Quinn?" she asked, changing the subject. "I mean, if you don't have plans I was thinking we could go to the mall, or for coffee, or just hang out and watch movies and eat junk food all day. Of course with your strict Cheerio's diet, you probably won't have to much room for junk, but I would be happy to research alternative..." she was silenced by Eliot coughing.
"You gotta learn to take a breath in between chapters, Star." he chuckled.
Rachel stomped a foot and put her fists on her hips. "Are you saying that my breath control is in some way flawed?1 Because I will have you know I have EXCELLENT breath control! As a future Broadway star and already quite an accomplished singer my breathing HAS to be perfect!"
Eliot smirked. "True. But you also have to let other people join in or it's not really a conversation, it's just you talking at them."
Rachel opened her mouth to reply and then snapped it shut. She turned back to Quinn and shrugged. "He's right, I apologize, Quinn."
Quinn just grinned. "We can do the mall and then movies. And as for the junk food, Cheerio's workouts are pretty intense. I think I can work anything off I eat." she smiled.
Rachel's smiled was blinding. "Excellent!" she was about to speak again when there was a knock at the door. Rachel stopped and sighed. "I'll get it." she placed her hand on Leroy's shoulder as he started to stand. Quinn's hand stopped moving, Leroy's plate halfway to her spot when he glared at her. Quinn just smiled and pushed the plate back.
"I have more." Eliot shook his head, placing another plate down in front of Quinn.
Quinn shrugged and thanked him as Rachel walked back in, a frown on her face. "Uncle Eliot. The door is for you."
Eliot raised an eyebrow and turned the burner off. "Wonder who it could be." he muttered, tensing slightly. If anyone from his past was looking for him, he didn't want his family in danger. It's why he had avoided any contact with them for the last seven years. Nate and the crew were making him soft.
As he walked to the door he furrowed his brow. He didn't recognize the man. That sent his alarms going. "Can I help you?"
"Eliot Spencer?" the man asked, looking around nervously.
Eliot nodded, his eyes narrowing.
"I...well, I was on my way to Boston to see your boss, Mr. Ford when I heard you might be in town." the man stammered. "My name is Albert Motta, but you can call me Al." he said, reaching out a hand.
Eliot sighed. He was supposed to be on vacation. Dammit, Nate. "Look, Mr. Motta..." he started.
"Al. Call me Al." Al corrected.
"Al. Look, I'm on vacation. I'm sure Nate can help with whatever it is." Eliot said.
Al sighed. "I'm sure, but it's kind of...well, it's very serious, Mr. Spencer." he said. "I'm afraid for my life and the life of my family." he whispered.
Eliot sighed. He was going soft. Dammit. "Alright, come on. We'll talk someplace else, though." he grabbed his jacket off of the coat rack and closed the door. Before the door shut, he caught sight of Rachel clutching the wall, staring at him from the kitchen entryway. She looked scared. He winked. "I'll be back, Star."
Rachel nodded and tried to smile. It was, she was sure, her worst performance ever.