Final chapter :( Thanks so much for reading. Sorry for any mistakes and thank you for being patient. Hope you enjoyed the journey. :)
Beth stands up from the couch in order to stretch her legs and reposition herself. Julianna does the same and when the little girl sits back down, she lays her head on Beth's lap.
"I'm so glad you're our babysitter and you know this story."
Beth smiles down at the girl and begins running her fingers through Julianna's hair the same way Rachel would do to her when she was younger. Her mom often made her go to bed at a certain time but occasionally Rachel would sneak in when she was visiting and tell Beth part of the story or sing her a song. She loved when Rachel would sing to her on those occasional nights, it calmed her and she never had any nightmares after falling asleep to Rachel's voice.
"Me too," Beth replies. "Shall we?"
"Yeah," the girl yawns and closes her eyes.
"You look tired, why don't we call it a night."
"I'm just closing my eyes so I can picture it better!"
"Okay," she speaks softly, "So the Queen Princess finally realizes that she's in love with the Royal Jester after all this time…"
Quinn paced back and forth across the hardwood flooring outside of the pink area rug in Beth's play room.
"Oh my, God. I like her. I like my best friend." She turned to look at the other occupants of the room before bringing her palm up to her forehead and brushing her bangs out of her eyes, "I'm in love with Rachel Berry."
"Yeah, we heard you the first hundred times you said it," Santana rolled her eyes and didn't bother to hold back any of the sarcasm.
"I like when she says it," Brittany chimed in from her spot on the light green beanbag chair with White polka dots.
Quinn stared at the two girls in their various spots and cracked a smile that only grew wider when Brittany also began smiling, "I love her."
Brittany did a solid fist pump in the air while Santana dodged another wooden block thrown at her head by Baby Beth.
Quinn held her arms out and shrugged, "I just love her."
"That's great and all, and I'm happy for you, but can we discuss why your spawn of Satan daughter hates me so much?"
Quinn continued to pace back and forth while mumbling under her breath, words like of course, and love, and perfect spewing out of her mouth in hushed whispers as she heard the shrill laughter of her daughter and ignored the irritated Santana.
"Beth, what the hell is your problem? Why are you trying to kill me?"
Beth giggled some more and picked up another colorful wooden block from her ammo pile.
Quinn turned around, "Santana don't curse in front of her, she's been repeating everything these—"
"Hell!" Beth hurled another block and continued her maniacal laughter as Santana caught the block, "Hell, hell, hell, hell."
"Wonderful," Quinn glared at her friend, "Britt, can you do damage control?"
Brittany nodded, "Beth, come sit with me," she held her arms out and Santana scoffed as the child listened and walked over to sit on Brittany's lap.
"Seeing my name on that piece of paper, everything—"
"Clicked," Santana finished. "We know. It was like, the stars aligned and all that gay stuff."
Quinn sighed and nodded while Brittany and Beth started to make farm animal noises together.
"So what are you going to do about it? She's still with Captain," she paused and cupped her mouth, "Douchebag," she whispered so Beth wouldn't hear. "And she already thinks the kid is the greatest thing since Broadway. It's always, 'my boyfriend this' or 'my boyfriend that', it's exhausting to listen to her."
"What am I going to do?"
For the first time since learning of her blatant feelings for Rachel earlier that afternoon, she finally realized the situation she was in. Rachel was still with the boy, Quinn was very much in love with her, and no matter how it all played out, there was probably going to be tears and heartbreak. And she wasn't even sure if Rachel would even like her. She thought back to the position she was in almost a year ago when Rachel refused to speak with her and realized that she got the brunette to be her friend then and she would get the girl again. She had to.
Santana glared at Beth as the little girl narrowed her eyes back at her, "She's like a little Puckerman, she even has his creepy smirk."
"It's not creepy, it's cute… on her at least."
Quinn plopped herself down in the rocking chair with a heavy sigh while Santana stared at the child a little longer. Brittany and Beth somehow understood each other and they could be occupied for hours. Regardless of how much Beth tormented Santana, she still smiled when the two girls bonded.
Santana didn't know the exact position that Quinn was in but she had a clue. She'd always remember the moment when reality slapped her across the face and made her realize that Brittany was someone that she had feelings for. Granted, it just happened, but her friend was going through something similar with Rachel. Santana knew how it felt to watch someone she cared for be with someone else.
With Beth still busy playing with Brittany, Santana stood from her spot on the floor and found a clean piece of paper on the easel and wrote down some ideas for sabotage. One of them was bound to work. Quinn perked up a bit as she saw what Santana was writing, slowly becoming more and more confident that she could get her best friend back.
They were camped out in Santana's car in the parking lot of the gymnastics place, waiting to see any sign of Chase. Neither Santana nor Brittany had met him before so they had no idea who they were looking for, but Quinn insisted that they make visual confirmation before going through with the plan. It'd been three days since erecting operation chase charming away but the farthest they'd gotten was staking out the place from the parking lot.
"There he is," Quinn pointed and Santana got her game face on.
"Finally," she muttered under her breath.
"Let's go over it again," Quinn prompted as she checked to make sure that there was enough battery power on her mother's outdated camcorder.
"We've been over it a hundred times," Santana complained.
Quinn agreed but she wanted to make sure that Brittany knew exactly what was going on so her cover wasn't blown.
"I'll go in first and hide somewhere out of sight so I can videotape everything, and then you and Britt will come in and try to flirt with him. Remember your cover story, you have a flat tire and you're waiting for a tow truck so you came in to get something to eat."
Santana checked her lip gloss and makeup in the mirror before pursing her lips and shooing Quinn away, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, go already. I'm getting antsy."
Quinn got out of the car and adjusted the baseball cap she borrowed from Puck so she wouldn't be recognized and made her way into the gymnastics place. She went right to the merchandise section and ducked behind the sweatshirt rack and waited for her friends to come in.
It was three whole minutes before Santana and Brittany strolled through the doors in their ridiculous costumes. It didn't matter what they were disguised as because Chase had no idea what they looked like but they both insisted they dress the part if they were going to help.
Santana, in her candy striper uniform, sauntered up to the desk first, followed by Brittany in her sexy-school-girl-librarian-chic outfit. It looked like she raided Rachel's closet and the blonde admitted to keeping some of the clothes Rachel let her borrow one time.
"But this is how Rachel dresses and Chase likes Rachel," Brittany argued as they modeled their outfits on Wednesday. Quinn had to admit that the point was valid and she allowed it. Santana's reasoning of, "Because look at me, I'm hot," didn't exactly win her over but she needed Santana's confidence to complete her task.
She filmed the two girls ordering their food and making small talk with each other loud enough for everyone around them to hear.
"Oh, I hope the tow truck hurries up," Brittany said, "Good thing this gymnastics place that we've never been to before serves food or else we would have starved."
Santana nodded, "I agree, Britts, although, it's a little chilly in here for this revealing outfit, and I hope no one stares at my legs."
"What the hell are they even doing," Quinn whispered harshly, forgetting that the video camera was recording.
The girls got their food but there was no sign of Chase so they took their trays to sit at one of the picnic tables. They continued their loud conversation and Quinn did everything in her power to not storm over to the two girls and yell at them for being anything but subtle.
Santana caught the attention of Chase as he walked towards the concession stand, "Excuse me, would you mind telling me where the napkins are?" she asked, licking her fingers slowly as the boy's eyes doubled in size as he finally saw who called for his attention.
"I'll get you some, Miss."
"Oh, you're such a doll."
He came back within seconds and placed the napkins on the table, Santana leaned forward a bit and stuck her face towards him, "Oh, would you mind?"
The boy was clearly jaded by Santana's cleavage staring him directly in the face because she somehow managed to get him to wipe her lips with one of the napkins when any normal person would have just done it themselves.
"You're cute, what's your name?" Brittany asked with an innocent tilt to her head.
"Chase," he replied after clearing his throat.
"Chase," Brittany tried out a few times, "I like it," she replied before turning to look at Santana. "What do you think? He'd be perfect."
"Perfect for what?"
"I don't know, Brit," she let her eyes survey his body, "I'm not sure that he can handle us."
"You're not intimidated by us, are you big boy? Because my girlfriend here has been dying to find someone to join us and you're the first person she's taken a liking to…but if you're intimidated by that then we can find someone else more eager."
Quinn had to stifle her laughter at the look on his face and she could tell that he was quite eager if the tone of his voice was any indication.
Santana clicked her tongue and looked to Brittany, "I don't know." She sing-songed.
"I'll do anything," he pleaded.
Quinn must admit that boys were seriously stupid. Like, two pretty girls, dressed as ridiculously as her friends were, would seriously be asking him to join them for a threesome in the middle of a kid's gymnastics place? Then again, she was pretty positive that the father of her child would be acting the same way as Chase at that moment, too.
Brittany shrugged, "Maybe you could leave us your number and we'll consider it some more."
Chase frantically checked his pockets for a pen and nearly started crying when he couldn't find one.
"Here," Santana offered, pulling one from her cleavage before handing it to him. He wrote his number on a piece of paper and once Santana had the napkin safely nuzzled back between her breasts she gave the signal. Dumping her soda on Chase's head.
"Woops, it's my first day." Santana recited smugly as Quinn directed her to.
"What the hell?"
Quinn strolled up behind them with the video camera in her hand, "Wait 'til Rachel sees this."
"Like I actually care what she thinks. She's crazy."
Quinn reminded herself that she was surrounded by people that were already looking to see what all the commotion was.
"Well, you should, because your ass is so gone."
Chase laughed, wiping some of the soda from his eyes, "Go ahead and show her."
"Seriously?" Santana asked as Brittany munched on her fries next to her, enjoying the show.
"Rachel dumped me…like, a few days ago."
"WHAT?" Julianna shrieks as she sits up from Beth's lap. "The Royal Jester broke up with Charming! What about the plan? The Castle Knights were going to trick Charming into going jousting, 'cause everyone knows that the Royal Jester hates jousting! It's too violent!"
Beth's head is spinning, "I thought you wanted them to break up?"
"I do! You can't just tell the story like that! What happened? Why did the Royal Jester—" Julianna's rant is stopped short as both girls hear the front door open.
Beth turns to the little girl and both their eyes are wide before Beth realizes that it's after midnight, "You were supposed to be sleeping four hours ago!" she quickly whispers while trying to figure out a way to either hide the six year old or smuggle her upstairs to her bedroom.
They can hear the impending heels on the hardwood floor and Beth squeezes her eyes shut, she's so never going to be allowed to babysit them ever again.
"How was everything? Were they good for you?"
Beth turns to answer before Julianna pops out from behind Beth's body, "Hi Mommy!"
"Julianna, what are you still doing awake? It's way past your bed time," she turns to Beth, "Is she feeling okay? Nightmares again?"
"Beth was telling me a bedtime story!" she smiles before tugging on Beth's arm, "Right?" Beth nods and keeps her eyes trained on Julianna so she can avoid the inquisition regarding the six year old staying up four hours later for a bedtime story.
"It's not over yet, can Beth finish telling me? Please? Please, please, please Mommy?"
Beth is mentally chanting that the mom says no but instead she gives a small smile and takes a seat on the arm of the couch, "Of course, I'd love to hear the bedtime story Beth made up."
"It's not made up!" Julianna cries, "It's real! It's the best part! The Royal Jester just dumped the evil Charming and the Queen Princess just found out. She's in love with the Jester," Julianna nods decidedly, "I knew it all along."
"Oh really? That sounds quite exciting."
"Beth," the girl whines, "I wanna know the rest of the story."
Beth tilts her head up a bit, "You want to know the rest of the story, huh?" Beth stalls a bit, "Why don't you ask your mommy?"
Julianna's eyebrows are quite comical as she tries to understand what the heck Beth is talking about before her eyes gradually grow into saucers as she looks back and forth from her mom to Beth.
She stands to her feet and bounces on the cushion, "You're the Queen Princess?" she asks her Mom, her voice dripping with awe. She looks back to Beth, "Mommy is the Queen Princess?"
Quinn laughs and places her hand over her mouth as she watches her middle child stare at her oldest, her smile trying not to break out into a huge grin because she hasn't yet gotten confirmation yet.
Beth bites her lip and turns back to look at her mom.
Quinn removes her hand from her mouth and tries to keep a straight face, "The Queen Princess, huh?" she asks Beth who merely shrugs before turning to Julianna and holding out her arms, "Is that what you're calling me now?"
Quinn nods and winces playfully as Julianna screams in excitement. She stands up and does a little dance on the carpet before straightening and growing serious, "If you're the Queen Princess, does that mean that the Royal Jester is-?"
"Whoa, what's with the screaming?"
Puck rounds the bend of the foyer and comes to a rest next to Quinn.
"Hey Dad," Beth greets.
"Excuse me!" Julianna huffs, "Are you the Royal Jester or what?"
"What in the world are you talking about, Munchkin? Shouldn't you be in bed?" he turns to look at Beth and Quinn just shrugs.
"Beth has been telling her a bedtime story."
Puck nods, "Ahhh."
"Well…are you?" the girl taps her foot impatiently, a skill she recently acquired from her mother.
He looks to Beth, "I…don't know?"
"Sorry about that, I left my phone in the car," the front door closes and Julianna turns to Beth as she waits for her explanation.
"That's the Royal Jester," she finally tells her.
Julianna's eyes light up and she races across the carpet and skids on the hallway floor and runs right into Rachel's legs, "Oh my, goodness, what are you doing awake? And why are you so hyper?"
Rachel comes into view as she walks slowly with Julianna still attached to her side, she looks to the others for an answer.
"Beth has been telling her a certain bedtime story," Puck replies and Rachel smiles a bit in her direction.
"I see." She looks down to her daughter, "And what's this bedtime story about?"
"You're the one! You're the Royal Jester and the Queen Princess is in love with you!"
Julianna nods eagerly and begins pulling Rachel towards the couch, "You have to tell me why you dumped Charming!"
"Okay, okay," she says as she struggles to take her heels off before taking a seat on the couch and pulling Julianna into her lap.
"I gotta get going, Grace is in the car, just wanted to come in and say good night," he kisses Beth on her forehead, "I'll see you tomorrow? You're my badminton partner, right?"
"Defending champs," she reaches her fist to bump her dad's.
"That's my girl."
He kisses Julianna and then Rachel before Quinn walks him to the door to send him off.
"C'mon, c'mon," Julianna urges, "I need to know what happened."
"Well I need to know where you left off," Rachel replies in the same tone with false irritation.
Julianna breezes through the gist of the story in a matter of seconds and waits for Rachel to continue it for her. Rachel sends Beth an approving nod as Quinn rejoins them and sits on the arm of the couch next to Beth.
"Okay, well, the Queen Princess obviously fell in love with the Royal Jester because she was beautiful, talented, funny, outgoing, smart—"
"Modest," Quinn chimes in and Beth holds her hand out for her to high-five.
Rachel flashes a playful glare to her wife, "As I was saying, it took a while for the Queen Princess to realize it but she had fallen in love with the Royal Jester…and the Royal Jester had some decisions to make."
Rachel flinched as she heard the door slam echo throughout the auditorium as Quinn left her alone.
"Are we okay?" she had asked.
"I'm not sure," Quinn replied.
Rachel's heart had sunk. She didn't like fighting with Quinn, it happened maybe once or twice before but it never felt right. They weren't supposed to fight. They overcame the odds and became the best of friends, she didn't like when they wasted their time with petty fights. Something about this argument seemed more real, like it was going to lead to something bigger than it already was becoming.
Sure, Rachel knew that Chase wasn't amazing but she was willing to settle for him because it was the best she was going to get given the circumstances. It's not who she had in mind, but she'd rather have someone to fill the void than be reminded how alone she was. It started out as innocent when she asked Quinn to help her find a boyfriend, she figured that they could bond over it, it's what most girls her age did, right? Bond over cute boys? Kill two birds with one stone, though she never really did like that expression. She'd rather kill no birds and let the stone be a part of nature but it was only a metaphor and she appreciated a good metaphor. She never really imagined it would land her where it did, comparing every person she went out with to the person that was helping her find someone. It was a sad coincidence and one that she couldn't get over. In the beginning, it was fun, towards the middle it was slightly surprising to her how quickly she ended up falling for her friend, and towards the end, it was heart wrenchingly painful. She stood no chance, it's not like she could waltz up to the blonde and declare her feelings, stuff didn't work like that. She realized, quite helplessly, that she was going to be forced to settle for someone that just wouldn't come close to her perfect person. Her perfect person was Quinn, and as much as it hurt her, she'd rather have her as a friend than scare her away forever.
She needed to do some thinking. The way Quinn had been so adamant about Chase not being good enough for her, the way she was so passionate about everything regarding the situation, could it have meant that there was a chance she could feel the same way about her and just not know it? Should she risk letting go of Chase on the off chance that Quinn might be receptive of those types of feelings? She didn't necessarily disagree with all of Quinn's points, but if she broke up with Chase, she'd be alone and reminded every day of the life that she wished she had. She'd be tormented every time they hung out, slept in the same bed for a sleepover, took Beth out for errands, and even when they were alone in the auditorium during lunch. She was already tempted enough as it was to act on her feelings, and she sometimes cried softly to herself in her mirror as she thought about how Beth and Quinn would never truly be hers, they'd never be the small little makeshift family that she often dreamed about before she went to bed. She'd be the best friend and occasional babysitter for the rest of her life.
Still, after seeing Quinn react that way, she needed to at least do something. Clearly, she was going to break up with Chase, because there was no way that she'd let the boy get in between the friendship that they had, it meant too much to her. She was also going to be a little pro-active in the Quinn department. Maybe, test the waters, so to speak.
"What's the Royal Jester going to do?" Julianna asks as she plays with her mother's rings.
"Well, she's going to consult the help of…" Rachel looks to Beth, "Who is Kurt?"
Beth runs through her list and, "Fairy Godfather."
Quinn chokes on her water, "Fairy Godfather? I thought this was a medieval story."
Beth glares at her mother, "It's a bedtime story, there are no rules."
"I agree!" Rachel chimes in, "The Jester is going to have the Fairy Godfather work some of his magic."
"Is he going to cast a spell on the Queen?" Julianna looks to her Mom, "Did he cast a spell on you?"
Quinn chuckles, "You ask a lot of questions, little one."
"You have to help me!" Rachel pleaded as she walked into Kurt's bedroom after Finn let her in.
"Hello to you, too, Rachel," he nodded from his seat in front of his vanity mirror, "No time for pleasantries, I see. To what do I owe the frantic pleasure?"
"What about her?"
"You need to tell her that she should be in love with me."
"Ohhhhkay, this is a big one," he muttered under his breath as he put his lotion down. He stood from his chair and took a seat on the bed, "How would you like me to do that?"
"I don't care! I just need to know how she'll react."
"React to what?"
"React to the thought of being with me, in a more than friendly way."
His eyebrow quirked though it wasn't surprising, "You want to date Quinn Fabray?"
"I can't say that I'm not shocked, I've kind of figured this would happen sooner or later. The way she stares at you—"
"She stares at me? When? How? Re-enact it. What else have you noticed? Do you think she likes me?"
"Take it easy."
"I'm sorry, this is just scary."
"I understand," Kurt replied, "I'll help you, okay? That's what friends are for."
Rachel denied the impulse to begin humming the song out loud and instead tackled Kurt on the bed, "You're the best, thank you."
"You know," Kurt wheezed out as Rachel continued to hug him, "I still don't like what Quinn said about you last year, I was the one that saw your devastation, remember?"
"I've forgotten about that, it's in the past, another lifetime ago, really. She's a new person because of that and besides, you saw how she took responsibility and she hasn't let me down since."
"Right," Kurt straightened out his shirt, "Well, get on with it."
"Get on with what?"
"How it happened. How is it that you fell for Quinn Fabray and what makes you think that she could possibly have fallen for you, too?"
Rachel bit her lip in hesitation, "Well…"
And she told Kurt everything. He hadn't really wanted to hear about it while it was happening because he didn't like the thought of Rachel befriended Quinn in the first place but even he had his hand to his chest and tears in his eyes as Rachel recounted their moments together. Rachel was sure that Kurt was the right person to go to, if anyone could bitch slap someone with reality, it was him.
Kurt even went with her to meet Chase when he got off of work that day. For moral support, of course. She would have asked Quinn because she was sure that the blonde would have loved to see Chase's face but she didn't think it was appropriate.
"Rach, what's up?" Chase readjusted his strap to his back pack and glanced at Kurt, "Everything okay?"
"It's about us." Rachel wasted no time. Like a band-aid, Kurt told her in the car, she needed to get it over with.
"Ohhhkay? What about us?"
She closed her eyes and gave it hell, "I'm sorry Chase but I can no longer date you."
Rachel opened an eye, "Okay?"
"What do you mean okay?"
"I mean, okay." he annunciated slowly for her.
"No begging? No throwing yourself onto the ground and pleading for me to take you back? You're not even demanding an explanation? All you have to say is 'okay'?"
Chase looked at her as if she had a few extra heads, "Yup, pretty much."
"Rach, perhaps we should take the W and go on home." Kurt said from the sidelines.
Chase took a sip of his soda, "No offense Rachel, you're kind of high-maintenance and a lot of work."
"Quinn doesn't think so," Rachel mumbled under her breath.
"And I'm sure that Quinn already told you about what she saw on Saturday, so…it's been a good run?"
"I can't believe this. Finn and I had a more passionate break up than this! Unbelievable!"
"Well, what do you want me to say? It's not like we were going to last very long, you're all about New York and stuff and I hate musicals," Rachel's jaw dropped, "and I've been kinda cheating on you all along."
Rachel squared her shoulders, "No, I have been cheating on you! Emotionally…with Quinn."
Rachel was determined to have some kind of fight, it was in her nature. She wanted to go out with a bang. Screw the cheating stuff, who hated musicals? Not someone she wanted to be with.
Rachel stomped her foot and looked to Kurt for help, who merely shrugged. Chase was infuriating her, why couldn't he at least pretend to care that Rachel was breaking up with him. She wanted some kind of triumph and she even bought icecream from the 7/11 in anticipation of the post-breakup binge before she got her game face on and went after Quinn. This was just pitiful. She didn't even actually like the kid but she was dramatic and damn it, she wanted her soap opera break up!
"Let me see if I understand, not only are you indifferent about our break-up, but you don't care that the only reason I dated you was because I was trying to fill the void of not having Quinn?"
Chase scratched the back of his head, "I guess?"
"Well," Rachel huffed and began pacing, "I'll just…" she pointed a finger at Chase before groaning, "I'll tell you what I'm going to do," she mumbled some more and continued her pacing, "You messed with the wrong girl."
Chase looked at Kurt, "Is she okay?"
Kurt shrugged again and inspected his nails, "It's best to just give Rachel her moment."
Chase also shrugged and turned back to Rachel, "Please, Rachel, don't dump me." he stated dryly. "How will I ever go on?"
"Ohhohoho no no," Rachel shook her head, "Don't think you can beg for my forgiveness now, you made your grave."
"Fine. If that's the way you want it," Chase replied, "Quinn is a white trash teen mom and you're never going to go to New York, I hope you have a good life together. Can I go home now?"
Rachel gasped and marched forward, grabbing the drink out of Chase's hand and ripping the lid off in order to dump it on his head.
"That's for spilling soda on Quinn!" she backed away with that triumphant glimmer to her eye that she'd been searching for all along, "And the other things you said."
She turned on her heel and proceeded to her car, waiting for Kurt to join her in the passenger seat before backing out of the parking lot and leaving Chase to wallow in his self pity.
"I think it will take a long time for him to get over me, don't you think?" Rachel asked as she turned back onto the main road.
Kurt stared at her with amusement and awe of what happened inside that little head of hers, "Honey, he'll forever rue the day that he let you get away."
Rachel turned to him with her thousand watt smile, glad that she had him as her gay best friend. He knew exactly what to say to her.
"Oh, I get it now! The fairy godfather is the one that helped the Queen Princess realize she liked the Jester?"
"That's right, how'd you get so smart?" Rachel tickles her daughter.
"That'd be my doing," Quinn chimes in from the end of the couch.
Julianna asks with furrowed brows, "It was all the Jester's idea?"
"The Jester is so smart."
Rachel smiles, rather smugly, in her wife's direction as Quinn rolls her eyes.
It had been exactly four days since Quinn and Rachel got into their small fight in the auditorium resulting in the dumping of Chase and it had been three days since Kurt intervened with everything and helped Quinn to realize that she was what Rachel wanted. Rachel hadn't attempted to talk to Quinn, she was too nervous. She was afraid she'd say something wrong or maul her face with her lips if she got too close. She kept her distance, but only because she figured that Quinn would freak out if she was pressured too much. She'd give her a day so that she could let it seep in. Though, her mind started working overtime and she constantly analyzed every aspect of their relationship, hoping to convince herself further that Quinn maybe returned her feelings. But the facts remained, Quinn hadn't attempted to speak to Rachel, either. What if the plan backfired? What if Quinn really didn't like Rachel? What if she was already freaked out at the very thought of being considered an option for the brunette? That had Rachel not approaching Quinn for the remaining two days of silence. It was Friday, and their fight happened on Monday. It was the longest they'd gone without speaking since the year before and it was already torturous. Rachel barely saw Quinn in school, other than classes, but even then, Quinn was distracted and seemed to be talking to herself quietly as she wrote things down in a notebook. She was hanging out with Santana and Brittany a lot, too.
Rachel was intimidated. The last thing she wanted to do was scare Quinn further so she continued to keep her distance, hoping that Quinn would come to her when she was ready.
Friday evening, the doorbell chimed through the house, and she reminded herself not to get her hopes up. Seeing as how the previous 6 doorbell rings throughout the week weren't from Quinn, either. She waited at the top of her stairwell, curious as to who could be ringing her doorbell.
"Quinn!" Rachel's heart dropped, "What a pleasant surprise! Come on in," her father opened the door wider in order for Quinn to step inside. "Hi Beth!"
Quinn couldn't see her at the top of the stairs from her position in front of the door but Beth could see her perfectly and Rachel smiled with a sting to her eyes as Beth's face lit up, "Yachel!"
She took off for the stairs, easily wiggling out of her mother's grip on her hand and ignoring Quinn's protests, Rachel ventured down a few steps but Beth was too fast for her and ended up meeting her at the top of the stairs.
"Hi babygirl!" Rachel lifted up the toddler and held her close to her chest in a hug, "I've missed you! Can I have a kiss?" she stuck her cheek out and Beth planted a somewhat messy kiss on it before ducking her head into Rachel's neck bashfully.
Rachel carefully took the steps one by one, somewhat delaying seeing Quinn and also preventing a clumsy fall down the stairs while holding a child. She made eye contact and instead of seeing irritation on Quinn's face, she saw soft eyes lined with wetness as she watched the two girls together. Her smile was faint and her head was tilted slightly in wonder. Rachel smiled and shifted her weight in order to support Beth's weight.
Quinn swallowed, "Hi Rachel."
Mr. Berry looked back and forth between the two girls and held his arms out, "Beth, would you like to see the hamster?"
Beth was already squirming out of Rachel's grip in order to get to the other man who would take her to the furry creature that entertained her.
Both girls waited until Mr. Berry and Beth disappeared down the hallway before turning to one another.
"Hi," Quinn started.
Rachel replied, "Hi."
Quinn shook her head, "This is weird."
Rachel closed her eyes with a wince, "I'm sorry, it shouldn't be. It's my fault."
"No, it's mine."
"Quinn, no…I shouldn't have—"
"You broke up with Chase."
"I…did. How did you know that?"
Quinn shouldered off her jacket as she walked further into the house and towards the living room, she studied her surroundings as if she hadn't been there in years.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
Rachel walked into the living room and took protection behind the couch, feeling better that there was something separating the two of them while they had this conversation.
Rachel let her head hang in shame, "I don't know, we haven't exactly been talking this week." She shrugged.
It was Quinn's turn to hang her head, "I'm sorry, I've been…distracted."
Rachel nodded and ran her hand over the back of the couch, "I understand."
"I had an interesting conversation with Kurt." Quinn's tone was light and somewhat prying in a teasing manner.
"Wait…before you say anything, I need to get this out. I'm sorry I had Kurt intervene, I'm sure it freaked you out, and I'm sure that's why you've been distant lately. I gave you space because I assumed that's what you wanted but I miss you. This week was miserable without you and I'm sorry that I ruined our friendship. If you'll allow it, I'd like to just forget everything that's happened."
Quinn gnawed on her inner lower lip as she stared at the brunette carefully, "Can I ask you something?"
Rachel's mouth opened and closed a few times while she settled her nerves, "Sure."
"You told Kurt to come to me?" Her tone was most definitely not light anymore, Rachel could tell she was surprised by the information, "Does that mean you feel the same way?"
Quinn chuckled slightly, "Oh?"
"I've talked myself into a hole, haven't I?"
Quinn laughed more heartily and took a step towards the couch, "Just a small one." Rachel avoided eye contact at all costs, even as Quinn took a seat on the tan couch, "Today Chase told me that you dumped him…on Monday afternoon."
"Oh," Rachel replied again. She had nothing more to offer.
"After Santana, Brittany, and I made quite a scene trying to catch him flirting with them."
"Oh my…" Rachel trailed off.
"I wish I would have known I didn't have to worry about getting rid of him, I probably would have come to you sooner." Rachel cleared her throat but stayed silent, afraid that she'd talk herself into another hole if she opened her mouth again. "Not to mention the whole awakening experience with Kurt, and now I find out that you're the reason and cause of my sleepless nights?"
Rachel left the safety of the back of the couch and sat next to Quinn, "I had a big speech prepared but this is so hard."
"Being next to you and not being able to express what it does to me. How difficult it is to look at you and know what I want to tell you but not being able to find the words."
"Can you handle yes or no questions?"
Rachel bit her lip, "I think so."
"You broke up with Chase?"
"Because he was flirting with other girls?"
"Because I didn't like him?"
"Yes and No."
"Because you didn't like him?"
"You asked Kurt to come to me?"
"Because you wanted me to…?"
Rachel took a deep breath, "React positively to learning that you're what I want."
"Oh." Quinn physically leant back and rubbed her forehead, pushing her bangs away from her face. Rachel looked down to her lap, not ready for Quinn to provide her with an explanation as to why they'd never work. "Well, I did."
Quinn settled her gaze on Rachel as her head snapped back to make sure she heard correctly, "I did…react positively."
"But…you haven't approached me, or said anything. I thought you—I thought you were avoiding me. Wait, positively? So, that means…?"
Quinn shook her head a bit with a smile, she'd be forced to say it since Rachel wasn't taking the hints, "I like you."
"You like me, too, don't you? I mean, why else would you send Kurt to—"
"Yes!" Rachel swallowed, "I mean, yeah, I do. I just, wow…" she attempted to clear her head, "Now what?"
Quinn sighed and shrugged, "We hang out?"
Quinn laughed, "You're acting like I just asked you to go on a killing spree...can you relax?"
"Sorry," Rachel inhaled and exhaled a few times, "What will we do?"
"I don't know…do what we always do?"
"Campaign for prom queen and find me a boyfriend?"
"Okay, not exactly." Quinn thought for a bit. They seemed to work well when there was some kind of deal or plan going on, it's how they became friends in the first place, and continued their friendship. "Do you want to help me plan Beth's 2nd birthday party?"
Quinn smiled, "Well, yeah. Santana dumped a soda on Chase's head so I don't think we'll be having it at the gymnastics place."
"I dumped a soda on his head, too!"
The two girls shared a laugh and Quinn rested her hand on Rachel's thigh as they settled down. A silence fell over them and Quinn ducked her head in order to find Rachel's eyes, "Nothing has to change between us, I'm still the same person. We're still best friends…only, more now."
"I know, it's just…are you sure?"
"I'm positive, Rach."
Rachel cracked a smile, "Okay, good."
"So, we're okay?"
Rachel nodded, "Yes, definitely more than okay."
The brunette leaned forward first with her arms out and Quinn mimicked her in order to receive the hug Rachel was offering.
And they lived happily ever after.
"That's it!A hug?" Julianna shoots up from Rachel's lap and glares at both of her mothers, "Mommy, all you did was hug her?"
Quinn stifles her laughter and gestures for Rachel to explain this one. Once again, Rachel glares at the blonde for putting her in this position.
"Yes, they hugged, and that's all your little ears need to hear."
"At least kiss her or something!"
Beth had the same reaction when she was younger but she was old enough now to assume that they probably didn't just hug that night but she cringes when she thinks about it, especially when she sees Rachel and her mom sharing weird smiles.
"And what about the Spring Ball and the jeweled crown that the Queen Princess wanted so bad! This story stinks!"
"Language." Quinn reminds her.
"If you must know, the Jester and the Princess didn't kiss that night," Beth is pretty sure Rachel's lying but she keeps her mouth shut, "They had a slumber party at the Queen's castle and stayed up all night talking about how much they liked each other and formulated game plans on how they'd present themselves around the land of McKinley."
"Actually, the jester was the one who made the game plans."
"Here nor there, what's important is that the jester and princess lived happily ever after, as you can see."
"At least tell her about the Spring Ball," Beth urges, it was her favorite part of the entire story.
"It's past both of your bedtimes."
"It's summer." Julianna and Beth reply at the same time.
It's not hard to break Rachel, "Very well then."
"Beth you look so pretty, just like mommy!" Rachel crouched down so that she could be eye-level with the little girl, "I love your dress."
"And your crown, are you a princess?"
Beth nods her head up and down before touching Rachel with the wand in her hand. It was their senior prom and their friends were all gathered at Quinn's house in order to take pictures. Puck scooped his daughter up from behind and Rachel winced a bit at the shrill giggles, "Are you going to be Daddy's date tonight?"
"I wish kiddo," he kissed Beth on the forehead and began singing her song as he danced with her around the living room.
Rachel turned as she heard her name being called from the bottom of the stairwell, it was Quinn, finally emerging from her bedroom so they could all take pictures.
"You look beautiful," Rachel whispered.
Quinn ducked her head, "So do you."
Rachel held her hand out for Quinn to take, "C'mon, let's go take pictures. Our parents are dying in anticipation."
Quinn chuckled and allowed the brunette to lead her towards the rest of their friends as they lined up in front of the fireplace.
The dance was held in the gym again, the glee club not having to worry about performing at their own senior prom as the school raised enough money to hire a DJ. They knew what to expect, one last hurrah—aside from Nationals— before they graduated. It was bittersweet but they all tried to put it in the back of their minds. Especially Quinn and Rachel, August would approach fast and Rachel would be off to New York with Kurt while Quinn stayed in Ohio to work part time as Sue Sylvester's assistant coach and attended part time classes at the community college. It wasn't her ideal job but Sue was going to pay her triple what anyone else would offer her and she needed to start saving whatever she could get if she planned on visiting Rachel in New York. She could have moved in with Rachel and Kurt but she opted against it, wanting to stay in Lima and secure a little bit of education and money while she still could lean on her mom for support.
It made the most sense to her, she was a mother now and she had to think about everything in a different light. Though, as time wore on, and their relationship got stronger and more serious, she received more and more literature about grammar and private schools in the surrounding tri-state area for Beth. She'd eventually get her Associate's Degree, move to a small town in Connecticut thirty minutes from the city with her mother, and enroll Beth into a well respected catholic school a few blocks over. But that wouldn't be for a few more years.
It was about ten minutes until the prom candidates would be called to the stage when Quinn snuck up behind Rachel at the refreshment table and tugged on her arm to follow her.
"Where are we going?" Rachel asked as Quinn led her out into the hallway, "Figgins is about to announce prom queen!"
Quinn ignored her and pushed open the doors to the auditorium.
"What are we doing in here?"
Quinn turned around and smirked, "If you have to ask that, you really don't realize how important this room is to us."
Rachel shook her head but smiled a bit as Quinn twirled towards the center of the room in her pink dress, her giddiness was contagious.
"What about prom queen? You'll miss your name being called."
That was why Quinn loved Rachel, the sure confidence that she had that Quinn would win.
"I don't care about that."
"What! What do you mean you don't care about that? We made chocolates, and posters, and handed out pens with your name on them, and what about the little princess crown pins with your picture? You take that back right this instant," Rachel marched forward and desperately tried to keep a straight face to conquer Quinn's lazy smile.
She took both her hands, "It was never about that."
Quinn continued to smile and tugged on her hands playfully, "No. It was about getting closer to you. I don't care about prom queen or any of that. I care about you."
"Well…" Rachel was speechless, "Well, I wish you would have told me that before I spent so much time calling everyone in the McKinley phone book to make sure they voted for you."
"I love you."
Rachel smiled, the pretend anger she had was falling away effortlessly, "I love you."
Quinn leaned forward and closed the distance between them so she could kiss her girlfriend. Rachel melted into her like she normally did when Quinn kissed her like that, the heel of her shoe coming off the ground an inch in order to get as close to Quinn as physically possible.
They pulled away, Rachel's eyes shined with awe as she stared up at the girl she once hated.
"It was about finding me a boyfriend," Quinn rolled her eyes and prepared to throw a sarcastic comment back before Rachel stopped her, "But," Rachel brought her hands up to her cheeks to still her, "But, I fell for you along the way so it makes up for it."
"Maybe." Quinn replied, her smirk showing because she couldn't possibly pretend to be mad at Rachel even if she tried, "You're lucky I think you're cute."
"You're just lucky."
"Then what happened?" Julianna demands with a wide smile on her face.
Quinn speaks up, "The Jester went on to perform for the land of Manhattan and eventually, the world."
"The whole world?" Julianna asks with wide eyes.
"Yup, and the Princess was by her side the entire time," Rachel adds, "Not always physically," the brunette points a finger to her daughter's chest, "But in her heart."
"And now, they live in a beautiful castle in a village called West Chester, where they have two beautiful princesses and a handsome little prince, who will grow up to have their own fairy tales one day."
"Really? I'll get a fairy tale, too?"
"And I'll get to tell it to my daughter?"
"That is so cool! Tell it again!"
"Ohhhh no. You are going to sleep, we have a big day tomorrow. Grandma, Pop Pop, and Grandpa are coming to visit for the Fourth of July weekend!" Rachel lifts up her daughter and sets her down on the ground, "We're going to the beach, and having a barbecue…"
"What else?" Julianna bounces next to Rachel as they walk down the hallway.
"And going swimming in the pool, and drawing with sidewalk chalk, and baking a pie with Grandpa, and throwing water balloons at Aunt Santana, and pushing Mommy in the pool…" Rachel's voice trails off as she gets further and further up the stairs.
"I'm so pushing her in the pool first," Quinn mutters as she takes a seat next to Beth as she laughs to herself. "What made you tell Jules that story?"
Beth shrugs, "I don't know."
Beth looks up, "Yeah, just miss it. Being a kid and stuff, Julianna was so excited and it reminded me of when you and Mom used to tell me."
"You know that Rachel would be more than happy to tell you it whenever you want."
"I know," Beth replies but wants to change the subject. She's feeling rather nostalgic and the thoughts could make her cry if she's not careful, "How was the play and dinner?"
"It was good," Quinn decides, "After years of attending Broadway shows, I no longer need Rach to whisper in my ear the significance of certain things, and dinner was good. We met Aunt San and Britt at the restaurant."
"They're all coming this weekend, right? They're staying in the guest rooms?"
Quinn nods, "Dad is picking up Uncle Kurt from the airport tomorrow morning and they're all staying here, yes. Why are you smiling like that? Beth, you better not be thinking about playing capture the flag in the house again like last year."
"Aw come on, that was so fun. Everyone loved it!"
"No, and I mean absolutely no water balloons or boobie traps this time, got it?"
"Sure, of course, Mom. You have nothing to worry about."
"You're just mad that your team lost last year."
Rachel walks back into the living room in shorts and one of her wife's sweatshirts to catch Beth and Quinn in the middle of a stare down, "What's up?"
Quinn turns to her wife and reaches her hand out so she can pull Rachel towards her and into her lap.
"J wants you," Rachel tells her, "To say goodnight, and to bribe you into telling her the story again, you must stay strong."
Quinn turns to Beth again, "Look what you started."
"You're the ones that told me the story!"
"Yeah, yeah." Quinn leans forward and kisses Rachel quickly before hopping up and jogging towards the stairs.
"She's so excited, we're going to have to tell her some of the other ones to placate her." Rachel comments, "I left you some money on your bed for watching them, don't tell your mother how much I gave you."
Beth rolls her eyes, it's probably way too much but she'd be an idiot to try to be the hero and give it back to Rachel, she's a teenager, she needs whatever money she can get. "Thanks."
"Why don't you get some PJs on, we're gonna watch a movie."
"Last time we 'watched a movie' I was scarred for life, no thank you."
"We hadn't seen each other for a month!" Rachel bickers playfully.
"It's not my fault you're a judge on some singing competition that takes you away from Mom for a whole month, you don't do those things in front of your children."
Rachel turns and smiles and Beth returns it because she knows that even after all these years, Rachel still brightens when Beth refers to herself as Rachel's child. Even though she's been doing it since her Mom and Rachel moved in together eight years ago, and well before that, too.
"Soooo, that's a no on the movie then?"
Beth begins to stand, she's still in her outfit from the day and needs to change, "That's a definite no. Actually, have you seen one of those old DVD players? Do we have one still?"
Rachel flips through the movie channels, "Um yeah, I think so, in the basement there's one," she replies distractedly.
Beth jogs down the basement stairs and finds what she's looking for, unhooking the cables and tucking it into her side. She grabs a water and turns the lights off before running back up the stairs. Her mom and Rachel are in the kitchen together, giggling about something and she doesn't want to know what it is.
She turns the corner and prepares herself. She sees them kissing, Rachel on her tippy toes as her mom holds her waist; they're both smiling and look like complete fools in love. It makes Beth smile, while she's normally mortified by the public displays of affection between them—because no one wants to see her parents mack on each other while they're in the middle of a restaurant— she doesn't mind it as much when they're alone. It's normal and comforting. She hopes one day that she'll have something like that with someone, a fairy tale of her own.
She clears her throat and they break apart comically so they can pretend like they weren't just making out. Beth forgets sometimes that her parents are only like 32 years old, they're the youngest parents in the neighborhood, and she's pretty sure no one else in her high school has parents that young. They're basically still kids.
It does get a tad weird sometimes, when they waltz into a room and start blatantly talking about boys and sex, and Mohawks and all kinds of things that her parents shouldn't be discussing while Beth has company over. But her friends love them and Beth has to admit, they are pretty cool parents.
Although, the pressure is on when it comes down to her various chorus groups. She's the daughter of Rachel Berry, rock princess, entertainment mogul, Broadway veteran, and record company producer, not to mention the latest addition to her overwhelming resume, reality singing competition judge. Networks are dying to make a reality show about Rachel's home life but she downright refuses every time. Her favorite Rachel is the one she sees at home, in sweatpants with her Mom next to her in matching attire. It's the one she grew up with.
"I'm going to bed," Beth announces, "Wake me up early, I wanna put fake spiders in Aunt San's bed."
"You torment her enough," Quinn sighs.
"Ohh Good idea," Rachel replies. She looks to Quinn, "What? She hates spiders."
"Okay, goodnight," she says quickly before Quinn starts lecturing both of them, Rachel also sees this as an out and approaches Beth, "Love you."
Rachel kisses her on her cheek, "Love you, too."
Quinn hugs her daughter, "Goodnight, love you."
"Love you, too."
She turns and makes her way down the hallway towards the staircase, "And I love you," she hears her mom tell Rachel as they both giggle.
She sets the old DVD player next to her TV and attempts to hook it up, hoping her TV will have the right inputs to plug it in. She struggles a bit, because technology has never been her forte but she manages to put it on the right channel and it's up and running. She goes into the wooden chest at the end of her bed and digs through it until she gets to a small photo box covered with gold stars that's been sitting at the bottom for years.
She sifts through old pictures from her childhood, pictures of her mom, and dad, grandparents, and many from the first year her Moms spent together. Pictures of her first time in New York, her first play, first day of school, school dances, and holidays that they spent together as a family. She has Playbills, and small souvenirs, and even a few birthday cards. She finds what she was looking for and she leaves everything scattered on her bed so she can put the DVD into the player. She hasn't seen it in years, almost forgetting that it even existed but after telling her little sister the bedtime story, it instantly came back to her. The way she'd watch it every night before bed while Rachel was in New York, just because it became something familiar to do.
She smiles as each kid comes on the screen, saying her name and smiling like they one day knew she'd be watching the DVD when she was old enough to understand the words. She feels the prickle of tears behind her eyes, wondering where some of them are in the world and what they were doing. Her mom only keeps in contact with four of them, Santana, Brittany, Kurt, and her dad, but she still remembers their faces as if she saw them the other day. Her dad sings her song to her, Aunt Brittany teaches her a dance routine to a popular song, Aunt San teaches her how to properly give herself a manicure, and Uncle Kurt teaches her everything she needs to know about Fashion in 2010, and it's funny because their roles haven't changed a bit. Rachel's message is last and she just nearly loses it as the nostalgic feeling washes over her and she wishes she could be a kid again.
"And now I will give you the Rachel Berry list of things you need to know for the world."
Beth chuckles because Rachel's still about lists. She settles back against her head board and holds an old teddy bear that her dad won her from a carnival when she was younger and lets her tears fall freely. The song starts, Babygirl, and she continues to cry because her parents still call her that, and they've even started to call her little sister that.
"I knew I heard my voice, it was like God but…Rachel Berry," her door opens further and she turns to find her mom and Rachel in the doorway. They both frown when they see Beth and enter the room and sit on either side of her on the bed. "What's wrong, babygirl?" Quinn asks.
"Stop," Beth sobs and laughs at the same time, because of course her mom would know exactly what not to say when she's in such a fragile state, "I'm fine."
"You're blubbering." Rachel points out before fanning her face, "And now I'm going to start crying, you know how easy it is for me to cry!" she swipes both eyes with the back of her two forefingers and continues to fan her face with both hands.
"Both of you stop," Quinn replies, also bordering on tears. "Why are we crying?"
"I'm just so happy you felt fat that day," Beth says through her tears and Rachel hugs her while Quinn laughs and shakes her head causing some tears to spill over her eyes.
"I can't believe you just said that. Who told you that?"
"I did," Rachel replies and they laugh again. "I'm happy you were fat that day, too."
All three of them continue to sob and laugh, "Why are we such messes?"
"I don't know but I love you guys," Rachel replies.
"Come here," Quinn opens her arms and both girls scoot over.
"Will you sing for me," Beth asks as she starts to return to normal after a few minutes, Rachel and Quinn start crying again.
"Really?" Rachel asks with shiny eyes. "You want me to sing for you?"
Beth knows this is a big deal, she hasn't asked her parents for a bedtime story or to sing to her in over six years, "Both of you."
Quinn kisses her forehead and puts her arm around her shoulders as they sink into the pillows, Rachel also puts her arm around Beth's shoulders. Their free hands link and Beth suddenly finds herself in a warm makeshift shelter as she curls into her mom, her feet just barely touching the pictures still scattered there.
Beth hears the opening lines to the song Rachel sang to her on the DVD but they're coming from her mom, and she smiles as Rachel takes the next line. And they alternate until they're sure that Beth is safely sleeping, hopefully dreaming about Princesses and Jesters, and Knights in shining armor. And even after they finish the last notes to the songs they sang, they fall asleep with Beth between them, much like they did their first official night together fifteen years ago.
And they'll forever live happily ever after.