I'm going to give you guys a hefty warning. This is a pure angst story. Might be happy closer to the end. But right now it's NOTHING BUT ANGST!

You've been warned. Warnings will get more in depth the further I get in. This story will contain sensitive subject material for a lot of people. I don't want to give away TOO terribly much, but if the concepts of physical and emotional torture, in all forms upsets you, you might want to skip right past this story.

Don't worry, I won't be upset about it. I'll understand. It just feels nice to get back into the genre I started writing in.


The First 24
Prologue

December 19 – 7:30 AM

"Good luck today honey." Rachel wrapped her arms around her taller wife's neck. Today was the last day of her trial and the verdict was to be read. The man Quinn was prosecuting was charged with first degree manslaughter of his wife. Honestly, she had no idea how her wife could deal with the gruesome pictures and descriptions on an almost daily basis. But she did it and hardly ever showed any side effects from the outrageous visuals.

The only time she was effected by a trial was almost ten years ago. She'd just become the youngest Assistant District Attorney in New York's 9th Precinct history. The trial she'd been assigned was her second ever in her position. It involved a man who was arrested after being witnessed dropping off a mangled dead body of a young teenage girl . He was also linked to the rape and torture of nearly a dozen more women. All varying in ages. There was no rhyme or reason to his pattern of murders.

Quinn fell into a bit of a depression after that case. She'd go to the office, then return home and stay locked in their bedroom for the rest of the evening. She barely talked to her wife. That was, until Rachel stepped in and took Quinn to see a psychologist. The visits slowly but surely healed all of the attorney's wounds, but never wiped those images clear of her mind. To this day, nearly ten years later, Quinn still woke up in cold sweats from nightmares related to that case.

"I know you did your job." Rachel spoke again before kissing her

"I always do my job." Quinn stated matter-of-factly before she grabbed her briefcase and smoothed her black pencil skirt. "He'll be behind bars in a few hours and I'll be sitting in the front row of your show tonight. Nothing out of the ordinary." She cupped the shorter brunette's cheek and gave her a deep, loving kiss. "Love you Rach."

The brunette grabbed the attorney's hand before she could get too far away and pulled her back in for another kiss. Even after more than 20 years together, the romance was still in their relationship. Nothing's faded away over the years, and they knew at that moment, that nothing ever would. "I love you too."

"See you tonight." Was the last thing Rachel heard before their front door clicked closed behind Quinn as she left.

Rachel made her way into the spacious living room. Living on the north side of New York City had its perks. It allowed them to own a 1,600 square foot two story home. The attached two car garage held their two vehicles when not in use. Quinn's baby blue SUV on the far side, and Rachel's deep green car closest to the house. During the winter one of Rachel's co-stars would pick her up. Especially when their driveway was snowed in. Quinn was always responsible for clearing it, because for the life of her, Rachel couldn't figure out how to work their snow blower.

She hummed as she bent over the plug in their Christmas Tree. A smile played on her lips as she looked at it. It wasn't perfect, but it was theirs. Due to Quinn's allergies, they had an artificial tree. Their first Christmas together was miserable for the blonde. Growing up she'd always had fake trees, and never knew she was allergic to them until she was living with Rachel and the diva insisted on a real tree. It was the only real thing about Christmas, until Quinn, that Rachel loved. That was, of course, until Quinn couldn't stop her sneezing and watery eyes. Ever since then they had a six foot tall fake tree.

The diva made her way toward the spare bedroom to grab some wrapping paper. Now that Quinn was gone she could finish wrapping a few of her presents. With Christmas next week she had to get them done. Today was the last day Quinn would be at the office or in court before the holiday break. After placing the rolls of wrapping paper on the living room floor she dug into the back of the coat closet for a bag that she'd expertly buried. She knew the only reason Quinn got in there was to get her tan overcoat.

After turning on the stereo on their entertainment stand she made herself comfortable against the sofa and sang along to the Christmas songs that echoed through the living room. She only ever started paying attention to Christmas carols once her and Quinn started dating. She was raised primarily under the Jewish faith, Quinn under the Christian. During the holidays, their house was a perfect mixture of both religions. Up on the mantel sat Rachel's Menorah. All but the last two electric candles – for avoiding fires when they were both gone – were lit. Hanukkah was something that even after all this time together, Quinn still didn't entirely understand. But Rachel didn't mind explaining it to her every single year.

She hummed softly when a very familiar song started playing through the house. She opened her mouth to sing along with it.

I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

She smiled when the song finished and another soon came on. She leaned forward the pull the items out of the bag, all were small, but high dollar items. Things that she knew her wife would love. She started with a small jewelry box. Before wrapping it she opened it and smiled. She was a genius. It was a matching necklace and bracelet set. Her fingers trailed along the white gold locket of the necklace. Inside was one of their wedding photos. Quinn's favorite actually. It was a candid shot of the two at the head table, their foreheads resting against one another. A smile on both of their faces.

It was the happiest day of Rachel's life. She didn't know what she'd ever do without her wife. She shook her head. Whenever she started to think of that she instantly stopped herself before her overactive imagination started creating horrible scenarios for how she'd lose her wife.


December 19 – 4:45 PM

"Q! You've gotta come out with us. This was like, the biggest case this year."

The blonde laughed softly. She'd won her case and the man was sentenced to life in prison. She looked at her dear friend and partner, Santana Lopez. "I can't. Tonight's Rach's last show before the holidays. Promised her I'd be there."

"Well, when's the show over then?" Santana helped her friend pack up files.

"Around 10. Wanna meet up at the pub around 10:30?"

The Latina smiled. "That sounds perfect. I know Britt will be happy she hasn't seen you guys since Thanksgiving."

Quinn only sighed. She missed her friend. She got to see Rachel and Santana on a daily basis, but Brittany was another story. It was next to impossible to get around everybody's conflicting schedules to get all of them together. "Hey San, what time is it?" She started buttoning her heavy coat and pulled her gloves out of the pockets to slide them over her fingers before braving the New York winter.

"Almost 5."

"Shit!" Quinn grabbed her briefcase and her purse. "Rachel's show starts at 7. I need to hurry up."

"You've got plenty of time." Santana laughed at her long-time friend's antics.

The attorney glared at her. "I ordered flowers for her, since it's her last performance on this show. Ya know I had to get my ticket three months ago? It sold out the minute it got public it was her last day on this show."

"Isn't she in talks with some movie producers?"

Quinn smiled widely. She was proud of her wife for everything she achieved. The Tonys, the constant contracts. Even now, she was in the process of moving away from the Broadway scene and into the movie scene. "Yes she is. Her and her manager are in final negotiations for some Romantic Comedy movie." She pulled her car keys out of her purse. "I really have to get going San, I'm gonna be late if I don't hurry. And I promised her I'd be there."

"Alright, alright. You're so whipped. Just text me when you guys are on your way to the pub." She stayed around to gather her own belongings. "Tell Rachel hi for me, and good luck."

"Will do. I'll see you guys tonight." Quinn nodded before heading down to the parking deck. Santana was right behind her.


Look for regular updates on Sunday evenings. Once a week will give me a chance to stay ahead of the story, plus give you guys something to look forward to.

AND... I'm going to ask you a question, without actually asking a question. I'm still a little undecided on a portion of this story.

-so-

When you guys leave your reviews... tell me a simple "yes" or "no" and no I'm not going to tell you what your yes's or no's mean. :D Consider it a blind survey :D