A/N: Hey lovelies. Sorry for the long wait. I've been gearing up for Halloween and my birthday. Which incidentally is today :D (yay!) and got lost in what I like to call the real world. But worry no more. Here's a chapter to bide the time until the next one - which is no doubt on it's way. Happy October :D
I had hurried over straight from my evening show. Of course I could have never forgiven myself for letting my emotions take over my career – and thank Julie Andrews that Benjamin was there to pick up the pieces. It took some bad take-out, a lightning quick shower and dozens and dozens of tears for me to arrive outside of her door. Her door – I can almost feel her if I close my eyes tight enough.
And now I wait. For how long? I don't know.
One hour has turned into two, and two has turned into three. I've exhausted the Doodle Jump app on my phone for the night, and have not the will to pick another. My feet are jumpy and my nerves are tingling. It's well past 11:30pm and she is still nowhere to be found. Have I broken her that badly?
I can never forgive myself for leaving. For abandoning her after last night - but how can I have feelings like this already? And she's Quinn Fabray, she could destroy me if she so chooses, and all I want to do is trust her. When I have no reason to do that in the first place.
I don't swear often, but really, what a clusterfuck. I'm still a wreck. My eyes are still red and blotchy from my earlier tears, and I'm shaking. The nerves are getting the best of me – perhaps I could have done without that five hour energy a few hours ago. I shrug – it's too late now.
I feel my mind slowing down – that's a good thing. The energy boost was pushing my emotions into overdrive, but now I can feel my muscles drooping, and my head growing hazy. The aftereffects of those things are inevitable, and almost not worth the initial rush. I scoot up against the wall and lean back on it. Inching my body unceremoniously to the floor. And before I can make a coherent thought – I'm out. My eyes flutter shut and I can see blonde hair flowing past my eyelids in my dreams.
I don't know how long I've been asleep for, but I suddenly hear approaching footfalls. My eyes snap open and oh my god there she is. And she's stunning, her eyes are just as red if not more so than mine, and my heart breaks – and I want to smile up at her, but when I catch her hazel irises in mine they are cold and angry – and the questions behind them are endless. I see hurt there. I hurt her.
And I watch her walk over my still laid out form and I rush to get up, she doesn't slam the door in my face and I thank the heavens for this small window of opportunity as my feet carry me inside of her apartment. She smells of beer and vanilla – she must be coming from work. And it is now that I make my move – because when else will I have the chance?
And now as my hand clasps around her arm I really stare into her face, and the anger there dissolves – the mask breaks away and she's so raw in front of me. So hurt, and so confused. I have to explain. She yells, and I cringe back, but I have to prove myself to her.
And suddenly she's listening. I have no idea what's coming out of my mouth, but I watch her as my lips move. She's grown hazy as I realize that I must be crying now. But there's a softness in her eyes that I haven't seen since last night, and maybe…I just might have broken through. And just when I think the pause in the air might be too stifling to bear she asks the million dollar question, and all I can do is nod. And before I know it she's grabbing me by the cheeks and pressing into me in all of the right places as our lips meet. I let her guide it – this moment is not mine, it's hers. And my shattered heart starts beating to a familiar rhythm as I let her take me through all of the realms of passion, anger, lust, and desire.
I need air. I'm intoxicated by her, and I need to back away so I can grasp onto some form of reality. I'm drowning in her and I never want to stop. I feel her flick her tongue against my lips and my body shudders – and that's when I can taste the metallic warmth of blood on my tongue – when did she bite me? I can hardly remember flinching at all. And then my eyes flutter open and I really stare at her for the first time since arriving at her door – and she reminds me of happiness.
Her hair is falling out around her face, and her cheeks are rosy with a flush. Her pupils are dilated and black and I can feel her hot breath panting out wantonly against my cheek and lips. I want her so bad. Scratch that – I want her to know how much I need her right now.
And so I delve in. Her skin is hot and her drying tears are streaked – but she tastes divine – and she has to know how heartbroken I am at the pain I've caused - I'm hoping that she understands as I praise her skin little by little.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry."
Over and over again a whisper on my breath as I idolize her. First her cheeks, then her eyelids – they flutter at my kiss – then her nose, and her earlobe, and her neck and her collarbone. I have to infuse every inch of her with me. So she knows – so that she'll never doubt herself again.
I rise up and capture her lips for another moment. This time it's slow and it's almost as if we're re-learning each other as I trace the softness of her bottom lip slowly with my tongue. And then hers makes an appearance and meets mine tip for tip. Our lips falling over the other's smoothly , carefully, mystically. And is it okay if I never want to stop?
And almost as if God himself heard my inner most thoughts her lips fall away and I wince at their absence. My eyes are still closed, and I feel her hand cup my chin and tilt my face up slowly.
"Look at me Rachel."
Her wish is my command – obedience was always a strong suit of mine. And for some reason I already know that I'll undoubtedly give Quinn Fabray anything her gorgeous heart desires.
"We need to talk before we…get carried away again."
I nod at her. My mind has kicked in again – damn it – and now the nerves are slowly working their way back, because I'm not a fan of uncertainty and failed romance.
"Of course Quinn – I apologize, I should have controlled myself better than what I've shown."
"Don't apologize for that Rachel – because if we had continued I swear to The Gods I would have ravished you without once looking back. And honestly? That isn't in either one of our best interests at the moment."
I'm blushing feverishly now and - oh, Sweet Charity – she's smiling at me. It isn't as wide or as brilliant as her earlier ones from the day before. It's teasing and shy and wistful… but I swear my heart stops.
She turns and walks down into her hallway, I follow her – at some point our hands intertwine on our journey and I chance a glance at her wall of photos shyly as we walk past, ultimately landing at the countertop stools at her kitchen. She discards my hand and shuffles around the side, walking up to the cabinets and grabbing on to two small glasses.
"Want anything to drink Rachel? If you name it I probably have it."
"Something alcoholic. My nerves are shot."
"Phew - I thought you'd never ask."
She teases as she pulls down a bottle of wine from a cabinet. I can't possibly read the label but I watch her fingers as she twists the top and grabs a corkscrew – And now she's pouring gracious amounts of it into the two glasses before handing me one over her counter.
"This is oddly familiar. I feel as if I should be tipping you."
I say – because truthfully it is. She's handing me drinks over the counter – the bartender look is not lost on me and I smile. And come on! She's still in her uniform. I hear a faint chuckle and it kills me at how much I missed that sound in a 24 hour period. My eyes turn serious as I take a measured sip.
"Stony Hill 2000, Semillon Du Soleil, 2005. I've been saving it for a meaningful occasion. I hope you like white?"
"It's delicious. Thank you. And I hardly constitute this as a meaningful occasion. We're both tear streaked and emotionally wired. It's almost reminiscent of a train wreck. I apologize again for the casualty. Metaphor forgotten … my fear shouldn't have propelled my actions; and I can never forgive myself for walking out on you."
I watch Quinn as her eyes become calculated; she takes a large gulp of white wine and sets her glass down, resting her elbows now on the countertop across from me. Our faces are close and I watch her eyes flicker between sadness, and hope. I can't decide which one she'll settle on.
"Ah…the serious stuff…Rachel I can't lie to you. What you did really hurt."
Her voice cracks a tad, and I watch her clear her throat, attempting to bring the strength back into it. I lift my hand and graze her cheekbone, leaving my palm resting there. Her eyes connect with mine and we pause – staring at one another – the implications of our silent discussion not lost.
She turns her head and nuzzles my palm before placing a kiss there – and all too soon she's letting go of me completely and rising up off of the counter to drink more of her wine.
"Tell me…please. So I can understand."
She sighs and finishes off the wine in her hand – I tip mine back doing the same, and I watch her silently as she refills for the both of us.
"I always liked you Rachel. Ever since I first heard you sing the national anthem at Homecoming our freshman year. I remember standing with the Cheerios in the sidelines, and I simply couldn't take my eyes off of you, you were that amazing."
"If I remember correctly Quinn, It was you who propelled members of the Cheerios and the hockey team to throw trash at me in the middle of said performance…."
"You have to understand that back then. I didn't know how to be different. I knew I was different, I always have Rachel – but I couldn't bear that thought, and so as I watched you sing, I had to get rid of it, of those feelings – and the only thing I could think of to do just that was to shut you up."
"That's hardly healthy behavior Quinn."
"Believe me, I know."
She drinks more wine, I mimic her sips unintentionally – our second glasses are almost halfway gone now.
"Is that why you tormented me all of those years? Was that what it was?"
She nods at me and I sigh, because it's simply that heart wrenching to think that Quinn hid her true feelings from the world for so long. Too long – all because she was ashamed. If only things had been different back then, for the both of us.
"Oh Quinn…I'm so sorry."
"Don't be Rachel. I'm the one that should be sorry. I can spend an entire lifetime saying I'm sorry – but it'll never make me feel any better about the things I did, said, and/or let happen to you at my own hands or at the hands of others. I hated you because I loved – and that isn't fair at all. I should have worshipped you."
"Hardly Quinn. It's not as if I'm much better."
"And what do you mean by that?"
Her hazel eyes are swimming with curiosity, and I want to touch her again, feel the warmth of her skin against my fingertips – but instead I drink the rest of my wine, and she follows with hers – and again she tops us both off.
"I liked you in high school too Quinn. Granted it didn't take me quite as long as you to come to terms with it, but It still wasn't something I made aware to myself until we were almost graduating. Did you ever wonder why I always went after your boyfriends? Or why I tried SO hard to befriend you? … because I wondered. And it wasn't until the reality of all of us leaving hit me that I realized that I cared about you - I cared about you more than I cared about any of our other peers. I felt uncertain about myself, and uncertain about my feelings. Because how cruel could the universe be to force my fawning over my very tormentor – I felt so pathetic."
"I'm so sorry Rachel."
There are unshed tears in her eyes and I give her a small smile to calm her nerves.
"And so am I – I'm sorry it took so long for us to get here – and I'm sorry for throwing a wrench in the machine of it all. I'm sorry for leaving you when you needed me there."
Quinn looks at me and nods. She drinks the rest of her wine in one fell swoop and drops her glass down to the countertop. I would do the same but I'm thoroughly buzzed, and halfway on my way to tipsy already, I glance at the bottle and it's already halfway gone.
"Can you promise me something?"
I turn my gaze back to Quinn and she's staring at me so intensely I think I might melt.
"Of course Quinn."
"Promise me that we'll both stop apologizing for our past? I want to start fresh, and I don't want us held back by sorry's and might- have – been's…is that okay?"
I smile at her – it's one of my large face eating ones and she laughs. God I'll never get tired of that sound. And then I stick my hand out and stare at her, waiting for her to grasp it within one of her own. Once she does, I shake. Smiling at our tipsy – renewed salutation.
"Why hello there, it's nice to finally meet you – I've heard wonderful things."
She's smiling right back at me, and I'm growing dizzy from her piercing gaze. My breath catches, and now it's coming out in a small whisper as my cheeks blush.
"I'm Rachel. Rachel, Berry."
She's smiling back at me – and her voice is so husky now. She's leaning on the counter top on her elbow again and I can smell the sweet fruitiness of the Semillon on her warm breath.
"No last name? That's not entirely fair is it?"
"Fabray. Quinn Fabray… It's a pleasure to finally meet you Ms. Berry."
She's leaning closer to me now, and I can feel the heat radiating off of her skin – we're both smiling at each other, and I catch her hazel eyes. They're boring into mine with so much compassion I almost forget to breath. And my eyes darken at her gaze. My tongue barely a whisper as I run it across my bottom lip unintentionally – her eyes follow the action and darken.
"The pleasure's all mine."