Disclaimer: I do not own the characters nor do I own the show.
A/N: Just a short little something. I needed to write something not depressing.
Maybe it was because it was the beginning of an end or maybe it was because the lines had started to blur along the sequences of change. Either way, no explanation was ever going to be good enough to explain how Rachel Berry ended up standing alongside Quinn Fabray under the cover of dark clouds as soft rain drizzled across their skin.
Their graduation was over as was the graduation parties. Summer had come to an end and it was time for things to start all over again. Rachel was supposed to leave for New York and Quinn was supposed to make the best of an unfortunate situation since her pre-graduation plans had crumbled under the pressures of extreme malice.
Quinn's father had refused to give her money for college and her mother just couldn't afford anything better than community college. Quinn hadn't saved any money for her future since she hadn't really known that she would have to until just a couple of months before she graduated. All she had now was a few thousand dollars she saved from working a mindless job in retail and the car her father had gotten her for her sixteenth birthday before he knew to despise her.
Rachel on the other hand had all of her bags packed and she had her checklist made and ready for her trip to Julliard. Her fathers had taken time off of work to help her move into the dorms. She had everything in order and was ready to do all the things everyone had always expected of her and all the things she had always expected of herself.
Rachel had started calling all of her high school friends to say her dramatic goodbyes and promise to always remember them. She had decided to call Quinn last. Who's to say why. She certainly didn't know. She suspected it was because it was the conversation she knew she would dread the most since her history with Quinn was perhaps the most complicated. They had never really ever been friends nor had they really been enemies. They had always just been something in between extremes.
"How has your summer been?" Rachel had asked, already knowing that Quinn had been slaving away in an ill fitting uniform at the local retail conglomerate earning just above minimum wage.
"Living the dream," Quinn had sarcastically replied, but then quickly changed the subject. "I hear you're leaving soon." She hated talking about herself since she hated hearing the pity in other people's voices. She had become just another youth marred with forsaken potential.
"Oh yes," Rachel had answered. "I'm very excited."
Quinn had chuckled somewhat sardonically, and then silence had taken over. Rachel picked at a thread on her shirt while Quinn stared out her bedroom window.
"Are you scared?" Quinn had eventually whispered breaking their ever present stalemate.
"It's what I've always wanted," Rachel had too quickly answered. "More than anything," she said a little less enthusiastically.
"I'll come over," Quinn said and had then hung up. She had gotten into her car and drove off. By the time she had gotten to Rachel's house, Rachel had been waiting outside. Quinn chose not to guess as to why she felt compelled to see Rachel while Rachel chose not to wonder why she had so eagerly waited for Quinn. Through silent consent Rachel had gotten into Quinn's car, and Quinn drove them just past the city limit.
When she cut the engine, they both exited the car and then stood side by side looking back at the only place they had ever called home. It looked small though it had never really looked big.
"I was hoping you'd keep driving," Rachel quietly admitted, needing to end their silence with unfiltered confession.
Quinn chuckled. "I'm not driving you to New York." She wouldn't know how to find her way back if she left, and she refused to camp out in her car waiting for Rachel to become famous.
Rachel looked down at the ground.
Quinn raised an eyebrow, curious about just what thoughts had been running through Rachel's head.
"I'm not sure my dream is worth it anymore." Rachel's eyes remained glued to the ground. "What if I just want to be…unspectacular?"
"Unspectacular-ism isn't really all that great," Quinn replied. "It's a silent killer." It had kept up on her no matter how hard she had tried to fight it off, and she had tried. She had tried to make peace with her father. She had tried to save every dime she had earned in the last two and a half months. She had tried, but for all her trying she had never stepped beyond being horrifically normal.
Rachel finally looked up. "You don't have to stay here in Lima." It wasn't healthy for either one of them to stay rooted in Lima. It was home, but it wasn't theirs. It never had been.
"You still trying to get me to drive you to New York, Berry?" Quinn joked using what little humor she could find to avoid the subject of her going anywhere but back home. She had work in the morning and barely enough gas money in her pocket to get to the state line.
"Maybe we don't go to New York?" Rachel suggested, thinking bigger than the constraints of her circumstances. She had no clothes, no money, not even her purse. She had left it all as she left her house to wait for Quinn to appear, but she was a big thinker and she wouldn't let circumstances get in her way. She was ready to go the extremes and needed Quinn to be beside her as she leaped without looking.
Quinn laughed. "If I'm the reason you don't go to New York then I'm the villain." She'd be blamed for influencing Rachel to abandon destiny.
Rachel smiled. "Then what if you come with me?" She asked trying to find a way around the obstacles that they built before they had ever thought of getting in the car together.
Quinn laughed harder. "That just makes me pathetic. Well," she corrected, "more pathetic."
Rachel laughed, too, reveling in the feeling of finally not having to be serious anymore. She didn't have to be so in charge and in control, but she had never had to be that way with Quinn. Quinn had never really expected Rachel to be…anything, and Rachel knew that was the reason she could never experience anything like this with anyone else.
"Let me see your keys," Rachel ordered as she held out her hand palm facing up.
Without protest Quinn handed over her keys. She was glad to finally be free of their burden. It was no longer her choice to stay or leave. The car was parked, but she wasn't the one with the keys. She wasn't the one who had to inject sanity into their equation.
Rachel closed her fist around the car key. "Get back in the car."
Quinn was on the edge of protesting and Rachel was on the edge of giving in. They stood facing each other and the rain began coming down harder than before. It soaked through their clothes but neither of them seemed to notice. They were already bound in the moment and nothing could force them out of it.
To go or to stay?
"I've often played the role of the damsel in distress," Rachel whispered, "I'd like to be the knight in shining armor." With her free hand she reached out and took a hold of Quinn's cold trembling hand. "We're standing next to the mighty stead," she said indicating the Quinn's car. "Now all we need to do is ride off into the sunset without looking back."
Quinn rolled her eyes at Rachel's ridiculousness. "You're very weird." She liked Rachel's ridiculousness. It reminded her that the world wasn't always meant to be falling apart.
Rachel smiled. "I am," she nodded. "I know."
Quinn slipped her hand out of Rachel's and then walked to the passenger side door. She opened it and then slid into the car. Rachel hurried around to the driver's side and then quickly got in.
"Are we going to New York?" Quinn wondered not really caring where they were going. She was the damsel in need of rescue. She couldn't be picky.
"No," Rachel answered as she put the keys into the ignition.
"Then where?" They could go anywhere and do anything. At least, that's what she was going to believe until she was broke, hungry and in need of a shower.
"I don't know." Rachel started the car.
"But we'll know when we get there?" Quinn shook her head again pushing away at further protesting their foolishness.
"We're young and stupid," Rachel needlessly pointed out. "People expect us to do things like this."
Quinn shook her head, but leaned back in her seat as Rachel pulled back out on the highway towards their destination unknown.