"Forty-three texts, Quinn. You don't think that's going overboard?" Rachel's waves the phone in her face, but she twists away and goes back to trying to squeeze the last of the honey into her tea.
"I was worried."
"You knew where I was. I told you I'd be back later."
"Well, I thought that meant, like, eight. Not midnight. Whatever, it's not like Finn knows how to tell time."
It's January during their first year in the city and they live in a tiny one bedroom in Queens. Quinn's temp jobs and Rachel's hours at Starbucks cover the rent, but they can't really afford much else, for now. It's definitely more expensive than home, but they knew that would happen. Next semester, Quinn's thinking about taking night classes, and she's eligible for financial aid, so they're hopeful that the loans might help round things out.
"After the movie, we went to look at the tree."
"Yeah, okay." Quinn squeezes the little plastic bear as hard as she can. "And that takes four hours."
"What is your problem?"
"I don't have one."
"You're not jealous of him, are you? It was just one night out. We're friends."
"I'm sure you are. I'm sure he came all the way out here to take you to see some crappy comedy and then walk around." Quinn tuns away from the counter and chucks the empty honey bottle toward the trash can, but she throws it harder than necessary and it bounces off the wall. "I'm sure it had nothing to do with him wanting to get you in bed."
"Are you actually serious, right now?" Rachel's all the way across the kitchen, which means she's really only a few feet away, but it feels like miles. "I didn't sleep with him."
"Oh, okay. You just blew him, then. We know how you like that."
"Are you drunk?"
They're both harsh blows, because neither one is unfounded.
Before they dated, back when Rachel was Finn's girlfriend and Santana had a sleepover and they played Truth or Dare, the fact that Rachel took pride in her oral servicing abilities came up. At the time, it mostly just annoyed Quinn.
Now that they're together, every time Rachel's out with any guy for any reason, she can't stop that quick image of her girlfriend on her knees. Usually, she can shove it away, but with Finn, with the history, she hasn't been able to shake it all night.
And then there's the drinking.
When they first moved to New York, Rachel found a bottle of raspberry vodka stashed behind the breakfast cereal. There was a brief conversation about how Quinn likes to pour a little in some seltzer or juice after a long day, but she insisted it wasn't a big deal.
"No. I'm not drunk," Quinn shoots back, but Rachel's already moving for the tea cup and it's halfway dumped into the sink before she can grab the smaller woman's arm. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Me? You're the one text stalking me while I'm out with a friend!"
"Excuse me for giving a shit about you." Quinn shoves past Rachel and out of the kitchen. She grabs her coat and slips her feet into her boots.
She doesn't reply, she just looks for her keys.
She's gone for two hours and she spends most of it on the aptly named Q train. Once the tracks head underground, it's easier to ignore Rachel's texts. When she resurfaces, she has about a dozen, plus two voice mails. She doesn't even bother to check.
The whole time she's been out, she hasn't had a drink, because she's not about to prove Rachel right. Instead, she has one of those lame balloons on a stick, shaped like a star.
Inside the apartment, Rachel's on the couch. The lights are off, but the tv's on and Three's Company flickers through the room. Quinn sheds her coat and throws it over the chair in the corner, then pulls off her boots. She can't tell if Rachel's awake or not, so she quietly moves for the couch.
The blanket moves and she's met with open eyes looking up at her.
"Hey. Um." Quinn sucks at apologies like this, but she'll try. For Rachel. "I'm sorry." She offers the star balloon and Rachel takes it. There's a small, sad smile visible in the light of Jack Tripper's antics.
Rachel sets the peace offering on the coffee table and lifts up the quilt that's covering her. Quinn accepts the invitation and lies down, facing the tv, and Rachel wraps and arm tightly around her.
The couch is too small and uncomfortable.
But if they move, it means something's wrong and, right now, they have to be okay.
They need to be.