Disclaimer: I own nothing
The day after school ended for the summer, Quinn packed her bags to move back in with her mother. She had most of her stuff packed for the last two weeks, but now she was packing the rest. As she stood in the semi-empty room, she sighed loudly.
"You don't have to do this." Rachel said, standing in the doorway.
Quinn turned to face her. "You can come in, you know."
Rachel shrugged. Things have been awkward between them for the last few weeks. Rather than walking in each other's rooms as if it were their own, they took to knocking. Neither knew who started it, but both continued with it. They also had been sleeping in their own bedrooms at night, rather than sharing a bed. Slowly, they were becoming independent. However, both feared that their independence would lead to their break-up.
"We've been together every day since I moved in here at the beginning of the school year. I'm sure we could both use some…space." Quinn explained as she walked toward Rachel, since the brunette had yet to step into the room.
"Somehow, space sounds like taking a break. Which usually ends up meaning…" Rachel whispered quietly, nearly voicing both of their fears.
Rachel was interrupted when Quinn placed her fingers gently on the brunette's lips. Rachel swallowed slowly and Quinn immediately withdrew her hand. "Sorry." She muttered.
Rachel growled in frustration. "I hate this, Quinn! I hate that we tip-toe around each other now."
The blonde's eyebrows furrowed. "You tip-toe around me?"
Rachel rolled her eyes. "I use the downstairs restroom if you're taking a shower, I don't even go to try to talk to you if your bedroom door is shut. Yesterday, I learned a new song on my guitar and I wanted to share it with you but I didn't want to bother you and…"
Quinn looked down in shame. She thought she was giving Rachel the space she wanted; she didn't know that she had inadvertently pushed her away. "What song was it?" She asked, bringing her head up to meet Rachel's eyes.
The brunette sighed. "It doesn't matter, it's not even that important."
"It's important to me." Quinn whispered, taking a step closer to her girlfriend.
"Is it?" Rachel asked, her voice lacked bite but it was the defeated tone that cut Quinn's heart to pieces anyway.
"If course it is. I'm doing all of this for you…for us." Quinn explained, taking the brunette's hands in hers. "You were right when you said that I had to find a dream."
"I didn't think your dream would take you away from me." Rachel muttered but Quinn heard her.
"Nothing could take me away from you." Quinn stated with reverence. Then she released Rachel's hand and walked back into the bedroom. A pang of sadness swept through her when she realized that Rachel didn't follow her.
The blonde walked over to her dresser and grabbed the Wonder Woman statue off of it. She walked back to Rachel. "I was hoping you'd keep this for awhile, to remember me. To remember us."
Rachel rolled her eyes. "I don't need anything to remember you, Quinn. Stop being so dramatic, you're only going to move across town." As she said it, a small smile crept on her lips.
Quinn's lips turned upward as well, because she had achieved the desired affect. "You're right, we're only going to be a few miles apart…so…" Quinn handed the figurine to Rachel, wrapping a hand overtop of the brunette's. With her other hand, she lifted Rachel's chin so that they were looking eye to eye. "We're okay, right? I'm still yours…you're still mine?"
Rachel dispelled a breath and then she wrapped her arms tightly around the blonde. "Of course I'm yours, Quinn."
"Mom wanted me to tell you that she would like to have you over next week Wednesday, she wanted to cook you dinner…" Quinn spoke nervously.
"I can't, Kurt and I are going to watch Funny Girl for the 81st time." Rachel deadpanned.
"Oh, well, I could see if a different day works for her." Quinn replied regrettably causing the diva to laugh.
The blonde stared at her girlfriend in confusion.
"Quinn, of course I'd love to have dinner with you and your mom." Rachel replied with a smile.
"But you…" Quinn frowned.
"I was joking; you used to be able to tell." Rachel replied with a frown of her own. "Seems I'm not the only one tip-toeing around here." She sat the figurine on the desk beside her before returning to stand directly in front of the blonde.
"I just don't want to do the wrong thing here, or say the wrong thing. I feel like I'm so close to crossing the line as it is…" Quinn admitted quietly, when Rachel looked at her.
"You don't have to explain it, Quinn. I get it. I always have. I just don't like it. I'm the one who gave you the idea, and I promise I do want you to find a dream of your own…I just wish that I could have found a better way of saying that to you without making you feel like you're not good enough or something, because that was never the case. You're amazing and I only want you to be as happy as you make me…"
"I was…I am." Quinn defended quickly.
Rachel stared at her for a moment. "And I get that. But if you don't find something that you love doing…and don't you dare say that you love doing me…" Quinn smirked at Rachel's statement. "If you don't find something you love…if you dedicate your life to only following me as I follow my dreams…I knew you'd come to resent me or if that wasn't the case…that you'd rely on me to make you happy and that's a lot of pressure for me." Rachel paused to bring a hand to Quinn's cheek. "I plan on trying my best to make you happy for our whole lives, but you still need more than just me Quinn."
Quinn leaned into the brunette's touch and brought her own hand up to place it on top of Rachel's. When she locked eyes with her girlfriend, she spoke. "I understood what you were trying to say…it was just hard to hear. You're right and that's why I'm doing this. We'll be fine, I think we're just scared because we've lived together since we started dating so living apart will be different…but that doesn't have to be a bad thing."
Rachel regarded Quinn with curiosity as a small smile formed on the blonde's face. Quinn's eyes lit up as she continued to speak. "Now when we go on dates, we get to pick each other up at the front door. I get to be surprised when you open the door and I can see what you chose to wear rather than us getting ready for the date together. I get to bring you flowers. I get to walk you to the front door and kiss you goodnight on the doorstep. I get to call you in the middle of the night just to hear your voice."
"You will do no such thing, Quinn! You know I need my beauty sleep." Rachel pouted, though it was playfully.
The blonde chuckled in response. "We'll get to be a normal high school couple Rachel; it will be good for us."
Rachel folded her arms over her chest and raised an eyebrow. "I fully expect those flowers when you take me out on a date."
"And the goodnight kiss."
"I wouldn't dream of leaving without one."
"And I think I could even look forward to those late night phone calls." Rachel couldn't hide the smile that began to form on her face. "Will these calls include hot phone sex perchance?"
Quinn raised an eyebrow. "I'm sure some of them will."
Rachel took her bottom lip between her perfectly white teeth; Quinn followed the action with her eyes and couldn't help licking her lips.
"I think we've also been lagging in the sexting arena as well." Rachel replied with a husky drawl.
As soon as the words escaped Rachel's lips, the blonde had enough of the idle chatter and closed the distance between them. Their kissing grew heated quickly as their hands wandered. Quinn picked Rachel up and the brunette wrapped her legs around the blonde's waist. Quinn led them to the bed, and when they made love it was like the first time. They explored every inch of skin and worshipped each other's body.
When the girls got dressed again, Rachel helped Quinn finish packing. Then she took the Wonder Woman figurine back into her room and came back a moment later with a small stuffed teddy bear that Quinn hadn't seen before.
"What's that?" The blonde asked when Rachel re-entered her room (without knocking this time). It was a small step, but at least it made the blonde smile.
Rachel blushed. "It's Pooh Bear; at least that's what I call him. He's been in my closet since you moved in…I was embarrassed and thought you'd tease me."
"I still might tease you." Quinn smirked playfully. "I mean, Pooh Bear? He's not even yellow."
"Quinn!" Rachel swatted at her girlfriend and stuck her bottom lip out in the largest pout Quinn had ever seen.
"Sorry, Babe. I was just joking, I think he's adorable." She stated honestly as she regarded the fluffy black bear.
"I'm glad you think so, because…" She tucked a piece of hair behind her ear nervously. "I thought you could take him home with you…to remember me by."
Quinn's heart melted at the gesture. Of course, it was absolutely unnecessary because the tiny brunette would remain in her heart forever…but the idea that Rachel was willing to reveal something she kept hidden and trusted Quinn with her prized possession was enough to make the blonde fall in love all over again.
"Quinn?" Rachel whispered when her girlfriend had yet to respond.
Hazel eyes shot up to find probing brown ones. "Sorry, I got side-tracked…it's too bad we just got dressed because I really want to show you what this gesture means to me."
Rachel rolled her eyes but blushed all the same. "There are other ways to thank someone that having sex Quinn."
"But none are as fun."
"You're right, actually." Rachel admitted shyly.
"I usually am." The blonde beamed with pride.
Quinn took another step toward her girlfriend, and then stretched out her arm to reach for the teddy bear. Rachel pulled it back quickly, placing a kiss on the bear's nose, and then handed it slowly to the blonde.
"I think I'm a bit jealous that he got a kiss and I didn't." Quinn pouted.
Rachel shrugged. "He's cuter than you are."
Quinn's mouth dropped open in shock before she shut it tightly and huffed her discontentment. Rachel giggled at the action.
The girls wandered downstairs and had dinner with Rachel's dads. The chatter was surprisingly light and relatively mundane.
"We talked to your mom Quinn, and we agreed on a custody agreement of sorts." Michael stated after taking a sip of his wine.
The blonde raised an eyebrow. "Custody arrangement?"
"Yeah, we weren't about to give you up without a fight." Jeremiah stated as if it were obvious.
The statement brought tears to Quinn's eyes. She realized then just what she was walking away from. Sure she was still Rachel's girlfriend, but she forgot that she was also their daughter and they felt like she was leaving them.
Michael raised a hand to silence her. "We know what you're about to say and there is no thanks necessary, Quinn. You are our second daughter, and we have loved every minute of having you here with us."
"That's why we made the deal with your mom. We get you on Tuesdays and Thursdays." Jeremiah replied.
She frowned at him. "For what?"
"Dinner. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we'd like you to come here and have dinner with us." Michael explained. "And Judy gets Mondays and Wednesdays with you girls."
Rachel shook her head in amusement. "You guys think you're so smart, don't you?"
"We only get one more year with you girls before you head off to follow your dreams, forgive us for wanting to make the most of it." Jeremiah defended.
"I think it sounds wonderful." Quinn said through watery eyes.
"I think they're being generous. I mean, they left you with three whole days to yourself." Rachel grumbled.
Quinn leaned in and whispered to her girlfriend. "I think they left the weekends to us…"
Rachel's eyes widened and then she frowned. "But we're supposed to be practicing independence…the 'custody arrangement'" Rachel air quoted the words as she glared at her parents. "Doesn't give you much time to do your own thing."
Quinn rolled her eyes playfully. As far she was concerned, spending time with everyone she loved was exactly what she wanted but she decided to humor her girlfriend anyway. "I don't think they expect it to be binding."
"Oh, it's an iron-clad contract." Jeremiah mused. "Our word is law."
This caused the girls to chuckle.
"We just want you guys to promise not to forget about us…or your mom, Quinn. That's all. But of course you can do whatever you guys want to do. Hang out with friends and whatever young people do these days." Michael replied with a smile. He truly did love his girls.
Quinn left after dinner, and after kissing Rachel goodbye for nearly 20 minutes. She walked through her front door and an overwhelming feeling of finality hit her. Her mom was waiting for her in the living room.
"I thought I'd help you unpack, if you don't mind the company." Judy offered.
"That'd be great Mom, thanks."
The two women unpacked in silence before Judy broke it. "How'd dinner go?"
"It felt like the Last Supper." Quinn replied drearily.
"No need to be so dramatic, Quinn." Judy scolded before she caught herself. "Sorry, I didn't mean to come off so…"
"Uptight?" Quinn raised an eyebrow.
"I want you to know that things will be different around here, different than they were when your father was home…but I still have a long way to go, Quinnie."
Quinn nodded but didn't respond with words.
"Did you and Rachel sort everything out?"
The younger blonde sighed. "Yeah, we both understand why we're doing this…it's just hard to be away from her. She's my whole life, Mom."
"Which is exactly why what you're doing is a good idea."
"I know." Quinn muttered quietly.
They finished unpacking in silence and then Judy walked out of the room with a quiet "Good night, Dear."
Quinn changed for bed and climbed underneath the blankets. She picked up her phone and immediately called Rachel.
"How'd the unpacking go?" Rachel asked as she answered the phone.
"Strange. Being back here…I think it'll take some adjusting."
"She's trying, Quinn."
"I know…it doesn't make it easier though."
"You guys will have to talk when stuff bothers you. She'll listen to whatever you have to say, Quinn."
"The Fabray motto has always been to sweep all bad feelings under the rug."
"Maybe it's time to put the broom away."
"Yeah, I guess I've got a whole year to work at it."
"Don't take the whole year to start trying."
"Yes, Mom." Quinn groaned with a smile. It was nice talking to Rachel like this again, with no filters and with complete honesty. The two weeks leading up to her finally moving out were tense in the Berry house but being on the phone with Rachel right now made her believe that they were going to be okay. They would really be better because of this.
They talked the rest of the night on the phone until they fell asleep to the sound of each other's voice. When Quinn woke up the next morning, phone clutched in her hand, she had a smile on her face. She trotted down the stairs happily and greeted her mother with enthusiasm.
"Well, you seem in a far different mood than when I left you last night." Judy asked raising an eyebrow in question.
"I talked to Rachel all night."
Judy nodded in understanding. "And let me guess, you're going over there today."
"Actually, she starts her voice lessons today."
"What does that girl need lessons for? She's perfect."
Quinn chuckled. "I told her the same thing, but she insists that there is always room for improvement."
"What are you doing for the day?"
"I thought I'd sketch a bit then if you're not busy maybe you and I could make dinner together." Quinn replied earning a bright smile from her mother.
"That sounds wonderful, honey. Anything in particular on the menu? I could go to the store and pick up whatever ingredients we need."
Quinn shook her head. "I'd like to go to the store with you; maybe we could make a day of it."
"I'd love that." Judy replied with a smile.
After sketching for a few hours and strumming around on her guitar for an hour after that, Quinn and Judy headed to the store to pick up some items for a vegan recipe that Quinn wanted to try.
"So, you're vegan now?" Judy asked as they walked through the grocery store together.
"Not strictly, but it's easier to know what Rachel can and can't eat if I familiarize myself with the lifestyle."
Judy hummed in amusement.
"What?" Quinn asked with a raised brow.
"I've probably told you before, but you're different around her…better."
"It's true. She changed you."
Quinn's face turned serious. "Are you disappointed in me for changing so much?"
Judy stopped walking. "Quinnie, I like the change; you're happier. And I'm not disappointed in you…I never was." She looked down, avoiding Quinn's penetrating gaze. "I'm disappointed in myself."
"You've changed too, Mom. Very much so, and I love you for accepting my relationship with Rachel."
Judy started to walk again. "Are we inviting Rachel over for dinner tonight? Is that why we're cooking this dish?"
"Actually, I think we've made a non-verbal agreement to try to spend the day apart. I don't want to be the first to cave."
Judy chuckled and shook her head in amusement. "Oh to be young again."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You'll learn that it's okay to cave in rather than go to bed angry, Quinn. If caving in gets you the girl, then why not do it?"
"Santana says I'm whipped." Quinn mumbled.
"You would do anything for the girl you love; I don't think that's a bad thing."
Quinn pondered on that while they finished up with their shopping. Then they headed home and baked the casserole. The dinner conversation was a lot lighter than the grocery store conversation but it still didn't flow as well as it did at the Berry home.
Quinn waited a full hour (or as close to it as possible) before she found herself wandering through the park with a dish of casserole leftovers. She hadn't discussed it with Rachel, but she felt drawn to the park for some reason. If she were being honest, she knew the reason. The park was her and Rachel's secret place. It was where they met and where they fell in love. And since she wasn't about to cave and go straight to the Berry's house, she did the next thing she could think of: she went to the park hoping Rachel was there as well.
Her hopes were proven well-founded when she heard a guitar being accompanied by the most beautiful voice she had ever heard.
"You're here." She smiled as she approached her girlfriend.
Rachel's fingers faltered as she stared up at her girlfriend breathlessly. "I was hoping you'd come here, because I didn't want to seem too clingy and go to your house to see you."
Quinn laughed out loud. "That's exactly why I'm here."
Rachel smiled back.
"Is that the new song you learned to play?" Quinn asked as she took a seat beside the brunette.
"Yes. It's called, 'Let Her Cry' by Hootie and the Blowfish." Rachel replied as she went back to strumming.
They sat in a comfortable silence as only the music surrounded them.
"What's in your hands?" Rachel asked after a few minutes.
"A vegan casserole that my mom and I made tonight." She said opening it up and taking a spoon out of her shirt pocket. "It turned out pretty good, for a vegan dish." She teased and Rachel chuckled happily.
They took turns taking bites with the spoon as the sun set in the distance.
"The fireflies should be coming out in a few days or so, it'll be nice to see them again." Quinn commented into the silence.
"I miss them." Rachel replied as she took another bite.
When they were done eating, Quinn sat the empty dish on the ground and took Rachel's hand in hers. They lay back in the grass and looked up in the sky.
"What do you call something that is green and has four wheels?" Rachel asked in the darkness.
Quinn smirked as she replied, "I don't know, what?"
"Grass. I lied about the wheels."
Quinn laughed out loud. "That's as bad as the first one you told me."
Rachel snuggled further into Quinn and nuzzled her chin into the crook of the blonde's neck. "But isn't it my jokes that got you to fall in love with me?" The brunette whispered against her girlfriend's ear.
Quinn pulled the brunette closer to her and held her tighter. "Yup, something like that." She smiled with contentment.
They fell asleep listening to the crickets chirp as the moon and the stars kept watch over them.