A/N: completed story, going to upload all of it in the next couple of days – it's about five chapters. I'm working on the last few kinks, but I hope you enjoy what I've got so far. This is somewhat loosely based on a true story of mine, at least that's where I got the inspiration.
There's something about online dating that seems a little bit daunting – well in all sincerity, it seems a lot more than a little daunting. But at 21, and incredibly beyond single; now seems more like the time to try it than any other. Carpe Diem and all that crap, right? So here goes.
Quinn stares blankly at the screen before her. It illuminates her small apartment brightly in the evening moonlight. She didn't think it would be this hard. Find an online dating site, set up a profile – and have at it. But who knew just how many sites there were for her to choose from. Some sites that could possibly reject her even; It was anxiety riden to the max. After an hour of perusing, she finally settles on a decent site she thinks. It has warm colors and lots of smiling faces – this lures her.
The profile making aspect of it all is upon her – and if she thought she was anxious before, she doesn't know what hit her. A username? She thinks…who knew that the fate of her future online dating career would fall upon the shoulders of her aptly crafted username. She suddenly remembers "You've Got Mail" and a smile breaks out on her face. If she can nab someone like '90's era Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan…than this is all worth it.
She types quickly and with deliberate strokes of her fingers into all of the allotted spaces:
Middle Initial (optional)
Confirm Email Address
Interested in (Men/Women/Both)
Seeking Partner Between the Ages of
New York, NY
This part of the ordeal seems to have gone on for ages. And truthfully the initial rush of the whole online dating thing is beginning to wear thin rather fast. The only thing so far that has seemed to spike her heart rate was the exact moment when she came across the question that she has been looking forward to since this whole stupid idea popped into her blonde head. She shivers just thinking about it, and the absolute thrill she gets at the bluntness of it, as if it doesn't matter in the slightest – Quinn Fabray likes women. Yes, she does.
And this whole stupid online dating thing is just a way for her to test the waters. She's never slept or kissed or even romantically interacted with a girl. She just knows – and call her a late bloomer – but don't fault the girl for trying to step out of her intricately built box. There's an anonymity to the whole online dating thing – people don't know her or her back story – they have no need to know. They won't see that she's just a nervous young girl whose opening herself up to vulnerability for the first time – and Quinn is thrilled. Because suffice it to say – she doesn't think she has the confidence yet to step openly into a bar and approach the first girl she sees – she doesn't have the heart for failure… and so – for now, this will do.
After all of the initial questions have ended she's brought to the profile element of the site – and here she spends quite a bit more time than she'd care to admit filling out the quirks and facts about herself. She's always found it weird having to speak highly of herself – there's an air of self-righteousness to it she finds – something that strangely reminds her of Rachel Berry – the brunette would probably love this element of profile filling. She furrows her eyebrows at the fact that Rachel Berry has seeped into her random thoughts – it isn't the first time this has happened, especially since she's moved to New York City – but it never becomes any less weird.
But here it is. In all of it's glory. Finally complete, save for the empty profile picture space at the top left hand corner; the website tells her that she'll probably get more hits if she uploads a photo, but something in her subconscious tell her to keep it as far from anonymous as possibly – but to not give all of herself away. There's something alluring about mystery – and the fact that she doesn't want her picture on a dating site for the whole world to see.
She settles for her profile as is. Smiling to herself as she peruses the page. She skips over the match questions for now since it's starting to get late. But she can't help the feeling of accomplishment that seeps into her bones as she closes out the page. She cradles the small bottle of Coca – Cola in her hand and closes her laptop. It's been a long day of work and searching for grad school programs – she pulls back the covers to her bed and settles herself between the warm sheets as she lets sleep overtake her.
Somewhere on the other side of the city Rachel Berry sits perched up on her balcony staring intently at her computer. She is bored, and tired – but at that stage of exhaustion where she's even too spent to go to sleep. And so she grumbles her way through her inbox, and after checking all of her normal sites, she has no idea what to do with herself. You would think that a bright, new Broadway hopeful would have more pressing, interesting business to attend to on a Saturday night – but alas, here she is.
She has fallen into a pit of self –deprecation. These moments are very few and far between for Rachel Berry, but they are not non-existent. She's been single for months now – and she can't say that she misses the closeness of a warm body beside her as she sleeps – of a friend to whom she can truly miss, and confide in. She's never had many friends – or lovers for that matter – and right now – that fact is eating at her as the clock ticks away the dark minutes.
She takes a sip of her water, and sighs – remembering that profile she set up ages ago on an online dating website – she had set it up as an act of desperation – much like how tonight she checks on it in much of the same fashion. Her eyes scan her empty message box, before she clicks back to her profile page and peruses over her interests, height, goals, and aspirations absentmindedly. There is no picture – which is exactly how she likes it – she feels more comfortable that way – and still anonymous.
After a moment she finds herself skipping to the recently added section. And on a whim she alters her search specifications to select only women. You might be shocked that Rachel Berry would do such a thing – but in all honesty – Rachel has always been a lover of character, not of gender – and she needs a new experience in her life. After a few seconds she settles on an interesting profile – and although there is no picture – just a gray avatar much like her own – she is intrigued by the new user.
Hmm. She thinks as she reads through the information.
I've always found the act of tooting ones own horn to be somewhat arrogant, and a little weird. But here I am doing this myself. I guess you can feel free to call me a hypocrite, I certainly would.
Now – to more pressing matters. There isn't anything remotely interesting about me, but I'll start with the basics. I love to sing – even though someone once told me that I'm a tremulous alto – It's never stopped me from belting out a Grammy worthy performance of Blondie in my shower. I also carry around a sketchbook with me at all times – It's a hobby I think, and I find myself drawing the most random scenes day by day – I don't usually like what I come up with, but who knows? Maybe someone will
I love animals – I used to have a dog when I was little, but he was hit by a car in my hometown when I was 7 – I still miss Rocky…well – I've lived in New York for all of three months now – I traveled here sort of on a whim. After graduating I think I just needed some time off to regroup and to just do something strictly for myself. And what better way to celebrate this new adventure than by moving to New York City!
So here I am – taking a year off to find myself. Drink bad coffee – go to great dive bars – meet fantastic people – and just smile and sing – and twirl. We mustn't forget the twirling.
I need a new adventure in my life. Here I am beginning to think that this may not be such a bad idea after all
Rachel finds herself smiling to herself once she finishes the last sentence. She smirks, and scratches her jaw lightly as she continues reading down the page – she is surprised to find herself thoroughly intrigued by this mystery woman – the vagueness of it all is endearing – and there's a mystery there that she is drawn to.
Reading. Give me a great book and I'm lost in the clouds. No – really, I'm a book junkie. I also love old records – There is one in particular that I take with me everywhere. It's a Billie Holiday EP on vinyl, and it's the first record I ever bought. It's simply magical – I usher anyone who finds this page remotely interesting to listen to it.
I like drawing as I said earlier – and I just love having fun, and finding things that I'm passionate about whether it be movies, art, books, festivals, musicals, etc.
I used to sing in high school – and so I always find that to be a nice past time for me. And I love Cedar Point. You can take the girl out of the Midwest, but you can't take the Midwest out of the girl apparently apple cider and donuts in the fall is my kryptonite.
Rachel finds herself blushing. Who is this girl she muses to herself as she scrolls over the trivial information in the corner. 5'5, slim/athletic build, leo, eyes: hazel. If Rachel knew better she would have found all of this information oddly familiar – but she's just so overcome with intrigue that she is left bewildered and bashfully smitten. She looks at the photos tab and sees that like her own profile there are none. She curses inwardly at the loss. And so with a newfound courage she clicks the message tab.
She is left staring at a blank text box for thirty long minutes before she finds the courage to type – it takes her another twenty to hit send. And now that she's left staring at the screen, she buries her head in her hands and groans before closing her MacBook unceremoniously and trotting off to bed.
She sighs into her pillow as she pulls herself into bed and mutters against the cotton sheets.
"What have I done?" Before she lets her exhausted body finally succumb to the necessities of sleep. Her dreams are addled with the mysterious blonde all night as she dozes.
Quinn doesn't wake up until close to 11am, but when she does the first thing she finds herself doing is checking her computer. She knows that it's highly improbable to have hits on her profile – but you can't help it if the girl is excited. She finds herself rifling through her inbox, and there before her still sleepy eyes are two messages. The blonde can't help but squeal as she opens the first.
From: LonniLUVR4382 at 12:52am
U sound so fuckin hot. Wanna share pics?
Quinn grimaces. Her mood completely shattered. How disgustingly vile she thinks as she deletes the message – and now she's much less interested in what the other message has to say. If this is what she signed up for – she can't help but feel completely disappointed. She wavers on whether or not to open the other message on her screen, and it takes her all of thirty seconds before her curiosity gets the best of her.
From: BroadwayStar at 1:47am
Hello QN_citygirl! Welcome to the site. I must agree with you on the fact that websites like this are quite daunting initially – I can completely relate. I still haven't grown completely comfortable with the act of messaging and chatting with new people – so forgive me if this is at all drab and lengthy.
Goodness, I just read what I wrote – and I wouldn't want to message myself in return. Let me start afresh…I loved your page – it was endearing, yet fascinating, and I found myself relating to much of what you've said – and who could possibly say no to Cedar Point (even though I completely detest Roller Coasters, I love a good water ride).
But perhaps … you wouldn't mind starting a discourse? I'd love to possibly get to know you further. Weirdness of online dating aside
Perhaps we can talk about our love for apple cider and fall leaves
Quinn smiles to herself as she finishes reading this last message. It's long and entirely too wordy and lengthy for any appeal. But there's something basely endearing about it – about the way the words are strung together and actually meant. Quinn can't help but find herself hitting the reply button almost immediately – something foreign is compelling her – it must be.
In Reply To: BroadwayStar
From: QN_Citygirl at 11:08am
Hello BroadwayStar it's nice to meet you
I completely understand where you're coming from – these sorts of things are a little weird aren't they? But I'm glad you messaged me, and I would love to continue our conversation about our shared love for Apple Cider – who knew I'd find another enthusiast?
Until next time,
After reading over her words numerous times, Quinn finally feels like this is something normal too send. Not to indifferent, but not overly excited about the prospect of meeting someone new – it takes her another ten minutes to finally press send, and as she does she has the image of Rachel Berry imprinted on her mind. She had been thinking about the brunette too much for comfort lately – and like many other things in her life – she took the mental invasion as of late with a grain of salt. For now – it is time for a shower – she has too many errands to count today.
Rachel Berry finds herself perusing through the Farmers Market when she hears the all to familiar beeping of her cell phone in her pocket signaling a new message. When she retrieves the device she can't stop her eyebrows from rising up in surprise, shock, and giddiness? She returns the organic apples that she was once scanning, and focuses solely on her screen where it reads brightly:
NEW MESSAGE FROM QN_Citygirl
The brunette quickly unlocks her screen and opens the app she not so regrettably – now at least – put on her phone this morning. She never intended for her message to bear fruit so quickly if at all – and now, she can't help but feel embarrassed by the beating of her heart, and the quickening pace of her fingertips as she struggles to find the inbox – and there it is – the message. She finds herself smiling as if this singular message has the possibility of brightening her entire morning – and really, it has.
She responds at a rapid pace – no longer self – doubting but encouraged by this mysterious woman on the other end of the conversation.
It takes her a few moments to send – after spell checking and whatnot. And once she's finished she breathes a sigh of relief – because, really it was that hard. And once she's re-pocketed her phone and finally purchases those apples and apricots she's been eyeing since arriving at the farmer's market – she makes her way leisurely to the small coffee shop on the corner two blocks down. She has to call her agent about a new script she's just received – however a talk with said agent is best done once she's had food and caffeine forced into her system.
She walks in and orders quickly. A hazelnut latte with soy milk and a side of vegan Madelines. She finds a small dark corner to the back of the coffee shop and sets up – her coffee propped in hand, as she finally takes a moment to wind down – and somehow – her mind doesn't agree. As she's bombarded with contrived images and ideas of the mysterious blonde who has invaded her online life as of late. She's so wrapped up in her musings that she fails to notice the body that runs into her table accidentally. When she looks up to apologize and smile she's completely thrown aback.
"Quinn" she breathes – and suddenly blonde hair and hazel eyes seem all too familiar – and she has no clue as to why.
Quinn Fabray has so many errands to run on this Sunday afternoon – that there couldn't possibly be any time in the day for all of it. And so after her shower, she decides that it may be best for her to get a running start with a piping hot cup of coffee from her favorite coffee place down the block. She carries her phone in her pocket, her headphones plugged in, and a familiar tune blaring through her ear canals as she makes her way inside. She orders quickly – a raspberry mocha with an extra pump of raspberry and an extra shot of espresso. No food for her however, she's brought a banana from home for good measure.
So quick are her movements that when she finally does find a table to sit down at. She stumbles over her feet slightly and runs a hip into the adjacent table accidentally. Her bag falls off of her shoulder, and she barely catches her coffee in hand before she recovers from the upright stumble. And just when she glances down to apologize to whoever it is whose table she's invaded – words seem to completely fail her, because sitting right there, not yet even looking up yet is Rachel Berry. The Rachel Berry.
She hears her whisper once she finally looks up and realization dawns on her tan face. Goodness gracious the years have been good to the brunette Quinn thinks as she stares back at her classmate, friend?, and enemy of old. It's a wonderful thing that times have no doubt changed in the 3-4 years since graduating from McKinley. Quinn at least likes to think that somehow she's become a better person. Think being the critical word.
"Rachel? W-What are you doing here?"
It is the best she can come up with amidst her shock, and she's still standing awkwardly in front of the girl. She decides to sit hastily at the adjacent table – the one she was headed for in the first place. And she resettles her eyes on the small girl next to her. She watches as Rachel's mouth moves from the shocked "o" expression to one of nonchalance as she shrugs her small shoulders.
"I live in New York Quinn…really the surprise here is you. What are you doing here?"
Quinn smiles - because Rachel Berry hasn't seemed to change one bit. And she somehow realizes that she missed the diva – no matter how overzealous, loud, and wordy she may have been – Quinn can't help but feel as though she's found something that she's been looking for for ages.
"I live here. Well, for three months. Taking a year off in between grad school and all that jazz – New York seemed like just the place."
"I'm…happy for you Quinn."
And something about that stuns Quinn in her shoes, mid sip of her coffee – because there is sincerity there that she never expected. She can tell – she can feel the honest to goodness sincerity rolling off of Rachel's tongue like a wave, and it soothes her. She feels just a little bit more at peace – knowing that Rachel has grown to become a beautiful woman – untainted by the unfairness and triviality of high school – much of it Quinn's very own fault, much to her chagrin.
She smiles and looks up into far away brown eyes.
"It's good to see you Rachel."
And now Rachel is blushing? She honestly doesn't know why, but it warms her on this albeit chilly October day.
"Do – I…do you care to join me…for coffee, or lunch. Or – I'm sorry. I don't –"
Quinn looks down at their coffee cups and smiles politely. She is moments away from screaming out a clear "YES!" .. and it almost escapes her rosy lips before she reigns it in because she doesn't have the time. And now she remembers – she is on a time schedule, with errands and errands to run – and she is ultimately behind. Here in this café talking to Rachel Berry. She doesn't want this weird chance encounter to end, and she doesn't know why – but fate seems to have different plans for the two of them.
"Rachel. I can't – I'm sorry, I have a lot to do today, and I was actually meaning to walk in and out quickly before we ran into each other. I wish I could stay…"
And she's so honest right now it bristles the hairs on the back of her neck. Because, god does she wish she could stay here in this corner of the coffee shop, cradling a warm cup of coffee alongside her long lost frenemy Rachel Berry. If only wishes weren't just imaginings on faraway stars.
"Oh, how presumptuous of me – of course you already have plans…I -"
The brunette stops her moment of rambling and self-doubt to look up at the blonde, who is now standing once again collecting her belongings. Quinn is smiling down at her warmly and it calms her – she wishes that the blonde had looked at her like this during high school – maybe things between them could have been different.
"How about a rain check?"