Disclaimer: I own neither Glee nor any part thereof. No money is being made off of this story and is intended only for entertainment purposes; therefore it falls within the parameters of "Fair Use"
A/N: If you've read my posts in "Faberry Week" then you've already read these two chapters, but this story has kind of grown into its own thing and Faberry Week is now long over so I decided to make this story independent of that one. I should have Chapter 3 ready in the next couple of days.
Christmakkuh in New York
December 10th, 2012
As long as she lived, Rachel would never get use to how early it gets dark in the winter. Five o'clock was just a completely unreasonable time for it to already be pitch black outside. Granted, most days she didn't notice since there was enough artificial light in New York that you never really noticed. She only really took note of how dark it was on her trips to and from Yale to visit Quinn, which admittedly had become more frequent of late but so what she quite liked Quinn now and it's not like it was that long a trip, only 69.7 miles, an hour and a half with the right traffic conditions. And besides for the next three weeks she wouldn't have to drive anymore since Quinn was coming to stay with her in New York for the holidays. Rachel's fathers had always wanted to do Christmas in New York and now they had an excuse, Kurt was going home to Lima for the holidays, and Quinn really wanted to avoid doing that, so it all worked out rather perfectly. Rachel pushed a button on her steering wheel and waited for the familiar bing. "Call Quinn Fabray," she instructed her phone.
Two rings later, Quinn answered, "Yes, I'm getting packed."
"Hello to you, too, Quinn," Rachel said.
"Hello, Rachel. It's wonderful to hear from you again," Quinn said with no small amount of sarcasm evident in her voice. "And yes, I am almost done packing."
"That's good, though I should point out that you needn't pack toiletries as we have spare toothbrushes and I picked up your brand of shampoo and conditioner after the last time you stayed with us, and of course between Kurt and I there is a mountain of grooming tools and products in our bathroom."
"Oh yeah, I didn't think of that," Quinn said, "but it's already all packed now and it would be more of a pain to unpack it than just to lug it. How far out are you?"
"Just passing the Welcome to New Haven sign now," Rachel said, "so about another ten minutes, assuming I can find a parking space."
Quinn laughed, "Most of the student body fled campus yesterday as soon as their last finals were finished. You'll be able to pull up right in front of the dorm, no trouble.
X X X X X
Quinn was right. Rachel had no trouble pulling up curbside to find Quinn and her roommate Leah Brighton standing bundled up on either side of a small mountain of Quinn's belongings: two suitcases, two garment bags, and three rather large boxes. Rachel was rather glad that she had a sensible car with a sizable backseat since all of that stuff was definitely not going to fit in the trunk.
Rachel popped the trunk as she stepped out of the car, opting to leave it running so it would stay nice and warm inside. "Hello, Quinn. Hello, Leah," she gave each girl a brief hug in turn before continuing, "While I certainly value being prepared for most all scenarios, why do you have so much stuff? You're only staying with me for three weeks."
"Yeah," Quinn countered, "three weeks that include Hanukkah, which I am celebrating with you by the way, Christmas, New Years, and your birthday."
"Miss Fashionable can't be seen in anything less than Couture," Leah teased, "even lounging around the dorm room."
"That is not true and you both know it," Quinn said. Leah and Rachel smiled at each other knowing that while the part about the dorm room wasn't true, there was more than a hint of truth to the statement. Quinn had become something of a fashionista since leaving Lima. The three girls quickly loaded Quinn's things into the car.
When everything was stowed away, Leah pulled Quinn into a tight hug and said, "I'm gonna miss you girly-girl," Quinn nodded in agreement against Leah's shoulder, "Call me when you get there. It's already so dark, and they're talking about snow."
"Rachel's driving; we'll be safe," Quinn said, "That much is guaranteed. I will call you when we get there and many times after."
Leah released Quinn and pulled Rachel in and said, "You take care of my girl, you hear me? She's under your care now. If anything happens to her, I will come find you."
"And go all Lima Heights on me?" asked Rachel.
"What?" Leah asked.
"Nothing," Rachel said dismissively, shaking her head, "You just reminded me of a friend of ours from back home. You should come down for New Years. Quinn, Kurt, and I are going to Times Square. It's going to be amazing."
"Fight and shove my way into an enormous crowd with half a billion other people in the freezing cold so that I can watch the two of you make out? Pass," Leah was completely convinced that Rachel and Quinn were in a clandestine long distance relationship and nothing either girl said would convince her otherwise. It was entirely silly of course, just because the two spent a lot of time talking on the phone and driving to see one another whenever they had a chance, and crowding together on Quinn's dorm room bed… Okay, so maybe, objectively Rachel could see where Leah was coming from, but that didn't make it true. "I'm gonna hit up a friend's, warm blankets and hot cocoa and watching the ball drop on TV. I'm gonna try to get down there with you guys next year though."
"That would be lovely. Just call me when you know for sure if you're coming. You have my number, right?" Rachel said.
"I do, you guys drive safe."
"Always, but especially since I have my 'girlfriend' in the car," Rachel said sarcastically, air quotes and all.
December 14th, 2012
"Farwell my beauties, please do enjoy the holidays in the splendor and wonder of New York while I am condemned to two weeks of awkward family gatherings in dreary Lima, Ohio, one or all of us need to be hugely successful by this time next year so that we can fly our families out for the holidays, because honestly, once you've lived in New York for five months one should never have to go back to Ohio. I'll be back in time to ring in the New Year with you. Love, Kurt. P.S. Quinn if you get into my night cream again and don't replace it, I will cut you," Quinn read the letter they'd found on the counter of the kitchenette of Rachel and Kurt's shared apartment.
Rachel laughed. "He's so dramatic. I think either the school or the city is bringing it out in him. I honestly think he's worse than I am now." She was hard at work on her holiday cookie baking. She had racks and racks piled on every available flat surface to cool while Quinn went back to her laptop hard at work on a story she'd been writing for the last month. Quinn was still a drama major, but she'd taken a creative writing class her first semester; she had most definitely been bitten by the writing bug and now she almost couldn't stop.
"I'm not so sure," Quinn said with a smile, "That's a fairly high water mark." After a couple of minutes of silence she spoke again, "He's not wrong though. I mean, I don't even live in New York, just visit far more often than a first semester freshman probably should and I love my mother to death and I miss her but if I never set foot back in Lima, Ohio, I'd be a happy, happy woman."
"Preaching to the choir," Rachel intoned, "I mean, I almost certainly will go back, to see my fathers, to check up on the Glee Club, but New York is my home now. In a strange way, I think it always was even though I'd never been here until about eighteen months ago."
Quinn smiled and looked up and over towards Rachel who was still steady working on her cookies. "That's kind of wild to think about, isn't it?"
"What's that?" Rachel asked without looking up.
"How much life has changed for us in such a short time. Eighteen months ago when we came here for Nationals, you and I were not friends, and don't argue with me on that," Quinn sensed the coming protest, "You were friendly towards me, but we weren't friends, not like we are now and not even like we were this time last year. If after Nationals someone had said to me that in a year and a half Rachel Berry was going to be my best friend and that we'd be living together during the holidays, I probably would have just punched them in the face."
"Well, while as you well know, I abhor physical violence in all its forms, I certainly think that had someone told me at that time that I would currently not only be spending the holidays with Quinn Fabray but actually eagerly anticipating doing so, I would have insisted that I escort said person to the nearest medical facility to have them checked out for either serious head injuries, a large scale illicit substance abuse problem, or possibly both." The girls shared a laugh at this. Rachel pulled a pan of cookies out of the oven and set them on top of the stove, "I think I need a baking break. Did you have anything you wanted to do today?"
"Um, yeah," she said setting her laptop on the end table beside her, "Kind of a lot, now that I think about it. I need to get some presents in the mail or they aren't going to make it there on time. I've got a box of things to send to Beth but I wanted… this is silly, but I wanted to get her something from FAO Schwarz."
"That's not silly, Quinn," Rachel said, "That's incredibly sweet."
"I also wanted to pick something up for my mother from the Macy's on 34th Street. She's always loved that movie."
"Quinn, I had no idea you were such a sweetheart," Rachel said.
"And since it's snowing, finally, they've been calling for it every day this week, but since it's snowing I want to take my camera out and get some shots of the beauty of New York in the winter. I assume you have no problem with having your picture taken lots of times?"
"You assume correctly, Quinn. And you're right, that is a pretty full day. FAO Schwarz is on 5th Avenue and 58th Street, that's pretty much right across the street from Central Park which would be a great place to take snowy New York pictures. Oh and Macy's is on the way there."
"Yeah," Quinn said wryly, "you'd almost think I planned that or something."
"Are you making fun of me?"
"Me? Do something like that? Never!"
"Okay, now I know you're making fun of me and just for that I decline your request to take my picture in Central Park," Rachel said self-satisfied smirk.
"That's fine," Quinn said dispassionately, "I'll just take pictures of the snow and then when that student photography exhibit rolls around, your beautiful, bright smiling face won't be adorning any walls and no one will discover you and want to put you into their show."
Rachel squeaked and said, "Quinn you didn't tell me about any photography exhibit!"
"That's because I haven't gotten in yet," she explained. "I need the photographs to get into the exhibit and I need you to admit that although you have acting chops to spare, you've never been a model and agree not to be a diva when we get there. I'll accept your input, but I'm the photographer."
"Are you a photographer, an actress, or a writer?" Rachel asked.
"Are you an actress, a dancer, or a singer?" Quinn countered.
"I'm all three because I'm going to be a musical theater star."
"Okay, fair enough," said Quinn. "I'm pursuing things that I am passionate about. I don't know what I want to do with my life. Last year when I told you I love performing, I meant just that. I didn't say I had myself locked into being an actress, just that I love doing it. I also love writing and taking pictures. I don't know if I'm good enough at any of them to make a living doing them. That is why I'm trying all these different things."
"Very well, how does the photographer wish me to be dressed?"
"Do you still have that multicolor striped coat you wore when we came here for Nationals?"
"Of course," Rachel said.
"Good, I think all that color will really stand out against the snow. Wear the red tights, too if you've still got those. If not I guess we could pick some up at Macy's, but leave out the white hat. In fact, don't wear a hat at all, at least not during the shoot. You can wear one until then if you want."
"Quinn, at what point did you become the one that speaks in paragraph form?"
X X X X X
"What about this?" Rachel asked holding her arms above her head.
Quinn shook her head, "The pictures aren't supposed to look posed."
"But I'm posing for them."
"Yes, honey, I'm aware of that," Quinn said, "but the point is to make the poses look as natural as possible, and when have you ever held your arms like that in real life?" All things considered they'd made pretty good time on their shopping plans. Quinn picked up a beautiful scarf for Judy at Macy's and attached a note explaining where it was from. At FAO Schwarz Quinn picked up a brown stuffed bunny with big floppy ears which she had been assured was Beth would love. The whole lot of gifts had been dropped off at a nearby UPS, and they had retreated to the park to have fun and play with Quinn's camera. They'd taken several dozen pictures already, several of them really good the girls thought, but Quinn was still having a hard time trying break Rachel of the idea of posing for the camera.
"Never, I suppose," Rachel conceded, "It would appear that you're right. I have no idea how to be a model. What should I do?"
"What would you do if the camera wasn't here?"
"Go home. It is snowing out after all."
"Okay," Quinn said trying to remain patient, "then hypothetically, if you were the type of person to play in the snow, while it was coming down, what would you do if the camera wasn't here? You're an actress, right? Act!"
Rachel fell silent for a moment, presumably getting into character. She looked back up at Quinn with a familiar smile on her face and a bounce in her step. It wasn't Rachel's smile though. "Hey, Q," Rachel never called her Q, "Isn't all this snow awesome? It's sooooo pretty." Rachel's impression of Brittany was pretty spot on. Rachel grabbed a handful of white flakes and flung them in the air. They caught on the breeze and blew right towards Quinn and the camera. The resulting pictures where Rachel's coat and dark hair are just visible through the haze were beautiful.
So focused on the display on her camera was Quinn that she didn't see the snowball flying at her until only a fraction of a second before it impacted her abdomen. She looked up to see Rachel wearing a smug self-satisfied grin that was more reminiscent of Santana than anything Brittany ever wore. Another great picture came when Rachel was suddenly pelted with a snowball from a nearby group of kids looking to be in the 10-15 range. "Interlopers!" Rachel bellowed fiercely, but still smiling. Scooping up another handful of snow she said, "Let me show you how we do it in Lima Heights!" With that, she unleashed the return salvo in the Great Central Park Snow War of 2012. Rachel and the kids flung snow at one another for the next twenty minutes, Quinn's camera snapping away the whole time, until a gaggle of mothers came over to her.
"Is your friend okay in there?" asked a tall African American woman.
"Honestly," Quinn said smiling, "I think she's having the time of her life. I don't think she ever got to do this as a kid."
"No snow where she grew up?"
"No friends," Quinn corrected with a stab of guilt in her voice.
"Really? That's hard to imagine. She seems like a very fun loving girl."
The snowball fight continued for another ten minutes before the various mothers called children away. Sharron, the woman Quinn spoke with, left her an e-mail address to send her pictures of the fight. When the last of the kids were gone, Rachel stood trying to fluff her matted bangs and shakes the snow out of her hair. "I think we failed to adequately plan this. We should have bought a battery powered blow dryer. My hair is soaked and I look a mess." Quinn just snapped a picture of her. "Stop that. I look terrible."
"I didn't fail to plan for anything, Rachel. The pictures are supposed to look natural, so naturally after a snowball fight your hair is going to wet and messy." She snapped another picture. "And you look beautiful as always." Rachel raised a skeptical eyebrow. "You do."
"While I remain skeptical, I defer to your judgment since you are the photographer and also because I have no way of seeing myself at the moment."
Quinn took another series of pictures, mostly focusing on Rachel's face, head, and hair and the results of her physical exertion: red cheeks and nose, matted, messy hair, and chapped lips. "So it's getting late," Quinn observed about half an hour later, "It's going to be getting dark soon and you're all wet. We should probably get back home soon."
"Before we do..." Rachel trailed off.
"There's an undisturbed patch of snow over there. Come make snow angels with me," Rachel said smiling brightly and tugging on Quinn's hand.
"You're such a dork," Quinn replied. Rachel stuck out her lower lip in fake pout. "Fortunately for you, you're a cute dork." Quinn packed her camera away quickly and both girls lay down in the snow drift. "Santana would never have said interlopers," Quinn said, "It made your performance feel inauthentic," she teased.
"Only if you assume that I was going for an imitation of Santana. Actually I was attempting an amalgam of her and Brittany and she had a tendency to break out words that no one would give her credit for know. Essentially I cast myself as their daughter spending some time in the park with her Auntie Q." Quinn laughed at the thought of a tiny Latina girl who acted like Brittany or a little fair skinned girl with Santana's mountain of attitude.
Snow angels sufficiently made, the girl were just lying there on the ground looking up at rapidly darkening sky. Rachel walked her left hand over to Quinn's and took it in hers. "This has been most fun I've had in a long time. Thank you for suggesting it. And for that matter thank you spending the holidays with me. I'm certain I'd have been bored in Lima and I probably would have been lonely here by myself."
"For the trip to the park, you're welcome. For staying with you, I think we're doing each other a favor keeping each other entertained and out of Ohio."
X X X X X
"While today was fun, I fear I may never be warm again," Rachel said. The girls had both taken obscenely long hot showers after they'd gotten home and had a hot soup for dinner and vegan hot chocolate after and were currently in Rachel's Queen sized bed under two blankets. "I fear that I may have contracted hypothermia."
Quinn scoffed, "You don't have hypothermia, you're just a drama queen, and if you're so cold why are you way over there?"
"What do you mean?"
"You're practically on the edge of your bed," Quinn observed, "There's almost four feet of empty space between us. If you're that cold, get over here and cuddle with me for warmth. That is the treatment for hypothermia, after all."
Rachel inched herself towards Quinn and said, "I didn't want to assume. I didn't wish to invade your personal space without invitation."
Quinn wrapped one arm around the other girl's waist and the other underneath her and across her shoulders pulling them flush together. "You're such a dork, Rach," Quinn said into the brunette hair her face was buried in, "All the times you came to visit me at Yale we shared a freaking twin sized bed. I'm quite use to you being in my personal space. I kinda like it. Only with you could I be the big spoon."
Though Quinn couldn't see it, Rachel smiled and replied, "I like it too, even if you are kind of spoiling it by turning it into a short joke."