Title: The Wanting Comes in Waves
Rating: M (in later chapters)
Summary: Rachel Berry finds herself in a ship built in honor to the hundredth anniversary of the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. Will history repeat itself, or not?
Spoilers: none. This is entirely AU.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, nor am I in any way affiliated to Glee. Everything you'll find here is the product of my imagination. The title is the same as a song by The Decemberists, which I obviously do not own. And I also do not own Titanic (the 1997 movie or otherwise).
A/N: This story is dedicated to Alyssa. Inspiration came from luckypressure's drawing, and this is just my attempt to tell the entire story. All inconsistencies and mistakes are mine, since this is not beta'd.
A/N2: The songs used in this chapter are credited at the end of the chapter.
A/N3: This chapter, in particular, is dedicated to Caro, Alyssa, and Jay, for their birthdays :)
A/N4: I'm incredibly sorry for taking so long to update. But writer's block got in the way. And then life got in the way. But here's the update now :)
Rachel breathed out almost shakily as she tried to walk steadily in her ridiculously high heels. It was tricky. Despite her first class ticket, she hadn't been granted the chance to explore the entirety of the ship, so her eyes flitted back and forth between the walls on either side as Quinn guided her down several corridors.
There were so many things she truly hadn't noticed: the creamy wallpaper that covered the walls in what she realized was already part of the third class quarters -lined with intricate details in what seemed to be some sort of golden thread-; the nondescript pictures aligned on the walls of the corridors every now and then -adorned by what looked like handcrafted frames in shades of grey and blue-; the surprisingly well polished wood of the floor -which she had actually expected to be-well, dirtier, considering it was third class.
She tried to take it all in, yet it was hard to keep her balance what with her eyes roaming all over the walls instead of the floor, those stupid heels Kurt had selected for her, and the fact that one of her hands was currently unavailable for purchase were she to trip, since it was clasped tightly around Quinn's slightly larger one. Before she could get the words out to comment on one of the framed pictures that had caught her eyes, the clicks and clacks of her heels and Quinn's shoes on the wood were drowned by an upbeat melody wafting from somewhere close by.
Quinn turned her head slightly to look back at Rachel and offer her a warm smile before turning yet another corner and quickening her step. She guided the brunette down a narrow set of stairs, and Rachel halted to a stop next to the blonde, suddenly bombarded by loud music and flashing lights.
In turn, Quinn turned to observe the shorter girl's profile as she took it all in: the thumping of the bass buzzing steadily under their feet, the myriad of colors cast on their faces by the strobe lights, the mass of bodies swaying and moving all over the place... even the small stage at the far back of the room. She watched, mesmerized, as the blue and pink lights cast shadows on Rachel's face and glinted off the hair on the crown of her head.
The blonde couldn't keep the smile off her features when Rachel turned to her -eyes alight- and tugged their still clasped hands towards the moving crowd. Despite the almost ear-splitting volume of the synthesizer and the muffled murmur of the people around them, Quinn swore she could hear the brunette giggling contentedly right ahead of her. However, she caught a glimpse of shiny blonde hair a few feet away, and before Rachel could get lost in the throng of people, Quinn pulled at her hand.
Rachel's head spun towards her questioningly, and the blonde nodded in the direction she was now leading them. A confused frown ghosted over Rachel's brow as they zig-zagged their way past several third class passengers, until Quinn let go of her hand to throw herself into the arms of a dark haired girl.
"Q! You bitch! Where the hell've you been?" the girl whined, arms wrapped tight around Quinn, and -upon quickly scanning her face- Rachel recognized her as one of the girls who had been with Quinn the first time she'd seen her from atop the first class deck.
Once Quinn pulled back to resume her spot next to Rachel, the brunette noticed the other blonde that had completed the trio that first morning she'd spotted them waving at Quinn with an excited grin. During that fleeting moment in which none of them spoke, Rachel took the opportunity to size up the pair. The tall blonde seemed easy going and rather approachable, though a bit odd -if the lion shaped woollen beanie (with its little, knitted, lion ears protruding from either side) on her head was any indication-, yet Rachel couldn't really make out much more than that under the somewhat dim lighting. The dark haired girl, on the other hand, instantly set her on edge -the hairs at the back of her neck standing with a shudder. After internally recoiling at the seemingly threatening stare the girl levelled her with, Rachel raised an eyebrow at the indecently short dress that hugged every curve of her tiny body.
Before Quinn could answer the girl's question, Rachel found herself on the receiving end of a displeased scowl, "And who the fuck's the midget?"
Rachel's first instinct was the squirm her way away from this brunette, yet slender fingers curled around her wrist -soothing. She turned to Quinn, who appeared to remain unaffected by the girl's language, and looked at her intently, silently attempting to convey her inquiry. Thankfully, the message seemed to reach her, because the blonde smiled at her reassuringly before launching into the proper introductions.
"Rachel, this," Quinn began, motioning towards the scary looking brunette, "is Santana. And this," she pointed at the taller blonde, "is Brittany," Quinn smiled as Brittany tugged at the ends of her beanie and offered Rachel a wide smile before slipping a lollipop into her mouth, "she's the one who won us the tickets with that lucky hand of poker," she explained, and then Rachel panicked for a moment when the blonde's hand left her own.
However, it was soon relocated to the side of her waist, and Rachel felt Quinn pull her closer to herself as she faced her two friends and spoke confidently, "This," she started once again, pressing Rachel to her side, to which the brunette felt her cheeks heat up, "is Miss Rachel Berry, Broadway star extraordinaire, joining us from first class tonight," she elaborated -while Santana's eyes crawled up and down over Rachel's entire appearance- and stared fixedly at the dark eyed brunette in front of them, "and if only you'd asked earlier, you would have known that I had been extended an invitation to accompany her for dinner tonight," Quinn finished firmly.
The blonde then seemed to engage in a staring contest with Santana, and -needing to shake her discomfort- Rachel offered Brittany her free hand and a sweet smile, "It's a pleasure to meet you," she said simply as Brittany's hand wrapped around her own, "and thank you," she continued, now covering the tall blonde's hand with both of her own, "if it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't have been blessed with Quinn's wonderful presence during this transatlantic journey," she added sincerely, and Brittany's grin widened around her lollipop.
Beside her, Quinn's contented grin threatened to make her cheeks hurt, and she was desperately thankful for the light settings of the party for hiding the faint blush to her cheeks. For her part, even with Santana glaring at where her hands were joined with Brittany's, Rachel felt a warm tingle spread out from where Quinn's hand rested curled against her waist and over her entire body. Letting go of Brittany's hand -which immediately appeased Santana-, Rachel shifted towards Quinn again, "Come on," she bit her lip excitedly, "let's dance!"
Completely incapable of denying the brunette, Quinn nodded at her two friends and let Rachel her take her towards the dance floor with a dazed smile. Soon enough, Rachel found a spot that -despite being rather cramped- was far enough from the speakers to allow them to speak freely without straining their voices.
Quinn was in the process of recognizing the song being played when Rachel rolled her eyes playfully as she danced before her, "So, did Santana ever lose her patience with the make-up and punch a model?"
The blonde burst into deep laughter and shook her head, "No. But I do recall one incident with an Australian model who apparently put her hands on Brittany for something other than a job backstage at a Gaultier show," she admitted as she twirled Rachel around, careful not to elbow anyone around her.
The brunette brushed against the hem of Quinn's dress when she finished her twirl, and inquired curiously with an almost concerned frown, "What happened?"
The blonde took a deep breath before considering the most... tame way to recount the events, "She ripped her extensions off her scalp," she explained, feeling second-hand embarrassment for her friend when she saw Rachel's eyes widen almost comically, "and then made her up with products that weren't hypoallergenic, so by the time she hit the runway, her face was swollen, her eyes were bloodshot, and I'm pretty sure there were tears involved."
"Oh, my God!" the brunette exclaimed, ceasing all movements as she stood before Quinn, hand flying to cover her mouth in shock. The blonde observed her for a moment, finding her reaction entirely adorable, because it was more than apparent that there wasn't a single malicious bone in Rachel Berry's body. Slowly -and now entirely unaware of the music playing around them-, Rachel uncovered her mouth to reveal a dropped jaw, clearly having trouble to get over her shock. Quinn tilted her head as she watched her, hands coming up to rest against the brunette's biceps soothingly.
"Was she fired?" Rachel inquired in an almost squeaky voice, and Quinn was so busy admiring the way the lights seemed to make the brunette's dress glitter in bright shades of pink and green, that it took her a moment to reply, "The model? No, she just had to handle the rest of the shows for that day with burning eyes."
Rachel shook her head -suddenly remembering that they were supposed to be dancing-, and began moving slowly once again, "No. I meant Santana."
She frowned when the blonde scoffed almost dismissively, "No, she managed to pass it off as a simple mistake," she then shrugged before following in Rachel's steps and resuming her dancing, "you wouldn't believe how incredibly chaotic backstage can be right before a show. Make up gets misplaced all the time."
"That's-" Rachel began, but quickly drifted off, rather baffled. The blonde took her by the hand once again to twirl her as she shook her head with a joyful smile, "Yeah, that's Santana for you. But, she's always had my back when it mattered," she shrugged casually, but then spoke softly, earnestly, "She's been there for me from the very first day we met; and she was the one who suggested I join her and Brittany in London. So I'm more than glad to have her in my life."
Rachel's fingers ran across Quinn's palm as the blonde finished, and her eyes searched Quinn's face. Her grip around Quinn's hand slackened, and she consequently let go of it -head hanging low as she stared at her feet finding the resolve to speak out loud the words that had been playing on a loop in her mind for years, "I wish I had someone like that in my life," she conceded softly and looked up to meet hazel eyes, "I've never had a best friend," she confessed and then scoffed at herself bitterly, "I've never had a real friend, period," she continued, voice cracking slightly as they stood still -a stark contrast to the crowd surrounding them in the dance floor-, "Kurt and I were building our friendship in high school," she began explaining, a small frown marring her forehead as she reminisced, "but then Shelby came along, and my career started, and he just-," Rachel bit on her lip -unable to swallow past the sudden lump in her throat, and wishing her forming tears away-, "I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Noah like the brother I've never had, but how pathetic is it that the closest thing I have to a friend is my bodyguard?"
In a heartbeat, Quinn had enveloped the brunette's tiny frame with her arms, "Come here," she spoke over the music as she pulled Rachel to herself and held her close, "You have me, okay? I know I may not be more than a flicker in the radar of someone who shines like you do, but I'm right here, for anything you need," she whispered so softly in Rachel's ear, that the brunette had to strain to hear her over the music. She pulled away from Quinn to search her face with her gaze, looking for any trace of dishonesty and finding none.
Even though she believed the blonde's words, her insecurities crept up on her, and she found herself speaking, "Why would you do that? You barely know me."
Quinn bit the inside of her cheek as she pursed her lips before answering sincerely, "Because what little I do know about you, I like. And I take care of the people I... like."
To Rachel, the reply was genuine enough, even if she felt that there was something the blonde was omitting, so she smiled warmly at Quinn. In turn, the taller girl returned the smile before taking the brunette's hand tenderly and swinging it back and forth between them, "Would you like me to get you something to drink? Water, perhaps?" she asked, hoping to diffuse the tension that she suddenly felt between them.
Rachel's smile widened involuntarily, and she swung their hands again as she teased, "Beer should be fine."
The blonde raised an eyebrow, surprised, though there was the hint of a smirk curling the corners of her lips, "Beer?"
The singer tilted her head, eyes fixed on the blonde's, "Why, Miss Fabray, I can indulge in the same beverages as you," she retorted playfully, and Quinn nodded her assent, "Very well then," she dropped the brunette's hand, "I shall be back with a pint of beer for thee," she grinned and took a playful bow before disappearing into the crowd.
Rachel watched her go, giggling to herself. She didn't know what it was about Quinn, but there was something about her... something that somehow managed to make her smile genuinely no matter how much her thoughts and fears threatened to bring her down. For the first time in so long, she finally felt some of the weight of the world relieve her shoulders from its burden, and she twirled alone in the middle of the crowded dance floor. She knew she must have looked silly, twirling like a little girl in a dress that made her look like anything but, yet she didn't care.
Once she came to a stop in the same spot she had started from, she took a moment to observe the people dancing before her eyes under the strobe lights. They weren't really that much different from her. Sure, none of them were wearing a Pucci dress, but they probably went about life the same way she did, trying to find a sense of happiness that seemed to escape their grasp just when she was so close -unreachable.
She was deep in thought observing the crowd before her, when she felt a tug on the hem of her sleeve. Her gaze dropped to find a little girl in a frilly pink dress, all blonde pigtails and big green eyes, grinning up at her. "Hi, there, sweetie," Rachel smiled at the little girl. The tiny blonde didn't reply. Instead, she clasped both of her hands against the front of her dress and swayed from side to side. Amused, Rachel knelt down before her and asked, "I'm Rachel," she introduced herself, offering the girl her hand, which she took in her much tinier one; and Rachel was surprised to find that something as simple as the anonymity that introducing herself only by her first name gave her a great sense of refreshment. As she held the girl's hand in her own, she inquired, "What's your name?"
"My name's Stacy" the tiny blonde replied, bringing a small finger to her lips and sucking on it as she looked up at Rachel with wide eyes.
"Well, Stacy, that's a beautiful name," the brunette shook Stacy's hand gently, "it's a pleasure to meet you," she continued warmly, "is there anything I can do for you?"
Stacy's head bobbed up and down, pigtails swaying back and forth with the motion, and she removed the finger from her mouth, "Can I dance with you?"
Truly moved by this little stranger's simple request, Rachel took Stacy's hand in her own once again and stood up with a nod, "Yes, you may," she answered, and then returned Stacy's contented smile. However, before she could comply to Stacy's request and begin dancing, a young blonde man came to a halt right before them.
"Stacy! There you are!" he said, sounding incredibly relieved as he picked up the little blonde girl in his arms. Amidst the mild commotion, Rachel took the chance to look at him properly: he had blonde hair, and green eyes -and the plumpest lips she had ever seen in a boy-, and he seemed to be wearing a uniform similar to that of the other ship crew members she had encountered so far. He then turned to Rachel, smiling apologetically, "I'm so sorry if she was bothering you. It won't happen again, I promise," he rambled on quickly, and the brunette noticed a certain resemblance to the blonde girl clinging to his neck.
Not bothered in the slightest, Rachel smiled at the pair before replying, "Oh, no, it's alright. We were just about to dance for a bit." The young man looked at her for a moment, seemingly confused, before nodding, "Oh, um, well, again, I'm sorry if she bothered you or disrespected you in any way."
Rachel shook her head, "Not at all. Stacy is a really sweet, well-mannered girl," she smiled, and she could sense the relief wash over the young man as he sighed. "I'm Rachel, by the way," the brunette offered her hand once again, though this time, the young blonde man looked at it, unsure as to whether she was actually offering it to him. Shaking himself off his stupor, he took it in his own free hand and shook it gently, "Sam Evans. Pleasure to meet you, ma'am."
"Oh, nice to meet you, Sam," Rachel replied warmly. She didn't particularly like being addressed as ma'am, but this Sam guy seemed to be incredibly respectful -which, she had to admit, was a rare sight in men of around her same age-, and a gentleman, so she let it slide. "So, Sam Evans, I hadn't seen you around the ship before," she went on -albeit a little awkwardly, scared she would offend the young man.
He smiled at her -Stacy still in his arms, seemingly playing a one-sided version of peek-a-boo with Rachel as she hid her face behind her tiny hands and spied the brunette from in between her fingers-, and began explaining, "That'd be because I'm working on the third class decks, ma'am, not the first. I've got to make sure nothing gets out of hand. And-"
The young man turned around to find Quinn smiling at him, an uncapped bottle of beer in each hand. "Quinn!" Stacy squealed, wiggling herself off Sam's grasp and jumping to the floor to tackle Quinn into a hug, "Hey, you!" Quinn greeted, smiling down at the little blonde head pressed against her stomach. She then looked up behind Sam's shoulder at Rachel, and promptly handed her one of the bottles, a faint blush staining her cheeks -unnoticeable under the currently blue lights casting shadows upon them-, "Here you go, as requested, m'lady."
Despite being completely out of the loop on what exactly was going on around her, Rachel found herself smiling widely as she accepted the beer from the blonde, "Thanks," she replied, fingertips barely brushing against Quinn's knuckles as she brought the bottle to her rest against her chest.
Seeing the blonde with a now free hand, Sam offered his to her, "Good to see you, Quinn," he nodded as the other blonde let go of his hand to pat the top of Stacy's head and then walk over to stand beside Rachel -arm sneakily slipping to wrap around the brunette's waist-, "I see you've met Rachel," Quinn said, and Rachel noticed a certain hint of protectiveness in her tone. She dropped her gaze to the floor, even if she remained silent, in an attempt to hide the sudden flush to her cheeks.
"I have," Sam answered, but then took a second to look back and forth between the two women, and saw something flash in Quinn's hazel eyes. Suddenly intimidated by the look the other blonde was giving him, he took Stacy by the hand and tipped his hat, "I better get going," he glanced down at Stacy, "Come on, Stace."
"But I want to dance!" the tiny blonde whined. Sam's jaw dropped, speechless, and he raised demure green eyes to Quinn. In turn, the blonde turned to look at Rachel, who wore the most adorable smile Quinn had ever seen, even if it was directed at Stacy. She then turned to Sam, "Let her stay with us for a while," she suggested, and Stacy promptly shook Sam's hand off her own and went to stand to Quinn's other side, "We'll get her back to you when we leave. I give you my word," she finished earnestly, earning a wide smile from the little girl beside her.
Rachel watched Sam nod his assent, not an ounce of reluctance in the motion, and she found herself wondering how someone like Quinn Fabray -who, as she was learning, was proving to be more noble than Rachel had originally thought- hadn't risen higher in the world.
"Alright," Sam agreed, straightening the front of his uniform, "you know where to find me," he then turned to Rachel with a gentle smile, "Ma'am," he added politely before disappearing in the crowd to retreat to his post.
Rachel took a sip from her beer and turned to Quinn -only now noticing that the blonde's bottle seemed to be far more empty than her own-, "So, you know Sam?"
The blonde took a long swig from her bottle before curling a finger around one of Stacy's pigtails, "I do," she replied, then glanced at Stacy with a smile, "Do you want to dance with Rachel, Stace?"
The little blonde nodded, and Quinn met Rachel's gaze as the brunette gave a mild frown, "Are you sure you don't want to dance, too?"
Quinn shook her head as Stacy took Rachel's hand in her own, "It's alright," she answered, leaning back against the closest wall, beer bottle held gently, "We can dance more later," she added, levelling Rachel with what the brunette thought to be a smoldering gaze.
Rachel nodded and handed Quinn her still practically full bottle of beer before letting Stacy lead her a few feet over, instantly moving to the rhythm of whatever song was playing. Quinn watched the pair as they danced. She watched Stacy's dress twirl as Rachel spun her around. And she couldn't help but smile contentedly to herself as Stacy giggled non-stop, causing the brunette to laugh without restraint. From that moment on, all she could focus on was the way Rachel's face lit up as she laughed -never missing a step as she danced with the little girl.
She memorized every single detail of the brunette's face as she danced, every movement as she twirled Stacy, every line on her face as the lights hit it this or that way. Since they had met, she had never seen Rachel act so freely, or look so happy as she did now -unconcerned about everything or everyone that tied her to her world. It was then that Quinn reaffirmed her promise to herself to do everything in her power to keep Rachel as happy as she was now.
It wasn't long until the contents of her bottle were gone, and she placed it neatly on the floor, against a corner so that no one would trip on it and get hurt. Quinn rested her chin on her hand calmly as she watched Rachel dance with Stacy, and soon the pair was heading back towards her -overtaken by a fit of giggles. Quinn smiled as Rachel led Stacy towards her by the hand -the exhaustion evident on the younger blonde's face.
"I think someone is going to crash their bed pretty soon," Rachel told Quinn once her own laughter had died down. In turn, the blonde pushed herself off the wall with a small smile and wrapped an arm around Stacy's shoulders, "I agree," she then locked her gaze with Rachel's, "do you want to-"
"Yeah," the brunette replied before Quinn could finish, her tone earnest as she felt the anticipation wash over her spine in a faint tingle. Rachel knew that once they took Stacy back to Sam, it'd be just her and Quinn once again, and this time, there would be nothing to stop her from whatever may happen.
The blonde nodded silently -unlike the tiny blonde by her side, who suddenly couldn't stop nodding off-, and led the pair towards where she knew Sam would be. Before Rachel knew it, they had left Stacy with Sam and bid the pair goodnight, though they returned to their previous secluded spot towards the edge of the dance floor.
This time, when they resumed their dancing, Rachel moved closer to the blonde -close enough to speak comfortably without raising her voice. Deciding to act before she lost her confidence, the brunette placed her hands on Quinn's waist while they danced, "So," she looked down at the almost inexistent space between them, and Quinn blinked down at her expectantly, "you never told me how you know Sam."
The laughter that erupted from Quinn's throat shocked the smirk off Rachel's face, and the brunette frowned, "I'm sorry, it's not my pl-"
"It's alright," Quinn interrupted with an easy smile. She twirled Rachel away from her before pulling her close again, and now her hands were resting on the brunette's hips, "There's not much to tell, really. He was the officer who checked our tickets when Santana, Britt, and I got onto the ship," she began retelling the events, "we met again that first day, when he was looking for Stevie. It just so happened that Stevie was with me at the time, so we started talking. Stevie and Stacy are his siblings," Quinn smiled down at Rachel, who was listening intently to the blonde's every word, eyes wide, "He's a very hard working guy. He traveled from the States to England with his siblings because his parents couldn't afford to feed them all. So he promised he'd take care of Stevie and Stacy with his job on the ships to save some money and bring it home with him at some point," she continued, gaze nestled on Rachel's face lovingly. She then giggled to herself, "When we were talking, he told me I was pretty. I thought he was hitting on me, you know. But he meant it in a completely disinterested way," Quinn went on with a mild shake of her head, "I told him there was absolutely no chance I'd like him back that way," she explained, and Rachel frowned up at her, curious as to why that'd be, considering that Sam was actually a handsome young man with better morals than most of the men Rachel had crossed paths with. "It turns out that he's about as gay as I am," she raised her eyebrows with a small laugh, and Rachel tilted her head at the blonde, a widening smile tugging at the corners of her lips.
"You're gay?" the brunette inquired softly, somehow not shocked by this development. Quinn blushed profusely and frowned, "Is that-is that okay with you? Because I understand if-" she replied, pulling away, yet Rachel's hand curled tightly around her bicep stopped her as she shook her head, "Not at all," the brunette smiled at her, and Quinn nodded in relief.
The music then changed to a slower song. The synthesizer still resonated in the dim room, yet it was obviously something more akin to a love song than it was to any of the other dance songs that had played before. Feeling the music calm her nerves over what she was about to say, Rachel pulled the blonde close and wrapped her arms around Quinn's neck before resting her cheek against her collarbone, "I don't," she whispered against the fabric of Quinn's dress, loud enough for the blonde to hear.
Quinn pressed her cheek against the top of Rachel's head as they swayed back and forth to the music, "You don't what?" she whispered back.
"I don't love him," Rachel replied firmly. Then she sighed against Quinn's dress, "Finn," she clarified, "When you asked me if I loved him... I lied. I don't. I never will," she confessed, and Quinn's arms tightened gently around her waist, keeping her close. "It's not just that he's a dumb asshole," Rachel continued, and -even though the brunette couldn't see her- Quinn couldn't stop her eyebrows from shooting up in her forehead at the language the singer used -though she agreed with Rachel's assessment-, "it's just that I can't love him. But no one understands that. Well, no one except Noah. He's the only one who knows," she drifted off and remained silent for a moment while Quinn listened to her attentively. Rachel then brought her head up to look at Quinn, though her arms stayed wrapped securely around the blonde's neck, "Noah's the only one who knows I'm a lesbian," she confessed once again, eyes never leaving Quinn's -though neither of them noticed the pompously coiffed hair or the icy blue eyes observing them from the doorway to the party room.
Quinn felt the breath catch in her throat at the brunette's admittance, and she remained speechless for a few seconds, staring at Rachel's face as if it were her lifeline. "Why are you marrying him, then?" she inquired softly, and the brunette felt her heart clench at the way Quinn's voice broke towards the end of the question.
"Because Kurt convinced Shelby it would be a good move for marketing and publicity, and because apparently Finn has enough money to take my career to the next level," Rachel replied with a defeated sigh.
"Can't you just refuse to do it?" Quinn inquired with a deep frown, anger growing inside her, "They work for you! You should be able to be with whomever you please!"
The brunette shook her head sadly, "Shelby doesn't just work for me, Quinn," she paused, a fresh bout of tears threatening to spill, "She's my mother."
The blonde's eyes widened in shock, but it wasn't long until her anger turned to ire as she acknowledged what Rachel had just told her, "How could she do this to you, then?" Quinn questioned, eyes wide and pleading as she stared at Rachel, jaw tight.
Rachel just scoffed, shoulders slumping, "Because she's my mother, but she's not my mom," she replied simply, swallowing past the forming lump in her throat.
Quinn shook her head and pulled Rachel tight against her, the brunette's head resting against her shoulder, "I won't let her," she stated, then pressed a tender kiss to Rachel's temple, "I won't let her force you to ruin your life with him, Rach. I promise," she repeated more firmly, keeping Rachel wrapped securely in her arms.
Rachel sniffled and stayed pressed against Quinn, letting the warmth and the sense of security envelop her. In turn, the blonde unlocked her hands against Rachel's back to stroke dark hair gently while they stood still in the dance floor -a comfortable, yet rather painful, silence between them despite the music and the murmur of the people surrounding them.
When the music returned to its usual upbeat pace, Rachel pulled herself away from the blonde and pressed one of her sleeves against her eyes to wipe her tears. When she glanced up, she found Quinn staring at her looking completely heart-broken. She sniffled again and pulled the blonde's hand in her own, "Come on, don't let me bring you down," she smiled brightly.
Quinn observed her for a moment, trying to decide whether the smile was genuine. Then she remembered that she was supposed to be showing Rachel a party, so she returned the brunette's smile and tugged her hand until Rachel followed. They made their way through the throng of people until they reached yet another corner of the room -near the bar-, where the small stage was located. Once she realized where the blonde had stopped, Rachel looked up at the stage before her, a small smile forming on her lips. That's what she loved doing. That's where she loved being. She cast a questioning glance at Quinn, yet the blonde bit her lip, trying to hide a playful grin, and dashed to climb up the steps to the stage.
Before Rachel knew what the blonde was doing, Quinn began dancing ballet in synch to the thumping bass and background synthesizer. Rachel watched, absolutely mesmerized, as the blonde danced delicately. Every twist, every turn... every movement of her legs, every movement of her arms... every time she stood on the tips of her toes, every time she jumped gracefully... everything, absolutely everything seemed to be in complete synch with the music. And Rachel found a definite and unique brand of beauty to the way the fast, joyful beat of the music complemented the blonde's delicate, measured movements.
Rachel watched as if in a trance. She admired every move as she traced Quinn's body with her eyes. She admired her precision. She admired her discipline. She admired her flexibility. She admired how Quinn managed to create such a beautiful piece of art -because there really was no other way to describe it- with her body, how she managed to make it seem as if the music slowed down merely to keep up with her determined movements. She admired the way in which the muscles in Quinn's legs and arms seemed to twitch with her every move. Yet as her gaze locked with the blonde's, she couldn't help but feel as if their roles were reversed, and Quinn were the one admiring her from atop that stage.
She exhaled the breath she hadn't realized she was holding, and before she could think through what she was doing, she found herself with Quinn on the stage. She began performing ballet steps of her own, and soon they were performing a silent duet to an electronic song that seemed to fit them despite the mismatch in genre. She didn't really see Quinn while she danced, as her eyes were closed, yet she could feel the blonde's hazel eyes burning on her all throughout the song. When the song ended -as did their performance-, Rachel opened her eyes, and turned to Quinn. Yet before she could speak, the blonde raised an eyebrow and blurted out, "Want to try tango now?"
Rachel burst into loud laughter at that and shook her head, "I've never learned tango," she replied.
Quinn nodded, "Okay," she smiled, offering her hand to the shorter girl. Rachel eyed her hand, unsure of where the blonde would lead her to now. However, Quinn raised a perfectly sculpted blonde eyebrow challengingly, and Rachel found herself completely helpless to deny her hand. As she clasped her hand around Quinn's larger one, the blonde grinned warmly at her, "Let's go on with ballet then," she suggested when a new song began.
Songs used in this chapter (and by used I mean this is the playlist I used for their time at the party):
- "Bittersweet" by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
- "Pray" by Syntax
- "Remedy" by Little Boots
- "Exit" by Marsheaux
- "Ooh La La" by Goldfrapp
- "Nobody Loves You (Like I Do)" by Honeyroot
- "Indestructible" by Robyn