A Blooming Rose

Summary : Set at the end of season two. What happens when Rachel and Quinn become friends and begin to grow closer?

A/N : Please forgive spellings, I'm English, but I did try to use American terminology as much as possible.

Quinn's POV

As the dull thud of the music starts to hurt my head I decide to quickly slip away from the main throng of the party. Stepping into the thankfully empty kitchen I let out a relieved sigh as I rest against a counter top and tiredly run a hand through my newly cropped hair.

I don't know what I am doing here.

I let out another sigh and then busy myself with pouring another drink just to delay the inevitable of returning to the end of school year party. I down the shot swiftly and shudder at its biting taste. Staring at the empty glass for a few moments I realise that in order to be the 'new me' that is 'trying' that I am going to need at least one more shot. I wince as I down another drink but then smile softly to myself as I feel a pleasant buzz begin to envelope my brain.

Much better.

Squaring my shoulders I decide to head back to the crowded living room. I giggle to myself as I stumble slightly. This party is already more fun. I keep drunkenly giggling right up until I collide with a small, surprisingly fast blur.

"Sorry". The blur mumbles quickly as it hurries past.

I turn slowly as my brain finally processes the blur as being none other than Rachel Berry. I watch with a confused frown as she storms towards the front door, clearly in mid-diva storm out. Once again my mind takes a moment to catch up as she disappears out into the night.

Suddenly I propel myself into action and hurry after her. I throw the front door open and run out of Puck's house as my eyes quickly find the girl.

"Rachel?" I call out as I do my best to keep my feet as I chase hurriedly after her. Luckily she comes to an abrupt stop as I call out her name. She turns towards me, surprise evident on her face.

"Quinn?" She asks in an equally surprised tone. "What... what do you want?" She asks nervously.

Oh my God, is she scared of me? I asked for that I guess. I feel my heart sink slightly at the thought but quickly shake it off.

"Where are you going?" I ask, ignoring her question.

"Home." She looks down at her feet briefly before glancing back up at me. "I didn't want to stay here anymore."

Her eyes look sad and I think the alcohol must really be hitting me because I find myself wanting to wrap my arms around her. I resist the urge and instead wrap my arms around my own torso.

"You can't go Rachel. It's too late for you to walk home alone and I am too drunk to drive you." I try to reason with her.

"I'll be fine." She says softly, still gazing sadly at the ground.

"No!" I say a little too loudly, startling us both.

"I'm not going back in there!" Rachel lifts her chin and glares at me defiantly, evidently taking my little outburst as some sort of challenge.

"Fine." I shrug with a soft, quite drunken smile. Rachel smiles victoriously and turns to continue her walk. "Then I am coming with you."

Rachel turns so fast that I almost bump into her.

"What?" She asks in a horrified tone.

"I'm coming with you." I repeat, deciding not to let her tone deter me. "Come on Berry, I don't have all night." I gesture for her to hurry up, although it looks a little more like a random flail of my hand.

"But... how will you get back?" She asks sounding confused.

Damn. I stare at her in confusion for a few moments as I wait for my brain to come up with a solution. I notice that she looks as confused as I feel and wonder if she has been drinking too. And then I realise that we both look like Finn right now and begin to laugh.

"Why are you laughing?" Rachel asks looking more confused than ever which only causes me to laugh harder.

"Whaaat?" She whines and pouts cutely.

Pathetically! She is pouting pathetically... which admittedly is kind of alcohol.

Making up my mind I grab Rachel's hand and start to drag her back towards Puck's house.

"Quinn!" Rachel protests. "I said I didn't want to go back in there." Rachel whined childishly, although noticeably didn't actually put up a struggle.

"We're not." I grin. "Well we're not rejoining the others at least."

She stares at me questioningly as we stop inside the front door.

"Go up to Puck's room and I'll be right there." I assure her.

Rachel throws me one last quizzical look and heads upstairs. I raise my eyebrows in surprise having expected some sort of argument. Rachel must really not want to return to the party if she willingly did as I asked without giving me a powerpoint presentation with counterarguments as to why she would not do so.

I smile at my small victory as I watch her head upstairs and then quickly grab some supplies before heading up the stairs.

Rachels POV

I glance nervously at the open doorway as I perch anxiously on the edge of Puck's bed. I'm really not sure why I am here. I have no idea why I listened to Quinn, not that she really gave me much choice. She hadn't seemed to have any ill intent but with Quinn you could never be too sure. Maybe she was luring me up here for some form of torment?

I shifted uncomfortably on the bed.

No. That doesn't seem right. Quinn had been pleasant, friendly even. She could have let me just leave but had refused to let me go home alone. Downright chivalrous. I smiled at the thought. It was far more than could be said for any of our other fellow partygoers. Nobody else had even managed to bat an eyelid as I stormed out.

Okay so she isn't plotting my torture or humiliation... so what then? Why is Quinn being so... nice?

My confused and slightly hazy thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a soft thud followed by a giggle.

"Quinn?" I called out.

"Hi!" She greeted, grinning brightly as she appeared in the open doorway. I found myself grinning back at how dopey and ruffled she look. I don't think I have ever seen Quinn looking anything less than pristine before. Somehow with her hair mussed all over the place she manages to look prettier than ever.

How is that even fair? I roll my eyes.

"What do you have there?" I ask, eyeing the assortment of goodies that she has precariously cradled in her arms. I stand to try to help her but she shoos me away and dumps them unceremoniously on the bed.

"I got us supplies." She informs me happily. "We are having our own party."

She plonks herself inelegantly down at the head of the bed and pats beside her as she looks at me with an expectant eyebrow raise. I know better than to deny Quinn's insistent look, even the cute drunken version.

I settle beside her awkwardly and accept the drink she offers me just so that I have something to occupy my hands. I take a few sips as we sit beside each other silently for a while. After several minutes without a drink being thrown in my face or any nasty comments I begin to feel myself relax and enjoy the quiet atmosphere between us. The warmth of the alcohol spreading through me adds to the nice fuzzy ambience.

I look over at Quinn and immediately begin to giggle at the sight of her with her head tilted back, eyes closed and mouth hanging open. At the sound of my laughter her mouth automatically snaps shut and one eye pops open.

"What?" She asks as she side eyes me.

"You're drunk." I accuse through soft giggles.

"Look who is talking munchkin." She chuckles. I stare at her in surprise as for once one of her nicknames for me came out sounding...

Affectionate? I hesitate at the word, sure that it can't be right.

"Am not." I pout.

"Are too."


"Too." She giggles and presses a finger to my lips to halt any further argument. She grins at me with glassy eyes. "I win." She exclaims happily as her body slumps so that it is rested against mine.

"Why were you leaving the party?" She suddenly asks in a soft voice. Her tone is so gentle that I am almost convinced that she will fall asleep mid-sentence.

"Why aren't you down at the party?" I counter, not really wanting to go into the details of my evening right now.

"Touche." She giggles before making a soft humming noise as though contemplating something. Her face has a soft faraway look that draws me in. I find myself wondering what goes on in that mind of hers.

"I want to be better." She says softly after a moment. "And I am trying. Really." She looks at me earnestly, her eyes seeming to plead with me for something.

"I believe you Quinn." I place a hand gently on hers as I placate her. She smiles softly at my response, possibly the most genuine smile I have ever seen on her. She stares at my hand for a moment with a furrowed brow, I am about to remove it as I realise my error but then her face relaxes from its vaguely confused expression and she links her fingers with mine.

I do my best to control my facial expression but I am fairly sure the shock is written all over my face. Luckily Quinn seems oblivious as she continues to gaze thoughtfully ahead of her.

"I want to try but I just don't want to be around people tonight." She looks back towards me and I try to read her thoughts as our gazes meet but I can't quite seem to read the emotions there.

"And I'm not people?"

"You're Rachel." Quinn states as though it is the most obvious thing in the world, which I suppose it is.

"Is... that a good things or a bad thing?" I ask carefully, not entirely sure I want the answer.

"Mmm." Quinn murmurs.

Well that clears that up.

Throwing caution the wind, or perhaps I am just too drunk now to care, I rest my head against Quinn's shoulder sleepily.

"Mmm... nice." Quinn murmurs. "Spidermonkey." She pats my head softly with a small chuckle before resting her head against mine.

"Finn always hated it." I admit sadly. "He said I was too clingy."

"Finn is an idiot." Quinn scoffs and I can't help but grin at her obvious disdain.

"I like it." She admits softly as she gently nuzzles into me.

I feel like I am in the Twilight zone. Admittedly most of this evening has been fuelled by alcohol but still I am seeing a side of Quinn I have never seen before. I honestly wonder if anyone has. One thing is for sure, Quinn would not be this open, let alone affectionate with me without the aid of alcohol.

"Nobody really likes to cuddle me." Quinn continues her admission softly. Her tone is so quiet and sad that I feel my heart ache a little for her. Instinctively I wrap an arm around her and pull her a little closer. When she doesn't pull away I rest my head back on her shoulder. "Well except in that hotel room with Santana and Brittany."

Wait... what?

"What?" I ask in surprise as my head pops up and I pull back slightly to stare at her with wide eyes.

"No, not like that." She chuckles.

"Oh." I quickly put my head back on her shoulder to hide my rapidly spreading blush.

"When we were in New York... I was so sad and bitter." Quinn sighed heavily. "They were both surprisingly sweet and held me whilst I cried. They helped me realise that I needed to let... things go."

"Hence the new you?"

"That and the new hair." She says, waving a hand towards her shorter locks. "I need to change, or to try at least."

"Well I for one commend your new attitude Quinn." I tell her honestly. "And this suits you." I add as I briefly ruffle the hair at the back of her neck. Her eyes flutter slightly and she makes a soft humming sound.

"Thanks." She utters softly before we both fall comfortably silent.

"Wait." Quinn pipes up just as I was drifting to sleep. "Why would you have a problem with it?"

"Huh?" I ask blearily as I lift my head to take in her befuddled expression.

"If I had meant... that about New York. Why would you have a problem with it don't you have two gay Dads?"

"I... don't have a problem with it." I stuttered. "I guess I just can't really see you partaking in a threesome."

At least I am very much trying not to imagine it now. I feel my face flush slightly.

"So it was the threesome aspect, not the girl aspect?"

"Of course not! As you pointed out Quinn I have two gays Dads and as such have been brought up to believe that such expressions are about two people regardless of gender. Therefore I have always been open to the idea of Sapphic relations."

Quinn snorted and mouthed "Sapphic relations" to herself. Feeling put out by her obvious mirth I decide to turn the tables.

"How about you?" I ask with a smirk.

"Huh?" Quinn asks with wide eyes.

"Would you ever consider Sapphic relations?"

Quinn suddenly seems to find the wall behind me fascinating as she fixes her gaze on it. I start to smile, sensing my victory at leaving Quinn speechless.

"Umm," she stalls before shrugging. "Sure. I mean with the right..." her gaze shifts back to me, "girl". She finishes softly as our gaze holds for a few moments too long. Quinn clears her throat awkwardly and quickly looks at the wall again.

"So..." I start, looking to switch the conversation back to less awkward topics. "Santana and Brittany really came through huh?"

"Yeah they really did." Quinn smiled as she leaned back into me, clearly glad of the change of topic.

"I have to admit I never would have guessed it." I admit. "Well maybe Brittany." I concede.

"I think it would be nice to have real friends." Quinn confides quietly. "I never really have before."

"I know what you mean." I agree dejectedly

"Hey, you have friends now." Quinn assures me in a soft tone, pulling me closer into her side.

"I have people that tolerate me now." I argue with a self-depreciating laugh.

"You have me." Quinn said in an uncertain tone. "If you want... I'll be your friend Rachel."

Quinn sounded so uncharacteristically nervous that I took a moment to respond through my surprise.

"That would be nice Quinn." I smile even though in our current positions I know she can't see me.

"Friends." She murmurs in a sleepy tone as she nuzzles her head softly atop mine.

"Friends." I agree as sleep claims me.

A/N : Please review. This is my first fic and I'd really appreciate what people think, good or bad. Thanks for reading.