Kurt opened the door quietly, peeking outside to see if Quinn's late-night text was serious or not. It was. Quinn held her finger to her lips when he laughed and then let him lead her inside to his bedroom.

"Rachel is in the bathroom," Kurt whispered, putting her bag down. "She went to bed early because of a headache, so I don't know what kind of mood she'll be in."


"She'll be like a dog chasing her own tail when she sees you, just like always, but I get her bad moods. You get the good stuff."

"I get her bad moods too," Quinn said. "I get everything." Her eyes narrowed. "And don't call her a dog."

The toilet flushed.

"Are you ready?" Kurt asked. "Do you want to fix your hair first? It's a little flat."

Quinn's head dropped to his shoulder in a sigh. "All these years later and you're still a bitch."

He smiled and put his arm around her. "You think she'll believe me?"

"Find out."

Rachel was drying her hands when she heard Kurt from the next room.

"Rachel, do you want to sleep in my bed tonight?"

She rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "We can't snuggle after every single nightmare, Kurt."

"Says who?"


"Are you sure you don't want to? My room is better than yours."

"Mine is bigger!"

Kurt leaned against Quinn. "Mine is prettier!"

"Not true!" Rachel called back. "Goodnight again."

He heard Rachel open the bathroom door and switch the light off. "Quinn is in here."

Rachel chuckled on her way back to bed. "Like I'll fall for that a fourth time."

Quinn laughed quietly. "Oh, my God, you've used me to lure Rachel into your bed three times?"

"In my defence, my hair was grey in every one of those nightmares," he said. "I needed consoling and Blaine was unreachable. All we did was spoon." Kurt smiled. "Promise."

"Knock on her door and tell her it was a really bad dream," Quinn said, kicking off her shoes before she stood. "She'll let you in."

He obliged, and would have done so even without the knowledge that Rachel would buy him coffee for the rest of the week if he helped sneak Quinn inside their apartment.

Rachel was settled back underneath the covers when there was a knock at her door.


Kurt opened the door. "It was a really bad dream."

Rachel sighed softly but didn't open her eyes. "Grey again?"


"Come on," Rachel said.

Quinn mouthed her thanks to Kurt and closed the door quietly.

"I think you need to see a therapist, Kurt. Your dreams are not normal." Rachel adjusted her head on the pillow when she felt the bed sink slightly next her. There was an arm around her now. "I'll have a bald spot before you do, now go to sleep and remember that I hate it when you hog the covers." It was a full minute later when Rachel frowned. "Why are you on top of the covers? Get in."

Quinn moved underneath the covers and put her arm over Rachel's back.

"Night Fred." Kurt was stroking her back so there was no way he was asleep, and so quickly, so why hadn't he replied? "Aren't you going to say 'night, Judy'?"

The bed sunk in again and Rachel felt a pair of lips against her neck in a decidedly intimate manner. Her eyes flew open when she felt the barest hint of tongue. Rachel jumped out of bed. "Kurt, what are you doing?"

"You're welcome!" Kurt screeched from his bedroom.

Rachel was going to scream. She was tired and half-asleep, all she understood was that it wasn't Kurt in her bed. Quinn didn't see much of anything for a good few seconds after the light was turned on. Momentarily blinded, she missed the horror-stricken expression on Rachel's face and the way it bypassed shock almost entirely, overtaken by the happiness.

Rachel tackled Quinn on the bed. "Oh, my God, you scared me!"

Quinn removed her arms from around her. "I'm sorry, I'll go."

Rachel laughed, holding tighter. She kissed Quinn's face and then went back to burying her head in her neck. "Why are you here?"

"Selfish reasons. Can I have a hug and a kiss?"

Rachel nearly flew backwards in the air like a woman possessed. "You dropped out of Yale?"

"What?" Quinn pulled Rachel back so she was on top of her. "No." She remembered a certain phone-call and laughed. "Oh. Sorry, no. I didn't drop out."

"God, give me two heart-attacks, why don't you?"Rachel braced her arms either side of Quinn's head. "You're still a college student?" she asked. "You're still exactly where you want to be?"

Quinn nodded. Yes, she was. After Rachel had given her a very welcoming kiss, Quinn enjoyed holding her so close.

"Why are you here, in need of hugs and kisses?"

"I got back to my apartment and I started to get changed for bed when I realised that I didn't want to sleep without you. In my spontaneity, I forgot to bring something to sleep in but, um..." Quinn felt Rachel smile against her skin.

"You're old, it's okay." Rachel kissed Quinn's neck. "Do you want to talk about anything?"

"It can wait until morning. Don't you have a headache you should be sleeping off?"

"I took something for it. You being here might be helping too."

"Do you promise not to freak out if I tell you?" Quinn asked.


"I went to see my mom."

Rachel lifted her head quickly. "What?"

"She makes me crazy," Quinn said, "and I'm glad I haven't had to be around her all the time. But she didn't call me last week. I missed her," she smiled. "It was the weirdest thing. Usually I don't... it sounds horrible, but before, half a dozen times at least, I've wanted to let it go to voicemail."

"What happened?"

"I took your advice. Things had to change, I mean, most of those calls were painful and there was a part of me that hadn't changed at all. I was stuck."

Rachel smiled. "How did it go?"

"Well, all of this happened today, so I think it's too early to tell. But she knows I'm not who I was and that we have to start working on things to even be in contact with each other. She said she'll try harder and she wasn't drunk, so I think she meant it. Even if we figure out that we're just too different, at least I know I tried. And she does usually call which is more than I can say for my dad."

"Why didn't she call last week? Did she say?"

"I think she knows something is different," Quinn said. "She wouldn't touch me and there were some serious hit-you-in-the-face hints and not wanting to know who I'm seeing unless I'm marrying some perfect guy she's dreamed up for me in her head all these years."

Guilt settled heavily over Rachel. "I'm so sorry."

Rachel's apology made Quinn feel worse, like the situation was so much more real. "I didn't expect any different."

"Sometimes all it takes is time. I've told you before but my grandma —dad's; the only one who acknowledges me as family, didn't accept him right away. It was two years before she showed up with an apology and baby steps towards rebuilding their relationship."

That's all Quinn had ever expected from Judy. Baby steps. "I'm not thinking of telling her about anything yet," Quinn said gently. "Not in so many words. I don't hide the fact that you're an important part of my life to her but I think it's better if she keeps her head buried in the sand until we at least know each other as people. I mean, I think it will be...easier." Rachel murmured her agreement. "Do you think I did the right thing? I barely thought about it. I booked my ticket last night and was boarding the plane this morning."

"I think I've never been more proud of you," Rachel said.

Quinn's hands slipped underneath Rachel's pyjama top. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I couldn't. If I'd have said it out loud, I don't think I would have made it there. And I would have begged you to come with me when it was something I needed to do by myself."

"You don't have to explain yourself. I know there's a method to your madness these days."

"No, I do," Quinn said quietly. "Because I need you and I don't want you to think that I don't."

Rachel swallowed hard and nodded. "I need you, too."

Quinn's hand gripped the back of Rachel's head, closing her eyes. "Rach, I..."

Rachel felt something rise inside of her so powerfully that she had to tighten her hold of Quinn. It was simultaneously sometimes and always that she felt an overwhelming surge of affection for her, where she was again reminded that she never, ever felt things other than intensely.

Quinn swallowed the rest of that sentence, moving to kiss Rachel instead. It was impatient from the moment it started, laced with desperation and desire. Rachel's leg slipped between Quinn's, pushing up between her legs until it was firmly nestled. Their lips and tongues met a dozen times, a hundred times, before Rachel was unsatisfied with the soft noises Quinn was making and pushed down hard. The responding moan inside her mouth was one of the best sounds Rachel had ever heard.

Quinn was gripping Rachel's hips when Rachel looked down to her, staring back up with lidded eyes. And then Quinn was moving by herself, driving her hips into Rachel's thigh while she licked a path up her neck.

Rachel could never get enough of Quinn's body when she was like this. She didn't think it would ever be enough. Her breath grew heavy with the attention at her neck after a while and then she was being pushed up, Quinn's fingers unbuttoning Rachel's pyjama top one by one.

Rachel's hand was on Quinn's shoulder, running her tongue over her lips as she tried not to be so affected by Quinn's fingers grazing each inch of exposed skin the higher she went.

"I'm not wearing a bra," Rachel said, almost in a daze, even though Quinn was already very much aware of that little fact. "I don't know if you want to stop."

Quinn did stop but it was only to pull her own top over her head before she went back to the final four buttons. Her gaze was fixed on Rachel intently the entire time, until she guided the material from her shoulders and down her arms. Quinn's arms went around Rachel and she pulled her forward until their chests met, drawing her into a kiss.

Rachel tried not to think about the growing wetness between her legs but that proved to be harder than she anticipated when she felt the first tentative graze of Quinn's lips at her breasts less than a minute later. She groaned, chest heaving as Quinn's confidence grew and kissed the full flesh under her mouth, sucking and licking wherever she went. Quinn especially liked the way Rachel reacted to the way she'd swirl her tongue around her nipple and suck. It was unrestrained and made the hair stand on the back of her neck.

Quinn pulled Rachel back down by neck and switched their positions so she could be on top. Sometimes when they were in this position Rachel would look up at her and smile, or sometimes, like right now, Rachel would look back at Quinn with such an expression of smouldering desire that it nearly shattered her every single time.

Quinn's legs were parted over Rachel's, one pressed up high between her legs, mouth over the throbbing pulse in Rachel's neck as she pushed her own hips down on Rachel's thigh. They were both moaning before long, kissing when they had the breath to.

"Quinn," Rachel moaned when Quinn's hand cupped one of her breasts, swiping her thumb over the painfully hard nipple. Quinn's response was a groan and she pulled back only to take off her own bra. When Rachel managed to open her eyes and saw what was happening, she held Quinn's legs. "If you take that off, I won't be able to stop."

"You will."

No, there was no doubt in Rachel's mind that if they took this any further it would be all the way.

"You don't want to bet on that."

Quinn's eyes closed, trying to ignore the way she wanted to grind her hips down against Rachel's until she came. Her face was flushed with the need to. She couldn't even speak properly, it came out a whisper. "What do you want to do?"

Rachel took Quinn's hands in her own and kissed both palms. "I want to continue this," she said, "just...at a time where one of my best friends can't hear us. He's out all day tomorrow."

"All day?"

Rachel nodded and Quinn sighed because her body most definitely did not want to stop what had been steadily building but she knew it was for the best. She lay down on top of Rachel and took a minute to cool down. She could feel Rachel's heart slowing back down like that.

"Can you stay that long or do you have class in the afternoon?" Rachel asked.

"I'll be here," Quinn said, eyeing Rachel's neck. "My class was cancelled."

Rachel smiled at the first and second kiss and closed her eyes with the third. By the time the fifth was pressed against her skin, this time with tongue, Rachel's eyes flew open. "Quinn."


"Can you remove your mouth from my neck?"

"I can, but I don't want to."

"I thought we were stopping."

"We are," Quinn said, now moaning softly. She kissed Rachel's neck harder.

"You're making me..."

"Making you, what?"

Rachel's eyes closed again and she lifted her leg up, pressing firmly against Quinn until she heard a sharp intake of breath. She smiled. "Feel like that."

Quinn collapsed on her side of the bed with a sigh. She didn't know how she was expected to fall asleep when she was that worked up. It wouldn't be for a while. "Can I borrow some stuff?"

Sleeping in her underwear next to Rachel in her state would be asking for trouble.

Rachel nodded, hoping that would be the last time Quinn opened her mouth for a while. Her voice was affecting her and she was supposed to be cooling off. "Take whatever you want."

"Thanks. Is it okay if I wear one of your new—"

"I said 'anything', Quinn. Anything means any item of clothing I own," she said in a rush.

"You'll be glad to know I at least remembered my toothbrush."

"Please be quiet."

Quinn turned to face Rachel with a questioning look in her eyes. "What? Why?"

Rachel's eyes widened. She turned over and put her hand over Quinn's mouth. "Shhh." It didn't take long to realise that she was still topless, and now pressing against Quinn. Rachel rolled over Quinn's body, looking around on the floor. "Where did you put my top? This is ridiculous."

Quinn jerked away from the leg in her face. "I agree," she said, grabbing Rachel's ankle and biting at her calf. "It's on the bed." Quinn laughed at her view. "Hey, Rachel?"


"You're beautiful."

Rachel smiled, her arms holding her weight against the floor as she tried to figure out a way to get back on the bed. She was a little stuck. "Don't you have a face full of my butt?"

"Wait, this isn't your face?" Quinn had handfuls of Rachel's ass now. "One of my contacts must have slipped out."

"Quinn!" Rachel laughed, flipping over onto the floor. She snatched her pyjama top off the middle of the bed and slipped her arms back inside. "Cover up and then maybe we can work our way up to a cuddle."

Quinn gave Rachel a quick kiss on her way to the drawers.

They did work up to a cuddle. It usually happened the other way around but Quinn wanted to be in Rachel's arms tonight. She didn't really want to be anywhere else on the planet.

Quinn held the towel firmly against her body as she made her way from the bathroom to Rachel's bedroom, trying not to look as confused as she felt when she noticed the time and Kurt standing next to Rachel in the kitchen.

Rachel smiled brightly until Quinn closed the door.

As soon as the coast was clear, Rachel's smile dropped.

"What do you mean you're not going out until tonight, if at all?" she demanded.

"What I say?" Kurt said slowly.

"You can't just change plans like this. If you say you're going to be somewhere, be there."

"Okay. I'm going to be here all day."

Rachel laughed daintily and Kurt smirked over his espresso. That was, until Rachel grabbed him by the scruff of the neck. "Listen buddy, I don't appreciate your presence in this apartment and would greatly appreciate you leaving."

Kurt glanced down to the espresso that had spilled on the floor. "This is the thanks I get? Really? I help Quinn surprise you and you go and physically assault me the morning after?"

"We have plans that rely heavily on a roommate-free environment!" Rachel hissed. "Please go and don't come back until I text."

Kurt laughed loudly. "That's what this is about? Rach, sweetie, why didn't you just say that?"

"Because I am as nervous as I am excited and saying it out loud makes it better or worse, I can't tell."

"Do you want some advice?"

"How many women have you slept with, Kurt?"

He rolled his eyes. "Whatever your head tries to tell you, it's not about prior experience. It's about the moment you're in, what you're experiencing together. Think about what you like and apply it to Quinn, pay attention to the way she reacts. It's amazing what will come to you naturally, like instinct. The first time is going to be perfect whatever happens."

Rachel nodded, taking it all in. She began to smile. "You're so gay. I really don't think I could love you more."

"You'd love me more if I left right this second."

How could Rachel argue with that?

It was a good forty-five minutes later when Quinn left the bedroom, glancing around for any sign of Kurt. She smiled when she imagined how Rachel got him to leave them alone. It was probably a threat. Not that she understood how anyone could take Rachel's threats to heart. It would be like a shark being intimidated by a goldfish.

Rachel was on the computer, replying to an e-mail. Either Quinn was quieter than she thought or it was a message from her fathers, and in that case, nothing short of a nuclear war would distract Rachel's attention while she composed a reply. Whichever it was, it gave Quinn time to look at Rachel and really process what was about to happen, what she wanted to happen.

Quinn smoothed out her dress and touched her chest, right where her cross would have fallen if she was wearing it. She'd had thoughts like this a hundred times in the past couple of months. Some reason had always presented itself to stop. When she wasn't letting her body's reactions to Rachel's touch cloud her mind, Quinn could easily think of reasons to stop and tell Rachel that she just wasn't ready. It always felt right before, slowing things down before they went too far. Even now, Quinn could feel the weight of her mother and everyone on her shoulders. Something like that would always be ingrained in Quinn, no matter how much effort she had put into changing into the person she wanted to be, or how much she knew that what she was doing with Rachel wasn't wrong.

Even so, part of her still cared what people thought of her. After all, they were the ones to slap layers of paper to her skin with their words written on them. There was a time when Quinn thought that people's skin wrinkled because of it, like paper-mache. History was there in lumps and bumps and creases and eventually you forget how you used to look and the way you carried yourself without all that extra weight. She used to hope it would drop off her some day.

She'd always wanted to know what it felt like to be weightless.

Rachel was furiously hitting the backspace button on the keyboard. She frequently misspelled words when she was on the computer sending an e-mail or an instant message, too eager to get it all out there. Rachel was in the middle of re-typing a sentence when her hair was pulled to the side and she felt lips against her neck. She smiled.

"Give me a minute."

Quinn kissed underneath Rachel's ear. "Take your time."

Actually remembering what else she wanted to say was difficult for Rachel but she got there in the end, even if her typing slowed with every kiss. She reached up behind her and held the back of Quinn's head, lightly scratching her fingers against her scalp. Quinn kissed her neck slowly and Rachel turned her head, meeting Quinn's lips.

They kissed unhurriedly at first. When Rachel became discontented by their shallow kiss she deepened it, barely breaking away when she got up from the computer chair and pressed against Quinn, arms slinking around her neck.

Quinn held Rachel's face and anchored her body against hers, resting a hand on the curve of Rachel's hip. They stood there for a long time, kissing, hands roaming and clutching. Rachel had never been kissed the way Quinn kissed her. She tried to explain it sometimes but it was never conveyed quite right, like maybe it wasn't supposed to be, like maybe it was supposed to stay private, just between them.

Rachel shivered when Quinn's mouth dropped to her neck. Her fingers tightened against blonde hair. "Quinn," she breathed when she felt her hands under her shirt. "I want you."

What Quinn whispered next was a sound Rachel would never forget.

"I want you too." The declaration was followed by a relatively chaste kiss against Rachel's mouth that turned into two, and then three.

Rachel moaned at the feel of Quinn's tongue against hers. She pressed closer, straining to be as close as possible, but Quinn had another idea. Rachel only separated their lips to let her top be pulled over her head. Quinn's hands went up and down Rachel's back as their kiss had long lost any careful quality.

It made Rachel's head spin. It was everything and nothing at once.

Quinn was the first one to break away, looking into Rachel's eyes.

Rachel took Quinn by the hand and wordlessly led her to the bedroom. Her fingers were on the zipper to Quinn's dress when she stopped. "Are you sure?"

Quinn nodded. "Are you?"

Rachel dragged the zipper down as her answer and Quinn stepped out of her dress, drawing her back into a kiss before her hands were helping Rachel out of her skirt. By the time Quinn was on the bed, sitting on the edge while Rachel mounted her lap, Rachel's bra had already hit the floor.

Quinn's hands went to Rachel's chest, massaging gently before her mouth took over one, kissing the soft fullness. She took the hardened nipple in her mouth and circled it, sucking gently at first and applying more pressure when she heard Rachel's reaction. Quinn repeated her actions on the other breast and felt Rachel's hand tighten around her hair. Quinn's arms hooked around Rachel and tipped her backwards to have easier access.

Rachel's breath grew heavier the longer Quinn's mouth was on her breasts, hot and wet.

"Kiss me."

Quinn allowed Rachel to guide her into another kiss and then felt her bra being unfastened and discarded. When Rachel leaned back in, she remained just out of reach, sliding out from underneath her.

Rachel watched Quinn settle down at the top of the bed and crawled over to her with a smile. Quinn's legs parted and Rachel lowered herself between them, looking down at her. It was both everything and nothing to do with the way that Quinn lookedthat made Rachel feel the pressure inside; like her chest was caving in and exploding out at the same time. It was Quinn, everything about her, even the things that annoyed Rachel. It made Rachel sure of everything.

Quinn watched all of those things flash through Rachel's eyes and pulled her down for a kiss. They groaned, chest to chest, just kissing, feeling each other. Rachel's body felt incredible like that, and then her hips rolled downward and a moan was pulled from inside Quinn's throat.

Rachel's insides clenched and she sucked Quinn's bottom lip into her mouth, scraping her teeth over it before it was released. She kissed Quinn deeply, trailing her hand down her side, lightly scratching and rubbing across ribs and covering Quinn's breast. Rachel squeezed and cupped firmly, swiping her thumb over her nipple until Quinn moaned, opening her legs wider. Rachel moaned with Quinn when she bucked down against her.

Forehead contorted, Quinn opened her eyes and locked her gaze with Rachel when she did it again, this time harder.

"That feels good." Quinn's voice was strained and Rachel nodded furiously in response. "Don't stop."

They moved together again and Rachel dropped a kiss against Quinn's lips and then her neck. "Trust me; it's going to feel better if I do stop."

Quinn thought Rachel had turned into an idiot until she moved down her body, dragging her mouth over and exploring every inch of skin above the waist, using her hands and mouth to make Quinn twist and groan underneath her for torturously long minutes.

Now there was no doubt in Quinn's mind that Rachel needed to rework that theory. She needed something between her legs pushing down against her.

Rachel's lips moved over Quinn's quivering stomach and carried on lower, stopping at pale thighs.

The sound Quinn made when Rachel kissed and licked was gratifying in the way that she felt a new rush of wetness between her own legs. Quinn never swore but it was so very nearly a curse that Rachel had to smile. She slid back up Quinn's body, kissing her way to her breasts, alternating her mouth's attention back to each one.

Quinn grabbed Rachel's head as soon as it was lifted, pulling her up for a kiss. She pushed into her and moved on top.

"Do it now." Rachel closed her eyes when Quinn's lips touched her neck, gripping low on her back. This time when Quinn rocked against her, moaning long and low into her ear, Rachel's arousal spiked higher than she could ever remember.

Quinn kissed her deeply and let her hand wander down Rachel's side, stopping at her underwear. "Take them off." She moved to give Rachel space to remove and discard the last item of clothing. Using just the pads of her fingers to start with, Quinn touched Rachel again, lightly and then firmly, across her chest, down her arms and over hips. She kissed the slant of her jaw, nervousness suddenly taking hold. "I don't know what I'm doing," she whispered.

"You do."

"What if—"

"Quinn," Rachel cut in gently, reaching to hold one of her hands, "you're the only person who knows how to touch me." She held Quinn's gaze. "Just... like this, okay?"

Rachel didn't move until Quinn nodded, and then she guided Quinn's hand between her legs, both gasping softly at the sensation.

Quinn could feel her heart thundering away inside her chest, growing stronger the more she could feel —hot and so wet, and the way Rachel's body was tensing, moaning underneath her hand. She tried to pay close attention to the pace Rachel had set and what got a more heated reaction.

It was indescribable learning what caused those sorts of responses from Rachel's body; how it would twist and turn and moan right into her, almost right into her own body. She could have sworn that Rachel Berry had never been so deep inside of her too, right in the middle part of her where everything good and bad had ever settled.

Rachel's hand fell away when Quinn moved on her own accord, slowly rubbing her fingers around and over her clit and sometimes avoiding it, feeling and learning every intimate part. Rachel gripped the top of Quinn's arm, eyes shut as she moaned, lifting her hips into the hand between her legs.

Over the next ten minutes, Rachel was built up so steadily and high that she couldn't have kept still or quiet without cracking teeth.

Quinn closed her eyes and positioned her fingers at Rachel's entrance. She pushed inside through the tightness and felt herself soak at both the deep, guttural moan that Rachel emitted and the way she felt against her fingers. Quinn dropped her head down to kiss her, working her fingers in and out. Rachel tightened again, gasping and moaning when Quinn would push in deeper and harder, clawing her shoulder every time the breath caught in her throat.

The only two words Rachel could manage were names. God and Quinn were mentioned frequently.

Quinn knew when it was about to happen. The heel of her palm brushed against Rachel on her final few thrusts and Rachel's breath grew heavier and faster until she stilled and then tensed, crying out as her body shook, clenching around her fingers.

When they'd stopped moving and Rachel's breath was gradually returning to some sort of normal pattern with Quinn's fingers no longer inside of her, she stroked her hands down her back. It was the most she could do for a minute.

Quinn kissed Rachel's neck, her own heart jumping wildly as she lay against her.

They were quiet for a while, and then Rachel spoke out.

"Oh, my God." She moaned softly when she pressed her legs together. "Come here," she said quietly, turning her head to meet Quinn's lips in a slow kiss.

"How do you feel?" Quinn asked when they'd separated.

Rachel smiled, her hands beginning their journey down Quinn's body. "I feel... so good. I can't wait to show you."

Quinn drew back only to pull her underwear off and then settled over her. Her eyes were fixed on Rachel's, dark and intense. Rachel had always appreciated art and Quinn looked like a masterpiece.

She hands slid up and down Quinn's thighs that were now parted over hers, kissing her much like before to begin with and then going deeper. Underneath her, Rachel had the perfect vantage point, the position allowing her to skate her hands wherever she pleased. She dragged her hands up over Quinn's stomach and closed them over her breasts, softly squeezing and tweaking.

She kept one hand positioned at Quinn's chest and reached down with the other, sliding between her legs. Rachel moved carefully, stroking Quinn in slow, calculated circles and swipes without taking her eyes off her face, watching everything play out. Rachel knew that every sigh and low moan, every motion of her hips was Quinn's body; alive and aching because of her, just as she had felt.

Rachel kissed the underside of Quinn's jaw and the column of her throat, grazing the skin with her tongue as she worked her up, over and over.

When Rachel's stimulation was no longer enough, Quinn reached down and guided Rachel's fingers to her opening. Her back arched when those fingers pushed inside, moaning deep inside her throat. She adjusted to the sensation of someone inside her after so long and Rachel slid in and out carefully, brushing her thumb over Quinn's clit.

Quinn felt her stomach coiled tightly with the most pleasurable yet unrewarding heat and pressure and sank down harder against Rachel's fingers. They figured out a rhythm and Quinn couldn't focus on anything but the way Rachel's hand was working inside of her; making her moan so unabashedly. Her chest rose and fell rapidly, hips meeting every thrust.

"Rachel." Quinn's voice was never as strained.

The tone, accompanied with the fresh rush of wetness between Quinn's legs, made Rachel moan softly in return. Hazel eyes were shut, mouth open as she sucked in desperate breaths.

Rachel increased her efforts, captivated by the sight above her. "God, do you know how good you look right now?"

Quinn clenched even tighter. They moved together urgently until pleasure overwhelmed Quinn's entire body, bringing her to a gasping stiffness as she shuddered, moaning deeply.

Rachel put her arms around Quinn once it was over and she'd withdrawn her hand, holding her close. It was Quinn who moved first. It was when their bodies had began to cool back down, propping up on her arms to look down at Rachel with one of those lazy smiles that lit up her whole face.

Rachel couldn't wait a second longer to kiss her, careful to convey everything they'd both just said with their bodies.

Some time later, Quinn had moved from on top of Rachel and was lying against her side instead. She leaned back in for a kiss and skimmed her fingers down Rachel's side, looking at her intently. "You look like..." Quinn closed her eyes, nudging Rachel's face with her nose. Rachel was beautiful, glowing, looking both satisfied and like she wanted to guide Quinn's hand between her legs again.

Quinn thought Rachel looked like northern lights set on fire.

"Like what?" Rachel didn't get an immediate response and she was about to ask again when Quinn's eyes opened, looking at her with so much love that Rachel forgot the question in the first place, her chest catching painfully. She decided to ask a different one. "How do you feel?"

"Weightless," Quinn said quietly. "I feel weightless."

Rachel pressed her mouth to Quinn's, nothing more than light brushes of lips at first, and then one of them pushed harder, longer with each kiss until they were joined. Quinn's hand slipped around the nape of Rachel's neck and lay on her back, pulling Rachel with her who followed willingly.

Lips parted and their tongues met mutually. Small whimpers and gasps left Quinn while they kissed, Rachel's body on top of hers. Her legs moved against the sheets after a while, trying not to focus on how ready she was again. It was Rachel's turn, wasn't it?

But Rachel didn't seem to mind because she kissed her way down Quinn's neck, thinking about it for only a few seconds. Any apprehension was cancelled out by the need to hear Quinn come apart again. "Can I try something?"

Quinn nodded fervently, not really understanding Rachel but wanting to say yes anyway. She would have said yes for absolutely anything asked of her. It only dawned on Quinn when Rachel had kissed down her body, hooking an arm underneath one of her thighs.

"Oh, God," Quinn moaned, head sinking back against the pillow. "Are you sure?"

Rachel kissed the inside of Quinn's thigh. "If that's okay."

Quinn nodded with full awareness this time. "Yeah."

She inhaled sharply at the first touch of Rachel's mouth against her, breathing heavily and tensing while Rachel's lips and tongue worked between her legs, lavishing attention to every single part of her. Quinn would moan loudly, gripping the sheets or the pillow, the back of Rachel's head, her body in so much strained pleasure that her muscles would be pulled for the next day. She moaned quietly too, thigh muscles tight each time she arched her neck, rocking her hips into Rachel's mouth.

By the time Rachel sucked Quinn's clit and entered her at the same time, pushing her fingers inside as far as they would go, Quinn was out of her mind. Rachel could have sworn she practically rebounded off the bed.

Quinn's chest heaved but nothing felt like enough. She couldn't breathe hard enough, Rachel couldn't touch her deep or soft enough, and every moan —loud or whined— wasn't close to expressing how good she felt.

When she finally came, her back bowed sharply with a deep, drawn-out moan cried out, shaking violently.

Rachel didn't stop until Quinn's hips slowed their frantic pace and she could feel her body begin to unwind. When Quinn slumped back against the bed, Rachel wiped her mouth and pressed kisses to her thighs, still twitching.

Quinn felt Rachel move up and lie next to her as she regained her breath and control of her body. It was taking a long time.

"Give me a minute."

Rachel smiled. "Take your time."

Quinn laughed softly. "Shut up."

Rachel didn't feel so smug when Quinn's hand was back between her legs.

They got out of bed eventually.

Showers were taken separately because they couldn't seem to stop touching each other and another orgasm would kill them unless they had food first. Rachel had taken hers first and Quinn's eyes were closed in thought when she returned, prompting her to ask if she needed to get the smelling salts. She got a smile out of her.

After her shower, Quinn stood in front of the steamed mirror and lifted her hand to it.

It figured that the hot water was off the next morning. Rachel's phone-call to her superintendent wasn't terribly nice. Her muscles would have much preferred a hot shower instead.

Rachel was standing in Grand Central with her arms around Quinn. It was different this time. She couldn't bear for her to leave yet. It was too soon.

"Stay," she begged. "Please. We can skip everything for the next few days."

"Don't you have rehearsal?" Quinn asked.

"I'll miss it, I don't care."

"Yes, you do."

Rachel didn't counter that. "I don't want you to go."

"I don't want to go either," Quinn said. Leaving was the last thing she wanted to do.

"So, stay."

Quinn made a strangled noise, fighting not to give in to Rachel despite how badly she wanted to. She ran her fingers through Rachel's hair. "This weekend, if you're not too busy, Jamie is going to be away visiti—"

"I'll be there." Rachel frowned again after a minute, her tears starting back up. She fisted Quinn's coat, sighing deeply. "Why won't you stay?"


"You can't even think of a good reason."

"Because we're being mature." Quinn kissed Rachel's head. "You have to take New York by storm and I have to go back to researching my retirement centre."

"You're being ridiculous."

Quinn smiled. Her statement might make Rachel feel worse but she had to say it. "Rachel," she sighed, "however much you're going to miss me, I'll miss you more. So, do you think you can try to pull it together a little for me and give me another kiss?"

Rachel took a deep breath and pulled back, wiping her tears with Quinn's help. "I'm sorry; I'm all red and puffy now. I must look—"

Quinn kissed her quickly. "Beautiful."

Rachel smiled without warning. "You're being nice. I look—" She was cut off with another kiss.


"Can I say something, or are you going to interrupt again?" Rachel brushed some of Quinn's hair away from her face. "Yesterday... it was everything I've ever wanted."

Quinn leaned down for another kiss, this time soft. "It was for me, too," she said quietly.

When Quinn's train arrived a few minutes later, Rachel saw the beginnings of tears in her eyes too. It made it harder to say goodbye but Quinn reminded her that they would see each other at the weekend and that rehearsal would keep her busy until then anyway.

It made her feel better. She knew they had it a lot better than some people but it didn't stop her from wanting to be close to Quinn, especially after the way they had been together.

"Won't Jamie kill you for this?"

Connor smiled. He was helping Quinn hang, in his opinion, an ugly painting on the kitchen wall. "Probably."

Her mother was right. The painting distracted Quinn's attention from the colour scheme. "I can't believe she was right," she said, awed. "It looks ten times better in here."


"My mom."

Connor didn't remember Quinn ever speaking about her mother like that, so casually. "I hate it when my mom's right."

"This is... it's a nice surprise, actually."

"But an ugly painting."

Quinn smiled. "It's better than the colour of the wall."

Connor didn't comment. He wouldn't get into all of that. Jamie and Quinn could deal with it. He'd been waiting for Jamie to get back from class for over an hour, keeping Quinn company in the process. He'd wanted to ask her something for a couple of weeks but the time never presented itself until now.

If Jamie didn't kill him for covering her beautiful kitchen walls, it would be for asking Quinn the next question without her around to gauge Quinn's mood beforehand. She knew Quinn better than he did. She would know if it was the right time to ask.

It didn't stop him from bringing it up.

"We're visiting Jamie's parents this weekend," Connor said.

Quinn thought it was cute how he got nervous every time they went to visit them. "I heard. Are you excited?"


"You'll be fine. If her father wanted you dead, you would have been murdered three years ago when you first met."

"That's reassuring." Connor smiled. "When we're there, Jamie wants to go shopping for a dress. There's this benefit coming up and you know what she's like about finding the perfect outfit for that kind of thing. Not that many people we know will be there, but a few. If you wanted to come... I think it falls on a weekend Rachel will be here." Quinn looked alarmed all of a sudden but he kept his voice steady, shrugging a shoulder. "It's just a small group of people that we'll know, the rest are practically strangers. No pressure or anything. But I can get you an invite and it would be nice to be able to escape to two people who won't bore the shit out of me. I don't know if that will help you decide or not."

Quinn swallowed heavily. "I'll think about it."

Jamie breezed through the door and dropped her bag to the floor, standing there stiffly for a second. "God, am I glad to be home." She saw Connor and smiled, walking over to him. "Hey, baby." Quinn got the kiss to the cheek and Connor got a flippant, "Roomie."

It was true, Jamie was glad to be home.

She hadn't seen the painting yet.

Rachel lifted the cucumber off her eyes, careful not to touch the clay on her face. She read a text to say that Jamie had left for the weekend and glanced at the time, making an effort not to frown. It was five minutes later than expected and this time she did touch her face. The mask was dry under her fingertips.

"Kurt, I'm crusting! Hurry up in the shower!"

A minute later, wrapped up in a robe, Kurt swanned out of the bathroom with a towel on his head. His skin looked clear, cheeks red from the heat of the shower.

"Is it my fault that I forgot what hot water felt like after three days without it? It's heaven in there."

"I still say we should have our rent reduced from the amount of times this has happened."

"I'll write a letter," Kurt said, heading to his room. "Oh, and Rachel?"


"I love you, too. I'm sorry I left you to crust up."

Rachel smiled, her face feeling tight with the mask on. "Too?"

Kurt waved a hand towards the bathroom. "The mirror."

Rachel nearly broke her little toe rushing in there.

It was Quinn's neat handwriting, written big enough that it spread across most of the mirror, impossible not to see. Tears sprung to Rachel's eyes almost as quickly as the smile.

Rachel crashed her lips against Quinn's the second the door was closed.

"You're two hours early," Quinn said when they finally broke apart.

"I couldn't wait."

Evidently so, neither could Quinn. She took one more look at Rachel's eyes and was kissing her again, claiming her lips over and over. They'd gone days without it and had plenty of time to make up for.

They moved to the bedroom.

Rachel was underneath. Her hands had quickly messed up Quinn's hair the way they ran through it. "My hot water is back on," she rushed out before Quinn's mouth was back against hers. She kissed her back and tipped her head when Quinn began to kiss her way down her neck, breathing heavier. "When are you going to learn to wait around for my reaction after you do something perfect?" she asked.

"I'm sorry. You were supposed to see it the morning I left but the water—"

"No. God, Quinn, no, please don't ever apologise for it," Rachel said, her hands eager slipping under the hem of Quinn's top to feel her skin. "I've thought about saying this so many times and none of them were as unromantic as this because I think I still smell like train but I have to say it right now," she said in one breath. Rachel guided Quinn's mouth back to hers for a gentle kiss. "I love you, too." She sighed like it had been killing her to keep inside. "I love you."

Quinn looked down with a smile, brushing her lips over Rachel's but not kissing them. "You never smell like train," she murmured.

It was hardly a surprise that their clothes were shed and discarded somewhere along the way, kisses and wandering hands leading them in one direction only. It was like hypersensitivity, the friction of their writhing bodies sending pleasure searing through them.

Neither of them remembered or noticed the cross around Quinn's neck. Rachel didn't process anything that wasn't Quinn's mouth or bare skin.

Rachel was on top of her, growing more desperate for her own release every time Quinn would arch up into her and moan. She trailed her lips over Quinn's neck, moving her hips back enough to fit her hand between them.

Quinn breathed harshly and held the back of Rachel's head. That's when she felt the chain shift around her throat. It sent panic through her entire body; tensing, tears forming out of nowhere.

"Wait, wait, stop."

Rachel had been less than a second away from touching her. She pulled away to have Quinn sit up, struggling in her panicked haste to unclasp the necklace.

"Quinn." Rachel's voice was gentle, reaching to cover her hands. "Leave it on," she said.

Quinn looked more conflicted than Rachel had ever seen.

"No, I can't," Quinn said, out of panic more than anything.


"I don't know if I can."

"You know this isn't wrong," Rachel said, getting a nod in response. She sighed, lightly pressing her forehead to Quinn's. "I love you." Quinn nodded at that too, tears pooling beneath her now closed eyes. "I love you, and you can have both. You don't have to choose." Quinn's tears fell freely when her eyes opened again, locking with Rachel's as one of her hands fell away. "Please don't think you have to. You already have both. Okay? You have both."

Rachel was right, she did have both. Quinn took in enough steady breaths to ground herself and then pressed her mouth back to Rachel's, falling back to the bed with Rachel on top.

Quinn appreciated Rachel asking before her hand moved between her legs, drawing out moans and heaved breaths until she came.

When the last wave of overwhelming pleasure faded away, Quinn was seized with another desperate desire. She held Rachel's head and kissed her with a slow but heated urgency.

"I love you," Quinn breathed. "God, Rach, you have no idea how much I do."

But she was wrong there, because Rachel knew exactly how she felt. She could feel it in every single part of her body.

They hadn't long got back to the apartment after lunch and food shopping. Rachel had found out that her rehearsal on Monday afternoon had been pushed back to Tuesday morning so it wasn't a difficult to reach the decision to stay an extra day. And if she was staying an extra day, they weren't going to be leaving the house for anything short of a fire.

Jamie would be back tomorrow night and now they had food to cook without having put too much of a dent in their time alone, to just be with each other.

Rachel found the invitation for the benefit sitting on top of a pile of magazines and opened mail. The invitation was already out of the envelope and she was curious, so she picked it up. Rachel smiled when she saw what it was for.

"Are Jamie and Connor going?"

"Yeah." Quinn bit her lip as Rachel read over the rest of the invitation. There was to be an identical invitation with her name on it within the next week. "Do you... we could go, if you wanted to."


"Connor's parents know the hosts, so we could get in through the front door. It wouldn't be crashing because he invited me. And it would be nice to get all dressed up. If it's boring, we could always just dance or drink all the free champagne and pretend everyone is really there for us." Quinn frowned. "It's not— people I know will be there but not too many. I think I could handle it as long as you're okay with it, too. It's in a month, you'll be here anyway. I mean, I would be perfect with going somewhere else or even staying in. It's not a big deal."

Rachel seemed to think it was though, because she leaned over to kiss her.

"It is a big deal. I would love to go with you."

That next night, Quinn came up behind Rachel at the stove and put her arms around her, kissing her neck. They weren't aware that Jamie had finished unpacking her bag and was watching them.

"What are you making?" Quinn asked.

"The sauce for our spaghetti," Rachel said. "And not so much making as heating up and stirring."

"Oh, you're stirring? Well, it smells fantastic."

"I added my secret ingredient."


Rachel's face fell. "No."

Quinn smiled and kissed Rachel's cheek. "I can smell it."

"On my cheek?"

"No." Quinn kissed it again. "I can go back to pretending I don't know all of your culinary secrets, if you'd like."

"Yes, I would."

"Okay, then. What's your secret ingredient?"

Jamie walked noisily through the kitchen, keeping her eyes on Rachel and Quinn the entire time.

Rachel felt Quinn breathe deeply and the arms slacken around her waist. "Jamie's not an idiot," she said softly. "She knows. She's known for a long time."

"I know," Quinn sighed.

"And she's not being weird or mean. I think we should tell her that we know she knows."

"She'll want to double-date."

"We've double-dated before, Quinn. We just didn't say it out loud."

"She's been fine..." Quinn said, trying to think of a single time that Jamie had treated her differently since she and Rachel had officially been together. There wasn't one.

"She loves you," Rachel shrugged. "This can still be slow. I'm not pushing, okay? I don't want to rush you into something you're not ready for. But some of my friends know, my dads know... I know you can do this."

Quinn decided to wait until they were all eating dinner.

Jamie had caught them up on her weekend to such an exhausting degree that Rachel's eyes shot to Quinn as soon as Jamie paused for a drink of water.

Quinn twirled her pasta. "So, how was your date on Wednesday night?"

Rachel shrugged. "Dead end. No leading male potential whatsoever. I was really disappointed because he made it seem like he had the whole package."

"You said he was 'the one.'"

"I'm sure he is, just not for me. Anyway, Kurt's setting me up on a blind date next week. He thinks it will solve all my problems."

"Good luck with that. Call me if he has a friend."

Jamie placed her glass down and dropped her fork loudly. "You're kidding me with this, right?"

Rachel reached for her water now. "No, Kurt really thinks it will help. He says I have a problem entering any kind of relationship with unrealistically high expectations and learning to go in blind so to speak will be good for me."

Jamie held her hand up, choking out a laugh. "Guys, seriously, I've had just about enough of this game."

"Don't you want Rachel to be happy?"

"Some people are apprehensive when it comes to blind dates, Quinn," Rachel said. "I'm sure she's just concerned."

"I'm concerned," Jamie confirmed. "I'm veryconcerned."

Rachel smiled at Quinn. "Jamie is just being a wonderful friend."

"I'm going to stab you both with this fork," Jamie proclaimed. She stared at Rachel. "You're lying," she said. When she saw Rachel glance to Quinn and begin to smile, Jamie groaned loudly. "You're so lying!"

"You can stop being really bad at pretending you don't know we're together anymore," Quinn said. "Come to a drama class with me."

"I knew all along."

"Of course you did."

"I did! Ever since those super gay photos you kept putting up around the place."

Rachel mentally counted them. "There are only three."

"With total lack of personal space and any other people around."

"Maybe she has a point."

"She rarely does," Quinn said.

Jamie laughed. "Oh, shit, we have to double-date! Officially this time." She saw Quinn's eyes flick to Rachel. "I mean, if you're okay with that. I know you're... private."

"It's okay with me if it's okay with you," Quinn said.

Rachel nodded. "It's perfect with me."

It was set. They'd be roped into many more of those dates in the future.

Quinn had been about baby steps for a long time now, long enough that they didn't feel much like baby steps at all anymore.

It felt like she'd been walking steadily by herself and with Rachel's patient encouragement without even knowing it.