Title: Smoke Break

Pairing: Quinn Fabray/Rachel Berry

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. Just having a little fun.

Summary: Quinn could kind of admit that she had feelings for Rachel, too, as Rachel molded warmly against her, because Rachel was appreciative of what Quinn was, and more importantly, what Quinn wasn't.

A/N: Just a little conversation between…umm, friends.


Quinn flicked her lighter and shakily drew it towards the cigarette dangled precariously between her pouted lips.

She had picked up smoking again after the wreck because she was still wrecked on the inside, though no one cared to notice, too concerned with her outsides and the fact that she hadn't been able to walk for the first several weeks after the accident to notice that inside she was a complete mess.

Judy, bless her heart, had blubbered over Quinn the first two weeks after she had woken up, glad to see her daughter alive. After that she had focused on the fact that Quinn couldn't walk and became fixated on it. There was no way Quinn could win prom queen in a damn wheel chair.

But she had, technically, though she had given her crown to a still unsuspecting Rachel whom naively thought that the entire school had actually voted for her.

Quinn's lips ticked upwards in an amused smirk. Yeah, right.

Her head tipped backward as she blew rings of smoke from her mouth. She was on the deck in the backyard of Rachel's house, resting on a bench as the loud bass from inside rumbled beneath her feet. Rachel had insisted on throwing a graduation party, and after seeing the proud expressions on her parents' faces after she was able to successfully walk across the stage, Quinn kind of felt in the mood to enjoy herself.

And she had been, until her legs began to grow weary, so she had slipped out the back unseen to have a smoke to calm her rattled nerves and enjoy the warm breeze and the night air.

"I didn't know you still smoked."

Or so she thought she had gone unseen.

She ignored Rachel's presence until the clumsy sound of a shoe scuffing against the wood of the deck caused her to tip her head downward to see Rachel stumbling towards her with a bottle held tightly in her grasp.

"Is that a forty?" Quinn couldn't help the bemused smile that touched her lips as Rachel collapsed beside her on the bench. She moved the cigarette out of reach to keep from burning one of Rachel's uncoordinated limbs.

Rachel's eyes were too dark to make out how blown they were at one in the morning, but Quinn was pretty sure Rachel was gone off the deep end.

"Want some?" Rachel slurred, dragging the bottle higher and into Quinn's face.

Quinn grabbed the bottle and sat it down on the ground beside her without another thought. "I think you're drunk," she mumbled.

Rachel squinted at her in exasperation as she slumped back against the bench. "I'm not drunk." She crossed one leg over the other, and pulled down the skirt of her dress, her right hand slipping right off and down her leg. "Whoops!" she declared loudly with an impish giggle as she pitched forward. "Did you see that, Quinn?"

Quinn reached down and grabbed her left shoulder before Rachel face planted onto the deck. "I saw, you klutz."

"I think I'm drunk." Rachel looked over at Quinn with a whimper as the umbrella perched atop the table halfway across the deck began to look like it was spinning. "I'm drunk, Quinn." She scooted closer and wrapped her arms around one of Quinn's, not liking how out of control she felt.

Quinn shushed her quietly. "It's not a big deal. Just sit still for a while." With a sigh, she brought the cigarette to her puckered lips and drew from it slowly. Her chest rumbled with a calm purr as she puffed out smoke.

From beside her, Rachel grumbled. She brought her head up from Quinn's shoulder to look at her sternly. "I can't believe you ditched my party to come out here and smoke."

"First of all," Quinn began, voice sounding as smoky as the air around them, "I didn't ditch your party. I'm still here, aren't I? And if you must know…I came out here because my legs got tired."

Rachel's eyes instantly turned sympathetic as they dropped down to Quinn's lap. Without thought she reached out and placed a warm hand on Quinn's thigh. "Do they still hurt?"

"They don't hurt," Quinn clarified quietly. "They're just tired."

Rachel ran her hand up and down Quinn's thigh, the flimsy material of Quinn's summer dress doing nothing to buffer the soft feel of Rachel's hand. "Do you want me to rub them?" Rachel asked, though her hand was already gliding up and down Quinn's thigh.

"No."

"Why?" Rachel immediately whined against her ear, and Quinn gritted her teeth.

"Because they don't need rubbing."

Rachel sighed, her warm breath against Quinn's ear causing the hairs on the back of Quinn's neck stand on end. "You never let me help you with anything."

"What are you talking about?" Quinn murmured absentmindedly, running her tongue along her lower lip as she pondered whether or not the inevitable fight with Rachel would be worth it just to light another cigarette.

A moment later she felt smothering arms wrap around her neck like dead weight as Rachel leaned heavily against her. "Quinn, I think I'm drunk."

Amusement tickled her throat with a chuckle. "I think we've covered that."

Rachel hummed, eyes slipping shut as she leaned against Quinn. She uncrossed her legs and draped them over Quinn's lap, then winced and pulled back. "Is this okay? I don't want to hurt your new legs."

The hilarity of the situation died in Quinn's eyes as she was once again reminded of her legs. "They're not—" she shook her head. "Never mind. You're fine."

Rachel took that as initiative to scoot further into Quinn's lap as the wind outside picked up and licked at her bare arms and legs. Her ass nestled snuggly in the juncture of Quinn's thighs as her arms tightened around Quinn's neck. "Is this okay?"

It wasn't, but Quinn wasn't in the mood to list all the reasons why. "Sure."

Rachel sighed wistfully and buried her face into Quinn's neck. "Thanks, Q."

A thin eyebrow arched. "Q, huh?"

"I'm trying it out," Rachel admitted in a puff of air. "Since we'll be best friends, and all."

Rachel had been planning all the ways their tentative friendship was going to flourish over the next several years since the moment Quinn had surprised her with train tickets from New Haven to NYADA in the girls' bathroom the last week of school.

"How's that working out for you?"

Blunt nails scratched lightly at the back of her neck and Quinn shivered. "I rather like it," Rachel breathed. She twisted at her torso to press the entire length of her body against Quinn's and burrowed into her neck once more. "Are you going to continue to smoke when you're at Yale?"

Quinn exhaled slowly as her fresh pack of Newports crushed into her side by Rachel's weight recklessly pressing into her. "I don't know," she choked out.

"Because you won't have stressors, you know?" Rachel continued, like she had been waiting for Quinn to respond so that she could have a chance to talk again. "Well…you will, but they'll be new stressors like, navigating your way through Yale, competing with other intellects of your caliber—"

Quinn laughed. "Stop."

"You don't like compliments," Rachel mused. "Or rather, you don't know how to take one."

"Where is all of this going?" Quinn couldn't help but ask.

Rachel puffed out a sigh along her throat, causing goose bumps to rise along pale flesh. She pulled back with droopy eyes and blown pupils to stare at Quinn with startling clarity.

Her gaze burned and Quinn wanted nothing more than to look away. "Why are you staring at me like that?"

Rachel braced both of her hands on Quinn's shoulders, and she turned just that much more until she was completely straddling her. Quinn bit her lip for self-control as she allowed herself one indulgence, just for one night. Her hands landed heavily on Rachel's waist with purpose though she knew nothing was going to come from this. The intimacy of being able to feel Rachel's muscles work underneath her skin as she scooted closer made Quinn's stomach knot.

"Look at me."

Quinn didn't even know her gaze had lowered perversely to concentrate on the sway of Rachel's hips as she scooted closer until Rachel's own whispered words penetrated the fog in her brain. She wasn't even drunk, but she was having so much trouble concentrating suddenly. She looked up to find Rachel staring her down though they were nearly eye level.

Rachel's hands tightened on her shoulders as her lips parted into a smile. "Learn to take compliments. I'm full of them, especially when it comes to you. And for the next four years you're going to hear about how beautiful you are, how smart you are, and how accomplished you're going to be, Quinn Fabray, so get used to it."

Her rolling thoughts came to a halt almost instantly. She felt her eyes begin to sting. This felt like her conversation with Sue Sylvester all over again, except this time Quinn was being showered with compliments that she had covertly been working toward feeling worthy of.

It started the day Rachel asked her to basically throw herself at Finn to see if he'd bite. Rachel had approached her, anxious and distressed, and later that day when leaving from school Rachel had ran up to her with an infectious smile and thanked her and told Quinn she was such a good friend.

Quinn had been a people pleaser her entire life because she needed people to like her, and there was a part of her, albeit small at the time, that had swelled with pride and the thought that maybe Rachel wasn't so bad.

It had been gradual from there; Quinn had learned over the last year that she kind of liked making Rachel happy, because then she felt deserving of those compliments Rachel always showered her with, and Quinn loved a good compliment; they boosted her self-worth, even though she shouldn't have based her worth on compliments and even though she never really knew how to take compliments. But it felt good when Rachel complimented her because finally after eighteen years someone was finally noticing that she wasn't so bad.

She simply nodded because she didn't know exactly what to say and Rachel slid tan arms around Quinn's head and smashed Quinn against her chest in a warm hug. Quinn's eyes clenched shut at the feel of Rachel's soft breast against her cheek, and she breathed deeply, wishing she were drunk just so she wouldn't have to exercise any self-control.

Slowly Rachel unwound her arms from the suffocating hug she had wrapped Quinn in. Her hands rested lightly on the sides of Quinn's neck as she stared at her fondly. She reached up to tuck a lock of hair behind Quinn's ear without a word and returned her hand to where it was.

There it was: that look. The subtle softening of Rachel's eyes and quirk of her lips into something that was simultaneously a loving smile and a frown of longing. Quinn wasn't stupid, and when she had begun to see that look from Rachel more and more over the past year or so, she knew Rachel had feelings for her.

Stop making out with Berry, indeed, Quinn mused sardonically to herself as Rachel bit down on her lower lip. She looked so innocent yet impish, and Quinn was finding it hard to look away. A teasing thumb ran along her jawline as Rachel leaned in closer.

Quinn quickly leaned up to press a lingering kiss against Rachel's forehead in an attempt to not reject her advances, but also to not engage her, because nothing would come from sharing a kiss with Rachel Berry in Lima, Ohio at one in the morning while Rachel had a fiancé.

Rachel whimpered in simultaneous pleasure and protest as her body sagged forward against Quinn, powerless to do anything more while those warm lips were on her.

Quinn could kind of admit that she had feelings for Rachel, too, as Rachel molded warmly against her, because Rachel was appreciative of what Quinn was, and more importantly, what Quinn wasn't. She never tried to change Quinn, but rather gave Quinn the motivation to change herself should she ever want to, and boy did Quinn want to. And she had, because when someone is constantly riding on your back and telling you that maybe you're not as bad as you once thought you were it kind of motivates you to actually be good.

"You mean so much to me," Rachel whispered against her ear, flirting with the flimsy line that marked their friendship as she always did, but never crossing it for both their sakes at the moment.

Quinn just wrapped her arms around Rachel's back and pulled her closer. She allowed herself just one more indulgence for the night and buried her nose in dark, thick locks, Rachel's warm responsive purr settling in the pit of her stomach.

But what Quinn didn't know as she and Rachel cuddled on the bench outside was that Finn will be breaking up with Rachel very shortly. And Rachel will be at NYADA for the remainder of the summer calling Quinn every day until it starts to hurt less and less. Quinn's visits to NYADA via the train she had bought expensive round trip tickets for will consist of these little outings that suspiciously resemble dates, except Rachel isn't going to call them that until the fourth one where Quinn is so far gone that she'll pay for the popcorn anyway and hold Rachel's hand the whole movie even though her own hand is starting to get sweaty and gross, and there are butterflies in her stomach when Rachel turns to her with a bright smile at the end of the night when they're lying on her bed and—oh.

And Quinn will remember that her once frowned upon habit that she had kicked months ago after Rachel had visited her at Yale had started it all.