And now finally... With massive thanks to Liz for her beta and sound boarding roles and to everyone who took the trouble to review at any point. Obviously it all worked so much better in my head but ...oh well. I feel a bit sad for this to be at an end but maybe I'll do a one-shot or two of a few scenes - or maybe not!
The oh so familiar sound of the acapella start to Don't Stop Believing filled the hall as the lights rose on the stage revealing teenagers in red t shirts and blue jeans. Rachel quickly recognised the simple routine that she'd come up with all that time ago when struggling to make Mr Shyster realise that the Glee club was a viable project. The song reverberated around the hall, the vocal arrangements unchanged from the version she'd suggested for Regionals. Maybe the choice of going with the jeans look rather than those god-awful outfits they'd had to wear was the one good decision the glee club director had made. Rachel suspected the complete lack of changes to the musical arrangement and dance routine was owed more to Shyster's lack of imagination than it did to being some kind of homage to their long ago performance. Quinn leant over to speak to her
"I remember being up on the lighting gantry with a seething Sue Sylvester watching you perform this so many years ago," murmured Quinn. Rachel could almost feel her smile, "I was busy convincing myself I was angry with you about Finn when really I was livid with Finn for being able to dance and sing with you like I longed to."
"Well you know I have a thing for your head cheerio look," purred Rachel as she gently stroked Quinn's hand," but we were blinded by others expectations in those early days."
"I hope you're not about to go all it's the journey not the destination on me," replied Quinn.
"Oh honey believe me, the destination is everything. So the journey, however hard, is fine to look back on," responded Rachel suddenly feeling a wave of emotion towards Quinn. She was still undecided whether all the memories this reunion was stirring up made their return a good or bad idea.
On stage the New Directions switched songs into a rock ballad.
"Speaking of journeys, is that...?" asked Quinn
"Yes," sighed Rachel, " It seems Mr Shyster never did outgrow the Journey back catalogue. Still at least it's not yet another redo of something we sang."
"True and at least they didn't make their entrance from the back of the hall," added Quinn
"I think you'll find that was my idea," mock huffed Rachel
"Yeah but Shyster did rather hijack it. Once was novel and innovative, twice was just lazy but three times..." soothed Quinn before they stopped whispering to focus on the performance in front of them.
When Rachel finally became famous enough for the pair of them not to have to worry about money, she had arranged to anonymously sponsor the McKinley High glee club so that it's future would never be subjected to the whims of the Principal. Now she was beginning to wonder whether that had been a wise decision, as it seemed to her Mr Shyster had become comfortable and staid in the role of director. Maybe the fear of being disbanded might have prompted more risk taking? She listened more intently. There was no doubt that there were some talented singers in the group. It was just a matter of finding the best ways of playing to their strengths - that hadn't been a notable skill of Mr Shysters from what she remembered. The unadventurous dance routine was coming to an end and as a girl oddly reminiscent of Mercedes belted out a long high note it was hard to conclude anything other than nothing had really changed.
Mr Scheuster was quickly on the stage. This was possibly his last opportunity to garner some recognition from Rachel for all his efforts all those years ago. Just a word, it was all he needed. She couldn't have done it without Glee Club and there'd have been no glee club without him. He waited for the polite applause to die down before addressing the audience.
"I'd like to invite our most famous and successful student, former Glee club captain Rachel Berry," he hesitated momentarily,"Fabray on to the stage to maybe give us some pointers on how to be successful" he finished brightly indicating Rachel with his extended arm. There was a noticeable increase in the level of applause as an enthusiastic audience glimpsed the opportunity of watching Rachel perform and for free too. All focus shifted to where Rachel was trying to disguise her reluctance to take the stage. Quinn instantly recognised the i'm only doing this because it's my job smile that Rachel had on her face that didn't quite reach her eyes.
"I'm not sure my pointer of 'fire the director' is going to go down well," she muttered for Quinn's ears only as she stood up. The energetic applause mixed with encouraging whistles - apparently led by Azimio, now that was unexpected - continued as she made her way to where Mr Scheuster was waiting with the microphone and an eager expression. It was only years of practise that enabled Rachel to side step Will's attempt to kiss her cheek without the encounter looking awkward. She was prepared to concede a handshake.
"McKinley High," started Rachel as another wave of applause began to build up," Let's give it up for New Directions" a graceful Rachel indicated the choir stood behind her as the applause level ratcheted up a notch.
"Now there's something I never thought I'd see, Rachel leading the cheering for Nude Erections" Santana announced to the Gleeks causing much amusement despite the joke being an old one.
Rachel waited for the applause to die down before turning to address the New Directions
"Well if Mr Scheusters retained his usual teaching style I expect you've only had a week to learn and practise those songs and routines." she suggested.
Rachel's statement was greeted by laughter and some 'true's from the group of teenagers in front of her. Mr Scheuster could feel the blush rising on his cheeks - it sounded like a fond memory being shared by Rachel but he couldn't help feeling there was an underlying criticism in there. Rachel's broad smile gave no clues either way.
"I think we all enjoyed that quick trip down memory lane," continued Rachel," and of course my advice is 'Don't stop believing' I certainly never did - as anyone here can ruefully testify."
A ripple of laughter echoed round the hall.
"You definitely have the talent to follow in our National winning footsteps," Rachel projected a thoughtful look," although I could, with some serious arm twisting, think of a few things you might want to work on." Her delivery was playful suggesting a shared joke about nothing ever being quite good enough for her and her never being reticent about it.
The old Glee Club members erupted into knowing laughter - Rachel was still the perfectionist they remembered but had developed a more tactful turn of phrase. It suddenly struck Quinn just what it was that Sue Sylvester and Rachel had in common with each other and hence explained the unlikely friendship between the pair. That unrelenting drive for nothing less than total perfection with absolutely no room for excuses whatsoever. Rave reviews and standing ovations didn't deter Rachel from continually practicing and seeking improvement.
Rachel handed the microphone back to Will with a perfunctory smile as she joined the New Directions as they moved off stage. She quickly identified the shy girl who had bloosomed during the pperformance and was now retreating into her shell. The girl blushed bright red and stammered responses to Rachel's attempts to make conversation. Soon she was signing her autograph and posing for photos with various members of the New Directions. She gracefully thanked everyone as they shared their admiration for her singing, for various Broadway performances and claimed complete collections of all her work - " none of it pirated I hope?" asked Rachel before laughing at their awkwardness. Yep, definitely pirated. She was only distracted from the conversation by the sudden realisation that Quinn was speaking over the microphone as the lights again focussed on the stage. Rachel turned to face it to find Quinn standing at the front with a backing group of Tina, Mercedes and Santana. She fought to keep the surprise off her face.
"Ladies and gentlemen, if I could ask for your patience. We," here Quinn indicated her onstage companions and herself "have been rehearsing a little something over Skype for tonight - so it's a bit of an experiment. Thanks Brad for sorting out the band," a smile at Brad and then a serious expression,"I wish I'd done this during High school but... hey, what's fifteen years?"
Again laughter echoed around the hall. It did little to ease Quinn's nervousness. Now that the reality of performing in public for the first time in at least a decade was here she began to feel that this was maybe not such a good idea. What if she made a total idiot of herself? Her gaze suddenly locked on Rachel and her fears instantly fled. She could do this and she'd rehearsed enough to do it well too. Besides Rachel was always her biggest fan.
"Rachel, this is for you." she said softly as the room seemed to narrow to just include the pair of them. Rachel's heart rate began to pick up although she was unsure whether it was fear or excitement. As the band played the intro Quinn began to move to the music in a manner that remained unchanged from her teenage years. She twirled before stepping up to the microphone with perfect timing. Rachel smiled fondly at her, too distracted to be identifying the song. Quinn could never sing without dancing along, a trait unchanged by time.
Quinn began singing "my first, my last, my everything" as her backing trio ohh'ed and ahh'ed behind her. She gazed at Rachel for the first few lines trying to impress how the lyrics accurately described her feelings but after 'my kind of wonderful, that's what you are' she dragged her eyes away from Rachel to include the rest of audience in the performance. Meanwhile Tina, Mercedes and Santana moved in perfect synchronisation with arm rising, knee bending and the occassional perfectly timed steps - it was obviously a well-rehearsed routine. It was now apparent that they'd co-ordinated their outfits although the addition of matching necklaces and long gloves emphasised the similarities.
Rachel felt herself on the verge of tears, all this effort just for her. She'd had no idea that Quinn had planned this and for the other girls to take the time to join in too was enough to form a lump in her throat. How had Tina managed to find the time with her young boys, Mercedes was always on a hectic schedule that left Rachel exhausted just listening to it and she knew the long hours Santana worked. Rachel was almost overwhelmed with the emotion she was feeling. Her eyes, after a brief flicker to the backing trio, were fixed on Quinn trying to commit to memory every move and word. She just wanted to capture this perfect moment - Quinn disliked grand gestures usually so this was just so special. Here in front of her McKinley peers was such an apt choice. It would give her a much better memory of McKinley to carry forward rather than the ones from her schooldays.
When Quinn moved towards the edge of the stage and stretched her arm out inviting Rachel to join her she found herself moving forward in a daze and trying to fight back the tears. Quinn had timed the invitation perfectly and as the instrumental break began Quinn had sheathed the microphone in its stand and began to dance closely with Rachel. Suddenly Quinn's out of the blue suggestion several months ago that they take proper lessons and learned traditional dances ostensibly for Rachel's dads impending anniversary suddenly made sense - it was all a cover for this moment so she didn't make an idiot of herself. Those private lessons and all that waltzing and quick stepping round the kitchen table - it made her able to dance with Quinn in front of all her former school friends and enemies without thinking about it. Quinn spun Rachel out and then back into her arms before Rachel encouraged Quinn into a turn. Quinn insistance that they both learn to lead meant the responsibility shifted easily between them. Quinn held her hand as she retrieved the microphone to finish off the last verse, eyes fixed on a laughing Rachel.
Loud applause greeted the end of the song so Rachel had the time to hug Quinn and say to her
"Thank-you that was amazing and just what I needed."
Quinn acknowledged her backup group and the band. Rachel had stepped away from Quinn to hug the three girls looking so pleased with themselves.
"You'd be even more impressed if you'd seen our rehearsals," an excited Tina ventured.
"Oh don't worry she will. I recorded the skype sessions," grinned Santana.
Whatever Mercedes wanted to contribute to the conversation was drowned out as the chanting for Rachel to sing increased to a near deafening level. A quick word and Rachel returned to the front of the stage collecting a microphone on the way and indicating to Quinn she needed to stay.
"Well McKinley we've come a long way from when you used to boo and jeer whenever we sang," Rachel grinned at the audience, "Still, if you must throw something please make sure it's money and only of the paper variety."
She leant over to check her idea with Quinn enjoying the inquisitive eyebrow raise. Santana had briefed the band and was giving Rachel a thumbs-up gesture as she retook her place with Tina and Mercedes.
"So here's a song which is fondly remembered by us," Rachel indicated the pair of them,"and it's where our journey began all those years ago here. Or rather to be more specific in the choir room or maybe..."
"Rach" interrupted Quinn to focus her back on the task in hand.
"Um yes right." Rachel moved to be level but on the opposite side of the stage to Quinn. A shared smile, a moment to compose themselves and then Quinn's husky voice broke the silence with a " dearest darlingest mumsie and popsicle."
They faced the audience until Rachel's "blonde" had her arching an eyebrow at Quinn before breaking into a quick grin then returning to character. They proceeded to stalk each other round the stage, singing face to face with just the occassional smirk slipping into the exchanges. Quinn was unable to hide a smile as an image of Rachel in an animal sweater flashed through her mind as she sang about her loathing of Rachel's "clothing".
Mr Scheuster watched the exuberant energetic performance and was transported back to the previous time the pair had performed this song in front of him. There was an undeniable chemistry between the two and he wondered how he had been so blind to it before. On stage they went from bristling animosity to a sudden glimpse of a genuine affection as they moved around each other with a practised familiarity. It gradually dawned on him as the song headed toward its conclusion that Rachel and Quinn had changed from singing loathing to singing loving.
They harmonised into the final "loving you my whole life long" finishing facing each other with a hair's breath between them. The note ended and they held the gaze as they desperately tried to recover after expending all that energy. The urge to close the gap between them and for Rachel to place her lips on Quinn's was almost irresistible but as she made the move forward the pair of them were engulfed in hugs from Mercedes, Tina and Santana who had provided the backing vocals yet again. Suddenly the sound of appreciative applause invaded Rachel's awareness and she remembered just where they were. So she put her arms around the waists of Quinn and Santana and encouraged them to form a line to face the audience. Finally the five manage to form a rather ragged line and take a laughter filled bow.
"Somehow I never lose my affection for that duet even though I get to hear it every year with the pair of you at varying levels of intoxication" muttered Santana.
"Just be glad Rachel didn't feel the need to 'green up'. " replied Quinn.
"Hey that's unfair," protested Rachel "it was only the once and how was I to know it would take two days to get all the green off my skin."
"It's more the fact it took equally as long to get it off mine," replied Quinn as Santana laughed at the pair of them.
Mr. Scheuster was back on stage microphone in hand leading the applause for them. When he asked the audience if they wanted to hear Rachel sing some more the roar of agreement was positively deafening. Rachel glimpsed a brief expression of what she thought might be jealousy cross Mercedes face so she tried to decline the invitation but neither Quinn nor Santana were having any of it.
"Come on Rach, I know you've got something prepared," encouraged Quinn.
"Yeah, this evening isn't going to be how you've envisioned it for years unless you have the crowd eating out of the palm of your hand and loudly acclaiming your brilliance," added Santana," They owe you that" she managed to give Mercedes an intimidating stare. Mercedes lacked the vision to realise what her schooldays would have been like if Rachel hadn't been around to be the prime target of everyone else's jealousy and need to make themselves feel better by putting her down - or at least trying to.
"Please Rachel, I just love listening to you sing but listening to you sing live is such a privilege," gushed Tina, "I just don't get to see it enough."
"Okay," smiled Rachel hugging Tina, "in that case just for you... and my ego."
It took another quick skirt around Mr Scheuster (and his seeming need to manhandle her in some way) to leave her microphone in hand in front of a crowd keen to be as close to her as possible. She waited for the applause to die down and enjoyed the anticpatory silence.
"Before I sing a song or two I just want to take the opportunity to thank someone who provided so much support and guidance during my school years," Rachel's gaze swept the crowd projecting the sincerity of her words.
Will tried to keep the surprise of his face as he felt finally he was going to be acknowledged. Maybe he hadn't been quite as supportive as Rachel's words implied but he had, through his constructive criticism, provided guidance.
"An unspoken hero who always had the time to give words of encouragement," continued Rachel as Will struggled to remember even one time he had encouraged or praised Rachel. Still, celebrities were all about sugar coated neatly packaged memories so he'd take it.
"In my moments of self doubt," Rachel paused then whispered confidentially to the large audience," yes, there were moments - very brief and incredibly rare - he was always there with a pep talk or a tune to distract me. Ladies and Gentlemen, my musical mentor, the man behind the scenes," Will hoped this was his moment but in his heart knew none of these descriptions fitted him," Brad."
Will managed to join in the polite applause as his cheeks burned with embarrassment and Brad shyly acknowledged the recognition from where he was sat at the piano. Brad finally managed to mumble an "Always my pleasure" as Will was finally beginning to realise that maybe Rachel really didn't have anything to thank him for.
As the noise level settled down Rachel addressed the audience again.
"As many of you may know I'm currently appearing in a musical with a flimsy story based on the early hits of Adele," she allowed for the audience to yet again indicate its approval," so here's a number that brings back the angst of my late teens when I used to sing this in my bedroom and wish I had the courage to sing it to the object of what I then thought was my unrequited love."
A brief flash of a smile at Quinn, a nod of the head to Brad and the introduction to 'One and Only' began as Rachel held the microphone lightly looking down before snapping her eyes up to meet the gaze of the audience as the verse began. She exuded sincerity and her eyes helped her express this. Rachel had sung this song many times before but her talent was to be able to sing it with meaning and feeling every time. She was channeling the feelings of those weeks before she headed to New York all those years ago when her hopelessness about the feelings she had for Quinn were at their peak. That exquisite uncertainty where the difference between total joy and complete devastation was just a word away if she had only brought herself to ask Quinn a simple question. She was lost in the song and the emotions.
Quinn was as captivated as she always was. She was sure the thrill she had at watching Rachel perform at least matched that Rachel received performing. She was aware of the occassional speculative or envious glances her way and the thrill it gave her to know Rachel only had eyes for her. Seeing or rather hearing Rachel sing always moved her to the edge of tears but she had learnt over the years how to hold back the urge to bawl. Rachel held the audiences attention with practised ease as she gave everything to her performance. Quinn didn't realise that she too had been caught up in Rachel's spell until a "You're a lucky woman Q" in her ear made her jump. As Rachel brought her song to a close and the audience to thunderous applause Quinn finally turned to respond to Sue Sylvester who was standing beside her.
"I know" was all she could think of to say.
"And she's lucky to have you although for most of your time here I despaired that either of you would figure out what was really going on between you" sighed Sue as they both watched Rachel acknowledge the crowds enthusiastic appreciation for her.
"But that's not why I came over. It seems at least half if not all of Lima has decided to turn out to acknowledge its most famous daughter and the police are having concerns about their ability to control the crowd." Stated Sue, "social network sites or something" she added by way of explanation as Santana joined them.
"Worried about our safety?" asked Quinn as she watched Santana begin to make a phonecall. It seemed unlikely their plan to call a cab at the end of the evening was going to be a successful one.
"And that of the crowd, they want you to leave before the crowds become any bigger" Sue glanced at the stage, "although we might need a surgical intervention to separate the singing dwarf from the microphone and the spotlight."
Quinn rolled her eyes at Sue's insults. She was beginning to wish Rachel's agent Claire was here as Rachel trusted and followed her advice immediately whereas with Quinn she always seemed to think any advice was an invitation for a debate.
"Claire, cars and bodyguards are on their way as we speak," interrupted Santana noting the confused look on Quinn's face she explained that she and Claire had taken it on themselves to ignore Rachel's wishes and so they weren't on their way from New York but were in fact just 5 minutes away.
"i'll leave Claire to explain that to Rachel," offered Quinn glad to have not been involved but relieved to know help was at hand. It wasn't just the crowd outside she was worried about, the crowd in here pressing forward to have a good view of Rachel had the potential to be problematic. She smiled confidently at Rachel as the singer caught her eye, no need to worry her about it yet.
"My final number of the evening," groans of dismay met the announcement of final but Rachel pushed on through," is an adapted number that has been in my thoughts ever since I knew we'd be coming to this reunion. So, with apologies to the original writers, here's my version of Danke Schoen."
Rachel gestured with her hand and the strings and the drum started up. She swayed to the music as she yet again smiled at Brad's ability to have all the musicians up to speed.
Danke Schoen, Mckinley, Danke Schoen.
Rachel gestured towards the audience and sounds of approval met her mention of McKinley as her eyes swept the crowd
Thank you for all the joy and pain.
Singing shows, glee club company, every day we'd meet, learn a beat, train our feet, it was sweet
The old Gleeks loudly acknowledged their mention.
Danke Schoen, McKinley Danke Schoen.
Thank you for driving me insane
A well-timed eyeroll emphasised her words.
I recall slushies in the hall, how you'd tease my dress, It was a mess, I confess, that's not all
Danke Schoen, Darling Quinn Fabray
Thank you for every single day
I can see, how we're meant to be, our hearts intertwined, for all time, yours and mine, how divine
A mischievious wink and a licking of the lips in Quinn's direction suggested divine was an understatement.
Danke Schoen, McKinley Danke Schoen.
Thank you for seeing me again.
Though we go, on our seperate ways, still the memory stays, for always, my heart says, Danke Schoen.
The music swelled for the big finish as Rachel's voice took on the familiar growl and her gestures were grander.
Danke Schoen, McKinley Danke Schoen.
Thank you for ohhhhh seeing me again.
Though we go, on our seperate ways, still the memory stays, for always, my heart says, Danke Schoen.
Danke Schoen, Auf Wiedersehn, Danke Schoen.
A farewell wave coincided with the singing of auf wiedersehn and the music quietened down. The crowd erupted into hearty applause and loud whistles - presumably of approval and Rachel stood enjoying the appreciation of her endeavours. As the clapping and whistling intensified to persuade Rachel to do an encore Quinn was pleased to note the arrival of Claire and four dark suited muscular men into the hall. Claire headed towards where Quinn was as the four men headed towards Rachel and flanked her as she descended from the stage and there was a surge of people towards her.
Flashes of cameras and the waving of phones accompanied Rachel as she made her way back to the Gleek table.
"Claire," Rachel managed to fit surprise, pleasure and confusion into the one word.
" I took your advice, followed my heart and here I am. The fact you need my talents to get you out of here in one piece given the huge crowds outside is just a bonus." Claire moved to take hold of Santana's hand as she watched Rachel process the information.
"Oh" managed Rachel not quite sure what she was seeing. At least Quinn looked as puzzled as she felt.
"Plenty of time to catch up later but in the meantime the local police are having a bit of a meltdown about the size of the crowds outside so perhaps now is a good time for an exit," Claire glanced at Quinn before refocussing on Rachel, "Cars are waiting outside ready to go so say your fond farewells and let's beat a hasty retreat."
Rachel and Quinn quickly bid their farewells to their fellow Gleeks with the usual promises to keep in touch and then stopping only to ask Ms Pillsbury to pass their thanks on to the organising committee they made their way to the exit with their escort keeping a space to move around them. The noise that greeted them as they exited the buildings and stepped out into the car park was in stark contrast to the silence of when the cab had dropped them off earlier in the evening.
"Not the time to work the crowd Rachel, it seems your hometown police force are not too used to situations like this," Claire warned.
Rachel settled for beaming smiles and waving to various sections of the crowd before climbing into the car. A minute or two later they were joined by a grinning Santana.
"Sorry about that I just had to pick something up," she waved a memory card at them, "A souvenir of the evening courtesy of Jacob Ben Israel."
"I don't even want to know." said Claire
"He volunteered it," Santana defended herself, "I didn't even ask."
She might not have asked but a meaningful stare had been enough.
The car pulled away through a wave of camera flashes and a brief heart stopping moment of people thumping on the car before the Lima police managed to regain control of the crowd.
Quinn reached for Rachel's hand before saying,"Well at least that's done and dusted for the next five years."
"I for one don't feel the need to return. Demons are all exorcised and replaced by much better memories now," Rachel leaned in to kiss Quinn's cheek before adding a heartfelt "thanks to you."
"Don't forget about me," interjected Santana as she continued to fumble with Claire's laptop "and here's me in all my glory" added Santana now that the laptop was prepared to read the memory card she'd just inserted.
An incredibly clear steady picture appeared of Quinn's surprise performance although Santana was quickly frustrated to find she hardly appeared in the video at all as it focussed primarily on Rachel with Quinn finally getting a look in when they danced closely together. Quinn laughed at Santana's disappointment.
"Don't worry photos and clips are already up on the web so no doubt you'll be spoilt for choice of YouTube clips by tomorrow" added Claire from the front seat," Honestly with all the uploads and live feeds going on I felt as if I was there."
"I expect this is more of a Rachel-fest," said Santana glumly holding up another memory card. Quinn took it and the laptop off her
"Sounds like something I'll enjoy," Quinn grinned at Santana. The conversation continued to flow on around her as Santana and Rachel bickered about the quality of the catering and whether Finn and Puck deserved any sympathy in the slightest. Santana finally noted Quinn 's distraction and glanced at the screen over Quinn's shoulder.
"Em not so much a Rachel-fest as Rachel's-chest-fest" Santana smirked as Quinn hurriedly closed the screen shut.
"No idea why you're watching an on screen version when you can get your hands on the real thing," teased Santana earning a slap from a blushing Quinn for her troubles.
"Jacob remains unchanged and as creepy as ever," said Rachel, "Although it seems somethings have changed. So Claire, Santana, care to explain what is going on?"
"Well you're currently being rescued by the security detail that you decided –" explained Santana only to be cut off.
"I meant between you two," Rachel interjected in an impatient tone," and more specifically how long have Quinn and I been kept in the dark or more importantly why?"
Santana struggled to find a starting point. Rachel sounded so displeased.
"We started seeing each other about a year back," Claire explained knowing Rachel would prefer her cutting to the chase,"and we didn't say anything as we wanted to be sure whatever we felt for each other was serious."
Rachel's face was unreadable in the darkened car although her lack of comment possibly spoke volumes.
"Must be serious if Santana hasn't run away after a month," joked Quinn in a bid to break the tense silence. The comment went unacknowledged.
Rachel was torn between dismay, betrayal and fear. Fear that Claire would be hurt by Santana, dismay that she might lose her agent and one of her closest friends in the aftermath of a relationship breakdown and betrayed by their lack of trust in her. She wisely kept her own counsel. She needed to sift through so many conflicting feelings. She wanted them both to be happy but was that really possible with one another?
"We are serious about each other," pleaded Santana suddenly wondering whether her insistence against Claire's wishes that they didn't tell Rachel had in fact been the wrong one. It suddenly seemed like there was much more than a relationship at stake.
"A whole year," Rachel muttered looking at her hands. Quinn tried to offer some reassurance by stroking Rachel's arm as she glared at Santana. Surely after all these years Santana knew how much Rachel hated being kept in the dark about things?
"We should have said something sooner," admitted Santana.
The deafening silence continued.
"It's okay if you want to change agents Rachel, it would be completely understandable. I won't make it difficult," added Claire trying not to let her dismay at the thought seep into her words. Rachel had been her first A-list client and she liked to think they were more than just employer and employee.
"Oh God Claire how could you think…?" Rachel pulled herself together, "I'm just…worried that things will change between us. I want you to be happy. I'll just need some time."
"Rachel, you have helped me to the position I'm in today by taking a chance on me all that time ago. You're kind, considerate and easy to work with. Maybe it's time you had a change of agent." said Claire.
"No, we can make it work. I'm just a bit disappointed that the pair of you didn't feel you could tell us before now." replied Rachel.
"That was kind of my fault," muttered Santana, "I just didn't want to jinx us."
"Another thing that hasn't changed since High School," added Quinn.
"Watch it Fabray or I'll be approaching Mikey Millions on Rachel's behalf,"responded Santana.
"No you won't," replied Rachel, "I've no intention of changing agents. Claire's been such a good friend and confidant over the years and such an amazing agent."
"For a lesbian," threw in Quinn and suddenly laughter erupted around the car, all remnants of awkwardness disappearing.
"So," Claire broke through their thoughts," was the Rachel Berry FU tour a success?"
Rachel didn't have time to voice her objection to the use of the profane language.
"It was quite an eye opening experience," mentioned Quinn, " hearing Rachel telling Finn to 'back the fuck off' was definitely worth travelling this far to hear."
Rachel blushed partly because Quinn had done an excellent job of mimicing her and partly because she couldn't believe she'd actually said that.
"I thought only the ignorant…" began Santana ready to quote Rachel back at herself.
"Santana," warned Quinn before leaning into Rachel and whispering how sexy she'd found her swearing.
Rachel's blush intensified but now it was because of the positively predatory look Quinn was giving her. She squirmed in her seat relieved that their hotel was now in sight. It was Rachel's turn to listen to the conversation around her as her thoughts raced.
Santana was suggesting a nightcap in the plush hotel bar but was instantly turned down by Rachel on her and Quinn's behalf.
"There's a private encore just for Quinn to finish off the Rachel Berry FU tour so if you don't mind, and even if you do, we'll be retiring." announced Rachel.
Quinn's smirk at Santana over Rachel's head as she was hurried towards the lift was the epitome of smug. High school reunions were definitely going up in her estimation. They'd come a long way together. How incredibly wonderful it was to be her and judging by Rachel's expression it was all about to get even better. Danke Schoen McKinley indeed.