As ever, people who point out any glaring Brit-speak errors are cherished forever. :)
It's on her third visit to the city that it gets mentioned for the first time.
She inhales half her drink by accident, and almost spills the other half all over Rachel's bed.
Rachel shrugs, and doesn't take her eyes off the laptop screen.
'Is it really that shocking? As a single person who has previously lived a sheltered life, why shouldn't I capitalize on my single status and experiment? It'd be rather dull not to, no?'
That's a lot of questions for Quinn to try and process, so she latches onto the part of the conversation that is emblazoned across her mind's eye in capital letters.
'But... with girls?'
Rachel frowns at her once, before rolling her eyes.
'Yes, with girls. That's what I meant when I said 'with girls'. I'm open-minded about the concept. I may well even enjoy it.'
'Enjoy it. With girls. Experimenting. As in... you are thinking what I'm thinking, right? You're not talking about some lab experiment somewhere?'
There's a blush building on Rachel's cheeks now, but that is nothing compared to the fire that Quinn is fighting, so she'll leave it.
'Quinn, are you being deliberately annoying? Experiment. With girls. Sexually. Please stop looking at me like that, and I warn you, if this reaction is at all based on any lingering homophobia, you are straight back on a train.'
'What? No! No. It's just...where did this even come from? It isn't mandatory for every single person to suddenly go experimenting, you know.'
Rachel sighs, and makes a show of checking her phone.
'I am aware of that, thank you. I guess... I've considered the possibility, and seemed to respond to the concept, so why on earth shouldn't I? All I need to do is find someone willing, and see what happens.'
Okay, Quinn really needs to not be thinking about Rachel 'considering the possibility' in the bed that Quinn is currently sat on. She leaps up.
'Right, well. Let me know how that goes. I'm going to make a coffee, if that's okay? Do you want one?'
Rachel glances up at her, and pushes her glasses a fraction higher up her nose.
'Please, this assignment isn't going to finish itself.'
The second time Rachel visits her, it gets mentioned again.
'Do you know any available girls willing to experiment with me? I'm completely, one hundred percent, okay with it happening tonight.'
Quinn looks Rachel up and down, and removes the drink from her hand, placing it on the bar next to her. She has to lean in, and shout over the music.
'You're drunk. And I'm not just throwing you at some gay girl so that she can hook up and you can experiment.'
Rachel glowers at her, and retrieves her drink.
'A friend would support me on this' she announces archly, having found the straw with her mouth after only three attempts. Quinn swallows a laugh, and shrugs.
'Sorry. I'm all out of attractive lesbian acquaintances for you to meet.'
Rachel waves an unsteady finger in her face.
'Fine. You have until my next visit to rectify this. Now come on. Come dance.'
On Quinn's fifth visit to Rachel, Rachel tells her to not be a moron and get into the bed with her.
'Quinn, it is February, the heating is out, and if you sleep on the floor you'll probably die, and then Santana would murder me. Get into the damn bed.'
After twenty minutes, Rachel snuffles once, and seems to relax into Quinn's side completely, leaving Quinn staring at the ceiling.
Rachel considers possibilities in this bed.
She's suddenly hot, broken heating or no.
On Rachel's sixth visit to Quinn, it gets mentioned again.
'You found any attractive lesbian acquaintances for me to experiment with, then?'
They've been drinking again, but nobody's drunk, so Quinn feels the blush start all over.
'I... no. No one who I'd be happy giving a free pass into your underwear.'
Rachel looks vaguely outraged, and swats at her arm.
'Quinn! Nobody said anything about free passes. I just want someone to...you know, roll around with a bit. Just to see what happens.'
Quinn rolls her eyes and looks over at the bar to avoid having to look at Rachel.
'Right, sorry. Well, even so, I'm struggling. I mean, what should I be looking out for? Just, 'female' is quite a big category.'
Out of the corner of Quinn's eye, she watches as Rachel traces condensation down the side of her bottle with a slow finger.
'Someone who I can trust. And feel comfortable with. And won't automatically tell everyone afterward. Who won't judge me.'
Quinn blinks, and drags her gaze back to Rachel.
'Uh. I was thinking more, tall or short? Fair or dark? That sort of thing. I didn't realize I'd have to do an in-depth personality assessment as well.'
Rachel sighs, and stands.
'Nevermind. Forget I asked. Let's go.'
The seventh time Rachel is supposed to come visit, Rachel doesn't come visit.
'Rachel? What's going on?'
There's a really loud noise down the other end of the line, and Quinn holds the phone away from her ear for a moment.
'Quinn? Quinn? Sorry, it's loud here. Party. I'm at a party. A social gathering.'
'Oh...kay. Why didn't you tell me? I went to the station to pick you up.'
'I was going to, but then I ran into Kurt, and he told me I was being an idiot with you, and now I'm at this party, and these drinks really are delicious, so I'm going to do that now.'
Quinn rolls over in her bed, and glances at the clock. Nearly midnight.
'Is Kurt still there? Do you know how to get home?'
'Yup, yup. Kurt's found me this girl, who seems nice so... what? Oh, yay! Okay Quinn, I have to bye now. Don't miss me too much. Whoops...'
The line cuts out.
It takes half a minute for Quinn to realize that she is furious, but when she does, it hits hard.
Rachel, I waited at the station for three fucking hours and called you about a million times, at least fucking TELL ME before you get drunk and bail on me to go be a bitch with Kurt and whichever whore he's dug up for you.
Quinn's pressed send before she even thinks about it.
They don't visit each other for a while.
Quinn nearly unfriends Rachel, nearly deletes everything.
Instead she checks Rachel's Facebook relationship status nearly every day (hour) like a lunatic, like she even cares.
On the last week before they break up and return to Lima for the summer, Rachel calls.
Oh. Oh god. She's missed her voice.
After a moment, Rachel clears her throat.
'I'd really like it if you'd come see me. I've looked at the timetables, there's a connection you can get if you leave within the hour. Bring an over-night bag please.'
Quinn can't even process what's happening.
'Wait, don't... doesn't one of us need to apologize, or something? Before we go back to normal? And couldn't it just... wait until summer?'
Rachel appears to sigh, and uses the voice that generally accompanies a roll of the eyes.
'If you come, I'll accept that as your apology. And I don't really want it to wait until summer, no.'
Then all Quinn's left with is a dial tone and a heart full of ache.
This is the tenth time Quinn's stepped onto this platform.
There's a pause in which Quinn tries to remember if she always felt this way around Rachel.
'This is me accepting your apology by the way.'
Quinn glowers at Rachel for a moment, and blows some hair out of her face.
'This is me being uncertain that I need to apologize, by the way.'
Rachel grins at her, and picks up Quinn's bag.
'Come on then.'
This is the tenth time Quinn has sat on Rachel's bed.
This is the first time Quinn has felt this nervous. Ever.
They watch about five episodes of the West Wing in silence, with the laptop perched on Rachel's knee and Quinn slowly going numb with the pain of having to sit close enough to see without allowing herself to touch Rachel at all.
Eventually, Rachel closes her laptop.
'I didn't. You know, with her. I thought about it, but I didn't.'
Quinn stares at Rachel, feeling like a moron, until Rachel huffs a bit, and elaborates.
'Experiment, I mean. With that girl Kurt found.'
She should say something here.
'Right? Right. Good, I guess. Did she, um, I mean, did you decide that experimenting wasn't for you, after all that drama?'
Rachel stares at her, for what feels like a year, before abruptly dumping the laptop on Quinn's knee.
'You're such a fucking idiot sometimes, you know that?'
Quinn finds Rachel in the shared kitchen at the end of the hall. Rachel is staring at an inactive coffee-machine as though attempting telekinesis. Quinn reaches past her to flick it on, and watches as Rachel watches something other than her.
Eventually, she nudges at Rachel's elbow.
'Hey. I was thinking. Maybe I am an idiot, when I'm with you. Maybe I always have been.'
Rachel tuts at her, but other than that gives no indication she's heard. Quinn flexes her fingers, nervous, suddenly.
'And. Umm. This experimenting business needn't be a complete disaster. Not if it's with someone who you trust. It'll probably be fun, or life-changing, or something that we never have to mention again, because I'm good at never mentioning things again.'
Rachel blinks at her carefully.
Quinn scratches at the back of her head, suddenly awkward.
'I mean. If you want. It's not like I haven't thought about it, the frequency you were mentioning it pretty much made that inevitable, so...'
'Quinn, I mentioned it about three times over a year. Two of those times I was drunk. It's hardly been a propaganda campaign.'
Quinn crosses her arms and looks at the floor, and waits for something to happen.
Eventually, Rachel holds out a hand to her.
'Come on. People are bound to walk in here soon.'
What if Rachel experiments, and then decides it wasn't for her?
What if it is all too much, and Quinn makes an embarrassing noise?
What if she starts crying?
Rachel sits down on the bed, and stares up at her, and oh god, this is happening. Quinn sits two foot further down the bed, and rubs at her wrist, for no reason whatsoever.
Finally, Rachel mumbles something that sounds a lot like 'when I imagined this, you were a great deal more suave', before shifting down the bed towards her.
Kissing Rachel Berry is like nothing in this world.
It's soft, and gentle, and leaves her breathless, utterly astonished.
Rachel moves, somehow, and tugs, until she's hovering over Quinn, expanse of thigh on either side of Quinn's hips.
When Quinn presses her palms flat on the stretch of skin just beneath Rachel's top, Rachel gasps into her mouth, and then bites on Quinn's bottom lip.
Maybe she should say something here?
Okay, that wasn't what she'd planned to say at all. Rachel moves her hands up from her shoulders to the back of her neck, where her fingertips rest and rub at the fine hairs there, which are somehow connected to her heart, because god.
'Do you think... do you think we should stop?'
Rachel slips back up the bed, and pulls Quinn down on top of her. She looks up at Quinn, and Quinn props up, and braces her arms, in search of a little distance, a little sanity.
Rachel's lips are pink and swollen, and it is distracting, really distracting.
'We can. If you want? Whatever you want, Rach.'
Rachel raises her eyebrows, and looks down the lengths of their bodies. One of the side effects of pushing upwards on her arms is that it causes her hips to push downwards, down into the space between Rachel's legs.
Rachel runs a hand up the inside of Quinn's wrist and forearm, before touching her cheek.
'Are you doing this purely as a favor to me?'
Quinn decides it is probably a bit late in the day to claim total altruism.
'Not... completely. This is good, I think.'
Rachel looks for a moment like she is fighting really hard to not roll her eyes, and then shifts upwards to kiss Quinn's neck.
'That's good. I'm going to take my top off now, if that's okay with you.'
Never in her life did she think she would know what Rachel's skin tastes like.
And even now, there isn't really an accurate set of words to describe it except good and more.
Rachel's moving now, underneath her, and Quinn presses down in something approaching a rhythm, and the fear of making embarrassing noises is long gone. Rachel's neck and collarbone muffle some of it, but Quinn decides abruptly that the best way to muffle things is for Rachel to make louder noises, and that why she moves further down Rachel's body, to her breasts.
Rachel tastes the same here, but feels different, and when Quinn sucks Rachel's hips jerk upwards and her fingers tighten in her hair.
Quinn feels amazing, all of a sudden. She grins upwards at Rachel.
'This experiment going well then?'
Rachel nods vigorously with her eyes half closed, and shifts her head on the pillow.
'Yes, and shush.'
Quinn grins again, to herself, and pushes skywards again, but this time removing all contact from Rachel, who blinks her eyes open in surprise.
'How do you know?'
Rachel frowns at her slowly, and starts blushing slightly, which is ridiculous because they're both topless and surely the time for modesty has been and gone.
'Well, you know. I'm...enjoying myself.'
Quinn tips herself sideways, and brushes some hair away from Rachel's face.
'Yes, but, how do you know you are enjoying yourself. Describe it to me. In detail. This is an experiment, remember? We need to record data.'
Rachel presses her lips together, and stares resolutely at the ceiling.
Quinn bites at her lip, and then shifts more firmly into Rachel's side, murmuring low into her ear.
'Maybe you should check then. Just for your own information, even if you aren't willing to share your findings with me.'
Rachel turns her head to face Quinn, and when they kiss Quinn feels it everywhere.
Rachel's hand is playing with the waistband on her own hips when they surface, and Quinn finds her gaze drawn to it, drawn to the way Rachel's finger tips have disappeared from view and a thumb is tracing aimless shapes on tan skin.
Rachel's spare hand grabbles for Quinn's wrist, and squeezes on it gently.
Quinn has no idea what comes over her. 'I want to look. Fuck... Rachel...'
Rachel groans at that, a sound deep in her throat, and Quinn is torn between watching what is happening, and kissing Rachel's neck.
She settles for an awkward compromise, trailing brief kisses up to Rachel's jaw line before looking down again, where Rachel's hand is a gently moving shape beneath thin material.
'Oh my god Rachel. That's...'
Rachel mumbles something incoherent, and presses her face into the space between Quinn's face and the pillow beneath her.
'Feels good...feels really good.'
Quinn wants so much, she doesn't even know what to do with herself. She pushes herself back upwards, and settles on Rachel's thigh, surging forward and kissing Rachel until she's almost lost her mind, all the while conscious of the movements of the hand pressed tight between their bodies.
'Don't stop Rachel, just... that's so sexy.'
Rachel's free hand clutches at the sheets, and then reaches for the back of Quinn's neck, before settling just beneath her own breast.
'Oh god yes Rachel, keep going.'
Quinn's hips press forward automatically, but this time pressing into Rachel's hand, and Rachel chokes back a moan.
Why on earth did they wait so long before doing this? Quinn reaches down, and swirls a tongue over Rachel's nipple, before letting her own hips jerk forward again, and when Quinn raises her head to look down their bodies (and from this angle she can see almost everything), Rachel presses fingers to her wetted breast and rubs.
'Jesus, Quinn, I, oh my god.'
Quinn jerks again, and there's no point pretending this isn't happening now, that she isn't incredibly wet, that she isn't trying to get herself off against Rachel's thigh. She breathes heavily into Rachel's neck, and moans rather than speaks.
'So good Rachel. You feel so good. You look amazing.'
Quinn feels a hand tugging at the back of her neck, and Quinn cranes upwards to look into Rachel's eyes.
The blush has gone, replaced by something amazing.
'You should look properly then.'
Rachel raises her hips slightly, and tugs her sleep shorts down by six inches, so they rest on the tops of her thighs, and Quinn can see everything, and it feels like a heart attack and dream all at once.
Rachel's fingers are wet, and they move quickly, flicking in a repeated action over her clit, and Quinn really isn't going to last long now.
She ignores her aching arms, and pushes up off Rachel again, so their hips are connected and Quinn has got all the pressure she needs, and rubs herself on Rachel's exposed thigh, mindful that she must be ruining her panties, that Rachel can surely feel her now. She gets half a confirmation from the way Rachel's eyes roll back into her head, and Quinn watches the fast moving fingers, watches how each thrust she makes presses Rachel's fingers a bit harder, and it's happening, this is happening.
On the final three jerks she's lost all control, and the orgasm hits hard, sends her pitching forward into Rachel's body, while the moment seems to catch Rachel too, who bows up into her, and gasps once, right next to Quinn's ear.
The hand stays pressed between their bodies for some time.
This is the first time she's felt like this.
Rachel tilts towards her, and presses an open mouthed kiss to her collarbone. Quinn hums contentedly, and runs a hand through Rachel's hair.
'Hey... I have a confession to make.'
'Yeah?' she replies lazily, enjoying the feel of Rachel's back, the trail of gooseflesh she can apparently leave in her wake.
Rachel grins at her, and bites the inside of her cheek, bashful.
'I sort of... didn't need to experiment with you. I was pretty much certain what I wanted.'
Quinn kisses her in response, because she can do that now.
'Oh, that's a shame. I was hoping to be your test subject for some time.'
Rachel laughs at her, and they both end up grinning at each other, until Rachel rolls on top of her.
'This is excellent news, I have a number of hypotheticals that need confirming.'
Quinn reaches for her hand, and squeezes.