When It Comes to Love

Author's Note: These are the logs from the tumblr RP between racheloffbroadway (written by vondrunkaton) and quinnsomniac. To get the full experience, it's recommended that you follow them both, but most of their core interaction will be centered here.

It's an odd experience, being in the theater without Rachel being present, but it's the night before they begin their full dress preview and Kelsey wanted to make some adjustments to the set while giving the cast a night off. This means Quinn's out about an hour before Rachel usually finishes, because there are no notes to be given and it's only nine-thirty when she makes her way over to Times Square.

She knows exactly where to find Rachel, because she's taken an evening shift, something she doesn't normally do, because of the show. The hope is that she'll make some extra tips and from the look Quinn gets through the window of the packed restaurant, it looks promising.

There's a party of seven in front of her, but when Quinn says she's alone, the hostess waves her through and seats her at the counter. She hopes Rachel's isn't due to clock out any time soon, because Quinn really wants to see her sing.

Another waitress asks for her order and she requests a cup of coffee and a red velvet cupcake, because she can at least give that to Rachel, later.

Rachel is busy with tables, but on the way to deliver a tray of drinks to a family of six, she spots a very familiar shade of blonde. It's packed, and it's difficult to see, but she knows it's Quinn. She sets the drinks out, looking over her shoulder for a glimpse of Quinn's face, but she just can't get a good view. On her way back, she swings by the table, and flashes a wide smile when Quinn sees her.

"I wait that section over there," Rachel says, pointing, "but you're just in time to hear me sing. I'm up the song after next."

Quinn barely has time to smile and say hello before someone's flagging Rachel down to ask for more straws. This place is hectic and she doesn't know if she'd be able to deal with the incessant questions and neediness from customers for hours at a time. She likes the flexibility her job offers, where she only has to speak with people over Skype and deal with customer service questions over email.

She can't help grinning at the thought that she's going to see Rachel perform. It's not the same as what she's been watching in rehearsals, not if the other server, a guy with a pompadour, is any indication. This seems a little more free, kind of like very talented karaoke.

It reminds her a lot of glee club. But with milkshakes and poodle skirts.

Rachel slides an order ticket across the counter at the grill and tucks the pad back into her skirt. The first notes of Stay play across the PA and Rachel's already got her microphone in hand. This is the part of her job that she loves- the reason she puts up with ketchup stains on her apron and sore feet at night. She gets to sing on a regular basis for one of the most appreciative audiences she's ever encountered. Plus, her headshot is on the back of the menu and all of their promotional material, and the visibility is fantastic, especially since she's singing on Broadway.

She weaves through the tables, leaning back and forth, gripping her mic. The song is slow enough to showcase her talent but still fun, and the audience always loves this number, for some reason.

She hops up on the edge of a table, patrons all around her, and fluffs her poodle shirt with her free hand.

Across the room, she locks eyes with Quinn and her smile widens.

For weeks, Quinn's been watching Rachel rehearse for her play. But, just like she thought, none of that compares to this, to the raw energy of Rachel Berry singing for the sake of singing. It's still under the guise of an occupation, but this is so informal and fresh and Rachel's looking at her and making Quinn feel like she's blushing, even though she knows that shouldn't be possible.

Rachel is electric and effortless and this is exactly what some Quinn's favorite memories are made of.

She smiles back and bites her lip as she watches, because she can't help that everything about this moment makes her feel sixteen, again.

The song is over all too soon, but Rachel knows that she has one more number tonight. She holds her last note, and the applause she gets is fabulous. She scoots off the table she's been crooning on, thanking customers and fluffing her skirt, and then she's on her way to Quinn's table.

By the time she gets there, the applause has died down and there's another number starting up. She still breathless when she says, "I'm so glad you're here tonight. Do you think you be staying until the end of my shift and walking me home?" She twists slightly and looks at Quinn through her lashes, playing the part to a T.

Quinn nods, "Yeah, I'll be staying. I'd stay here all night, if I had to." That's not really a stretch, given that she doesn't sleep. She reaches out and tugs on one of the pleats to Rachel's skirt. "I've missed hearing you, like that. You're..." she shakes her head and smiles. "I don't think you actually know how amazing it is to watch you."

Rachel beams at her. She's never not responded to appreciation of her talent, and Quinn has been one of the most vocal people in her life about it, after Rachel's dads of course.

She stoops and presses a kiss to Quinn's cheek. "You don't have to. My shift ends in thirty minutes, and then I'm all yours."

She has to get back to her tables, but she can't help but linger for just a moment longer so that she can appreciate how happy Quinn looks right now, in this moment.

The public affection makes Quinn suddenly aware of how many people are in the space around them, but then she's proud to be the one Rachel kisses (even just on the cheek) in front of all of them. 'Yes, that girl who just sang the crap out of that song is my- well, she's mine.'

And Rachel's just reassured her that it's very much a reality. "All mine, huh?"

Rachel just flashes her best show smile and flounces away, making sure that her poodle skirt swishes properly for the right effect. She goes back to waiting her tables, keeping an eye on Quinn, who switches back and forth between watching the other performers with polite interest and looking at Rachel. Occasionally she'll sip her coffee, but Rachel knows that she's only here for her, and to have someone in her life who's interested in being here is just... well, it's more than she's had in a long time.

It makes her feel fluttery.

The other people performing are definitely good and she can see how a place like this would draw in talent. It's literally on Broadway, it's a chance to regularly sing for an audience, and it increases the chance in being seen by "the right person." And here, Rachel still has everyone beat. She's effortless when she sings, she's vibrant, she's all about entertaining and not just singing the lyrics that are projected on the screen.

Her server refills her coffee and smiles at her. "I figure you must be Quinn," she says.

"How do you-" Well, okay, maybe that's a dumb question. "Yeah, I am."

That's the end of the exchange, but not before the waitress winks at her. Quinn wonders just how much Rachel's said about her or if it was just a comment in passing and this woman has a great memory.

Either way, it's nice to be someone who comes up in conversation.

Rachel puts in orders and refills drinks and slides plates onto tables until it's her turn to sing again. She's far too busy to keep an eye on Quinn while she's serving, but once the microphone is in her hand again and she's not Waitress Rachel but Performer Rachel, it's much easier to make eye contact and smile and swish by Quinn's table.

She doesn't ignore her other customers. When she's singing like this, she's lost in the music and her connection with the entire restaurant flows outward. She'll never get over this feeling; this feeling of all eyes on her, smiling, clapping, singing along. When it's over, she curtsies and beams at the applause and then she's at the counter with Quinn once more.

"I need to talk to Tony and then I'll be out," she tells her. The thought of walking home with Quinn tonight is more exciting than it has been previously for some reason. Maybe it's the thrill of performing that's still pulsing through her.

Quinn catches Rachel's hand and tugs her closer, knowing she can't really kiss her, right then and there, but the thought's in the front of her mind. Her eyes wander up and down Rachel's body and she has to remind herself that Rachel's probably waiting for her to say something.

"Hurry," she finally says, giving her hand a squeeze before letting go.

Rachel feels like she's on fire, and all it takes is literally one word from Quinn. She blushes and all the way back to the kitchen, she can't stop smiling.

She waits out the rest of shift as patiently as she can, but all she wants is Quinn's hand in hers right now.

It's over soon enough and- though she's happy to be making some extra cash- she can't wait to get Quinn alone.

She pulls Quinn's jacket on over her uniform just as she gets to Quinn's table. "Ready?"

"Very." Quinn loves the sight of Rachel in her old letterman's jacket, though her mind is quickly overtaken with thoughts of getting Rachel out of it. And the rest of her clothes. When did she become so sexually charged? It can't just be the vampire thing, because she's been pretty content to paint ugly furniture and work her vegetable garden up until recently. It's Rachel who brings it out of her, because Rachel makes her feel so much.

Rachel makes her feel everything.

And Rachel isn't sure whether she'll ever get used to the way Quinn looks at her. It's thrilling and it makes her feel desirable and protected and daring all at once.

She also can't stop smiling and when Quinn leads her through the door outside, she doesn't stop herself from pressing against Quinn's side, so that they're walking very closely together.

"Did you enjoy the show?"

"I did. I think it should have been longer, though. You... Rachel, you really need to be in a place where you're singing for people, more often." Quinn knows this isn't news to Rachel, but she feels compelled to say it. Her arm slips around Rachel's shoulders as they walk. "Did you need to stop anywhere or do you just want to head back to your apartment?"

"My apartment," Rachel says. "And thank you. My dads have always believed in me but other than them, it's just been..." She's suddenly got the feeling that she's talking too much. What if what she feels is too much? What if Quinn thinks she's silly? It's too late to take it back, and she doesn't want to change it. "You," she ends up finishing softly.

"I don't think anyone we used to know ever doubted you," Quinn says. She squeezes her arm a little tighter and it results in something like a walking side-hug. "But I definitely believe in you and I... I think we should find you a venue or something. The play's great but... you love singing and you're so incredible at it. People should be seeing you. They should be paying to see you."

Rachel turns wide eyes up at her. "How do you do that?"

"I don't know, I guess we'd have to look and see who's looking for talent. Or... maybe open mic nights? You've been here longer, so you probably know better than I do."

Rachel rolls her eyes. "While the idea that I would be asking you how to market myself is amusing, I meant, how do you make it seem like it's completely unbelievable that I haven't made it yet?"

Quinn stops, right in the middle of the sidewalk, causing a couple following closely behind them to mutter under their breath as they pass by. "Because it is. Rachel, you're the most talented person I've ever met. And I don't know why someone out here hasn't picked up on that, by now, but they're going to. They have to."

The only possible response is for Rachel to lift herself on her toes and press her lips to Quinn's. They haven't discussed how either of them feels about displaying affection in public, and it's a fairly chaste kiss, so Rachel hopes that it's okay that she's taken the liberty.

Quinn's hand catches behind Rachel's neck and she kisses her again, longer this time. When she lets go she smiles at Rachel. "You're going to be so famous that you'll be taking me out to five star restaurants three times a week and letting me be your date to the Tonys. Well, okay, maybe the couple of times you can take one of your dads, but eventually..." It's a fantasy future, but it's still the idea of one with both of them and she realizes they haven't really talked about the long term, yet. She just shakes her head and pulls Rachel close as they resume walking. "Come on."

Rachel laughs and lets Quinn lead her down the sidewalk. "Do you really want to be my date to the Tonys?" It's something she can still see in her mind, even if it does seem less vibrant to her than it did a decade ago. Though, she's also never pictured herself looking out into the audience and seeing Quinn there, looking beautiful and proud. It really makes the fantasy into something amazing, breathes new life into it, and Rachel feels herself feel with the old ambition she used to feel when she was first starting out. "That would be... really amazing," she says dreamily, and for just a few moments she allows herself to be lost in this idea of achieving her dreams and having Quinn there in the front row.

"A chance to wear an overpriced dress with matching shoes?" Quinn asks. "Of course, I do." There is one particular detail that's necessary to clarify, though. "It's at night, right?"

"Yes, and the travel time is minimal. You'd be able to attend without fear of..." Rachel throws her a sideways glance. This is still a delicate topic. "Aggravating your condition." She laughs. "Like whether you can come is the biggest obstacle. I need to be nominated first. God, I need to be performing first."

Quinn laughs right along with her. "You're right. Maybe we should focus on the first part." They're in front of Rachel's building, so while she waits for Rachel to find her key, Quinn lets herself fantasize a little bit longer about walking the red carpet with Rachel, watching her talk to the press, sitting with her during the show, and being there, in person, to see her accept an award. It has to happen, because it's what Rachel was meant to do. And she wants to be there, first hand, to witness it.

Once the door is open, she leans against it and gives Quinn what she hopes is her steamiest come-hither look. "Would you like to come up?" she asks, dropping her eyes and looking back up through her eyelashes.

They aren't quite out of public, yet, but Quinn can't seem to find a reason why it matters when she steps up and deeply kisses Rachel, her hands clinging to the front of the red and white jacket. "I think you know the answer to that," she says, her voice low.

"Oh," Rachel breathes when they break apart. "I was just teasing you, but... yes, let's go up." She laces her fingers through Quinn's and leads her through the lobby to the elevators. "I forgot how instantly you can get... serious." It's not exactly what she means, but when they pass a man in a wool peacoat, Rachel feels like decorum is in their best interest.

The ride up to Rachel's floor is quick and uneventful, though Quinn's mind is reeling with the possibilities of what they can and will be doing when they get into the apartment. "It's not... I'm not too... serious... all the time, am I?" She's suddenly concerned that her libido might be tied to the fact that she isn't technically human and maybe it's unfair to assume that Rachel's operating at the same pace. "I've just never been with someone who makes me so... you're just unlike anyone else."

Just as they get to Rachel's door, she spins and presses Quinn against the wall. "Understand this right now. You're not... too serious for me. In fact, I like how serious you are." She pulls herself off of Quinn and straightens herself up. When she gets Quinn inside her apartment, she'll show her how serious she herself can be. She turns the key in the lock and pushes, and then, when the door doesn't give way, she's shooting a familiar look over her shoulder.

"What?" Quinn looks at the door, then reaches over to try and push it open. "She's can't be..." But it seems as if Lydia is up to her traditional antics, once again. "Rach, this isn't okay." She's torn between pounding on the door and breaking it down, but the latter seems like it would cost Rachel her security deposit. "Do you want me to yell at her? I can definitely yell at her."

Rachel slumps. "No, I don't want you to yell." She's absolutely deflated. "I wanted to..." She gestures up and down at Quinn's body. "I wanted to be alone with you tonight."

"Hey," Quinn gently brushes Rachel's bangs aside. "Why don't you just come home with me? I know it's not convenient, but you don't work tomorrow, right? And dress rehearsal isn't until the evening. Besides, Merman keeps asking about you."

Rachel perks up a little. "You want me to come home with you?" She leans into Quinn's touch against her face, and then smiles. "I would love to see Merman again, actually."

"I also don't have roommates, so we don't have to be quiet," Quinn adds, with a smirk.

"Oh, I..." Rachel realizes she has nothing to say to that and snaps her mouth shut so violently that it's audible. "Oh."

The second they're out of the building, Quinn's hailing a cab and telling the driver to take them to Grand Central. It's going to be at least two hours before they get to New Haven, so she's trying to occupy her mind with something other than wanting to strip Rachel down and make her writhe around. And thoughts just like that aren't helping anything.

The train ride could potentially be impossible for both of them. There's already an energy flowing between them, and Rachel knows that spending a few hours on a train with Quinn could definitely get out of hand.

"New Haven, Connecticut," she corrects and when Quinn protests, she gives her a look. "It will be so much faster," she whispers, and Quinn finally complies.

It's still a long way, and it will be more expensive, but Rachel is grateful for the privacy. There's something she's been wanting to explore since she first stumbled onto Quinn's scar, and there's nothing to stop her now from lifting her hand and ghosting her fingertips over it in the gentlest caress.

The touch causes Quinn's eyes to flutter shut, because it's a sensitive spot, even just superficially. She quickly forces them back open, though, and looks at Rachel. "No one's ever stayed the night at my place, before."

"Not even... Joan?" Rachel asks quietly. There's something about Quinn's whatever-she-is (ex-girlfriend? ex-wife? something else entirely?) that makes Rachel extremely uncomfortable. She feels a lot of things right now, wondering about this horrible woman who took Quinn's innocence and mortality without asking. She took it for herself, and didn't even ask! Her fingers are still on Quinn's scar and she can easily see a face in her mind. It's a woman she's never met before, but she can see her very clearly. And Rachel doesn't like her at all.

Quinn shakes her head. "I didn't move in there until about a year after everything. Before that, I was in the apartment where I lived during junior and senior year. I know you never saw it, but..." She feels like Rachel still knew about that place, because they were still Facebook friends and she knows random things about Rachel's life from that time, even though they had stopped communicating. "Anyway, as you know, I wasn't really that happy with Joan after it happened." Her head tips to the side, closer to Rachel. "And we were never married, so... I think ex-girlfriend is the accurate term."

"Yes, I know you were never married, but girlfriend seems a little casual for the bond the two of you-" Rachel narrows her eyes. "I never said you were married."

Quinn sighs. "Okay, maybe not in those exact words, but you said you weren't sure if she was my ex-girlfriend or my ex-wife. Or something else."

Rachel pulls back and stares at her. "I never said that. Those words, I mean. I never said anything about that."

"You did. You-" For a second, Quinn can't figure out why Rachel is arguing with her over something that isn't even worth fighting over, then she realizes she didn't actually hear Rachel say it. "But you... were thinking it."

When she realizes what Quinn is saying, Rachel's mouth drops open and she pulls her fingers away from Quinn's neck. The pale face with the sneer dissipates, and she can remember vague details but it's no longer like she's looking at a picture. "You heard me think?"

Having someone else in her head is an unsettling thought. Even though she trusts Quinn and she wants to be close to her, there's a certain privacy that's just... it's not okay to just have no barriers at all. Not to have a choice. She's not sure how to feel right now. "Did you... hear anything else?"

"I didn't even know I was..." Quinn shifts in the seat to face Rachel a little more. "It's not something I knew I was able to do, actually. And, right now, I can't..." She concentrates on trying to see if she's picking up on anything, but all she hears is the video playback on the screen in the backseat and Rachel's breathing. "There's nothing, Rach. I promise."

Rachel relaxes. "It's not like I have anything to hide from you, it's just a little... it's not something that's supposed to happen." She ducks her head. "And anyway, I think I saw something too. I didn't mean to, but this woman popped into my head and I've never seen her before. Long blonde hair, blue eyes, leather jacket?" Rachel has a feeling she knows exactly who she saw, and she hopes she's wrong. The woman is gorgeous, even if she is horrible.

Now it's Quinn's turn to be surprised. "That, um, that sounds a lot like Joan." This is weird, this connection they have. It's resulted in some very incredible experiences, but if it also means Rachel can see her thoughts and memories, it means she's liable to be expose Rachel to things doesn't want her to see. The privacy issue is part of it, but there are just images and moments from her life that she doesn't wish on anyone.

"I think," Rachel doesn't take her eyes off of Quinn's face. "I think that it only happens when..." She gently lifts her hand and stops with her fingers hovering over Quinn's neck. "Can I...?"

"Hold on, Quinn says. She closes her eyes and clears her mind of everything that just surfaced. If Rachel's going to try to take a peek, Quinn wants her to see something pleasant. Ultimately, she settles on something fresh and recent, it's Rachel singing at the diner and it's easy to recall, because Quinn couldn't take her eyes off of her. "Okay."

Rachel nods and then, taking a deep breath, closes her eyes and grazes her fingers across the scar raised over Quinn's skin. She tried so hard to see something- anything- and she can't. It's just her. The feeling is still there, the energy, as strong as ever. But no Joan, no Quinn, no real thoughts of any kind other than her own.

As much as Quinn's trying to stay on the one specific memory of Rachel, her mind begins to wander and she's quickly shifted to something not quite as recent, but the theme is the same, at least as far as wardrobe. She's recalling the last time Rachel came to her house, the day of Merman's emergency. Specifically, she's thinking about their afternoon in bed together and it's certainly enough of a pleasant memory to draw the corner of her mouth upward into a half-smile.

Quinn's house is suddenly in Rachel's mind. It's warmer than she remembers it, but it's not just the temperature. It's the color and the feeling and just... everything, and Rachel smiles. She's on her way there now, to be with Quinn. And then she remembers what happened the last time she was there, and the blush floods her cheeks. The last time she was there, she'd been in Quinn's bed, sucking on her neck and then Quinn had...

"Sorry," Rachel murmurs, and tries her best to concentrate on how they sat at the table in Quinn's kitchen and held hands. It's a good memory, but again it seems much warmer to her she remembers it.

"You shouldn't be," Quinn says. Her hand rests on Rachel's leg, her thumb stroking across the fabric of the skirt. "You were there. And I can't think of a single thing from that day that requires an apology."

"It was a very good day," Rachel agrees. She settles back into Quinn and continues stroking her neck lightly with her thumb. "Is this okay?"

"It does make me a little nervous about where my mind might wander," Quinn admits. "But I don't want to have secrets from you. Even though..." she rests her hand over Rachel's and stills the motion for a moment. "There are things I've seen that... they're not good. So, we should be careful."

"If you want me to stop, please tell me." Rachel's voice is soft and murmured into Quinn's shoulder. "I just want to see what all of this means, and I can't help wanting to be close to you."

Quinn nods and rests her head against Rachel's. She feels so content when they're together and Rachel's desire for closeness just makes all of this feel so incredibly right. She relaxes and sighs at the sensation of fingertips lightly tracing the spot on her neck and she doesn't even realize what's just rolled across the landscape of her mind until she hears it echoed back to her in her own head.

And I can't help that I love you.

The fingers against Quinn's neck don't stop moving, but they still considerably as Rachel absorbs what she's just heard. Except that, she's looking for this mental, emotional connection and she knows that Quinn hasn't said anything out loud. It still doesn't make it any less true that it's what she feels. Except that now, it's what both of them feel.

Other than her caress against the scar and sucking her bottom lip ever so slightly, she doesn't move. "Will you say it out loud?" she finds herself asking softly.

This isn't a new feeling. It's technically been around, under the surface since well before they started speaking to each other, again, let alone since they started sleeping together. But, other than their shared dream the other night, Quinn's done her best to keep it to herself, because all of this is new and Rachel's still accepting all of her differences and so much could go wrong.

Except none of that changes this.

Quinn turns her head and nuzzles the side of Rachel's face. Her lips brush over her cheek, then she's whispering in Rachel's ear. "I love you."

Rachel ducks and leans into Quinn, the smile she can't keep at bay enveloping her face. This moment, this time in the back of this cab with Quinn with the New York nighttime going by out the window, it's everything she's wanted in a relationship since high school. And for the first time, she's finally mature enough to appreciate it for what it is. She knows that Quinn isn't perfect, and she's not expecting perfection out of her. Her diet alone is- well. It's not what Rachel would have chosen for herself, but she also feels so safe and respected and, yes even cherished, that she wouldn't trade it for a thousand throw-away relationships with people she thought were 'perfect.'

This is what she wants. This cab ride. This night. This woman.

She kisses Quinn's neck softly and then nuzzles her. "In the past I've always rushed this part and declared love prematurely, but this time... I've really thought about it." She's smiling again. "I love you too, Quinn. I think in some way, I always have, even when it was mostly admiration."

Quinn really needs this cabbie to drive faster. Not because she wants to have sex- well, not just because of that, but because she wants to be alone with Rachel. Because she wants to show her what her words mean, as much as she can. Though, she can't help but think part of it's obvious, given that she shows up to walk Rachel home on a regular basis or that she physically handled two thugs who planned to do Rachel harm. She hasn't exactly been passive in demonstrating her feelings. They just didn't have a declared title, at the time.

She wonders what this means for them. Are they girlfriends now? Oh god, if they are, this means Rachel's going to somehow drag her back to Lima, she just knows it. It'd be worth it, though, if it means Rachel's genuinely hers.

"You do show it," Rachel tells her, still hiding her face against Quinn. "And," she sits up so she can look into Quinn's eyes once more. "I wouldn't mind being exclusive with you. If you're asking." The smile probably gives her away, but she doesn't care. She's elated right now.

As much as Quinn appreciates this additional connection they have, she needs to specifically communicate what she's about to say. She wraps a gentle hand around Rachel's wrist and leads the hand away from her neck. Their fingers tangle together and she sets their joined hands in her lap.

"I'm asking," she says. "Because you're who I want to be with. Because I believe in you. Because you're the most incredible person I've ever known. And because you've never, not once, ever given up on me."

It's breathtaking, this show of sincerity of Quinn's part. Rachel doesn't know exactly what to say to this woman sitting next to her who's making a very simple, very earnest declaration of love and commitment. The same woman who lied for months about the identity of the father of her child, who cheated to give Rachel a prom night worth remembering.

It's overwhelming how much Rachel feels for her. "Yes," she finally says, and it's like everything between them finally clicks into place for her.

Quinn feels warm energy course through her body. Happiness. She isn't used to it. Not the real stuff. Her lips brush over Rachel's. If she initiates anything else, they're likely to end up getting kicked out of the cab.

"And you saved my dog's life, so you're pretty much his favorite."

"Well, as it happens, I'm very fond of him, too. And I'm also very excited to stay with you tonight. Lydia might actually be a blessing, in this case." Rachel can tell that Quinn is interested in more than cuddling at the moment, but the back of a cab is not the place. She settles for touching the back of Quinn's hand with her fingertips all the way out to New Haven.

When the cab finally stops in front of Quinn's house, Quinn quickly swipes her card, because there's no way she's making Rachel pay for the ride.

As the cab pulls away, she leads Rachel up the front walk, but they only make it about halfway before Merman rounds the corner, wagging his tail and barking at them.

"Quiet, you. You'll wake up the neighbors." She pats his head and he obediently walks next to her as they climb the steps of the porch.

"How did you train him to be so good?" Rachel asks. "We had a puppy once and he whined all night for weeks. It wasn't until he chewed up daddy's autographed poster of Vincent Price as Francois Delambre that he finally had to go." Rachel peers around Quinn at Merman. "Poor Tony Bennett. That's what dad named him."

"I don't know, he just listens to me. Usually." Quinn really hasn't done anything out of the ordinary to make Merman respond so well to her. "I like to think that we just needed each other at the same time." She twists her key in the lock and flips on the lightswitch, which is something she doesn't tend to do when she's alone.

"I think that's incredibly sweet," Rachel tells Merman as if he can understand her. "Thank you for looking after Quinn."

Merman barks, but it's most likely because he thinks Rachel has more dog treats with her.

"Let me just feed him and then we can... go upstairs." Quinn tugs on the front of the Cheerios jacket and quickly kisses Rachel.

Rachel follows Quinn into the kitchen and leans against the counter with her elbows propping her up. "You want to take me upstairs?" she asks in a suggestive voice.

"I want to take you everywhere," Quin replies, just as suggestively. Well, as suggestively as she can while she's scooping dog food out of a big plastic bin.

"Well, maybe you should-" Rachel does her best to make her voice sound like Quinn's did in the diner. "Hurry."

That makes Quinn glance up as she's filling Merman's bowl and results in spilling kibble all over the kitchen floor. Fortunately, he's fine with eating right off the linoleum.

Rachel's smile is wide and innocent. "You're not being very careful."

This back and forth, this flirting, is something she's come to enjoy very much.

Quinn tosses the scoop back in the bin and playfully elbows Rachel out of the way so she can wash her hands. She doesn't say anything as she dries them on the handtowel that hangs by the sink, then she looks at Rachel for a long moment.

When she springs into action, it's quick and she hopes it doesn't startle her girlfriend when she bends down and tosses Rachel over her shoulder.

"I guess you'd better hope I don't drop you all over the floor," she says, walking them toward the doorway.

Rachel squeals when Quinn picks her up and honestly it's kind of thrilling just how effortless it seems. She's breathless and laughing as Quinn takes them through the house and up the stairs. She can't help sliding her hand down Quinn's backside and squeezing.

"That doesn't seem like a good way to make sure you don't get dropped," Quinn laughs.

They're in her room, now, and she unceremoniously leans forward to let Rachel fall onto the bed.

Rachel lands with a soft "oomph" and lays there, breathless and looking up at Quinn. She's overwhelmed with the feeling of adoration. "You're so beautiful," is the only thing she can think of to say.

It's instinct for Quinn to laugh softly and shake her head. She knows she's pretty, she's banked a lot of her life's successes on it. Beautiful, though... it's not an attribute she's used to claiming for herself.

Rachel is the one who's beautiful, gazing up at her, still wrapped up in Quinn's high school jacket. The fact that her hair is back in a ponytail really completes the look and Quinn's lost for a moment in the thought of some alternate universe where Rachel was a Cheerio and it's conjuring up images of what she might look like in the uniform.

"Hey," Rachel reaches up and runs her fingers through Quinn's hair. "Where did you just go? You got this really far away look in your eyes."

"Hmm?" Quinn recenters her mind and smiles back at Rachel. "I was just caught up in a very specific 'what if' scenario. Which we can definitely talk about, later. Right now, though..." Her hands slip into the opening of the coat and casually cop a feel through Rachel's work shirt. "I'd much rather get you out of all this and focus on what's actually happening."

Feeling Quinn's hands on her still makes her eyes flutter. In fact, this entire encounter has Rachel's heart racing. "Though I would definitely like to hear what you have in mind for this 'what if' scenario, I'm very much in favor of you having your way with me right now." Rachel smiles up at her. "I've also just finished a shift at work, and I feel like I smell like the diner. Would you mind if I... freshened up a little bit before you... get me out of all this?"

Quinn feels a little bit like she might explode if she has to wait much longer, but the extended anticipation is also pointing toward a more satisfactory payoff.

It's difficult to keep herself from kissing Rachel, but she says, "Clean towels are under the sink." She nods toward the master bathroom before giving in and pressing their lips back together.

Rachel moans into the kiss before pulling away. "Mmm, nice try." She feels like she's been smiling for the past several days. "I'll be right back."

She scoots out from under Quinn and sashays her way to the bathroom. She can feel Quinn's eyes on her and she's never been one to deny an audience. She shrugs out of Quinn's jacket and drapes it over the arm of the chair in the corner before throwing a look over her shoulder and winking.

She doesn't wait for any kind of reaction before shutting the door and turning on the water.

Quinn lies on the bed with her hands over her eyes. Knowing Rachel is about to be hot, wet, and naked in the next room isn't making it any easier to wait.

And, oh god. What if Rachel sings in the shower?

Rachel takes her time. She knows that Quinn is waiting and what she's waiting for, and Rachel can't resist taking control in this situation. She washes, slowly, and lets the water run over her, the same smile still making her cheeks ache. She wonders if, when she gets out, if Quinn will still be laying on the bed waiting for her. She wonders if they're going to spend hours kissing. She wonders if Quinn will just push her down on the bed and slide her hand down Rachel's body.

When she can't stand it any longer, she shuts the water off and steps out onto the mat. She dries her hair on a towel that's under the sink, right where Quinn said it would be, and then she sees the t-shirt hanging on the back of the door. It's gray and has the WMHS logo on the front, and Rachel only hesitates a moment before she pulls it over her head without drying off. She also pulls her panties on because there's no reason to give the impression that she's easy. The last touch is running her fingers through her hair, and then she's ready to present herself to Quinn.

The idea of presenting herself sends a shiver down her spine. She takes a moment to compose herself before pulling the door open.

"I hope you don't mind, but I borrowed your shirt," Rachel says, stepping into Quinn's bedroom.

Quinn, in an effort to prevent herself from imploding from sexual frustration, is in the process of distracting herself by changing out of her clothes and into something more bedroom appropriate. She's only gotten so far as to shed her shirt and socks and she's pulling one leg out of her jeans when Rachel appears in the bathroom doorway.

Her foot catches in the denim and she's quickly toppling over, face-first, onto the rug.

"Oh my god, Quinn!" Rachel is by her side in an instant. Once she realizes that Quinn is fine, she says, "Aren't you supposed to have faster than normal reflexes or... something?"

"I..." Quinn kicks off the offending pants and looks up at Rachel, who manages to be glistening, on top of the fact that she's showing off her incredible legs and looking absolutely gorgeous without even trying. "Did you even use a towel?"

Rachel puts her hands on her hips. "If you would like me to go back into the bathroom and really take my time, I would be more than happy to grant you your request."

"No, don't..." Quinn's quick to find her feet and stand back up. "It's just that the, um, my shirt is... it's clingy and you look..." She's trying hard to force her eyes up to Rachel's face, but they keep wandering across the length of Rachel's body. Her tongue wets her lips and she tries to find the right words, any words, for what she's trying to say.

It doesn't take a psychic connection for Rachel to know where Quinn's mind is right now, and she's feeling every bit as keyed up, especially since Quinn is wearing less clothing than she is. "You know, you can touch as well as look. It's a liberty I grant all of my sexual partners."

Quinn's eyebrow shoots up and she's immediately slipping her hands around Rachel's waist and pulling her in. "It's about to be my mission to make you forget anyone else ever touched you," she says. She isn't even sure exactly how she plans to follow through, but given the way that Rachel's nipples are straining against the worn fabric of the old t-shirt, Quinn's positive she'll be able to improvise.

"So far from my vantage point, it seems like you talk a big game, Quinn Fabray," Rachel says. She knows that things can get incredibly intense between, incredibly fast, and that's exactly what she wants right now. Even now, the contact between them feels electric. Rachel's whole body is humming, and Quinn's barely touching her.

Already, Quinn's fingers are tugging up the bottom of the shirt, trailing over damp skin. "Please, you're the biggest talker I've ever met." They're nearly close enough to be kissing, but Quinn isn't closing the final space between them. Instead, she's looking down and watching her own handiwork as she slowly but steadily moves the shirt upward, leaving Rachel's stomach exposed.

Rachel likes Quinn's eyes on her. She's been taking care of herself; working out and eating right (even if it's never from her own kitchen), and she knows that she looks good. She goes back and forth between watching Quinn's hands and watching her face. They could be kissing, but whatever it is right now that's holding Quinn captive has Rachel waiting and watching to see where it will lead.

She wants Quinn's hands on her body so badly. Her nipples are almost painfully hard, and if Quinn doesn't touch them soon, there's no telling what she might do.

One of Quinn's arms loops around Rachel's back, her hand splayed against the dampness of Rachel's skin. She pulls them together, while her other hand hand wastes no time in seeking out Rachel's breast. Quinn gasps at the firmness she feels against her palm and she can't resist Rachel's lips any longer.

The strong arm around Rachel's back is holding her steady and it's a good thing because Quinn's assertiveness makes all the strength go out of Rachel's legs. She slides her hands up Quinn's biceps to her shoulders and lets herself get lost in returning Quinn's kiss. Quinn's hand is squeezing and driving her arousal higher, and she moans into Quinn's mouth. When she feels her nipple being pinched, she breaks away, gasping for breath. "I need you," she says against Quinn's mouth before pressing their lips together again.

They twist as Quinn turns them and then they're falling onto the bed with Quinn's shoulder taking the weight of the fall. She grunts in response, then pushes Rachel onto her back.

"You're already so wet," she says. Not only can she feel Rachel against her thigh, but she can sense it otherwise, too.

"I told you," Rachel says breathlessly, and arches against Quinn. Quinn's thigh pressing between her legs is enough to make her crazy, but then Quinn's hand is also still covering her breast, and Rachel only wants more.

It's almost alarming, how desperate Rachel feels, this quickly, but their connection has always been intense, and this is just... "Quinn, please."

Instantly, Quinn's pushing the shirt up higher, kissing Rachel's neck, then sucking on the soft flesh of her now exposed breast. But she doesn't stop there, she moves lower, dragging her mouth over dancer's abs, which Rachel manages to maintain, even though she isn't dancing in any of her performances.

She kisses a hip bone and looks up at Rachel, fingers toying with the elastic band of the underwear.

"Can I...?" she asks, even though she's sure she knows the answer, already.

The sight of Quinn Fabray between her legs, looking up at her, asking for permission to... It's not something that Rachel Berry has ever dared to imagine, but now that it's happening, she has no idea why the thought never crossed her mind. Quinn is the sexiest, most gorgeous thing she's ever seen when she's got an apron on and paint all over her hands, but this... it redefines sexy.

Rachel lifts her hips, trying to get them closer to Quinn's mouth. She's insanely wet, and once she feels Quinn's mouth on her for the first time, she's liable to black out. The best she can do is a whine and a furious nod of her head.

Quinn smirks against the skin of Rachel's stomach, then kisses it before sliding even further downward. The panties are already soaked and Quinn would be able to smell Rachel's arousal even without any superhuman ability. She can tell how much Rachel wants her to do this and the desire for it to happen is certainly mutual, though Quinn may be a little over-excited because as she yanks down Rachel's underwear, she manages to rip them in half. There's a glance back up to her girlfriend but Quinn only sees need in Rachel's eyes, so she quickly discards the torn garment and dips her head down, taking in everything about this moment as her mouth makes contact with the most intimate part of Rachel Berry.

Having her panties torn from her body is a first for Rachel, but she tries to concentrate on the most important thing at hand: Quinn's mouth. At first, she lies still and breathes through her nose, trying desperately to remember every last detail, but it soon becomes much too difficult and she's working herself with slow upward thrusts against Quinn's tongue.

Her breathing is labored, and she's already covered in a thin sheen of sweat. It feels so good, what Quinn is doing.

"You're..." Rachel struggles to get her thoughts into words. "You're very... good at this."

Quinn isn't really in a position to comment, though she's glad to hear she hasn't fallen out of practice. It's the first time she's been with anyone like this in years and now that her senses are heightened, the intensity of this moment is astronomical. When she looks up, she can see the way Rachel's moving, the sexy way she rolls her body each time Quinn makes a specific movement. She's surrounded by Rachel, lost in the sight and sound of her, the smell and taste of her.

She slides her arms under Rachel's thighs, trying to get the best angle possible. One hand rests on Rachel's stomach, tracing fingers over the sweat-slick skin, the other finds Rachel's hand and locks their fingers together. Quinn wants as much connection as she can get, because she's in love and she wants that to be absolutely clear.

She also wants to drive this woman writhing against her to an incredible, mind-blowing orgasam. Judging from the sounds Rachel's making, Quinn's pretty sure she's on the right track.

Rachel's free hand gets flung over her head, blindly grasping for a fistful of Quinn's bedspread. Her hips are moving more quickly now, almost frantically, driven by the overwhelming need that's building inside of her.

"I'm... god." She's so close, so fast. She wants to make it last, but Quinn just does things to her. She forces her eyes open and the sight of Quinn with her mouth on Rachel's body, her own gaze locked intensely on Rachel's face, makes Rachel tense and arch immediately with the pleasure that's coursing through her.

Quinn's own body is having difficulty keeping still and she actually isn't even sure when her hips started rocking against the mattress. There's nothing really there to generate any friction, but it doesn't keep them from moving, especially with the noises Rachel keeps making. It's really a very good thing they aren't at Rachel's place, because there would undoubtedly be commentary from roommates and neighbors.

She stays her course and gives Rachel's hand a squeeze, still looking up at her. Rachel is sweaty and panting and having trouble keeping her eyes open. Quinn can't think of a time she looked any sexier than she does, right now.

Rachel's still arching, and there's one last wave of pleasure and her thighs are clamping around Quinn's head as her body jerks and she finally comes undone.

She can't open her eyes, can't catch her breath, can't even feel the bed beneath her anymore, so she reaches out her arms and hopes that Quinn understands what she needs right now.

There's a moment where Quinn allows herself to gloat over the fact that Rachel seems to be unable to speak, but it's outweighed by the fact that she wants to be holding Rachel in her arms. She presses a sticky kiss to Rachel's thigh, then wipes her hand over her mouth before she climbs upward and settles next to Rachel, pulling her into a hug.

Rachel feels so incredibly happy right now. The weight of Quinn's body next to hers, the cool skin, the way her entire body is still humming. It's like when every instrument in an orchestra comes together at just the right moment in perfect unison and every note blends so seamlessly that it sounds like perfection.

She clutches at Quinn with one arm and holds her close, still trying to catch her breath.

Quinn's nose grazes Rachel's cheek. "You still with me?" she asks. She knows Rachel's in recovery mode, they've been doing this enough to make that very apparent. But this is probably the most spent she's ever seen Rachel, especially given that she still hasn't found it in herself to actually say anything.

In Quinn's experience with her, both now and in the past, that's a rarity.

The laugh bubbles up from deep within Rachel's chest even before she can fully open her eyes. When she does, her words finally come back into focus, as well. "I think me being with you is what caused this in the first place," she says, enjoying the attention that Quinn is still paying her. "That was intense and explosive, and just... give me a minute to recuperate."

That just encourages Quinn to feel even more accomplished. "I guess I figured out how to finally get you to stop talking," she teases. She strokes Rachel's hair and presses light kisses to her cheek. The conversation from the cab ride is still fresh in her mind and she's sure that it must have had some effect on what's happened here.

This isn't just sex between friends, it's a relationship between two people who love each other. She doesn't know if she's ever actually had that, not like this. That's not to say that Spencer and Rory didn't love her or that she didn't love them.

But her relationship with Spencer was a first for both of them and it almost felt purely academic, at times. Like they were testing the waters and finding out just how much they were into women in general, they just happened to be doing it together. They'd make out, have sex, then go right back to note cards and textbooks.

And Rory... Quinn had fallen hard for her professor well before they ever became an item, but even once they began seeing each other they were also the kind of item that couldn't be out and proud.

Then there was Joan. Joan was a complication. They were never in love and it obviously hadn't ended well.

Rachel, though. For years, Rachel's always made Quinn feel like she was worth something, like she actually deserves good things. Rachel's the kind of person who shows up to save a dog she's never met. She can make Quinn feel like she's the lone audience in a packed house. She can talk a mile a minute and Quinn won't hear a word she's saying, because she's busy just looking at Rachel, wondering just how they ended up together. Because Rachel is this incredible force of nature and Quinn's the one who always has to weather the storm. And maybe that's why they fit so well together.

Rachel hums dreamily. "You know, I can't help thinking about that first celibacy club meeting," she murmurs. "Back in high school. You were still so uptight, and I got stuck with Jacob." She bites her lip. "Do you... remember what I said, during that meeting?"

"Uptight?" Quinn huffs, poking Rachel's side. "That was also forever ago." Not that she doesn't remember that particular meeting, because it stuck with her for a long time. "You made me furious with your little speech about how much girls want sex, because I had Finn very well trained and I was convinced you'd ruin everything."

Rachel rolls her eyes. "Yes, uptight. Don't even try to act like you weren't this beautiful porcelain work of art, untouchable and unaffected and completely above everything and everyone. And anyway, how do you feel about how much girls want sex now?" She's teasing right back, but there's also some truth here and she doesn't even try to keep the awe out of her voice that's been brought to the surface by remembering Quinn this way.

"That was how I wanted everyone to see me." Quinn doesn't bother getting into the fact that wasn't at all an accurate representation, because they've already talked about this in college and even if they do revisit it, right now isn't the time. Rachel's in her bed, talking about sex drives. "I don't know about girls, but I know there's an incredible woman lying next to me who just came so hard, I'm pretty sure she saw stars." She can't resist kissing Rachel's neck as her hand slides over taut abs. "She also isn't nearly naked enough for what I plan to do, next."

"Stars are kind of my trademark," Rachel admits, but her heart isn't really in it because it's still pounding from the orgasm that Quinn just gave her. She frowns a tiny frown. "But it's your turn."

That draws a hearty chuckle out of Quinn. "Baby, you can do whatever you want with me. Just..." She kisses Rachel's ear, then her neck. "Take off," now she's pressing her lips to Rachel's as she mumbles, "that shirt."

"I thought you were going to take it off me," Rachel says, smiling at the pet name she's just been called. "You're kind of still on top of me."

"I would, but I don't want to risk ripping one of my favorite shirts." Quinn stretches her body out along the length of Rachel. "And I guess that means you want me to move." But she doesn't make any effort to do that, instead opting to nuzzle Rachel's neck.

"I don 't. But if you want me to take this off..." She's had enough sexual partners, and she's comfortable enough with her body to be entirely calm about this, but for some reason being completely naked in front of Quinn sends a thrill through Rachel. It's exciting. And sexy. And right now, Rachel wants to give Quinn anything she wants.

She shrugs out from beneath Quinn's body and maintains eye contact as she drags the t-shirt up over her head. Her hair falls around her shoulders and she drops the shirt over the side of the bed.

They've done plenty together and spent a lot of nights in Rachel's bed, by now. But this is the first time Quinn has seen Rachel like this.

After about three seconds she realizes her mouth is hanging open and she quickly closes it and bites her lip, instead. This is Rachel Berry, the woman who wants to be with her. And she's absolutely flawless.

Rachel glances down and then back up at Quinn, nervously. "Am I... what?"

"You're perfect," Quinn says.

Rachel laughs at that, a real, genuine outburst of a laugh. "You of all people know that I'm not, but that makes the way that you're looking at me right now mean so much."

Quinn manages to shake herself out of her stupor to say, "I love you." But then she's quick to follow it up with, "I still think you talk too much."

Rachel tilts her head, really looks at Quinn. The only way she could describe what she's feeling right now is 'full.' There are just so many things she wants to say, all at once, just so that Quinn will finally understand what she means to Rachel, but she settles on the one, biggest thing that she wants to say right now. "I love you too."

The rest will come.