Centimeters.

That's how little space it takes to completely ruin her life. It's not a bad thing – not this time. But it's all filed beneath the requirements for change nonetheless. It's viscous and hard to swallow, like a thick and frothy liquid or an overcooked poultry.

That's how change is supposed to feel – that's how change should look. Instead change is staring at her from centimeters away with hazel eyes and dark pupils. The beauty of it is mocking her – toying with her by way of a rose-bitten lower lip and lowered fluttering eyelashes. Change engulfs her in a world of flame and burning light, it riles the insects within her chest. Change is the defining factor here.

Change is anarchy.

And then the metric system betrays her as those first centimeters dwindle down to millimeters. Change is making her heart palpitate irregularly – it's what drives her left hand across the short sea of bedding. It's what causes her to reach for skin peaking from beneath a borrowed grey V-neck. Her fingertips alight one by one as they settle along a warm, curvy hipbone.

Change has betrayed her. It wrecks her beautifully from the inside out, forcing her jaw to move, and her tongue to undulate. It is the culprit behind the words that have begun to spill forth from her lips against the need for her own self-preservation.

Rachel Berry wants to kill change.

"I'm…more nervous than I thought I'd be." Her lungs allow her to suck in a deep, stabilizing breath as she closes her eyelids. Her fingers circle along a hipbone against her own volition.

"It's fine, Rachel. Normal…I think. I've never done this before either." The bed shifts and she can feel the other body in her bed scooting closer, closing the millimeters between them to wrap an arm around her torso. Their breaths intermingle in the short space still visible. And Rachel feels betrayed by the very metric system that she's learned to understand, to study….to appreciate. It's failing her second by second, and she has no gall to do anything about it.

She lets her eyes open slowly; lethargically as she let's her senses overwhelm her. The blonde across from her smells a lot like vanilla…and maybe of possibility. Change is the thorn pricking her in the side, but the thistles don't hurt, they make her feel…they allow her nerves to sail out of her chest within the confines of her latest exhale. She lets them leave.

"So what haven't you done before? Kissed someone? I highly doubt that Quinn." She smiles at her own playful snark. Adept fingertips pull her closer and she shivers as the blonde in question tilts her head, brushing just over her cheek with soft lips settling at the edge of her ear. Quinn's breath is hot. It's so hot, and it vibrates thickly across her skin.

"That's not what I meant, Rachel." She whispers. It takes a moment for Rachel to compose herself. She swallows thickly, and Quinn doesn't move from her ear. She can feel the seedlings of something powerful fill the void of her chest, taking over. She feels ignited by the change that's occurred. It's rallied against her in a coup and she has nothing to say, nothing to do…but accept it all wholeheartedly. Doubt made a valiant effort…but change has proven victorious in his conquest.

"Then what did you mean? " The words are small, inquisitive. Rachel watches as Quinn descends back to her previous position; head resting just a millimeter or two away on the pillow between them. She smirks, her lashes falling as her hazel eyes flit between Rachel's lips and her deep, penetrating eyes.

"What I meant was…that I've never kissed you."

And before Rachel can let the smile that is bound to come forth materialize, there are heavy hands pulling her in by her jaw, and the back of her neck. Fingers intertwine at her nape, fiddling with the thin wisps of hair that curl there. And before she can let the doubt creep back in and take refuge…soft lips capture her own. And in an instant her world is changed.

The blues and greens bleed into fiery drippings of red and orange behind her eyelids as she lets the blonde guide their lips together. She feels it in the pit of her stomach as she latches on, the fire igniting as she pushes her fingers down into that hipbone, all pretenses having been replaced by fire.

The millimeters and centimeters and kilometers that have separated the two of them for all of this time vanish in moments, in milliseconds. And Rachel can't help but rise up on her elbows to capture blonde grace and beauty and passion in a searing kiss atop foreign sheets, with New Haven air bursting within her lungs.

And for the moment, she can see Change curl up in the recesses of her mind with the widest smirk saturating his features. His eyes are bright and bold, and he gives her a thumbs up from behind her closed eyelids as she goes for gold, letting Quinn guide their tongues together in a sea of passion. And maybe, change isn't the jackass that Rachel Berry once believed him to be. He uprooted her, sent her on a train to New York City, hated her with the utmost contempt, and beat her down time after time. She was sure he was an evil minion come to set Armageddon loose on whatever life she thought she once owned.

But here he is, blazing a field of gardenias and lilies so wide that all she sees is white, and heat and Quinn Fabray for miles…

And she must find it within herself to thank Change one of these days. Or the metric system…

One of the two.

Snow falls beyond a frosted window in New Haven, and Rachel stares out at the constellating flakes for a moment. Wondering how she managed to end up here. She finds that New Haven is probably one of her favorite places all of a sudden…she exhales, and Change calms, subsiding to a low vibrant ebb.

She smiles as she dips her head to resume, one millimeter evaporates after another and she can't help but feel like she's finally done something worthwhile. Something to smile about.