"The tide brings the ebb, it washes through the deep.
Like a sweet lovers caress, of whose kiss I do grow weak…"
Rachel stands back, admiring the far wall. The paint is cracked and over-layered with sharpie in some places. However, when she brings her small finger up to trace the markings, she can still feel her name etched into the wood.
Rachel Barbra Berry '07-'12 GREEN TEAM CAPTAIN '10!
It rests directly under Carrie Anderson '78-'83, which has been unceremoniously covered by another Larissa Dudley-Moore '26-'31. Her lettering laying firm claim over a wall that was never hers to begin with. But neither was it Rachel's. The brunette woman smiles at her small victory. A name means so much more than we know. And as her fingers traipse the dusty wall, they fall down across the grooves. And that's when she sees it, almost a foot below her own, resting in fading silver ink. The scrawl is familiar, and that's only because she knows it almost as well as her own.
Quinn Fabray '07-'10, '12. Tan Team Capt. 2010!
She smiles at what the two of them have left here, in this place. She takes a deep sigh, stepping away from the wall to look across the empty cabin and the ring of wooden beds surrounding her. Some hold stuffed animals and pillows; others are simple with a few photos framed around their wooden stands. Rachel doesn't recognize any of the faces, but the familiarity is soothing nonetheless. A cell phone rings in the distance, and the brunette is quite suddenly pulled out of her small reverie. She composes herself only slightly, her body turning when she sees an unfamiliar face cornering the bend, approaching from a nearby bed.
"Oh! I didn't know anyone was here!" The young woman is shocked to see an unfamiliar face, eyes wide and calculating. It takes a moment, but then she pales when she takes notice of just who it is that has intruded on the small space of the cabin. Her shock fades, only to be replaced by speechlessness.
"Oh my God! You're Rachel Berry! Ho-ly Shit!" The brunette laughs and nods, pulling an arm up to cover her blushing face as she settles. The girl across from her has her mouth hanging open in a wide gape. She quickly recovers, moving to make an appropriate greeting in her haste.
"I'm Natalie Fisherman, wow…it's like such an honor to meet you. You're so much shorter in person."
"You'd be surprised how often I don't hear that. It's nice to meet you Natalie. I'm Rachel, which you have obviously surmised." Her smile is wide and welcoming, she can tell that her presence alone is making the younger girl tremble in shock, and she hopes that her tone comes off as re-assuring.
"Are you a counselor here?"
The younger girl nods her head, grabbing her cell phone off of her bed where it had moments ago been left to ring. She has on denim shorts and a tank top. Her hair is pulled up into a high ponytail on her head, the dirty blonde wisps falling out to frame her face loosely. Rachel can almost count the girls freckles…she looks no older than seventeen.
"You're old enough to be a counselor?" Natalie nods, her shock disappearing by way of a jovial laugh. She pockets her cell phone into her jeans and scratches at the back of her ear.
"I'll be eighteen in September. They don't usually hire counselors my age. But I'm an ex-camper, and I was a CIT last summer so it worked out. A couple of the girls from my cabin are counselors this year with me."
"Ah…so what team are you?" Rachel can't help the wide smile that crosses her face as she looks to the younger girl. She also doesn't miss the matching one that mirrors her own. Once a team member, always a team member, the loyalty is almost as thick as blood.
"Tan." Rachel laughs…of course.
"Co-Captain 2030 actually. And I was a song-leader in both '28 and '29." Natalie is smiling now, the awkwardness of earlier wearing off into a shared nostalgia.
"Congratulations, Captaincy is a big honor."
"Thank you…of course you would know. I've already seen your name on all of the plaques in the dining hall. Rachel Berry - Green Team Captain 2011, it was always a dream of mine to have my name up there on the Captains plaque underneath yours. Too bad you aren't a Tan though, you look like one."
"Green through and through." Rachel beams. Natalie nods and smiles, abruptly turning her head to the side when she hears the faint whispering of a nearing voice, Rachel follows the approaching cadence with a smile toying at her lips. Her eyes glance back to the signatures on the wall faintly before she turns back to her conversation.
"It was pretty cool though, seeing my name under Quinn Fabray's. That Color War is nearly legendary. People are still talking about the Fabray/Berry Marathon and the Sing. Have you two kept in touch at all? I know you're both busy being famous…the both of you actually. But…I always wondered." Rachel nods once, sighing softly as she tucks her hands into the pockets of her jeans. She smiles lightly at Natalie before she hears the voice approaching again. It calms her, soothes her, and she watches with bright eyes as a woman enters through the front cabin door. Her hair is pulled up into a messy ponytail, and her jeans hug her comfortably as her buttoned white cotton shirt billows out to cradle her hips. The lipstick she had on earlier has faded to a light rosy hue; her hazel eyes shine with mirth as her voice carries out into the air around them.
"Rachel? Babe, are you in here?" The brunette smiles, whistling and waiting patiently for the blonde to turn around; Natalie looks at the woman curiously, and when the blonde woman finally manages to turn around and find them, the younger girl's eyes widen astronomically as her tongue suddenly becomes lodged within her throat.
The blonde woman smiles, she's already scuffed her tennis shoes Rachel notices as those familiar arms approach her, and wrap around her waist from behind. The smell of cotton and honey overrides her senses and she points to the wall that had earlier captivated all of her attention.
"I found some of our old signatures babe. We were quite the delinquents weren't we?"
The beautiful blonde woman smiles, placing a light kiss to Rachel's cheek before finally turning to the befuddled girl before them. She extends a perfectly manicured hand, her smile beaming and bright. "Hello, I'm Quinn. It's nice to meet you."
"Sweetie, this is Natalie. She's a counselor this summer. Ex-Tan Captain, I thought you might be able to appreciate that. Albeit considering the Green Team is and always will be the bearer of the best captaincies…nonetheless…she was actually asking me how the two of us kept in touch over the years." Quinn is positively beaming now as she lets her hold of Rachel ebb softly. She smiles warmly at Natalie before sitting down on a nearby bed. She grimaces once, forgetting just how terrible the cushioning is on the old mattresses before motioning for Natalie to join her. Rachel watches the two of them with a warm concentration.
"Are you two…you two, you're together? Quinn Fabray the three time Academy Award winning Director, and Rachel Berry, the Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award winning actress? I don't believe it…"
"We've always been extremely private people. We've been married for quite some time…."
"Married? Whoa…is this the twilight zone?"
"Why are you both here?"
Natalie continues to stare wide-eyed between them. She is sitting sandwiched between Hollywood royalties. Both of these women have Oscars. They lived in this cabin long, long ago. Breathed this air…and it's all almost too much to grasp. Especially since all of the rumors have told an entirely different story from the one that she is currently witnessing.
"I always thought you two hated each other. Your Color War is one of the craziest, most legendary rivalries this camp has ever seen…how -?" And Rachel laughs, poking Quinn playfully in the shoulder.
"That's…a complicated story actually," Quinn supplies with a smile.
And Natalie shrugs her shoulders as she makes herself more comfortable. The sound of girls running through the grounds in states of play and disorder can be heard in the background of their banter, the silence in the cabin is almost overwhelming.
"It's my free period. I've got an hour." The blonde nods, and runs her hands over her thighs.
"We are going to be here for a while." Rachel supplies, sitting down to curl her arm around Quinn's waist with a small smile. Natalie grins even wider, inching forward in her seat…prepping her body for the grandiose story that is bound to come.
"I've got all day."