"The tide brings the ebb, it washes through the deep.
Like a sweet lovers caress, of whose kiss I do grow weak…"
Mel Rivetta's mouth hangs open rather unattractively as Rachel speaks. Every once in a while Quinn Fabray will interject with a witty a comment or a correction or two on whatever kind of embellishments that her wife (ohmygod her wife) may have taken ample liberties on. It's funny – watching them. They're normal people, with far from normal lives…but something about them is almost simple.
"That was honestly the best summer, the worst part was having to go back home to Lima of course. It was absolute torture, obviously." Rachel trills. She has the creases of a smile tilting at the corners of her lips as she gesticulates with her hands, pulling the group of Pines into her tale one by one. Quinn nods by her side, her eyes soft – she spends most of the conversation playing with hem of Rachel's windbreaker. A girl by the name of Jessica Michaels looks up at Quinn with an awed curiosity. She stutters as she calls for the two women's attention.
"S-So, have you guys been…dating for that long? Like, were you official?" Mel and the others all nod curiously, eyes wide.
"Oh God no." Rachel scoffs. Quinn chuckles. The blonde scratches the back of her neck self-consciously as most of the eyebrows around them furrow in confusion; it's Natalie who finally finds her voice again, her tone entirely unbelieving.
"Wait, wait, wait…you mean to tell me that we've been listening to this story for damn near an hour and a half, and you two weren't even officially girlfriends through all of that? That fucking sucks." Rachel nods her head, tilting it slightly to the side as she considers Natalie's words. It's Quinn who's suddenly gone a bit nervous, the gorgeous blonde having lowered her eyes, avoiding the disbelieving glances of the girls surrounding them. She takes a moment to clear her throat, a sad smile on her lips as she looks directly at Natalie.
"It's not that hard to believe right? Fourteen-year-old repressed lesbian from a traditional Midwestern Christian family? There were a lot of variables that influenced our decisions, or lack of decision-making back then. My family was one of them, High School was another – I tend to regret a lot of the choices I made as a teenager. Especially in High School, a lot of things have changed."
"Like what?" Mel asks. She has her arms resting in her lap; Tales of Mike Finley, Georgia, and the Cedarwoods boys long forgotten.
"Well…for one, we aren't in Glee Club anymore." Rachel smiles, lightening the mood. Quinn turns to her wife with a silent smile of thanks, and a raised eyebrow. The blonde chuckles to herself lightly.
"That was something of an experience, wasn't it?" Quinn concedes. Rachel nods vigorously.
"Between Santana, Brittany, Sue Sylvester, Will Schuster, Finn Hudson and everyone else… It's a miracle we survived – you and I."
"It is." Quinn smirks. Her smile widening as she shakes an arm around her wife's waist, her hazel eyes glinting against the summer glare.
"What the hell is Glee Club?" Natalie mumbles. The young counselor is chewing audibly on a stick of gum as she scrunches her eyes. The girls around them all stare between one another, shrugging their shoulders. Quinn sighs, Rachel laughs.
"This is really embarrassing, but yes…show choir." And before any of their young audience members can further question them, the bugle sounds with a loud fanfare. "That is the end of fifth period, lunch will be served in thirty minutes. Lunch in thirty minutes." From all around them children of varying ages swirl and run, chatting with one another and linking arms as they all make their exists from activities. A group of juniors, none of them older than seven and a half years old smile at the Pine campers at the basketball court with toothless grins and excited hand waves as they walk together from the swimming pool – hair wet and flip flops squeaking in the dirt.
"Hiiiiiiii Melanieeeeeee." Alex Jale yells from the path leading to the pool. Her two front teeth are missing, and then she's running full force, wet hair flying out behind her before she air tackles Mel Rivetta with a hug, sending water everywhere. Mel laughs, shaking the seven year old off of her back with a series of playful grunts and twists.
"Hey there Alex Bo-Balex. What are you up to?" One of the other Pines asks with a smile. Quinn and Rachel sit back, observing the swirl of girls that make their way around the basketball courts now that morning activities are over. Alex pays them no attention, and they smile at the little girl – recalling a time not so long ago when this place made them just as excited, and instilled within them such a joie de vivre.
"Welllll…we just finished playing Marco Polo at the pool, and then there was this huge frog by the edge of the pool. And it almost jumped in the water, but then Olivia caught it with her bare hands and she didn't even scream or anything."
"Ugh that is so gross. I'm so gonna mention that to her once we get back to Pine 1." Another of the older girls admits. And then Mel is sending Alex over her shoulder and into her lap for a tickle fest. The younger camper squeals and laughs loudly while some of the other girls finally decide to get up off of the ground. It's a slow, languid disbanding, but suddenly their intimate circle is gone, and then there are girls disappearing down the dirt path back to either their Pine 1 or Pine 2 cabins. When Rachel looks up, the only people left are Mel, Alex, Quinn and Natalie. They sit together quietly while Alex tries to tickle Mel out of retaliation.
"What cabin are you in?" Quinn asks the young girl. Alex stops trying to scurry around, and she stops, panting slightly when she looks up at the older blonde woman.
"Five." Alex nearly shouts. Mel laughs before beginning to braid the younger girl's wet hair into French braids.
" I used to be a CIT for that cabin when I was in Pine One." Alex stares at the older women now with closer attention. She tilts her head as Mel parts her hair.
"What's a CIT?" She asks, face lifting up to peer questioningly at Melanie Rivetta.
"Do you remember how on Sundays when the Counselors have to go their counselor weekly meeting, some of the Pines come and visit your cabin to watch you guys?" Natalie says it fondly, ruffling the girl's bangs with a smile.
"You mean, like Olivia and Amelia?"
"Yep." Natalie replies. Melanie, Quinn and Rachel all nod.
"Ohhhhhh. Are you're a CIT? I've never seen you before." Rachel and Quinn both laugh with a soft chuckle, shaking their heads.
"Nope sweetie, we're just visitors. But we used to be campers here a long, looooong time ago." Rachel confesses.
"Really? My aunt was a camper here too." Rachel perks up, her eyes brightening.
"When was that?"
"Um…I dunno. But her name is Avery Erin Davis, and she was on the Green Team like me." Alex is smiling now with a very youthful pride. Whilst Quinn and Rachel both simultaneously trip over their tongues. Natalie stares between their small group for a moment until she finally connects the dots – Avery Erin Davis equals Quinn and Rachel's cabin-mate, Avery. The counselor smiles – Pinewood never failing to amaze her.
"Will you tell her that...Quinn says hello?" The blonde asks, lips tied around a nostalgic smile as she notices the slight family resemblance.
"AND Rachel!" The brunette squeals, arms wrapped tightly around Quinn's waist now. And before much more can be said between the small group, the bugle sounds again announcing five minutes until lunch. With the noise, the same campers from before bound out of sunny cabins heading all for Tanglewood. It's the new languid pace with which the girls around them walk, arm in arm that they actually take in the strangers sitting on the basketball court in mid-conversation. As the seconds pass, curious glances are passed their way as eyes widen, and some of the older girls point excited fingers. Natalie sits up grudgingly and then so do Mel, Alex, Quinn and Rachel – and with an unspoken agreement their foursome make their trek toward the dining hall with slow smiles and a seven and a half year old swinging between two pairs of firm arms. When they arrive for lunch, Alex is whisking Mel away to join her at her Cabin's table while Natalie clears two new spots at the long Pine 1 table in between Hailey Miller and Steph Greenberg. The girls already standing at some of the table seats chatter and squeal as Rachel and Quinn stand beside them – already buzzing with the excitement of it all.
"Oh my GOD, you guys ARE LEGENDS. LEGENDS."
"My cousin is going to be so jealous."
"Rachel, is Ryan Harris just as hot up close as he is on screen? He's totally my future husband." And before either woman can answer, their food is brought to their table by the staff, and suddenly Rachel feels as though she's stepped into a time machine. She smiles down at the grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, knowing that she's always hated this particular lunch – and that sentiment hasn't changed one bit. Quinn on the other hand – loved this lunch as a camper, and with a vigor seldom seen the blonde grabs three sandwich halves and two bowls of soup, her hands full.
"Is the Bug Juice still just watered down Crystal Light?" Quinn asks around a mouthful of grilled cheese. Stephanie Greenberg laughs and nods.
"Totally. It still tastes like shit." Hailey Miller contributes. And then Quinn and Rachel are talking with all the girls at the Pine 1 table about favorite camp meals and Tanglewood songs. By Rachel's second bowl of salad, she's nearly full before Melanie Rivetta returns back from her time spent entertaining Cabin five. She squeezes in to Hailey's left and looks over at Quinn and Rachel, a shy smile on her lips.
"So…since we're all here…what… happened with the rest of the story?" Rachel swallows down a few pieces of her fruit salad looking to her wife for permission to continue. Quinn nods, laughing at just how interested these girls have become in their less than spectacular story. Natalie calls over a few of the counselors from the table over, and suddenly there is a full audience, everyone huddled around the last pitcher of bug juice as Rachel clears her throat. The sounds of scraping knives, forks, and laughter fill the void.
"Where was I?"
"Oh yes." Rachel nods…. "Now where were we…."