Well, this is it - the end of East & West. *I do not own Glee or Glee Characters* Thank you all so much for sticking around through the story. It was a lot of fun to write, sometimes not so fun, but I'm glad I finished it.
Epilogue: Almost Paradise
The blonde clasped tightly to the brunette's hand as the stage coach shambled them into view of the city. New York was alive and teaming with movement and the hurry scurry of it all excited her more than she had anticipated. She had seen several motor cars as they came further and further east, but none of them had been up close; now their carriage was sharing the road with the machines and she was finally getting a good look at them. They were not the only things she had never seen before and her eyes squinted and darted every which way in an attempt not to miss anything; people on bicycles, boxcars, and all kind of contraptions filled the street. Their coach seemed very out of place and the horses seemed skittish. She waved excitedly to every person who stared in their direction and wondered if they would be able to sell their vehicle after all; it didn't seem like anyone would have need for it here. As they drove onto a bridge, her excitement kicked up again; they were so close now, but neither of them really knew exactly where they were going.
The blonde leaned precariously forward to call to the men driving the horses. Her hair fluttered wildly in the gusty wind and her lover gripped her firmly by the hips to steady her, causing her to laugh.
"How much farther," the woman yelled against the wind. "Are we there yet?"
"Just down the street once we are over the bridge," the driver replied good-naturedly.
"Alright, enough of that," her companion demanded with a tug.
"I'm just so excited, aren't you? I thought you'd be more excited." The blonde pouted in confusion.
"Oh no," her partner shot back seriously. "I'm excited, but we survived this far, and I won't have you getting hurt now that we're finally here."
"I can't get hurt." Brittany laughed, swatting Santana playfully. "You're with me and I never get hurt when you're with me. I'm your gal."
Santana smiled that smile that she reserved only for Brittany, and nodded. "Damn right, you're my gal."
Brittany flipped through the letters she had received from Rachel and Quinn over the past year; she saved them all like precious proof of where their lives where headed. She had done her best to answer every letter, keeping Rachel up to date on how her fathers were doing, which was very well, but she left out any information on the Fabrays. It was not a pleasant story to tell, and even now she hoped that Quinn would not ask her when they arrived. While it was true that Mrs. Fabray was regaining her footing—their community had seen to that—her friend's father was not fairing so well. Santana often commented that he was getting exactly what he deserved; his mistress was running his business, and him, into the ground, and April was rumored to already be stepping out on him. No matter how much her lover insisted that Quinn might enjoy hearing all about it, Brittany knew better and found it more pleasant to share good news. So, instead, she wrote about how Hiram and LeRoy had finally managed to build a small house outside of town and the Alehouse and Inn was flourishing with David Karofsky tending to it when the Berrys were out of town. Brittany notified them the moment that Sheriff Hummel had brought in the last of the gang for judgment and the fact that the townspeople were so happy to finally have a lawman that was just and fair. She wrote about their wedding and then about all the engagements of their friends: Tina and Mike, Finn and Marley, and Sam and Mercedes. Even Mr. Schuester had summoned up the courage to begin courting Miss Pillsbury. It had been easy to fill page after page with happy news and she had waited eagerly every day to receive their replies. As she shuffled through the letters once again, she almost felt sad that she would never receive a letter from them again. It had been even more exciting than receiving the secret books that Quinn used to order.
A very disgruntled Lord Tubbington mewed and hissed in the crate between them and the blonde pouted again. "Can't we let him out, just for a little bit? I could hold him in my lap."
The brunette shook her head. "He's gonna bolt the second we open this thing and then we will all be lost in New York looking for him."
"He's going to be so mad at me." Brittany sighed as she tried to sooth the caged animal with little luck.
"He's going to be mad at me, which will be normal," Santana corrected her, "and it's for his own good."
The coach was slowing down as the driver tried to maneuver the more crowded street; the blonde turned to continue soaking in their new surroundings. The buildings were so tall and the windows of the apartments reflected the sun as they passed. Posters and flyers were everywhere and people were calling out all along the street; they were passing theaters and cafés and it looked so different from any of the towns they had traveled through. It seemed old and new at the same time, both imposing and inviting. There really was no way to see everything, though she tried, and she couldn't help but look for familiar faces in the people they were passing. She heard the brunette's breathe catch in her throat and her blue eyes quickly turned to Santana, whose hand was over her mouth as she looked out the window.
"Are you alright, San?" Brittany asked; she could see her lover fighting back her emotions.
"I'm just relieved," Santana waved off her concern, "we made it."
"We're on Broadway," the blonde said cheerfully.
Santana pulled the shade down and leaned past Brittany to pull the cover down over her window as well. The cat complained loudly again as the inside of the coach became dark. Brittany felt the girl's warm damp lips connect with hers and leaned further in to deepen the kiss. There would be time to see New York; they had the rest of their lives to discover it all.
Blaine pulled back on the reigns in front of the building Rachel's letters had described and bent down to try to catch a pedestrian's attention to ask if they were in the correct place; Kurt rested his hand on the boy's arm and pointed. The brunette didn't see them yet; she was perched on the stoop with her eyes scanning quickly over a thick stack of papers in her hands. The delicate boy pressed a finger to his lips when Quinn, who was standing behind Rachel and reading over her shoulder, spotted him. He slipped down from the buckboard and tried to make his groan as quiet as possible while he quickly stretched and made his way over to them.
"My stars!" Kurt gasped, as she stopped on the sidewalk in front of them. "Is it really you? Are you the Rachel Berry?"
Rachel's head shot up and she squealed, tossing the script aside, and leaping up to envelop him in her arms. He laughed and tried to keep up the charade of awestruck fan.
"I can't believe I am hugging Rachel Berry," the boy sputtered cheerfully. "Oh I simply must have your autograph! Oh, Miss Berry, I am your absolute biggest fan. In fact I have tickets to your performance tomorrow."
"Not just yet you don't." Quinn chuckled from the stoop as she collected the discarded pages. "As for biggest fan, I believe you will have to get in line."
"Oh," he turned his attention to the blonde, "and are you truly the Miss Berry? Quinn Berry, the up and coming starlet everyone is buzzing about? My heart can barely take it."
"Hush." Quinn giggled. "How was your trip?"
Blaine joined them on the sidewalk as people shuffled by. "I told them we had arrived, but I believe they are…otherwise occupied."
"Oh, Blaine," Kurt said quickly, choosing to ignore what his lover had just implied. "You won't believe our luck. We have just stumbled upon the famous Berry sisters!"
Rachel was clearly soaking up all the play praise, but Quinn seemed weary of it already.
"It's only been a handful of small plays," the blonde shrugged, "I still have a long way to go towards getting this city to realize Rachel's true potential, but we are getting there."
"I hear that you aren't doing so bad yourself." Blaine commented.
"She's amazing!" Rachel cheered. "Her last performance was splendid; the audience loved us—but then we did fit the roles very well. The director couldn't believe his luck when he discovered that our lives were practically his story."
"What an amazing story it is," Kurt chimed in. "Sister-in-laws whose husbands tragically died as they made their way to New York; left alone with no one but each other to make their way in an unknown city, and, of course, knowing neither could ever marry again."
"Do you have a problem with our situation?" Quinn asked lightly. "It is not our fault that we could never love any other men; such is the love we had."
"It's brilliant," he assured her. "It's sad and inspiring all at the same time."
The two women shared a warm look as the blonde quoted purposefully, "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee."
The brunette finished the quotation solemnly, in the voice of a promise, "For whither thou goest I will go; whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people; and thy god, my god."
Kurt recognized the verse well; it was often used in weddings and he realized its full meaning to them. His eyes flicked quickly to Blaine, who smiled sheepishly back at him. They had their own code for expressing their love in public places; the dark haired man slowly adjusted his wedding band and Kurt followed suit to return their sign of affection.
Rachel beamed at him and then glanced towards the carriage. "You must be in a hurry to get settled. Your things arrived earlier this week; I believe we may have overestimated our apartment's capacity, so things will be rather cramped."
"Hopefully we will find a place of our own soon," Blaine said apologetically.
"Actually," Quinn spoke up, "we might have found you a place already."
"Us a place," Rachel corrected.
Kurt watched as the blonde rolled her eyes and responded, "Let's just see if you still think it's a good idea once you get reacquainted with Santana."
"What are you talking about?" he asked warily.
The brunette smiled again. "There is a lovely three family townhouse in Bushwick for sale, and between what Quinn and I have saved, and the money your families contributed for you to get settled into married life in New York, I believe we could purchase it together. There is plenty of room for all of us, there would even be a guest room, and while I admit it is a little out of the way, I believe you will find that to be a good thing as you grow accustomed to the city."
"There is time to think about it," Quinn assured him. "The owner has agreed to hold it while we decide for the time being. He's a fan of the theater and seems happy for the chance to pass it on to Broadway up and comers."
"Should we get Brittany and Santana out here to discuss this?" Rachel wondered out loud.
"No," both men answered in unison and the blonde laughed at the brunette's puzzled expression.
"It might be best to let them—finish whatever they are doing before we let them into our home." Quinn giggled.
Kurt was amazed at the change in his friends; Quinn had always seemed harsh and cold, but looking at them together, she was warm and lively. It was clear that the two had a wonderful effect on each other and he was in no hurry to bring Santana into the mix just yet. They were getting along better now, but she still had a tendency to rub him the wrong way; she seemed to do it for fun, but he was learning to ignore it and—though Kurt didn't care to admit it—was actually growing slightly fond of her. Still, she was louder and coarser than he usually liked to be and for the moment, he was enjoying the light exchange between the four of them on the sidewalk.
"We should look at the place today," Rachel insisted. "Tomorrow will be filled with rehearsals."
"I suppose we could unpack a few of our things and then take a look." Blaine nodded. "If we wanted to check out alternatives tomorrow then that would keep us out of your hair while you are preparing."
"Good," the brunette said knowingly, "because I took the liberty of making an appointment with the owner for this evening. I just know you will adore it! I highly doubt you will want to look any further after that; besides, you will be far too busy tomorrow."
Kurt looked at Blaine with a grimace; he wasn't sure what his friend meant about being too busy, but they had been looking forward to relaxing for at least a day after such a long journey.
"It's been a very long trip, Rachel; I'm not sure that we will be up to doing much at all tomorrow," he admitted.
The brunette's hands were on her hips and she tilted her head to the side. "Are you telling me that all four of you would rather sleep the day away than, perhaps, audition for our director's next play? He's already cast Quinn and me, and I made him promise not to cast all the roles just yet so that he could see the four of you perform."
Kurt heard his gasp echoed by Blaine as he clapped excitedly.
"Are you serious?" Blaine asked breathlessly beside him.
"Yes." Quinn nodded smugly. "Rachel can be quite hard to resist when she puts her mind to something; the poor man never had a chance."
"This is amazing!" Kurt stammered before reality set in. "Oh, you are awful for not letting me know ahead of time! We have no time to prepare. I honestly don't know whether to thank you or not!"
"That's why I have copies of the play in the apartment, silly." Rachel chuckled. "I was reading over it while we awaited your arrival so that I could mark the characters I believe you would each be particularly suited for."
"Thank you," Blaine said for them both.
"We are really going to have to get the two of them moving if we want to have you settled and rested before we view the house," Rachel said nervously.
Just as Kurt was preparing to beg his husband to embark on the dangerous journey that was interrupting Santana and Brittany, the coach door flew open.
"Why didn't you tell us we were already here?" Santana bellowed at the boys.
"If you hadn't noticed, the carriage hasn't been moving for over fifteen minutes," Kurt pointed out. "We assumed you were otherwise distracted."
The brunette stopped in the tracks and looked around nervously, narrowing her eyes at Mr. Hummel, and gesturing to all the people milling about around them.
"Darling," Blaine called lightly, "you needn't worry."
"Don't you darling me, Mr. Anderson," she hissed.
"Why ever not, Mrs. Anderson?" the man teased back.
"Quinn!" Brittany exploded out of the coach and made a beeline for her friend, causing Kurt to have to duck out of the way quickly. "Rachel! Oh I missed you both so much!"
"Okay, Britt and I are going to catch up with our lady friends, dear," Santana said smugly. "While you manly men get to work unloading our things."
Blaine and Kurt groaned as they looked at each other; the brunette reached back into the carriage to retrieve Lord Tubbington before joining the other women on the stoop.
The group of six stood in the large living room after touring the house; it had a nice kitchen, expansive dining room, one large bathroom, two smaller water closets, and four fine bedrooms on the second story. It was nearly perfect; truth be told, her only objection was that all of the bedrooms were the same size—which would take the fun out of demanding it. The owner had excused himself so that the young people, as he called them, could discuss the decision privately. Her dark eyes scanned each of their faces as they discussed the pros and cons. Kurt and Quinn were the only ones who looked less than thrilled, which was just as well; Santana loved a challenge.
"We'll take it," she stated as though it were a matter of fact.
"Excuse me?" Kurt chimed. "Don't you think we should at least take into consideration how everyone feels about this?"
"You're right, how rude of me," Santana responded sweetly, catching him off guard before addressing Brittany. "What do you think of the house Brittany?"
Santana smirked as the delicate boy rolled his eyes and huffed.
"It's perfect!" her lover bubbled. "Lord Tubbington will love it and we can all live together. It's like a dream only when I pinch myself it hurts. See? Ouch!"
It was hard work to wipe the smile off of her face when she turned to stare down her other objector. She couldn't put her finger on why Quinn seemed reluctant to move in with them and it bruised her ego.
"What's your problem, Quinn?" the fiery brunette snapped.
"Nothing." Her friend shrugged.
Rachel wrapped her arm around Quinn's waist and smiled. "As excited as we are at the prospect of living with the four of you, I will admit that we may miss our cramped little apartment from time to time. We have grown quite accustomed to it being only the two of us after all, but we would have to move soon anyway and I cannot think of a better move to make than to be closer to the people we love. Isn't that right, Quinn?"
Mrs. Q. Berry tried to hide her smile, but Santana caught it nonetheless.
"Well, Rachel wants to live with us," she said smugly, "so I guess that makes her the smart one, and that means I have your vote."
Blaine seemed oddly distracted by the wallpaper all of a sudden and Kurt stifled a laugh; Santana narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously.
"What you laughing at, Porcelain?" she spat.
"Not everyone is as whipped as you," Kurt chuckled. "So you don't automatically have Quinn's vote."
She was very tempted to lunge at him just to see the delicate boy flinch, but her 'husband' suddenly spotted something across the room that needed Kurt's attention and pulled him away from her. Instead, she rolled her eyes and shrugged, turning her attention back to Quinn.
"So, you have some kind of problem with the idea of living with us?" Santana asked defensively.
"No," Quinn replied coolly. "Not if we have some ground rules."
"Oh please, like what?" She scoffed.
"Like no nosing through our stuff, no invading our privacy," her friend listed lightly, "no being the self-appointed ruler of the house, and even perhaps keeping the name calling down to a minimum."
Santana rolled her eyes. "As though I do any of those things."
The entire group, save Brittany, groaned and she gave each of them a piercing stare. She'd never say it, but she loved them all, and she loved the idea of moving into this house and being a family. Santana only wished they would simply stop being idiots long enough to see what a good idea it was. The prickly brunette would never admit it, but she was dying to start making this house a home; unfortunately, it wasn't in her nature to say these things.
"I don't see what your problem with this is," she fumed at Kurt, making a great effort not to fling in an insulting nickname, but she did have other artillery after all. "You're stuck with me no matter what. It's Rachel isn't it? I figured you only talked to her because you wanted to come to New York so badly, but really—if I can stand to live with her, then surely even you could man up a little and do the same."
Kurt spun around with a huff. "That is absolutely ridiculous. I'm only saying that we should think this through before diving in head first."
Santana made a mock display of being deep in thought before rattling out, "hhhmm, yes; now that I think about it, we'll take it."
"Alright," Blaine interjected with a wink to Kurt, "there is no need to fight about this. We still have a few days to think it over; the man is willing to hold off on the sale."
As though her lover could sense the brunette's frustration, she pushed up closer to her and took her hand gently.
"But why?" Brittany pouted. "We're a family. San just wants us all together because she loves us all."
"Britt," she halfheartedly shushed the blonde.
"That's what you said though," the girl continued. "That you want us to be a family and you worry about Rachel and Quinn in that little apartment and what could happen to them alone there with so many strangers able to come and go as they please. And you said you would be less lonely if—"
"Brittany, please," Santana gasped as her face flushed at her lover's over sharing. "What are you all looking at?"
"We love you too, San," Quinn crooned jokingly as she batted her eyes.
"Of course we want the house." Kurt laughed. "I just wanted to see if you were capable of asking nicely or not—and we have the answer now. Obviously."
"Oh, shut it," she snapped. "You're lucky I don't break that precious nose you're always so worried about. Can we just buy the stupid house already before I realize how insane it is to want to live with you all?"
"Well, dear," Blaine teased, "I suppose if it's really what you want, who are we to stand in your way?"
Santana swallowed hard and clinched her jaw to keep from smiling; she refused to give them the satisfaction. She concentrated on looking nonchalant and unaffected. The brunette wondered if she was losing her edge; a few months ago Kurt would have never risked playing any form of prank on her—she would have to make him pay for it later. Right now she was too busy trying to hide her grin as Brittany wrapped her up in an enthusiastic hug.
In all honestly, Santana loved that Brittany had a habit of blurting out some of the things they talked about in private. It was one of her modes of expressing her warmer feelings without having to shed her protective shell, even if it was a gamble at times to determine what conversations her lover would divulge. Finally, Santana allowed her smile to grow wide, masking its full meaning by keeping her eyes on Brittany. The house was beautiful and soon it would be theirs. When she caught the group staring at her, she rewarded them with a steely glare, and the couples began chatting quietly amongst themselves.
"I'm going to go pick our room," Brittany said excitedly, placing a light kiss on Santana's cheek before dashing up the stairs despite the fact that no one was competing with her.
"Shall we attempt to secure the room you liked best before Brittany claims it?" Rachel asked nervously.
"And suffer the wrath of Santana?" Quinn gasped.
The boy shook their heads gravely.
"It's good that you all know your place," she commented harshly as she inwardly thought, here with me.
Sometimes it was exhausting keeping her sharp tongue lashing all the time, but it was instinct, and she was beginning to feel sure that they understood what she really meant. Besides, she wouldn't be Santana if she were to soften too much.
"Where is that old man? I should go get him before you four come up with more house laws against me," the brunette lied as she swept out of the room and onto the porch.
Santana gazed through the window from a hidden spot on the veranda; it had been the first thing she noticed when they arrived at the house. The brunette could finally let her face relax into the triumphant expression she had been repressing as she eyed her friends, no her family, without them seeing her. Perhaps someday she would let it slip to Brittany how proud she was of all of them, the way she appreciated Kurt and Blaine sharing their lives with them so that she could feel safer, or how her heart nearly ached with joy to see Quinn smile and know that that Rachel loved her friend more than life itself. Not today, of course, but someday—maybe in a few years. Someday Brittany would announce to them all how much they all meant to Santana and she could pretend that the blonde was blowing it out of proportion, but they would know. In the right situation, she assumed her death bed when she was old and grey, she might just say it herself.
The owner tapped her lightly on the shoulder, causing her to nearly jump out of her skin, and a flurry of Spanish tumbled out of her lips.
"Sorry to startle you, Mrs.," he apologized quickly. "Have the gentlemen come to a decision?"
She collected herself quickly and replied as evenly as she could, "They have; we would be happy to live here."
"Wonderful," the man nodded, "I hope you will all be very happy here. This is a very special house and I'm thrilled to sell it to such lovely people. I raised my family here; there are so many memories. They are not easy to part with, but this is a home built for love and living, not for reminiscing and wishing for the past. My dear, are you alright?"
Santana hastily wiped at her eyes, her cheeks once again feeling the warmth of embarrassment.
"Allergies," she covered briskly.
The old man nodded and excused himself as he stepped inside.
"Thank you," Santana whispered, too low for him to hear, as she followed him in and hurried towards the stairs to join Brittany.
"When exactly did you develop allergies?" Quinn asked briskly, bringing her to a quick stop.
"When exactly did you begin listening in on other people's conversations?" she shot back.
The blonde smiled knowingly and whispered, "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone you are happy."
Santana crossed her arms uncomfortably and locked eyes with her friend; part of her knew it was pointless to argue, but another part of her still felt she could keep the upper hand.
"Oh, while we are making rules," the brunette changed the subject. "I would like to petition that we ban St. Stick-in-the-mud from the house."
"Petition?" The blonde smirked. "My, my, aren't we talking fancy? You won't have to worry about that for a while. Didn't you get our letter? Our Mr. St. James is participating in The Great Auto Race; with any luck he is halfway to Paris by now."
"Huh," Santana replied, "that's almost impressive. Oh, if we're really lucky, he'll just stay there."
Her friend's hazel eyes rolled and she sighed. "Jesse isn't so bad."
Santana was not convinced. "Does that mean he's no longer trying to steal your woman? Because last I checked, he was drooling over her like Finn over apple pie, and it seems to me he could blow your little sister-in-law cover if he wanted too."
"Actually," Quinn corrected, "he was the one to help us develop that little bit of history. He's surprisingly devious; you'd like him if you gave him a chance."
"He helped you?" The brunette scoffed. "Why would he do that?"
"Because he is a flighty man," the blonde responded. "And it didn't take long for him to fall desperately in love with another woman, who by the way, is the reason he joined the race in the first place."
"Fine," she huffed, "if he makes it back in one piece and manages not to piss me off in the first ten minutes of speaking to me, then maybe I'll give him a chance."
"That's what I love about you, Santana," the blonde gushed. "You're always so open and accepting. We don't deserve you."
Santana sneered down at Quinn as she took a few steps up. "Damn straight."
Brittany's cheerful voice echoed through the empty rooms upstairs, calling Santana to help her decide on a room. The brunette cast one last mischievous look over her shoulder before rushing off to join the girl of her dreams.
Blaine sat in the dim light of the theater next to Kurt. It seemed like a dream; he watched Quinn and Rachel's performance in awe as reality fully sank in. They were wonderful, and in a few months' time, he would be sharing the stage with them as well in the director's next production—it all seemed so unreal. Yet, it was truly happening and there was so much to look forward to. The auditorium was not very crowded; the playhouse they were in was not very popular and the performances there were not top sellers, but to be there, in that moment, it felt like success. Blaine had no doubt that they would make it. It would be a lot of work, but the future was bright; he'd already found work, and Brittany had as well, that would still allow them time to rehearse when they needed to.
To his and everyone's shock, Santana had inexplicably fallen into the role of housewife, and she was surprisingly suited for it. His 'wife' poured herself into making the house a home for them, though she more appropriately fit the bill of mother hen, assigning them their household tasks, ushering them off to their jobs, and cooking them meal after meal out of her grandmother's recipe book. She was still Santana, barbs and all, but her rough edge was ever so slightly beginning to shift from a barrier between them to a protective wall around them all. Or, perhaps, Blaine was reading too much into it and she merely liked being in a position to remain home and bark orders—either way it seemed to be working out fine.
Kurt and his room was directly next to Santana and Brittany's, across the hall was the guest room, and next to that was Quinn and Rachel's quarters. It was nice for each couple to finally be able to split off on their own without fear of suspicion. Blaine felt as though all six of them were living for the first time.
Brittany was flourishing as a chorus girl; there was no denying her natural talent and it was definitely a good thing that she was married. She had only been dancing for a week and already the boys were lining up to have their hearts broken—and the same could be said for all of the girls. The bubbly blonde never seemed tired even when she spent the day mending clothes for people in the neighborhood before nights of dance practice, and what's more, she was like a breath of fresh air to everyone she came in contact with. It also helped that the happier Brittany was, the more contented Santana was—and that was best for all of them.
By far, Kurt was having the hardest time adjusting; he had been the most excited to arrive in New York and begin making his mark on the Great White Way. Blaine understood; despite all the hustle and bustle of the city, the boy missed his father terribly. He worried about Burt being alone, and the stress and possible danger of his new station in the town, and Blaine wanted nothing more than to ease his worries. Their lives had been so difficult; the journey to their new lives had been frightening at times, and now that things were looking up for them finally, he wished he could make it all better, but perhaps it would simply take time. The dark haired boy reached over in the darkness of the theater and rested his hand unashamedly on top of Kurt's; he didn't need to look away from the stage to know that the satisfied sound of his husband's sigh was accompanied by a warm smile, but he peaked over anyway just to take in his happy expression.
"You'll be amazing in your part," he whispered. "You are perfect for it. I can't wait to see you up on stage with them."
"I hope so," Kurt answered nervously.
"You will blow them away; it's not a matter of hope," Blaine said seriously, "it's a matter of fact."
The boy's hand turned and their fingers interlaced. "I can't wait to join them up there."
With great effort, Blaine turned his gaze from the delicate young man next to him and watched as his friends took their final bow. He was so incredibly proud of them and grateful for their friendship. As the small audience stood to applaud them, he reluctantly untangled their hands and joined them. Blaine nudged Kurt's elbow as he edged toward the aisle and towards the back of the room to wait for the stars of the show. It wasn't long before the two girls found them; Quinn and Rachel walked with their elbows linked as they breezed up to them.
"I would have thought you two would be sick of the show by now." Quinn sighed, though the smile on her face gave her away.
"We could never be tired of it," Kurt assured them both. "Frankly I'm surprised more producers haven't approached you yet."
Rachel brushed her hair back with a sigh. "All things considered, we are quite ahead of my expectations and it's only a matter of time before we are all being courted tirelessly."
"You would know about that," Blaine teased as he nodded to the men shuffling along the aisle behind them, obviously in hopes of a moment to speak with the two performers.
The brunette beamed a smile at them and the blonde shot an icy glance their way; he wondered if Quinn would ever grow accustomed to the unwanted attention. He was keenly aware that she didn't have a thing to worry about; it was clear as day that Rachel only had eyes for her, and vice versa.
"Well, widow Berry; are you ready for the real final act?" Rachel asked lightly as she batted her lashes at Quinn.
The blonde took in a deep breath and tweaked her smile. "I suppose, widow Berry, if our friends will be so kind as to accompany us."
"We would be honored." Blaine chuckled with a bow.
It had become their job, on occasion, to escort the girls past the few men who lingered in hopes of meeting them. Kurt and he followed behind the pair as they approached the exit.
"Mrs. Rachel Berry," one young man gushed. "I would like to say, if it isn't too bold of me, that your voice is exquisite. At times I felt as though the heavens themselves had opened."
"You are too kind, sir," Rachel responded demurely.
"No, dear sister, I believe he was very close in his description," Quinn interjected with a sly smile at the brunette.
"Oh, and Mrs. Quinn Berry," another boy took his chance to speak. "You were a vision—truly, truly lovely. There are no words for the performance you gave tonight."
It was Rachel's turn to cut in. "I agree, Quinn; your performance was beyond words."
Blaine had to admit that their over the top antics with these boys could at times be slightly too much to bear, but soon they were out of the building and awaiting their ride home.
"Must you make it impossible for me to keep a straight face?" Kurt huffed at them.
"Consider it practice for the stage," Rachel teased back. "Besides, it isn't as though anything I said was not inarguably true."
Quinn's cheeks colored slightly. "Yes, I meant every word I said."
"If Santana were here she wouldn't allow you to get away with such a sickening display," the delicate boy pointed out, and the girl's laughed.
"She is so protective," Rachel countered, "that had she been here, those boys would have been lucky to have been within three rows of you."
"Are you insulting our attempts to protect you?" Blaine joined in cheerfully.
"No," Quinn smiled, "of course not."
Blaine held the door to the cab open for them and shared a meaningful look with Kurt as he followed them into the vehicle. On nights like tonight, it was easy to see that their lives had begun and, together, they would all be very happy.
I hope I tied up all the loose ends, I'm pretty sure that I did at least. Thanks for reading and reviewing. :)