Everyone follows them out to the car and Quinn even lets Finn help her into the passenger seat. Probably because he just picks her up, right out of the wheelchair and she doesn't really have the energy to argue or fight him over it. Once she's in the car, her head falls back against the headrest and her jaw sets as she stares up at the ceiling.
Rachel has a feeling she needs to just get Quinn home. She slips her arms around Finn in a quick hug. "Thank you," she says to him.
"Anytime," he says as he lets her go.
While Burt places Quinn's new crutches in the backseat of Rachel's car, Judy holds out a key ring. "I don't think Quinn has her purse with her, so here are the keys to the house. I should be home around five. Make yourself at home, dear."
Rachel nods and accepts the keys. She's accustomed to the chaos of performance but all of this is starting to make her head spin. "We should get going so Quinn can rest."
"I'm fine," is Quinn's protest from the car.
Everyone finally disperses, but not before Judy kisses her grumpy daughter on the cheek and asks what she wants for dinner, later. Quinn's response is a shrug and Judy looks across to Rachel, who's now in the driver's seat, pulling on her seatbelt.
"You're welcome to join us later, if you'd like."
"I'll need to check in with my fathers, but I'd love to, thank you."
The passenger door shuts and they're alone, the car's air conditioner cooling the summer heat around them.
"Finally," Quinn sighs.
"Do you need anything before we-"
"No." The response is sharp and Rachel knows Quinn isn't intending to be short with her, but perhaps just turning on the radio and avoiding conversation is the best way to get through this drive. Everything over the last couple of weeks has been close to perfection, so the slight awkwardness feels much heavier than it probably is. Rachel doesn't allow herself to dwell on that. Quinn's in pain and being stubborn about medication, which is probably some leftover Cheerios brainwashing about how surrendering to pain is a sign of weakness or something.
When they arrive at the Fabray house, Quinn still hasn't said a word to her. She spent the entire drive staring out the side window and it isn't until Quinn turns to unbuckle her seatbelt that Rachel sees the tears in her eyes.
"Hey..." she says, softly. She can't stop herself from reaching out and placing a gentle hand on Quinn's arm. Quinn blinks and keeps her eyes pointed downward, at least until she squeezes them shut. From the way she's breathing, Rachel can tell she's in pain. That still doesn't stop her from using her voice of sheer Rachel Berry Resolve. "Okay, Quinn, look. We're getting you inside and into bed and you're taking something for this."
There's a reluctant nod from Quinn and Rachel's out of the car, removing the crutches from the backseat, and handing them to Quinn who won't let Rachel actually help her up. Quinn manages to get up the front walk, just fine, and Rachel unlocks the door.
There's a beep and Quinn says, "Four eight five five."
Quinn waves her right crutch in the general direction of the keypad on the wall near the front door. "The alarm. Hurry, before the cops show up."
"Oh!" Rachel quickly punches in the code and there's another beep as the display tells her the alarm has now been disarmed.
It's something of a struggle getting Quinn accept help going upstairs, but she ultimately gives in and Rachel has one arm around her waist while Quinn grips her shoulder with one hand and the railing with the other. Once they get to the top, Quinn demands to have her crutches back and hobbles the rest of the way to her bedroom.
"Do you want to change?" Rachel asks. She can't imagine Quinn wants to lie in her bed in clothes she wore at the garage and the hospital.
"Yeah, I'll-" Quinn's already sitting on the bed, but she reaches for her crutches to pull herself back up.
"Stay there!" Rachel doesn't really shout, but she isn't passive, either. Quinn doesn't reply, but she stays put. "What do you need?"
"There are pajamas in the top drawer. Just a shirt and pair of shorts, is fine." Rachel finds a McKinley Athletics Dept. t-shirt and a pair of blue striped boxer shorts, which she passes to Quinn. "I can do this part," Quinn says.
Rachel nods. "I'll just wait out here..." she says, as she exits into the hallway.
Quinn sighs. "You don't have to... whatever."
This, though, is a prime opportunity to secure the painkillers Judy informed her about. Down the hall is an open door to a large, airy bedroom. It's a little dated in design, but it's elegant and seems to fit Judy. Rachel wonders if it was redone after Quinn's father left.
She makes a left and steps into the master bathroom. It's not really her desire to snoop through her girlfriend's mother's bathroom, so she starts in the most logical location and opens the medicine cabinet. Thankfully, right there, on the top shelf, is a prescription bottle that says Vicodin right on the label. She grabs it and makes her way back to Quinn's room.
"Are you decent?"
"Yes." Quinn lies on the bed, haphazardly flopped back across her pillows. "You didn't have to leave. I'm just... this sucks."
"I know." Rachel sets the pills on the nightstand and gently urges Quinn to adjust her position. She takes one of the pillows from behind her and ever so carefully uses it to prop up her ankle. "You need to keep this elevated."
"And I need to ice it for-"
"-twenty minutes at a time." At Quinn's questioning look, Rachel says, "I was never a cheerleader, but I've been in ballet for years. I know what to do with a sprain."
Quinn manages a small, but pained, smile. "I'm sorry I've been so..."
"You're hurt. It's okay."
"It's not, though."
"If you want to make it up to me, you'll just let me take care of you, okay?"
There's a beat of silence. "Okay."
Rachel bends down and kisses Quinn's forehead. "Which means, you need to take one of these." She picks up the bottle and shakes it.
Quinn rolls her eyes. "Fine."
There's a bottle of water on the nightstand, so Rachel hands it to her, along with one of the painkillers. "I'm going to get ice. Do you want anything else while I'm down there?"
"No. Just... hurry back."
"I can do that."
"There are already ice packs in the door of the freezer." Quinn shrugs as she swallows the pill. "Cheerios."
Rachel finds the ice pack, easily enough. She also locates a bottle of Vitamin Water and a bag of pretzels, because she figures Quinn probably shouldn't take the medication on an empty stomach.
"If you want, I was thinking we could just pick something on Netflix and-" But when she re-enters the bedroom, Quinn is asleep. It makes sense. With all the stress and the pain and now the prescription grade painkillers in her system, she must be exhausted.
Rachel notes the time and places the ice pack around the swollen ankle, then climbs up onto the bed, next to Quinn. Her girlfriend's mouth is hanging open, just a bit, and there's the sound of light snoring. She's careful not to wake Quinn, though it seems like that may be impossible, at this moment, and Rachel lies on her side, one arm tucked under her head, the other draped over Quinn's middle.
"I'm glad you're okay," she whispers. "Even if you're grumpy and difficult. And stubborn." Rachel snuggles closer to Quinn, burying her face against her t-shirt clad shoulder.
On the drive to the hospital, there were certain thoughts that kept creeping into her mind. The kind that kept suggesting the worst, the ones that made her regret not saying or doing things she wanted to say and do. Even though they've only been together a week and a half, Quinn is someone she's known for years, someone who has been there for some of her greatest triumphs and failures. Someone she wants to have around to share future accomplishments and... yes, even things that don't go the way she expects. She wants to share things with Quinn. Now and later. All the time.
And there's something she's been keeping to herself all this time, because it's too soon, it's too early. Even though it really isn't, because she's already shared so many things with Quinn before they even got to this point.
Right now, while Quinn's sound asleep, it feels like a safe time for Rachel to try this. A test-run so she has it perfected for the next time.
It's barely whispered, which is fine, because no one needs to hear it, just yet.
"I love you."
Quinn sleeps for a solid hour and a half, and while she does, Rachel rotates the ice packs and makes sure Quinn's toes aren't turning blue. She checks her Facebook and watches an old episode of Top Model on her phone while Quinn doses next to her. It's comfortable and quiet after all the chaotic excitement from earlier.
Finally, Quinn stirs, sleepy eyes blinking open and looking at Rachel.
"Hey." Her voice is pure gravel, even rougher than usual.
Rachel sets her phone aside and gives Quinn her full attention. "How are you feeling?"
Quinn frowns in the direction of her foot. "Stiff. It doesn't really hurt, right now, though."
"Would it be gross and needy of me to ask for a hug?"
Rachel laughs. "I was doing that already while you were asleep."
"You were taking advantage of me?"
"It was more like cuddling and you were awfully grumpy in your awake state."
"I still am."
At Quinn's pout, Rachel shifts and wraps and arm around her, settling against her, much like she did when Quinn first dozed off. This time, though, Quinn has an arm pulled snug around her back. "Better?"
Rachel pushes herself up enough to look at Quinn. "Are you going to be like this the whole time?"
In an effort to change Quinn's mood (and also because she's been wanting to do this all day), Rachel kisses Quinn, gently, but with purpose. "Does that help?" she asks, before ducking back down for another.
"Maybe," Quinn repeats, but Rachel can feel the smile against her own lips.
They kiss for a little while, though it's awkward because of Quinn's position and Rachel's arms tire from holding herself up, so they resume cuddling. Rachel's hand rests on Quinn's stomach, under her t-shirt, her fingers lightly trailing back and forth.
"I was really worried when I first talked to Finn."
"God, I'm so sorry." Quinn's obviously still groggy and Rachel doesn't want to make her feel any worse.
"It's not your fault."
"I just... if I'd just been more careful at work, this wouldn't have happened. I don't ever want you make you worry about me."
"That's absolutely impossible. I've always been concerned about your well-being, even before we were friends. Remember that time you fell during dance rehearsal, when you were pregnant? It took me a week to stop replaying it in my mind, because I kept imagining the worst possible outcome."
"Oh, you mean like the time I watched Finn slammed his big stupid elbow into your face?" Quinn's arm seems to automatically tighten around Rachel at the memory.
"It was actually his forearm, which is probably a good thing. His elbow would have likely done considerably worse damage."
"Okay, you can stop talking about it."
"I still can't believe you were willing to give me your nose."
"Well, it's not really mine."
Again, Rachel's back upright enough to look Quinn in the face. "It's on your face. And I like your face." To emphasize her point, she kisses Quinn's nose, which immediately wrinkles in response.
They spend the rest of the afternoon with Rachel tucked into Quinn's side as they watch Netflix on Quinn's laptop. It's low-key and comfortable and eventually, Quinn falls asleep, again, and Rachel's left with the sound of her steady breathing.
This might very well be the closest she's ever felt to Quinn.
When Judy arrives home, just after five, Quinn and Rachel are on the couch in the living room, because Quinn insisted she needed a change of scenery after being in her room all afternoon, despite Rachel's argument that Quinn spent most of that time looking at the back of her own eyelids. But Rachel's grateful at Quinn's suggestion, because she doesn't think she's really ready to have Quinn's mother discovering them napping together in Quinn's bed, no matter the circumstances or how accepting she's been of everything.
She's already contacted her fathers to explain the situation and they're aware that Rachel is staying for dinner at the Fabray house.
Judy immediately places her hand on Quinn's forehead, the second she's in reach.
"Mom, it's a sprain, not the flu."
"Actually, Quinn, an increase in body temperature isn't uncommon with this type of injury. Also, a fever of over one hundred degrees could be a sign of infection and possible fract-" Rachel stops herself, because Quinn has that Grumpy Cat look on her face, again. "I did a lot of Googling while you were asleep."
"It's just a hand on your forehead, Quinn. I'm not reading your diary blog or whatever it is you kids do, so please relax." Judy seems satisfied with whatever she's assessed and removes her hand. "I was thinking something simple for dinner. Pasta?"
Quinn nods. "Yes, please."
"That would be lovely, thank you. Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Keep my daughter from climbing up the walls out of restlessness."
Quinn crosses her arms over her chest. "This isn't fair."
"Do you have any board games?" Rachel asks, as Judy moves for the kitchen.
There's a shrug from Quinn. "I want to work on my car."
"Not an option, right now."
It's partly the injury, partly the painkillers still in her system, partly because Quinn is one of the most stubborn people Rachel's ever met, but they sit in silence for a solid minute and a half. Then, finally, Quinn's shoulders sag. "I think we have Boggle."
"Hey," Rachel leans in, smoothing Quinn's hair with her hand. "You hurt yourself and you need to rest. And I'm going to be here, every day to play silly board games and watch terrible daytime television with you as much as I can, okay?" Quinn replies with a defeated nod. "And," Rachel's voice lowers. "For every game you win, I'll... do something you really want to do... later."
The corner of Quinn's mouth twitches upward. "A thing for each game I win?"
"We also have Monopoly. And Bible Trivial Pursuit."
"I believe you have a significantly unfair advantage on the latter."
"Only on the New Testament."
"I'm only accepting this challenge, because you're injured." Rachel notices the way Quinn's squirming on the sofa and pulls the coffee table, where her foot's resting on a pillow, closer to the couch.
"That and because you're crazy about me."
Rachel wonders if it's possible that Quinn heard her profession of love earlier, even though she was sound asleep. "Do you think I'd be here, putting up with you if I wasn't?"
"Probably not." Quinn holds out her arm until Rachel settles against her side and she wraps it around her girlfriend. "Thank you," she says, softly.
"We'll see if you're still thanking me when I bankrupt you at Monopoly." Rachel hands Quinn the remote to the television.
"Wait," Quinn says, looking at the remote. "What about the games?"
"After dinner. Right now, I'd just like to enjoy your company before I dominate you." There's a deep chuckle from Quinn and Rachel's already blushing at her own choice of words. "Will you just pick something to watch?"
Quinn selects some Animal Planet clip show about the world's cutest animals and Rachel realizes that it's possible she's just going to keep falling for Quinn a little more, each and every day.