They're back in front of the Berry house by eleven, an hour before Rachel's curfew.
"Do you want to come in for a while? My dads are probably still up, but I can make them promise not to bombard you with questions while we watch television or something."
Quinn smiles and turns in her seat, closing both of her hands around one of Rachel's. "They're really not so bad. I kind of like that they're so involved. But if I come in, I'm probably just going to fall asleep on your couch. Or floor. Or in your entryway."
"I wasn't even thinking. You worked all day and then everything with the tire tonight-"
"To be fair, Puck did all the dirty work with that."
"Yes, but you did all the pointing and gesturing." Rachel reaches her arm out and rests it against the edge of Quinn's seat. Her fingers toy with blonde hair and Rachel scoots a little closer, toward the middle of the car. "I'm sure it was exhausting."
"It's not as easy as it looks." Quinn's voice is softer as she shifts, inching even closer to Rachel.
Silence hangs between them and Rachel can clearly hear The Killers on the radio. She's positive that Human is going to be forever etched on this moment in her memory, because Quinn is kissing her again, and it's, by far, the best kiss of the evening.
It starts out simply enough, that basic contact, the pressure of Quinn's lips against her own, then the gentle brush of a tongue against her bottom lip. Rachel's own tongue is eager to meet Quinn's and, just like before, it's a rush that causes a whimper from the back of Rachel's throat. Her hand, the one that was playing with Quinn's hair, is now behind her neck, the same way it was that first time, that morning at the garage. One of Quinn's hands is still laced together with Rachel's, but the other has found it's way to Rachel's cheek, cupping it against a palm, fingertips feather-light against Rachel's skin.
In an instant, there's a shift. And it happens the second Rachel drags her teeth over Quinn's bottom lip.
Quinn's short nails scratch against the back of Rachel's neck and Rachel, having abandoned their handhold, now has her other hand wrapped around Quinn's bicep. Now Quinn's tugging at Rachel's lip with her own teeth and, oh god, that's... Rachel doesn't even know how, but she has Quinn pinned against the driver's side door and their upper bodies are pressed together and-
"Rach-" Quinn pants. "We... we should..."
Rachel nods. "Right. We... uh huh." She does her best to try and sit back up, but Quinn has to help her because, well, gravity.
They end up huddled against each other and Quinn kisses Rachel's ear. "I had a really, really great time tonight."
"Does that mean you'll let me take you out, again?"
"Maybe I want to take you out." Rachel trails her fingers along Quinn's forearm. "But yes. I would love to go out with you again. Multiple times. Maybe we could do something with weekend?"
Quinn groans. "I have to go to my sister's tomorrow. And Sunday we have a church potluck." There's a change in position and she's looking right at Rachel, brushing aside disheveled bangs. "But I'll text you."
Rachel nods, but she knows she's still showing disappointment with her slumped shoulders. "I guess I did just see you three days in a row."
"If we don't get back too late tomorrow night, maybe I can come by."
"I'd like that." Quinn just holds her there for a few minutes as they listen to the radio, but after the third yawn Rachel hears from her date, she forces herself upright. "You're exhausted and I want you to make it home, so... I guess I should go in."
"I'll walk you up."
"You don't ha-"
Quinn laughs against Rachel's lips as she pulls back. "But I want to."
When they reach the porch, Rachel can tell the television is still on in the living room, so she knows her dads are still up. She wonders if they're aware how long she and Quinn have been out front.
There's one more kiss, but it's sweet and simple. Rachel doesn't think she'll ever forget the way Quinn looks the moment she steps back, bottom lip between her teeth and she's illuminated by the porch light.
"Goodnight, Rachel." Quinn waits until Rachel actually starts to open the door before she steps down off the porch. About halfway down the walk, she turns and waves. "Bye."
Rachel waves back and it's all so ridiculous and silly, but it's also absolutely perfect. "Text me when you get home, please?"
Quinn nods. "Okay."
Rachel doesn't shut the front door until Quinn starts her car and pulls away from the curb. Only then does she close it, leaning back against the door with a wide smile on her face.
"Rachel, honey?" her dad calls from the other room. "How was your date?"
About fifteen minutes later, she receives a text that says:
Made it home. You can stop pacing.
Rachel reads it and rolls her eyes, punching out a reply.
Not even. I'm sitting here watching tv with my dads. (But thank you.)
Goodnight, Rach. :)
Quinn's sister, whom Rachel has never met, lives in Fort Wayne, which is a little over an hour from Lima, just across the state line. Around nine-thirty on Saturday morning, Rachel receives a text.
This is probably a dumb question because you're one of those bright and cheery morning people, but are you up?
Rachel smiles at the message. She's been awake since seven-thirty, as she's been allowing herself to sleep later during the summer months, but not so late that she develops a bad habit of losing half her morning. There's always so much that can be done as the day begins and Rachel rather likes getting a head start on everything. Unless she's ill or waiting for a cast list to be posted. Then she'd much prefer to stay in bed until the sickness passes or the list is up.
I am. :) Are you on your way to Indiana?
You make it sound like an epic road trip, but we do this every few weeks.
It still must be nice to get out of Ohio, if even just barely. I've never been to Fort Wayne.
Yes, you have.
Rachel stares at the screen and wonders how Quinn could possible be so sure about a detail from Rachel's life. How do you know?
The charity concert Mr. Schue set up at that retirement home? That was in Fort Wayne. And on the way back, Santana got motion sickness and we had to stop at that McDonalds.
She abandons her phone, momentarily, while she pushes herself off the bed to her bookshelf to retrieve her diary from the previous school year. It takes a minute, but as she flips through the color coded tabs (blue for Finn related incidents, gold for highlights in her own rise to stardom, yellow for events and performances featuring the New Directions, green for items pertaining to Quinn, etc...) she finds an entry about the trip in question. It's suddenly clear in her mind and she does vaguely recall that they crossed the state line. Oh, when Brittany thought maybe she was with child?
Yes, although I think she made it sound a lot less biblical. And you also you launched into some rant about the treatment of cows in meat processing plants.
I've given that speech more than once, but now that you mention it, I do recall that particular instance.
It's not really that different from home, so it makes sense that it wouldn't make an impression on you. The drive is kind of nice, though.
As much as she tries to remember what the scenery was like, Rachel can't really picture it. Probably because she was busy studying sheet music or watching Quinn give Noah the evil eye for whatever crude story he was telling.
Wait. Quinn. You're not driving right now, are you? Please tell me you are not texting while operating a motor vehicle!
My mom is driving. If I were driving, my sentences would be much shorter.
It's dangerous. And Oprah is strongly opposed to it.
Oh, well, if Oprah's against it...
I can tell. And I'm sure Oprah is, too.
I'm not talking to you, anymore. Even though Quinn can't see her, Rachel crosses her arms over herself and pouts.
Rachel holds out for maybe five minutes, but only because Hiram asks her to bring her bath towels down to the laundry room.
I just don't want something to happen to you.
Okay. I'll be more careful.
There's a lull and Rachel wonders if Quinn is busy talking to her mother, but then the next message comes through. Does that include sexting?
It includes anything! But, is that... something you do?
No. Or, I haven't done it, yet. It was also a joke. Kind of.
I think you'd be good at it.
You're well read and good with punctuation.
Because I'm literate, you think I'd be good at sending dirty messages
Why not? I think I'd be good at it, too.
Can I at least take you on a second date before we start in on the explicit texting?
Omg, my mom is asking me what's so important that I'm sending so many messages so fast.
What did you tell her?
Nothing. I just switched the iPod to something she likes.
Have you talked to her at all about us?
Not yet. I'm kind of nervous about it.
But you still think she'd be all right with it, right?
In theory, yeah.
Oh. Would it help if I were there when you tell her?
I don't know. Maybe? But we've only gone out once.
Yes, but we're also making plans for another outing. And the sexual texting.
Rachel! Now she's asking me why I'm laughing.
Why are you laughing? This is absolutely serious!
Omg. Okay. I'm sorry. It's just that sexual texting sounds so formal.
I was kidding. It's rather funny, actually. And I wonder if there's an etiquette to it. Maybe I'll look that up, later.
Oh god. You would.
I enjoy being thorough.
Which means they would be lengthy texts. I'd better up my data plan.
Are you suggesting that I talk too much? I could start abbreviating everything the way that Noah does and, therefore, make my messages basically unintelligible to anyone who speaks the English language.
Do you even realize how many words that last message was?
I happen to be fairly certain that you're fan of that particular area of my body, given the way you kept looking at it, last night.
It's okay. I know that skirt certainly highlights particular assets of mine.
And now your mother wants to know why you're blushing.
The texts continue to come in small bursts throughout the day, but there's a definitely lack of any messages after six in the evening, which Rachel knows is because Quinn is driving so her mother can nap on the way home.
Rachel's on her stomach, propped on her elbows, bare feet kicking against her pillow as she reads through the NYU admissions website when her phone rings. Quinn's name and Facebook photo illuminate the screen and Rachel grins as she answers.
"Hey. Is it... too late two come by?"
"Quinn, it's barely seven-thirty."
"Well, I didn't know if your dads have rules or if you have family night or something."
"Oh, well, we do have game night. But that's Sunday evenings. Tonight they're at a fundraiser."
"Can I still come over?"
"Good, because I'm kind of pulling up to your house, right now."
Rachel laughs. "What if I hadn't been here? Or what if my dads were super strict and didn't let me have visitors after dinner?"
"Then I would have either driven home or climbed the tree to your bedroom window."
"I don't have a tree outside my window."
"Then I guess it's a good thing you're home."
She hears the doorbell and is quick to hurry out of her room to answer the door. Right as she twists the doorknob, she remembers she's in a purple tank top and a pair of pajama shorts with unicorns and rainbows on them. In addition, her hair is in pigtail braids and while she's always ready to put on a show face, she realizes she should have taken a moment to dress less like she's attending a junior high slumber party.
But it's too late, because she's looking across the threshold at Quinn, who's simply stunning, as always, in a blue flowered sundress and white sandals. She has something wrapped in a brown paper bag in one hand.
"Hi." Quinn says, her lips turned up in amusement.
"I'm... I didn't think about what I had on until... now."
There's a small shrug from Quinn. "I like it."
Rachel smiles as she shakes her head and waves Quinn into the house. Quinn takes her hand and their fingers slip together, which is enough to make Rachel smile even wider. "What did you want to do?" she asks, softly.
"Well, my sister forced us to take home basically, like, half of a pie. It's cherry and I'm pretty sure it's not entirely vegan, but I thought I'd at least take a chance."
"I happen to always make an exception for cherry pie," Rachel replies, walking them toward the kitchen. "Also apple, peach, and any kind of berry."
"Berry on berry, huh?"
"I'm not even sure if that's supposed to be an innuendo or not."
Quinn laughs as she places the pie on the counter. "I... don't think it was."
Rachel's about to pull away to retrieve a couple of plates from the cupboard, but Quinn won't release her hand and she's immediately pulled back toward the other girl. "Did you need something?"
"Yeah," Quinn says, with a slight nod.
The space disappears between them and they're kissing. It's soft and effortless, unhurried. Rachel's hand finds Quinn's cheek and her fingertips linger there even as she pulls back, lip between her teeth as she looks up at Quinn. The questions of 'what was that for' is on the tip of her tongue, but there's an electricity between them, a current that explains everything, even if there aren't really words for it, yet.
She supposes maybe they should get through a second date, first.