A few weeks had passed since they had their outing. Even though Quinn said to herself that she wanted to think about what was going on between her and Rachel, she ended up ignoring her own advice and decided to cross the bridge when she got there. For now, she would just play it by the book. The thing was, every time she tried to think of her situation with Rachel, it hurt her brain. She would be tossing and turning in bed for hours at times. It was a good thing she didn't have normal jobs that required her to be at work at certain hours because her sleeping hours were completely messed up. It made her really tired and cranky, so she figured the best solution was to not think about it. She didn't want to resort to taking sleeping pills to sleep because that would be dangerous.
They still spent a lot of time together when they could, but it wasn't that often. It was just that their schedule had been keeping them apart. Well, mostly it was Rachel's schedule. She had to go to LA for a few days to record some songs, and she had been going back and forth there for the past two weeks. Quinn was glad that Mercedes wasn't in LA at the moment, she was not ready for other people to know about their friendship and she didn't want Rachel to have that conversation with Mercedes. It would just lead to questions that she didn't want to think at the moment. She wasn't even sure what she was going to do this time, was she going to stick around or was she going to bail out again?
She was very thankful for having Beth in her life. Beth was coming over in 2 weeks' time for the summer holiday, so they had been busy planning their trip. They were planning for a road trip up to Maine for white-water rafting adventure over there. So she needed to rent a car, book accommodations, and everything, it kept her well occupied. Her relationship with Beth was probably the only thing that kept her grounded and centered. Even though Beth called her 'Mama', their relationship was more like close aunt and niece. Beth would talk to her whenever she had arguments with Shelby or Puck; she was like Beth's confidante. Of course it crossed her mind on where Rachel was going to fit in all this. Rachel had express interest on meeting Beth. Should she invite Rachel for the road trip or should she say that it was only for her and Beth? It didn't seem right not to invite Rachel, but what if Rachel said yes, what then? Did Rachel want to spend that much time with Beth, Shelby's daughter? Did she even want Rachel to spend that much time with Beth, her daughter? Thinking about this made her head hurt, and then she thought about how Beth and Rachel are somewhat sisters and that almost made her freak out. That was when she realized that she had spent too much time thinking about this.
Little that they noticed, it had been 2 months since they first met each other again. Actually Rachel did notice. It might seem like a short time to some but putting things into perspective; it was a very long time if you had waited years.
Rachel had spent 3 days in LA and just got back to NYC the night before. Currently they were spending their Sunday afternoon together at Quinn's apartment, as usual. Quinn was sitting on a couch and was doing some sketching for her next project while Rachel was sitting on the opposite couch while writing some song lyrics. Actually at the moment, she was mostly doodling and would occasionally glance at Quinn. Rachel was trying to write but she was finding it really hard to concentrate. Something had been bothering her for a while and she felt restless. She spent the whole 6-hour flight back from LA thinking about it, and a few more hours that night before she finally got some sleep. Truthfully, it was something that had bothered her for a very long time, but she had been afraid to voice it out, because she was afraid of the consequences. She hoped that this time it would be different, but the more she waited, the more she felt that she was going through the same predicament. She figured it was better for her to strike first because she was tired of waiting and not knowing.
She felt like she had followed Quinn into this magical forest because she was convinced that Quinn was going to show her the enchanted garden, but the more and more she followed Quinn deeper into the forest, the more lost she became. She got lost a few times before but she managed to pull herself out every time. She was afraid that one day she would be too lost to find her way out. So this time she needed to know for sure, on whether she was ever going to see that garden. If not, she had to leave the forest. What was the worst thing that could happen? Quinn would disappear again? She survived last time; surely she could survive this time around too.
Rachel took a deep breath and put her notepad down. "Are you ever going to make a move?"
Quinn stopped sketching and looked at Rachel confusedly; she wasn't completely sure what Rachel was referring at, although she might have inkling, "What do you mean?"
Rachel breathed out, "Quinn, I don't know what it is that's going on between us. I'm rather confused, with you, with my feelings." Rachel stopped to think, "No, that's not true. I'm sure about my feelings, but I don't know what you're feeling."
Quinn nervously laughed and tried to avoid Rachel's eyes, "I'm not sure what you want me to say."
"Say that you feel something for me. That you want something more out of this."
Quinn was gripping her sketchpad tightly, "Rachel, I don't know what you're talking about."
"Come on Quinn; please don't be coy about this. There's something between us, not just for the past few weeks, but years ago and we both ignored it or pretended it never was, but I can't pretend anymore."
"If it is, then why did you choose to say something now?" Quinn put down her sketchpad and was challenging her.
"Because I can't take this anymore, this push and pull," Rachel looked tired. "I felt so happy after spending the whole day with you but then I would go home every night feeling even worse because I long for something more. It's easier last time because at least we had the distance and … distraction, but I can't help it now with you being this close."
"What, you want me to move?" Quinn looked at her in disbelief.
"That's not what I meant." Rachel was on the edge of her seat. "What I meant … I don't want to fight this anymore, and you shouldn't either." Rachel shook her head, "Well, that's the other thing, sometimes I was so sure that you want me too, but then suddenly you would turn 180 and I didn't know what to think of anymore." Quinn crossed her arms and flopped into the couch. "I want you to want me, and I don't know if you do. I'm so confused with all your signals. One day you're hot, the next day you're cold, one day you look like you want to devour me, then the next you look you can't even stand me. Sometimes I'm not sure if you even like me."
Quinn sniggered, "Oh yeah, if you like me that much all this time, you sure were good at showing it by dating Finn and Brody and Derrick and who knows who else."
"Well, you didn't seem interested anyway. I was single for months and you didn't do anything."
"Oh yeah, those few months that you were single between Brody and Derrick. How many months was it? 3? 4? I didn't know there's a deadline," Quinn said sarcastically.
"It's 7! And no, there's no deadline but if I had known there's a chance, then I would have waited."
Quinn laughed, "Why didn't you make a move then?"
"Because I was afraid that I'm going to lose you!" Rachel blurted out and looked at Quinn intensely. "What if I was wrong and you would think that I was a freak and you would cut yourself off. Well, as it turned out, you did do that." Rachel said straightforwardly. "I tried so hard to understand why you did that. You broke my heart Quinn." Quinn looked at her remorsefully. "I cried for so many nights. And for a long time I was angry at you. Maybe I still do."
Quinn's face hardened, "What? You think that was easy for me? You think I was having a field day?"
"I really don't know how you feel. You never want to talk about it. I didn't understand your intention, your motivation. For all I know, you didn't feel anything."
"Yeah, sure, you think I'm heartless," Quinn scoffed.
"I didn't say that! Stop twisting my words around!" Rachel was getting annoyed.
Quinn stood up and walked around, she felt trapped sitting in one spot. She stopped and looked at Rachel, "You are so selfish and self-absorbed; all you think about is you, about what you want. Have you even considered how this is affecting other people?"
"How is this affecting you? Please tell me, talk to me," Rachel was pleading.
Quinn looked away.
"How am I supposed to understand when you always closed yourself off? All I want to do is to be able to love you and treat you right. Well then yes! I am selfish! Who isn't? Aren't we all just a little selfish for wanting what we desire?" Quinn was still looking the other way. "But Quinn, you're a coward. You want something but you're too afraid to take it."
"You have no idea what I want." Quinn gritted her teeth. "What do you think Rachel? That we're going to ride it off to the sunset? Open your eyes! If you keep looking for that happy ending then you will never get it. You surely won't get it from me. It's never going to happen."
Rachel looked stricken by the tone of Quinn's voice and the finality of the statement.
Quinn softened, "Rachel, you deserved to be happy and to be with someone that can help make all your dreams come true. I'm just not that person."
"Why are you so convinced that you're not?"
"Because that's who I am, I'm a wreck! All I could bring is unhappiness and destruction."
"No Quinn, you're not that person. You make me happy, well, present time not included. But you've also made so many people happy by being in their lives. Look at what you have with Beth."
Quinn tightened her lips, she was fighting back tears.
"You're a lot more than that. Why are you trying so hard to fight this?" Rachel asked.
"Because it is what it is. The world might have changed on the surface, but deep down it's still the same. There are still lots of hatred and intolerance. Rachel, you can't live with worries. Well, I can't live like that," Quinn was shaking her head.
"I have two gay dads. We're pretty okay."
"Fine, you have a perfect life, you have nothing to lose. Well, I have everything to lose."
Rachel looked at Quinn sympathetically, "Are you worried about Beth and your family? I'm sure it's not as bad as you think."
"Rachel, you're so frustrating." Quinn heaved a sigh. "I'm okay with what we have now. What more do you want?" Quinn was getting agitated.
"I want more. Don't you?" Rachel was holding her breath waiting for Quinn to answer her.
Quinn looked at Rachel deeply and said, "No."
Rachel felt that she couldn't breathe. She really needed to get away from the apartment, from Quinn. "I'm sorry Quinn, I can't do this anymore. I can't be around you and not having more, it hurts too much."
"So you're giving me an ultimatum?" Quinn couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"No. I'm trying to protect myself." Rachel quickly packed her stuff. As she was about to walk out the door she turned around and said, "Goodbye Quinn."
She managed to make her way downstairs, got into a cab, and even made her way back to her apartment without shedding a tear, although she looked like a zombie. She quickly opened her door, stepped into the apartment, and the moment she closed the door, she slumped to the floor and cried.
Meanwhile, Quinn was still standing in her living room, right where Rachel had left her. She was taking deep breaths, trying very hard to control her temper. Everything seemed like a nightmare, she felt like breaking things. She was so angry that tears started flowing down her face. Then she realized what she had just lost and she broke down.