Well this is out a little faster than normal. I truly hope all of you enjoy this chapter. The ride is almost over. Only one more chapter to go, and I'll warn you that it will be kinda on the short side (I think). And now please enjoy.
Quinn stretched as she woke up. Today was her big day and she couldn't be any more excited. A large hand slid across Quinn's stomach and pulled her into a toned chest. The blonde snuggled into the warmth, and made a note to turn the air conditioner down.
"Are you ready for your West Coast debut?" A gravelly voice asked.
"Mmmmm, I am as ready as I'll ever be. Hopefully the reception here will be just as positive as it was back on the East Coast. I'm so glad that we were able to move out here to be by San and Brit. It really means a lot to me that I get to watch my goddaughter grow up. I don't know what my life would be like without you. " Quinn turned around and kissed her husband of three years, "I love you."
"And I love you Darling," the man replied before leaving the bed to get dressed.
Quinn followed suit and began to prepare for her busy day. If you had asked her eight years ago, when she was graduating high school, where she would be now, the blonde wouldn't have been able to guess this. After a successful trek through Yale the blonde had moved to New York to live with her best friends. Brittany had just finished Julliard while Santana graduated at the top of her class from Columbia.
For the first couple years it was ideal. Sure sometimes Quinn felt like the third wheel, but there was no doubt that the three of them loved each other. They were best friends for life in the truest sense of the words.
As Santana and Brittany's fame in the music and dancing industry began to pick up, the increased income allowed Quinn the chance to pursue something she had always loved, art. Thanks to the duo Quinn was able to launch a career as a very well-known and sought out photographer instead of the dusty lawyer she had planned out.
It was on the opening night of her Gala in New York when Quinn met him. He was devastatingly handsome, tall and dark. He was a dream come true and all he had eyes for was Quinn. It was no surprise that she quickly fell for him. It was almost as if he was made for her, never getting upset when she woke late at night needing to wander around New York taking pictures. He was always supportive and encouraged the blonde to follow her dreams no matter what.
A year into their relationship saw big changes in Quinn's life. They got married, and her best friends moved to L.A. to further their careers in the industry. Quinn was ecstatic for the couple, but remained in New York where her work was.
It was only a couple years later that Quinn received the call. Santana was expecting and they wanted her to be their child's godmother. Quinn talked it over with her oh so perfect husband and three months later they were settling into their brand new house in L.A.
Which brings us to the Gala that Quinn is freaking out over. This would make or break her career on the West Coast. She had always known what New Yorkers would like, but now she was unsure and it was killing her.
When the blonde finally made it downstairs she was not surprised at all to see Santana sitting at the breakfast bar eating what Brittany was cooking. It was odd, and probably always would be, to see the bulged belly that Santana was sporting though.
"Hey chica," Santana said spotting Quinn, "Ready for your show tonight? It's going to be great, even better than the first one."
Quinn laughed and gave her unusually nice friend a hug before moving to sneak some bacon off the plate Brittany was using. It got her a slap on the hand, but she ate her prize with a smile.
"I'm as ready as I can be. Hopefully everything will go smooth tonight and I'll sell a few pieces. I really want to do well out here. It's nice living so close to you guys again."
"Something just didn't feel right when you were so far away." Brittany spoke up as she set a finished plate down before Quinn. "It was like there was this giant hole in me and it really hurt, but now that you're here it's back down to its normal size?"
"Normal size?" Quinn and Santana asked at the same time.
The taller blonde nodded as she sat down with her own plate, "Don't you guys ever feel like there's something missing. Like there should be something more in our life? Sometimes it gets so bad that I just have to sit down and cry."
"I know what you mean," Quinn said nodding, "but I feel really bad for feeling that. I mean we have everything that anyone could ever want. We have a roof over our heads, food in our fridges, money in the bank, and we're surrounded by people that love us. I don't know what we could be missing, but I do feel it too."
"Well enough of this sad talk. We have lots to do bitches, so let's get to it." Santana said shoveling some more food in her mouth.
The next several hours were spent making sure that everything was going as planned for the evening, and dealing with a hormonal Santana. Finally it was time for the event and Quinn couldn't be more nervous. She felt like something big was going to happen, but she couldn't figure out what it was.
The Gala started flawlessly that night. It was such an anticlimactic beginning that Quinn felt silly for worrying about it. The people loved her photography, and job offers poured in throughout the night. It was almost as if fate was looking in and guiding these things Quinn's way. How else could you explain getting asked to do the promotional pictures for not one but seven different major films being produced?
Despite all the good things happening Quinn still felt like something was wrong. Now that Brittany had mentioned that huge hole in her soul it was all that Quinn could think about. Being surrounded by the best and brightest of L.A., and her best friends didn't quell the feeling that something very important was missing.
"Are you okay? You're looking a little frowny over here," Brittany said sliding up to Quinn. She slid an arm around the shorter blonde's waist and joined in on the people watching.
"I'm fine B, something just feels a little off. Nothing big though." Quinn replied.
They both watched Santana make her way towards them. At four months pregnant she was big enough that everyone knew, but still small enough to move gracefully. They both smiled as everyone unconsciously moved out of her way. The Latina was large and in charge, and proud of it.
"And what are my lovely blondes up to now? Santana asked when she came up to the duo.
"People watching." Brittany told her wife.
Santana grinned widely fanning herself, "Did you see the small brunette woman wandering around. She's shorter than I am, but Dios her legs go on forever."
"No, I haven't seen anyone who looked like that and I've greeted everyone that was supposed to be here." Quinn informed the pair.
Brittany rubbed the small of Quinn's back, "Maybe she's what making you feel off. It's weird that someone showed up without an invite. I think you should go find her, and make her tell you why she's here.
"Yeah," Quinn said nodding, "Maybe you're right. Hopefully once I find her and figure out why she's here everything will feel better. Thanks for telling me about her."
Quinn gave both her best friends a kiss on the cheek before heading off to find the mysterious interloper.
One minute Rachel was meditating in the ceremony room with the others and the next instant they were gone. They had simply disappeared, and it freaked the princess out. She leapt to her feet and tried to figure out what happened. Her powers were working just fine, and they acted as if the other three had never been there at all.
Rachel paced the room trying to figure out what had happened. She didn't want to leave the room because she knew she wasn't supposed to. The worried girl prayed that this was all a part of the test and that nothing bad had happened to them.
All of the sudden the door opened and a maid walked in. Rachel didn't recognize the girl, and moved to scold her. When the brunette reached for the maids arms, her hand went right through. The princess understandably freaked out and started really trying to get the maids attention. It wasn't every day that you became insubstantial and invisible, which she must be since the maid didn't even bat an eye.
The princess fled the room and ran to the waiting chambers. That was where he parents should have been waiting for the ritual to end, it was empty. Everywhere was empty and dusty. It was as if no one had walked the halls of her home in years. This scared the girl more than she wanted to admit, even if it was only to herself.
Rachel wandered the halls looking for anything that would tell her what was happening. As time passed she became more disheartened as she found a surprising lack of people. The palace should have been buzzing with activity, and it was practically dead around the princess.
Rachel made her way to one of the towers that faced the city. What she saw there frightened her. The city surrounding the castle was in ruins. There didn't look to be anything living out there. The Forrest had reclaimed the land, and the Pari had not fought back. As Rachel surveyed the land she turned her attention to the castle itself. It was also in ruins and showed signs of many battles. War might explain what the girl was seeing, but she still didn't understand. The land had been in a decades long peace when she started the ritual, how could this have all happened. Rachel tore out of the tower and ran all the way to the throne room. She was terrified of what she would find there.
Her worst fears were realized when she tore through the door. Jessie of the Serric family was on the thrown, and he didn't seem fazed at all by the state of the kingdom. In fact he was overseeing the removal of all the royal artifacts.
"What do you think you're doing?" Rachel screamed at the boy. "You can't remove those, they have to stay. The Forrest is going to reclaim all of the land. Where will the people live? Stop it, stop it, stop it!"
No one heard her as she screamed for them to stop. They were taking all the things given to the rulers from the Forrest itself. They were symbols of a peace they had, a treaty of sorts to live on and protect the lands. Removing them effectively nulled this contract forcing all those dwelling in this Forrest to become homeless.
Lost Rachel headed back to where the nightmare had started; the ritual room. When she got there it was as bare as the rest of the castle, everything had been stripped. She knelt in the middle of the room and finally let her tears fall. Rachel didn't know what she had done wrong, but it was obvious to her that she had failed the ritual and the Pari had paid for it.
Rachel didn't know how long she sat there crying before she felt a presence enter the room. The distraught girl spun around to confront whoever it was that entered the room, even if they wouldn't be able to hear her. What she saw shocked the girl speechless, which is quite hard to do.
Rachel's mother glided towards the girl, and gently cupped her face, "My dear little one, you should not be so sad. Be strong as I know you are, as I know you will be."
"Who are you? You are not my mother." Rachel cried pulling away when she felt the cold touch on her skin.
"Dear, dear little one, I am your mother as much as the woman who gave birth to you. Through me you are possible. Through me you will change everything. You are going to be one of the legends, talked of forever. Your legacy will span all of my life, for I have made it possible. My child, I am the Forrest and you are my champion."
"I don't understand. I failed the test. Everyone, everything is gone. How can I be your champion? How can you be the Forrest?" Rachel asked, pacing in front of the smiling woman.
"Dear one, you have not failed for you have not started. This is merely a taste of what will come to be should you fail the real test, but I have faith in you. I have faith that you will accomplish the tasks set before you, not only in this test but throughout your life. I have waited a millennium for the stars to align and when they did they brought me you. You must find your love and win her heart once again."
Rachel threw up her hands and growled frustrated, "I already did that."
The Forrest chuckled, "This time it will be different. This time it will be more important. The sun rises and the sun falls. You must win her heart before the sun rises again or you will never do the same, though I take pity on the humans. Rest easy knowing that you're failure will not destroy those you hold so dear, only your entire race." With that the entity vanished.
Quinn stormed around the party unreasonably upset. She wanted to find this interloper that had crashed her party and rip her a new one. No one crashed Quinn's party without paying for it. These little soirées weren't open to the public, and Quinn wanted a chance to confront the intruder before she called security.
Finally Quinn found the small brunette that she didn't recognize. Thankfully the woman was facing the other way because Quinn needed a moment to catch her breath. There was something heartbreakingly familiar about the woman, and the blonde had only seen her from behind. Quinn steeled herself against the unfamiliar emotions so that she could continue on her original mission.
"What do you think you're doing here? This is an invitation only party, and you were not invited."
The brunette turned around, and her smile at seeing Quinn nearly lit up the room, "Quinn, oh Quinn."
Quinn waited for the shorter woman to continue, but she seemed content at taking a moment to drink in the sight of an ever increasingly confused blonde.
"Do I know you?"
"Yes, but you don't know you know me yet. I have to remind you," The mysterious woman rambled, "I thought I had lost you, but here you are. I know everything will be okay with you by my side."
"Whoa, slow your horses. I have no idea who you are, and I don't plan on finding out. You're a lot weirder than I thought you were going to be. I'm just going to call security so they can escort you out of here." Quinn said backing off a little.
"Is everything okay?" A bright and airy voice asked.
Quinn didn't have to turn around to know that Brittany, the speaker, and Santana had found her. Quinn felt relieved now that they were there. She knew that there was nothing that she couldn't do with them by her side.
"Brittany! Santana! You guys are all together. I had so dearly hoped that even without me in your life you guys would still be together."
Quinn stepped in front of her friends, "Okay crazy lady, we're going to stop this show right now. Obviously you need some help, and you need to find it somewhere else."
Brittany stuck her hand out from behind Quinn's back, "Hi! You seem to already know me, but I'm afraid I've forgotten you."
The woman shook the extended hand, "Oh, well I'm Rachel. You do know me, but we're in a test right now that made you forget. It's okay, not your fault."
The other two were confused by the small woman, but Brittany was too occupied by the feelings Rachel gave her to hear her words. That emptiness that she had felt for so long, to one that had finally shrunk to normal with Quinn moving to L.A., was finally gone. It was as if it had never existed at all.
Quinn quickly snatched Brittany's hand back and snarled at the interloper, "Don't you dare touch her. We don't know you, and there is no test."
Rachel pulled her hand back and looked so sad it started to pull on Quinn's heartstrings, "I know that you feel as if this were real, in fact if we fail this test it will be real. You'll be stuck in this reality far from where you were destined to be, but it is not real. What is real is us. The feelings we have for each other, all of us. I have known you three for such a short period of time, but you mean so much to me. I know you felt it Brittany, felt the completion of your soul. For so long I walked around with a piece of myself missing; that is until I found you three. Please fight hard to hear what I am saying. Hear me and make your choice because time is running out."
A tall dark man with brunette hair made his way towards the group. He caught the tail end of Rachel's speech as he slipped his arm around his wife's wais. "Is everything okay dear? You three seem so serious. You guys should enjoy the party. Everyone here loves your work, their asking after you. Just relax and take a deep breath, everything is going great."
"Wait, what do you mean three?" Quinn asked looking over at Rachel then back at her husband.
The man felt the blonde's forehead, "Are you feeling okay? We can start wrapping this up if you're not."
The three women looked between the two brunettes confused before Quinn spoke up, "No, I'm fine. I think I just had a little too much to drink. I'm going to step outside for a few minutes to clear my head. Can you handle everything in here?"
"Of course," the man said before kissing his wife and heading over to a couple he knew from his visits.
Quinn grabbed the confused couple's arms and indicated with her head that the smaller woman should follow her. The blonde led them to a secluded room where no one would be able to see them. She had to admit that her husband not being able to see Rachel had given a measure of credence to a story that was otherwise unbelievable.
"You have some serious explaining to do," Quinn said once she had shut the door, "Why couldn't my husband see you?"
All three noticed the crestfallen look on Rachel's face, "Your husband? I didn't realize that you would be married. That doesn't matter though, he can't see me because I'm, well technically I am dead, or I will be. This is all a part of a quest we had to undergo to see if we were fit rulers for my kingdom. If we fail the test then I die, but you three will continue living this fabricated life."
Santana and Quinn looked at each other than looked at Rachel like she was crazy. The princess could admit to herself that it did sound really crazy. Brittany surprised them all by stepping forward and taking Rachel's hands.
She looked at her wife and best friend and declared, "I don't know what's going on, and I don't think I will no matter how long you talk about it. I do know that with her here I feel complete. That hole in my soul that I was telling about earlier was gone the moment she touched my hand. I may not know a lot of stuff that you guys do, but I know a lot more about this then you probably ever will. Sorry, but it's true. Feelings are kinda my thing, and I know that what I feel with Rachel here is complete and happy."
"How do we know that this is real though?" Santana grumpily asked. She believed her wife, but that didn't mean that she had to like it.
Rachel gave Brittany a grateful smile. She had been instrumental in getting this far, it shouldn't have been a surprise that she would be the key to a successful ritual. Rachel looked around at the other two that she had to convince and it suddenly came to her.
"You're right Santana. How do you know if this is real or not? Well, I can guarantee that if this is in fact real that seeing this through will lead to all of us returning to the real world. On the other hand, if it is not real than nothing will happen. You all will continue on with your life and most likely forget about me. What harm could there be in believing me. All I want is you to believe that I am someone you care and love about, believe in the feelings that you are having. That is all I ask of and nothing more." Rachel told them stepping closer to Quinn while holding onto Brittany's hand.
Quinn gulped and finally admitted to herself that she was feeling something for this woman. Something she had never felt before, not even with her husband. It was as if the brunette was a magnet pulling her in. Quinn went over what was said and could not find a flaw in the logic. If this was meant to happen, and she was meant to be with the brunette then why not give a try.
Quinn leaned in and closed the distance before gently kissing Rachel. The familiarity of it began to sink in as the kiss grew more passionate. Unbeknownst to the couple they had been transported from L.A. back to the ritual room.
"Oh wow you guys are on fire," Penetrated the fog filled brains of Quinn and Rachel.
"I know we're hot B, but what did we say about watching?" Quinn smirked as she rested her head against her mates.
"Um, that I can't cause then it would be weird, but I meant you're really on fire." Brittany said pointing to the long sleeve of Rachel's ceremonial robe.
"Oh!" was all Rachel said before using her powers to put out the flame and then kissing her mate happy to still be alive.