They were both fully occupied with final exams. It was a good thing that both of them were high achievers and wouldn't let that fight interfered with their studies. They both have the same aim, to excel and to get out of Lima. They would occasionally bump into each other in the hallway and exchanged smiles, in the beginning it was forced but as the days progressed, the smiles were also accompanied with longing looks. They knew that somebody had to make the first move, but for now the exams was a priority.
Quinn sometimes thought of texting Rachel in the middle of her study session, but she would type a few words and quickly deleted it. On Wednesday, she decided to give Rachel a 'Good Luck' card; it had a bear holding a heart on the cover. She slipped it into Rachel's locker. Rachel also had the same idea, but Rachel made her own card. She made a Gold Star 'Good Luck' card. Rachel also dropped it into Quinn's locker.
Quinn was pleasantly surprised to get the card. She couldn't stop smiling the whole day. It made the exam week went much smoother, but it also caused her momentary loss of concentration, she would be writing her answers and suddenly her mind would take her to the card and other things. Right after her final paper, she only had one thing in mind. She had to talk to Rachel.
Rachel was happy that the finals were over and the summer break was officially on. She was clearing up her locker when Finn approached her.
"Hey, how's your final paper?" Finn asked.
"I think I did okay. What about you?"
Finn grimaced, "Erm, I hope I pass. Anyway, Puck's having this party tonight at his place to celebrate. Do you want to go?"
Suddenly his facial expression changed and he was looking at a certain direction. Rachel looked at the same direction and saw Quinn was coming her way but her eyes were throwing daggers at Finn.
"Go away." Rachel told Finn quietly.
"What?" Finn was hurt.
"Sorry Finn, but if you want to be my friend, you have to go away, now!" Rachel almost gritted her teeth.
Finn let out a heavy breath, but he nodded and walked away.
Rachel tried to act natural and continued to clear up her locker, and after a few seconds that felt like hours, Quinn finally stood next to her. Rachel waited for Quinn to say something but she remained quiet, so she chanced a glance and saw Quinn looked like she was debating on what to say. Finally she heard Quinn cleared her throat.
"Hi." Quinn said.
"Hi," Rachel gave a short smile.
She didn't say anything again for a few more seconds, and then Rachel heard a quiet sigh, "I'm sorry and I miss you."
Rachel's jaw dropped, but she quickly recovered. "What are you sorry about?"
Quinn bit her lip, "I'm hoping that we can talk about it later tonight. I would love for you to come over for dinner at my house tonight. That is if you're not busy with other things."
"You want me to have dinner with you and your mom?"
"Actually my mom's not going to be there. She had to go to Detroit this afternoon, some emergency with my aunt. She said she might come home tomorrow or Sunday."
"Oh, so just the two of us at your house."
"The whole night."
"I can't stay over, if that's what you think."
"What? No, that doesn't even cross my mind," Quinn quickly said.
"Really?" Rachel was surprised because it clearly crossed her mind the moment Quinn said they would be alone.
Quinn didn't know how to answer that.
"Just kidding, you don't have to answer that," she looked relieved. "Okay."
Quinn smiled, "Great, I can pick you up –"
"It's okay, I'm sure my dads would allow me to drive the car tonight."
Quinn took a pen and paper from Rachel's locker and wrote her address down. She passed the note to Rachel, "Maybe you can come at 6. I'll see you later."
Rachel stood there watching Quinn walked away. She wondered what made Quinn changed her mind. Missing someone could do that to you. She really missed Quinn and she was glad that Quinn made the first move because she was about to go crazy with this loss of contact. She had been hanging on for the past few days because the exams were keeping her busy, but if they were still fighting over the summer, she would have given up and made the first move then.
Rachel arrived a bit after 6. She was never that good with directions. Even with the help of the iPhone maps, she somehow managed to get lost. At the moment she was standing in front of Quinn's house and she felt very nervous. She thought about it, the last time she was alone with Quinn without anyone around was at her house, but then her dad had come home and interrupted them. But this time, there would be no interruption. She felt even more nervous at that thought, but then she reminded why she was there; it was because they needed to talk. The talk could have gone in any direction. And she also reminded herself that even if the talk went on a good direction, nothing would happen tonight except for dinner and talk. With that in mind, she rang the bell. Quinn opened the door after a few seconds.
"Hey," her smile was so bright that Rachel completely forgot that she was still angry at Quinn.
"Hi," her voice almost didn't come out, "this is for you." She gave Quinn a bouquet of flowers.
"Thank you," Quinn took the flowers from Rachel and grabbed her hand to pull her inside. She let go of Rachel's hand for a short moment to close the door, and then grabbed her hand again to show her around the house. Quinn showed Rachel the living room, entertainment room, library, backyard, garden, kitchen, and finally dining room where she pulled over a chair for Rachel to sit.
"I'm going to put these flowers in the vase. Don't go anywhere. Oh, unless if you want to go to the bathroom, which is right down there, the door to your left."
Rachel noticed that Quinn was nervous too, she was talking quite fast when she was showing Rachel all the rooms. It was cute. Quinn came back to put the flowers on the dinner table.
"I hope you're really hungry because I might have cooked too much food."
Then she left again to return with two plates that she set on the table. Quinn took a seat and Rachel was about to say something, but she suddenly stood up.
"Oh hang on, I forgot."
Rachel wondered what she could have forgotten. Quinn dimmed the lights, put two red candles on the table and lighted them. She was about to take a seat when she instantly stood up again.
"Sorry, I forgot one more thing."
She walked to one corner of the room and Rachel saw there's a turntable. She turned it on and the music of Billie Holiday was playing. Quinn was clumsy tonight that Rachel found it to be very endearing. She took her seat again and Rachel was just waiting to see if she was going to stand up again.
"Okay, I think I have everything," she said shyly. "So this is pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts."
"Emm, it sounds good already," Rachel took a mouthful, "Quinn, this is so good."
They both relaxed a bit once they started eating dinner, they talked about their final papers and the results they expected to get. It was a good thing that they were both into academic, because most people would prefer not to talk about exams after the school was over.
After dinner, Quinn cleared the table, she didn't let Rachel helped at all.
"Maybe we can move to the living room. I'll bring the dessert there."
This time Quinn remembered to dim the lights, light the candles and put on the music. Quinn went back to the kitchen and returned with a fondue pot that she set on a smaller table where you were required to sit on the floor. There were a few floor cushions that were already set around the table.
"Vegan chocolate fondue," she said to Rachel that was looking at her questioningly. "Come on, have a seat. I'm going to grab the fruits."
Quinn came back with a fruit bowl that contained strawberries, kiwis, oranges and apples.
"Wow!" Rachel was impressed.
"I think every end of finals should be celebrated with chocolate fondue," Quinn said.
"Yep, totally agree." They both laughed.
They both dipped their fruits into the pot. "So I guess we should talk," Quinn started. "I've been thinking a lot, about what you said, what I said, and … other factors. It sure made it harder to concentrate during study time." She looked at Rachel, "I'm sorry Rachel. I realized that I was wrong to make you choose, to give you some sort of ultimatum. I shouldn't have put you into that position. I should trust you enough that you will always make the right choice."
Rachel smiled warmly at her.
"Having said that, it's still hard for me to see you and Finn, and I may need time for that. Well, at least school's over, so you don't have to see him anymore," Rachel frowned, "I mean until school starts again."
"Quinn, this is Lima, I may still see him on the street or at the mall. Besides, he's still my friend. Maybe he wants to hang out and I can't just abandon him." Quinn gritted her teeth, so Rachel grabbed hold of her hand on the table, "But you always come first."
"Oh, so I just have to see you every day then," Quinn sort of joked.
Rachel laughed, "Don't you have to work this summer?" she said playfully.
"Oh yeah, luckily my mom wasn't as angry as I thought she would be. I think after the whole pregnancy thing, everything seemed mild compared to that. But she's working on a schedule for me this summer. I have to clean different parts of the house every day and do some gardening and groceries shopping and who knows what else, all during the time that she's at work."
"Well, two hands are better than one."
"What? You want to spend your summer doing household chores."
"I want to spend the summer with you," Rachel said softly and they smiled at each other. "By the way, what did you tell her about that whole spending?"
"I said I was trying to impress someone. Then she said why does a girl need to spend money on a boy? I didn't want to correct her. That will be a conversation for another day. So I just said it's the new age, equality and all," Quinn shrugged.
Rachel smiled, but then she licked her lips. She too had things she needed to say.
"I'm sorry too." Quinn looked at her. "I'm sorry that I make you feel that I was taking his side and not yours. I want you to know that I am always on your side, no matter what."
"Even when I'm wrong?"
"Yes, in front of people, but when we're alone, you might be in trouble," Rachel said teasingly and Quinn laughed, but then she put on her serious tone, "I put myself in your place, that if it's you who are still friends with your ex and spending time with him and singing with him, I'd probably do the same thing."
Quinn nodded; it looked like they might have reached an understanding. "So, we're good?"
She ate a strawberry and smiled at Rachel while chewing it slowly. Rachel dipped her apple slice in the sauce and put it in her mouth, all the while looking at Quinn.
"How's your apple?" Quinn's voice had become huskier.
"I wonder how your strawberry tastes like."
"Do want to have a taste?"
Rachel nodded slowly while leaning in to meet Quinn halfway. They kissed slowly, very slowly, that by the end of it, both of them have a mixture of apple and strawberry in their mouth.
"Which one do you like better?"
"I'm not sure. I think I need more tasting to be sure," Rachel smiled seductively.
Quinn dipped a strawberry into the pot and held it in front of Rachel's mouth, but Rachel didn't take it fast enough that some of the chocolate sauce dripped on her chin.
"You're so messy," Quinn said before she licked the sauce off from Rachel's chin. Rachel's eyes turned wild. She was still chewing the strawberry. Then she took a kiwi slice, dipped it and fed it to Quinn. They kissed again, but always stopped before things got too heated. This went on for a while until the bowl was almost empty. They didn't talk much but laughed most of the time.
The kiss was longer this time and Quinn pushed Rachel to lie down on the cushion. She took the last fruit in the bowl, a strawberry, with her fingers and dipped it in the pot, completely covered it with the chocolate sauce. Then she quickly hover it over Rachel's mouth who was about to eat it but Quinn moved it out of reach. Instead she ran the chocolate covered strawberry from Rachel's chest to her neck, then to her chin and straight into her mouth. Rachel took the strawberry and Quinn's fingers into her mouth and sucked her fingers slowly before releasing them. Quinn then ran her thumb on Rachel's lower lip while she kissed and licked the trail of chocolate sauce that she created, right to Rachel's lips. After minutes of long passionate kiss, Quinn pulled away. She closed her eyes and touched their foreheads together while trying to control her breathing. Rachel was also breathing heavily; she kept reminding herself that nothing more should happen tonight.
After their breathing had even out, Quinn opened her eyes and hovered over Rachel. Her fingers played with Rachel's hair and ear. Rachel had never seen her eyes looking like this before, Quinn was looking at her softly and her eyes were full of love, but she didn't want to make that assumption.
"What?" she asked softly.
"Rachel," she felt that she could hear or feel Quinn's heart beating faster, "I love you," Quinn looked almost sad saying it, that she tried looking at her fingers that were playing with Rachel's hair right after she said it.
"Hey," Rachel pulled her face to look at her, "I love you too Quinn."
They both smiled and shared another passionate kiss. When they broke apart, Quinn said, "We both lost this year, we lost Nationals, I lost Prom Queen –"
"But we found each other."
"And that's better than any price in the world."
They looked at each other lovingly.
"You haven't shown me your room," Rachel's tone was seductive and also hopeful.
"You want to see my room?"
Rachel stood up and held her right hand for Quinn to take, "Please show me."
Quinn blew off the candles and took hold of Rachel's hand. Rachel pulled her up and together they walked hand in hand to her room.
Author's Notes: Thank you everyone for the wonderful reviews. I'm sure some might not be happy with the happy ending, but I'm a sucker for happy ending, how could I let my girls suffer! :-D