Summary: Rachel finds out about Santana and Quinn's hook-up the night of the wedding. Quinn finds out about Rachel's pregnancy scare. A few new things come into light for everyone involved.
Part One: That Which We Come To Know
It was on a Wednesday night, as Rachel was resting against one arm of the living room couch with her legs spread out across the rest of the space watching re-runs of Who's The Boss?, that the truth came out.
Kurt was out with Adam for the evening, and Rachel was running over lines of a stage adaptation of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, which she had every intention of showing to Santana the second the girl walked through the door. She'd been feeling like a complete bitch ever since she and Kurt tossed Santana out of the apartment over the whole Brody debacle; after all, Santana had been so supportive and caring, genuinely only trying to look out for her and be a good friend to Rachel, and Rachel had kicked her to the curb. Quite literally, in fact.
Santana, for her part, had shown remarkable forgiveness and maturity when Rachel and Kurt had apologized profusely and all but begged her to move back in and come home. Santana kept insisting that she and Rachel were cool, but there was still that little knot of guilt that tightened in the diva's stomach every so often.
Rachel, lost in her thoughts, completely missed the sound of the door sliding open and someone coming in (which, you know, they live in New York City, so that's probably not very safe) until someone tapped her foot. She looked up to see Santana standing at the foot of the sofa, looking at her quizzically. She smiled a weak smile, a silent plea for Santana not to ask because she didn't particularly want to dredge it up right now, and pulled her legs closer to her so Santana could sit down.
"Hey, how was work?" she asked, trying her best not to sound as exhausted as she actually was.
Santana smirked knowingly. "You know. I sang, I danced, I waited tables, I managed to restrained myself from pouring a drink over this one asshole's head," the Latina said, taking a seat and pulling Rachel's legs straight across her lap again. "Spears is playing at Madison in May, by the way. Maybe we could think about going?"
Rachel smiled at how comfortable it was to just relax with Santana Lopez like this. "Yeah, that'd be fun," she said.
As she was fiddling with her phone, probably answering a text message, Santana asked, "You want me to make dinner? You look like you've been bench pressing U-Hauls all day, and Kurt said this morning that he wouldn't be home until later." She set the phone on the edge of the coffee table, and put her feet up next to it.
It was a little disconcerting, though not at all in an unpleasant way, that this had become domesticity for Rachel. Kurt Hummel and, more unbelievably, Santana Lopez, were her roommates in a decently comfortable loft apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City, NY; and what was more than that, they were– as Santana had stated– a family here. The three of them were all single children in their families (barring Finn in Kurt's case) and they were all dramatic, secretly over-sensitive, and somewhat ill-tempered people at times; but, after growing up feeling lonely as an only child, Kurt and Santana felt oddly like the siblings Rachel had made-believe she had as a child.
She looked at Santana earnestly and said, "Thank you."
"Don't thank me yet, Berry, I'm still getting used to this whole vegan-cooking deal," Santana returned.
As she began to pick up Rachel's feet and move herself out from under them, Rachel caught Santana's wrist. "No. I mean, thank you," she repeated more meaningfully. "I know you're allergic to heart-to-hearts, but thank you for being here for me the last couple of weeks, Santana. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't been here and I'm still so sorry for not believing you about Brody when you were clearly onto something and for throwing you out when you were only trying to look out for me. And now, here you are, having forgiven me for everything with little grudgingness, and taking care of me again." Rachel shrugged, trying to play it down as she added, "You've become one of my best friends, and I love you, Santana. That's all."
Santana sat back down and put Rachel's legs back over her, rubbing the smaller brunette's calves subconsciously. "Look, Rach, I've done some pretty bitchy things to you in the past and you've always looked beyond it and forgiven me without any hard feelings. And besides – and if you repeat this to anyone outside this immediate family, I will deny it to my grave – you are one of my best friends too," Santana returned. "So yeah, I love you too. And all that crap."
This time when she lifted Rachel's legs to leave, she looked questioningly back at the smiling diva. "It okay if I go make dinner now?" Her voice was half-uncomfortable, half-amused and not at all affronting.
"Absolutely," Rachel agreed, pulling her legs back a little so Santana could stand. "Do you need any help?"
"Nah, I got this," Santana replied, pretending to brush dirt off her shoulders. She turned to make for the kitchen, but before she got very far she turned back. "But, uh, if you smell smoke . . . "
"Grab the fire extinguisher and head for the kitchen– got it."
Rachel hummed out a small response and picked up the TV remote to turn it to something other than Tony Danza and Judith Light, but as she did, Santana's phone began to buzz and Rachel accidentally knocked it off its precarious perch on the edge of the coffee table. Rachel dove to pick it up, but dropped it again as it slipped through her fingers. She took a deep breath and grabbed it again, this time managing to actually lift it, but she felt it hum slightly, signifying that a button had been pressed.
She turned the phone over and nearly dropped it shock when her eyes unintentionally skimmed the words. Rachel held the phone tightly and read the words more carefully in shock.
Quinn: It was a '2-time thing' rmbr? B never needs 2 kno that we slept 2gether the wedding. What happened w/ us, didnt mean what it means btwn U & Brit. U 2 R MFEO.
Rachel wasn't sure why, but it felt like someone had punched her in the stomach upon reading those words. Quinn and Santana? Santana and Quinn? How could they have had sex? Logistically speaking, Rachel knew how, but why would they? Santana was still in love with Brittany and, yes, Brittany was technically with Sam, but Santana had always fought for Brittany. Never before had Santana fallen into bed with Quinn because of it. And Quinn was as straight as they came. What the hell was going on?
She realized with a start that the words on the screen were shaking and blurring, and at first Rachel feared she'd damaged Santana's phone. Then she realized that the only thing damaged was herself; her hands were shaking like she was having a seizure and tears had somehow begun to pool in her brown eyes without her knowledge.
"Hey, Rachel, dinner's ready. I made–" Santana stopped abruptly when Rachel looked up to meet her gaze with a broken expression. "Hey," she said in a suddenly soft tone, moving quickly to sit down next to Rachel's weeping form. "What's wrong? What happened?" Santana tried to pull Rachel into her, as she had the night Rachel had confided in her about the girl's pregnancy scare, but Rachel jerked out of her grasp and stumbled to her tiny feet.
"You lied to me," Rachel snapped in a dangerously low voice.
Rachel's molten mocha eyes rose to meet Santana's dark gaze, and Santana could see the mix of anger, anguish, and betrayal in them. "You lied to me!" Rachel yelled, suddenly letting the anger win out over her other emotions. She took Santana's phone and threw it at her, unconcerned whether the impact would hurt either Santana or her phone. "You lied to me, you told me nothing happened the night of Mr. Schue's wedding, that you chilled for a bit and then you went back to your hotel room to sleep."
"I did!" Santana cried in answer, oblivious to why Rachel had gone from loving to livid in no time flat.
"Sure, you just forgot to mention the part where you went back to your hotel room to sleep with Quinn!" Rachel yelled angrily.
Santana's eyes widened and she fumbled to look at her phone, which she had managed to catch between her forearms and her chest moments ago. When she saw the message on the screen, her eyes got even wider. "Rachel . . ." she began, not knowing how to answer to the brunette's obvious fury.
"I thought you cared about me more than this! I thought you were my friend!"
"You know what? I don't even want to know. Just . . . screw you, Santana!" the tiny brunette screamed angrily, before storming into her room and slamming the door shut so hard that a picture frame fell off the wall and shattered across the floor just as Kurt burst in with Adam in tow.
"What the hell just happened?" Kurt exclaimed in alarm. Both his and Adam's mouths were open in shock.
Santana stood frozen in place, staring numbly at Rachel's closed door. "I have no. fucking. clue."
After Kurt had slid the door closed after Adam, he turned back to Santana with still-wide eyes and stage-whispered conspiratorially, "WHAT is going on here?"
Santana, who sat at the kitchen table with her head in her hands, looked up to the boy and winced. "I honestly don't know, Kurt. One minute Rachel and I are laughing and having a good ol' fashioned, girly heart-to-heart as amigas, I go into the kitchen to make dinner, I come back in to tell Rachel it's done, and she's sitting there crying," Santana summarized in a low voice. "I try to ask her what's wrong and she freaks out, says that I've been lying to her. She throws my phone at me and I looked at it and there's a text from Quinn. I try to explain and she blows up."
"She read a message that Quinn sent to you?" Kurt asked in surprise. "That doesn't sound like Rachel. I mean, she has a tendency to snoop sometimes, but not like this."
"I get the feeling that she didn't mean to read it at all," Santana said quietly. "All you have to do to unlock my phone is brush your finger over the screen, then the button to open a message is kind of right there. I've accidentally opened a text message before on my phone."
Kurt paused thoughtfully, as if deliberating on something and finally relenting. "What did the message from Quinn say, if you don't mind my asking?"
Santana took her phone off the table beside her and opened it up to the troublesome message that had started all this. She handed the phone to Kurt and watched his face carefully for a reaction. A knowing look took over his features, but otherwise he didn't react at all and simply handed the phone back.
"You don't look shocked," she noted.
"I had my suspicions after Quinn's hands slipped just a little too low when you were slow dancing together, and then the two of you disappeared around the same time that evening. Besides, Santana, you are not the only one with eyes and a rather well-tuned gaydar," he replied, keeping his voice still quiet.
"Q's not gay, Kurt."
Kurt took a sip of the coffee he had prepared for himself. "No, she's not. But she was certainly acting like it that night," he parried. "Besides, being her best friend, you must have noticed that Quinn's sexuality is not entirely unquestionable either."
"Barring recent sexual encounters, we also both know that that question generally seems to crop up only in certain instances," Santana added.
"You don't think . . . ?" Kurt said.
"I don't know, but I think if I want to go to bed tonight without being paranoid that Rachel will stab me in my sleep, then I'd better find out fast," Santana answered.
"Q, it's S, and before you delete this message, you should know that I'm not looking for a repeat performance of V-Day or anything. Actually, it's– I'm calling about Rachel. Look, something's up and I need your help. She needs you. And I know that you and I haven't spoken since that night, but you're my girl, Q– my best friend– and we're both Rachel's girls. Look, we can talk about what happened or we can pretend that it never did, it's totally up to you. Just . . . come to New York, or at the very least, just call me back. Please, and you know how I hate saying that word. Well, okay then . . . yeah . . . so . . . love ya, bitch. Call me back. Bye."
"Are you seriously freezing me out over this?" Santana demanded, her hands braced on the back of a kitchen chair as she leaned forward. When Rachel didn't respond Santana continued with more frustration, "I don't even get what the big deal is, Berry! So seriously, just explain it to me."
Rachel continued to ignore her. Santana groaned in frustration just as there was a knock on the door. The Latina looked pointedly at her pint-sized friend. "Fine. You don't wanna talk to me? Maybe you'll listen to her," Santana ranted as she slid the loft door open to reveal Quinn Fabray.
Brown doe-eyes widened to their fullest extent as Rachel shot out of her seat at the kitchen table. She looked from the unknowing expression on Quinn's beautiful face, then to Santana will barely concealed rage. "You invited Quinn?" the diva asked in a voice that was dangerously low and even. "I can't freaking believe you, Santana! What? Is she here to partake in laughing with you at my expense? You know, I really thought you had changed since high school, but the two of you are the same lying, manipulating, vindictive, coldhearted girls hiding behind pretty faces." The anger drained off her face, leaving behind only disappointment and betrayal. "I'm done with you," she said calmly. Then she looked at Quinn and added, "Both of you."
The two watched as Rachel Berry proceeded, not to storm out, but to simply walk coolly to the door and slip past Quinn into the hallway and disappear.
For her own part, Santana had been expecting a much bigger and more dramatic eruption than what Rachel had exhibited, and was left dazed and startled by the anti-climatic occurrence. She stood there for a moment and so did Quinn.
Quinn sighed finally and shook her head as she looked at Santana. "What did you do?" she asked in exasperation, as if she had asked the Latina this a million times over the years.
"This time?" Santana began, dropping into Rachel's vacated seat and rubbing her face stressfully. "I tried to get her to talk to me about why she's been so loco since she found out about us sleeping together."
As Quinn was taking a seat across from Santana, her eyes widened and her head snapped to look at her best friend. "You told her?! Santana! Why would you do that?!"
"I didn't tell her, Legally Blonde! Near as I can figure, she accidentally opened the last text you sent me before I called you," Santana explained, grabbing her phone and opening the message to show it to Quinn.
The blonde's face turned horror-stricken. "Oh my God," she uttered, allowing herself to fall against the back of the kitchen chair. "Oh my God," she repeated numbly. "Who else knows?"
Just as Santana opened her mouth to answer, the apartment door slid open and both girls looked anxiously to the door, only to see Kurt walk in with a disturbed expression on his face. He looked from Santana to Quinn, unsurprised. "I ran into Rachel in the lobby. Are you trying to provoke Rachel into murdering you in your sleep?" He looked to the blonde, "Hi, Quinn. I assume Santana called you here to talk about how the news of your Valentine's Day rendezvous has been affecting Rachel?"
Quinn literally face-palmed. "So now what?"
While Santana shrugged, she eyed her long-time on-and-off best friend, and it was like a light bulb went off in Quinn's head. She stood up suddenly. "I have to go find Rachel," she said, starting for the door. She only stopped when Santana caught her wrist.
"Wait, there's more that you should know," Santana told her, "and you're gonna want to sit down for this." Santana looked to Kurt, a silent plea for him to help her explain everything, and the boy nodded and sat down at the table as well.
Santana and Kurt went through everything that had been happening recently. Santana told Quinn about Rachel's pregnancy scare ("And you didn't call me?" Quinn had demanded). Kurt told her about Santana's suspicion that Brody was a drug-dealer ("And again you didn't call me? We could have taken him down together, Santana!"), and finally finding out that he was a male prostitute and calling Finn to beat him up ("You called Finn Hudson but you didn't call me? I would have kicked his ass too, you know!"). By the end of it all, Quinn looked like someone had punched her in the stomach. She rested her elbows on the tabletop and put her head in her hands.
"Are you gonna be okay, chica?" Santana asked worriedly after a long weighted silence. When Quinn didn't respond, she went on to ask, "Are you really mad at me?"
With her head still resting in her hands, Quinn answered, "No. No, I'm not mad at you, Santana." She let out a shaky sigh and finally looked up to her best friend with red eyes. "I'm mad at myself. I've been so caught up in my own life and Yale, so confused about what happened between us . . . that I've been losing my closest friends and I didn't even realize it until now."
"Welcome back, bitch," Santana said, grinning with relief.
"We've missed this Quinn," Kurt added, putting his hand over Quinn's on the table.
Quinn cleared the lump of emotion from within her throat. "Um, do either of you know where Rachel might have gone? I do want to find her and talk to her."
Kurt smiled and reached into his pocket to find his student ID card and hand it to Quinn. "She's probably in the dance studio at NYADA. Just take my ID card and you can get yourself into the building. Spacey Hall. It'll be room 347, on the third floor," he instructed. "Do you want one of us to go with you?"
"No," Quinn said with certainty. "One-on-one has always been Rachel's and my style. I'll be okay."
Kurt nodded and stood, bending down to kiss Quinn on the top of her head and whisper, "I'm proud of you, Quinn Fabray", before walking into the other room. For the first time, Quinn and Santana were left entirely to their own devices.
"Quinn," Santana said to get her attention. The blonde's face lifted to look at her, and Santana continued, "Look, I don't wants to add insult to injury here, but there's something I gots to say to you." She paused. "I don't regret sleeping with you. Actually, I'm glad it was me that you decided to test-drive lady-loving with, instead of hooking up with some random at a frat party one drunken night. So I don't want to forget about it, but like I said in my voicemail message, you're my best friend and I want it to stay that way, if that's cool with you."
Quinn smirked that little half-smile that she wore when she was genuinely at ease. "I think I'll survive," she replied cheekily.
Santana laughed and stretched her arms wide. "Hug it out?"
"Sure, why not?"
As she held Santana closely, Quinn couldn't help but point out, "Living with Rachel and Kurt is turning you soft, Lady Badass."
Santana pulled back with an earnest look on her face. "I'm starting to think that that isn't such a bad thing, Q. But I can still be badass when I need to be."
Quinn laughed and quickly gave Santana another hug before grabbing Kurt's card off the table. "I'm going to go find Rachel. I'll be back soon," she said.
Just before Quinn went out the door, Santana called after her, "Go get her, girl!"
True to Kurt's word, Rachel was in the studio, putting all of her anger and heartache into trying to perfect the moves Cassandra July had been instructing the class in most recently. By the fifth time she'd fallen to the hardwood floors of the dance hall, Rachel was so frustrated that she could have broken every mirror in the entire room. Considering two out of the four walls were constructed of floor-to-ceiling reflective glass, that was a lot of mirrors to smash.
As she struggled to push herself back to her feet, Rachel caught sight of herself in the mirror. "Come on, Berry, just catch your breath, get up, and try again," she told herself. With one last heave, she got to her feet, marching toward the mirror as she opened her mouth to sing:
"I don't wanna be left behind
Distance was a friend of mine
Catching breath in a web of lies
I've spent most of my life
Riding waves, playing acrobat
Shadowboxing the other half
Learning how to react
I've spent most of my time
Catching my breath, letting it go,
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know, this is my life,
I won't be told what's supposed to be right
Catch my breath, no one can hold me back,
I ain't got time for that
Catch my breath"
Rachel listened to the melody in her head, her heart pumping wildly in time to it. She could hear the shift, the change of songs, and feel them merge together.
"Funny how the heart can be deceiving
More than just a couple times
Why do we fall for it so easy?
Even when it's not right
Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame"
"Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned"
Rachel's voice cut off when she heard another's voice, and she turned to see Quinn walking cautiously toward her as she sang:
"But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try, try, try
You always get up and try, try, try"
Quinn circled with Rachel, both of them moving in time with the other's footsteps. It was a dance they felt like they'd been doing for the entirety of their acquaintanceship. They had always been circling each other, be it subconsciously or consciously, and now it was coming to a head. This was where four years of buildup led to– two girls and a mash-up. Rachel locked eyes with Quinn as she continued:
"Ever worry that it might be ruined
And does it make you wanna cry?
When you're out there doing what you're doing
Are you just getting by, by, by?"
The diva took hurried, forceful steps toward the blonde, like she was going to walk right over her, as the lyrics kept bursting out of her.
"Tell me are you just getting by, by, by
Catching my breath, letting it go,
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know, this is my life,"
Quinn held her hand out to Rachel, but the girl simply strutted right by the blonde. Rachel spun around quickly to face Quinn, whose eyes had been following Rachel's movements.
"I won't be told what's supposed to be right!
Catch my breath, no one can hold me back,
I ain't got time for that
Catch my breath, won't let them get me down,
It's all so simple now"
By that point, Quinn was more than ready to jump back into the musical fray that Rachel seemed intent on having out. Well, if Rachel Berry wanted a vocal knock down drag out, then Quinn would always give Rachel exactly what she needed.
Rachel began singing along with Quinn, their melody and harmony blending the songs together the way a true mash-up was supposed to sound.
"You helped me see . . ." ("Catching my breath, letting it go. . .")
"The beauty. . ." ("Turning my cheek for the sake of the show. . .")
". . . in ev-ery-thi-ing!" ("Now that you know, this is my life...")
"I won't be told what's supposed to be right!
Catching my breath, letting it go,"
"Turning my cheek for the sake of the show" ("Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flame")
"Now that you know, this is my life," ("Where there is a flame, someone's bound to get burned")
"I won't be told what's supposed to be right" ("You gotta get up and try, try, try")
"Catch my breath"
The song came to a finish and Quinn was expecting Rachel to finally explode, like she had obviously been holding herself back from doing back at the loft. She was pleasantly surprised to see the faintest of tired smiles touch Rachel's lips, like the song had been her explosion. Then again, this was Rachel so maybe it was.
"We haven't sang a duet together since junior year," Quinn commented with a smile. "I think therapeutic mash-ups are kind of becoming our thing."
"You had sex with Santana," Rachel stated, as if commenting on the weather. It was completely unexpected and it took even Quinn's sharp mind a moment to catch up.
"Yes," the blonde admitted finally. "I had sex with Santana." She paused, contemplating her next move like the strategist that she was. "You thought you might be pregnant and your boyfriend turned out to be a male escort," she returned as politely as possible given what she was saying. "Looks like we've both been hiding skeletons in our closets. What I don't understand is why you told Santana you thought you could be pregnant, but you never said a word to me?"
Rachel was looking down at her fidgeting fingers. She mumbled something that Quinn couldn't hear.
"Say that a little louder, Rach? I couldn't hear you."
"I said, I didn't want you to find out!" Rachel exclaimed, her voice a little too loud now. Rachel got to her feet and began pacing, and Quinn let her because she knew that this was– aside from singing– how Rachel worked things out. "I never told Santana either. She found the test at the bottom of the bathroom trash when she was rifling through the apartment trying to find dirt on Brody. It was bad enough seeing the look on her face when I broke down crying after she confronted me about it, basically confirming her assumptions, because little 'man-hands-treasure-trail- RuPaul' Rachel Berry might have gotten herself knocked up!" Quinn winced at Rachel's harsh tone before the little diva finally simmered down. "I couldn't handle your disappointment of me on top of hers and Kurt's. I didn't want anyone to know."
"Rachel," Quinn said in a soft voice, catching the brunette's hand in both of hers. Rachel looked down at her tearfully. "When I was pregnant, even when you found out about Beth's real paternity, did you ever judge me?"
"I didn't really have any right to, especially after outing you and Puck to Finn," Rachel replied quietly.
"I could never be disappointed in you, Rachel Berry. Even now . . . I'm only disappointed that you didn't feel like you could call me and tell me about it," Quinn said, still holding onto Rachel's small hand. "And it wouldn't have been your fault if you had been pregnant. I would have been there for you no matter what. I'm still here for you no matter what."
"Why?" Rachel asked plainly.
Quinn's brow furrowed in confusion, suddenly feeling like she had missed a step. "Why what?"
Rachel sighed with defeat, her shoulders slumping as she went to sit down on a bench against the wall nearby the piano. She looked up at Quinn with brown eyes that shone with hurt. "Why did you sleep with Santana? Why Santana?"
Letting out a sigh of her own, Quinn walked over to sit on the piano bench, facing Rachel. "Because I was curious and tipsy and honestly feeling pretty conflicted, and because she's Santana, my lesbian best friend who I felt safe enough to . . . experiment with," Quinn explained. She let out a humorless chuckle, "Wow, hearing it out loud, it sounds like such an excuse." She turned her head to Rachel. "But it's the truth."
From the moment the words left Quinn's mouth, she knew she'd said something wrong, because Rachel's posture was suddenly even more ramrod straight than usual and immediately whatever warmth and affection they'd been sharing moments ago was now gone. Quinn didn't get it. She herself had been incredibly hurt by finding out that Rachel had been keeping secrets from her, and maybe at one point in her life she might have treated Rachel to the same iciness that the girl was now exhibiting with her, but she had kept a cool head. Why was Rachel being this way? Why did it matter so much to Rachel, when the fact of the matter was that it really hadn't mattered nearly as much to Quinn or Santana?
"I'm glad we've clear all that up, Quinn," Rachel said in an entirely too professional voice. She stood up and walked to the other side of the piano from Quinn. "But if you don't mind, I have more practice to do and–"
"Don't," Quinn snapped, her fuse finally running out. She turned onto her feet and whirled to face Rachel, snarling, "Don't do that! Don't shut me out, Rachel! I can tell when something's bothering you." Her voice turned soft as she pled, "Just talk to me. Be honest with me. Why does my one-night stand with Santana bother you so much? There's no reason for it to!"
That eerily tense and still silence that had first appeared back in the loft returned again, this time with a vengeance. Rachel stared at Quinn until she couldn't hold the blonde's gaze anymore and then she looked away.
The part of her mind that hadn't had all logic derailed by the news of Quinn's 'experimentation', knew that she was being absolutely ridiculous. The feelings of jealousy that were plaguing her were entirely unfounded; Quinn hadn't done anything wrong. Yet Rachel still felt like the blonde had taken her heart and ripped it down the middle and then stomped all over it. She hadn't even told Rachel about it herself; Quinn had left her to find out from an indirect text message.
She felt a jolt of annoyance at the angry tears that sprung to her eyes as she turned to ask Quinn, "Have I ever meant anything to you at all? Or do I mean nothing? A loser that you're only friends with out of some twisted sense of obligation."
Quinn took a step back like Rachel had physically slapped her. She knew all too well what that felt like, and this seemed to hurt even worse than the sting she had felt at Santana's hand. Now she was crying too.
"How can you even ask me that?" she demanded. "Rachel, you're . . . You . . . mean . . . UGH!" Quinn returned to her seat at the piano bench and met Rachel's eyes over the instrument with a glaring intensity, "Just . . . listen, okay?"
Her fingers picked up and familiar tune on the ivory keys and pretty soon there was a song filling the room for the second time that evening. When Quinn's voice layered the air around Rachel with a familiar song, Rachel felt her breath catch in her throat.
"You're a falling star, you're the get away car.
You're the line in the sand when I go too far.
You're the swimming pool, on an August day.
And you're the perfect thing to say."
Quinn contemplated the dangers of singing the next verse and editing the next part out, but found that it fit Rachel too well to be skimmed over. As it were, she mad-libbed it.
"And you talk a lot, but I think it's cute.
And when you sing with me you know exactly what you do.
Baby don't pretend that you don't know it's true.
'Cause you can see it when I look at you."
When her improv elicited a small and begrudging smile from Rachel, Quinn beamed and continued to play and sing with renewed vigor.
"And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you, you make me sing.
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything."
Rachel watched Quinn watch her as she played with her whole heart. Those feelings that had been broiling inside of Rachel for the past couple of days hit a new note, and suddenly things were becoming clearer to Rachel.
Quinn could never know.
"And I can't believe, oh that I'm your friend,
And you care about me, baby, just because you can.
Whatever comes our way, ah we'll see it through,
'Cause you know that's what we always do.
And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you, you make me sing.
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything.
You're every song, and I sing along.
'Cause you're my everything.
It's you, it's you, you make me sing.
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything."
Quinn looked up with imploring eyes. "I don't know a better way to explain it." She finally saw the slightly stunned, far-off look in Rachel's baby browns and tipped her head to the side in confusion. "Are you okay?"
Rachel shook her head out of it. "Yeah. Yeah! I'm– That was . . . " Rachel laughed nervously. "I got it."
She could feel her face and neck heating up. Her breathing was irregular and shallow, like she couldn't catch her breath. Rachel found herself getting lost in the hazel eyes that were watching hers carefully. Oh my Barbra! This CANNOT be happening! How had she never realized it before? Could she really have been so dense that she had never noticed?
Holy crap, I am so f–