For the next few days, Rachel and Quinn had been texting each other multiple times every day. This was a departure of their normal interactions. Normally they would just texted each other once or twice a week. Even though they were friends, they were not the kind that needed to be in touch with each other all the time. So when Quinn texted Rachel on the Monday after the camping trip to say 'Eating strawberry and thinking of you', that turned Rachel's world upside down. Quinn didn't know this. In her mind, she wrote that because when they were at the cabin, Rachel ate a strawberry seductively at Santana's dare, but for some reason, Quinn couldn't get that image out of her head. She was blushing hard when that happened, but then she was a bit tipsy, so she wasn't sure the actual reason for her turning red. Anyway, for Quinn that text message was harmless because she was eating strawberries and remembered how Rachel had eaten them, and she felt the need to tell Rachel exactly that.
That message was the start. After that, they had been exchanging more text messages like 'The class is so boring', 'Have you read any poem by William Blake?', 'What are you having for dinner?'
Sometimes at night they would also chat on GoogleTalk. Again, just little things, like they would talk about their day or they would discuss about books or whatever things that crossed their minds. Usually though, when Quinn logged in to Gmail, she always set her online status to Invisible because she didn't want to chat with people. However after the trip, every time she saw Rachel was online, she would instantly say hi.
Kurt sent a group email to all of them asking if they were keen to go hiking again in about two months' time. Santana quickly replied with a definitive no, but Quinn and Rachel expressed their interest. Quinn volunteered to do the booking and she booked another cabin at the park. However a few days after she sent an email saying that she had booked the cabin, Kurt replied saying that he couldn't come on that weekend that she booked because he had to go to DC to meet up with his dad there, but he told Rachel and Quinn to go ahead with it. A few days later, she received a text message from Rachel saying that she couldn't come too.
Q: Why not?
R: I'll probably be busy at that time with France preparations.
Q: Come on, surely you can take one day off. We'll go on Saturday afternoon and come back on Sunday evening. It wouldn't take much of your time. Besides I've paid for the booking fee.
R: I'll think about it.
Q: Come on!
R: I'll get back to you later, ok?
Quinn hate begging, but with Kurt cancelling on her and now Rachel was about to do the same, she just had to beg.
Quinn had stayed up that night to finish up her Sociology paper and she finally went to bed around 3 am, but just as she was about to fall asleep, she received a text message. She pried her eyes open and saw that it was from Rachel, so she read it straight away.
R: For reasons unknown to me, I like you very much. I'm sorry if this is making you uncomfortable but I can't keep this any longer.
Quinn sat upright, blinked away her sleepiness and read that message again and again. She didn't know how to react to that message; she had to talk to Rachel right away. She dialed Rachel's number and it took a few rings before Rachel finally answered.
"Hello," Rachel's voice sounded so tiny.
"Hi. I'm sorry about the text. I shouldn't have sent it. Shouldn't you be in bed by now?" Rachel sounded like she was panicking.
"I was about to, but then I got your text."
"Just ignore it. I wasn't thinking properly."
"It's okay Rachel," Quinn tried to calm Rachel down. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"I don't know."
"What about if I come there tomorrow and we can talk about it then?"
Rachel was quiet for a long time that Quinn thought she had left the phone. She was about to say something but then Rachel replied, "Okay, but don't you have classes tomorrow?"
"I'll come after the last class; it finishes at 5, so probably I'll be there by 8. Do you want to meet me at the train station?"
"Okay then. I'll text you tomorrow to confirm what time my train will arrive."
Quinn sighed, Rachel sounded so tiny over there, "Good night Rachel."
Quinn arrived at Grand Central station around 7:20 pm and was looking around for Rachel. She finally spotted her; she was wearing her pink coat after all. Rachel looked like she was unsure on whether she should be there. Quinn was looking forward for this talk, mostly to understand where Rachel was coming from. Even though she had an inkling that Rachel might be into her, she always pushed it aside saying that it couldn't be possible and never thought much about it. So this confession made her very curious and made her thought of all her interactions with Rachel.
"Hi," Quinn gave her a soft smile.
"Hi," Rachel returned the smile but the smile didn't reach her eyes. Normally they would hug each other, but this time they both felt awkward, so they decided to forgo the hug.
"So … umm … do you want to go to that diner around the corner? I have to take the last train around 11 something."
They walked silently to the diner. Once they had ordered their food, Quinn tried to lighten up the mood, "Do you want to see a picture of my professor's ugly kittens?" Quinn took out her phone and showed Rachel the picture. "We all had dinner at his place last Sunday and he showed us these kittens that he took home from SPCA. It's great of him but these kittens …" Quinn shook her head, "and you always thought that all kittens are cute."
Rachel looked amused and shocked at the picture. Quinn was right, these kittens weren't cute. They both laughed at the picture. She gave back the phone to Quinn and somehow they became tensed again. The waitress came by to deliver their foods and drinks.
They ate in silence for a while, but then Quinn started, "So, about that text."
"Listen, I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have sent it. I wasn't thinking properly last night."
"Rachel, it's okay. I'm not freaking out."
"Are you not? You're more fidgety than usual."
"Well, I guess it came as a shock … or maybe not. I don't know. I mean, sometimes I have my suspicion but then I saw that you'd be all over Finn or some other guys that I thought that I must have read it wrong. The whole time I knew you, it's like you only have three loves: Broadway, Barbra and Boys."
Rachel pouted, "I'm a lot more than that."
Quinn laughed at Rachel's defensiveness. "Why did you decide to tell me now?"
"I don't know. I guess the trip just heightened my feelings. Most of the time, I have it under control because I didn't have to spend that much time alone with you. Every time we spent time together, I had to stop myself from thinking that way about you because you're my friend. But after that trip, it got harder and harder to push it aside."
"Is that why you didn't want to go for the next trip?"
"How long have you have feelings for me?"
"Since that pep rally where you danced to 'Gonna Make You Sweat'."
Quinn tried to recall the time that she danced to that song. "That was in freshman year." She looked unconvinced but Rachel just shrugged her shoulder.
"That's the first time I saw you."
Quinn laughed, "You can't like someone that you don't know."
"Maybe, but once I knew you, well … it wasn't pleasant in the beginning," Quinn looked down guiltily but she didn't have to apologize for all those times that she bullied Rachel. She already said her sorry and Rachel had forgiven her. "But after we knew each other better, it just made me like you more."
"Then what's with all those things with Finn?"
"In my warped mind, that's my way to be closer to you."
Quinn laughed again; it was still hard to believe that Rachel had liked her since freshman year.
"You almost married him," Quinn said in disbelief.
"In the beginning, it was about you, but I did like him after that."
They both sipped their coffees and wondered what to say next.
"What is it that you like about me?"
"Your eyes, your smile, your laugh." Quinn blushed at how easy it was for Rachel to confess all this.
"Why didn't you tell me then when we're already friends? Or why didn't you try to … you know …"
"Because I don't want to lose you as a friend, and besides you're straight."
Quinn's mind flashed back to all the times that she checked out other girls, "Hmm … I'm not so sure about that," she said quietly.
"What do you mean?" It piqued Rachel's interest.
"I never thought of myself as straight or … whatever. I just think that I fall for a person."
Rachel pursed her lips, she still doubted Quinn. "So if I've told you before, there might be a chance?" They were dancing around the subject.
"I don't know."
"What about now?"
Quinn gave out a nervous laugh, "What? You're leaving."
"I still have two months."
"And then what?"
"I'll be back in a year."
"I thought you want to stay there longer."
"It depends on circumstances."
Quinn shook her head, "A year is a long time."
"Yeah," Rachel agreed.
"What are we talking about? It's not like …" Quinn didn't know how to finish that sentence. Suddenly she remembered of something, "Hey, you lied."
"In the drinking game, you didn't drink when I asked that question."
"If I drank, all of you would be badgering me with questions. Besides I didn't want to make it uncomfortable for everyone. There were only either you or Santana, and I don't want Santana to think that I have something for her. But why did you ask that question anyway?"
Quinn shrugged, "In some ways I was hoping for you to drink to prove that I was right all along."
"Cheeky," Rachel rolled her eyes. "So we're still friends?"
"You know, when you sent that text about eating strawberry and thinking of me, I was in my dance class. I couldn't concentrate at all after that, I missed all my steps. I kept on stepping on my partner's feet. Safe to say, he didn't want to partner up with me anymore."
"Sorry. I was eating strawberries and I remembered the way you ate them when Santana dared you. I found it amusing, that's all."
They chatted for a bit more until it was time for Quinn to leave. Rachel walked her to the station.
"I'm glad that we've cleared this out."
"Yeah, so you still can go to the camping trip right?"
Rachel nodded, "Yes, I can do that."
They hugged goodbye and it looked like they were back to normal. Quinn smiled all the way back to New Haven. She felt elated. She couldn't believe that all this while Rachel was harboring feelings for her. She didn't think much of it except that she was glad that they were still friends.