Title: The Apple and Tree
Pairing: Quinn Fabray/Rachel Berry
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. Just having a little fun.
Summary: Quinn and Rachel's daughter, Cassie, brings her first ever significant other to the house for dinner. Who appears at her doorstop shocks Quinn to say the least.
Cassie Fabray-Berry's arms strained under her weight as she hoisted herself onto the edge of the sink and balanced like the ballerina she was to gaze out of the window into the front yard. She bit into her freshly glossed bottom lip in anxiety, butterflies fluttering in her stomach. Her head snapped to the left, blonde ponytail whipping against her neck as her dark eyes narrowed to stare into the distance down the street. She turned to the right and repeated her stare down with the stop sign at the end of the road.
Behind Cassie at the counter, her mother, Rachel, smiled knowingly at her daughter's antics. Oh, to be that young again. Rachel casted a glance at her daughter's attire and shook her head good-naturedly. "Your mother is going to have something to say about that, you know."
Cassie lowered herself from the sink to frown down at the outfit in question. She wiggled her socked feet then moved her eyes up her trim, pale legs to the cutoff shorts adorning her body, then up to the crop top displaying her midriff. Her blonde eyebrows bunched in apprehension. "Do you think she'll mind?"
At this, Rachel cackled once, then sobered. She glanced at her daughter again. Cassie definitely had her legs, if nothing else. They were impossibly long and trim, making the shorts she was wearing appear even more scandalous. Rachel tapped her finger to her chin as she took in Cassie's taut stomach teasingly peeking out from under her shirt. Oh, to be that young and full of hormones again. Quinn was going to have a field day with this outfit. She smiled then offered Cassie a bit of advice. "Perhaps a longer pair of shorts?"
"Mom," Cassie bemoaned to no surprise of Rachel. She stormed out of the kitchen, but couldn't help but glance over her shoulder once more to the empty driveway.
Rachel smiled warmly at her wayward teenager as she stalked out of the kitchen. "You know your mother, honey. She can barely handle the fact that you're dating. She isn't going to want some hormone-raging teenage boy in here drooling all over you while we eat dinner."
It was almost imperceptible, the sudden stutter in Cassie's gait, the tightening of her shoulders. But Rachel saw it. After over twenty years of learning and dissecting Quinn Fabray-Berry, Rachel had learned to recognize subtle changes in a person. And while Cassie had a few of Rachel's physical attributes, she was the spitting image of Quinn's personality. After taking less than a second to regroup, Cassie began storming up the stairs anew.
Rachel filed the information away for another time, and continued preparing dinner for their guest tonight. She couldn't believe her daughter was dating now. Just sixteen years ago, Rachel had just given birth to her after spending thirteen hours in labor. Now her daughter was approaching the age of sexual maturity, and while Rachel welcomed it with open arms, because it was going to happen sometime, Quinn shunned the very idea and refused to have any of "the talks" with their daughter. Though humorous, Rachel was a little worried about how Quinn would handle this dinner. With or without Quinn's permission, Cassie was going to grow up, and Rachel wanted nothing more than for Quinn to be able to enjoy these years no matter how heartbreaking they may be.
She felt slim arms wrap around her middle, and Rachel sunk into the familiar body behind her. "Speak of the devil…"
Quinn hummed with a wolfish grin. "Mhm, what about me?"
Rachel dropped the task of finalizing her salad and spun around to face her wife. She beamed a happy smile up at her, and clutched at Quinn's button up shirt right above her breasts. "Hi, Quinn." Her voice was shy in a way that twenty-eight years still hadn't changed.
Quinn's smile tinged with smugness as she leaned down to give Rachel a hello kiss. She pulled back to survey the house with critical eyes. "He isn't here yet, is he?"
Rachel giggled at the domineering stance Quinn had taken on. One of the things they had discussed in relation to Cassie's boyfriend coming over was how Quinn was going to establish dominance right from the beginning so that he didn't get a chance to. She shook her head. "No, not yet. Cassie just got finished staring longingly out of the window."
At that, Quinn's expression softened. She chuckled quietly to herself as she released her hold on Rachel. "She's you, you know."
Rachel smiled proudly. "I know."
"Where is everyone?" Quinn mused to herself as she unfastened the top most button on her shirt. Rachel avidly watched the way Quinn glided through the house with a gentle sway to her hips. "I'm home!" she yelled up the stairs, commanding the two children in their rooms to recognize her presence.
And just as every other day, they were all too eager—at least one of them. Kylie bounded down the stairs, curly brunette locks bouncing behind her. The neat ponytail Rachel had placed atop her head this morning was long gone as she flung herself into Quinn's arms. "Mommy! Mommy!"
Without missing a beat, Quinn squeezed love out of her daughter with one of the freest smiles Rachel had ever seen. Only she and the kids could bring that out of Quinn, and seeing that smile always made Rachel swell with pride and security. "How was my baby's day?" Rachel heard Quinn ask in a warm, quiet voice.
"It was great!" Kylie insisted in a booming voice identical to Rachel's. At age six, nearly everything in her life was great. Nothing ever really rained on her parade aside from not getting a solo in choir that one time that had Rachel in the choir teacher's classroom the very next day demanding for a redo and some hearing aids. Quinn sat Kylie down on the floor and ran nimble fingers fondly through dark hair. "Where's your sister?"
Kylie spun around and glanced at the top of the stairs, her skirt flowing from momentum. "There she is!"
Quinn looked up to find her oldest daughter skulking down the stairs. She sighed. Cassie was her through and through. Her eyes made quick work of scanning her daughter's outfit. She inhaled a quick breath of annoyance. "Hello there."
Cassie reached the bottom of the stairs and hesitated before giving into her instincts and wrapping her arms around Quinn's middle. Quinn hugged her back then whispered in her ear, "The shorts or the shirt—pick one."
Cassie groaned and pulled back to throw a glare up at Quinn before running back up the stairs. Kylie followed and mimicked her the entire way.
Quinn held her tongue from reprimanding Cassie, deciding to cut her a little break. She glanced back into the kitchen at the sympathetic expression on Rachel's face. Quinn groaned, sounding much like their daughter. "When did she start knowing what cutoffs and crop tops were?"
Rachel laughed and sauntered out of the kitchen. She met Quinn at the staircase and pushed her into the living room and onto the couch. "Around the time she started locking her door?" she guessed.
"Something you allowed," Quinn accused with an edge to her voice. "I was never allowed to lock my door."
Rachel rolled her eyes. "Don't tell me you never did." She reached for Quinn's hand at the sight of the grumpy expression on her face. "Cut her some slack, Quinn," Rachel coaxed.
"I am," Quinn insisted with a downturn to her lips. "I'm allowing him to come over, aren't I?"
"My idea," Rachel sing-songed.
"And a bad one," Quinn quipped. "If we give her the impression that we're okay with her dating—"
"Which we are—"
"Says you. If we give her the impression that dating is okay, then she'll think sex is okay, then she'll end up pregnant—like me," Quinn insisted with a worried glint in her suddenly enlarged eyes.
Rachel exhaled a calming breath, though for which one, her or Quinn, she wasn't sure. It was a conversation they had touched on before. Quinn's greatest fear for their daughters was that they would become teenage mothers like she did, and that their futures would consequently be put on hold because, "how many teenaged mothers do you know of that go to college, Rachel? Not many!"
"Quinn," Rachel soothed, "I don't have to tell you that teenagers are interested in sex, that girls are interested in sex. This is coming from one former-teenager-who-lost-her-virginity to another."
The remark made Quinn redden like the Christian school girl she used to be, and Rachel couldn't help but release a charmed smile. "We're not providing her with a window into sex that she wouldn't get on her own. What we're doing is equipping her with the knowledge that if and when she's ready, she can come to us because as her parents, we aren't going to be closed off and ignorant to the fact that she's maturing into a sexually aware woman." The very words made Quinn's stomach ache. "It is imperative that we stay by her side during these crucial adolescent moments of raging hormones and curiosity in order to show her that we're 'hip' parents and when she's ready, we can take the necessary precautions to ensure she practices safe intercourse."
Quinn felt her head was going to explode. Just as she lifted her finger to rebuff Rachel's soliloquy, the doorbell rang.
Cassie soared down the stairs with surprising speed and shouted, "I'll get it!" over her shoulder. Rachel blinked, lips twisted in amusement as she began to stand up. "Should we go with her?"
"No, no," Quinn assured as she grabbed Rachel's arm to pull her back down into her side. "I want to prolong the inevitable for as long as possible."
Rachel scoffed at Quinn's reluctance, but melted in her side anyway.
"What do you think he looks like?" Quinn asked.
"Tall, blonde, and handsome," Rachel teased with an easy smile. "What about you?"
"Short, brunet, kind of a stocky band geek."
"Quinn!" Rachel gasped, affronted.
Quinn perked up at the sound of footfalls coming toward them. "Shh," she informed Rachel as she carried critical eyes to the doorway. Rachel turned around in Quinn's arms to find Cassie in the doorway.
…With another girl, a slender brunette with a ponytail and thick, black rimmed glasses. She had on a plain white shirt with an unbuttoned denim shirt over it that she was nervously picking at.
Quinn gulped inaudibly.
Cassie dug her toes into the living room carpet as a nervous brunette stood beside her. "Mom, mommy," she began then cleared her throat. "This is Olivia…my girlfriend."
Without conscious effort, Rachel smiled at the gangly brunette who only stood about an inch shy of her daughter's height. Rising from the couch, Rachel walked over to Olivia with a welcoming smile. "It's so nice to finally meet you, Olivia." She turned back to her wife frozen on the couch. "Isn't it, Quinn?"
Quinn stood from the couch. Her jaw worked back and forth as she eyed Cassie, then Olivia, then Rachel. Exhaling, Quinn walked over to them with slow measured steps. She met Olivia's eyes. "Hi." Her voice sounded stiff and unwelcoming, like her father's, and she grimaced. "It's very nice to meet you, Olivia." She glanced around to the three sets of eyes on her, and suddenly grew claustrophobic. "Excuse me," she muttered as she slid past Cassie and out of the living room.
Rachel's smiled hardened, though remained firmly planted on her face. Several years of Broadway had taught her to control her innate reactions to everything Quinn Fabray-Berry. She placed a hand on Olivia's shoulder then Cassie's. "You'll have to excuse Quinn," she apologized, then turned to Olivia with an amused expression. "I think she was expecting an Oliver, not an Olivia."
Olivia blushed scarlet as her eyes dropped to her black Converse. "O-oh," she stammered. "Understandable."
Cassie huffed out an annoyed breath at her girlfriend's discomfort. "Mom," she hissed with the barely contained rage of a Fabray. "Can you fix this, please?" Her hard expression crumbled. "I-I thought that this would be okay, considering you and mommy and everything."
"It is okay," Rachel assured with a fire flickering deep in her eyes. "It is," she insisted. It would have to be. She and Quinn had fought hard to get to a point where their sexualities were okay, and Rachel would be damned if Quinn would send their daughter on the same path. "I just think that Quinn had such hard and fast preconceived notions about who you were bringing home and how she was subsequently going to conduct herself that having a girl stand before us was a little jarring for her. But make no mistake, this is okay," she stressed one final time. She gave the girls a once over, particularly Cassie who had worked for sixteen years to ensure that Quinn was proud of her. Cassie always saw her mom as this professional, successful, impenetrable force, and even down to becoming this year's head cheerleader as a sophomore, Cassie was determined to be just like her mother. Her expression was caught between concern and defiance as her blonde eyebrows bunched together. Rachel cleared her throat. "Cassie, why don't you take Olivia to your room while I go get Quinn and Kylie to come down for dinner, hmm?"
Cassie hesitated for only a moment before her rebellious nature crept upon her. She boldly, though discreetly grabbed Olivia's hand and spun around to lead her upstairs. "Come on, Oliver."
"Cut that out!" Rachel heard Olivia protest as the two giggling girls rushed up the stairs. "Leave the door open!" she shouted.
As soon as she heard the door close, she sighed. She turned to survey the living room as she replayed the past several minutes in her head. In Quinn's defense, Rachel too was surprised. They had both just assumed their daughters were straight and for that, Rachel felt a tad guilty for their assumptions and for the fact that for whatever reason, Cassie felt the need to hide this from them. Though she found solace in the fact that Cassie had seemed to come around if this dinner was any indication.
Grabbing the railing, Rachel ascended the stairs to find Quinn. She opened the door to their bedroom to find it empty. Without missing a beat, she continued to Quinn's study to find her wife pacing from one end of the room to another. Annoyance flared within Rachel before she could stop it. "Quinn."
Quinn held a hand up. "I know," she conceded. She then folded her hands behind her back, shoulders tight as she sleekly moved to and fro. "But I—Rachel, she can't be gay."
Taking the statement completely wrong, Rachel entered the room and closed the door behind her. "Excuse me. You, her lesbian mother, are going to tell our daughter that she can't be gay?"
Quinn's eyes narrowed. "You don't get it."
Never one to back down from Quinn Fabray-Berry, Rachel stepped forward into Quinn's line of pacing until Quinn nearly ran into her. "Then help me understand, Quinn, because I detected a bit of latent homophobia back there."
"Don't you spew your psychoanalyzing stuff at me," Quinn spat, instantly offended. "I'm not homophobic."
"You just said our daughter can't be gay!" Rachel shouted.
"Because she can't!"
"Because it's not easy," Quinn cried. Her shoulders slumped as she stood before Rachel, eyes imploring her to understand. "You of all people should know that! It wasn't easy for us, and I would never wish that on our daughter!"
Rachel's shoulders lifted with a deep inhalation of breath.
"You know who her grandparents are," Quinn continued through gritted teeth. "And you know they're going to give her shit for it, then give us shit for it because obviously those myths about gay parents raising gay children are true now. Hell they're 'true' with you and your fathers."
"Hey, hey, stop," Rachel exhaled soothingly as she grabbed both of Quinn's shoulders. Her thumbs rubbed circles into the tensing muscles as she looked deep into hazel eyes. "Quinn…"
"It's not gonna be easy," Quinn insisted in a somewhat defeated voice because it seemed her daughter had already made a choice.
Rachel shook her head. "You know what? It probably won't be," she readily agreed. "But you tell me, Quinn, what was worse—being stuck in the closet, stuck dating boy after boy, stuck never being able to act on your desires to be with a girl…or actually coming out and having what you wanted regardless of how anyone felt?"
"Rachel…" Quinn exhaled.
"Because I'd bet anything the former was worse than the latter." She lifted a hand to cup Quinn's cheek. "Now you tell me, Quinn, are you going to make our daughter suffer the same way you did?"
The very question made Quinn's eyes well in agony at the fact that Rachel could actually pose such a question. "It's not—that's not what I'm doing," she asserted.
"Isn't it?" Rachel countered in a calm voice.
"I'm protecting her."
"It would be holding her back."
"But my parents—"
"Their opinion isn't going to matter as much as yours, Quinn, and you know it." Rachel stroked her cheek with a loving smile. "Cassie looks at you like you put the stars in the sky, Quinn." She rolled her eyes a little. "She looks at you like you're the one who spent the better part of twenty-four hours in labor with her."
Quinn huffed a watery laugh with a faux apologetic smile.
"She is going to care about your opinion of her more than anyone else. And right now, she's feeling really lousy because you walked out of the room as she was introducing a very important girl in her life."
The smile on Quinn's face melted as guilt washed over her. She gnawed on her lower lip as Cassie had learned to do.
"And who knows? Maybe she's not a lesbian," Rachel mused. "Maybe she's just young and trying things out to see what she likes. But don't take that from her, Quinn. Because if she is a lesbian, you wouldn't want her to spend the next several years battling with it, especially when she has two moms." She ran her fingers along the wisps of thin hair at the back of Quinn's neck. "Think of how freeing it was when you finally had the chance to come out. Think of how exciting it was to no longer have to hide, to no longer feel like the way you feel is wrong. Don't rob her of that, Quinn, not your own daughter."
"But she's…skinny and blonde—she's already going to find it hard to be taken seriously in this male dominated, sexist society. I don't want to add another label onto her that she can be discriminated against because of."
"I know, Quinn," Rachel said warmly, realizing that in her own typical Quinn fashion, she was showing how much she loved and cared for their daughter. "No parent wants their child to be treated unjustly or discriminated against. But you can't inhibit her growth as a person for fear that others won't appreciate who she is."
"I just wish that she—"
"Was five again?" Rachel guessed with a knowing smile. "Or even thirteen when she would hang posters of her favorite boy bands on the wall of her room and gush to us about how cute they all were and how she would marry one of them. What was his name again?"
"Justin," Quinn supplied with a soft smile. She shook her head. "Things were so easy."
"They don't have to be hard," Rachel told her. "At least not yet. Right now all you have to do is show your daughter that having a girlfriend is okay with you. Forget the rest of the world for now. Her family's acceptance is all Cassie is asking for right now."
Quinn looked apprehensive as Rachel grabbed her hand. Just as Rachel turned to lead them out of the room, Quinn spun her back around. "For the record…I would never want Cassie to go through what I've been through. And for the point two seconds that I actually stayed in the living room…Olivia seemed like a good girl."
Rachel smiled through firm lips until her dimples showed. "I know," she murmured.
"The vegan lasagna is great, Mrs. Fabray-Berry," Olivia complimented politely.
Rachel waved her hand with a smile. "That must be a mouthful. Please, you can call me Rachel."
Olivia grinned in gratitude before training her eyes on her plate again. She looked back up at Rachel again with hopeful eyes. "You were exceptional in Les Mis."
Rachel clutched her hand to her chest and looked from Olivia to Cassie. "I really think Olivia is a fine individual and I insist you bring her around more often."
Olivia laughed as her cheeks tinged pink. Cassie smiled in relief. "That's Olive, my little theater junkie." She leaned over and placed a kiss on a flushed cheek. Cassie casted a glance in Quinn's direction before glancing down at her plate.
Rachel and Quinn exchanged a glance in which Rachel practically demanded Quinn to try with her eyes.
Kylie looked from Quinn and Rachel to Cassie and Olivia in confusion. "Are you guys like mom and mommy?"
Quinn's eyes crinkled in amusement. She leaned down to kiss Kylie's head of curls. "They are," she answered.
Cassie's head snapped up as she eyed her mother across the table. Quinn felt four sets of eyes on her and chose her next words carefully. "Looks like there's another girl in the house who needs to be added to the calendar." She turned to Cassie and winked.
Cassie reddened at the remark, though she laughed in humor.
Olivia eyed the open smile on Quinn's face in fear as she whispered to Cassie, "What calendar?"
"We have a calendar for all of our cycles," she whispered back. "So that we can know when to avoid mommy and me and what week to not criticize mom's cooking because she's extra sensitive."
Blushing to her toes, Olivia's wide, dark eyes found her plate. "Oh."
She looked up to find Quinn staring at her from across the table with a raised glass. "Welcome. I think you'll fit right in with the blushing thing. I tend to get a little shy myself."
Olivia gawked at the suave and sophisticated woman she saw before her. She readjusted the glasses on her face, and in a weird way, reminded Quinn of Rachel, and of herself. "You? No way."
Quinn surveyed the room, hers and Rachel's family, and her daughter and her new girlfriend. An eyebrow lifted. "Stranger things have happened."
"Here, here!" Rachel chimed in with a boisterous laugh as she raised her glass.
Cassie eyed her two mothers laughing and seized the opportunity. "To Olivia!" she announced, encouraging Olivia to raise her glass.
Kylie quickly looked around the table then raised her own pink plastic cup with a Disney princess on it. "To girls!"
"Most definitely," Rachel agreed.
"I can get behind that," Quinn added as everyone clanked their glasses.