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The Running Back

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There were less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Titans were down fourteen to ten. They were out of timeouts but they were also in a position to score and take the lead. Much like in practice, Rachel couldn't watch. During the regular season each win was important in advancing them, but now in the playoffs they were vital. A single loss would not only end their undefeated season; it would end their season entirely.

Beside her Quinn was giving her some play-by-play, having temporarily given Santana captainship over the Cheerios. Admittedly, most of her commentary consisted of attempts to calm Rachel down but she gave her enough details so she could know what was going on. "Okay they're throwing," Quinn told her. "Puck's in the end zone but he's covered pretty well." Rachel took a peek in between her fingers but she couldn't see much of what was happening. Then she heard the crowd around her give a collective groan. She immediately covered her eyes again.

"What happened? They didn't intercept the ball did they?" Rachel knew that if they had then the Titans would most certainly lose the game.

"No, nothing like that," Quinn assured. "Finn just got sacked." Normally Rachel would have been concerned about Finn's well-being, but with the game and their undefeated season on the line Rachel was just upset that Finn would let himself get hit. She'd check to see if he were okay after they won. Since he had gotten sacked, it meant that they were on third down. Not good. "It's okay," Quinn tried to comfort her as she wrapped her arms around her. "We're still going to win, I know we are." Rachel wished that she had Quinn's confidence, but she couldn't feel that way since she wasn't actively contributing in any way.

The clock was still ticking down. Rachel could practically hear it. Each second that passed felt like a second closer to their defeat. Rachel chanced a glance at the game clock. Seeing it tick down from one minute and thirty four seconds to one minute and thirty three seconds did nothing to help her anxiety. Then there was another collective groan. Rachel was afraid to ask what happened, but she did so anyway. "What is it? What happened? Did we lose?"

"No. Nothing happened," Quinn tried to say calmingly. Her voice shook a little though so it was clear that something bad did happen. "We're just… we're just on fourth down and the clock is still ticking. But we still have this one last chance to score so that's good, right?" Quinn tried to look on the bright side but Rachel couldn't. Like literally she couldn't, because you know she was covering her eyes and all that, but regardless she was too worried to hope for the best.

The play started, Rachel's eyes still fully covered. She had no idea what was going on, had no idea if things were looking well. And then she heard that sound again and her heart sank. They didn't make it. They lost. She knew it and yet she had to ask "Did we-"

"Wait, there's a penalty."

A penalty. They'd have to repeat fourth down. They still had a chance. Rachel took a peek at the field in between her fingers. She saw the ball get snapped. Finn scanned the end zone for an open receiver. He pump-faked and then Rachel saw a linebacker heading straight for him. He had managed to get past the offensive line and had his sights on ending their undefeated season as well as ending any hopes they had at winning that championship. But just before he got hit, Finn managed to make a short pass to Noah. He still had a good few yards between him and victory and very little of his teammates close enough to help him out.

He dashed forward, stiff-arming a guy on his right and then spinning left to avoid yet another opposing player. Mike came up, adverting yet another tackler just enough so that Noah could get away. As he closed in on the end zone one the safeties closed in on him. Noah leapt for the touchdown. He got hit while still in mid-air. Rachel had to cover her eyes again. It was so close; she couldn't tell for certain if he had gotten in. And then the cheering started.

Quinn got up to her feet and lifted Rachel up, holding her closely in a tight hug. "We won!" she yelled. "We won!" Rachel cried out in surprise as she was lifted off her feet. Quinn set her back on the ground and playfully laughed at her. "I'm sorry," she apologized before pulling her in for a kiss. Obviously, Rachel easily forgave her.

After they pulled apart Rachel tried to look down on to the field, a task which proved to be a tad difficult since the entire crowd was up on their feet and celebrating. Their first playoff win of the season, and also their first playoff win in… probably ever. Rachel tried standing up on her seat and that help, a little. Quinn giggled a bit at her attempts so Rachel jumped down and decided to simply go down to the field. She took her girlfriend by the hand and then proceeded to make her way through the crowd.

Some people moved out of the way, likely because they realized who was trying to get past but others were too preoccupied to notice her. Eventually though Rachel and Quinn made it out to the stairs and together they went down to the field. They rushed over to the team to congratulate them. It didn't take long for Noah to notice their approach. He opened his arms wide to take Rachel into a hug but, as he probably should have expected, Rachel ended up punching him on the arm instead. "Ow! What was that for? We won!"

"Don't you ever scare me like that!" she scolded as she pointed a finger straight at Noah's face. He flinched a bit; whether out of surprise or fear, neither Rachel Quinn could really tell but based on how angry Rachel sounded he was likely afraid.


"You better be." Rachel swiftly spun on heel while crossing her arms over her chest. "Now, to celebrate you're going to buy me and Quinn some vegan ice cream." Noah's jaw dropped in disbelief. The sight was quite comical and Quinn would have laughed if Rachel hadn't sounded so serious. Quinn watched as Noah made some wild gestures while mouthing out some words. "I know what you're doing Noah," Rachel warned. Noah immediately ceased his actions and put his hands up in the air in surrender. "We should get going." Noah didn't have much of a choice.

He talked to the guys for a bit before following Rachel and Quinn. They went over to a little place that Rachel frequented. At some point Noah got talked into paying. When they got there it was fairly empty so they had free choice of where to sit. Rachel and Quinn went simply with chocolate and vanilla respectively, but since Noah had been persuaded (read as forced) into coughing up some cash he decided to take his time in choosing. And that meant that, at least for a few minutes, Rachel and Quinn had the table all to themselves.

"Told you we'd win," Quinn bragged as she took a scoop of her ice cream.

"You did, but I know you were afraid as I was."

"I doubt that anyone could have been afraid as you were," Quinn laughed to which Rachel shot her a glare which looked more cute than intimidating and so Quinn just smiled and giggled a bit. "Sorry, here." She took another scoop of her ice cream and brought her spoon up to Rachel's lips. For a moment it looked like Rachel wasn't going to forgive her so easily but her façade quickly broke and she eagerly let Quinn feed her some ice cream. Rachel then decided to feed Quinn as well.

Noah returned soon after, just able to catch them offering ice cream for one another. He gave them a look and took a seat at the table beside them. He shook his head before digging in. "You're like that now," Rachel spoke up. "But just wait until you find a girl like Quinn."

"Yeah," Noah shook his head. "No thanks. I can live without all that mushy stuff."

Rachel let out a huff. "Nonsense, Noah. You just don't know what you're missing." She turned to Quinn and continued to speak. "You have no idea how amazing it feels to be with someone that you love; a person who loves you back just as much. Someone you who connect with on a deeper level, who you can talk to about anything, and never judges you and just loves you unconditionally."

"Uh huh, like I said not into that stuff." Rachel frowned.

"Oh, come here," Quinn cooed. "Maybe this will make you feel better." She pulled her in and kissed her softly.

"Jeez," Noah groaned. "I cannot believe you ruined lesbians for me," Noah complained before leaving. He then doubled back to get his ice cream.