They bumped into each other for the first time in forever early one ungodly Monday morning in late spring. Rachel was out for a jog that unseasonably warm morning, and Quinn needed coffee, since the machine she had at home (which she had bought in sophomore year of college, poor thing) had basically all but burst into flames and she figured she could get her caffeine en route to the office. The collision was nearly cinematic, with Rachel, all yoga pants, sports bra and ear buds, and glistening with exertion, turning a corner and running straight into Quinn. All things considered, the latter woman had not yet caffeinated, which explained why she fell backwards onto her ass with an animalistic grunt. Any residual bitterness still left between them from high school was lost the moment Rachel, standing over the downed Quinn with an apologetic smile, offered to buy coffee for the two of them at the closest coffee shop.
(To say Quinn was late for work that day was more than a slight understatement, but, being Quinn Fabray, she was well ahead of her work, and the late was a non-issue entirely.)
Before they knew it, they were living together. Not literally, but Quinn had a small section in Rachel's closet (half work clothes, half casual) and knew the security guards by name, and Rachel had a set of keys to Quinn's condo, items of her nightly ritual strewn across Quinn's bathroom countertop, and a pastel pink towel on the rack that didn't match Quinn's modern, minimalistic decor. (Quinn's condo was closer to Broadway than Rachel's was, so, after the fifth time in as many days an exhausted Rachel woke Quinn from her much needed rest after her show, Quinn had a key cut for her, and told her to just make herself at home on the pull out couch whenever she needed.) Despite this, they only really saw each other in passing. Quinn would see the prone, blanketed form on the couch that her cat, Toby, had abandoned her for, and would make sure to make extra breakfast, or Rachel, on her way to her evening show, would pass Quinn as she slipped into Rachel's condo for a quick change of clothes before her weekly yoga class. There were, of course, the rare nights when Rachel would get to Quinn's condo and find Quinn asleep on the couch with the television on (wherein Rachel would gently lead a half asleep Quinn to her bed after turning off the TV), or unwinding from an evening out with her friends. On nights like this, they would make small talk as Rachel went through her nightly routine, and then, sometimes, they would fall asleep to some weird rerun from a show gone by and wake up propped up against one another, cat snuggled up somewhere between them.
However, it wasn't long before Monday evenings unofficially became "Rachel and Quinn time", a sacred weekly time between the two. Sometimes there would be others to join them, like friends, family, cast mates and coworkers, or whomever they were dating at the time, but most of the time, Quinn found herself at Rachel's condo after a horrible start to the work week, sinking into Rachel's opulent chaise lounge as Rachel chose something to watch on the TiVo, after which they would head out to Rachel's favorite karaoke dive bar for a drink or two, so that Rachel could, as she said it, check out the competition. (There was one Monday when Quinn was out of the city on a conference, and they compromised by watching Forrest Gump together over video chat. Toby wasn't as fond of the movie, but Rachel assured Quinn he had been well behaved, fed and watered the whole time she had been gone, but please never leave again, since Skype just didn't compare to shared body warmth on her couch. Quinn had merely nodded, eyes twinkling with mirth when Rachel's nose wrinkled slightly when she expressed her disappointment in having to feed Toby meat products, being vegan, even though she understood the reason why, seeing as cats were naturally carnivorous, so please hurry back because the smell wasn't incredibly pleasant for her to deal with every day.)
It was the Monday after they finished the last episode of Friends for the umpteenth time that changed things. Quinn received a text from Rachel requesting tissues and vegan ice cream, and frantically begged off work early with promises to work late for the rest of the week.
Forty minutes later, Quinn was bursting into Rachel's flat, grocery bag nearly ripping from the weight of the sorbet she had purchased and overflowing with tissues. At the noise, Rachel glanced up from the couch, eyes raw and red from her tears.
"He broke up with me." Her eyes flooded with new tears, causing Quinn to fumble with the top of a box of Kleenex before thrusting it into Rachel's lap.
Collapsing next Rachel on the couch, Quinn opened her arms for the other girl as her face twisted into an angry snarl. Rachel threw her arms around Quinn, burrowing into her neck and continuing to sob. "I'll kill him." Quinn's voice, drastically different from her typical lilting alto, dropped to a deep, menacing growl.
Through her tears, Rachel gave a slight giggle (it sounded like a hiccup). "You say that every time." Rachel's breath tickled Quinn's neck, making her twitch slightly.
Quinn's eyes narrowed as she pulled away to poke Rachel's arm playfully, before turning and throwing an arm back around the actress. "I mean it every time, you know."
"Sure you do." Closing her eyes, Rachel rested her head on the taller woman's shoulder, and allowed herself a small smile.
"Just because you don't see the body count doesn't mean it doesn't exist," Quinn intoned seriously, arm tightening around Rachel's shoulder. "Coach trained us well, you know."
A nod, a pause, then, "I'm sorry for making you skip work."
"It's fine." Quinn smiled softly. "It was just a shitty Monday anyway. Your misery is much more entertaining."
Rachel wrinkled her nose. "You're too kind."
Quinn chuckled, reaching for the remote. "Let's get this frozen-dessert-eating, bad-movie-watching thing started then, shall we?"
They were halfway through their third movie and second pint of sorbet when Rachel suddenly stood and stretched. "I think I need to immerse myself in a new space. A new environment, if you will." Quinn cocked her eyebrow, moderately amused by her antics. "It's just, this place is so... I don't know. I'm tired of it. I need some fresh inspiration."
Quinn chuckled, focus still mostly on the sappy romance movie on the screen. "I like it. It's close to my work, and it's got your flavour all over it."
"You can have it, if you'd like, if I can live at your place?" Quinn laughed raucously until she turned and noticed Rachel's serious expression. She knew that expression.
"You're serious? No!" Quinn's exclamation was superimposed with her shooting up in her seat, on high alert.
"Not forever, of course, since, despite everything, I'm rather attached to my condominium. Just for, say, about a month, or maybe a week or two to start. It would be like a mini pseudo-vacation house swap!"
Quinn opened her mouth to repeat her protestation, but stopped herself before collapsing back onto the chaise and muttering, "Commuting is a real pain..."
"Exactly!" Rachel nodded sagely before flourishing towards the general apartment. "And I need to get away from anything that directly reminds me of Lee." She clapped her hands in finality. "It's the perfect plan! Now I just have inform Alex of this arrangement."
Quinn frantically grabbed at Rachel's hand as she fumbled for her phone to call her personal assistant. "Slow down, Rach! I haven't agreed to anything yet!" Rachel just smirked down at Quinn, eyebrow raised in challenge. (Quinn silently cursed herself for teaching the actress her perfect eyebrow arch for that role that one time. She was too good at it.)