She was so full.
There was food everywhere, covering the table, and what wasn't eaten now wouldn't last the week.
But it wasn't the food, really. It was startling how little she expected this feeling. More than just a heavy stomach. Her heart, her heart was full.
Christmas mornings in the past, well. She didn't like to think of how little Christmas spirit was actually in it. When the highlight of her childhood had been a certificate for a nose job under the tree, it spoke volumes about the stunted emotional condition of her family.
Never in a million years did she ever think her life would be-could be this healthy. At home, especially. But things had changed without her father in the picture, and a weight had been lifted. From more than just her shoulders, it turned out.
So if you told Quinn two years ago that she'd be enjoying an easy morning filled with laughter and love with her mother and Rachel Berry on Christmas, she'd have checked herself into a facility without thinking twice.
It's amazing what can happen in life when you realize you don't give a shit anymore.
Quinn was just grateful it happened sooner rather than later.
Because she'd have been missing out on so much.
Particularly the laughing goof with the brown hair next to her. Quinn couldn't help but sit back and stare contentedly.
Rachel, ever so often glancing over to give Quinn a sly loving smile, was telling stories and charming the pants off of her mother. It was fortunate, really, that Rachel was so good at impressing adults. Because if Judy only knew what was happening under her own roof…
Quinn blushed, thinking about it.
They never meant to sneak around. When their friendship had developed into something more, it didn't seem prudent to reintroduce Rachel. The opportunity to clarify the difference in their sleepovers just never really presented itself.
But boy, were there differences.
Namely genders, but mostly everything. Particularly the part about how madly in love she could feel. Hearts were in new homes and hands were in certainly in new places.
Quinn blushed, thinking about it.
"I really can't tell you how much I enjoy being here. Thank you so much for inviting me over for Christmas, Judy. We usually just spend the day eating somewhere vaguely asian and going to the movies. This was so much more special."
Her mother smiles warmly. "Of course! It's such a pleasure having you here, I know what a smile you put on Quinnie's face," she says, patting Rachel's arm.
Rachel takes a sip of orange juice and finishes the last bite on her plate before wiping her mouth with the napkin. "You're a wonderful cook, too. Honestly, I'm so stuffed!"
"Well, you have to take home some leftovers or at the very least finish the last pancake."
Folding her hands over her stomach, Rachel moans, "No, I couldn't possibly! I can't take anymore!"
Quinn chuckles and grins, "That's not what you said last night," before freezing completely.
Rachel drops her silverware and stiffens, it clangs loudly on the plate. Eyes wide, her head snaps towards Quinn.
Who is still frozen, with her mouth open.
Where was her brain? Where was the filter that censored words before they left her mouth? Why did it choose now of all times to take a vacation?
They look at each other, completely in shock.
Judy, meanwhile, takes another bite as if nothing had just happened. It's another moment before she even looks up, surprised at the two girls' states.
"What?" she asks.
Quinn is completely at a loss. "Uh, Mom?"
Judy tweaks an eyebrow. "What, you really don't think I know?"
Rachel and Quinn's faces go from colorless to flushed in seconds.
"Girls, I know. I'm old, not oblivious. If anything, the way you two look at each other is louder than shouting it off the rooftops. Besides, I found some underwear that was distinctly not Quinn's fall out of her sheets in the laundry. Really, you two should have been more careful." She takes another bite nonchalantly.
"Oh, by the way, we'll be revisiting the closed door policy starting in January," she finishes, pointing at the two of them with her fork.
Rachel, of course, is the first to recover. She clears her throat before announcing, "Well, I for one, am glad that's over with. Quinn? Help me do the dishes?"
It really could have happened better, them telling her mom. It probably should have happened differently. But accidents happen, Quinn knows. And if anyone can attest to power of accidents working in mysterious ways, it's her.
It happened with Beth.
And it happened with Rachel Berry.
And she wouldn't have had it any other way.