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The Doctor Is In

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“You’re lucky I love you, because your feet really smell.”

Rachel gasped indignantly and leaned up from her end of the couch to thwack Quinn in the face with a nearby throw pillow.

“My feet are clean and perfect, thank you very much.”

“Mmhmm.”

It was a lazy July Tuesday, and they’d spent much of the last hour lying on opposite ends of the couch with feet perched on the other’s left shoulder, discussing what kind of people they thought their high school teachers were when they’d been in high school. Eventually it got too disturbing to continue, so Rachel was now taking in the various elements of the Fabray living room as Quinn drifted in and out of consciousness.

The house was very quiet, the low whirr of the air conditioner only noticeable in these moments of contented silence.  Judy was out doing god knows what, so the girls had the house to themselves. These were the kind of days that Quinn loved – nowhere to be, nothing to do – and that drove Rachel absolutely crazy.

The magazines were all the way over there on the coffee table, and TV (undoubtedly soap operas, this time of day) sounded even more boring than doing nothing. Rachel sighed and glanced aimlessly around the room. Judy had done a bit of redecorating since Russell moved out, so occasionally there was some new tidbit – a frame, a plant, a book she would never read. Today, something stood out against the dark, clean angles of the fireplace by the TV; something gray and plastic and seemingly very junky.

Rachel perked up. “What’s that?”

Quinn remained perfectly still. She knew she could wait Rachel out and actually fall asleep in a few minutes time; she did it every night they spent together. Her girlfriend would keep talking before drifting off, herself, whether Quinn was awake to hear it or not. And Quinn couldn’t imagine anything in the immediate vicinity worth opening her eyes for, unless Rachel Maddow and Catherine Zeta-Jones were going at it on the breakfast table.

Just thinking about that made her breath hitch slightly.

Damnit.

Rachel crossed her arms. “I know you’re awake. You’re a terrible faker.” She waited a moment, then tapped Quinn’s cheek repeatedly with her toes to prove her point.

“Nnnnnnnn,” Quinn moaned in frustration, turning away to bury herself between the couch cushions. Now she had Foot Face.

Why am I dating this girl?

“You invited me over, and now it’s your duty as hostess to see to my every need.”

“Go away,” Quinn mumbled into the cushion.

More bopping of toes, this time on Quinn’s ear.

“NNNNNRGH!” She turned over further and almost kicked Rachel in the face.

Quinn’s whole head was under the cushion now. This was clearly not sustainable, but she’d be able to last at least a minute or two before suffocating. Rachel might lose interest before then. Find a buzzing fly by the window to watch instead. Maybe fall into an inexplicable coma. Or at least need to go pee.

Quinn breathed the hot, stale air in her dark cave and prayed for reprieve.

“There’s a box by the TV.”
 
Another muffled groan of disinterest.

“I’m too comfortable to get up and see what it is for myself, so just tell me and I’ll leave you alone, I promise.”

Yeah, that was clearly a lie. You don’t date Rachel Berry for eight months without learning a few things. Quinn remained still, as she had no idea how to extricate herself from this sweltering, polyester hell without invoking Twenty Questions (When You Could Be Sleeping). So, she opted for Pillow Death. It was clearly the more viable option. Plus, sleep included!

“You should see yourself right now,” said Rachel. It was quite a sight, indeed: Quinn’s body twisted, one foot up on the back of the couch, boob smooshed at an awkward angle, and seemingly headless. She was quite literally defining the term ‘hot mess.’

Quinn felt Rachel’s foot lift off her shoulder and braced for the imminent pestering of dirty toes. (Really, what was this relationship.) But suddenly, the bottom of her exposed foot was being tickled, and, well. There was no ignoring that. Quinn finally gave in, unearthing herself by slamming the pillow to the floor.

“UGHHH, WHAT.”

Rachel tried not to laugh at the scowling, blonde mess that vaguely resembled her girlfriend. It was more like Quinn with a feather duster stapled to her head and really bad sunburn. Rachel was jealous that a cushion almost gave Quinn better sex-hair than she could. Almost.

She calmly pointed at the gray box. “That.”

Quinn glanced behind her, then grumpily resumed her napping position, sans pillow. “Frannie’s Nintendo,” she mumbled, eyes already closed.

Rachel hadn’t expected that. “A Super Nintendo? I’ve heard of them but never actually seen one in-person. How vintage.”

“No, a regular Nintendo.”

“Oh. I didn’t realize there were different kinds.” A pause. “How’d she get one? Aren’t those from the 90s?”

Yeah, this nap was not happening.

Quinn sighed and opened her eyes, letting them adjust to the afternoon sun coming in from the windows behind Rachel. “80s, actually. She got it in middle school; I don’t really remember. She was home last week and we got it out.”

“That sounds fun!”

A half-shrug. “I guess. There’s one game that’s mine from when I was little, so we usually play that instead of actually talking to each other. Some of that fake family bonding we’re so great at.” She ran a hand through her messy hair.

“Well…if it’s already plugged in, we might as well take advantage,” said Rachel, suggestively.

Quinn cocked an eyebrow. Since when did her girlfriend have any interest in old video games? “Sure, if you want.”

Rachel clapped her hands excitedly. “I want to watch you play something! I can cheer you on and bring you refills and rub your shoulders if you’re getting stressed and –“

“Whoa,” Quinn laughed and held up her hand. She took a breath, debating whether or not to discourage Rachel’s enthusiasm. That sounded tiring. “You are a very good girlfriend.”

Rachel clapped even louder and jumped off the couch excitedly. She pulled the nearest chair to face the TV and moved Quinn’s glass of lemonade to the far side of the coffee table, clearly establishing a battle throne for her love. Quinn remained frozen on the couch, watching the scene unfold with a sleepy grin.

“I should warn you, I only know how to play the one game, so don’t get too emotionally invested in this whole….“ She gestured loosely at her rearranged living room.

Rachel fluffed another pillow and adjusted the light. “It’s important to me that you’re comfortable while you’re showing off your talents. Things like coordination and manual dexterity are very sexy, you know. You’ll want to impress me.”

“So noted,” Quinn replied, slowly pulling herself from the couch and heading for the comfy chair, which was now more a giant pile of pillows with a chair-like essence. “I guess it hasn’t been enough that I display dexterity in other areas…” She grinned slyly.

Rachel blushed but remained composed. “I like a Renaissance woman.”

“I shall try not to disappoint.”

Rachel smiled and leaned down to kiss Quinn softly. “You never do.”

Quinn’s game, Dr. Mario, was already loaded into the console. (“Wait, Mario’s a doctor now? That is quite the impressive career change.”) Quinn told Rachel how to turn it on, as she herself was carefully perched on a mountain of pillows, unable to really move. The start menu caught Rachel’s attention.

“There’s a two-player option?”

“Do you want to play?” Quinn replied, curious.

“Well, I’d need to see the game in action first before committing, but in theory, yes, I’d love to! It’s another thing we could do together. And it has nostalgic value for you, so that makes it important to me.”

Quinn nodded once, smiling. “I’ll show you one-player and talk you through the rules. It’s really not complicated.”

“Lead the way, Doctor,” Rachel said, beaming up at her from her pillow seat on the floor. After all, if a plumber could do it, she was feeling all the more confident.

Quinn clicked through the start menu and started explaining the different settings for levels, speed, and --

"Oh, there's music!" Rachel said excitedly.

"Technically. 'Fever' has this weird gassy sound in it for some reason.” Rachel made a face. “Yeah. But 'Chill'’s not so bad. If we start going crazy, we can turn on my iPod or something.”

Rachel shook her head. “I want a truly authentic Dr. Mario experience. I’m sure the music will be just fine.”

“Suit yourself,” Quinn said, starting a game at level 10. “The goal is to get rid of all the viruses. When you do, you go to the next level.”

“What’s the virus?” Rachel asked.

“The little monster-face guys,” Quinn said, starting to maneuver her falling pills back and forth.

“No, I mean what virus is it that you’re curing?”

“Oh.” Quinn had never considered that. “It’s not supposed to be a real one. And we’re not curing it so much as killing it, I think. You can make up something if you want.”

“Pitchiness!” Rachel shouted immediately.

A skeptical eyebrow. “Seriously.”

“You said I could choose, so I choose that. It’s relevant to my interests.”

Quinn silently decided, in that case, to choose Finn Hudson’s unrelenting crush on Rachel as her disease to cure. If she squinted, the little yellow monster kind of looked like Finn when he was confused. Much like when he learned that she and Rachel were dating.

Good times, good times.

 “I didn’t realize Pitchiness was an actual disease.”

“Well, obviously it’s not, but you said it’s not supposed to be. Besides, the world will be much better off without it.” Rachel was quite pleased with herself. Maybe this boring day wouldn’t be such a wash after all. She considered her point for a moment. “Though…I would be relinquishing my edge on the competition if they’re no longer battling to overcome something I’m naturally immune to…”

“Rachel.”
 
 “I’m just saying.” She refocused. “Tell me more about what you’re doing. Do the different colors mean something?” Rachel asked.

“No. You just have to match them. You use the pills to kill the monsters if you get 4 units in a row.” Quinn cursed under her breath as she made a move she seemed to be regretting, though Rachel didn’t see anything wrong.

“In that case,” Rachel said, “the yellows are sharpness, blue are flatness, and reds are whatever it is that Sugar calls ‘singing.’ Really, it’s an abomination that should be dealt with once and for all. We’re doing the world a valuable service.”

If Quinn was listening, she didn’t let on. “Once I place a pill, I can’t move it around later. That’s what makes it hard. If you screw up, it takes twice the work to undo it. If it piles up to the top, you’re dead.”

“Got it,” Rachel said, pleased she was following along so far.

Quinn eliminated her first two yellow virus monsters with a solid-color pill. (Take that, Finn.) The big graphic of the yellow monster on the side of the screen fell over and wiggled.

Rachel squealed with delight. “Yay! Someone out there will never be sharp again.” Rachel seemed more excited about a single kill than Quinn thought reasonable, considering there were 38 more to go, but this was par for the course when you’re dating Rachel Berry.

Rachel watched Quinn for a few minutes, cheering on devotedly as her girlfriend cleared each virus in level 10 without incident. She hadn't anticipated how much fun it would be working together with Quinn to bring on a brave, new, pitch-perfect world.

Quinn was moving the pieces faster now that she didn’t have to explain as much anymore, and Rachel’s supportive commentary now came only after big moves. She let herself show off a bit by setting up some large chain reactions, even though Rachel probably wouldn’t appreciate it like she should. And Rachel seemed to have gotten suspiciously quiet, so much so that Quinn almost forgot she was there.

Mid-way through level 11, Rachel slowly got up from the floor, presumably to take a bathroom break or go fix something to eat, in which case it was anyone’s guess whether or not she’d actually come back. Quinn knew watching someone else play video games got boring after about 3 minutes, and this one in particular was nothing if not repetitive. She did, however, appreciate that Rachel stayed outside her line of sight to minimize the distraction. Ever the thoughtful girlfriend.

Ooh, maybe she's making peanut butter cookies. That sounds good.

But Rachel wasn’t going anywhere. She sat carefully on the arm of the large chair, very much now within Quinn’s periphery, and leaned down to whisper, “You’re really good at this.”

Quinn jolted and lost her balance on the mountain of pillows, nearly toppling over entirely.

Okay, so, no cookies, then.

She couldn’t even think to pause the game as she recovered her center of gravity. Just play it cool; keep your shit together. Her girlfriend’s eyelash was fluttering against her cheek, but no big deal. Move the damn pills. Kill Finn. Try not to faint.

She locked a red/blue pill into place. “I’ve had a lot of practice.”

“I can see that,” Rachel hummed, taking Quinn’s earlobe gently between her teeth and tugging on it.

Dear god.

Rachel exhaled purposefully on Quinn’s ear and slowly ran a fingernail along the length of her arm, down to the thumb now frantically pushing the A button far more times than necessary.

Quinn gritted her teeth and fought to stay focused. “You’re not even looking.”

Rachel pulled the earlobe harder between her lips and sucked with a quiet moan. Quinn shivered and tried to remember what things like ‘up’ and ‘down’ and ‘colors’ were. How did this game work, again?

She managed to complete a great red/yellow combo move that cleared a whole section, but Rachel missed it. It was probably dumb luck, anyway, Quinn thought. Remaining coordinated while Rachel’s tongue was on her felt like trying to keep an elephant balanced on a golf tee.

“You’re too irresistible for your own good,” said Rachel. “Keep playing. I’m watching, I promise.”

Rachel slid off the chair’s arm and moved to stand behind Quinn’s pillow throne. She now had clear access to both of Quinn’s arms and started her fingernails just at the blue tank’s edge at her shoulders, dragging them slowly down to Quinn’s wrists and back up again.

A chill shot up Quinn’s spine as she slammed a red pill down on a blue virus.

“Damnit.”

Rachel leaned in close and whispered, “I don’t think the red ones go there,” gliding her fingertips back down to Quinn’s wrists.

Quinn exhaled sharply. No fucking shit.

She then eliminated six viruses in a row, on a rampant yellow-pill spree that cleared out a huge chunk on the left-hand side. Rachel ran the tip of her tongue along the edge of Quinn’s ear, bottom to top, to congratulate her. Quinn flipped a pill the wrong way and dropped it down, red on blue and vice versa.

“You are not helping.”

“Of course I am,” Rachel said. “You’re showing me what not to do when I get a turn. This is a valuable educational experience.” She lowered her voice a bit as she leaned toward Quinn’s ear. “Don’t you want me to be enjoying myself?”

Rachel rested her lips gently on the crown of Quinn’s head and lost herself momentarily in the citrus scent of the choppy, blonde hair. Peeking innocently at the game in progress (which was rather dull, in all honesty), she brought her hands up to Quinn’s shoulders to massage them. Yes, this would help her from getting bored. Keep busy. Be productive. Distract from how turned on she was watching Quinn use those nimble fingers and big brain of hers.

Quinn now had about five viruses left, and fortunately they weren’t buried under much mess. She’d set up a blue to yellow chain reaction with the upcoming piece that would clear away most of the junk on the remaining two red viruses.

“Ooh, put the blue part with the yellow sticking out to fall on the other yellow below!” Rachel said excitedly.

“Very good,” Quinn said. Rachel seemed to be a quick study after all. You know, when her tongue wasn’t buried in Quinn’s ear.

Quinn rotated the piece 180 degrees and pressed ‘down’ to place it…just as Rachel slid her hands forward to take a firm hold on Quinn’s breasts. Jumping in surprise, Quinn hit the A button once more as the pill slammed down, now flipped vertically and creating an even bigger mess.

“OH MY GOD.”

Quinn paused the game and turned to face her very guilty girlfriend, who still had one hand locked on tight outside Quinn’s tank.

“Now you know better than to succumb to the wiles of temptresses,” Rachel said matter-of-factly, hand still in place. “I hope you’ve learned your lesson. Please continue.”

“You are the worst.”

“I love you, too.”

Quinn set to digging herself out of the mess she’d created. She’d be fine if she just got some more damn blue pills soon. (There's a great rumor to spread around school, she mused.) She tried to ignore Handsy McEvilskirt behind her, but consciously thinking about ignoring Rachel just made it worse. When Rachel sidled back up on the arm of the chair, Quinn blocked her out, finishing level 11 and starting up 12 without a word.

“Can I play now?” Rachel asked, tucking Quinn’s hair behind her ear.

“No,” said Quinn, “I’m still going. And you are ridiculous.”

“You just know that I might win, and your delicate ego couldn’t handle it. It’s quite charming,” Rachel teased.

Quinn laughed. “Believe me, that is the last thing on my mind.” She took out four more viruses in quick fashion.

“Then prove it, Miss Big-Shot Virus-Killer.” Rachel traced her fingertip down Quinn’s collarbone and dipped into the V of her tank, letting it linger there just long enough to make Quinn falter and flip a pill wrong on top of a tall stack of viruses.

“You wouldn’t stand a chance, you know that,” Quinn said.

But Rachel’s hand was now drawing circles across the edge of Quinn’s sports bra, and the distraction was enough to cause a series of misfires onscreen. Embarrassing ones. Ones even Rachel knew were bad.

She was learning a lot about Dr. Mario very quickly. Like how when she pinched Quinn’s nipple just before a pill landed, Quinn would turn it the wrong way. Or that blowing cool air on the back of Quinn’s neck made her unable to push any buttons at all. She felt very much the puppet master, and it was quite delightful. Well, to her. Quinn’s screen was a bit of a disgusting mess at this point.

And then, it was too late. Quinn stared at the giant red “X” indicating shame and failure as the virus monsters laughed at her.

“Hey, you got all the way to level 12! That’s good!” Rachel bit her lip and kept teasing the soft dip in Quinn’s chest.

“I’ll have you know I can beat this game. I just can’t play when you’re…” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to block out the gentle fingertips. She’d never died on level twelve. Rachel wouldn’t know that, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t embarrassing. At least Frannie didn’t see it. “I killed myself, so stop torturing me and just play.”

“An actress knows a staged death when she sees one, which, that was not,” Rachel replied, leaning down to kiss Quinn’s cheek. “But your secret is safe with me.” In a flash, she leaped off the chair, bounding for the kitchen, shouting, “Cue up the two-player! I’m gonna OWN your ass.”

Quinn shook her head and laughed. Life with Rachel was frustratingly fantastic this way. She found the second controller behind the DVD player and hooked it up just as Rachel returned with refills of their lemonade.

“Okay, it’s a split screen. You’ll be on the right side. We can set it so that we’re playing at different levels, though,” Quinn said.

“How does that work?” Rachel dragged a kitchen chair in so she was sitting level with Quinn. This was business.

“Meaning we start with different amounts of viruses. It wouldn’t be fair if you had as many as me.”

“Well, that’s very chivalrous of you, Quinn Fabray. I accept your gesture, so long as it doesn’t deny me bragging rights when I win.”

“Brag away,” she said, smiling. Really, this alternate reality Rachel was living in was pretty adorable. “I’m not going to go easy on you, you know that, right? You know who you’re dating.”

“A girl who can’t maintain brain function when someone gets to second base, apparently,” Rachel chided. “And you know who you’re dating, so I’d expect a heated competition, if I were you.”

“You’re sure you don’t wanna just try one-player first.”

Rachel rolled her eyes. “Now you’re just stalling for time. You were an excellent instructor, this game is not that complicated, and I have only dreamed of having such an opportunity to save our world from total misharmonic destruction. Turn it on!” she cried, facing the TV with wide, adventurous eyes.

Quinn didn’t have the heart to point out that it was in fact already turned on, technically speaking. Rachel seemed so excited to play a video game for what Quinn assumed was probably the first time ever. The poor girl was bouncing in her seat. She was also holding the controller upside down.

Quinn reached down and turned it around without a word, but couldn’t hide the smug smile.

“Maybe I wanted it that way,” Rachel replied in defense. “Don’t assume to know my strategies.”

“Good luck.”

Quinn set her level back to 9 and put Rachel on 3. That would give her enough to do without making it too hard. Not that she wouldn’t deserve it. Quinn set the music to ‘Chill’ and said, “Okay,” to indicate their start.

As their respective bottles filled with viruses, Rachel looked over at Quinn’s side. “Really, Quinn, that is significantly more monster thingies than I have. Your efforts for fairness are duly noted, but you don’t have to do that.” Rachel’s first pill fell slowly down and landed inconsequentially without notice.

“What the hell are you looking at my side for? Play!”

Quinn killed three viruses right off the bat, deftly moving and turning pills with ease and purpose. Now that Rachel’s hands and mouth were off of her, the game had never felt easier, and Quinn was able to settle quickly into the zone. The Zone of Destroying Her Girlfriend.

“Ooh! I killed one of the Sharps!” Rachel squeed. “I had to put a red pill on a Flat virus to do it, but it’s my first kill! Aren’t you proud of me?”

Quinn zapped another two reds and a blue in five seconds’ time. “Very.” She’d already taken out 10 of her 40 viruses and Rachel still had only killed 1 of her 16. This was going to be a piece of cake. Quinn almost felt bad. Or, shit, did Rachel even know what side was hers? Quinn wouldn’t put it past her.

“Are you even looking at the screen? That blue one just fell on your red stack.”

Rachel put the controller down and looked at Quinn. “What, so you can watch my side but I can’t watch yours? That’s hardly fair.”

“Oh, now you want to watch me play. Okay.”

Rachel ignored her. “Frankly, I don’t appreciate you spying on me. You are not my audience, you’re my enemy.”

“Says the woman still watching my screen.”

Rachel huffed and picked the controller back up, making sure to hold it right this time. She put her attention back on her side, which now featured a neat, multicolored column of pills in its center.

She was pushing the directional pad one click at a time, rather than holding it down, so her pieces moved in slow, stuttered steps across the screen. Then, she’d firmly hold the arrow to zoom them downward, creating a sharp contrast to the careful sideways movements from before.

Quinn thought it was not unlike how Beth would totter awkwardly across a room on her unsure feet, carrying her favorite toy, then SLAM it to the ground for no reason whatsoever. She was hardly going to tell Rachel that, though.

Rachel plodded along this way as Quinn glanced over between pills to watch. For a beginner, she was actually doing fairly well, when she was paying attention. But Quinn didn’t have anything to worry about. She was reminded of this when Rachel took out two red viruses at once and dropped the controller to clap her hands excitedly.

Quinn held back another laugh, muted to a soft snort. Why hadn’t they done this together sooner? It was downright adorable. Rachel was one of those people who moved her body as she played, as if she were further nudging the pieces along by leaning this way and that. Quinn saw Puck do that once while watching a football game, ducking his head and weaving in his chair like he was on the damn field himself.

She didn’t get it.

“You know, this music really isn’t that bad,” said Rachel. “I do enjoy the modulating section with the chromatic bassline before the repeat.”

“Oh hey, speaking of music, I have something for you,” Quinn said. Suddenly, an interlude played over the regular music.

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

A pair of blue half-pill pieces dropped down on Rachel’s side in slow thuds.

“Wait, what is that!” Rachel cried. She frantically tried to move them, but she had no control. One piece landed on a red virus, the other on a stack of yellow pills. Sabotage.

“Payback for you ruining my game earlier.”

“How did you do that?!” Rachel clicked all the buttons furiously, but nothing new was happening. She accidentally paused and unpaused the game in her key-mashing. Quinn rolled her eyes.

Rachel placed her next yellow/red pill, then reached over to smack Quinn on the arm. “Tell me!”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Quinn said.

Rachel let out a loud “hmph” and killed another blue virus.

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

Red and yellow pill bits clunked their way down to land on two blue viruses.

“QUINN.”

Oh yes, this was fun.

“Maybe you’re playing wrong.”

“No, this is something you are doing to me, I just don’t know how.”

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

Three blue bits landed on the red and yellow bits from before.

“I am never having sex with you again.”

Quinn laughed. “Says the girl who begged to see my Dr. Mario prowess.”

In a flustered haste to catch back up, Rachel turned a pill the wrong way and slammed it down with the colors backward. “Oh, for crying out loud.”

Down to her last two viruses, Quinn easily cleared them away before Rachel could unbury herself from the multi-colored stacks of pills atop her remaining six. Quinn was awarded a graphic of a golden crown to signal her victory.

“Oh, now I see why you like this game so much. You get crowned when you beat your novice girlfriend at something you’ve been doing for ten years. By cheating, might I add.”

“Who’s the sore loser now?” Quinn chided. “It’s best out of five. You ready?”

Rachel took a steadying breath. “Prepare to be destroyed.”

The music started up, and Rachel immediately focused on moving her pills as fast as she could to make something happen before Quinn started attacking her again. A red to the right, a blue/yellow in the middle, flip the next one upside-down. Her stacks were clean, and whatever her next pill, she was going to be killing something.

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

“NO! I had it!” Rachel cried. Red bits dropped down on her blue and yellow stacks. “You are cold and heartless, and I don’t know why I’m dating you.”

Rachel killed another virus a few pills later, but Quinn was too damn fast. She’d never win at this rate.

Time for some reconnaissance.

She set up her next piece to fall correctly at its natural pace, using the lapse to watch what Quinn was doing on her side. (She absent-mindedly flipped the pill 360 degrees as it fell to keep up appearances.)

Curiously, she noticed Quinn intentionally not killing a virus, opting instead to build up two side-by-side stacks of different colors that she could kill simultaneously with one pill later. When that pill came, Rachel heard the Music of Doom.

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

“AHA! You made a chain reaction thingy!” she shouted as the enemy pills thudded once again down her screen. “Oh, you are so gonna get it now.”

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

“Uh huh,” Quinn said absently.

Now with 12 viruses remaining (to Quinn’s 25), Rachel set up a stack of three yellows next to a stack of three reds and waited for the hallowed red/yellow piece. A blue, a blue/red, a yellow, a blue, a yellow/blue…

“Ooh! Ooh! EAT IT!” she cried, sliding the red/yellow into place. The reds disappeared, and the yellows dropped to clear a yellow virus below.

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

Rachel exploded in satisfied giggles at the new music, her own little song of war. She watched the two pill bits stutter down Quinn’s side and once again dropped the controller to clap. She missed the next two pills on her side, but it didn’t matter. Sweet, sweet revenge was finally hers.

“And my attack interlude is far superior to yours. I’d get used to hearing it, if I were you,” said Rachel.

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

“Mmkay.”

Quinn was secretly proud of Rachel for figuring out the offensive maneuver (you know, eventually, geez). The whole thing was pretty damn cute, actually. But she was starting to wonder if the six-level difference between them was going to be too much to overcome. She was good, but was she that good?

Rachel navigated her pills carefully now, feeling more confident in her rapidly developing strategy with every kill. She only had 5 viruses left and Quinn still had 17, and if she could –

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

FOUR bits clunked their way down, not-so-conveniently covering every location underneath with a mismatch of color.

“You brought this on yourself,” said Quinn.

Rachel huffed and went to work clearing as many of the offending stacks as possible before Quinn could do any more damage. She needed tidiness and order in her life, and not being able to move things around on the screen was starting to drive her bonkers.

“Almost there…” she said under her breath, taking out red and blue viruses simultaneously.

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

“Hey, thanks!” Quinn replied sincerely, which made Rachel stop to look over at her attacking (traitorous?!) soldiers. Sure enough, a blue bit was lined up to fall on a blue virus, and the red bit was going to eliminate a red stack. “Not that I need your help kicking your ass…”

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

“…but I’ll take it.”

Thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud.

“UGH! Unbelievable.”

Quinn was down to 11 viruses, but Rachel knew she could pull it out with the lone red and blue monsters on the far right side of her screen. Seven pills later, she had victory in her sights. She even made a chain reaction in the meantime to slow Quinn down a bit.

Just one left, ohmygod ohmygod…clear the yellow pills out of the way…no, stupid blue, go away!...okay Rachel, here comes the red, I see it!…ohmygod ohmygod…

Rachel slammed the final pill down and jumped out of her chair. “Oh my god, I did it! I won!”

The giant red X crashed on Quinn’s side as Rachel received a gold crown of her own.

“You’re learning fast, I’ll give you that,” said Quinn.

“Well, I had a very sexy teacher.”

Quinn blushed. “Tell you what. Now that we’re tied, let’s make it interesting. One more round, winner take all.”

Rachel was intrigued. “What does the winner get?”

“Bragging rights.”

Her brow furrowed. “That’s all?”

“And…”

If I win, I get my damn nap.

Quinn pondered for a moment. “A lap dance.”

Rachel looked around, suddenly very self-conscious. She whispered hurriedly, “What if your mother comes home?”

“Not right here, right now, obviously. Later.” She smiled. “Upstairs. To ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me,’ another underappreciated classic from the late 1980s.”

Rachel grinned. “It sounds like you’ve put some thought into this. Very well. I look forward to you visually pleasuring me this evening.”

Quinn hummed in disagreement. “I’ve already picked out the outfit you’re going to wear when you’re straddled across me, begging for my approval.”

“It’s almost sad that you still think you can win this. I’ve got your number, baby.”

Rachel settled into her seat and steadied herself for the final round. Sixteen viruses didn’t seem like so much anymore. Victory would be hers, oh yes. It’d be like taking a lap dance from a baby.

Wait, no, eww.

The music started and Rachel dove right in, swaying side to side as she drove the pills left and right.

Quinn had to give her credit; they were making similar progress, virus for virus. The problem was, of course, that Quinn had begun with twenty-four more. She really wanted that lap dance, so she’d have to—

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

Thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud.

Quinn sighed in frustration as she waited impatiently for the bits to drop. They always seemed to fall slower on her side than when she did it to Rachel’s.

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

She hadn’t even gotten a new damn pill yet! Rachel was down to 9, and Quinn wasn’t able to do shit about it.

“It seems I’ve created a monster.”

“I prefer to think of it as giving someone a taste of her own medicine. And kicking her cute, little ass,” said Rachel.

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

Quinn pulled a pillow out from behind her and smacked Rachel on the head. (“OW! Hey!”)

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

Quinn sat back and dropped the controller in her lap with a huff. Apparently Rachel wasn’t going to let her fucking play anymore. Maybe there was something on the shelf worth reading. The trashy magazines were within arm’s reach…

Or I could go take that fucking nap.

The thudding finally stopped, and Quinn set to dish up some chain reactions of her own. She knew she played faster than Rachel, so she used it to her advantage. She got a nice string of just the right color pills to build a three-step reaction, then eliminated a red and a yellow with one pill before the music could catch up. Quinn grinned in anticipation and watched for the coming onslaught.

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

Five blocks poured down Rachel’s screen like an invading army, wreaking havoc on the beautifully laid stacks for her final 7 viruses.

“WHAT THE HELL, QUINN.”

“Something wrong?” Quinn mused, casually rotating her next pill.

“You are not nearly as charming as you think you are.”

“Mmm, yes I am.”

This was a disaster. All that hard work, ruined! And where the hell was Rachel supposed to start in cleaning it up?! She was losing it. She flipped a pill wrong on the left side and accidentally created a tower of blue on a red virus. She tried to knock it out, but she only had three in a row, not four, and now there was yellow on top of that. Things were getting away from her quickly. Quinn was down to only 13 viruses now. This was not good. Very not good.

“So –“ Quinn began, then paused.

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

It was important that Rachel hear the musical cues. Every last note of them.

“I can’t decide between a white collared shirt with nothing underneath –“

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

“— and that black top you got last week with the lace panties. What do you think would be easier to dance in?”

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

“I am not speaking to you right now,” Rachel replied. She was getting pretty buried in this mess, and thinking about what Quinn’s face would look like if she wore either of those things – well, that was far too distracting. She was still winning (technically), she just had to dig herself out of this crap. You know, somehow. Preferably this month.

Quinn took a moment to look over and admire her handiwork. Rachel’s side was a shitstorm of color all over the place. Her six remaining viruses were hard to find, buried waaaay down at the bottom. Their little faces were mocking her.

Excellent.

“How’s your plan to rid the world of Pitchiness going?”

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

Rachel grunted in frustration. “Not nearly as well as your plan to destroy this relationship.”

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

One stack at a time, Rachel cleared out the filler standing in her way, throwing as much back on Quinn as she could. She knew she had to break Quinn’s pace if she had any chance of winning this thing, but Quinn wasn’t making it easy. Rachel kind of loved that. Her victory would be that much sweeter for it. But now she was thinking about slowing Quinn down by tying her up, and oh god.

Focus.

Kill something.

Take control.

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

“You will give me a professional-grade lap dance, Quinn Fabray, of the very highest quality, like you see in grossly misogynistic films for college boys,” said Rachel. “I’ve witnessed the extensive flexibility of the Cheerios on multiple occasions, so don’t give me any ‘I can’t do that’ nonsense.”

Quinn was trying to tune her out and level the score, but things weren’t looking good. She just had too many damn viruses left. Fucking Finn.

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

“I’m going to make you bend for me in ways you don’t even know are possible,” Rachel continued. She threw her body to the left to slide a pill between two viruses and slammed into Quinn’s chair.

Quinn shot her a look. “Easy, there. Can’t have you whining about being sore when you’re leaning over me in four-inch heels. Total turn-off.”

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

Rachel cleared another virus. “As I won’t be allowed to touch you during my lap dance, I hope you are plagued by thoughts and visions of all the glorious things these fingers are capable of, as witnessed here in your resounding defeat.”

She took out a big section of filler in the center. Quinn took out three yellows in a clump on the left side of her screen. Only eight left now to Rachel’s four. She wanted this so badly, she could taste it. Damnit, now she wanted cookies again. Or Rachel.

Focus!
 
“And furthermore,” Rachel said pointedly, “this tournament has revealed the unfortunate but all too apparent inferiority of your manual dexterity, so I will insist you step up your game before putting those plebian hands on me again.”

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

Thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud.

Quinn gritted her teeth. “One more of those damn blocks and you won’t ever have to worry about that.”

Six to three.

Doo doo loo DOOT DOOT!

“Damnit!”

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

Five to two.

Quinn was one with the controller as she zoomed the pills left and right and down, flipped and slid, turned and down. She watched for the pill on-deck and planned out her moves like a chess player. She was in the zone. This was her game. This was her moment. Three viruses left, then two. The blue pill she needed was up next! She—

DOOOOOOO doo doot doot DOOT, DOOT.

“YES!” Rachel jumped up from her chair and moved her final pill into place as Quinn looked on, dumbstruck. The music crashed to a halt, the crown appeared, and Quinn couldn’t register what was happening. Why had the game stopped when she still had two viruses left?

“I did it! I won! Eeeeee!” Rachel was jumping up and down, still holding the controller in one hand.

Quinn braced her forehead with a hand and peered up at her delightful, adoring girlfriend. She hated to lose anything, especially something as ridiculous as a damn Nintendo game. But Quinn couldn’t help but smile. Just a little. (Rachel did seem really excited. And a pitch-perfect world sounded pretty fantastic, she had to admit. Too bad about Finn, though.)

“C’mere.” Quinn reached out to steady the still-jumping Rachel and pull her in for a kiss. She accepted her fate, but god only knew what Rachel would make her do. Wear something sleek and sexy…or something embarrassing for punishment? It could go either way, really.

With a waving hand, she prompted for information. “So.”

Rachel stayed inches from Quinn’s face and looked away in thought, biting her lip. “Hmm…I seem to recall something about…a white collared shirt?”

Quinn smiled. She suddenly wasn’t feeling very tired at all.