Its her first night after her cancelled wedding when she suspects she made the wrong choice. She wishes she could say it was the moment Quinn turned her back and walked out of her life for good but this is Rachel Berry and she has always had to see things through even with the warning bells blaring loudly. So no, when Quinn says "Rachel i can't stand by and watch you go through with this marrying Finn thing..." Rachel thinks, here we go again. This is an argument they have had for several weeks now. She and Quinn are not officially together, what they are can't even be categorized as friends with benefits because they have never shared a kind word with each other. Their getting together was simply a matter of proximity and loneliness. This is what Rachel tells her self every night the first few times Quinn continues to ignore her in the halls. It works at first, a little too well Quinn likes to muse.
It has never been Quinn's way to share her feelings and so when she and Rachel FINALLY get together, she is not bursting to confess to the girl that she has loved her from afar for as long as she can remember. She is not willing to explain that as smart as she is (she got early acceptance to both Yale and Oxford) she still hasn't grown past the preschool playground phase of pulling ones' crushes pig-tails. So when she and Rachel randomly start hooking up at each and every one of Puck's parties, she does not think there is enough alcohol in the world to allow confession to pass through her lips. So she hedges. She plays the push and pull, come here go away bit that supposedly drives girls crazy. This being Rachel it actually works for a little bit. But then Rachel chokes at her audition and she is but a shadow of the girl she once was. Suddenly Quinn's game is not enough, there is something to be gained when the most popular girl at school suddenly cannot seem to keep her hands away from you. When life still holds its promises of a bright future, the withholding cheerleader is simply a prize to be held at the end of a vigorous game of keep away. But when all your dreams have been dashed and life is bleak? an oaf with a dust spec for a diamond ring is like a life raft to a drowning man at sea. So Rachel clings. She clings to Finn Hudson like her life depends on it. In fact she convinces herself that there is no life to be had without him. He is her only support, will love her no matter what. In fact he seems to prefer that she not be bogged down with ambition, to a girl failed by her ambition this is an untold peace.
When Finn leaves her at that train station out of the blue, Rachel thinks she might have dodged a bullet but she is not certain. She is grateful to get on that train and speed towards the life she secretly thought she had lost. She rationalizes that wanting to hold Quinn's hand one last time is not unexpected. After all once Quinn came back in that wheelchair after her accident they did seem to be closer than they have ever been. Finn has always said it was because she felt guilty, Rachel is inclined to agree with him. Trouble is, deep down she knows its not true. She has had this thick feeling in her chest whenever she looks at Quinn, really looks at her, since their junior prom when Quinn slapped her.
Rachel has always felt like a grown woman looking back on her life, she is that nostalgic. So she thinks a lot of what happens between her and Quinn is marred by this sense of nostalgia. Quinn likes to think of herself as a kid visiting a fortune teller only to see a glimpse of her true love and she is scared they wont get their happily ever after. She is so scared she does nothing to stop Rachel when she is speeding away from her. She thinks, "this destiny thing is too heavy even for me, its best i stick to simpler, less complicated loves." So she kisses Puck.
Puck is the opposite of everything Rachel has ever made her feel. He isn't as compelling, she never feels the need to see him/witness him/acknowledge him. Her body is completely unencumbered by his existence. She can go for days without speaking to him and she doesn't miss him. She thinks about him but its not incessant. Puck is pudding, a nice thought where Rachel is oxygen, a necessity. Whenever she thinks this she laughs a little. Rachel is nothing more than a not so drunken hookup. That she spent 2 years of her life wanting to hold the girl's hand and smell her hair and hear her laugh and see her smile at her lovingly is moot. Rachel is a girl she slept with 5 times.
Quinn is certain she isn't even gay apart from Rachel. Then she sleeps with Santana a year after graduation at Mr. Schue's non wedding and she thinks she isnt gay apart from Rachel and Santana. When she meets Spencer she thinks she might have a slight brunette fetish, but people have fetishes and they dont make a lifestyle out of them. When she unwittingly hooks up with Emily who turns out to be Spencer's friend she thinks she might be a little gay. But only a little. She is still Quinn Fabray and however smart or hot the girls are, she still cannot be out and proud gay. Except maybe for Rachel. She has mostly let the idea of getting with Rachel go, only sometimes when she is drunk at a girl bar with her college friends she still goes for girls that look/remind her of Rachel.
Unlike Quinn, Rachel is only gay for Quinn. A fact she learns when her first year scene partner kisses her after an awkward first date. She is trying new things, living the bohemian life and nothing screams Bohemia louder than sexual fluidity, so when Jac nevously asks her out Rachel smiles her biggest broadway smile and accepts. Jac is sweet, pulls out chairs, stands when she approaches the table and silently pays for dinner after the appropriate amount of time spent arguing over who would pay. Rachel knows from the first time Jac takes her hand to walk her down her building's stairs that Jac is not Quinn. Her hands while small and feminine are not as sure. Her eyes are not as bright and her smile is not as dazzling. Rachel gives it a shot anyway but by the main course she knows she and Jac are only meant to be friends. The awkward kiss at the door confirms this, so Rachel tells the girls it wont work. Jac says "straight huh?!" and Rachel nods.
Kurt has been living with Rachel for 2 years and has seen the girl go through her normal carousel of leading man after leading mean after leading man. He is eager to hear how the date went. He has a secret theory that Rachel is gay and all the serial dating is a way for her to mask her abiding homosexuality. When Rachel tells him of the lack of sparks he thinks Jac was maybe not the right person. Rachel has never told Kurt about her brief affair with Quinn. She doesnt think his mind could handle that juicy bit of gossip, especially with Mercedes touring with Alicia Keys and not readily available to gossip with. She has also always thought of that as the only secret she would take to her death bed. Something to smile about in her dying moments.
The first night Santana moves in with them is the first time Rachel hears any news about Quinn. Her heart races at the mention of the girls' name. She hasnt heard anything from or about the girl for 2 years, 8 months and 3 days. That she knows exactly how long it has been since she last heard anything about the girl should be telling. Rachel knows she is a little bit in love with Quinn but she doesnt dwell on it. She thinks its one sided and she is a grown new york woman now and she doesnt have time for high school crushes.
5 years has gone by and their reunion is tonight. This is the first time she will be seeing most of the glee club (read: the first time she will be seeing Quinn Fabray). Rachel is beyond nervous. She has been steadily making a name for herself on broadway and just got a role as one of the major characters for a new edgy play directed by the it boy director Oswald Emerson. The man is a cad, a bit of a Jesse St James type only with actual redeeming characters. He has been trying to woe Rachel since meeting her but she doesnt want to give the impression that she will have sex for a role. He is her date for the night's festivities. The only reason she is taking him is because he looks damn good on her arm and as much as Rachel has grown these last five years, she still wants things too much and what she wants right now is for her Glee Club to see her as successful as possible. She is also hoping Finn will be there. Their last go around on the relationship merry go round didnt go as well. Finn couldnt handle Rachel's life or the fact that she had clearly outgrown him, a fact she refused to acknowledge until the bitter end. He met a waitress at the local deli, a failed actress from Ohio who was getting ready to head back home, having been chewed and spit out by show business. The two had as torrid an affair as an unemployed mechanic and a slightly over weight 38 year old could have and when she fell pregnant Finn finally came clean and broke up with Rachel and he and Mindy moved to Lima and lived out their boring lives.
With this in mind Rachel wants to come back the very symbol of success and glamour. It also wont hurt to see Quinn after 5years looking her very best. Rachel is a little pissed off with the girl. She had apparently moved to New York after graduation but had never reached out to Rachel, only meeting Santana at her place or at coffee shops. That Quinn was seemingly going out of her way to not get in touch with Rachel only made her rage harder and tonight she wanted to be drop dead gorgeous when she saw her old nemesis and 5 time lover.
A gleek party is nothing without drama and nothing stirs drama like a rousing game of truth or dare. Tonight Rachel will find out a few things:
1. Quinn is apparently a raging lesbian now, not only is she gay but she is also apparently quite the Lothario, having dated an impressive(even by Puck standards) number of women,
2. Quinn was apparently secretly in love with some mysterious person through out most of High School, Secretly Rachel is hoping that she was that person, and
3. Quinn and Santana slept together twice during Mr. Shue's non-wedding.
This last bit of information has Rachel seething, how dare Quinn sleep with someone else. More aptly how dare she sleep with Santana and how dare she continue to be friends with the girl. This is most upsetting because now Rachel has lost all hope of being the person Quinn was secretly in love with and really after everything Quinn has put her through, she has a nerve to have not been inlove with her all along. Rachel thinks Quinn might have not spent her entire high school career watching teen movies because if she had then she would have had the decency to at least be a little bit in love with Rachel given all the pointless torture.
Quinn decided 3 years after graduation that she would not see Rachel Berry ever again. At least not until she got over the girl and each and every meeting with Santana only confirmed this was the right thing to do. By Santana's retelling Rachel had really grown into herself in New York and was apparently a hot commodity. The girl had apparently grown into a social butterfly who went out with the hip and talented every day of the week and the men! So many men that even Santana had to begrudgingly give the girl her props. All this is of course a knife through Quinn's heart but she is familiar with this stabby sensation at this point and after 3 years of not witnessing it herself, the pain is nothing but a dull ache at this point. Its because the pain is nothing but a dull ache that Quinn agrees to attend the 5 year reunion for the Gleeks. She and Spencer patched things up after graduation and have been going out for a little over a year now. Rachel is just the girl who got away and Quinn is finally okay with this knowledge. Spencer of course cant make it to the reunion, she is called away to Rosewood at the last moment to attend yet another mysterious meeting with her old friends. Quinn is so foolishly sure that she is over Rachel and can handle the night's festivities solo. She only realizes when she sees the girl for the first time in person after 5 years that she was foolishly sure. Rachel is breath taking, she has grown into herself and the dick on her arm does nothing to take away from who the girl is now. Assured, capable and fully realized. Quinn regrets not witnessing her grow into this person.
Rachel has always thought Quinn was the prettiest girl she has ever met. She has been living in new york now for 5 years, has worked with celebrities and artists from all over the world and still Quinn Fabray is the prettiest girl she has ever seen. When they finally lock eyes after so long its as though they are finally seeing each other for the first time. Quinn has done a lot since graduation, she is a published author and poet, lecturing on the divine feminine and the erotic at Stanford University. She is the epitome of a hot professor and Rachel can see why all the women throw themselves at her feet.
The night is going well, even considering the minor drama the game of truth or dare caused. It seems the settling of hormones has done a lot in keeping the Gleeks in check. They slowly make their way home one by one. At the end Kurt, Blaine, Santana, Quinn and Rachel remain. Then only Quinn and Rachel remain. They are having coffee at the bar, its not too late and they arent drunk just a little tipsy. They are playing Truth or Dare still, its more like 20 questions at this stage. Rachel is gleeful at the opportunity to pick Quinn's brain about her life. She asks, "when did you know you were gay?". Quinn will say"...in elementary school i had the biggest crush one of my teachers, Ms. Goodall. She brought us treats and read to us wonderful stories about princes' and princesses and all i wanted was to be her prince. My dad quickly disabused me of that notion and i let it go for a while." She will then ask Rachel about the straw that finally broke the Finchel shaped camel's back and Rachel will tell her the whole sordid tale, she is funny and self deprecating when she does so. She is so grown and different from the girl she knew in high school but she is still the same girl somehow. Quinn says, "okay, one last question then i need to go home." Rachel will finally ask "Tell me about the one who got away?"
Quinn for the first time in her life will breathe truth into her longest and closely held desire..."you are the one that got away,Rachel."