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The Promise

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A/N: So this is my first Faberry fanfic in around eight years I used to write about them when I was a teen. Even though much time has passed, Faberry has always had a special place in my heart. So finally, I decided to write about them again! I got this fiction mostly planned out already and I've written almost thirty percent or so, so expect some updates in the near future. Also please let me know what you think through a review, I'd really appreciate it!

Chapter 1

Quinn stepped through the side door of the auditorium and as soon as the door closed behind her the sounds of music and cheering became muted. The blonde inhaled deeply and took a few steps into the abandoned and only dimly lit corridor. She reached for the hat matching her red graduation robe and looked at it absentmindedly. Finally, she had reached the end of high school, so she could leave this place she hated so much. But it also meant leaving Rachel.

It had taken her long enough, but now Quinn was able to admit to herself that she was in love with Rachel. She had been for a while, but it had cost her a lot to stop fighting against it. But eventually, she had grown too tired of burying her feelings under a pile of disbelief, fear and insecurity.

Quinn wanted to tell Rachel about her feelings and she really had tried a few times, but she somehow had missed opportunity after opportunity and every time she had managed to foster up the courage, the moment got ruined by either Rachel talking about Finn or a sudden interruption by one of their friends.

Quinn knew that tonight would be the last chance to confess to Rachel before their ways would part. That's why a few days ago, when she was lying in bed and stared at the dark ceiling above her, she made a promise to herself. On the day of their graduation she would tell Rachel everything - but only if the brunette would come to find her after she left the auditorium. If Rachel wouldn't even notice her absence, Quinn's case was a hopeless one anyways

Quinn squeezed the hat in her fist as she walked down the corridor. The noise was becoming fainter and her steps slower. She briefly turned around but there was no one there. Her heart sunk and she lowered her head in defeat while she got closer to the end of the corridor. She'd just walk out the door and leave, so she could disappear into the night and take her feelings with her.

But then the music and chattering got louder for a second or two before it was muted once more.

A few small steps echoed from the halls and a voice called: "Quinn!"

Quinn froze and briefly contemplated whether she should just walk out of the exit that she had almost reached by now. But she couldn't do that. She had to face it.

Slowly, she turned her head so she could see the other end of the corridor. There she was, beautiful and perfect as always. The girl that would never be hers

"Quinn, where are you going?", Rachel asked after she closed the distance between them. She looked concerned and Quinn's heart jumped because she saw the sincerity in her eyes. At least Rachel cared for her somehow. The ever so slight spark of hope that – maybe - Rachel was feeling something more than friendship for her welled up inside Quinn's heart once more and it caused the blonde to smile. Quinn was well aware that she was being irrational, but she had never been able to let the spark die. Sometimes she had been convinced she had noticed something in Rachel's gaze or in the way she would touch her arm that was different than before. The blonde wasn't able to exactly define this difference, but she could sense it. At least it sounded so much better to her than admitting that everything might just be her own over-interpretation and imagination.

"It felt too stuffy in there", Quinn replied. "I just wanted to get some fresh air."

Rachel nodded but remained silent. Quinn bit her lip and knew that this was the moment. She had to tell her. Now or never.

"ut before she could muster up the courage, Rachel spoke up again. "Will we still be friends?", she asked with uncertainty in her voice. "I mean after this?" She tugged at her red graduation robe. "I did some research and it says that on average people only remain in contact with three out of all their high school friends and even though I love everybody in Glee club, if I had to choose, I would want you to be one of these three people. Do you think that'd be possible?" Rachel blushed and ducked her head a little.

Quinn chuckled at the smaller girl's adorable ranting and reached out for her hand. Both girls fell silent for a second and gazed down at their intertwined hands.

"Don't worry", Quinn reassured eventually. "Of course we'll stay in touch".

"Can you promise me?" Rachel asked and looked up into Quinn's eyes.

"I promise", Quinn replied with a soft smile. Her heart was beating rapidly from the sensation of holding the brunette's soft hand in hers and the brown eyes seemed to burn into her skin. The giddiness caused Quinn's palms to get sweaty, so she let go of Rachel's hand reluctantly.

Rachel smiled contently before pointing towards the door leading into the auditorium. "Should we get back in there, then?" she asked.

"Quinn was unable to speak and only barely nodded. She mentally screamed at herself for not saying anything. 'You promised this, Quinn Fabray!', she thought. 'Today is the day…'

But why would the words not leave her mouth? They were clearly on her tongue already. "I am in love with you Rachel!", is what she wanted to scream so she could finally get rid of the weight that was pressing down on her shoulders since long ago, sometimes making it hard to breathe properly.

'I am in love with you.' She only had to pronounce six short words, but it felt like the hardest task ever.

"I…" Quinn did not recognize her own voice. It sounded weak and far away. But it had definitely escaped from her mouth, because Rachel turned around and looked at her expectantly.

"Do you now want to go back inside?", she asked.

"No, I…", Quinn tried again while her heart was beating so fast, she thought Rachel must be able to hear it.

"I am in love", Quinn whispered. She looked up at Rachel who was about to say something, but Quinn was faster.

"With you."

After hearing the words finally being spoken out loud, Quinn stopped breathing and just looked at Rachel, her heart hammering in her chest and her blood rushing uncomfortably loudly in her ears.

When the realization hit Rachel, her eyes widened in surprise. Quinn was in love with her. That was unexpected. At least kind of. She thought back to all the moments of innocent intimacy they had shared over the past year. A slightly longer than average hug here, an intense look into each other's eyes there… Quinn's regular outbursts after she heard about her engagement with Finn, which had Rachel thinking more than once about the blonde's true intentions.

"Quinn…" Rachel whispered, not yet knowing what to respond to the confession she had just received.

"I know you don't feel the same", Quinn blurted out before Rachel could continue. Of course Rachel did not feel the same. She never did. She had expected this reaction and despite the rejection it felt good to finally be freed of the weight of her own feelings.

"You remember when I asked you about the song back then? Whether you sang it to Finn and only Finn?", Quinn asked with a much steadier voice than before.

Rachel nodded as her gaze drifted away, so she could properly recollect that moment. Of course she remembered. Especially how she had felt after confirming that she had indeed sung the song to Finn and only him. Somehow the answer had seemed so wrong, even though she actually had prepared the song with the boy in mind. But then every time she sung the song, his image in her head became blurry and she could've sworn she'd seen Quinn's smile instead. But of course she would've never admitted that.

Quinn reached for Rachel's hand once more and ran her thump over the back of her hand. Quinn's hand felt cool, but pleasantly so.

"This was the moment I gave up", Quinn continued quietly. "It made me finally realize that I'd never become the one you love. That Finn will always be there and that this is what you want. I wished so many times that you were mine, but I know I don't stand a chance. Still, I wanted to tell you at least. You deserve to know and also having too many secrets is never a good idea, as you know, I had to learn the hard way." Quinn chuckled humorlessly while she continued to caress Rachel's hand.

"When did you start having those feelings for me?" Rachel asked while she was still trying to sort out her own thoughts. Usually it was her, who did most of the talking between the two of them, but now she had no idea what to say, so she settled for the first question coming to her mind.

Quinn smiled. "Pretty much when I first got to know you. Well, obviously I didn't realize it fast enough. If I had, who knows…maybe things would be different right now…" She trailed off, because she didn't want to finish the thought. It'd hurt too much.

"Thanks for telling me Quinn", Rachel said sincerely. "You're a very brave person."

"I'm a coward", Quinn replied with a smile. "If I were brave, I would've told you way earlier. But I was too busy running from my own feelings." Quinn shook her head. "I'm rather pathetic, I guess."

"No!", Rachel protested. Out of all the people in this stupid high school Quinn was surely the least pathetic one. "You are an amazing person, Quinn", Rachel said and carefully lifted up Quinn's chin so that she would look directly into her eyes. "I have never admired anyone more than I do admire you – except for Barbara, but you know what I mean. You are the only person who knows the real me. And I loved every minute we spent together over the past year, because you always made me feel special."

"But?", Quinn asked more cynically than she had intended. In her imagination it sounded like she definitely did a better job than Finn.

"I do love you Quinn", Rachel answered. "You are a very special person in my life and one of the best friends I've ever had. But you know I am with Finn and we're planning our future together." She tried to smile and it was hard to tell whether it was out of sympathy or out of regret.

Quinn bit her lower lip and briefly averted her eyes from Rachel's. Of course it was Finn. It always was Finn. And it would always be Finn. And even though she had longed to hear those three words, they were pretty much meaningless in the context Rachel used them. Especially when Finn was the one who got to hear them the way Quinn wanted to.

"Okay", Quinn whispered and let go of Rachel's hand. "Go back inside then. Finn might be looking for you already", she added and turned away from Rachel.

She inhaled deeply and clenched her fingers in order to calm herself down from the nervousness that was still rushing through her veins. She wanted to get out of this stupid school. And sometimes she wanted to get out of this life as well. So why not start the process by getting out of this building already? But when Quinn was just about to walk towards the exit, Rachel reached for her wrist and held her back.

"Quinn, wait", she pleaded. The diva didn't think about what she was doing, because she knew there was no time for thinking. If she didn't act now Quinn might be gone from her life for good, but she desperately wanted to keep the blonde in her life, because she loved her so much, even though it was just as a friend.

"Rachel, please", Quinn protested while turning around to face the other girl. "I really need some space now."

"Let me just tell you one thing", Rachel said as she let go of Quinn's wrist and slipped her hand into Quinn's. "You should know that if my relationship status were any different, I'd totally consider getting romantically involved with you."

Quinn couldn't decide whether to roll her eyes at the brunette's choice of vocabulary or laugh at her lack of realistic thinking. Woulds and coulds wouldn't make the situation any better for either of them.

"I have to admit, that I sometimes felt a certain attraction towards you, which might have extended beyond the limits of friendship a bit" Rachel admitted bashfully.

"You did?", Quinn replied, rising an eyebrow. She had no idea what Rachel was getting at, but decided to hear the brunette out.

Rachel nodded eagerly, which caused her hat to shift a little, but she didn't bother putting it back into position because then she would've to let go of Quinn's hand. And Quinn's hand felt nice.

"I know it probably sounds crazy and many people actually don't mean it and say it just for fun, but I mean it", Rachel said becoming more enthusiastic with every word while an idea was manifesting in her mind.

"I don't understand anything", Quinn replied, confused about what Rachel was trying to say. She wished she had gotten out of the building already. But who can say no to one Rachel Barbara Berry? Exactly.

"Let's promise each other something", Rachel replied and looked directly into Quinn's hazel eyes. Her breath got stuck in her throat when she finally recognized the admiration and love Quinn felt for her. Rachel wondered how she never noticed before when it had been so obviously written in Quinn's eyes all along.

"A promise?" Quinn asked skeptically. "That I'll attend you and Finn's next wedding?"

Rachel flinched at the sarcasm in Quinn's voice but tried not be too affected by it. She knew that Quinn was hurting because of her and might sound harsher than she intended.

"No, nothing like that", Rachel shook her head.

"So?" Quinn asked impatiently. br /Rachel took a deep breath and tried to calm down. She'd probably start ranting very soon like she always did when she felt nervous. "I know that we'll both be very busy with our lives after graduation and we probably won't meet very often, even though I hope we do- but, that's not important right now, what I actually want to ask is: if we meet at some point in the future where both you and I are single, how about we try dating then?"

"So you mean something like the infamous 'if we're not married by forty let's marry each other?'-thing?" Quinn asked incredulously. "You do happen to know that nobody actually does that, right?"

"But we can be different!", Rachel protested. "Of course, if you meet someone and are happy with that person, you can just forget about me. I don't expect you to have these feelings for me forever. But I mean just hypothetically speaking if it ever were to come to that and if we'd still feel some attraction…", Rachel stopped talking because she felt like she was failing in bringing across the point.

Somehow the thought about Quinn's feelings possible vanishing hurt her more than she'd admit, but she knew that she was being selfish. She the one that had broken Quinn's heart, so how could she ever expect anything from the blonde?

"But you'll be married to Finn in a few years anyways, so you'll never be single again", Quinn whined while trying to stop her imagination from creating pictures of her stabbing the boy to death. And anyways, how did Rachel come up with a ridiculous idea like that? She clearly watched too many romantic comedies.

"Well, one can never know what'll happen", Rachel countered.

Quinn raised her eyebrows and looked at the smaller girl. She imagined what it'd be like if she were hers. If she were the one to hold her hand every day and to help her become the famous singer she wanted to be so badly. She was positive that Finn did nothing to help Rachel become the person she wanted to be. He only ever managed to bring out the worst in the girl. Who knew, maybe Rachel would finally realize it someday, too.

Quinn made a hesitant step forward and pulled Rachel into an embrace. She wrapped her arms around the tiny girl and inhaled the scent of her hair that was tickling her nose. When she felt Rachel's small hands digging into the fabric of her gown, Quinn couldn't hold back a tear and she had to clear her throat to prevent herself from sobbing.

"Do you love him?" Quinn whispered after a moment of silent holding onto each other. She closed her eyes and buried her face into Rachel's thick hair as she felt her heart starting to pound rapidly in her chest once more.

The question surprised Rachel and she didn't know what to say. While she ran her hand over Quinn's back, she felt the other girl's heartbeat against her chest and her breath against her hair. The embrace was so much more intimate than the ones they had shared before, but at the same time it felt so familiar and right. Rachel closed her eyes and tried thinking about Finn and how he made her feel, but somehow the obvious answer didn't seem right. Rachel realized that it didn't matter whether she said yes or no, because both answers would essentially be a lie. So instead of answering, she pressed her lips together and just remained silent.

'Maybe after all it isn't Finn and only Finn anymore?', Quinn thought when she didn't get an answer to her question. Maybe Rachel was right. Who knew what the future would bring? She could be dead tomorrow, so why not do something silly today?

Quinn took a step back from Rachel and looked at her. The brunette looked confused and miserable, even though she wasn't the rejected one. Quinn reached out and briefly caressed Rachel's cheek to cheer her up a little. Then she pulled back her hand and instead extended her little finger in front of the diva's face.

Quinn smirked before she asked: "Rachel Barbara Berry, if we meet again and both happen to be single at that time, would you want to go out with me then?"

Rachel just stared at the outstretched little finger in front of her face and couldn't believe that Quinn really just asked her that. But then a feeling of relief took over and she started giggling. "It would be my pleasure, Lucy Quinn Fabray."

Then she extended her own finger and entwined it with Quinn's.

"Promise?", Rachel asked.

"Promise."

After a second, Quinn let go of Rachel's finger and put her hat back on. "Now please allow me to go home and wallow in my self-pity, because I just got my heart broken", she said dryly, but with the hint of a smile.

"Okay, but we're still friends, right?", Rachel asked anxiously.

"Kind of", Quinn replied with a wink. Then she turned around and walked out of the door.

"Rachel sighed as she looked after the blonde and wondered when she'd see her again. Only after Quinn had long disappeared, she turned around and walked into the opposite direction. Back to the auditorium and back to Finn.