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Paradoxical Parallels

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Paradoxical Parallels

1. Chapter Index

2. Round TwoPunk Quinn. A horny Rachel. Fabathroom. Do the math. (600 words)

3. I Sing For Ice CreamFababy fluff, with some making out at the end. [Tweeting Birdies| unreleased] (1.1k)

4. InfiltrationOverwatch AU. Faberry fights baddies and kicks ass. (2.8k)

5. Struck DownAngsty outtake from Starstruck, Percy Jackson AU. [Starstruck] (700 words)

6. Strung on a Crime (of loving you)Quinn gets hurt and Short is there to (lecture) take care of her. [Just Swinging By] (3.3k)

7. through the eyes of a trouty mouth (that’s tired of all the bullshit like the rest of us)Sam knows what’s up and plays matchmaker. (3.3k)

8. Red After the car crash, Quinn dreams. (900 words)

9. In These ArmsRachel has a bad day. Pretty sure we all know what happens next. (900 words)

10. To be Wise and LoveQuinn and Rachel have a study session. Quinn takes it upon herself to be a poet. (1.6k)

11. Of Onesies and ChristmasChristmas in the Fabray household. Fababy fluff. (1.2k) [Tweeting Birdies]

12. Valentine - Quinn's always hated Valentine's Day. Maybe this year's won't be so bad though, if Rachel has anything to say about it. (1.8k)

Chapter Text

The door opens, and at the sight of Rachel, Quinn hides her smirk.

“Back for round two, Miss Berry?” she drawls. “Didn't know I was that irresistible.”

At that, an indignant look appears on Rachel's face, and Quinn immediately hones in on a bitten lip, feeling that familiar jolt of electricity down below as Rachel narrows her eyes. “Have you ever considered the possibility that maybe I just needed the toilet?”

Even though the brunette’s voice is scathing, the frustration lacing her tone is no doubt that of sexual frustration, and Quinn can’t hide her Cheshire grin, stretching across her face lazily.

Leaning back against the cold tiled walls of the bathroom, she hums noncommittedly, shrugging. “Well, okay then.”

Rachel seems to be taken aback, and she demands, “What?”

Quinn stifles her mocking smile. “Go do what you came here to do.”

When Rachel doesn’t reply, Quinn makes a show of rolling her eyes, prompting, “Go pee, Berry.”

There’s a spilt second of silence, and then Rachel is letting out a small little grunt of petulance, almost as if she’s disappointed that Quinn hadn’t called her out. “Well, fine then!”

Spinning on her heel, her hair flips dramatically as she storms into a toilet stall, and Quinn chuckles, low and dry.

Any second now,” she says to herself as an afterthought, tapping her fingers against the sink impatiently. “Three…two…and…”

The door to the stall opens, and Rachel pokes her head out, looking like a sulky child that wants something.

“Okay fine,” she admits, delicious lips jutted out in a pout. “I’m horny, and I…need you to take care of me.”

“Oh, how?” Quinn draws this out, loving how much Rachel seems to need her. “You gotta be specific, Rachel.”

A choked little whine erupts from Rachel’s throat, and it’s with the sharp aching of her core at the noise that Quinn thinks, Okay, maybe I need Rachel a whole damn lot too.

And just like that, Rachel is heading towards Quinn with quick strides, making hazel eyes look appreciatively at long legs that seem to go on for miles, and when Rachel stops, they’re so close that their noses are almost touching.

Finally letting out her predatory smirk, lips curling upwards, Quinn ignores the frantic beating of her heart, acting like Rachel’s close proximity isn’t affecting her at all. “Yeah?”

Rachel growls, a frustrated and needy sound. “I need you to go and fuck me until I can’t walk straight, dammit!”

Hearing the diva curse just makes Quinn even wetter, and she barely manages to suppress her aroused groan, her chest heaving heavily as they breathe against each other, Rachel’s breath warm against Quinn’s face.

Good girl,” Quinn husks, clearly pleased. “Now, was that really so hard?”

Quinn,” Rachel grits out, clearly buzzing with need as her entire face is red from the heat, and just like that, Quinn can’t take it anymore.

Tugging an all-too-willing Rachel to the handicapped stall, she slams and locks the door shut behind them, pressing the brunette against the wall with her lips ghosting right at Rachel’s pulse point.

“Oh, I’m not just gonna fuck you till you see stars and can’t walk straight,” she promises, a hand already kneading a bra-clad breast under Rachel’s sweater and the other slowly caressing a tanned smooth thigh, moving tauntingly slow.

Rachel makes a sound that’s both a pleading whimper and a guttural moan, and Quinn’s chest rumbles with satisfaction, her body pressing even closer against the small brunette.

“See, when I’m done with you, you’re going to feel me for days,” she growls, mouthing against a delectable neck hungrily. “And you’ll be mine.”

Chapter Text

“Mommy, can I have more ice cream?” Brown doe eyes peer up at her, batting innocently, and it’s in that moment that Harmony is looking so much like Rachel that Quinn almost caves in.

Almost. Sighing, she shakes her head. “You’ve already had two scoops. You’re going to have a tummy ache.”

“But- But-”

“No buts, okay? I promise I’ll get you some more tomorrow, deal?” Harmony sends her a pout - yeah, she’s definitely Rachel’s spawn - but Quinn holds strong, simply meeting her gaze evenly.

“Mama always lets me have more though,” her daughter whines.

Quinn can’t resist the fond smile that graces her lips. “Yeah well, that’s because Mama always spoils you. Now no more ice cream for today, alright?”

“...Fine,” Harmony finally agrees, puppy eyes still in place, and Quinn feels love blossom through her chest. This is her life, and she’ll forever be thankful for that.

Harmony goes off to find Rachel after that, and Quinn already knows what she’s going to do, but she can’t find it in herself to care - contrary to what her kids think, she does enjoy spoiling them occasionally, so when five minutes later, Harmony comes back, with another cone of ice cream in hand and another hand in Rachel’s, Quinn only smiles and shakes her head in adoration.

Turning to Rachel, she says, “You spoil her too much. She’ll have a stomach ache at this rate, you know?”

“Oh, she’ll be fine,” Rachel waves her off, before smiling at Harmony. “Won’t you, baby?”

Harmony, already well-versed in the arts of getting Rachel to tend to her every whim, simply nods along eagerly, sending a sweet smile to both of them. “‘Course, Mama. I love you!”

“Suck-up,” Quinn mumbles under her breath as Rachel beams, but her smile is too bright to even be masked. “Rae, when she needs to use the toilet later, you’re dealing with it.”

“Look, I barely get time to spend with them as it is Quinn, let your wife spoil your kids,” Rachel huffs, rolling her eyes.

“I am feeling so loved right now,” Quinn deadpans.

“You are,” Rachel immediately assures her. “You are so loved and cherished, Quinn, and I will forever love you for giving me these perfect babies.”

“Oh, so you only love me for my vagina pushing out your demon spawn, eh?”

Rachel snorts. “You act as if I didn’t push out your hellspawn first.”

“Pfft, Luke is the biggest sweetheart, Harmony just has you wrapped around her little finger,” Quinn retorts, but then her eyes turn soft. “I love you.”

It’s a confession, a declaration, and a promise all in one, and Rachel sends her a soft smile, tender and loving. “I love you too.”

“…Mama, can I have more ice cream?”

“No!”

“Yes!”

Rachel,” Quinn says in a warning tone.

Quinn,” Rachel mimics. “Don’t make us pull out the waterworks.”

“Yea Mommy, please?” Harmony joins in, eyes starting to water. “Or I’m gonna cry!”

“Oh, I love how you two don’t even pretend that they’re real,” Quinn shakes her head, before turning to Rachel. “Harm gets all her bad habits from you, I swear.”

Rachel pouts, “What about the good habits?”

“They’re all me, definitely,” Quinn smirks, and when Rachel huffs in indignance, Quinn lets out a chuckle, pulling her wife closer to her body. “Harmony is perfect, just like you. Happy?”

Rachel’s lips quirk upwards though Quinn’s sure that she’s trying her best to suppress it. “…Will you let me get ice cream with Harm?”

Quinn groans. “Rachel, baby, the answer is a firm no.”

“But Mommy-” Harmony whines, and Quinn gives her a stern look.

“No is no Har, you have to learn that.”

“But sometimes no can mean yes,” Rachel pipes up, eyes holding a secretive gleam. “Just like when Mommy told me no in high school. Completely void of value.”

Quinn narrows her eyes, fully prepared to stand her ground, but then Rachel leans in to her ear, whispering, “Luke is at school and Kurt is taking Harm after this, so we’ll be all free. And I’m thinking that we could find some use for the ice cream.”

“Harmony is literally right there.”

Rachel rolls her eyes. “She can’t hear us, and she’s too busy drooling at the ice cream anyway.”

“I meant I might ravish you in front of her if you keep this up.”

Rachel’s eyes darken immediately. “Let’s go drop off Harmony at Kurt’s right now.”

Quinn stifles her smirk. “My thoughts exactly, dear.”

It’s only when they get home that Rachel remembers, “…Wait a second, we didn’t get ice cream in the end!”

“Oh. How unfortunate,” Quinn drones, already shrugging off Rachel’s blouse and nipping hungrily at exposed tan skin.

“Fuck, Quinn,” Rachel groans as Quinn pushes her towards their bedroom, but she tries her best in shrugging away anyway. “Quinn! Did you seriously-”

“Uh huh, yeah, totally, you’re a dumdum,” Quinn waves away, in the process of removing Rachel’s bra to expose those glorious, glorious, breasts for her mouth to feast on.

But Rachel, of course, has to ruin all their fun, and she moves away with her arms crossed, not pleased at all. (Because she won’t let Quinn give her the pleasing dammit!)

“Quinn Fabray, I can’t believe you-”

Quinn moves to shut her up with a deep and bruising kiss, swallowing Rachel’s words into her mouth, and Rachel kisses back eagerly, hands everywhere.

“Now, do you really want to talk to me about this?” Quinn asks, brow raised as she starts to take a stiff peak into her mouth and suck.

“Oh, no Quinn, not- not at all,” Rachel babbles, voice in a loud moan. “Nope, nuh uh, and oh fuck yes! Quinn!”

Quinn simply smirks and pushes Rachel onto their bed, core throbbing between her legs with want. “If I recall correctly, we do have a pint of ice cream left in the freezer,” she drawls. “So maybe if you scream my name loud enough later, we’ll get to…play with it a bit later.”

“I scream for ice cream,” Rachel grins, before frowning a slight bit. “But wait, it’ll hurt my voice if I do.”

“Then sing for me, songbird,” Quinn growls, hand already moving to lace panties.

“Oh I’ll sing,” Rachel gasps out, “I’ll definitely sing.”

“Mm, lets test that theory, shall we?” Quinn purrs, and when Rachel lets out a rumble and pulls her down to the bed, she can’t stop her grin. “Ice cream tastes good and all, but…I think I know something that tastes even better.”

Just like that, she dives in to feast, and as Rachel thrashes and moans uncontrollably, Quinn can’t help but think, Thank god for ice cream.

Chapter Text

“Dammit Rachel,” Quinn mutters under her breath as her fingers work on her hacking interface to regain their connection, blue strokes frantically flowing across the screen.

I’m never letting her go with me on an infiltration mission ever again, she groans internally as she waves open a few screens, showing the security feed she hacked a while ago.

The room holding the information they need is still loaded with guards standing outside, and Rachel is nowhere in sight, not even registering on the satellite map.

“Need me to back you up?” Santana, who’s currently outside the enemy outpost with their ship ready, asks through their comms, clearly ready for some action.

“No chance in hell,” Quinn denies as she continues to hack the system, making sure that the security is down. “It’s bad enough I have to deal with Rachel’s brand of no subtlety at all, you storming in here with guns ablaze is not going to help.”

“Easy there, Q,” the Latina laughs, “Save the worried anger for the missus, and then maybe you can get laid and rid of that stick up your ass.”

Quinn growls in response, and after a few seconds of trying to reestablish a communication link to no avail, she decides, “That’s it, I’m going in.”

“You know Berry can take care of herself, right?” She can already picture Santana’s raised eyebrow, just waiting for the right moment to tease her mercilessly.

“Oh please, if it was Brittany you’d have teared apart the outpost long before this,” the blonde retorts, already forming a route in her database to send a visual to her visor. “You know the drill; if I don’t check in within fifteen minutes, you get to call the shots.”

And with that, she pulls an invisibility shield over herself, and she sneaks into the vents.

Though, that doesn’t stop Santana’s parting words, coughing, “Whipped.”

Quinn rolls her eyes even though the Latina can’t see it, and shuts off the link, focusing on finding Rachel.

Her last check-in was in sector 2C, a few hallways away from 3R, their target mission. At 2A now, Quinn stops by a keypad to recharge, and she inserts her code into the mainframe as well so she can use it later if she needs it.

Skimming through the data, she realizes that a signal from the storage room in sector 2D was sent a minute ago, and tracking it, she recognizes the signal’s string-code immediately.

Changing her route, she starts to identify more and more signs of Rachel’s handiwork, evident by the slight change in vibration frequency the blonde’s suit is detecting, and right as she reaches the storage room, the door bursts open, a golden circle-shape sonic blast ripping right through.

Rushing into the room, she sees Rachel fighting off guards, and Quinn quickly opens an interface to shut down security alarms and send a message that any threats were contained, her other hand taking out one of her machine pistols to shoot down unsuspecting guards.

Sliding in next to Rachel, the brunette shoots her a sheepish smile, and Quinn sighs fondly. “What part of infiltration do you not understand?”

“I’m sorry!” the shorter girl yelps as she takes down another omnic with her sonic gun, aiming for non-vital parts, pouting. “It was just, I was so excited for my first infiltration mission, and then I kind of tripped on a guard, and then a hoard of them were coming my way!”

Quinn shakes her head in amusement as she hacks another guard’s gun and causing it to explode. “You’re so making this up to me later.”

“Don’t worry,” Rachel smirks, voice low and throaty. “I’m definitely planning on it.”

Pleasant shivers rolling down her spine, the blonde narrows her eyes and takes out a pulse bomb. “I’m done playing this game now.”

After swiftly programming it to ignore her and Rachel’s weapon signatures, she throws it into the middle of the room and activates it with a quick press of her interface. One second later, all the guards’ technology spark with electricity, electrocuting them six ways to Sunday, and they all drop to the ground unconscious, memory wiped.

Taking off her hood, Rachel looks at her, affronted. “Why didn’t you do that in the first place?”

“Didn’t have much reason too,” Quinn shrugs, her visor’s nanotech retracting into her headgear, now just covering her right ear and trailing along that side of her jaw.

Stepping closer to her, Rachel meets her face to face. “Well, I was about to kiss you,” she pretends to ponder, leaning closer. But right as their lips are about to meet, she whispers in the blonde’s ear instead, “But now I think I’ll pass.”

As Rachel turns away teasingly, a low rumble makes its way out of Quinn’s throat, and she grabs a hold of the shorter girl’s waist, pulling her towards her body.

Rachel’s arms wrap around Quinn’s neck instinctively, and the blonde crashes their lips together, hands reaching down to grab the other girl’s ass.

A moan is drawn out from the tiny singer, and when Rachel tries to deepen the kiss by prying Quinn’s mouth open with her tongue, the taller girl pulls away with a self-satisfied quirk of her lips, giving Rachel’s ass one more squeeze before moving away.

“Nuh uh,” she sings as the brunette tries to chase after her lips, “We’ve got a mission to complete, remember?”

With a frustrated little huff, Rachel’s tone is full of promise. “We better get this done in ten minutes.”

“Wouldn’t dream of anything less, Superstar,” Quinn smirks, planting one last kiss on the brunette’s sweet lips, before walking away with her hips swaying.

“Tease,” she hears Rachel mumble lowly, and the taller girl laughs, before heading off to log a check-in with Santana.

They work out a plan pretty soon, and Quinn presses a kiss to Rachel’s forehead. “Be careful.”

“You too.” The singer shoots her a smile, before letting it turn devilish. “I’d hate to soil the ER if you do get hurt.”

“Ten minutes, Rachel,” Quinn reminds with a playful grin, “If you do, I’ll show you the new toy I got.”

Safe to say, it sends the girl hastily going on her way, and Quinn crawls into the vent system again, deactivating security traps as she goes.

The blonde soon reaches sector 3R, the info-cube in sight, and she opens their comms along with her interface. “Hacking in three.”

Rachel sends back an affirmative, and as soon as Quinn hears the sound of bodies dropping to the floor outside, she starts to extract the information, fingers working at top-speed to decrypt all of the data.

The memory wipe bomb she gave Rachel only lasts for three minutes, but she doesn’t need nearly as much time, and she’s already finished in one. She looks through her database to confirm that she’s gotten what they needed, and uploads it to their mainframe when she does.

Heading back to the storage room, she finds Rachel waiting for her, eyes dark with what could only be described as bottomless desire and hunger.

“Six minutes,” the brunette breathlessly informs her.

Grinning, Quinn hands her a translocator key, visor already retracted. “I’ve been counting.”

“Just shut up and kiss me, Fabray.”

“Gladly.” The blonde doesn’t need any more encouragement, and she fuses their lips together, letting out a contented sigh.

Rachel’s fingers trail up and down Quinn’s spine, knowing damn well how sensitive she is there, and traces the blue lines that hum to life at her touch, shining through the blonde’s signature black trench coat.

Letting out a strangled moan, Quinn pulls back to warn, “Rachel.”

“Does it hurt?” the brunette asks, like every time she’s allowed to feel all of the other girl, softly touching with reverent strokes.

Quinn shakes her head, closing her eyes and resting her forehead against Rachel’s. “You could never hurt me,” she breathes, and she claims the shorter girl’s mouth once more.

It’s tender and soft at first, but then Rachel tilts her head just right, and it turns into something much more primal, needy and desperate.

Their tongues meet, sliding into each other’s mouths with an urgent fervor, and Quinn’s not sure how they’re supposed to escape the outpost without getting down and dirty, because really, Rachel is like a drug in all the best ways, addictive and sending her on a high.

The blonde moves to slide a leg between Rachel’s legs and presses, forcing a mewl out of the absolutely beautiful specimen she gets to call hers, and the shorter girl starts to help her shrug off her trench coat.

“Oi, get back here before some guards find you two fucking like rabbits in their storage room!” Santana sends through their links, causing them to jerk away reflexively, and Quinn grumbles “Bitch” under her breath, causing Rachel to giggle.

“Come on baby.” The singer pecks her lips sweetly. “Let’s go home.”

“Home,” Quinn agrees, and they activate their translocator keys, teleporting to the translocator the taller girl had planted right outside the outpost fence a while ago.

“Ugh, I’ll never get used to the weird dematerializing feeling.” Rachel shivers, and Quinn laughs, free and bright, tucking the petite girl into her arm.

Opening the security feed to make sure it’s still down, she briefly goes through the records to see if she missed erasing anything, and when she finds nothing, she interlaces her fingers with Rachel’s and tugs them towards the cliff, happy that they can finally go home and get a well-deserved vacation.

Offering a smile, she asks, “Wanna try out the new upgrades I gave your boots?”

“I thought that they wouldn’t be done till next week,” Rachel’s voice tilts delightfully, before she frowns a slight bit. “Wait, was that what you were working on that night when you refused to come to bed?”

The blonde, in an effort to escape an hour long rant about her health, leans in close to her girlfriend, husking, “Guess you’ll have me tire you out properly later so I’ll get some good rest then.”

Rachel’s eyes close in anticipation for a few seconds to control herself, and then she genuinely grins up at the blonde. “Thank you, Quinn. I assume it’s like my wall ride function to control?”

“Yup,” Quinn confirms, chest filling with adoration at the cute smile on Rachel’s face, and she asks, “Jump together?”

It sounds so absurd that they can’t help but chuckle, and Rachel squeezes her hand as the moment turns heartfelt. “Always.”

Diving off the cliff, Quinn feels the adrenaline rush’s thrill embrace her once more, and Rachel’s hand grips her tight.

Right as they reach where the ship is parked into the cliff, Quinn activates her suit’s thrusters, the mechanical parts opening up with a familiar hiss to allow the air pressure around her to regulate and hold her up.

Small streams of steam are let out around her feet to ensure the air flow, which means that it’s working, and she looks to Rachel, who’s wearing an enchanted look on her face.

The brunette’s boots have her signature golden sound waves below them as they’re powered by sound instead of pressure like Quinn’s, and she can hear the faint hum of its vibrations, the space around Rachel’s feet subtly rippling to hold her up.

A wide grin is hosted on the singer’s face, and Quinn loves the fact that it’s her that put it there, a warmth that can only be pure love spreading from her chest to everywhere. “You like it?”

As Rachel figures out how to walk with the boots, stepping on air with an enraptured grin, she steps towards the blonde to kiss her, passionate and breathless. “I don’t appreciate the all-nighter you spent away from our bed to make it, but I love it.”

“I love you,” Quinn immediately counters with a (she’ll never admit this) smitten smile.

Rachel beams even brighter if it’s even possible, lighting up the dark atmosphere. “I love you too.”

The ship’s docking port slides open after a moment, and Santana greets them with a smirk. “Is Q done being Lesbian Jesus yet?”

Quinn snorts. “As if you’d let me take that godawful self-proclaimed title away from you.”

“Technically you can walk on water with this tech, so,” Rachel says, almost like an afterthought, as they walk to their room to change out of their gear. “By the way Quinn, you’ve got to tell me how it works later, both versions of it, though I’m quite sure I won’t understand half of your tech-lingo anyway.”

The blonde hums in reply, and she takes off her trench coat and visor, dumping it to the side. The cybernetic modifications to her spine shine a dim bright blue through the transparent lines in her metallic suit, powering it with an almost silent purr, and she groans as she stretches, her muscles and bones burning.

“You okay?” Rachel questions with concerned eyes, “Do we have to get the med team to take a look at it again?”

“It’s fine,” Quinn assures her partner with a small smile, not quite able to suppress the fuzzy feeling that comes with someone caring, even after this long being with the tiny singer, before adding quietly, “Makes me feel more human.”

Rachel’s eyes soften, and she opens her arms to wrap Quinn into a tight hug. “Oh baby,” she mummers against the blonde’s neck, “You feel, and that’s what’s most important. Not whatever tech that keeps your spine from collapsing.”

“Help me take off my suit?” Quinn tentatively asks, and Rachel kisses her soundly, knowing that the blonde only ever lets her do it when she’s feeling vulnerable.

“Of course,” the diva breathes out, fingers lightly trailing down the metallic plates of the suit’s arm.

Feeling a bout of self-consciousness, Quinn looks away, but the brunette facing her will have none of that, and she uses her free hand to hold the taller girl’s cheek, guiding her to meet chestnut brown eyes.

“You’re perfect.”

Swiping down the glowing blue spine armor, Rachel deactivates the suit using the interface that pops up, and with a satisfying hiss, the different parts of Quinn’s bionic suit pop out of place and open up as their blue lights turn off, powering down.

Placing a kiss to just below the blonde’s ear, the singer traces the edges and ridges of the metal parts with reverential glides of her finger. “You’re perfect, and I love you.”

Quinn sighs, breathy and airy, and Rachel removes the mechanical pieces of what’s practically her second skin one by one methodologically, setting them aside to reassemble later.

There’s a button they can press to have the suit automatically dissemble and reassemble into a box around the taller girl’s visor, but this feels more intimate, because it had taken Quinn a long time to come to terms with what she had become, and Rachel was a big and integral part of her healing.

Pretty soon, Quinn’s just down to her skin-tight black shirt and boy shorts, her skin glowing blue at the singer’s gentle touches, breathing to life.

If she had it her way, the cybernetic enhancements wouldn’t glow at all in normal conditions where she didn’t have to power her suit, but Rachel insisted on at least having it light up on touch, saying that it made her unique and deserved to be embraced.

The blonde had at first, very venomously refused, even ignoring Rachel’s infamous puppy eyes. But then the petite brunette decided to use some other parts of her body to persuade her instead, and well, let’s such say that Quinn gave in without much of a fuss after.

Speaking of which…

“Rachel,” she drawls, snaking her way behind her girlfriend’s downright delectable form to start sucking on her pulse point, tongue wreaking havoc on the sun-kissed olive skin. “I think I promised you something earlier.”

Letting out a kittenish moan, said girlfriend in question reaches a hand up to push her harder down the brunette’s neck, and Rachel starts to slowly grind against her, the pleasurable friction stroking the pit of fire in Quinn’s lower belly with a fervent need threatening to consume her whole. “You do always make good on your promises,” the tiny girl agrees, before Quinn bites down, hard, and she gasps, “Fuck, that feels good!”

Quinn smirks, spinning the singer to face her, and pulls Rachel in for a bruising kiss, unrestrained with pure lust and arousal, but most importantly, love.

Life is good.

Chapter Text

Her world goes black, and a while later, she wakes up, her birth father hovering over her with his hands glowing, with a faint quirk on his lips, which is the first sign.

She shoots up, and the first thing that comes out of her mouth is, “Where’s Quinn?”

Apollo’s smile dims, and that’s the second sign. “Honey-”

“Where’s Quinn,” she repeats, trying to calm her erratic heartbeat. “I need to see her.”

The sun god sighs forlornly, eyes holding little of its natural glow, and he acquiesces, reaching out to teleport them. “Please don’t hate me,” he whispers, and that’s the final blow.

When Rachel sees light again, she doesn’t even register the nausea that comes with teleporting, because Quinn is lying on a medical bed, body so broken Rachel nearly doesn’t recognize her.

“What’s wrong with her?” Rachel’s voice takes on a panicked high hue. “Why aren’t you healing her?”

“Rach-” Apollo steps forward to try to placate her, but the diva cuts him off like before.

“Dad, she needs healing.” Her breathing starts becoming ragged and sharp, and Rachel knows that she’s having a panic attack, but the sight of beautiful, untouchable Quinn unmoving is too much to take and she can’t breathe and-

“Rachel listen to me!”

Hands shake her shoulders and she freezes, heartbeat thumping hard in her ears.

“What happened?” she asks again, this time resigned and quiet.

“She asked me to save you first,” Apollo chokes out brokenly. “It was either you or her, and by the time we got to her the magic from Kronos’ blade had already gotten into her system. We can’t heal her more or she’ll die from overdosage. Rachel, I- I’m sorry.”

Cold blood rushes through her veins, and she struggles not to shout and accuse of him being selfish, because that’s not what Quinn needs right now, so she shuts her eyes closed and tries to keep a rational line of thinking, no matter her racing heart.

“Why can’t you make her a Goddess, then,” She’s desperate now, grasping at straws. “She’s more than earned it, and I refuse to believe that Zeus would be so cruel as to let his child die like this!”

Apollo gives her a warning look, but Rachel doesn’t back down, staring defiantly at the Olympian.

A contemplative look crosses his face, and he asks, “You know that if we did make her a Goddess, she wouldn’t be able to interact with the moral world like a normal demigod would, right?”

The hidden implications come across clearly enough, and Rachel feels her face flare up. “If that is what’s keeping your vote, then you’re more selfish than I thought, father.”

“You would let her achieve godhood and leave you behind if it ensured her living?”

The demigod doesn’t think twice. “Yes.”

Something flashes across her father’s eyes, turning it soft. “You really do love her, don’t you?”

Someone finally verbalizing it stabs at her chest, making her feelings seem real, and she exhales, “I do.”

Sadness fills Apollo’s face, as if her confirmation had made his next words much harder to swallow. “We can’t. The magic in Kronos’ blade makes it so that godly intervention is blocked out.”

Rachel’s heart drops. Something inside of her screams in anguish and yells for retribution on someone, anyone, to make everyone suffer as she is suffering now, but then, like a lightbulb, it all cuts off, and all that is left is a cold empty husk.

“I’ll leave you alone now Rachel,” Her father sighs, before he pauses, hesitant. “I-I love you, you know that, right?”

Rachel deflates. “I know.”

With a nod and a bright flash of light, he is gone.

Rachel looks at Quinn’s face, and prays to every god she knows, though she knows it’s no use.

Quinn doesn’t wake.

Chapter Text

“Calling all units, we have an armed robbery on-”

Groaning as she’s woken up by the police radio channel she has on pretty much 24/7 now, Quinn catches the words ‘explosives’ and ‘missile launchers’ through her cloudy haze of sleep, and it sends her into an alert fit immediately, eyes blinking away her weariness with a practiced ease.

“Damn it,” she mutters under her breath as she shrugs out of bed, moving to pick up her discarded clothes on the floor, and she winces as muscles pop out of place. “I thought I had patrolled enough tonight already.”

As she suits up with hasty movements, she hears shuffling from the bed, and she sighs in apology. “I woke you,” she says regrettably; “I’m sorry.”

From where Rachel is, bedsheets pulled up around her chest as she groggily sits up, the brunette lets out a small frown, and she doesn’t bother to acknowledge Quinn’s apology any further than a quick nod of dismissal, having already expressed that Quinn shouldn’t be contrite too many times to count. “Again?” she asks, and the undertone of worry in her girlfriend’s voice is apparent, making Quinn’s heart constrict.

“Yeah,” she breathes out, and Rachel nibbles on her lower lip in concern.

“But you’ve already been working day and night this past week,” – Quinn doesn’t know whether Rachel is protesting or worrying, though she knows it’s probably a mixture of both – “and yesterday you-”

Fingers twitching as they itch towards her bandaged ribs, she cuts Rachel off. “They’re healed.”

Rachel simply gives her a look.

“…Okay, maybe not fully, but they’re-”

“Quinn, please.”

Rachel’s tone is begging, pleading, and it tugs at Quinn’s heartstrings.

“I can’t,” she simply whispers in return. “They- They need Spiderwoman.”

“You’ve been fighting crime endlessly, even Spiderwoman deserves a break!” Rachel almost-snaps, but it’s resigned as well, as if she already knows Quinn’s answer.

It’s been like this for almost a month now – Fisk’s finally making his power move after half a year of peace and quiet, and Quinn hasn’t been able to catch a break ever since, the only solace at the moment being that it’s Spring Break so college is out.

She lets a helpless shrug, unable to do anything else, and Rachel’s head bows. “Just- Just come back to me safe, okay?”

Rachel’s voice is small and downcast, and it makes Quinn’s heart ache steadily. “Funny, you weren’t singing that tune when you were going to high-crime rate areas to get my attention,” she tries to make light of the situation, and is awarded with a teary chuckle from her girlfriend. “I’ll be back before you know it, kay?”

Rachel sucks in an audible breath – or maybe that’s the Spidey-senses, it all just blends in together at this point – and shakes her head, as if clearing her thoughts. “I’ll be waiting,” she says, and her lips quirk into the slightest of smiles. “Just know that if you die, I’ll be miserable and heartbroken forever, and you don’t want that on your conscience, do you?”

“Mm,” she humors her diva, and pauses right before she dawns her hood. “I love you.”

It seems to bring heaviness back into the atmosphere, but even though she doesn’t intend to go down without a fight, just in case she does, she- she just needs Rachel to know.

“I love you,” Rachel murmurs back, and Quinn knows that they’re wasting precious time here, but as Rachel slinks out of bed and stops right in front of her, uncaring about her nudity, she can’t resist giving her girlfriend a deep, lingering kiss, their breathing in tandem.

“Give them a hard kick to the balls for me,” Rachel says with an edge to her voice as they pull back, and Quinn swallows tightly.

“I’ll throw in a bitch-slap too, just for good measure.” She tries to force out a smile, and nodding, she pulls her mask and hood on, swinging into the night and already calculating the fastest routes to where she knows multiple crimes are happening at once.

“For Rachel,” she reminds herself, repeating the words in her mind over and over again like she’ll go insane if she doesn’t, and to extent, she really will. Rachel is her anchor, and that’s why she’s going to kick some ass, talk some shit, and get home to her girlfriend and cuddle until the sun rises.

For Rachel.

 

x.X.x

 

“Rachel Berry speaking.”

Shit, Short-” she rasps out, clutching at her side and fighting to stay conscious through the pain as she limps down an alleyway. “I need- I need you to-”

“Where are you?” Rachel’s voice, awake and calm, rings through her comm line immediately, and though Quinn can tell that her girlfriend is trying to keep her demeanor steady for her, the undertone of shakiness and frantic worry shines through clearly.

Hoping to keep the pained note out of her voice, she’s about to answer, but then another wave of sudden pain crashes through her, and she can’t stop the loud cry from bubbling out of her throat as she collapses against the wall, slumping with her weight pressed against it for support.

Quinn?” Rachel asks, and Quinn can only let out a small wheeze in reply, slamming her eyes shut as she hopes to ride out the pain.

It hurts. It hurts so much, and with her ears ringing and breathing labored, she wishes for something, anything, to take away the pain.

Her thoughts are getting more and more fuzzy as every second passes by, the constant ache in her head becoming more like a buzz in the background, and she thinks that it would be easy, to just give up right then and there.

The pain- The pain would all stop, and she’d be free and floaty, and all she has to do is let go. Just let go, and relax, and it would all go away. It would- It would all end, and she wouldn’t- wouldn’t have to struggle anymore.

God, she’s so tired of fighting. So, so…tired, and…

“Quinn!” Rachel’s voice snaps her out of her stupor. “Quinn, please, you’re scaring me.”

Rachel sounds absolutely terrified, unadulterated fear rushing through her voice now, and it’s that reminder that jolts Quinn back to reality, eyes blinking groggily to force herself to stay awake.

It would be easy, to just give up and let go, but she can’t, because she has Rachel now.

She’d promised that she’d never leave her, and she’s going to fight for that promise till her last breath.

“I’m here,” she gasps, and at how badly her chest and lungs and everything hurts, she lets out a small, pathetic groan.

Black spots clouding her vision now, she chokes out her location to Rachel in between ragged, haggard breaths, and Rachel sucks in a breath. “Okay,” she says. “That’s- That’s fairly close to our dorms, I can work with that.”

There’s some shuffling from the other end of the line, and then, “Quinn, I’m taking the van there right now, just- just keep talking to me okay? Focus on the sound of my voice, and- and don’t close your eyes.”

“’m tired,” Quinn breathes out, the pain settling across her skin almost routinely now, and Rachel’s breath catches.

“I- I know you are baby,” she says, and at the quiet anguish that Quinn hears leaking out of her girlfriend’s voice, her heart pangs, and she fights to keep herself responsive. “I’ll be there soon, and then it’ll all be okay. Promise. Just keep yourself awake for me.” There’s a beat, and then Rachel’s softly adding, “Please.”

Quinn hums weakly as she finally slides down to the ground, leaning against the cool concrete wall. “Meds have been ref-” She lets out a ‘fuck’ between her words when her ribs throb with a bruising pain, and she knows that the wound’s been reopened again. “They’ve been refilled, right?” she tries again once more, and she winces at how strained her voice comes out.

Damn Wilson Fisk.

“Yeah, I’ve checked; everything’s stocked up and ready if you-” Rachel sucks in a breath here, before powering through, “Ready if you need it.”

“Oh I definitely need it,” Quinn lightly laughs, but then she regrets that decision immensely as she erupts into a coughing fit, wheezing out choked breaths. “Fucking hell,” she groans, her lungs feeling like they’re tangled up, and she’s about to start dry heaving any second now, the bile building up in the back of her throat.

She prays for her healing factor to fucking work faster, because it feels like she’s bleeding out everywhere, and she probably is – her hand is pressed against her ribs and soaked in blood, the stench easily recognizable anywhere, and she’s pretty sure she knows what the dark trail of stains near her is.

“Quinn, you’re okay, right?” Rachel’s panicked voice rings out, piercing through her massive headache, and she manages a soft grunt.

“God, I’m sorry-” She coughs weakly, before pushing through, “I’m sorry you have to come pick me up like this, and – shit, that hurts – and at this time too.”

“Quinn Fabray don’t you dare apologize for this.” At how stern Rachel sounds, Quinn mumbles another ‘sorry’, making her girlfriend sigh. “You will not ever tell me that you’re sorry for getting beaten up and needing my help, you hear me?”

“Yeah yeah,” Quinn mutters, or at least tries to, because she can tell that her voice is getting weaker, frailer and thinner, but there’s nothing she can do – she’s done all the emergency aid she can in her state; all she can do now is wait it out for Rachel to come get her.

Rachel obviously notices too, as the breathing from the other side of the line becomes heavier – or is that Quinn hallucinating? The pain’s kind of all blending together at this point and she can’t tell what’s she imagining and what’s actually happening – and there’s an audible swallow. “Don’t you dare die on me now,” the brunette warns, though her belt is shaky and Quinn hazily thinks that she’s holding back tears.

“Wouldn’t dream of it Short,” she says, and even though it hurts to breathe, let alone speak right now, she’s still filled with the urge to assure Rachel that she’s going to be fine, hating how distraught she sounds.

Before she can though, Rachel’s voice is carrying through the line again. “I’m two blocks away now, just keep holding on for me, I’ll be there before you know it.”

“Mm,” Quinn hums, and it’s so weak that she can barely hear herself, because she’s just so exhausted, weariness seeping through her bones, and she honestly doesn’t know how much longer she can keep this up.

The entire week’s been a struggle, and she can feel herself drifting further and further from consciousness, eyes drooping closed.

“Quinn, talk to me,” Rachel suddenly barks into the comm lines, shaking Quinn awake, and the wheeze that comes out of Quinn’s chest is utterly painful.

“It hurts,” she whispers, and usually she hates telling Rachel these things, but right now in her state of mind, it’s the only coherent thought that’s running through her brain.

“I know Quinn, I know,” Rachel says. “Just- Just a little bit longer, and I’ll be there. Just…hang on.”

Rachel sounds like she’s trying hard not to burst into frustrated tears, and Quinn lets out a rumble of acknowledgement, unable to muster up the strength to let out any more than that.

“I love- I love you,” she forces her voice to croak out, and the searing pain she feels at it barely registers – well, it does, but Quinn’s seemed to have entered a state where she’s normalized it.

“No,” Rachel growls. “You’re not allowed to say that like you’re going to- to die on me Quinn! You’re going to be just fine, and everything is going to-”

Rachel finally seems to crack as a tormented cry sounds out, and Quinn lets out a sound that vaguely resembles a whimper, just needing Rachel to stop sounding so sad as a furious self-loathing wraps itself around her, scorning how she’s made Rachel reduce herself to- to this.

The sound seems to kick Rachel back into gear though, and she breathes out, “I’m sorry, I love you,” it’s as if she’s desperate for Quinn to know it, “just- You’re not going to die today, not on my watch, so- so please.”

Quinn knows what Rachel needs her to do – they’ve been here before, countless times – and so she rasps out “Okay,” and continues to let out little hums and noises of acknowledgement every few seconds as Rachel softly rambles, giving her something to focus on.

She watches her chest rise and fall; breathe in, breathe out, breath in, breath out, she chants in her brain, and that, along with Rachel’s steady voice, is what gets her through the pain, giving her the will to fight against the increasingly tempting urge to close her eyes.

It seems to go on forever, the pain almost unbearable – breathe in, breathe out – but eventually, the sound of a van screeching to a halt reaches her ears, and even through her grimace at the sensory overload, the relief in her chest is palpable; she’s saved.

Rachel’s here.

She tries to get her limbs to move so as to stand up, but all her bodily functions are failing her, and as the familiar shadow of Rachel approaches her with quick steps, the only thing she can manage is a pained and weak groan. “Hey-” she coughs. “Hey Short.”

Rachel forces out a teary laugh as she gets Quinn up. “You’re a fucking idiot.”

“I’m-” she gasps out, wincing at all of the points of contact, ‘I’m aware.”

At the presence of Rachel, the pain seems easier to bear, and Quinn brings herself to mumble, “…Love you Short.”

There’s a second as she feels the world spin particularly hard, and she stumbles on her feet with a frail cry, almost collapsing to the floor with only Rachel keeping her up and steady.

She can vaguely tell that Rachel’s eyes are wet and shining with barely held back tears, and when her girlfriend speaks, it’s with a forced assuredness that Quinn knows is for her sake. “I love you too Quinn. Now please, try not to die so that I can continue to love your alive and well self.”

“Tha’- That wou’ be good,” Quinn nods along with a strained groan, and Rachel chokes out another sound trapped between a sob and a laugh.

“I’m- I’m just glad you’re okay,” she says, a forced optimism in her voice. “You’re going to be healed up in no time.”

“Mmhmm,” Quinn hums, but then her head throbs painfully and she’s almost crashing into Rachel again as she trips on her own feet, making her let out a pained yelp.

Fuckin’ headaches.

 

x.X.x

 

The next day, when she wakes up to the door opening and closing, she moves her head slightly to get a better view – okay, ow that hurts like a bitch – and is met with Rachel, who looks like she’s just back from restocking on medical supplies.

“Oh, you’re awake,” she breathes out, and the relief Quinn can see physically course through Rachel’s body sends something straight to her heart.

“I feel like I’m covered in bandages.”

Rachel chokes out a light laugh. “That’s because you are.”

“…But I don’t want to look like a mummy.” Quinn frowns, and when Rachel’s laugh turns genuine, she smiles in triumph. Or well, tries to, because really why does everything fucking hurt so much?

“Well you should’ve thought of it before you went ahead and played hero, huh?” Rachel mutters under her breath, before she allows a smile to take over her face. “I’m so glad you’re okay.”

“I am too.” Quinn grins a shit-eating grin even through the stark pain, the grin that she knows makes Rachel smile back, and her girlfriend does just that, coupled with a fond eyeroll, which makes all the pain worth it.

It doesn’t stop the wince from appearing on her face though, and Rachel rushes to her side with a frown immediately.

“Painkillers?” the brunette asks her with a worried tone, the helplessness on her face making Quinn’s heart clench.

In response, she quietly groans, “Yes please.”

Swallowing down her painkillers, Rachel settles down onto the bed to watch over her, and the diva sighs, admitting, “I really hate the fact that you’re Spiderwoman sometimes.”

“I know,” Quinn heaves out a breath of her own, and reaches out an arm to- “Shit that hurts!” she hisses, and Rachel looks at her in alarm.

“Baby, why did you try to move when you know that you’re literally bruised and battered everywhere with multiple stiches?” she lectures, and Quinn lets out a whine.

“I wanted to pull you down for some cuddles.” She will deny that she’s pouting until her last breath.

At that, Rachel smiles softly, and maneuvers under the bedsheets so that she can safely coddle Quinn without hurting her, nuzzling into Quinn’s hair gently. “You could’ve just told me, you know.”

“But that would make it less romantic or something,” Quinn retorts with her lips curled, and Rachel giggles, leaning forward to press a quick kiss to her lips.

“I love you,” the brunette sighs, and the utter conviction Quinn hears in those words has her heart skipping just like the first time, her chest filling with warmth, because she remembers how it was like before she had Rachel.

She remembers being lonely and miserable with injuries that she had to take care of herself, and she remembers the nonstop guilt that she’d carry around all day, and she remembers how she had forgotten how to love.

“I love you too,” she says, and she’s never been more sure of anything in her life.

 “…I’m still not done bitching at you about your injuries though.”

Quinn snorts. “Wouldn’t have it any other way Berry.” Here, she pauses, before adding like an afterthought, “Plus, shouldn’t you be bitching about how sex is going to be a pain in the ass now?”

Rachel rolls her eyes. “We’re creative; I’m sure we’ll find some way to figure it out.”

A wicked smirk forming on her face as she recalls how exactly creative they can be, she’s about to fire off a flirty remark, but then Rachel’s hounding her about changing her bandages, and all she can do is let out a fond groan.

Life as Spiderwoman with Rachel Berry is hard sometimes, but it’s sure as hell one of the best things that has happened to her, and Quinn isn’t letting go of it any time soon.

“Quinn Fabray don’t you dare tune me out!”

She lets out a loud heaving groan, and ignores the pain in her neck to bury her head into Rachel’s hair, grumbling, “Short, just give me the damn cuddles.”

“Quinn, but the importance of-”

Rachel,” Quinn cuts off her girlfriend’s protests, and tries not to let a smile overtake her face at the pout that appears on perfect plump lips.

“But Quinn-” Rachel starts again, and this time Quinn can’t take it anymore, simply drawing the brunette into a kiss instead.

“No buts, just mine allowed,” she mumbles into an eager and receiving mouth, smiling against it.

“Oh, that- that feels nice,” Rachel hums, before, “oi, be careful of your injuries dammit!”

Chapter Text

Okay, Sam Fabray-Evans has a pretty good life, all things considered.

He’s been the Fabray’s adopted step-son since like, forever, which means that he’s been pampered and given everything he could’ve ever wanted for as long as he can remember, and his high school life isn’t bad at all either; he’s first-string on the football team, not just popular but well-liked at school, and his totally badass Queen-Bee-of-the-school sister is awesome at tutoring him even with his dyslexia, so his grades aren’t all that bad either.

So yeah, Sam has a pretty good life, he’d admit that any day.

Now, if only either Quinn or Rachel would get their head out of their ass and ask the other out already.

 

x.X.x

 

“Rach.”

“…”

“Rachel.”

“…”

Rachel.”

“…”

“…”

“…Rachel, I love you and all, but the way that you’re looking at my sister is kind of reminding me of how that dude the other day was staring at my Millennium Falcon model, with the weird glowing heart eyes – not that I blame him, that model is epic – and I would kind of like to have my best friend back please.”

Brown doe eyes snap towards him immediately, and he inwardly half-grimaces half-chuckles at what those eyes mean; he’s seen them enough by now to know that he’s in for a treat.

“But- But she’s just so pretty,” Rachel practically cries out with a wistful sigh, voice almost unbelieving and reverent even after all this time. (Sam thinks it’s what, the fourth-hundred time? He lost count after seventy-two.) “Why is she so pretty? It’s almost a crime!”

In response, Sam shrugs, because really, he’s been asking himself that since he met Quinn almost ten years ago, six years old and wearing a primp pink dress and a soft but genuine smile as she welcomed him into the family.

“God decided to give her all the good genes?” he guesses, and it seems to set something off in Rachel; the next thing he knows, his best friend is letting out a dramatic and over-the-top wail of aguish, throwing her hands into the air before collapsing onto the lunch table limply.

“She’s- She’s just so perfect, Sam!” Her lower lips trembles as she exclaims the words, and- oh wow, are her eyes really starting to tear up? “Just- She’s so smart, and sweet, and nice, and Captain of the Cheerios, and her hazel eyes are just so encaptivating when she walks down the halls all cool and disinterested-like, and her smile- oh god, Sam, her smile, it’s-”

“It’s like all the happiness in the world reincarnated and it could make withered flowers come back to life just like her heavenly singing voice can, and when she talks it’s husky and low and you feel all sorts of things that make me cringe thinking about them and about a million other things, I know, I’ve practically memorized the list at this point,” Sam teases, only the slightest bit creeped out because, duh, this is his sister they’re talking about, and that’s just ew on so many levels.

Rachel flushes a deep red immediately, and smiling amusedly at his best friend’s antics, he asks, “Honestly, why don’t you just go and ask her out already anyway?”

“Sam, don’t be ridiculous,” Rachel waves off easily with a roll of her eyes, as if she’s offended that he would even think to suggest that mere notion, and Sam sighs; he was a fool to believe that this time would be any different from the basically centillion times before.

Not wanting to hear another (weepy) rant about how Quinn would never reciprocate, thrown in along with a lot of other big words, he simply shakes his head and says that he’s going to get more food, walking over to where Quinn is in the cafeteria line.

“She’s been staring at me,” Quinn says as soon as he steps next to her, and he doesn’t even need to look at her to know that she’s frantically trying to subtly check for imperfections in her Cheerios uniform, eyes wide and darting around as her cheeks heat.

When he doesn’t answer in the next fraction of a fraction of a millisecond, a strong hold grips on his arm, and he lets out a yelp at the sudden pain as his sister demands, “Why is she staring at me?”

Her voice is hard and panicky in that way of hers when she’s trying to stay in control, with her posture falsely relaxed but muscles tensed and coiled, and Sam does his very best to keep in his groan, because like, he’s supposed to be a supportive brother and best friend or something.

Even though he’s basically been suffering through this for the past five months, and it’s getting really, really, old by now.

“Gee, maybe it’s because she’s heads over heels for you?” he mutters, and when she shoots him a look, he sighs and recites, “but that would never be true, because even though Rachel is my best friend, it’s not like I know-know her, and I’m sorry for being insensitive by getting your hopes up.”

At that, she just shoots him another look™, and this time he can’t stop his eye-roll as he drones, “And no, I won’t have the gall to bring up the fact that she’d probably say yes to you in a heartbeat because you’re Quinn Fabray and you get everything you want when you set your mind to it, not to mention that she’s bi so the door would be wide open for you if it wasn’t already.”

Purposely ignoring his sarcasm, Quinn hums in satisfaction, and resigning himself to an eternity of torture, Sam’s about to go back to listening to Rachel pine over his sister, but then-

“Sam, she’s looking at me again!” Quinn hisses, but Sam doesn’t really notice, because he’s pretty sure that his arm is dislocated at this point.

How did this mess start again?

Oh right, he knows exactly how it all started.

The first day of sophomore year, Sam had sat down next to a newly transferred Rachel Berry in first period English, saying hi to her with a dorky smile only to be hit with a blinding beam in response, and they had become quick friends after that: Rachel spoke with big words and could be overwhelming, but she couldn’t care less about his dyslexia, even helping him during class – Quinn was in all of the AP classes so he didn’t share many with her – and her cheery attitude was just all-around infectious; she even laughed along to his impersonations, which was like, totally awesome.

He had been showing her around school later that day when the students in the halls all rushed to part way, and his sister had marched through with her signature HBIC strut, looking every bit like the Head Cheerio ruling over the school.

He had shaken his head fondly and prepared to move on – Rachel seemed to be wholly enthusiastic about joining Glee club and he was starting to consider it too – but Rachel had tugged on his arm and in an almost-shy tone, asked, “Who was- Who was that girl? The one with the Cheerleading uniform that had everyone scrambling like the red sea?”

It had taken a second for it to register in his brain, and when it did, he had nonchalantly replied, “Huh? Oh, yeah, that’s my sister, Quinn. Or step-sister I guess, since their family adopted me when I was like six. She’s pretty cool, captain of the Cheerios and all.”

“Quinn Fabray,” Rachel had said then, as if she was testing the words as they rolled off her tongue, and Sam really should’ve known that he was in for a wild ride then.

He’s shaken out of his thoughts by Quinn pretty much yanking his arm out of his arm socket, and he winces. “Geez, ease up will you, I have football practice later!”

“Sorry,” Quinn mumbles under her breath as she finally lets go of his arm (maybe he’ll actually get back some feeling there before the day ends). “I just- You know-”

“You’ve had a crush on her ever since I introduced you to her during health ed that second week of school,” Sam sighs. “Yeah, I know. You practically interrogated me nonstop for a week on her afterwards, and it’s only gotten worse after all these months.”

“Shh, someone could hear!” Quinn hisses immediately, and Sam feels his foot tap against the tiled floors impatiently, because really Rachel had done the same thing as well, even having him watch a PowerPoint to make sure she got everything down right.

“So?” he questions. “Dad and Mom won’t care that you’re gay, we learnt that from- from that time when they thought I was instead-”

“You still sure you’re not?” Quinn cuts in to ask with her brow raised, and when he huffs in indignance, she rolls her eyes. “Sam, face it, you’re even more of a girl than I am.”

“I am not!” he protests, and it only seems to reinforce that belief of hers as she snorts.

“You so are,” she says with a grin, but before she can successfully change the topic – Sam’s known her long enough to recognize her tricks by now – he continues on with his previous sentiment.

“And you know that the student body won’t care either, Santana and Brittany are always making out everywhere nowadays and their reputation is still fine, I don’t understand why-”

A dark look from Quinn shuts him up without another word, because this one is much different from the others, and he knows it; this one means business, and really, Sam’s seen it enough times to know what it means.

She’s scared, just like Rachel is, and since he’s sworn to both of them to never reveal their feelings to the other, they’re stuck in this endless loop of being useless lesbians.

Dammit, he’s not sure how much more of this he can take.

 

x.X.x

 

“Rachel, I have a solution!” he says brightly to the brunette as she’s practicing in the choir room, after a few days of deliberation of what to do.

(The process may or may not have been sped up a couple – or a lot – of notches when he had caught Quinn religiously on a Rachel’s MySpace binge while doodling hearts on a notebook full of sketches of the girl, because like- he knows his sister, and Quinn Fabray does not swoop that low unless she’s almost to her breaking point. Also, it’s just kind of plain sad at this point, really.)

“Oh, hello there Sam, a good day to you too,” Rachel greets with a smile. “I do hope you have a reasonable excuse for interrupting my precious practice time; an artist must always be well-prepared, as you might know.”

Casting a quick glance over to the music sheets she’s left on the chair, he recognizes them as the stack of songs that she daydreams about serenading Quinn with – very easily distinguishable by all the hearts and Rachel Fabray-s all lying around – and it’s with that that pushes him into action.

“I’m going to help you ask Quinn out by singing a song to her in Glee.”

Rachel blinks rapidly, but before the first syllable of a very sure-to-be rant can come out of her mouth, evident through the copious amount of air she sucks in, he’s storming on and continuing, “And you’re going to go along with it, because I know Quinn like I know Avatar, and I know that she’s going to say yes even if you stutter and go off-key or-”

“Sam Fabray-Evans you dare to insinuate that I would go off-key?” Rachel cries in indignance, and Sam lets out a deep breath, hating himself for that tidbit of carelessness.

He already has enough hurdles to climb already – he really should’ve printed out the trigger-words list and made sure not to say any of them.

 

x.X.x

 

It takes two weeks of planning and many, many gruesome and tiring rehearsals – “Because this needs to be more than perfect, Sam!” – but finally, the day comes, and he nearly has to hide in the toilet from Rachel’s frantic and very much explosive worrying.

They make it through though (not without a nice collection of bruises from Rachel throwing things at him for ‘oh my goodness Sam why did you ever convince me this was a good idea!’) and just like that, they’re walking into the choir room, where everyone’s already gathered.

Seeing Quinn in the front row with two spots reserved for them, Sam thinks back to how Quinn had joined Glee and convinced Santana and Brittany to do so as well, just because Rachel wanted her to and was worried there wouldn’t be enough people to qualify for competitions, and it makes him crack a smile, knowing that his sister and best friend will treat each other well.

When Rachel can’t seem to muster up a word, a hesitance to her that’s a far cry from her usual self-assured demeanor, Sam speaks up first. “Mr. Schue, we have something to sing, if that’s okay.”

“Oh, have at it then,” their teacher acquiesces with an easy smile, and Sam drags a stool over to the middle-right of the room for him to sit on while Rachel takes center-stage standing, his guitar at the ready.

“So um, Rachel has a special someone she wants to dedicate this to, and since she has a bit of trouble finding the words, I’m going to help her,” he starts, watching as Quinn bites her lip in a mix of contemplation and concern and- and jealousy, if he’s reading her correctly.

Rachel doesn’t seem to notice though, as her eyes stay trained on everywhere that’s not Quinn, and he sends a supportive look towards her way, mouthing You got this.

It’s clear that the sentiment is appreciated, and Rachel exhales, giving him a nod for him to begin.

Strumming against the guitar strings, he begins to play the opening notes, opening his mouth to sing.

She said, there’s nothing like your smile, sort of subtle and perfect and real,” he sings, letting the music envelope him. “She said, you never knew how wonderful that smile could make someone feel.”

Taking a breath, he definitely notices how Quinn’s face is a conflicting mess of emotions, most likely desperate to figure out who exactly the song is targeted at, and he suppresses his smile as he sings the next few lines, knowing how much of a dead giveaway it is.

“And she knew, whenever you’d get bored you’d scribble stars on the cuffs on your jeans,” – because it reminds her of Rachel, and stars are her metaphor apparently – “and she noticed, that you still fill out those quizzes that they put in those teen magazines.

Quizzes on if you might like someone or not that you keep on retaking because you still don’t want to admit it, he internally grumbles, but keeps on singing anyway, keeping an eye on how Rachel’s seemed to grow more rigid with those telling lines, especially at Quinn’s now-widened eyes and slightly gaped open jaw.

It’s not daily that he gets to see his sister so put off like this, so it’s with a certain amount of glee that he continues, “If I could tell her-”

Tell her everything I see,” Rachel surprises him by jumping in on the next line to harmonize, since he had thought that she would come in later, “if I could tell her how she’s everything to me.

But we’re a million miles apart,” the brunette takes the lines alone, crooning them out in a soft voice that just tells Sam that his best friend is smitten. “And I don’t know how I could even start.

If I could tell her,” they sing together, and Sam can’t hide his grin now, because they sound damn good together, the flush on Quinn’s checks telling him that they’re doing a good job. “If I could tell her.”

During the next few seconds of the interlude carrying them over to the next verse, there’s this awkward and still cute little moment where Quinn’s and Rachel’s eyes meet as they send bashful grins to the other, the entire Glee club either gawping at them or wearing a ‘finally’ look.

I think, you look really pretty no matter what you do or wear,” Rachel starts to sing again, picking up the second verse as the genuine truth shines through in her voice. “And I wonder how you learned to dance like all the rest of the world isn’t there.

But I kept it all inside my head,” they sing together, with Sam swapping out the ‘I’ with ‘she’, “all the things I saw I left unsaid, and though I wanted to, I couldn’t talk to you, I couldn’t find the way…

They finish it off with the chorus a final time, but it seems like Rachel’s gone off-script a bit as she changes the ‘her’s to ‘you’s instead, too worked up into the song, and also Sam’s pretty sure that Rachel might just drown in Quinn’s eyes at this point, both of them staring at each other like everyone else is nonexistent.

If I could tell you,” Rachel finally trails off the outro on her own, the song coming to a close as she softly sings out the final words. “If I could tell you.”

Even after she finishes the song, it seems like both her and Quinn are stuck in each other’s gaze, unmoving and unwilling to acknowledge anything else, and it takes a gentle nudge from him to snap her bad to reality, shaking her head to clear her thoughts.

Casting a look at Quinn, it seems like hazel eyes are thinking up a storm as well, and he has the good sense to start clearing out the Glee club members, ushering them out of the choir room to let his sister and his best friend finally have their moment.

Before he leaves, he shoots a smile at Rachel, leaning in to whisper, “Now, go ask her out Rach. You’ll be totally fine, I believe in you.”

It seems to instill some confidence in her, her posture straightening in that way it does when she has her mind set on something, and she lets out a shaky breath, nodding determinedly.

With his work done, he simply grins at Quinn all ‘I-told-you-so’ like as he leaves the room, and the last thing he hears before he closes the door to grant them some privacy is Quinn blurting out “Will you go out with me?”, sounding breathless and- and happy.

It makes him chuckle as he clicks the door shut though; leave it to Quinn to always have the last laugh.

(When he sees them blissfully happy and kissing at their lockers the following Monday, he just smiles fondly and shakes his head.

Those two idiots better let him have their wedding speech in Na’vi for all he’s done.)

Chapter Text

Quinn dreams.

Quinn dreams, and she dreams of red.

It’s…It’s weird, distorted and murky and ever-changing, and through her lucid haze she can barely make out the different shifts within them, confusing and flashing and making her head ache.

Vaguely, she wonders if she’s dying.

Because the red blinding her seems to resurface old, buried and burned memories into the forefront of her mind, flickering between the state of being conscious and unconscious, and she can’t make sense of any of it, feeling like she’s suffocating as she drowns in an endless sea of red.

She remembers nothing of how she’s gotten here, but it’s like she can’t move, can’t breathe, can’t do anything, and it’s then that she recognizes one of the shades as Cheerio red, aggressive and oppressive and bold.

Something in her jerks and tugs, breaks and pulls and pushes, and she- she remembers.

She remembers a lifetime of regret and pain and hard work to no avail, and she remembers how she had fought for her Cheerio red far too many times to count. She remembers the last time she had dawned it, and- and then nothing.

There’s…There’s a warm feeling waiting to be held onto there, and she was- she was talking to someone, wasn’t she? Agreeing to something, and through the fog clouding everything, Quinn tries to reach onto the memory, reach onto a blinding smile that somehow filled her with dread.

But then it hurts everywhere, and she snaps out of the memory in a shock, a sudden angst pushing and running through her.

There is nothing to be found, nothing to be done, nothing to be.

What- What is going on?

No time, a strange echo pierces through her, and Quinn has no time of her own to process or make of anything that’s happening, before a phantom pain strikes against the crevices of her mind again, overriding her numbing ache.

This time, the red makes her blood run cold.

Because…it’s her blood.

There’s a blood-stained remembrance of a car, full of red, tinted with red, drowning in red, and Quinn feels her lower body scream, and then there is nothing again.

Fighting this time against the cold harsh red, she feels something tear out of her throat – a choked, garbled sound that represents itself in throes of red in her mind – but she pushes through the ever-raging storm of asphyxiation, to remember.

Something in her is telling her that is this important, and she forces herself to channel that Cheerio red to push through.

…She wishes she didn’t.

Whatever mental block that’s been glazing her with miasma is shattered by a speeding truck, and pain comes at her once more, excruciating and curling within her very core, as if to leech onto her and drain her of what little she has left.

The belated epiphany of a wedding rushes through the red, cutting through it and cutting through Quinn, and the red shifts into something darker, dried up and almost like an old scorn.

A desperation and frustration Quinn doesn’t know when happened seems to dry up along with it, and for a second, she dreams of letting go.

She doesn’t want to pursue this any longer, doesn’t want to suffer any longer, doesn’t want to see Rachel marrying-

The red surges forward, and it warms.

The red warms, and Quinn warms too, the pain receding into a blunted one at- at memory.

She remembers a red cardigan clashing with her blue as a duet was sung, full of empathy and meaning, and she remembers a red coat on Valentine’s day, as she had sung a love song on the behalf of another grudgingly, thinking that it was the only chance that she would have to do so.

The nothingness of unrelenting red is overpowered, and then there is only-

Rachel.

Rachel.

And Quinn fights, because the once cruel and unforgiving red is now comforting and welcoming and- and warm, and she has to get- has to get to the wedding to stop it, to stop the woman she loved from making the biggest mistake of her life, but she- she can’t, and it hurts, it hurts everywhere, and then-

Quinn, wake up.

She opens her eyes, and she sees Rachel.

She blinks groggily, a disoriented pain shooting and jolting all across her body, and her eyes focus on Rachel, who’s sitting on a chair beside her with a stunned look on her face.

She’s on a hospital bed, and Quinn wonders if she’s dreaming again, but Rachel is still wearing her wedding dress and still looking like an angel sent from above to collect her, as beautiful and radiant as the first time, and she…she breathes.

When Rachel seems to finally register the fact that she’s awake, the brunette surges forward to her feet, and a desperate something flickers across soft features. It’s almost like she’s about to reach forward to touch Quinn before she thinks better of it, and she chooses to simply hover and linger there, an apprehensive glint in worried brown eyes.

The air between them is heavy, charged. But at the same time, Quinn feels like everything is falling into place too.

Rachel isn’t wearing her ring.

Doe eyes tear from Quinn’s body to hazels instead, and Rachel visibly swallows, eyes seeming to shine. “Hi.”

Quinn takes in a breath, and she exhales.

For the first time in a long while, a remnant of a smile quirks into her lips, and she lets go of the red.

“Hi.”

Chapter Text

Rachel’s having a shitty day.

Accidentally kicking her boot into a puddle and almost tripping over herself, she gets mud all over her clothes, and she tightens her grip on her bags, sucking in a deep breath as she wills her patience to last just a tiny bit longer.

Rachel’s having the shittiest day imaginable.

Well, she thinks, maybe not that terrible – finding out that she had lost out on her first Tony to Scarlett Johansson of all people surely has to be up there – but then she sees the sign in her apartment complex’s lobby, saying that the elevator was being repaired and hence not in use.

…Yeah, Rachel’s having a real fucking shitty day.

Making the long trudge up the stairs to her apartment, her legs and just everything hurts with each step, muscles aching and crying out in soreness from rehearsals today. Her entire body is weary and her joints are practically screaming at her in agony, and it’s fucking cold, the cold chill of New York’s air during Winter unforgiving.

Tired beyond belief, she finally, finally, makes it to her floor, heaving with heavy, irregular breaths, and stumbling as she rummages through her bag to find her keys, she grumbles under her breath, just hoping that this day would just end soon so that she could just be done with it all.

Just as she approaches the door to her apartment – dammit, where are those fucking keys? – though, the door opens, and the sight of her girlfriend greets her, a curious look on her face and an easy smile to greet her.

At those warm hazel eyes, all of the stress that’s been bubbling up within Rachel today seems to spill out, and she can’t help herself from lunging forward in relief, crashing into Quinn’s arms even with all of her bags and clothes weighing her down.

“Quinn, god I missed you,” Rachel breathes out, and she revels in how Quinn, after processing the sudden hug, moves to wrap her arms around Rachel’s midsection without a beat.

“Whoa there,” Quinn laughs lightly, holding her in a comfortable grip as Rachel pretty much melts into her arms. “Um, hi baby. Missed you too,” the blonde lets out a breathy chuckle, before explaining, “heard your footsteps from inside, you were stomping pretty hard there.”

Ignoring Quinn’s playful teasing, Rachel just burrows herself deeper into her girlfriend’s embrace in response. She just feels so tired, and not for the first time, she thanks the stars above for how absolutely perfect the height difference between her and Quinn is, allowing her to fit perfectly into the crook of a sculpted alabaster neck with ease.

Shuffling even closer in order to feel even more of the blonde’s body pressed against her own, she has no intention of letting go any time soon – Quinn’s arms feel like coming home, and all Rachel wants to do is soak up all of the comfort that her girlfriend is giving her for forever.

“Bad day?” Quinn asks, still not letting go. The blonde nuzzles her head slightly against Rachel’s, and Rachel hums, deflating slightly at the reminder.

Quinn’s arms hold her steady, and she draws back the tiniest bit to survey Rachel’s form, eyes raking up and down her body quickly. At how terrible Rachel’s sure she looks, Quinn’s expression swiftly turns into one that of concern, and softly, she questions, “You okay?”

Releasing a sharp inhale, Rachel swallows, closing her eyes. “You make it better,” she says, and at how much truth shines through in her admission, she feels Quinn smile against her hair, placing a kiss there.

“Yeah?”

At how hopeful Quinn sounds, tinged with awe, Rachel finds her lips tilting upwards as well, overriding her fatigue. “Yeah.”

She feels Quinn’s arms tighten slightly around her, and it makes her let out a breathy sigh. “I love you,” Rachel breathes out, because it’s nothing less than the truth – she knows for sure that she would have broken down crying tonight if not for Quinn welcoming her home with open arms.

“I love you too Rach,” Quinn murmurs back in response, a happy and pleased little quirk of lips that’s barely there, and even after all this time, Rachel feels her heart flutter with butterflies at the sight. “Now, come on, I’m sure we look like idiots standing on our doorstep hugging like this.”

At that, Rachel colors sheepishly, and Quinn chuckles, moving to take her bag and coat for her with little trouble as they head inside. “I’ll go make a bubbly hot bath for you, and then we can eat dinner while watching some trashy TV. Sound cool with you?”

“Sounds perfect,” Rachel breathes, “thank you.”

Quinn grins back at her. “Just doing my job, baby.”

“I’ll make it up to you,” she promises, and before Quinn has the chance to protest about how she doesn’t need to, she reaches her arms up to wrap around the blonde’s neck, pulling her down for a kiss.

Any qualms Quinn might have are swallowed down, and Rachel smiles against pink lips, feeling like she’s right where she’s supposed to be.

In Quinn’s arms, she’s home.

Chapter Text

“You know, it’d probably be a good idea to actually look at your book when you’re studying,” Rachel remarks wryly, and from where she’s sitting semi-beside Quinn, she watches her girlfriend flushes at the words.

Taking no small amount of pleasure in it, she allows a coquettish smirk to dawn on her lips. They’re having their weekly study session – though how well they accomplish that is up to debate – and throughout their reading of Henry V, Rachel’s been feeling hazel eyes on her the entire time.

At the corner of her eye, she sees that Quinn doesn’t look away at all, hand propping up her chin, and Rachel pretends that her cheeks don’t turn rosy as her heart speeds, simply continuing to look at (and not read) her book.

The smile on Quinn’s face can only be described as smitten, and it only takes a few seconds for Rachel’s façade to break, a sweet smile of her own coming out. She turns in her seat with a giggle, getting a better look at her girlfriend, and she can’t deny that the sight makes her breath hitch – a Quinn Fabray in causal clothing never ceases to cause her heart to skip a beat.

“Quinn, go study!” she berates, tone playful, and Quinn’s eyes shine with mirth in response.

“But why, I am, my lady,” the blonde drawls, voice dipping with false extravagance, “for from women’s eyes this doctrine I derive: they sparkle still the right Promethean fire; they are the books, the arts, the academes; that show, contain, and nourish all the world[1]. With that in mind, I am no fool to be gleaming eternal knowledge from your eyes, am I not?”

Quinn looks pleased with herself as she finishes her monologue, and Rachel’s heart flutters up a storm – both from how cute her girlfriend looks and from the poetry that said girlfriend had just sprouted.

Biting down on her lower lip slightly to keep her bashful grin at bay, she arches an unimpressed brow instead. “Quoting Shakespeare at me, Fabray? Good thing that love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind[2], huh?”

As Rachel gives herself a mental pat on the back for her quick thinking, Quinn shrugs, an impassioned expression on her face. “Then hear my soul speak – of the very instant that I saw you, did my heart fly at your service[3],” she quotes, and Rachel’s never been so approving of how Russell and Judy had Quinn read Shakespeare early on.

Unlike the numerous other extracurriculars her parents had enforced on her, Quinn actually liked reading and reciting literature works, and well…if it so happened that Rachel absolutely adored having the blonde aim masterful words at her, then all the better.

Trying to ignore how the light blush on her face is all-telling, Rachel tries her best to keep a nonchalant mask on. “Then why aren’t you studying, if you’re that eager to please me?” she retorts.

“Well, my beautiful songbird, the answer’s quite simple, really.” A grin that’s almost (definitely) shit-eating in its quality appears on Quinn’s alluring lips. “She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed; she is a woman, therefore to be won[4].”

Before Quinn can even take a breather though, Rachel’s narrowing her eyes in indignation and yelping, “Quinn Fabray you did not just give me a misogynistic quote!”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Quinn deadpans, eyes gleaming with false innocence, and Rachel huffs, opening her mouth to go on a tirade.

Any words she might have sprouted are instantly quelled though, because the next thing she knows, Quinn’s surging forward from her chair to draw her into a kiss, a hand reaching up to cup Rachel’s jaw.

Fully appreciative of the romanticism of it all, Rachel tilts her head to deepen the kiss immediately, heart racing with butterflies like every time she feels Quinn’s lips against her own, and she pulls on the hem of Quinn’s shirt, tugging her down gently.

Quinn moves to straddle her lap without any more prompting, and Rachel sighs in satisfaction at how well the blonde’s weight settles across her. Trying her damn hardest to keep her hands from delving under Quinn’s hoodie and feeling up smooth alabaster skin, she stifles a moan when teeth nip at her lower lip, fanning the arousal steadily building up in her lower stomach.

“Quinn…We’re supposed to- to be studying,” she breathes out in between fervent kisses, and her girlfriend smirks against her lips, drawing away only to start nipping a trail up Rachel’s jaw with a few quick pecks.

Her willpower unable to last any much longer at this rate, Rachel’s hands move further south to palm a full, round ass – Quinn Fabray is way too fucking sexy for her own good – and it’s then that Quinn chooses to pull away, leaving Rachel a hot and panting mess beneath her.

The lavish smirk that’s on her girlfriend’s face is way too smug for Rachel’s tastes, and under her breath, she mutters sullenly, “Tease.”

“Oh, but I thought we were to be studying?” Quinn gasps in faux-theatrics (it’s only cute when Rachel does it, okay? …And no, that slight upturn of her lips was the result of a muscle spasm and nothing more), though the rough quality to the blonde’s voice gives her away, allowing Rachel some semblance of satisfaction.

“I hate you,” she sulks quietly, crossing her arms over her chest while pouting, and Quinn laughs.

The blonde leans forward to plant a light, lingering kiss on Rachel’s lips, and she feels Quinn smile against her. “I humbly do beseech of your pardon, for too much loving you[5],” Quinn murmurs, low and soft, and well-

Rachel swoons. There’s no way around it.

The delivery of the line in Quinn’s downright too-sensual-for-this-world husk has Rachel’s heart fluttering up a storm, and casting a quick glance to her Henry V book, she racks her brain to remember a few lines she recalls reading earlier.

“You have witchcraft in your lips, Quinn Fabray,” she breathes out, voice airy, and pausing a bit to remember the exact wording, she continues, “alas, I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say ‘I love you’[6].”

When Quinn’s eyes light up with delight, Rachel feels proud of herself immediately, loving how she’s put that show-stopping beam on her girlfriend’s face, and after a brief moment of deliberating, she darts forward to steal another kiss.

“I love you.” Another. “I love you.” Another. “I love you.” And yet another.

Quinn kisses back tenderly, passionately, lovingly, and Rachel feels as if she falls in love all over again.

“Well, good thing I have enough words for the both of us then, huh?” Quinn softly says as she pulls away, and really – the smile on her face is everything.

It’s the smile that tells Rachel that she’s not the only one hopelessly in love, that all of her feelings are returned and more, and she basks in it, relishes in it, lives in it.

“O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound, and crown what I profess with kind event if I speak true,” Quinn starts, a soft look on her face. “If hollowly, invert what best is boded me to mischief…I, beyond all limit of what else in the world, do love, prize, honor you[7].”

There’s a moment as everything keeps to stop in place for a beat, and right then, Rachel feels her entire being swell up with so much unadulterated love that it’s almost astounding, the fact that she can feel so strongly for someone; the fact that someone can make her feel like this.

…But it’s not, because it’s Quinn, and that makes it so much better.

“…Yeah?” she breathes out, feeling a bashful grin stretch onto her face. Quinn flashes a brilliant smile at her in return, and her heart beats up a storm in her chest.

“Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar,” a pause here, as Quinn takes in a breath. “…But never doubt I love[8],” the blonde vows, and at that, Rachel can’t help but press her lips against Quinn’s, unable to do anything else.

Both of her hands move to cup her girlfriend’s face, and it’s a bruising kiss that Rachel pours all she has into, because she doesn’t know how else to say it.

“I love you,” she murmurs when she finally pulls back, and Quinn nestles into her lap with a content sigh, brushing her lips across Rachel’s cheek.

“I love you too.”

Biting her lip, the edge of her voice with her next words is undeniably hopeful. “Always?”

“And forever,” Quinn solemnly promises.

Rachel’s heartrate goes into overdrive at the proclamation. “You’re my forever,” she admits, whispered with an almost-reverence, and Quinn just smiles sweetly, leaning forward to kiss her again.

“…I’ll love you even more if you actually study though.”

“Rachel!”

 

 

[1] Love’s Labor Lost – Act 4, Scene 3

[2] A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act 1, Scene 1

[3] The Tempest – Act 3, Scene 1

[4] Henry VI Part 1 – Act 5, Scene 2

[5] Othello – Act 3, Scene 3

[6] Henry V – Act 5, Scene 2

[7] The Temptest – Act 1, Scene 2

[8] Hamlet – Act 2, Scene 2

Chapter Text

Quinn is very rudely woken up by a strong impact against her midsection.

Sucking in a breath – what is this, are fucking aliens invading? – she reaches up an arm up to block out the glaring sunlight, groaning as she blinks away the sleep in her eyes. “Rach, what in the world are you doing?” she questions, wondering why the hell was morning even a thing.

God said let there be light, let there be eternal suffering more like.

“Baby, I’m not doing anything,” is her wife’s laughing response, and when Quinn realizes that Rachel’s leaning on the doorframe and not, decidedly, the thing causing her tremendous backache, she can’t help but let out a fond grin.

“Lucas Raymond Fabray, I should’ve known it was you, you little squirt.”

From where he is settled comfortably on her stomach, Luke just gives her a toothy smile. “It’s Christmas!”

“That it is,” Quinn agrees easily, and she resists the giggle bubbling up in her chest; Luke definitely inherited his fondness of the holiday from Rachel.

When she doesn’t seem to be getting out of bed any time soon to entertain her wife and son though, Luke shifts on top of her impatiently, and it makes her let out an unprepared wheeze as his knees dig into her skin – when did he get so heavy?

Rachel evidently notices her discomfort, and her amused smile gives way into concern instead. “Lucas, ease up a bit? You’re getting heavier so you can’t jump up and down on Mommy like when you were younger,” she explains, and Quinn feels her cheeks heat up in slight embarrassment.

“Wow, thank you for making me seem like a sixty-year-old grandma Rae,” she mumbles under her breath, but she knows it’s true, especially since in her last movie she had to do a lot of stunt training, and her muscles were still recovering as a result.

Her attention is diverted when Luke frowns at her though, and he says “I’m sorry Mommy” with the saddest hazel eyes ever, filled with remorse as he hastens to scramble off of her.

“Aw, no, Luke you don’t have to be sorry,” Quinn immediately assures him, hating how much his face is reminding her of how Rachel looks when she’s sad, and she pulls him into her arms, smiling mischievously. “Your Mama’s just being a protective old lady, don’t mind her nagging.”

“Hey, I resent that!” Rachel yelps, and at the adorable pout that her wife is wearing, Quinn can’t hold in her laugh, making Rachel grumble even harder as she shuffles over to join in in the hug.

Shifting to accommodate for Rachel’s petite form, it’s then that Quinn realizes what Rachel and Luke are wearing, and she lets out a snort. “Matching onesies, really Rachel?”

“Aren’t they cute?” Rachel cheekily grins, and Quinn rolls her eyes in a show, even though- okay, Luke and Rachel in those star onesies are just really freaking endearing and she kind of wants to hug the shit out of her lovable dorks.

(She does just that a few moments afterwards, and the laughter that’s let out as they snuggle closer into one another make her chest fill up with so much love it’s really just unbelievable.)

Surveying Rachel’s form, amongst the tiny golden stars littered all over the onesie is a giant one, right on her chest with a bedazzled RBF in the middle, and Quinn bites back a smile, because of course Rachel would do that.

Sure that Luke has a similar one adorned, she sighs, “…You already have one ready and waiting for me to wear, don’t you?”

“Please Mommy?” Luke pleads, and Quinn closes her eyes as she leans her head back against her pillow, knowing that she’s going to give in the second that she sees his face.

Why the hell did Luke have to get Rachel’s facial expressions? It’s practically unfair, in her opinion.

…Even though Quinn absolutely loves it, and she’ll forever thank the lord for the fact. It’s a reminder that she actually did it and had a kid with Rachel Barbra Berry (or well, Fabray now – and goddamn that thought still makes her heart race and her stomach flutter) and she’ll never really know how the hell they had managed to create such a perfect and wonderful human being.

So really, it’s no surprise that she gives in to them without much protest when Rachel joins in the prodding too, and really, the delighted ‘yay!’s she gets in payment makes it all worth it.

“I’m seriously going to wear this thing for the entire day,” she murmurs to herself in disbelief, and she sincerely hopes that Santana won’t be around to see it before she half-teases, “Rae, Luke, never say I don’t love you.”

“I love you more than the entire world combined!” Luke proclaims without a beat, voice cheery, and Quinn just pulls him tighter to her chest with a soft smile. God, I’ve raised such a sap, she thinks to herself, but really, she damn full well knows that she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“That’s impossible though,” Rachel chips in, shaking Quinn out of her reverie. “Because I’m pretty much no one loves your Mommy more than I do.”

“Nuh uh,” Luke shakes his head, “I love Mommy the most!”

“No, it’s definitely me,” Rachel plays along with a grin, but before Luke has a chance to respond, she makes a shooing motion, “now go wait for us in the living room, we have presents under the Christmas tree.”

“For me?”

“Mhmm,” Rachel nods, lips curled in that delighted way that Quinn knows is her ‘Christmas’ smile. “All for you honey.”

That sends Luke scattering off eagerly, and Quinn laughs at the heartwarming sight. “You and your Christmas machinations,” she chuckles.

“Don’t tell me that you don’t love them,” Rachel waves off, huddling closer as she loops her arms around Quinn’s neck, and Quinn presses a kiss to her wife’s temple.

“I do,” she breathes out in contentment, before, “I love Lucas, I love the life we’ve built together, I love you.”

The admission clearly leaves Rachel breathless, as the brunette looks at her with a look that’s close to wonder, and it makes Quinn’s heart speed, the way that her life seems so perfect sometimes.

“I love you,” she says again, because no matter how many times she’s repeated that sentiment, she’ll always want – need – Rachel to know that, know how much she adores and cherishes her and the perfect family that they’ve made.

“Quinn Fabray,” Rachel starts, and it feels as if it’s a declaration and confession all in one, “I love you more than I’ve ever and I ever will love.”

It’s almost reminiscent of their wedding vows, and Quinn knows that she’ll never get out of bed if they keep this up, so she teases, “Luke won’t be happy to hear that.”

“Well, Lucas is a part of that love,” Rachel grins. “I just expanded it for him.”

“Our amazing Rachel, always giving,” Quinn drawls wryly, and Rachel sticks out her tongue at her.

“Don’t you know it,” her wife giggles. “Now go get ready, Fabray.”

“So bossy,” Quinn sighs dramatically, before she acquiesces, giving Rachel a chaise kiss over the mouth as she gets out of bed, stretching lightly. “Go make sure our son doesn’t break everything in his excitement.”

“Baby, I might break everything in my excitement,” Rachel retorts, with that Christmas smile on her face, and Quinn can’t do anything but shake her head fondly.

It’s Christmas time indeed.

Chapter Text

Quinn slams her locker door shut with a sigh, and she ignores how it’s practically overfilled with valentine cards and gifts like every year.

Trying her damn best to keep her grumbling to a low volume, she lets out a grunt, and not for the first time, she wonders why her life is the way it is.

It's Valentine’s Day, and she fucking hates it.

She hates how it’s almost expected of her to have a piece of arm candy by her side, hates how it makes her feel like she’s nothing without some idiot jock hanging off of her, hates how the day is like a free pass for everyone to make snide, crude comments about her.

Casting a glance to her side, she sees Finn and Rachel talking, the boy wearing his signature half-smile, and she feels her mood sully even more.

Fucking Valentine’s Day, and stupid Finchel and their stupid PDA everywhere.

She overhears (more like eavesdrops) Finn asking Rachel out for a date, and she rolls her eyes – haven’t they crashed and burned a million times before already?

A bile building up in the back of her throat, she tightens her grip on her books, and she stomps down on how her chest seems to be stoned down with a heaviness, marching off to class resolutely.

She’d made a truce with Rachel a month ago, and they’re actually…friends now, but seeing Finn and Rachel together sends a dark pang to her heart, and she tries to ignore why exactly that is.

She’s always been a terrific liar, so it makes sense for her to lie to herself just a little bit more.

 

x.X.x

 

She spends the rest of the day in a foul mood, snapping at anyone who dare walks near her, and by the time lunch rolls around, she’s probably scared half a dozen freshmen to death.

Even Sylvester gives her a hum of approval when she storms down the hall with the mood of the decade, glaring at everyone in her war path, and she practically slams her lunch tray down onto the cafeteria table.

From where Santana is wrapped around Brittany, she lets out a snort. “Geez, what’s got your panties in a twist Q-ball?”

“Don’t call me that,” she bristles, stabbing her fork into her food with a vengeance.

“I see someone is especially crabby today,” Santana mutters, used to her off days already. “It’s our senior year Q, live a little yeah? You’re single and hot, enjoy it.”

In response, Quinn just grips her fork even tighter, so much so that she’s pretty sure the plastic is cracking under the pressure, and out of the corner of her eye, she sees Brittany whisper something into Santana’s ear, causing her girlfriend to giggle.

A contemplative look crosses the Latina’s face. “Say Quinn, where’s the hobbit? She’s always following you around like a lovesick puppy these days anyway.”

At the mention of Rachel, Quinn feels a sour taste in her mouth, and she bites down on the inside of her cheek. “I don’t know, probably somewhere with Finn.”

She spits the last word out bitterly, and Brittany furrows her brow. “You look sad-angry when you’re sulking,” she notes.

“I’m not,” Quinn denies fervently, and Santana laughs.

“Oh god, I can’t believe the stick up your ass is because of Berry,” the brunette cackles. “Tubbers, I had you pinned for one of those divorce your man in early thirties to go off and be your best lesbian self types, but if you-”

“Wait wait, what?” Quinn cuts in immediately.

Santana makes a show of rolling her eyes, but she must hear the panic in her voice, because her next words are spoken in a much gentler tone. “Listen Q,” she starts, “you’re going to be fine, I promise. You could do a lot worse than the midget anyways.”

Quinn doesn’t have much time to process the words before she notices Rachel walking over to their table with an expression that’s almost nervous, and she feels her fight or flight responses kick in.

She feels her muscles turn rigid as her form tenses, but she can’t quite resist the fluttering of her heart that seems almost too much like hope, and she curses herself for it.

Rachel looks as if she’s about to say something, but then the God Squad is serenading her, and Quinn is rushing away with her eyes stinging.

She’s always hated Valentine’s Day.

 

x.X.x

 

Throughout the day, Santana and Brittany make some half-hearted attempts to get her out of her mood, but it’s clear they’re too busy being in love too really try much, and Quinn can’t fault them for it.

Rachel tries to talk to her a few times between classes, but every time she sees the brunette, the looming shadow of Finn seems not too far away, and she can’t stand the possibility of her heart being crushed to pieces once again.

It’s a miserable and pathetic way of spending her Valentine’s Day, but she can’t find it in herself to care much.

Each jock she has to turn down only has her feeling even worse, because she doesn’t want any of them, doesn’t want any boy.

She just wants- She just wants Rachel, and she can’t stop lying to herself about it anymore.

God-fucking-dammit.

 

x.X.x

 

It’s at the end of the day when Rachel catches her at the lockers, and she’s just so very tired.

“What do you want Berry?” Quinn sighs, all caught up in her gloom and misery.

“I’ve been wanting to talk to you for the entire day, but it seems like you’ve been always busy.” If Rachel’s slight pout makes Quinn want to break out into a smile, she tries her damn hard to resist it.

She shrugs. “I thought you have somewhere to be with Finn.”

The way she says the words is resigned now, and Rachel furrows her brow. “What do you mean?”

“Gee I don’t know, you tell me,” Quinn mutters, her tone barbed, and Rachel seems taken aback, her face falling.

Her look is almost…hurt, and Quinn feels her heart turn with guilt. “I’m sorry,” she apologizes quickly, “I’m just- I- I’m having a bad day, I guess.”

“Well you and me both,” Rachel sighs, though it’s clear the words ease her somewhat. “I’ve been trying to tell Finn that it is in our best interest to not get back together the entire day, but you know- he always wants what he can’t have.”

It takes a moment for it to sink in, and then- “Wait, what?”

Rachel looks at her strangely, and Quinn’s stomach drops, feeling like the worst asshole on the planet. “I thought you wanted to get back together with him,” she offers feebly.

Rachel’s face turns with something that resembles a grimace. “It’s occurred to me that we don’t work as romantic partners,” she says, before her face softens. “That’s um, why I wanted to talk to you today.”

Her face tilts into that same expression from earlier, the one that’s shy and bashful and way too damn cute for her own good, and Quinn bites her lip, unsure what to make of it all.

“See, I know we’ve been…friends for a while now,” Rachel continues, voice in that tone that tells Quinn she’s about to go on a ramble, “and it’s actually still so weird I can just text Quinn Fabray and tell her about my day without being threatened with death and the burning of my Barbra Streisand collection, and really I still have no idea how you put up with me at all, seeing that-”

“Rachel,” Quinn interrupts, heart beating a storm in her chest now –  this is starting to sound like something it really shouldn’t be and Quinn can’t afford to be thinking about anything of the sort right now – and Rachel clamps her mouth shut, cheeks flushing in an adorable pink.

“Quinn, I guess- I guess what I’m trying to say here is…” Rachel darts her eyes down, a nervous energy to her body movements that’s way too cute for Quinn’s sanity. “I like you.”

The words seem to cut right through Quinn’s haze, and she barely hears Rachel’s spiel about how ‘like is more than just like, but rather like like, like how the movies phrase it’ and how it had gone a lot more smoothly and romantic in her brain.

Rachel, the poor girl, seems like she’s close to passing out with how fast she’s rambling, and Quinn really should do something about that, but she’s suppressing a breakdown of her own at the moment – is this really happening? Actually, how the fuck is this happening?

A million thoughts seem to rush through her mind at the same time, forcing her into overdrive, but then she forces herself together for this one moment – she’s been fucking pathetic the entire day anyway – and says the first thing that comes to heart.

“Go out with me.”

She colors immediately; in Rachel’s words, that sure went a lot more smoothly in her head.

“What I mean is,” she hastily moves to say, refusing to make a fool out of herself more than she already has, “there’s a restaurant on the outskirts of town, and most people don’t know that it exists probably. They- They have vegan options, and we can probably score a good table if we go now.” She flashes a hesitant smile at Rachel, who seems to be going through a slight panic attack of her own.

“So uh, do you want to?”

There’s a beat of silence, and then Rachel’s face is morphing into a mega-watt smile that’s very much contagious. “I’d- I’d love to,” she says, voice in a murmur that’s delighted and bashful at all once.

They both know there’s a lot more that needs to be said, but for now, Quinn allows herself to return a smile just as bright, and for once in her life she pushes all of her raging thoughts aside and lets her heart do the talking.

She reaches out her arm, which Rachel gladly takes. “Shall we?”

“We shall,” Rachel laughs, a subdued but happy little sound that makes everything so much better, and Quinn can’t stop the way her heart does a little dance in her chest.

Okay, so maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad after all.

At the very least, she’s scored herself a date with Rachel Barbra Berry, and that’s damn worth celebrating.