Never Asked To Feel Your Halo


Chapter Sixteen: I Watched the World Go To The Darkside of the Moon

Once outside, finding Berry was almost too easy. The girl was leaning against Quinn's car and scrolling through her phone.

"Were you waiting for me? How did you know I'd come out after you?"

Rachel looked startled by her voice and quickly stepped away from the car to stand fully on the sidewalk.

"I wasn't waiting for you. I was simply about to call a cab as my getaway car before scratching 'Quinn Fabray is a Bitch' into your paint work."

"Why don't you tell the world something they don't know?" She only just heard the muttered, "What? Like 'Quinn Fabray is Bi-curious'?" and decided it was safer to pretend she hadn't.

"You won't get a taxi this late on a Friday night."

"So I am learning."

"I'll give you a ride home."

"I'd rather walk." Rachel turned on her heel to do just that.

"And I'd rather not feel responsible for your body floating to the surface of Hog Creek tomorrow." She pressed the small remote to unlock the doors. "Get in the car."

"No." She kept walking along the sidewalk, or zigzagging across it actually. "Because I'm sure if I do that that's exactly where I'll end up."

"I'm not going to chase you, Berry."

"Good. You stay. I'll leave. " Rachel threw up her hand in a wave. "Bye, Quinn!" Rachel walked into a trash can. "I'm okay, I'm okay!" Rachel staggered back from the impact, veered off the sidewalk and tripped over a garden gnome. "Ow."

Quinn leaned against the side of her car, laughing, as Berry pushed herself back up from flat on her front to her hands and knees on the neighbor's lawn. When she was unsteadily on her feet, the cheerleader called out to her.

"Okay, forget rapists and serial killers, you've just proven that you're the real danger to yourself if you try and walk home. Come get in the car."

"I can't hear you," Rachel sing-songed and then spent a minute trying to find her way back to the sidewalk in the dark. "Ah, there it is!"

"Berry, please?"

"Please? Ha!" Rachel scoffed.

She took two steps back towards her, realized she was going the wrong way and spun around to resume her walk home. She threw her head back as she walked and Quinn knew what that meant. Rachel's clear voice filled the empty street just a few moments later.

"You left me hanging from a thread we once swung from together
I've licked my wounds but I can't ever see them getting better."

She was singing Maroon 5? Seriously?

"Something's gotta change
Things cannot stay the same."

The girl wasn't censoring herself in any way and every high note bounced off of the mostly dark houses until Quinn felt surrounded by the song.

"Her hair was pressed against her face, her eyes were red with anger
Enraged by things unsaid and empty beds and bad behavior
Something's gotta change
It must be rearranged, ohhh."

Okay, that was it. It didn't take a genius to figure out what had incited this spontaneous solo and she was not having Berry singing about whatever was going on with them in the street or anywhere else, but especially not in the damn street.

Rachel was maybe thirty yards down the road now and Quinn took off running.

"I'm sorry, I did not mean to hurt my little girl
It's beyond me, I cannot carry the weight of the heavy world
So goodnight, goodnight, goodnight, goodnight . . ."

Finally reaching her, Quinn snagged her with one arm around her waist and slapped her other hand over her mouth.

"Are you insane!" she whispered in the shorter girl's ear. "It's nearly midnight. Someone's going to call the cops."

Rachel struggled in her grip and she was almost as hard to keep hold of as Santana. She was like an eel. Quinn had to release her mouth, needing both hands to drag her back to the car. That proved to be a mistake.

". . . goodnight, goodnight, goodnight . . ."

Hand back over mouth! "Stop singing!" Cautiously she pulled her hand away again.

"Unhand me, QUINN! How many more times do I have to tell you I'M NOT INTERESTED!"

Oh she was going to kill her. She was going to strangle her with her bare hands, or choke her to death on the sheet music for 'Goodnight, Goodnight', or beat her to death with a garden gnome, and then she was going to put the body in the trunk of her car, drive across three states and bury it in the desert. She had the time, it was Saturday tomorrow.

The fact that she was blushing and biting back a grin instead of being consumed by an ice-cold rage was something she could come to terms with on the long drive. And if not, she could just bury herself next to Berry.

Her voice showed no trace of her amusement however as she tried to force Rachel all the way back to her car. "One more word out of you, Manhands, and you'll wish you had met with a watery grave tonight."

"Pah!"

"Did you just say 'Pah'?"

"Did I stutter?"

Oh God, she would not give her the satisfaction of laughing. This was also getting them nowhere though because for every foot they gained back towards the car, Rachel slipped from her grasp enough to drag them two feet back the other way.

She gave up and tried a different tactic. She let go completely but moved to block Rachel's path before she could walk off again.

"Okay, you're freaking out at me trying to force you into my car. I get that. So . . ."

"I'm freaking out because the wolf is showing me her belly and the second I fall for it and reach out, whoosh, throat gone. Although it probably won't sound as nice as whoosh, it'll probably be a horrible ripping sound . . ."

"Berry, I'm not showing you anything or ripping anything, so stop staring at my abs. I just want to take you home. Seriously, stop staring."

"Can I touch them?"

"What?" Quinn chuckled nervously, shying slightly away from her. "No. Don't be ridiculous."

"Please. Just quickly."

"No, Berry!"

"Please?" Rachel was pouting up at her now. "I promise I won't tell."

"Why would you even want to?"

"Because I've heard they're spectacular and I now regret not paying them more attention when I saw you naked."

Quinn anxiously looked over each shoulder; she did not need anyone to overhear this conversation! Luckily Rachel had forced them halfway down the road and even the small group of kids loitering on Puck's porch probably couldn't see them let alone hear them.

"Don't talk about that. As far as I'm concerned it never happened. And what do you mean, you heard they're spectacular? Where would you even hear something like that?"

"But it did happen. We wouldn't be here now if it hadn't, would we?" Quinn didn't know how to answer. "I don't just mean here," Rachel pointed at the ground, swaying slightly with concentration. "I mean, here." She brought her hands up to cup Quinn's sides and stepped, or stumbled, slightly closer. "Here in this thing. We have a thing, don't we?"

It was okay for her, she was drunk, honesty was unavoidable, but Quinn had never felt more sober or less like she wanted to be in her life.

She plucked Rachel's hands from her sides, let go and took a step back. She needed to change the topic and fast. "I asked you a question, Berry. Who've you been talking to about my abs?"

"I didn't have to talk to anyone about them. You're the most popular girl in school, Quinn, people talk about you all the time and your name has always caught my attention."

She couldn't help but smile at that. "But they seriously talk about my stomach?"

Rachel giggled, "Well, granted, they usually talk about what a bitch you are, but I have overheard conversations about your abs and for all intents and purposes they are rumored to be fantastic!"

Quinn felt her blush grow stronger with Rachel's enthusiasm. Somehow Rachel noticed it even in the faint glow of the street light down the road.

"What's wrong? You might as well get used to people talking about your stomach, Quinn. They'll be doing it a lot more once you don't have spectacular abs anymore."

It should have had the cold shower effect, but if anything Rachel's words just acted as a warning to grab what she could before it was gone.

She couldn't believe she was even considering this.

"You'll keep your mouth shut and get in the car without any more screwing around?"

Rachel nodded eagerly.

She took the other girl's elbow and pulled her into the deep shadow of an ornamental Maple's spread branches. "And you'll forgive me for punching you on the chin?"

Rachel looked both surprised and dubious about the request but nodded again.

It would be nice to have someone appreciate them one last time before they were gone forever. She was already starting to lose some of the definition she'd worked so hard to achieve thanks to all the gross bloating. How could it hurt to take advantage of the attention on one of her increasingly rare non-fat days?

"Okay, fine." She looked around again to make sure no one was near and then unzipped the back of her Cheerio's top. Fingers catching under the stiff material, she dragged it up to reveal four inches of still mostly toned stomach. Fixing her gaze on a point over Rachel's head, she waved her other hand forward, "Go on then but if you even think about trying to steal second I'll knock you down and stand on your throat."

"Okay."

She expected the other girl to be nervous and hesitant now that her request had been granted but that wasn't the case. Quinn flinched and grit her teeth when a small soft hand reached out, warm palm pressing firmly against her quickly chilling abdomen.

Strangely, she didn't feel as cold as she probably should. Rachel's palm was like a heat lamp moving over her and it warmed her everywhere, not just her stomach.

She gently bit her lip, looking down at the other girl. It was pretty dark just here and Rachel was so close she could only see the crown of her head but she could feel the intense concentration radiating from her as Rachel watched her hand move back and forth across Quinn's stomach.

"I can't feel a baby," Rachel whispered.

"That's because it's about the size of a peanut right now, Berry. Just a little shorter than you."

Rachel took the comment with good nature, tilting her head to grin up at her and Quinn smiled back, because it was undeniable that while drunk Rachel was a pain in the ass, she was also a little bit a very tiny bit adorable.

Rachel's grin slipped into an unsure smile that made the breath catch in Quinn's chest and then her hand made a long, lazy zigzag up and down, pinkie finger brushing the bunched material of her top, thumb nail grazing the waist band of her skirt. It caused a shiver and an unexpected rush of heat to course through her and Quinn stepped back, startled, slapping Rachel's hand away in a burst of panic.

Rachel's eyes went big and she literally jumped back, like she didn't think the slapping was going to stop there.

"Sorry," Quinn cleared her throat. "That tickled."

"Oh." Rachel nodded, accepting the explanation easily. "Thank you for letting me do that . . ."

She shrugged, extremely uncomfortable and unable to look at her now. Instead she bent her head to rearrange and rezip her top.

". . . SUCKER!" Rachel started to run away.

Quinn winced as the last word was yelled almost into her ear and then reached out and grabbed Berry's wrist before she could get more than two steps.

"Another thing about drunk people, Berry? Slow reaction times."

She let her run until they were at arms length and then with a flick of her wrist she twirled the girl back towards her. Dark eyes went wide to find themselves only inches from Quinn's again.

"Okay, we've tried this the hard way, the easy way, and the really creepy way. Now you've left me no choice but to use the painful and humiliating way."

Keeping a firm grip on her hand, Quinn twisted Rachel's arm until it was pinned behind back. Despite her threat, she tried not to actually hurt her and applied just enough pressure to motivate the shorter girl to walk back to the car ahead of her.

"Let me go!"

"Not happening."

"I'll scream!" Quinn could hear the pout in her voice.

"Be my guest."

"I'll sing again!"

"I'll join you; it can be a duet."

"People are watching!"

"Good."

They weren't though. Whoever had been outside of Puck's house a few minutes before had either gone home or back inside and the lawn and porch were dark and empty of partiers.

Despite seriously having no choice but to do as she was told, Berry was still putting up a fight, alternating between planting her feet firmly on the pavement and leaning back into Quinn's hold to make it difficult to push her along. It would be daylight by the time they made it to the car at this rate.

"You are so annoying!"

"And you're so mean!"

"How am I being mean? I'm just trying to get you home safely."

"It's not your job to take me home. You're not my date!"

"You wish I was your date."

Rachel planted her feet again but it seemed to be because something had just occurred to her rather than to be irritating.

"Excuse me? This is far more date-like behavior than me running away."

"What do you mean?"

"You're the one who is insisting on holding my hand while walking me to the car."

Quinn looked down at the way she had Berry's arm twisted, holding her hand halfway up her back, and laughed.

"Good one, Rachel." Without giving an inch she slid her palm up a little and entwined their fingers. Bending to her ear, she whispered, "Let me guess, still better than Mike, right?"

Rachel huffed out several exasperated sighs before quietly admitting, "Maybe."

She laughed again and then gave her a gentle push to get her walking. "Nearly there."

At the car Quinn released her hand and let her slump against the side, but she stayed directly in front of her so that she couldn't pull any more shit.

"Okay, get in."

"Okay, just let me . . ." Rachel pushed herself quickly off of the car and feinted to the left before sharply, at least in her opinion, dodging to the right.

Quinn's feet didn't even move but she shot her left arm out, slapping her palm on the roof of the car, and Rachel bumped into her arm and stumbled back against the rear door.

"You were supposed to not be there!"

"I'm not an idiot."

Quinn's patience was wearing thin now. In the time they'd been messing about she could have dropped Berry off at home and been back at the party. Finn was going to think she'd abandoned him. Santana was probably thinking that she was still at Berry's, doing whatever the worse her imagination could come up with. Plus, the fact that Rachel was refusing to accept her offer was bad for her ego. It shouldn't matter, but it did. Quinn had been secretly thrilled for the chance to take her home without Finn and Mike being there too, and now Rachel was ruining it, just like she ruined everything!

She opened the passenger door and pointed. "In."

"No."

"Look, if you won't accept my ride, I'm going to have to get Matt to take you home. Think about it, who would you rather walk you to your front door tonight, me or Matt?"

Rachel didn't think about it. "Matt."

Quinn closed her eyes, sighing deeply. When she opened them again she knew they'd lost any warmth they might have held a minute ago.

"Fine. I'll go and tell him. Promise me you'll stay here and not wander off until he comes out."

"Why do you care, Quinn?"

Her standard answer was 'I don't' and it was on the tip of her tongue but she couldn't force it out. "I don't know, I just do."

With another resigned sigh, she turned to head back up the walk to Puck's. She'd only gone half a dozen steps when she heard her car door slam and she spun around, expecting to see Berry running up the street again.

She was nowhere in sight. "Dammit!"

But as she began to scan around her eye caught a dark, hunched shape through her passenger window. It made her smile, but she was careful to lose it as she rounded her car and slipped into the driver's seat.

She started the engine. "Put your seatbelt on."

Rachel did as she was told and then, without asking, leaned forward to play with the radio. She skipped through the pre-programmed stations, getting frustrated because all she could find were songs she didn't like or talk radio or commercials.

Quinn flicked her eyes over. "CD's are in the glove compartment."

Rachel eagerly pulled it open and sorted through the six discs inside, scanning the track listings. "You don't have a lot of new music here."

"Says the girl who would have us singing Broadway classics twenty-four seven if the rest of us didn't stop you."

"I have a very broad taste, actually."

She had just been singing Maroon 5. Quinn shrugged, "So do I. You've got three decades of music in your hands."

"But none from the last two decades. I'm not saying you have bad taste in music, Quinn . . ."

"Good. Just put a CD on."

Rachel huffed at being interrupted. ". . . in fact, there are many great songs here." She pushed a CD into the slot. "I'm just curious as to who has influenced your taste because it is clearly not current MTV."

Tina Turner's The Best began playing softly through the car speakers.

She shrugged, "My Mom and Dad mostly, I guess. I used to listen to their records all the time when I was younger. I wasn't allowed to buy my own until a couple of years ago. Even now my Dad's censor-y about what I can and can't listen to in my room."

"That's pretty strict for someone who's sixteen."

Quinn chuckled, "I know. God bless the invention of the iPod!"

Rachel giggled.

"So who influenced your taste?"

"My parents a lot, obviously. My Dad is as big a show tunes fan as I am, plus, well, he'd probably really like your collection, especially the sixties stuff. My Daddy likes classic rap and, unfortunately, rave music, which I'm not so fond of myself, but he's generally much more contemporary in his tastes." Quinn could just see her grin in the passing streetlights. "He really likes Lady Gaga at the moment. Between them, I've been subjected to every musical genre known to man since I was born and, of course, I make a point of keeping abreast of all current musical trends."

"Of course," Quinn said dryly, but grinned when Rachel turned to her.

The easy conversation dried up when they stopped at a red light and Quinn began to softly sing along with the CD to avoid an uncomfortable silence. Rachel joined in naturally and by the time she was putting her foot down on the gas again they were both belting out the final chorus of The Best.

They were laughing as the last notes died away and What's Love Got To Do With It? began.

While the intro was still playing, Quinn shifted awkwardly in her seat. There was something she wanted, no needed to ask, but didn't know how. She knew it would be better not to ask, but she actually wanted to get some sleep tonight and that wasn't happening if she didn't get an answer.

When they were only four blocks from Rachel's house she knew she just had to blurt it out before she lost her chance.

"So, um, why wouldn't you kiss me earlier when we were playing Spin the Bottle?"

Rachel turned to her, confused, and Quinn prayed she wasn't going to play dumb and say something like 'Excuse me?' or 'What?' and make her repeat the question.

Her prayers were answered.

Rachel looked down at her hands. "For a lot of reasons."

"Care to name one?"

She did better than that. "Okay. You were making fun of me at the time. Everyone was watching. Why should I kiss you when you're so reluctant to kiss me? You'd just punched me. I got stage fright for the first time in my life. We have a no touching rule and I think that probably includes lips too. But at the top of the list . . ." she paused and Quinn found she was holding her breath, anxious to hear the big reason. ". . . You would have used it to ridicule me. Don't deny it. In front of everyone you would have had to. You'd have made some horrible comment about my lips or my breath or my terrible kissing technique."

Quinn couldn't deny it. She would have done that. To save face and deflect any likely rumors.

"And that would have ruined it," Rachel added quietly.

There was that skip in her chest again. Quinn didn't trust herself to say anything but she nodded.

Rachel twisted in her seat again to face the way they were going. "All of that, and I didn't know if you'd brushed your teeth or not yet."

Feeling the tension break, Quinn laughed. "I chewed some toothpaste and gargled with mouthwash after you left the bathroom."

"Ah, well, see if I'd know that beforehand."

Quinn reached over and pushed her shoulder and Rachel succumbed to another giggle fit. They were turning into her road by the time she recovered.

"Anyway, don't think it's forgotten. I'm putting it on the list."

Amused, she glanced over, "What list?"

Rachel smirked, "The list! Now you owe me one big favor, or two smaller favors, and one kiss."

Quinn shook her head, "I don't owe you a kiss."

"Yes you do. I spun that bottle fair and square. That kiss is in the bank."

"No way." She pulled the car onto the Berry's driveway and cut the engine. "That kiss had a time limit, and that time limit was for the length of the game. Game's over, you lost your kiss."

"That's not fair," Rachel grumbled as she unclicked her seatbelt.

"Sure it is. Not my fault you were too much of a chicken to take your kiss when it was offered.

"But . . ."

"But nothing, Berry. Rules of the game."

Rachel crossed her arms in frustration and seeing that she was going to sit there like that indefinitely, Quinn slipped out of her door and went around to open the passenger side.

"Come on."

"No."

"If you don't get out this second you're coming back to the party with me."

"I don't care."

"If you come back to the party with me I'm going make you sit outside on the lawn with a tiny fishing pole in your hands."

Rachel looked up at her. "What?"

"You'll fit right in with the other garden gnomes."

Rachel muttered under her breath, "Bitch."

"Yeah, that's me. Now, out!" She reached down to hook a hand under Rachel's elbow and pulled her easily out of the car.

Rachel staggered when the fresh air hit her again and Quinn pushed her against the car to keep her upright.

"Still drunk, I see."

"I'm fine."

"Go like this." Quinn extended her right arm and then brought her hand around to touch her index finger to the tip of her nose.

"Easy!" Rachel poked herself in the eye. "Ow."

Chuckling, Quinn took her elbow again. "Come on, I'll walk you to the door."

"No, like this."

She looked down at Rachel's open and waiting hand. She should refuse, if only because Berry was being so damn demanding about it, but she told herself she just didn't care enough to argue.

"Fine." She took Rachel's hand. "Let's go."

They were halfway to the door when Rachel said, "Just because I'm letting you hold my hand doesn't mean this was a date."

Quinn rolled her eyes. "No, this definitely wasn't a date."

"And just because I'm going to let you kiss me on the doorstep doesn't mean this was a date either."

"I'm not kissing you."

"You want to."

She hesitated, trying to come up with a good comeback. She didn't have one. "I'm not kissing you."

"Fine, but don't think you'll get another chance like this. Once I sober up I won't want to kiss you either."

It was like getting a funny kick in the teeth. It shouldn't have been funny or a kick in the teeth and yet it still managed to be both.

"I'll take my chances."

"What do you say to taking chances . . . what do you say to jumping off the edge . . ."

Oh great, she was singing again. At least this time it was soft enough to not wake up the neighbors.

"I say it sounds like a great idea . . . until you hit the ground, then it just hurts."

"Now who's chicken?"

Quinn rolled her eyes. "Do you have your keys?"

Rachel fumbled in her bag for a moment and then pulled them out. She didn't even aim for the lock, just held them out for Quinn to take. She unlocked the door and then pushed it open; taking the key out of the lock she placed it on the shelf inside.

"You going to be okay now?"

"I want my kiss."

"Never happening."

"Liar."

Quinn pulled her hand out of Berry's tight grip and gestured inside. "Drink some water and go to bed before your dads get home."

"Okay."

She'd only stumbled five steps inside when it was obvious she was about to face-plant on the floor. Quinn moved quick and caught her around the waist.

"Okay, easy."

"You keep breaking the no touching rule, it's very confusing."

"You'll learn to live with it."

"No!" Berry went from mellow-drunk to angry-drunk in the blink of an eye. She twisted, pushing at Quinn's shoulders, trying to force her away. "If we have rules we have rules. Why do you get to make them and break them and I can't? This isn't fair! We're both equally confused, so I should have an equal say!"

"Okay," Quinn released her, but stayed close enough to catch her if she had to. "No touching. I'm sorry."

"Oh, that you have to bend on? Why am I surprised, of course you're going to choose to never touch me again! That's not a compromise."

Confused was definitely the word right now. "Do you want me to touch you or not?"

"What I want is to go to bed."

"That's what I want you to do too, perfect compromise."

"Thank you!"

Rachel staggered three steps before Quinn had to catch her again. The force of Rachel's drunken momentum caught her off guard and they both went down to their knees. She winced as hers met the tiled floor but Rachel didn't even seem to register the impact.

"I think I'm really drunk."

"I think you are too."

"Sorry."

"It's okay. Let's just get you back up . . ." Rachel slumped against her. ". . . or not. Look, Rachel, I'm trying to be sympathetic to your drunkenness but I have to get back to the party at some point."

"Back to Finn."

"Yes."

Rachel's anger turned to melancholy. "You'd rather be with Finn than me?"

She wasn't going to answer that directly. "He's my boyfriend."

Oh shit, Rachel looked like she was about to cry.

"He needs me to give him a ride home."

"I need you to give me a ride home!"

"I just did that."

"Oh." Rachel looked around as if only just realizing where she was. "Thank you, Quinn."

"You're welcome. Now I need to go."

"Okay, if you need to." She'd moved on to acceptance. It was like the five stages of grief or something. "Bye."

"I'm not going to leave you right here."

Rachel sniffed and shook her head slightly. "I'll be okay. I'll just crawl up the stairs."

"No."

"What do you mean no?"

What did she mean? She should be trying to get out of there as soon as possible.

"No one likes an unhappy drunk, Rach. I'm not going until I see you smile again."

"Don't wanna smile."

Quinn took her hand, thumb stroking over the back of it. She bent her head to meet Rachel's down-turned eyes. "How about now?"

"You're trying to manipulate me."

"Yep, is it working?"

"No, just leave me alooone . . . so I can stop holding your hand and looking at your face and thinking about . . . about . . . about doing things to your face I don't want to think about!"

"You . . ." Quinn's breath hitched and they were so close with the way they'd fallen that Rachel must have felt it on her cheek, her lips quirked ever so slightly despite how upset she was. "You don't want to think about kissing me?"

"I don't want to think about kissing you," Rachel enunciated as best as she could in her inebriation. "But that doesn't mean I can stop thinking about what it would be like to kiss you."

Quinn felt as drunk as Rachel, high on thrill and temptation as those angry, desperate words clawed the feelings, that she so desperately wanted to keep buried, up to the surface. Everything she didn't want to want was right there. Exactly as close as the girl in her arms. And how dare Rachel say she didn't want to kiss her. That just fueled Quinn's need to prove her a liar.

Rachel pulled her head back, eyes wide, as Quinn tried to close the distance between them. "What the heck are you doing?"

"What do you think? Being confused together."

Despite her cocky tone, it didn't turn out to be her smoothest move ever she forgot to tilt her head even a little bit in her rush and their noses bumped, kind of hard, and Rachel 'ouched' and giggled, slumping even further over as one of her hands slipped across the polished floor, almost tipping Quinn over too. Despite the urgency of the moment she was still self-conscious enough for that to almost make her bolt out the door and never look back . . . But then Rachel's grin was against her own and the embarrassment was . . . just funny. And then the gravity of what they were doing seemed to catch up with both them at the same time and grins fell away to leave just lips pressing to lips, and if Quinn had thought her heart was beating faster before . . .

She angled her head, just a touch, and pressed a little harder, one hand instinctively curling around the back of Rachel's neck so that she didn't slip anymore. A feeling like shaking a bottle of pop and then watching its fizzy contents explode into the air like a liquid-based firework happened when she felt Rachel move, returning the light pressure and tilting in such a way their mouths slid together as Rachel's lips nudged and tugged with hers in a simple, exquisite kiss . . . Except, she wasn't watching the explosion, she was the explosion. She was all shook up and Rachel made her fizzy and there was probably a scientific name for the chemical reaction of exploding pop, Quinn might even know it in another time that didn't purely consist of Rachel Berry and her lips, but right now the common name for it was 'Wrap your other arm around Berry's back to hold her as close as you possibly can and never . . . stop . . . kissing!'

She was serious too, but Rachel had other ideas and her hands that had at some point settled on Quinn's shoulders eventually exerted enough pressure to push her away.

"No," she whined softly, trying to pull Rachel back in. "Don't stop."

Rachel tilted her head back well out of reach, panting laboriously with a delirious smile on her face while holding a hand up to keep Quinn's lips at bay. She looked ridiculous and Quinn had never wanted to kiss anyone more.

"What's wrong?"

"You're making me all hot."

Quinn frowned, not used to her kissing partners citing that as a reason to stop. In fact, 'I'm making you all hot' was usually her line for calling an end to things. And then Rachel started waving a hand in front of her face to create some air and it clicked that she meant the temperature kind of hot.

"Look, let's get your cardigan off. It'll cool you down." She hooked her thumbs into the knitted blue wool and pushed it off of Rachel's shoulders.

Rachel didn't help in the slightest; in fact she made the job harder by falling against Quinn's chest. "Are you trying to get me naked again, Quinn Fabray?"

She blushed hard at the reminder, but laughed as she continued to strip her out of the cardigan, "I think you're safe tonight, Berry."

"Fine, but I knew you wanted to kiss me," Rachel said, with a happy little sigh that turned what could have sounded smug into just intense relief.

"Whatever," Quinn cast the removed cardigan aside. "Have you cooled down yet?"

"Mmmmmmmm!" was hummed against her collarbone; whatever that meant.

Cupping her cheek with one hand and supporting the back of her neck with her other, Quinn eased Rachel back from her chest and dipped to meet that elated smile only to be met with a breathy little snore whistling between barely parted lips.

Quinn jerked her head back with a frown. She had to be kidding!

"Berry, you can't fall asleep on me."

Nothing.

"Rachel, wake up!"

A slight wrinkling of the nose as Quinn lightly tapped her cheek.

"Rach, I'm going to kiss you again either way, do you really want to miss it?"

Rachel's eyes remained closed but Quinn was sure her smile was now even more dreamy and blissful.

Just great, now what was she supposed to do? They were in the Berry's foyer, it was nearly one in the morning, her dads would be home soon and Rachel was passed out in her arms! It was like Sleeping Beauty in reverse. The kiss wasn't the cure it was the crime and she'd just willfully committed it. Now she was paying the price.

What had she just done? And why had she wanted to do it so badly in the first place?

Rachel shifted against her, one arm sneaking under hers to curl against her back as she turned her face into Quinn's neck and mumbled something like, "You make tingles in me all over. Hmm? You feel the thing, Quinn, don't you?"

Oh yeah, that was why, because she did. She didn't want to but she really did.

Taking a deep breath, which was pure Rachel (so didn't help in the slightest), she dipped her head to see glazed dark eyes staring unfocusedly at her and shrugged awkwardly.

Apparently it was enough, "Awesome," Rachel breathed and then she really was out, head lolling on Quinn's shoulder as the snores came a little louder and more evenly.

"Yeah, just awesome," Quinn echoed sarcastically, rolling of her eyes.


Chapter Seventeen

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