"What is it?" Rachel asked, uneasily.
How could she not assume the worst when faced with an expression of such abject fear. Quinn's fingers were even trembling as she handed over the phone for Rachel to read the text.
WTF? Something fishy this way comes. How come you and RuPaul are both absent from gym? Were you lying to me earlier, Q? You best have a damn good reason for this.
"Why does she care so much?" Rachel asked, handing the phone back.
"She's my friend."
"That text didn't sound very friendly."
Quinn sent a text back, reading it out as she typed. "Throwing up in the nurse's office. No idea where Manhands is. Glad to see you're still obsessed with her whereabouts though."
"Okay, the first two sentences make perfect sense. Explain the last one, please."
Quinn smirked, "I'm trying to convince her she has a crush on you, because if she starts questioning her own motives she'll take a break from questioning mine."
"You honestly think that will work?" It was a little flattering, she supposed, until . . .
"Honestly? No, but it's worth a try." Quinn dropped her head back to Rachel's neck and breathed deeply through her nose.
Rachel shivered, "And is this level of subterfuge really necessary?"
"I'm standing at the back of school kissing your neck, Rachel! Yes, subterfuge is necessary! I still can't believe . . . this isn't . . ." Quinn's head raised until they were resting temple to temple. ". . . we shouldn't be doing this!"
Rachel's heart sank but she was honest. "No, probably not."
"This is so wrong." Quinn's head slid away, pulling her hair slightly but Rachel didn't care seeing as the end result was a nose back against her neck. "This is really wrong."
"If Santana finds out . . . what am I saying, she already knows! She just doesn't have confirmation yet. How stupid do I have to be to keep doing this when she freaking knows?"
"What does it matter what Santana knows?" Rachel asked gently. "You two are friends, right? I doubt she'd think differently of you."
"She wants my spot on the Cheerios, always has. To be head cheerleader of the top ranking squad in the nation? It doesn't just earn you kudos in this school it takes you places. Whoever holds that title has a straight scholarship to any college that has cheerleaders in America. That's like . . . probably all of them! You have no idea how many times I've thwarted her attempts to take it from me in the past few months. And this . . ." Quinn pulled back again and her eyes were burning with a serious passion. ". . . You! That's her ticket in!"
Rachel had never been a cheerleader but she understood. Her dream was a straight pass to Julliard and it was the same thing. She hated what she was about to say next but she knew she'd want Quinn to say it if their roles were reversed.
"So we shouldn't do this anymore. I'll . . . I'll wash something of yours instead, like you said, or, I'll wash everything! Just bring all your clothes to my house later and I'll wash them. That'll be just as good, right?"
"No!" Were there tears in Quinn's eyes? "That's not enough anymore. I need . . . Oh, God, why is this happening to me? I need this, okay? I need . . ."
Rachel drew her back in until Quinn's forehead was resting against her neck. "It's okay. It's going to be okay."
"No it's not! It's not going to be okay. Oh, God, this is so wrong. I shouldn't be . . . this shouldn't be . . . I can't . . . Why are you making me feel like this?"
"I'm sorry. I'll stop, I promise, just tell me how."
She felt a distraught chuckle mingle with the hot tears on her neck. "That's the problem! I don't want you to."
She didn't really know what she was saying okay to but it didn't matter. She pushed a hand up into Quinn's hair, cradling the back of her head and hoping it was providing some comfort. It certainly did something because Quinn kissed her neck again and then again.
"I don't know how this happened," was mumbled against her suddenly burning skin. "I've never felt . . ."
When the sentence trailed off Rachel murmured into her ear. "Me neither. You're not alone, Quinn. I'm feeling it too."
"But what is it?"
Rachel had her theories, but not any she wanted to voice out loud.
Her silence provoked Quinn to attack and attack she did. Rachel's knees buckled so much that she was surprised she didn't fall to the ground.
"This is okay, right?" Quinn mumbled between soft, open mouth kisses up and down the side of her neck.
Rachel's answer was to give in to what she'd wanted to do for a while and pressed her parted lips to Quinn's pretty ear. Quinn froze for maybe a second, until Rachel poked her tongue out just enough to timidly tease around the lobe and . . . and Holy Barbra! She could feel the pattern of the bricks through her top as she was pushed firmly back by the length of Quinn's body. The kisses slowed until Quinn was basically just sucking her neck. It felt a little weird, great-weird, and ticklish. She started to giggle and then . . . Holy Barbra . . . Quinn's leg was pressing between hers, and her skirt was riding up uncomfortably, except actually . . . it wasn't uncomfortable at all. Quinn's bare toned thigh was the perfect fit; she'd never felt better.
She wasn't a novice at this – not that she'd ever actually done it before – but she'd read stuff and fantasized about Quinn enough in the past few weeks to get that this had gone beyond their usual 'morning sickness' relief. Even beyond last night, which had been amazing. This was something else entirely and she fought with every ounce of strength she had not to do anything foolish against Quinn's temptingly placed thigh.
She made a good job of that but failed the verbal spectacularly. "Oh, that feels so good. I ca . . . I can't believe how much you turn me on. Every time I think I've reached as good as it must get you do something that raises the already high level of wow you already cause me," she babbled, unfiltered, and uncaring about it.
"I really turn you on?" Quinn sounded honestly wowed at the straightforward admission and her hands slid to Rachel's hips, pulling her even close until the pressure against her reached levels nearly too intense.
"And we haven't even kissed!" she pointed out breathlessly. "Just imagine the possibilities!"
She felt Quinn's silent laughter against her neck and then the light scrape of perfect teeth and a whisper in her ear, "So kiss me already."
"Seems the most logical progression, don't you think? Do it."
And that was too intense! Rachel's underwear, already strangely damp, suddenly reached emergency FEMA levels and it really wasn't her fault that Quinn's thigh was in the way of the completely innocent and totally unpreventable thing that happened next.
"Hey!" With the grip on her hips Quinn roughly pushed her back against the brick. "At the very least it should probably come before the dry-humping, Berry!"
"Sorry, that was . . . actually it was one hundred percent your fault so I'm not going to apologize for it."
Quinn matched her smirk. "I didn't ask you to. But keep these together from now on."
A nudge against her knee sent the message loud and clear and Rachel shuffled her feet together. "Better?"
"Yeah." Quinn rearranged her own feet so that one was either side of hers and leaned against her again. "This is okay. I can actually be trusted to control myself."
"I suppose I should just be grateful that you're not insisting we put a balloon between our pelvic regions."
"I would, but it would just be a waste of money considering how fast you'd probably pop it."
"And we wouldn't want to make baby Jesus cry."
Smirking, Quinn corrected her, "It's angels, sweetie. The sound of you failing to control yourself around me, makes the angels cry. And can we not talk about them, or Jesus . . . or babies, when I'm just about to let you kiss me?"
Quinn's fingertips were igniting blazing trails on her lower back, pulling her shirt tighter before smoothing in towards her spine. The pattern repeated itself over and over as Quinn leaned in teasingly, just close enough to have her demands met without doing all of the work herself.
"Why do I . . ." Rachel cleared her dry throat. "Why do I have to kiss you?" she murmured.
Quinn's lips quirked up slightly, "So I can retain plausible deniability."
A soft chuckle escaped Rachel's throat. "I know I should be offended by that, but I find I really don't care enough to be right now."
"Then do it."
Without looking away from the hazel eyes pulling her in, her trembling hands found either side of Quinn's jaw to hold them both steady as she leaned in those last few necessary inches.
Her phone beeped to announce a message and she cursed in way she never did when they both flinched back at the sound.
Quinn whispered it so sexily she almost complied, but Rachel didn't ignore texts. What if it was a life or death matter. She slid one hand to the back of Quinn's neck, keeping her close enough to breathe the same air as she used her other one to pull her cell from her pocket.
Her eyes went wide in shock as she read the text from Mercedes and then she wordlessly passed the phone to Quinn.
I knew it! Girl, you're about as subtle as a car compactor when it comes to crushing. I don't know why you couldn't just tell us, maybe then we could have stopped your behind from doing something so damn foolish like KISSING QUINN FABRAY before it was too late.
Quinn's eyes went equally wide and darted around as if she might spot someone spying on them. She jerked back, putting several feet of distance between them. "How does she know? Did you say something?"
"No, of course not!"
"Then how?" Quinn shouted.
Quinn's phone beeped and she dived for it, almost dropping it in her haste. She read the message aloud, dread dripping from every word.
"It's from Puck. 'Hot as Hell Fabray. Did that really happen? You should let her and then let me watch. You owe me.'"
After a few seconds of nervous silence, Rachel asked, "What do you owe him for?"
Quinn shrugged uncomfortably. "No idea. And hardly our biggest problem!"
Rachel's phone beeped. "It's from Artie. 'You're even crazier than I thought you were. What was it like kissing her? Or did she beat your ass down so hard you can't remember?'"
By the time she'd finished relaying the message they were both frowning, confused.
"But we've never kissed," she stated the obvious. "Unless they mean the time after Puck's party." She thought about it. "But why would they bring it up now?"
"I don't know."
"I'm so sorry about that. If I'd known it would get out . . . actually if I'd been in any type of sober capacity I would never had done that," she amended. "I'm never drinking again! And I will never again put you in such a position as this! I've learned my lesson Quinn. I promise you, you are safe from me from now on. That will be the only time I ever try and kiss you."
"You tried to kiss me two minutes ago."
"Oh, right," Rachel said, crestfallen. "Then I suppose that will have to be the last time."
Quinn was still too upset to laugh but the corners of her lips did twitch, just a little.
"I really am sorry, Quinn."
"Don't worry about it. It might be all your fault, but I was the one who kissed you, remember?"
Rachel couldn't help but smile, "Ah, so you're finally admitting it!"
"Fine, yes! I kissed you! After the party, when we got back to your house, I kissed you. I didn't want to do it but you were practically begging me, I mean I thought you were going to cry or something so I kissed you, it was nothing. It lasted like ten seconds," Quinn was rambling now. "I kissed you, you kissed me back and then it was over. It didn't mean anything, okay? It wasn't a big deal or anything and I definitely didn't tell anyone so can we just drop it?"
"You didn't want to?"
"Of course I wanted to, Berry, or else I wouldn't have done it! I just didn't want to want to and I still don't want to want to, but I do and so I'm screwed. Happy now?"
"You lied to me."
"Yes, I did. I wasn't ready to deal with it. I still thought this was something I could ignore. It was easier just to blame you."
Rachel waited for an apology but it didn't come. Taking a deep breath she moved on.
"So, if neither of us said anything there is no way anyone can possibly have that information. That means . . ."
Quinn's phone beeped again. "Shit, it's Finn."
"What does it say?"
What if Finn believed the rumor? He'd hate her. Their friendship would be over. Their working relationship in Glee Club would be ruined. The club would suffer drastically and might never recover. And they would never win Sectionals with a fractured team spirit!
Quinn paraphrased. "He wants to know why I'd make up something so weird."
Rachel heaved a sigh of relief. "Oh, thank goodness."
The cheerleader looked at her properly for the first time since the texts started coming through. "What about that is good?"
"It means he doesn't believe it."
Quinn bit her lip, "I guess." She nodded. "That's true. As long as Finn doesn't believe it we can just pretend we have no idea what they're talking about. Obviously Santana started this but if we both just stick to the same story then it's her word against ours. And there's two of us so we have more words."
Rachel smiled but wasn't convinced. "Do you think it will really work? Because obviously Santana isn't scared to play dirty."
"It has to work."
Rachel's phone actually rang this time and because it was still in her hand it startled her. Quinn jumped too and looked more scared than a ringing phone should make anyone.
"Who is it?"
Her heart sank when she saw the caller id. "Mike."
"Shit, don't answer it. No, you have to answer it, it'll be too suspicious otherwise, right?"
Rachel took a deep breath as she prepared to pick up the call.
It whooshed back out. "What?"
"I've been a total jerk to him since the party. What if he thinks it's because I'm jealous? That won't be a point in our favor."
"Is it because you're jealous?"
"Rachel! Just answer the phone! Don't say you're with me!"
She rolled her eyes at all of the U-turns and at the redundant instruction and pressed the button to answer the call.
"Hi, Mike, what's up? Is everything okay? Aren't you supposed to be in Geography?"
Quinn came closer and bent her head next to hers so that she could hear his side of the conversation. Rachel could understand it but she wished she hadn't, it made it so much harder to concentrate on the already difficult task at hand.
"I have a hall pass. I was . . . this is kind of embarrassing, but everyone's saying you're really into Quinn and the guys are kind of giving me some stick. So, I was just wondering, is it true?"
This was terrible. She really didn't want to lie to him but she couldn't tell him the truth either. Quinn pulled her head back to furiously shake her head; like that was necessary.
"Of course it's not, Mike. Quinn and I share a complicated relationship . . ." Quinn looked like she was about to punch her but Rachel held her hand up, hoping the other girl would have some faith in her. ". . . but it's one based on mutual contempt and animosity. If you'll remember, it was not too long ago that she discovered my attraction to her boyfriend. An attraction that has now completely passed, I assure you, but I fear it is something that Quinn and I will never recover from."
"So that's a no?"
"It is laughable to assume Quinn Fabray and I could even be friends let alone anything more."
"I figured," Mike sounded relieved. "But everyone's saying it and I keep getting these texts. I just wanted to check with you. I mean, if you did like her, I'd respect it, but . . . I'm really not enjoying this whole center of attention thing, especially if it's going to end with me looking like an idiot."
Quinn had stepped in close again but Rachel pulled her head back to give her an anguished look. She couldn't let him look like a idiot!
Quinn moved her head to Rachel's other ear to murmur, "You have to lie to him. It's not like anyone's ever going to find out you did."
"Rach, are you there?"
"Of course, Mike, I was just distracted by the librarian telling me I'm not allowed to use my cell phone in here. She's gone now."
"Tell him you really don't like it when he calls you 'Rach'," Quinn's whisper warmed her ear and made her shiver; the contradictory reactions this girl provoked in her were apparently endless.
She rolled her eyes and ignored the request. "I promise you won't end up looking like an idiot, Mike. I honestly have no idea why everyone has it in their heads that I tried to kiss Quinn after Puck's party."
"After the party? I thought it was yesterday in the girls bathroom?"
Fudge! She felt Quinn stiffen beside her. Knowing she could have just damaged their chance at riding this out she cued up her best indignation.
"You mean there is more than one rumor? This is unacceptable! Obviously Team-Fabray is playing dirtier than I expected them to. If I wasn't a better person than they obviously are I would agree to Artie and Kurt's idea immediately. Instead we will have to rise above this vicious attack. I trust I can count on you to inform anyone who mentions it in your presence that this ridiculous lie has absolutely no factual grounding."
"Yeah sure. I already have been. Or at least I've been saying it's a load of crap. That's close, right?"
Rachel giggled a little and then felt a head knock into her own none-too-gently. She pulled back from the sharp contact, mouthing innocently to Quinn: What? He's being extremely charming.
"I'm truly sorry you're having to go through this, Mike. If you wanted to discontinue our courtship, at least until this has all blown over, I would totally understand and wouldn't think any less of you."
She almost missed Mike's reply when Quinn whispered once more. "If you want charming . . ." Or maybe it was the kiss directly under her ear that stole her concentration. She didn't know whether the closeness was getting to Quinn too or if the other girl was in fact jealous but Rachel wasn't going to discourage her from expressing it either way.
Mike's answer wasn't what she wanted to hear anyway. "No, it's okay. In fact, are we still on for this afternoon? I thought we could go and see a movie."
"Um . . ."
"You have to." Quinn's murmur was heavy with disappointment.
Rachel's heart dropped again and she really had to stop it from doing that or it was probably going to lead to a serious heart-related ailment of some kind later in life.
The cheerleader's forehead dropped onto her shoulder for a moment, distracting Rachel yet further from giving an answer and then when Quinn started to straighten up again . . . well. If ever there was a good time to use such a vulgar expression as 'Shit happens' this was it.
Quinn had not whispered, and then her hand slapped at and clamped down on the side of Rachel neck. Rachel winced at the sting and nearly dropped her phone in surprise, only just hearing Mike begin to ask,
"Who was . . .?"
"The Librarian has such a potty mouth; and I'm about to have my phone confiscated. I'd love to see a movie with you later, Mike. Meet me by my locker after Glee? Must go, bye!" She hung up without waiting for an answer. "What?"
"No, what is it? Tell me, Quinn!" From Quinn's panicked expression she knew it had to be dire. "Is it a bug? Do I have a bug on me? Don't just squash it; get it off!"
"It's not a bug!"
"Then what is it?" She tried to shrug Quinn's hand off but it wouldn't be removed. "Quinn, what on Earth is wrong?"
"It's nothing, it's . . . Oh my God! I'm sorry, I so didn't mean to. I never have . . . I didn't even know I could. I'm so . . . shit, this is . . ."
Terrified now, Rachel clutched Quinn's wrist and pulled her hand away. Which didn't help an awful lot because try as she might she still couldn't see the side of her own neck.
"What is it?!"
"I gave you a . . ." Quinn began, horrified.
That probably would have been enough to clear up the confusion if Rachel wasn't so panicked by this point. The fact that Quinn trailed off into unintelligible mumbling really didn't help either.
Rachel squatted and quickly pulled her compact from her bag. Angling it so that she could see the problem, her eyes went so wide.
"Oh my goodness, Quinn!"
There was a bright burgundy hickey the size of a silver dollar on her neck!
"How did you only just notice that?"
"I don't know! I wasn't really looking and your hair must have been covering it and . . . oh God!" Quinn sounded close to hyperventilating. "This is so bad!"
"You think? What am I supposed to do about it? And you just forced me into going out with Mike later! What am I supposed to tell him? That I accidentally fell on a vacuum cleaner in the school library?"
"I know, okay!" Quinn yelled back. Her phone beeped again. "Oh God, not now!" She checked it anyway. "Oh for . . . what does that even mean?"
"What does what mean?"
Quinn thrust the phone at her. The text was from Santana. Guess you really gotta choose now.
"I think it means you have to choose between me and your friendship with Santana, or possibly your position as head cheerleader."
"Oh my God, I know that, Berry! I'm just . . . Crap, I am seriously freaking out right now!"
So was Rachel so she did the only thing that made sense. She rocked up onto her tip-toes and kissed Quinn Fabray right on the mouth.
It maybe only lasted just a long, lingering second and didn't make half as much sense afterwards as it had before but . . . it still worked, breaking through the percolating hysteria.
Quinn went very still for several beats of Rachel's pounding heart and then nodded a few times. "Keep your jacket on for the rest of the day and make sure to pull your hair over your shoulders. Looks hot like that anyway. If anyone asks why you have your coat on tell them it's that time of the month and it just makes you feel better to be warm. And that that's why you had a note to excuse you from Gym so you were studying in the library." She paused for breath but hadn't finished. "And if you end up making out with Mike at the movies and he goes anywhere near your neck, knee him in the nuts."
Rachel allowed a small smile. "Couldn't I just tell him I'm not ready for that kind of intimacy?"
Quinn smiled just a tiny bit too. "It's your call, but I'd be happier if you went with my idea."
"I'm not planning to make out with Mike anyway."
"Again, your call. I'll be making out with Finn later. Probably a lot . . . Damn."
"What?" (More could possibly be wrong?)
"I'll probably have to let him get under my bra to quell this rumor."
Jealousy rose within her, a sick, tight feeling in her throat. "You'd do that?"
Quinn looked down at her tennis shoes as she muttered, "I'm not happy about it, but I think there's a lot I'd do to keep this secret. Wouldn't you?"
Rachel wanted to say how much she abhorred that sentiment, but the shy yet seductive look Quinn tipped her way at the end, changed the words in her mouth.
"So we still have a secret to keep?" she asked quietly.
"We'll have to be super careful," Quinn murmured, meeting Rachel's steady gaze through her eyelashes.
Rachel just nodded, scared to say anything in case it changed Quinn's fickle mind back the other way.
"And we can't have any 'friend' dates until this has all died down obviously."
Another slow nod.
"And clearly us meeting like this was a really stupid idea so that can't happen again."
This role of silent acceptance didn't really work for her, she had to say something. "So, basically, we'll have this thing but we won't spend any time together?"
Quinn nodded, "But we'll both know we have this thing. And there's always Facebook chat," she chirped.
"Which will no doubt satisfy all of my desires," Rachel quipped.
"Well, considering what happens when we indulge our desires," Quinn reached out and ran a finger over her hickey. "Maybe it's better that we don't."
Rachel twitched under the contact, blushing bashfully at the truth, as the faint sound of a bell reached their ears. "It's lunch time."
"Wanna sit together while we eat?" Rachel grinned. "Really confuse matters?"
Quinn gave her a mock glare. "I don't even want to see you for the rest of the day, Berry."
"Well, that doesn't hurt at all."
The cheerleader rolled her eyes. "Don't be awkward. Anyway, we'll see each other in Glee."
"We're also going to see everyone else in Glee. So we're going with complete denial, is that correct?"
"So what were we doing in the bathroom yesterday?"
Quinn looked a little shifty, probably because she was trying to come up with a suitable lie.
"My morning sickness was really, really bad and I locked the door so no one would walk in on me throwing up. You stayed because you're not a horrible person and were concerned for my well-being. We bitched at each other the entire time and parted ways hating each other more than ever."
"I can work with that," she decided.
Quinn raised an eyebrow, but didn't ask, "Yeah. Okay. We should probably go."
"Yes. I'll give you a five minute head start and then walk around the long way."
Quinn walked the few steps to pick up her bag and pull it over her shoulder. She took a couple of steps back again. After a few long seconds of hesitation – what was she thinking now? Was she about to change her mind again? – Quinn leaned in and kissed her on the lips. It was perfect and innocent and over too soon and Rachel almost fell over from it.
"Might not get to do that again for a while," Quinn said by way of explanation, and then she was walking away before Rachel could respond.
Rachel touched her fingertips to her mouth, still feeling Quinn's kiss. Well, they certainly had something now. And then she gave into the urge to fall over.
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