The blonde smiled across the table at Rachel, setting down her cup in front of her. Quinnie was definitely not cute. Her eyebrow arched slightly at Rachel’s comment, but she filed her curiosity in the back of her mind, something she should definitely over-analyze at a later date. She was simply content that Rachel was enjoying her trip. Though she knew New York was Rachel’s dream, Quinn was glad that she was definitely more excited, rather than nervous, to move to the big city.
Taking another sip of her coffee, she took in Rachel’s unexpected question. She offered the brunette a small nod before setting her cup on the table. “I have. It gets better everyday, really. Which I guess means that you were right, it’s not truly terrifying once you get past the initial shock,” she said, flashing Rachel a smile. While she was growing slightly more comfortable with the concept, Quinn still definitely wasn’t ready to shout it out to the world, let alone allow anyone to overhear their conversation in a coffee shop. With her luck, a distant relative would happen by and overhear their conversation. So the blonde was thankful Rachel had spoken a few tones quieter than her usual conversation voice.
“I think,” she paused, tucking some of her hair behind her ear, “like I told you before, I don’t think I’m attracted to guys like most girls are. And I don’t even know about girls, I haven’t exactly been looking into that really.” The blonde took a moment, glancing down at the table. She hated that this topic of conversation made her nervous, especially around Rachel. Quinn tried to word her sentences carefully, to leave her unrequited feelings out of the equation completely, but it didn’t really help to get her point across. “I guess,” she started, looking back up at Rachel to meet her eyes with her own., “I know for a fact that I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to being with a girl.” She shrugged slightly, trying to keep the conversation from growing too heavy, before adding “but I’m not exactly checking out girls left and right. I think you’re right when you were saying personality is the most important fact.”
The blonde was trying to be as subtle as possible in regards to her feelings. She had promised Rachel that nothing would change between the two of them. And, despite that promise, things had, even if it was a barely noticeable change. The last thing Quinn wanted to do was to scare Rachel away or make her uncomfortable. She knew how terrible unwanted advances were, she had had enough throughout high school to know that for a fact. But that didn’t make it any less difficult for the blonde to refrain from discussing her feelings. If she was being completely honest, the correct answer to Rachel’s question would’ve been something along the lines of “I fell in love with you, I haven’t exactly been looking at anyone else, boy or girl.” Instead, Quinn opted to lean back in the wooden chair and smile at the brunette, trying her best to tell Rachel the real answer via eye contact rather than words.
Rachel listened intently as Quinn discussed her confusion about her sexuality, and she nodded as the blonde explained that it was becoming easier with time. Although she never struggled with the knowledge of her fluid sexuality due to her being raised by two gay dads, she understood how distressing it would be to suddenly realize you weren’t what society deemed “normal.” They’d witnessed the bullying Kurt faced during their junior year, and they’d both stood up for Santana when she was bombarded with offensive and crude comments after being outed to the school. Rachel could only imagine how difficult it must have been for Quinn in the very beginning. She came from a conservative household that believed in strictly following the Bible. The brunette doubted “acceptance” was even in the Fabrays’ vocabulary. That was why she told herself she’d always be there to support the blonde. Even if their relationship didn’t progress into anything more, she would always lend her shoulder for Quinn to cry on.
“You don’t have to label yourself so quickly, Quinn,” Rachel reminded her, warm brown eyes focused solely on hazel ones. She hoped Quinn could see and hear her sincerity when they discussed this topic. “You don’t have to label yourself at all. This summer should be spent discovering who you are and who you like rather than trying to pin yourself in one specific category. I can assure you that I’ll love you just the same whether you’re a lesbian, bisexual, or pansexual - like myself. You need to find yourself and find happiness. You can focus on how to explain your sexuality to others when you’re prepared to come out.”
Rachel gave Quinn a sweet smile before talking a long sip of her icy drink. “You’ve made it clear that you’re open to the idea of being with girls,” she began, quickly scanning the coffee shop to make sure no one else was listening to their conversation. They all seemed too absorbed in their laptops, cell phones, and respective partners. She was certain that would relieve the blonde, who’d only ever discussed this with Rachel in private. “But… Are you open to the idea of being with boys as well? I know there are plenty of ignorant people, some of whom are in the gay community, who dispute bisexuality and deny it’s existence, but I believe it’s very much real. I know from experience that a person is capable of having an emotional and sexual attraction to both genders. Perhaps that’s how you feel.” Rachel tried to word that carefully, especially after she’d just given her Steer Clear of Labels! speech. She didn’t want Quinn to think that she was confining her to a box that read “Bisexuality,” but she wanted to better understand Quinn’s emotions. She wanted to help Quinn better understand them.
Quinn had been looking around the small coffee shop, admiring the various unique decorations that covered the walls. She turned quickly to face Rachel upon hearing that nickname. Her jaw dropped as she stared at her friend in disbelief “You….” she couldn’t help but smile at the grin she was met with, “little devil you,” she mumbled, following the already walking Rachel across the shop to the table by the window.
The blonde sat down across from Rachel, glancing out the window momentarily before pinching off a piece of the croissant, taking a bite with a grin. “This trip has been amazing so far, Rachel. I don’t mind playing things by ear, sometimes wondering around aimlessly is more fun than planning specific events.” Leaning back in her seat, she looked across the table at the brunette “I’m still so thankful that you invited me. I’m also extremely jealous that you’ll be living here in such a beautiful city.”
“Quinnie!” the barista called out, earning an eye roll from the blonde. She leaned forward towards Rachel, pointing the other girl “You better expect payback later, Rae Rae,” the blonde said with a playful smirk before standing up to go retrieve their drinks. She grabbed the two cups from the counter, grabbing a straw for herself, one of her weird coffee habits before heading back to the table. She returned a bit slower than she had left, taking a moment to admire just how completely lovely Rachel looked this afternoon. Not that she didn’t usually, but New York looked good on her.
Upon reaching the table, she sat Rachel’s drink down in front of her before joining the brunette once more. “The entire coffee shop now knows me as Quinnie,” she stated matter-of-factly, taking a sip of her cappuccino through her straw.
Rachel smiled as Quinn explained that she was enjoying herself on the trip and that she didn’t mind the lack of concrete planning. The Berry’s main purpose for coming to New York was to visit the NYADA campus, and her fathers had purchased tickets to Evita as well, not wanting to come to the grand city without seeing at least one Broadway show. They had planned on leaving on Friday morning, but due to their new plan to visit New Haven, they were now leaving early on Thursday and spending the remainder of the day touring the Yale campus. Her fathers seemed genuinely excited to visit one of the nation’s most prestigious universities, and Rachel couldn’t wait to see it either, knowing that much of the next four years would be spent visiting the campus and her best friend. “I’m glad you’re having a fun time, Quinn,” she told her, giving her a sweet smile. Her grin widened at the mention of her living in New York City. “It really is beautiful, isn’t it?! It’s the home I’ve always dreamed of. I can’t believe I’ll be living here so soon!”
Rachel giggled as “Quinnie!” was shouted and the girl across from her gave her a playful threat. “I expect nothing less from McKinley’s former queen bee!” she shouted back with a small laugh, relaxing back in her wooden chair. She was pleased to see Quinn wasn’t upset by her usage of the adorable nickname, and she watched as the blonde got up to retrieve their orders. Rachel pulled out her cell phone and looked down at the screen, checking to make sure she hadn’t missed any messages. There was one text from Kurt, asking how the city that never sleeps was treating her, and she typed out a quick reply before tucking her phone safely away in her clutch. When she looked up, Quinn was sitting down across from her again and handing her an iced drink. “Thank you,” she said politely, taking a sip of it and marveling at the sweet flavor.
A loud laugh slipped from Rachel’s lips at Quinn’s comment, and she nodded happily at that fact. “Quinnie truly isn’t as awful as you think, Quinn,” she told her honestly, taking another sip of her coffee. “While it does sound a bit immature, I think it’s very cute and feminine, like you.” Rachel gave the blonde a wide smile before closing her lips around the edge of her cup, tilting it back to take another sip. She hoped Quinn wouldn’t simply shrug off her comment. She really did think the blonde was cute; although, gorgeous may have been a better adjective to describe her.
The thought of her newly discovered feelings for the blonde reminded Rachel of a previous conversation she’d had with Quinn regarding her sexuality. She should’ve told her then that the girl she’d had a crush on their freshman year - the one who’d made her realize gender was inconsequential when it came to her emotions - was Quinn Fabray herself. “So, I’ve been meaning to ask,” she began, choosing instead to focus on the part of that conversation that had revolved around Quinn. “Have you had any recent revelations in regards to your sexuality?” She made sure to keep her voice down so as not to be heard by the other coffee shop patrons. She was certain none of them knew the blonde, but she still felt compelled to keep her secret, even from the city full of strangers.
Quinn was excited to have some time to spend with Rachel. Not that she didn’t absolutely love spending time with the Berry men as well. But there was something different about the time the pair spent together and the blonde was looking forward to some sight seeing with her friend. As the pair entered the elevator, she stifled a giggle as she tilted her head to look at the brunette who was practically bursting at the seams with excitement. Admittedly, her joy was contagious and the blonde found her own excitement for the afternoon growing. The elevator doors dinged open and before she could react, the brunette had latched her hand onto Quinn’s nearly dragging her into the lobby before her own pace could match Rachel’s. Even the hotel lobby was extravagent, nothing like anything you could find in Lima or the surrounding areas. It was beautiful, massive, yet so miniscule compared to the city surrounding the hotel.
The blonde stepped out onto the sidewalk, staying close enough to the door to keep from getting run over by the fast-paced pedestrians. Unlike the first time Rachel grabbed her hand that evening, this felt more intentional, only confirmed by the interlacing of the pairs fingers. Quinn shook her head slightly, knowing she was probably reading too much into Rachel’s actions, playing her own emotions into the situation. Regardless, she couldn’t help but overthink the situation. Could Rachel tell that the simple-enough action caused her pulse to accelerate? Were her palms too sweaty? What if Rachel just didn’t want to get lost? That was probably it. She didn’t want to be separated from the blonde. That made complete sense.
Rachel’s voice pulled her from her thoughts and back into reality as the pair took off down the sidewalk, falling in a leisurely, yet excited pace. “It’s such a beautiful city, Rachel. I’m kind of jealous you’ll be seeing this everyday soon,” she said, her eyes taking in all of the beautiful buildings around them. She was amazed by the small tidbits of information that Rachel had about various buildings around them. She really had done her research over the years.
The pair reached the coffee shop and, though Quinn couldn’t help but miss the feeling of Rachel’s hand in her own, she was more than thrilled to enter the air conditioned building. “Thank you,” she flashed a smile at Rachel as she walked into the coffee shop, the cool rush of air surrounding her. Waiting a moment for the brunette, Quinn walked up to the counter, looking over the menu. “I’ll let you pay this time, but next stop is on me? Deal?” she said, nudging the brunette lightly to emphasize her point. Turning her attention to the Barista, she smiled “I’ll have a small vanilla cappuccino please,” she said, stepping aside to allow the brunette to order.
“Deal,” Rachel assured Quinn, though she had no intention of following through with that. Quinn was their guest on this vacation; she and her dads were obligated to pay for anything she needed or wanted, aside from souvenirs. Her brown eyes scanned the large menu plastered on the wall, trying to find a flavor that tickled her fancy. She waited for Quinn to finish ordering her drink before stepping forward, asking for an iced caramel latte and croissant before handing the barista her Daddy’s credit card. She signed off for it and told the woman to call “Quinnie” when their orders were ready, giggling to herself as she imagined how Quinn would react. She turned to the blonde with her plate in hand, shooting her a grin to show that she was merely teasing her. “Let’s find a table,” she suggested before Quinn could comment on what she’d done.
Rachel looked around the quaint coffee shop, searching for the absolute perfect table. To some it would be a rather easy and quick decision, but the brunette knew that something as simple as location could help set the mood for their time together. She spotted a table with two seats in the corner of the shop, right beside the window, that was bathed in just the right amount of sunlight. Smiling happily, Rachel led the way to the table, setting down her plate and taking a seat as she motioned for Quinn to do the same.
“So,” she began, tearing off a bit of the flaky pastry and popping it in her mouth. She pushed the plate toward the center of the table so Quinn could eat part of it as well. “How are you enjoying our stay in New York City?” Rachel was hoping that the blonde was enjoying herself as much as she was. This was easily the best vacation she’d been on in her short eighteen years of life. “I know we don’t have very many concrete things planned, but I still hope you’re having fun seeing the beautiful city and dining at fancy restaurants.”
The trip had been amazing so far. Well, apart from being woken from her slumber by a very cheerful brunette the first morning. But that was completely Quinn’s fault, she had stayed up entirely way too late reading the night before. Other than that, however, New York with Rachel and her dads had been a dream come true. It was such a beautiful city and now that Quinn was a generally more cheerful individual than she had been during the last New York trip, she was able to enjoy the city with her best friend and two fantastic guys.
NYADA had been amazing, nothing short of it’s reputation and the blonde absolutely loved seeing Rachel’s excitment about the fall semester grow even more than she ever thought possible. Quinn giggled to herself as she finished touching up her eyeliner, recalling Rachel’s measuring of the dorm room wall in order to account for the correct amount of posters dedicated to the one and only Broadway. Rachel really was something else.
Ever since admitting her feelings to the brunette, Quinn did her best to filter any comments or actions that could possibly be perceived as related to her feelings. This trip, however, had made it a little more difficult for her. There was something about being out of Lima that made Quinn turn her filter down a few notches, much to her dismay.
The blonde had agreed to get ready for their New York outing in the bathroom so Rachel would have the bedroom available to her. A few sundresses were hanging from the shower curtain rod, and the blonde glanced over her options before settling on a light blue dress, one of her personal favorites. She slipped out of her skirt and top and put the dress on, zipping it up before running her fingers through her hair as Rachel called out for her, “I’m just finishing up Rachel,” she yelled back, gathering up her things and her dresses to return to her suitcase and the closet. She stowed the remaining dresses in her section of the closet and put her makeup bag back in her suitcase before turning to the brunette with a smile, “I’m all ready, shall we?” she asked, slipping on a pair of flats.
Rachel beamed as Quinn emerged from the bathroom, excited to go out and explore her favorite city with her closest friend. “We shall!” She reached for her small clutch purse and checked to make sure they had their hotel key - it could be quite problematic if they didn’t - before leading the way out the door. The trip in the elevator was a relatively silent one, but there was nothing uncomfortable about it. Rachel simply stood there, bubbling with giddiness and tapping her foot to the beat of the cheesy music filling the small space. They arrived at the lobby, and Rachel reached for Quinn’s hand, pulling them to the entrance of the hotel and only letting go when they reached the revolving doors. The brunette grinned as she stepped out into the bustling city, eyes drinking in the image that laid before her. Cars whizzed by, people strolled past, and the lights seemed to twinkle against the darkening sky. It was magical.
Rachel turned to Quinn, giving her friend a warm smile as she reached for her hand again. This time she allowed her fingers to intertwine with Quinn’s, and she felt her heart beating rapidly in her chest at the touch. She wondered if the blonde’s reaction was similar to her own. “Come on,” she told her, walking down the city streets side-by-side with her best friend and newest crush. That’s the only thing she could think to label Quinn as - a crush, - but the word didn’t seemed to fit as perfectly as she’d like. She ignored that, though, and pointed out a few buildings here and there, filling Quinn in on the history of the city she’d fallen in love with as a toddler. “I can’t believe I’m going to live here!” she squealed happily, a sudden jump to her step as they turned a corner and found the coffee shop they’d agreed on stopping at. “Here we are.” Rachel pulled her hand away, regrettably, and she held the door open for Quinn and followed her inside the shop. It was cool, which was a nice change from the heat outside, and smelled strongly of coffee beans. “You can order first,” Rachel told her, motioning toward the cash register. “It’s on me.”
New York, New York - the city of dreams. She was finally here. Rachel smiled as she shut her laptop, humming the classic Sinatra tune as she bustled around their hotel room. Her fathers had gone out for a romantic stroll around the city, which left her and Quinn to do as they pleased for the remainder of the evening. Armed with her Daddy’s credit card and a desire to see as much of the city as she possibly could during their short trip, Rachel suggest she and Quinn grab a cup of coffee, eat whatever pastries the coffee shop had to offer, and then explore the city until her fathers called them back to their hotel room.
If she was being perfectly honest with herself, she was thrilled to spend some alone time with the blonde. Their friendship was easy - effortless, - which made time spent together more than enjoyable, and their playful banter and subtle flirting was abundant. Rachel could attribute all of that to Quinn, whose feelings for her had a tendency to show from time-to-time, but she knew that only some of it could be traced back to the blonde. Rachel was beginning to realize that she had feelings for Quinn, if the fluttering in the pit of her stomach each time they made eye contact was any indication, and while she wanted to tell this to the girl, she stopped herself. She’d only just gotten out of a long-term relationship, and she didn’t want Quinn to feel as though she was the rebound. Rachel was going to have to gradually make it known that her feelings for the blonde were more than strictly platonic.
“Quinn?” Rachel called to her friend as she dug through her packed suitcase. She pulled out a pretty black skirt and held it up to herself with pursed lips. She moved to the closet by the front door and flipped through the neatly ironed blouses and dresses for something to pair with the skirt. The brunette finally settled on a silky, off-white blouse with a curved collar and slightly puffy, short sleeves. Rachel made sure Quinn wasn’t anywhere in sight before slipping out of the dress she was currently wearing and pulling on her new ensemble. With her shirt nicely tucked in and her feet shoved in a pair of saddle shoes, Rachel sat down on the pristine bed she and Quinn shared - though they took turns sleeping in it each night because neither would approve of the other sleeping on the cot for the entire trip - and began fiddling with her phone. “Quinn!” she yelled again, wondering if the girl was finished getting ready in the bathroom. “I’m ready to leave whenever you are!”