Pairing/Characters: Quinn/Rachel, others mentioned.
When/Where: AU. A quiet evening at home.
Word Count: 1,312 (4 of ?)
Humming tiredly to herself, Rachel leaned against the back of the small elevator. When she was in high school and earlier, back in Lima, she'd dreamed of working on Broadway. Dreamed of the adulation of her fans. Dreamed of working towards that well deserved EGOT.
But she'd never imagined how exhausted she would be after a week of shows. How glad she would be to head home to her quiet apartment and her girlfriend. Granted, she'd never imagined having a girlfriend. Fortunately, this wasn't her first show, so she was used to the pace of living on Broadway time. But she'd built up an immunity to it over the years. Straight out of Lima, this schedule would have left her catatonic or driven her crazy. Crazier.
The chiming of the elevator, just before the door opened on her floor, roused her from her thoughts. Grabbing her bag and purse, she stumbled out into the hallway and slowly made her way to her apartment door.
Slowing opening it, Rachel listened for her girlfriend. Teen Rachel would have expected Quinn to come to every show, but more mature Rachel knew that she couldn't expect Quinn to dance attendance on her, no matter how much she would like her to. Her girlfriend had a full time job and a life outside of the theater that consumed most of Rachel's energy. But she'd insisted that Quinn at least let her know if she was going to be out so she wouldn't worry.
Their relationship was building slowly, at Quinn's speed. There'd been no dramatic declarations of love, just simple dates and long conversations over coffee. And kissing. A lot of kissing. Quinn was not a very emotional person in public. One could almost call her stoic. The hard earned high school label Ice Princess still seemed appropriate at times. But in private? Quinn liked physical contact, liked to cuddle and to just hold her in her arms. And Rachel wouldn't have it otherwise, Quinn's arms wrapped around her.
Slipping into the apartment, she quietly made her way to the living room, dropping her purse and bag in the kitchen in passing, hoping Quinn was still up. They still had separate bedrooms but they often fell asleep on the couch together and occasionally she was able to drag a sleepy Quinn back to her bed for a night of cuddling.
Quinn seemed in no hurry to take their relationship to the next level and Rachel was following her lead, but she knew that something would happen eventually. Sooner if she had her way. In preparation, she'd been quietly doing some research so she wouldn't be unprepared. Just thinking about that caused her to blush.
She'd grown up with the Internet so she knew the phrase 'If someone thought of it, you can find it somewhere out there' was a truism. But she still found herself shocked at some of the things she'd encountered in her research. It was probably a good idea she'd decided to not consult with Brittany or Santana about any of it, she thought. She'd never have lived it down. And a permanent blush would be difficult to hide, even with stage makeup.
Peeking into the living room, she could see Quinn's head poking up above the back of the couch, her glasses perched cutely on her nose. Until she'd seen Quinn wearing her glasses she'd never quite understood the whole librarian fetish thing but now she got it. And approved, as long as she was the only one looking at Quinn that way.
Grinning, catching her second wind, Rachel threw herself onto the couch next to Quinn. "What's that?" she asked, poking her girlfriend to get her attention, not that Quinn was actually ignoring her but sometimes she could get very absorbed in whatever book she was currently reading.
"What's what?" Quinn asked, looking up briefly to kiss her hello, before going back to her book.
"That!" Rachel said, pointing at a large brown envelope on the coffee table being used as a coaster.
"Nothing important," Quinn told her, her eyes briefly flickering down to look at it.
If Rachel hadn't known her better she would have believed the nonchalant dismissal. But there was just something too casual in Quinn's reply. "So, you don't mind if I take a look?"
Quinn raised an eyebrow in answer. Rachel wondered if she'd had to register it as a deadly weapon.
"Right. None of my business," Rachel said, sighing loudly. Pushing Quinn's book aside, she lay down, putting her head in Quinn's lap. "What are you reading?" she asked looking up at her girlfriend's bemused expression.
"A book," Quinn said, shaking her head. Holding her book up higher, above Rachel's head, she continued reading.
"You're ignoring me!" Rachel said, pouting. "Read to me. That's not some history book, is it?"
"No, not history," Quinn said, giving her a small smile. "Telzey Amberdon was one of my favorite characters back when I was Lucy."
"I would have thought you were more an Alice or Dorothy kind of girl," Rachel said.
"Dorothy consorted with witches and talking animals," Quinn said. "I didn't read any of the Oz books or see the movies until college. If our minister hadn't pushed it as some great Christian epic, I never would have read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."
"But you were familiar with Wicked," Rachel said.
"Not until Glee," Quinn said absently, turning a page.
"What else did you miss?" Rachel asked, horrified. "You weren't exactly home-schooled."
"No, just certain things," Quinn said. "I read Harry Potter in the library. I could never have taken the books home. And Alice? You don't want to know what my father thought about that."
Rachel frowned at this. Quinn's childhood seemed so foreign to her at times. "So, who's this Telzey?"
"She was an independent girl who discovered she could do things with her mind."
"What kinds of things?" Rachel asked, curious. She wondered how Quinn managed to slip this by her father. She'd have to remember to ask about that later.
"Mostly, she could read people's minds and influence them."
"Like in Harry Potter?" Rachel asked, vaguely remembering a plot point from the classic children's series.
"Sort of?" Quinn said. "Except it isn't magic. It's set far in the future."
"I could see why that would be something you'd like," Rachel said, winking up at her. "I should have suspected you were an even bigger geek."
"You aren't earning any points here," Quinn said.
"Points? You're keeping score?" Rachel asked. "What do I get for my points?"
"Ten points a kiss," Quinn said.
"How many get me a hug?" Rachel asked.
"Fifty? One hundred?" Quinn said, winking at her.
"Do you get points?" Rachel asked. "How many so I give you for reading to me?"
"A thousand?" Quinn said.
"Only if you're good."
"I'm the best," Quinn said.
"Okay, go ahead," Rachel said, waving a hand in encouragement. "Read. Earn those points."
"If you insist," Quinn said.
"I do," Rachel said. "Enlighten me with your evening entertainment. From the beginning."
Shaking her head, Quinn flipped the pages of her book back to the beginning and began to read -
"There was, Telzey Amberdon thought, someone besides TT and herself in the garden. Not, of course, Aunt Halet, who was in the house waiting for an early visitor to arrive, and not one of the servants. Someone or something else must be concealed among the thickets of magnificently flowering native Jontarou shrubs about Telzey."
Rachel closed her eyes and listened to the soothing sound of Quinn's voice. She could listen to Quinn read a dictionary but getting insight into what made Quinn Quinn was a nice bonus. Rachel knew about the original Lucy, but Quinn never talked about that part of her life. She would take whatever Quinn was willing to share.
Telzey Amberdon belongs to the estate of James H. Schmitz. Modern editions of all her adventures can be found at the Baen Free Library at baen.com.