Characters: Rachel & Kurt, others mentioned.
When/Where: AU. Rachel and Kurt take a walk in the park.
Word Count: 1,181 (6 of ?)
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Disclaimer: The usual perils of non-ownership - Fox owns the Glee people and Ryan Murphy and Co. came up with the idea. All things Stars Hollow/Gilmore Girls created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. Characters borrowed from 'The Devil Wears Prada' were created by Lauren Weisberger. I don't own any of them but these words are mine.
Summary: A series of 100 double drabble (200 words) and drabble (100 words) vignettes, covering several months in the life of high school frenemies Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray - as roommates, and possibly more, in an AU, post collegiate world.Spoilers: Assume spoilers for Seasons 1-2. And occasional spoilers for Season 3 even though this is AU for most of that season. Key Season 3 AU comes from the following changes - No Evil!Baby Snatching!Quinn and Rachel says no to Finn marriage proposal. All differences flow from there.
Rating: PG-13 Max for adult themes but mostly PG.Length: 21K words of actual story (+ assorted author notes/disclaimers)
Rachel had to work hard to appear calm, as Shelby joined her in the Dragonfly Inn dining room for tea. Just calling her earlier to extend the invitation had been difficult enough. The upcoming conversation? She'd already made an appointment with her therapist just in case it went badly.
"Rachel, you're looking good," Shelby said.
"You also," Rachel murmured. She hoped she aged half as well herself. Quinn kept any pictures that included Shelby in her bedroom, so Rachel rarely had to confront evidence of her own future.
"You're welcome to come to the house," Shelby told her. "Beth would love to see you."
"Maybe tomorrow," Rachel said. "I'm not really interested in spend time with you." She suspected Quinn would have spotted the lie, but Shelby really didn't know her.
"Why are you here?" Shelby asked.
"I'm interested in pursuing a closer relationship with Quinn," Rachel said blushing. "I'm not looking for your approval," she added quickly. "Just telling you my plans."
"Quinn respects and looks up to you," Rachel said. "More than her own mother."
"I'm flattered you think so," Shelby said.
"Please don't interfere," Rachel said.
"Okay?" Rachel echoed, surprised.
"You're both adults," Shelby said.
No matter what Kurt thought he knew, she wasn't chasing after Quinn Fabray like some teenage boy, Rachel decided. Dismissing the cab, Rachel looked up at the Dragonfly Inn, a quaint looking place Kurt had found over the internet.
Taking out her phone, she went over the itinerary he had given her, dismayed at how much thought he'd put into it, completely mapping out her weekend, from checking into the Inn to the return train. When she got back to the city she would have words with him.
Sighing, she picked up her overnight bag and walked up onto the porch and into the inn.
Entering the inn, a peaceful feeling came over her. The inn was obviously a place to relax. Maybe she would not eviscerate Kurt after all.
"Can I help you?" a woman at the front desk asked.
"Rachel Berry," Rachel said, smiling back at her. "I have a reservation," she added, noticing her Manager name tag.
"Just overnight?" the manager asked, looking up her reservation.
"Yes, thank you," Rachel said.
"You have a message," she added raising an eyebrow. "It says 'Stop pouting and text me'. Someone you know?"
"Yes," Rachel said with an embarrassed sigh.
"Where's Quinn?" Kurt asked, peaking into the living room.
"She left last night before dinner," Rachel said.
"Why are you going out to breakfast with me?" Kurt asked.
"Because you're my best friend," Rachel said, pulling on her coat.
"When was the last time you had a date?" Kurt asked,.
"Yesterday," Rachel said.
"What!" Kurt blurted out. "With whom?"
"Well, actually, Quinn and I have been going to lunch together all week," Rachel said. "Some of them felt sort of date like."
"Does Quinn know these were dates?" he asked with finger quotes.
"No," Rachel said, frowning. "Not date dates, anyway."
"Why are you here and not with her?" Kurt asked, exasperated. Grabbing her arm he dragged her to her bedroom. "Sit," he said, pointing at her bed. Reaching into her closet he grabber her overnight bag.
"What are you doing?" Rachel asked.
"You're going to Connecticut," he said, grabbing several casual outfits out of her closet.
"Yes," Kurt said. "You don't have to see your mother, but you need to keep the pressure on Quinn if you really want her."
"Want Quinn?" Rachel squeaked. "Want her how?"
"Rachel Barbra Berry! Denial doesn't look good on you," Kurt said.
"Have you decided yet?" Quinn asked, plucking a grape from the basket. Having a picnic in a rooftop greenhouse in late March? It was one the most unique lunch location they'd shared that week. She wondered where Rachel had learned about it.
"Decided?" Rachel asked.
"Are you coming with me tonight?" Quinn asked.
"I don't want to intrude on your Beth time," Rachel said.
"You wouldn't be," Quinn said. "She'd love to see you."
"You stay at their house," Rachel said. "It would be awkward."
"It doesn't make any sense not to," Quinn said. "I could stay at the local inn, now. I can afford it. But I know Shelby wants to see you."
"It's been ten years," Rachel said. "It's too late."
"It's never too late," Quinn said, biting down on an apple.
"How often do you call your mother?" Rachel asked. "How long did it take to forgive her?"
"What does that have to do with seeing your mother?" Quinn asked, dodging the question.
"What That Woman did to me? It was a serious kick in the ego and put me in therapy," Rachel said. "But I still had loving parents to go home to. You were homeless."
"You're up early," Quinn said, walking into the kitchen to make herself breakfast.
"I get up this early every day," Rachel said, pausing in her stirring.
"You have the week off," Quinn said. "I thought you'd be sleeping in?"
"I tried that yesterday," Rachel admitted. "But I just couldn't keep doing that. It felt like I was just wasting the day staying in bed."
"So, what are your plans for the day?" Quinn asked, curious.
"Go for a walk. Do some shopping. Have lunch with you?" Rachel said hesitantly.
"You had lunch with me yesterday," Quinn said, reaching past her to turn on the pot for her tea.
"And I can't today?" Rachel said, pouting.
"I'd like to have lunch with you," Quinn said, smiling at her. "It's a highlight of my day, but…"
"But what?" Rachel asked.
"There's only so much variety near my office," she said. "We've been to all of the restaurants that serve vegan."
"It's the company I'm interested in," Rachel said, blushing slightly. "We don't have to do something different every day."
"If you say so," Quinn said, taking careful note of Rachel's nervous behavior.
"I do," Rachel said, before turning back to the stove.
Kurt eagerly sipped his mango soy smoothie and waited for Rachel to join him. He couldn't quite pinpoint it but he would figure it out. There was something more going on with Rachel's reluctance to go to Connecticut for a weekend with her mother. He would bet his prized classic Armani suit on it.
"What are you thinking about?" Rachel asked, sliding into their booth.
"Me?" Kurt asked innocently.
"You have that look," she said.
"The one that means you're scheming," she said, sipping her soy latte.
"Scheming? Moi?" Kurt said. "When have I ever schemed?"
"I haven't forgotten high school," Rachel said. "You turned scheming into an art form."
"I am good," Kurt said, smirking.
"Well, some people still haven't realized what you were doing," she said.
Kurt shrugged dismissively. Rachel and Mercedes had known. No one else's opinion mattered, not even her roommate's. And Finn? His dense stepbrother had never noticed his interference.
"You need to be nicer to Quinn," Rachel said.
"I'm always nice to Ms. Fabray," he said.
"Sometimes you push her too hard," Rachel said.
"Why so defensive? She's just your roommate," he said, watching her intently for any of her classic tells.
"When do you start filming?" Kurt asked, watching Rachel rummage through her closet.
"Week after next," Rachel said, humming to herself.
"So, a week between?" he asked.
"Yes," she confirmed. "We have our last weekend shows before the move, then I get a week off, do the shoot, and then we start rehearsals."
"Busy," Kurt says.
"Yes," Rachel said.
"What are you doing next weekend?" he asked. They hadn't had time for a friend weekend in years. He was already putting together an itinerary in his head while he waited for her answer.
"It's a Connecticut weekend for Quinn," Rachel said, sitting down on her bed. "She might have asked me to go with her," she said nervously.
"Really?" Kurt said, surprised. "Are you going?"
"I... I… don't know," Rachel said. "I don't know if I'm ready for that."
"It's been ten years," Kurt said cautiously. Her mother was always a dangerous subject. "Maybe it's time you let her back into your life?"
"It's not just her," Rachel said, frowning. "There's Quinn. And Beth."
"You've been getting along with Quinn," Kurt said. "I was frankly surprised but the two of you work as roommates."
"As roommates, yes," Rachel said softly.
Quinn observed her roommate through the glass lobby doors for a minute, to the side of traffic moving through the building metal detector. She hadn't seen her acting this excited sober since high school.
"She yours?" Hank, the security guard asked, when it looked like she was just going to watch Rachel dance around outside.
"My roommate," Quinn said, nodding.
"If she isn't coming in, you'll need to go out there," he said. "Someone is going to think she's casing the joint."
"Casing the joint?" Quinn squeaked. He just winked at her and pointed to the door. "I'm going! I'm going." Adjusting her purse, she strode through the door.
"Quinn!" Rachel said excitedly, practically pouncing on her. "Come on," she said grabbing Quinn's hand.
"You're in a good mood," Quinn said, letting Rachel pull her down the street. "What's up?"
"I can't just be happy to see you?" she said, directing them into a small hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant.
"Yes," Quinn said, joining Rachel in a booth. "You can be happy, but you're being Extra-Berry right now."
"Extra-Berry?" Rachel frowned at her, her head tilted slightly.
"Well?" Quinn prodded.
"I got the part!" Rachel said, excitedly.
Rachel couldn't stop grinning, and humming, and occasionally skipping, even though, from the way people had moved back on the subway, she suspected they'd labeled her 'crazy person of the day' in their heads. But she couldn't help it. She was happy.
Stopping in front of Quinn's building, she pulled out her phone and called her roommate.
"Hey Rachel, what's up?" Quinn said, answering the phone with a tone that sent shivers down her back.
"What are you doing right now?" she asked, bouncing on her toes.
"Just got out of a meeting," Quinn said.
"Can you go to lunch?" Rachel asked. "With me?" she added hopefully.
"I have another meeting in an hour so it'd have to be quick," Quinn said. "What's the occasion?"
"I can't just take my roommate out to lunch?" Rachel asked, injecting a little vocal pout into her voice.
"Like on a date?" Quinn asked in a whisper, sounding surprised.
"Umm, maybe?" Rachel said, looking up at the building, wondering if Quinn could see her.
"Where do you want to meet?"
"In front of your office," Rachel said.
"You're here now?" Quinn asked.
"Yes," Rachel said. "Come out and play with me," she said giggling.
"Want to talk about it?" Quinn asked half an hour later, when Rachel had stopped crying.
"It was me. And Finn. In high school. We were getting married," Rachel said. "You kept telling me not to."
"Go me!" Quinn said, smirking.
"Something bad happened. I convinced Finn to get married right after Regionals," Rachel said shakily. "But you had an accident on the way to the wedding, and you were in a coma. So I called off it off."
"It didn't happen," Quinn said, hugging her. "No almost wedding, no coma. Just a nightmare."
"But you did have an accident after Regionals, senior year," Rachel insisted.
"Black ice. It was only a scratch," Quinn said. "And really, Rachel, you were underage. Your fathers would never have given you permission to marry Finn in high school."
"We didn't tell them," Rachel said quietly.
"Tell them what?" Quinn asked.
"Finn did propose to me senior year," Rachel said. "But I told him I needed time to think about it. We broke up because I couldn't give him an answer he liked."
"Oh, wow!" Quinn said. "Does anyone else know?"
"Just Kurt," Rachel said, tightening her grip.
"Of course," Quinn muttered.