Pairing/Character: Quinn, Puck, Beth, Shelby
When/Where: AU. Between 96 and 98.
Quick Note: Just an extra bit.
Word Count: 200 (Double Drabble ) (Outtake: 1 of 2 )
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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.
"She isn't coming," Shelby said, staring out the kitchen window at Puck and Beth making a snowman.
"There's still time," Quinn told her, though she didn't expect Rachel to come either.
"Ten years," Shelby said, glancing at Quinn for a moment. "We've only talked once in the last ten years. When you needed a place to stay in the city."
"It's a start," Quinn said, hugging her in sympathy. "Forgiveness is a family trait."
"It isn't quite the same thing," Shelby said. "You were a misguided, hurting teenager. I was the adult who replaced her with a newer model."
"Well, Beth is lower maintenance than Rachel," Quinn said, winking. "Without all the diva-ish tendencies."
Shelby shook her head. "How is she doing? Really?"
"Calmer. She's not high school Rachel," Quinn said. "All of that manic energy finally has an outlet."
"You've seen her play?"
Quinn nodded. "It's not something I would take Beth to, but it's good. And the rest of the cast seem to really like her."
"You've met them?"
"They insisted on vetting the new roommate," Quinn said. "They're protective of her."
"Good," Shelby said. "Do you think she'll come to Beth's birthday party?"
"Possibly," Quinn said.