Title: Send You on Your Way
Characters: Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray
Summary: Their lives are where they are and where they're headed because of each other.
Author's Note: I just have so many Faberry feelings right now. Small spoiler for 3x14.
Rachel Berry sits in a cafe, a little rustic place just outside the NYADA campus, her summer classes on her mind and an iced coffee next to her art history textbook. It's early June and while most of her friends are on vacation, she is getting ahead in her classes. The wooden chair is uncomfortable but necessary, the subject not all that enthralling and requiring plenty of caffeine to stay focused. The table wobbles every time she moves but Rachel doesn't care. The coffee is good and the cafe stays quiet most of the time, not giving many distractions.
There is no one waiting for her in her dorm room or anywhere else in New York City. Kurt is in Washington D.C., visiting Burt and Carole. He's studious, yes, but Rachel is an over achiever. Rachel's ring finger where a silver band with a diamond once rested is empty. It still feels strange sometimes, despite the ring having been gone since the May before. Finn wasn't New York material and when he insisted Rachel stay in Lima, she refused. She wasn't going to let her life be ruined by marrying Finn Hudson.
The bell to the cafe rings as the door opens, shoes on the hard wood floor move from the door to the counter and a soft, tremulous alto voice orders a caramel frappuccino. Rachel normally stays focused on her studies but the familiarity of the voice makes her look up and she sees the profile of Quinn Fabray, a smile on her face, handing a few dollar bills to the barista. Quinn tells the woman behind the counter to keep the change and takes a few steps back, glancing around the little cafe.
Rachel isn't sure when she stood, but she has, and Quinn's eyes are now on her, the brightest smile Rachel has ever seen on Quinn's face. There isn't time to think before Quinn lunges forward and gathers Rachel in a hug. Of course, Rachel returns it, Quinn's embrace a welcome feeling. They're broken apart in a few seconds when the barista calls Quinn to retrieve her drink but she's bouncing back to Rachel's table right away.
“It's great to see you, Quinn! Would you like to sit?” Rachel gestures to the table and begins clearing away her books before Quinn can respond. Homework can wait. Rachel hasn't been in touch with Quinn since graduation, aside from a few messages back and forth on Facebook a few times.
Quinn nods, smiling as she shrugs her purse off her shoulder and over the back of the chair. She looks good, Rachel notices right away. Her eyes are bright and she's practically glowing.
“How are you, Rachel?” Quinn asks, her tone lowering. “I know last year wasn't...easy.”
“I'm good, really,” Rachel responds. “I love it here, it feels like home. I um,” she looks down at her empty ring finger, “it would have been a huge mistake.” When Rachel looks back up, Quinn has a small smile on her face and she reaches across to cover Rachel's left hand.
“I'm so proud of you.”
Rachel feels her heart race, the smile returning to her face. “How about you? Why are you in New York, I thought you were at Yale?”
“I am,” Quinn says, retracting her hand and taking a sip of her frappuccino. “I'm at NYU for a summer drama program.”
“That's great! What all are you doing?”
As Quinn begins to talk, her eyes lighting up and talking about the things she'll be doing while in New York, Rachel realizes something. There's still a tingle on her hand where Quinn's had been and Rachel realizes that she's sitting in New York because of the girl sitting across from her. She remembers doing bridesmaids fittings and Quinn refusing to stand by and let Rachel ruin her life. She remembers Quinn telling her how much more she was than Lima, Ohio and that this, New York City, is where Rachel belonged. It's then that Rachel realizes she owes her life to Quinn Fabray. And there is no way she will ever be able to repay that debt.
“What about you?” Quinn asks. “Summer plans?”
Rachel shakes her head a little, coming back to the present. She gestures to her bag and sighs. “Summer classes, getting the basics out of the way.”
Quinn nods and makes an affirmative noise before checking her watch and letting her own sigh escape. “I'm so sorry, Rachel, I really need to get to a class. But listen,” she digs through her bag and tears out a sheet of paper. “I want to see you again, okay?” Quinn digs through her bag again, this time producing a pen, and writes her e-mail address and phone number down before folding the paper and sliding it across the table.
“Absolutely! I...what are you doing tomorrow. Lunch?”
“Sounds great, text me and I'll meet you wherever. Your choice.”
They hug again before Quinn leaves and Rachel is left behind, wondering just how she can make everything up to Quinn that she is owed. It's a debt she know she won't be able to repay but she will try. She will do anything.
Through the summer, Rachel and Quinn are inseparable. Rachel texts Quinn every morning when she wakes up and the texts last throughout the day if they don't see each other, right down to texting, “Sweet dreams and sleep well. Goodnight.” before falling asleep. It’s at least every other day they met for something: breakfast, lunch, dinner, a show, a board game...Rachel insists on paying, hosting, opening doors, everything she can. Everything to show appreciation. Quinn never asks questions, but does argue about the bill more than once and gets her way every now and then. It frustrates Rachel to no end, couldn't Quinn see what she was doing?
Quinn's schedule ends her classes on the first of August, she would be returning to Yale the very next day to get settled back in to her dormitory and resume working for the school library. She spends that night with Rachel in her NYADA dorm room, it's closer to the train station than her temporary NYU dorm. They don't sleep much, mostly stay up watching movies, but when they do, Rachel is on her back in her twin bed with Quinn next to her on her side. And Quinn's head is on Rachel's shoulder.
The next afternoon they're at the train station and Rachel is a little teary as she hugs Quinn goodbye. They're only an hour and a half apart, sure, but Rachel has gotten used to having Quinn around almost every day. Quinn glances over her shoulder, the call for boarding blaring over the loudspeaker system. When she turns back, her lower lip is clutched between her teeth and her eyebrows are furrowed.
“Can I ask you something, Rachel?”
“This summer...everything you did. Paying for meals, shows,” Quinn chuckles, “holding the door open for me, buying me things...Why?”
Rachel's heart feels like it's about to leap out of her chest and she feels her palms begin sweating. She stammers for a few moments before taking a deep breath and looking Quinn square in the eyes to deliver her answer.
“I owe you so much, Quinn. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you, don't you understand? I wouldn't be in New York had you not pushed me...made me take risks and not do something stupid. I...I can't ever actually repay you but I wanted to try.”
Rachel isn't sure how to react when Quinn smiles and looks down, shaking her head. “Oh Rachel,” she sighs. She looks back up, tears brimming her eyes. “You saved me from myself. You made me see how much is beyond Lima, Ohio and when I saw you,” she clears her throat, “when I saw you slowly getting pulled in to somewhere you don't belong, I knew I had to save you.”
The final boarding call for Quinn's train doesn't allow Rachel to answer. Quinn moves first, stepping forward and taking Rachel in to her arms for a few brief seconds. When she pulls away, she doesn't let go completely, and instead presses a gentle kiss to Rachel's cheek. Again, there is no time to respond other than a small wave and a smile as Quinn walks to the counter and hands the attendant her ticket. Rachel reaches up to touch her cheek and it is then that she knows even if she never sees Quinn again, if they never speak after that moment, their lives are where they are and where they're headed because of each other. There isn't a debt to be repaid. There are only two people who saved each other and put each other on paths to an amazing life.
But despite her previous thought, Rachel's sixth sense gives her a tingle and tells her that Quinn Fabray is going to be in her life for a very, very long time.
- Send You on Your Way