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Chapter 12: The Moment I Knew

You should've been there

You should've burst through the door

With that 'baby I'm right here' smile

And it would've felt like

A million little shining stars had just aligned

And I would've been so happy.

Rachel was completely numb the entire walk back to Quinn's, whether from the cold or her shock, she couldn't tell.

She didn't even know why she was going back to Quinn's apartment. She could live without the clothes in her suitcase. Yet she knew a part of her hoped that Quinn would be waiting for her there, ready to reveal that it was just a joke. This wasn't the case.

When Rachel walked in the door, barely able to hold back tears, she was met with several shouts of, "Surprise!"

Rachel froze, knowing that she probably resembled a deer in the headlights. There were several people in the living room, some she had met the night before at the party, some she had never seen in her life. "What's going on?"

"It's your surprise birthday party, silly!" Brittany said, appearing out of the crowd and pulling Rachel into a hug.

"Where's Q?" Santana asked, never far behind Brittany. "This was all her idea."

It was too much. The fact that Quinn had planned a surprise party for her and then left her to go off with Zoie. It completely overwhelmed her, and she soon felt the tears start.

"Why are you crying?" Brittany questioned, looking seriously confused. "Do you not like surprises?"

Rachel pushed past them, making her way to Quinn's bedroom, not wanting to cry in front of all these people.

Now I just wanna be alone

But your close friends always seem to know

When there's something really wrong

So they follow me down the hall

And there in the bathroom

I try not to fall apart

And the sinking feeling starts.

"Rachel?" Santana knocked on the door, but Rachel barely heard it. She was hiding in the pillows, sobbing as she clutched Quinn's pillow. It smelled like her shampoo, and when this thought registered it just made her cry harder.

"Seriously, what the hell is wrong?" Santana called out. Rachel hoped she had remembered to lock the door. She didn't want to get kicked out onto the streets by Santana.

After a few minutes of silence, Rachel felt someone sit down on the bed. She secretly hoped it was Quinn, but she knew it wasn't.

"Hey," she heard Santana say softly. "I know I've been kind of mean to you and all, but I really think you're an okay person. So if you want to talk about your problems or whatever has got you crying, I can't guarantee I'll have any words of wisdom, but I'll listen and try not to make any bitchy comments."

"Can you just go away?" Rachel managed to get out between sobs. She knew that Santana was trying, but the fact was that Santana was Quinn's friend, not hers.

"No. Quinn isn't here, you're crying, and there's a flat full of people out there. I'm gonna need a bit of an explanation," Santana said, pulling the pillow away from Rachel.

"Zoie," Rachel said before burying her face into another pillow.

"What about Zoie? Quinn's over her now because of you, right?"

"No."

"What do you mean 'no'?" Rachel could hear the frustration in Santana's voice.

Rachel wiped her eyes, and sat up, trying to regain her composure. "We ran into Zoie on the street. Apparently she wants to try again. Quinn went off with her. Happy?"

"Not fucking likely," Santana said. "Jesus Christ, I'm going to have to beat some sense into that girl. She should know better by now."

"I told you what's wrong, now will you please leave me to cry in peace?" Rachel begged. She needed to get this all out of her system before she left in the morning.

Santana sighed. "I really thought you were going to be good for her. She seemed so happy with you, even happier than she'd been with Zoie. I can't believe she threw it all away."

"I thought she was going to be different from everyone else," Rachel admitted.

"Guess we were both wrong," Santana replied. "Don't worry, stay in here for as long as you like. If Quinn comes home tonight, I'll make sure you don't see her before you leave in the morning. Unless you want to?"

"I don't. Thank you, Santana." With a sudden burst of spontaneity, Rachel hugged her.

"This is the one and only time that I will let you hug me," she stated before they broke apart.

"It's not like I'll have that many more chances."

Santana smiled sadly. "True."

What do you say

When tears are streaming down your face

In front of everyone you know?

And what do you do

When the one who means the most to you

Is the one who didn't show?

Rachel was coaxed out of the bedroom by her hunger. She had never been one to go without food for very long, and she and Quinn had been on the way to get dinner when they ran into Zoie. So around 10 at night, she was starving, and she hoped that the party had died down. She hadn't heard voices in a while, so she found that to be a good sign.

When she entered the kitchen, she found a ton of party food, mostly vegan she noted, and a huge birthday cake. She also found Santana, Brittany, and Puck scattered around the kitchen with beers, talking in hushed voices. Their conversation immediately broke off when Rachel entered the room.

"Are you okay, Rachel?" Brittany asked, looking concerned.

"Not really," Rachel replied, picking up a paper plate before she began to pile it with food.

"I'm sure Quinn will realize she made a mistake soon," Brittany stated after a minute of thought. "It never takes her long."

"I think it's already too late," Rachel said, sitting down at the bar beside Puck.

Brittany frowned. "That's sad. I like having you around."

"But Quinn doesn't, and that's who matters the most," Rachel replied.

"Quinn loves you!" Brittany protested.

"Brit," Santana interjected before Rachel could correct her. "I don't think now's the time."

"If now's not the time, then when is?" she asked. "Rachel will leave without hearing how much Quinn loves her, and that's not okay, San!"

Rachel sighed and abandoned her half-eaten plate. "I think I'm going to go to bed."

"Why don't we watch a movie?" Puck suggested before Rachel could leave. "I know Brittany has a pretty awesome Disney collection."

Rachel hesitated. She knew that if she went back into Quinn's bedroom she'd just end up crying herself to sleep. On the other hand, these were Quinn's friends, not hers, and they didn't deserve to have to put up with all of this.

"I'll let you pick," Brittany offered, smiling at Rachel.

"Just so you know, I've been dating Brittany for years and she's never let me pick the movie," Santana whispered to her. "I'd take this if I were you."

Rachel looked from Brittany's hopeful face to Santana's guarded expression to Puck's grin. Then she caved. "Do you have Beauty and the Beast?"

And they're all standing around me singing

"Happy birthday to you"

But there was one thing missing

And that was the moment I knew.

Rachel fell asleep not even halfway through the movie, snuggled up to Santana, surprisingly. Brittany had refused to cuddle with Santana during the movie, stating that Rachel needed their full attention, and so put Rachel in between the two on the couch.

Puck had sat safely in the recliner, watching as Brittany once again got her way. This meant he also got a wonderful view when Rachel fell asleep and cuddled with Santana in her sleep. The fact that Santana tolerated it was a miracle, and he knew it. Santana didn't cuddle with anyone but Brittany, much less a random stranger. Yet there she was, looking only slightly annoyed at the girl holding onto her.

Puck's seating also meant he had a perfect view of the door when Quinn walked in near the very end of the movie. Both Brittany and Santana had fallen asleep by then as well, so he remained the only one awake to see her. He watched as she quietly crept into the room, hoping that she wouldn't get caught. Puck cleared his throat, and Quinn jumped.

"Holy shit, Puck," she said, and he shushed her, pointing toward the couch of sleeping girls piled on each other.

"I think we should take this into the bedroom," he said lowly, standing up to make sure Quinn complied.

"So I think I might have fucked up," Quinn stated when they entered the bedroom.

Puck normally would've laughed at this and said something like "No shit," but instead he looked at her seriously and said, "Yes, you have."

You called me later

And said, "I'm sorry I didn't make it"

And I said, "I'm sorry too"

And that was the moment I knew.

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