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Chapter 19: Stay Stay Stay

I'm pretty sure we almost broke up last night

I threw my phone across the room at you.

I was expecting some dramatic turn-away

But you stayed.

Three years later

"I cannot believe you, Quinn Fabray!" Rachel yelled, walking into their apartment with a handful of letters. Quinn usually was so wrapped up in her work that she forgot to get the mail, so Rachel tended to get it on her way in from work.

Quinn looked up from her sketchbook. "What did I do?" She racked through her mind of things that could make Rachel angry. Was she supposed to get dinner with Rachel after work? Had she forgotten an anniversary?

"You know what you did!" she said, scattering the mail on the coffee table in front of Quinn.

Quinn sighed. "Um no I—" That's when she noticed who one of the letters was from. "Oh shit."

"Why? Why would you invite her?" Rachel questioned. She wouldn't sit down on the couch with her, choosing instead to stand in front, and this was how Quinn knew this was serious. "And behind my back?"

"I thought we discussed this," Quinn said. She remembered discussing this. It was only after she thought about it that she realized she had discussed it with Brittany and not Rachel.

"We most certainly did not!"

Quinn stood up, hoping to be able to pull Rachel in a hug to comfort her, but the girl just backed away. "Okay, I'll admit my mistake. I just thought… She was my best friend once and"

"And the girl who broke your heart and the girl who stole you away from me on my birthday?" Rachel supplied.

"Well when you put it that way"

Rachel wasn't having it. "That way is the truth! Yes, she was your best friend in high school, but that doesn't make up for everything she did. I know you miss her at times, but inviting her to our wedding is not the answer."

"Then what is the answer?" Quinn asked.

Rachel's response was almost immediate. "Letting go." With that, Rachel headed to their bedroom and left Quinn alone with the pile of letters.

Quinn sighed and picked up the letter that Zoie had sent her, running her fingers over the writing. She hadn't seen or heard from Zoie since Rachel's birthday weekend three years ago, so she had thought it a safe thing to send her an invitation. Brittany hadn't been so sure that Quinn should do it, but she had done it anyways.

She opened the letter, and read the RSVP that indicated whether she would be attending or not.

Quinn laughed at the irony. "She's not even coming, Rachel!" she shouted through the apartment, hoping that Rachel would hear through their closed bedroom door. She thought this would get Rachel to walk back out, but the door stayed closed.

After looking through the rest of the letters, mostly just RSVPs for the wedding, Quinn got up to go to bed. Except when she tried the door to the bedroom, it was locked.

She sighed, knowing exactly what this meant. She returned to the couch, grabbing a blanket from the hallway closet along the way, and resigned herself to sleeping on the couch. She knew she could just go sleep in one of the guest bedrooms, but this always angered Rachel more. Rachel had a flare for the dramatics and wanted Quinn to suffer on the couch if she had done something wrong. It didn't happen often, but it had happened enough that Quinn knew it was best to sleep on the couch. Besides, they had a really comfy couch.

This morning I said we should talk about it

'Cause I read you should never leave a fight unresolved

That's when you came in wearing a football helmet and said, "okay, let's talk."

Rachel woke up the next morning to the delicious smell of pancakes. They're what made her get out of bed and walk into the kitchen.

"Good morning," Quinn said, smiling at her like nothing had happened. Yet Rachel noticed that Quinn didn't come right up to her to kiss her like she normally did. That, Rachel decided, was a good choice.

"You smell that?" Rachel asked, and Quinn looked at her strangely.

"It's pancakes?" she said, lifting up her pan to show Rachel what she was making.

Rachel ignored what she said. "It's the smell of someone trying to butter me up."

"I would never do that to you, Rachel," Quinn replied, grinning at her. "I know you're a vegan and can't handle butter."

Rachel walked over and kissed Quinn on the cheek. Despite them fighting, she couldn't go without a good morning kiss, even if it was one-sided. "I walked right into that one, didn't I?"

"Your choice of words could've been a bit better, yeah," Quinn agreed with her.

"Oh well," she said, wrapping her arms around Quinn from behind and resting her head on Quinn's shoulder.

"You're going to make me mess up or burn one of us," Quinn complained. "Or both."

Rachel turned to kiss Quinn's neck. "I have faith in you," she murmured.

"Someone either woke up in a very good mood or she wants me to get burnt while making pancakes," Quinn stated.

Rachel smiled, not answering her question. "You know we still have to talk about it."

"After breakfast?" she suggested.

"After breakfast."

So after they had both had their fill of pancakes, Quinn told Rachel to put some clothes on and get her coat. Though Rachel had no idea what Quinn was planning, she went with it anyway because she'd learned over the years to just put her trust in Quinn.

They ended up in Central Park, which was only a few blocks from their apartment in New York. Quinn handed Rachel a snowball and then backed up a few steps.

"Go on, hit me," Quinn encouraged when Rachel didn't react. "And say what you need to say while you're at it."

Rachel grinned at her. She liked this idea. She would be able to get rid of all her pent up anger and frustrations with Quinn in a practically harmless way.

She threw the snowball, and missed.

Quinn bent over from laughing so hard. "How could you miss?" she asked. "I'm three feet away!"

Rachel scowled at her before scooping up some snow and throwing it at her. She hit Quinn's head this time. "That's for laughing at me!"

Quinn stood back up, looking in amazement at Rachel. "Is that really the best you've got? I mean that wasn't even a snowball!"

"You're asking for it Quinn Fabray."

"That'll soon be Quinn Berry-Fabray," she reminded her.

Rachel loved the sound of that. But the reminder also brought to mind the reason they were out in the cold. She formed another snowball. "This one's for inviting Zoie!" She hit Quinn's chest, and was soon throwing another one. "Why the fuck would you invite her?" Another hit, this time on Quinn's arm. "She's a jerk!" This snowball went high above Quinn's head, Rachel's anger having thrown off her aim.

Quinn picked up her own snowball. "Why can't you accept the fact that I just wanted to be nice?" She hit Rachel in the leg, knowing that if she aimed for her face Rachel would kill her.

"Nice? You were trying to be nice?!" This hit Quinn in the face. "Why not be nice and invite Finn while you're at it!"

"I don't want to be that nice."

"Then if you're going to be fucking nice, why don't you be nice to your fucking future wife!" Three snowballs had been fired during this sentence, and two of them had missed.

"You're so cute when you curse," Quinn said, her snowball missing on purpose.

"If you weren't so damn infuriating all the time then maybe I wouldn't have to curse."

"But you love me."

Rachel pretended to ponder it for a moment. "That's debatable."

This got Quinn to throw a snowball square in Rachel's face.

Rachel ran at her, and Quinn took off in the opposite direction. By the time they finally finished their snowball fight a half hour later, they were laughing and kissing, back to their normal selves.

You took the time to memorize me

My fears, my hopes, and dreams

I just like hanging out with you, all the time.

All those times that you didn't leave

It's been occurring to me I'd like to hang out with you, for my whole life.

"Well look who finally decided to get here," Santana said when Rachel and Quinn slid into the booth across from her and Brittany. "If it isn't the lovebirds. Late as usual because they were probably off fucking in a cupboard."

"It's nice to see you again, Santana," Rachel said, sarcasm clear in her voice. "Hi Brittany."

"Yeah yeah you too, Berry. Still haven't forgiven you for stealing our flatmate," she replied.

"Hey guys," Quinn added, not wanting to get into the fight.

"Give it a rest. It was two years ago," Rachel said. "And I didn't steal her if she came willingly to New York."

"I think I'm gonna have to get some free front row tickets to Wicked to make up for it."

"Or I could just give you tickets to you-know-where Paris for when you go back," Rachel teased.

Quinn knew they were already giving Santana and Brittany tickets to the show, because that was the reason they had come to New York to visit. They wanted to see the new show Rachel was starring in. Though it wasn't like they needed free tickets. Santana was a surgeon, and Brittany's dance studio had become one of the best in London. Still, Rachel would never let her friends buy the tickets.

It had been a hard road for Rachel to get on Broadway, but they had taken a chance. After a year of doing long distance, Quinn suggested they both move to New York so Rachel could finally try her hand at musicals. Quinn could paint anywhere, and she was tired of the constant plane trips and not being able to hold Rachel every night. So they packed everything up and moved into their first apartment together in New York City.

After a few months of nothing (Quinn had spent those months encouraging the increasingly doubtful Rachel that they had made the right decision), Kurt had been able to get Rachel an audition for Millie in the revival of Thoroughly Modern Millie. She absolutely nailed the audition, and she went on to win a Tony for her work. Though most would say that she only got the role because they wanted a big name movie star for the ticket sales, Kurt admitted to Quinn that they hadn't even been looking for a movie star for the role. Rachel had impressed them with her talent.

When Thoroughly Modern Millie closed a couple months ago, Rachel got a chance to be the next Elphaba in Wicked, which she immediately took. It had been one of her dream roles. So now that she'd been playing the role for almost a month, Santana and Brittany were there to see Rachel defy gravity.

"Rachel are you really going to be green tonight?" Brittany asked, ending the banter between Rachel and Santana.

"I am," Rachel confirmed.

"I don't know how I feel about that. Quinn, does she look good green?" Brittany seemed seriously concerned about this.

"She does, B," Quinn said. "She's beautiful no matter what."

"Aw," Rachel said before leaning in to give Quinn a quick kiss.

Santana made a retching sound, and Brittany hit her on the back.

"Can you guys not do that around me?" Santana asked.

"So we should just count you out for our wedding then?" Rachel replied, grinning at her.

"She'll have to suck it up because we're not missing the wedding," Brittany said. "I've always wanted to be a bridesmaid."

"I haven't," Santana commented.

"Well then I guess it's a good thing you're Maid of Honor," Quinn stated.

"I still can't believe I agreed to that," Rachel added, though in reality they had both agreed at once on the fact that Santana should be Maid of Honor.

Quinn was glad to have her friends with her, along with Rachel. It had been too long.

When she thought back on it, she wondered how the hell she got here to this point in her life. She never thought, after what happened with Zoie, that she would be able to be this happy. Yet here she was.

What if she hadn't taken that plane? What if she'd never met Rachel? Would she still be this happy, or would she be wandering around in London trying to find yet another girl to spend the night with?

She shook her head, clearing it of the what ifs. They didn't matter. What mattered was that she had made the choices she had made, and they led her to here. It had been an emotional and crazy ride, but she was happy at the end.

Despite everything, she was happy.

And though it sounded to Quinn like the subject of a Taylor Swift song, that was all that mattered.

Stay, stay, stay

I've been loving you for quite some time, time, time

You think that it's funny when I'm mad, mad, mad

But I think that it's best if we both stay.

So that's it. We made it. People probably aren't happy with it because they haven't been happy with it since All Too Well, but I'm okay with that because I'm happy with it.

Thank you to everyone who followed or favorited and helped make this the most popular faberry fic I've written. Thanks to the people who commented, even the ones who hated me for the last half of the story; it's nice to know I made you care enough about story to write huge ranting reviews. And most importantly, thanks to the ones who read the story. (Also thanks Taylor Swift for making a pretty great album.)

I was going to use this final author's note to explain why I had Quinn and Rachel make the choices I did. I even typed up a long explanation. Then I realized that I don't owe an explanation. All I'll say on the matter is that they're human. They make mistakes and aren't always the strongest of characters. I designed them to be flawed, because no one makes the right choices all the time. That's something both Quinn and Rachel had to realize in order for them to get together in the end.

And while the story may have seemed a mess since All Too Well, it was supposed to be that way. Quinn and Rachel are both in their twenties, and their own individual lives are complete messes. They have no idea what they're doing, and so it seems like I don't know what I'm doing. But I do. And hopefully you're okay with it now. If you're not you probably stopped reading a couple chapters ago.

Finally, I want to dedicate this story to my friend, Mallory. She's the reason I kept writing this when I would actually rather be doing anything else. Before I met her, I hadn't been able to write anything past the second chapter. Many of the conversations that Quinn and Rachel have in this story are based off of ones that we had last year. She also unfortunately gave me the inspiration for the last half of the story during my Christmas break. So this story? It's for you, Mallory. We may never get to Begin Again, but writing this story has helped me realize I'll eventually be okay with that.

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