Chapter 9: Starlight
I said, "Oh my, what a marvelous tune"
It was the best night, never would forget how we moved
The whole place was dressed to the nines
And we were dancing, dancing
Like we're made of starlight.
Rachel had no idea what was going on. One minute she was in Starbucks almost kissing Quinn, the next she was running down the streets hand in hand with the same girl. She tried to get Quinn to explain what they were doing, but Quinn just promised her that it would be fun. All she knew was that it was a party, and they were meeting Quinn's porn star friend Puck back at her apartment.
"This better be worth it," Rachel huffed as they ran along.
"It will be. I promise," Quinn said, turning the corner. "And here we are."
"Thank goodness. These boots aren't made for running."
Upon entering Quinn's apartment,the two were met with a chorus of yelling.
"Q!" shouted a large mohawked man who then proceeded to wrap Quinn in a bear hug.
"Hey, Puck," Quinn replied, hugging him back.
"We are going to have so much fun tonight. For real," he said before he caught sight of Rachel. "Hey, holy shit hey. You were in that movie!"
"I really hope you're referring to the Oscar-nominated action movie and not the princess movie, but each his own, I suppose."
"I've actually seen both," Puck admitted. "Brittany makes everyone watch that damn princess movie. But anyway, I'm Noah Puckerman, but everyone just calls me Puck."
He held out his hand to shake, and Rachel took it. "Rachel Berry."
"Nice catch, Q," Puck said, addressing Quinn again.
Quinn rolled her eyes and ignored his comment. "Please tell me you brought costumes for us."
"Of course. I'm nothing if not prepared," he replied. "Q your choices are in your room, and Rachel Berry's are in Santana and Brittany's room."
"Wait, costumes? We have to wear costumes for this?" Rachel looked to Quinn for guidance. Quinn just smiled at her.
"Don't worry, we'll help you out," said Santana as she walked into the living room from the kitchen. Brittany followed along behind her. They both were wearing beautiful old-fashioned ball gowns.
"If anything that makes me worry even more," Rachel murmured to Quinn, who laughed at this.
"You'll be fine," Quinn assured her. "I'll see you on the other side, okay?"
Rachel wasn't so sure about that, but she let Brittany and Santana lead her into their bedroom. Inside were several other ball gowns all strewn on the bed.
"Your options are pretty limited due to your height," Santana said straight away. Rachel wanted to protest that she wasn't that short, but she knew that in that moment Santana wasn't making fun of her height. "Brittany and I picked out the ones that would probably fit you. B could you get those out of the closet?"
"Sure San," she replied, opening up their closet to pull out four dresses. "Rachel, I think you would look best in this one." She held up an off-white strapless dress. Scattered across it were golden sparkles. It wasn't exactly old-fashioned late 1800's like Santana and Brittany's, but it had a vintage flair to it. Rachel fell in love with it almost immediately.
"I think you're right, Brittany. That dress is lovely," Rachel said, taking it from her to look at it closer.
"It reminds me of stars," Brittany said. "That's why I like it."
"I agree. This is the one."
"Woah, hold on. I went through all those dresses, and you're just going to choose the first one Brittany randomly picked out without even looking at the others?" Santana asked, glaring at Rachel. "I know you're a movie star or whatever, but I don't put up with that shit."
"San, be nice. I like her," Brittany said to her. "We want her to stay with Quinn so Quinn will be happy again."
"Oh, Quinn and I aren't together," Rachel put in.
Brittany smiled softly at her. "Yet. But wait and see what happens."
Rachel didn't want to believe her. She knew there was no chance of anything with Quinn. Yet in that moment, she let herself give in to the belief of birthday magic and a pretty dress.
Can't remember what song it was playing when we walked in
The night we snuck into a yacht club party
Pretending to be a duchess and a prince.
"This is stupid," Quinn said, looking at herself in the mirror. "I look like a Disney prince."
"That's the fucking point," Puck replied. "And you look hot. If you weren't gay I'd totally go for you."
"You've already done that. Remember our first year of university?" Quinn reminded him.
"Oh yeah. Zo— she was so pissed," Puck glanced at her apologetically. "Sorry."
"It's fine. You can say her name now," Quinn stated, messing with her hair. "I'm over it."
"Really?" Quinn nodded. "Remind me to thank Rachel Berry. She's a miracle worker. I hope you two get married."
"Puck, it's not like that between us. We're just friends." Quinn knew before she even said it that Puck wasn't going to accept that.
"If it took 'just friends' to cure you of your Zoie sickness, you would have been better a long time ago and you know that. Santana, Brittany, and I tried fucking everything to get you over her."
Quinn sighed, remembering how hard they had tried and how bad she had felt that nothing they did ever helped her at all. "Yeah, I know."
"So there is no just friends with you and this girl. You may not have admitted it to each other, or even to yourself, but you feel something more for Rachel than friendship." Puck didn't often have serious talks with her, but when he did, Quinn knew he was right. When she let herself think about it, she did feel an attraction toward Rachel. The problem was that she couldn't let herself think about it. Rachel wasn't staying in London. She couldn't stay, even if they did somehow end up falling in love in the short time before she left.
"Maybe," was all she would give him.
"Whatever. Hide your feelings like you always do. Just don't hide them from Rachel. You only have so much time with her."
"That's the problem," Quinn muttered to herself, but Puck caught it.
"Make the most of it. Don't focus on the future. Focus on the now. Otherwise you're gonna regret it. You're not gonna get tonight back, Q." He pulled her in for a hug. "So go out there and get your princess."
It was in that moment that Quinn realized she had some fantastic friends.
He said, "Look at you, worrying so much about things you can't change
You'll spend your whole life singing the blues if you keep thinking that way."
It turned out that they weren't exactly invited to this party. Puck had to sneak them in through the back way because the only reason they could get in at all was due to one of his friends waiting tables at the party.
Also it was on a yacht. Not that Rachel had never been on a yacht before, but not when it was cold outside. Londoners were insane.
Fortunately, most of the party took place inside the yacht. It was a massive boat, and Rachel knew that even with all her money she wouldn't be able to afford something like this. It wasn't something she ever saw herself wanting, though. Boats just weren't her thing. Maybe it had something to do with her being raised a New Yorker.
She looked over at Quinn to gauge her reaction at everything. Quinn looked breathtakingly gorgeous, but her face contained no hint of how she felt. There was nothing revealing about the small smile she wore.
Then Quinn turned to Rachel and her smile grew. "Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?"
"As opposed to every other day?" Rachel replied, seeing Brittany and Santana slip away to dance.
"Do you have to turn every single compliment I give you into a snarky remark?"
"Yes," Rachel said simply. "It's part of my inability to believe anything anyone says is true."
"Finn Hudson really screwed you up, huh?" Quinn commented, frowning a bit.
"Let's not talk about him tonight," Rachel stated. She never wanted to deal with him again. She would rather deal with the girl in front of her.
"Okay. What should we talk about?"
"How about we dance?"
Quinn held out her hand for Rachel to take. "I can do that."
So they did. It was different from last night, though. This was formal dancing. Rachel felt like a character in a storybook while waltzing with Quinn. Never before had she felt like magic was real. But now? Now she was sure of it. This whole weekend was magic, and if it got better with each hour, she couldn't wait to see what was waiting for her on Sunday.
Except that was tomorrow. She needed to focus on the now.
"So tell me, Quinn Fabray," Rachel started after they had been dancing for a while. "Where did you learn to dance?"
"I took different styles of dance for basically all my life. It came in handy when I became a cheerleader in high school," she replied. "It also comes in handy when I need to impress a gorgeous girl on a boat in London."
"You're trying to impress me?" Rachel asked, finding it hard to believe that Quinn was 'trying' to do anything. Everything she did, she did flawlessly.
"Of course not. I'm trying to impress Santana," Quinn joked, seizing the opportunity as Brittany and Santana danced by them. "Isn't that right, S?"
"Fuck no to whatever you said," Santana stated. The orchestra was too loud for anyone to hear Quinn and Rachel's conversation. "The superstar is right."
This got Rachel to grin. "Santana has spoken, Quinn. You're trying to impress me."
"Maybe I am. Is it working?"
"Hm," Rachel pretended to contemplate this. "It would probably be more impressive if I hadn't grown up taking dance as well. But still impressive nonetheless."
"We should have a dance-off sometime," Quinn suggested.
Rachel almost laughed at this. She was a professionally trained dancer, ready to tackle the hardest dances on Broadway. "Only if you want to lose."
"I wouldn't lose. I'm Quinn Fabray. I never lose," she warned.
"Well I'm Rachel Berry, and I never lose either."
Quinn laughed at how serious Rachel had gotten. "Has anyone ever said that you're kind of intense?"
"Only all my life."
"Well, it's different. I like it."
"I like you." Wait. Where had that come from? That definitely wasn't what Rachel had been planning on saying. She was trying to be witty because it amused Quinn and then she went and ignored what was actually said.
"I like you too," Quinn admitted.
Rachel's heart soared. "Really?"
"Wow, we sound like we're in 4th grade," Rachel commented.
"I don't know about you, but I was a lot more eloquent than this in 4th grade," Quinn said, smiling at her. "Hell, I was a lot more eloquent than this last week."
"And so what happened?"
"I met you."
Rachel knew this was it. This was the moment they were going to finally kiss. She was going to kiss Quinn under the twinkle lights as people dressed in fancy clothes danced by and orchestra music drifted through the room, and no damn cell phone was going to stop them this time because neither of them brought their cell phones.
"I'm going to kiss you now, okay?" Quinn whispered when their faces were mere inches apart.
No. This was going way too slow for Rachel. Quinn's hesitation was frustrating her. "Why the hell are you even asking?" With that, Rachel pulled Quinn closer to her so their lips could finally meet.
The only thing that went through Rachel's mind was how worth the wait this kiss was.
Ooh ooh he's talking crazy
Ooh ooh dancing with me
Ooh ooh we could get married
Have ten kids and teach them how to dream.
After the first kiss, they were literally inseparable the rest of the night. The two acted like teenage girls who were drunk for the first instead of alcohol, they were drunk off of happiness.
Quinn hadn't felt this light and happy in a long time. Even before she and Zoie had broken up she hadn't felt this way. This was magical.
After Santana interrupted their make out session by yelling at them to 'get a room' for the third time, they decided to do just that. Puck hailed a cab for them, and the two headed back to Quinn's flat.
"Are you sure about this?" Quinn asked her when they were catching their breath. They were in the taxi and halfway there. "I don't want you to think that you're just another conquest for me and that's all this has been. Because it's not."
"I know. I know it's not and that's why I want to."
They may not have said it, but Quinn could see the love in Rachel's eyes. She knew that should have scared her. They had barely known each other for 24 hours, and they only had 24 more. Yet if anything, it just made her more sure of what they were doing.
Don't you see the starlight, starlight?
Don't you dream impossible things?