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Raising The Bar

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This is so stupid. So, so stupid.

Quinn’s thoughts seem to manifest themselves into actual existence as the pullout bed sags a little further, gravity capriciously tugging at her back as she tightens her muscles to hold her position, sleep far removed from her current situation.

A car horn blares through the slightly open living room window and Quinn’s eyes are drawn there, jaw clamped shut against the dull ache complaining from her right side, tired muscle fibers protesting the prolonged stillness she’s forced into them. Combating the discomfort with anger, Quinn tightens her fingers against the edge of mattress, her breathing controlled as her arm rests across her ribs, the top sheet pulled tight against her legs by the weight of another body behind her. The pillow beneath her head shifts as she tries to find a more comfortable position for the shoulder that’s currently falling asleep and there’s an itch starting to tickle the back of her calf but she would have to move to scratch it and there’s no way that’s happening.

Not with Rachel practically pressed up against her back. Rachel, who wasn’t even supposed to be in town this weekend, but found her way there through Brittany’s casual invite. Rachel, who in high school never would have even stepped a foot near one of their sleepovers, but who now uses the word friendship like it means something between the four of them. Quinn’s features are pinched tight and she relaxes them at that last thought, recognizing her petulance for what it really is, shaking her head slightly at herself. Things have changed since they all left Lima and Rachel is as much Brittany and Santana’s friend now as Quinn was back then and having an impromptu sleepover like they were teenagers again seemed charming at the time. At the time.



Until they walked into Brittany and Santana’s new apartment and Santana’s sly “Oh, the guest room isn’t ready yet but we’ve got a pullout couch” as she looked right at Quinn, Brittany’s eyes darting to the back of Rachel’s head as the shorter girl walked further into the apartment. Quinn thought she saw a moment of sympathy in those blue eyes as they found hers but that notion was quickly dispelled as the corner of Brittany’s lips turned up in a little smirk. Overnight bags found a home, more comfortable clothes were put on, and the rest of the night passed rather pleasantly, no doubt aided by the two bottles of wine consumed between the four of them. Quinn could almost forget that she and Rachel would be sharing the pullout bed until the actual moment when Santana’s overly sweet goodnight, sleep well, don’t let the Jew bugs bite was whispered into her ear in passing, Brittany’s soft chuckle following Santana’s snort as they said goodnight to Rachel and closed the door to their bedroom.

Rachel was still in the bathroom getting ready for bed, giving Quinn a few private moments to stress out, her eyes rolling hard as she realized she had just briefly contemplated sleeping on the couch cushions on the floor. Glancing at the light coming from under the bathroom door, Quinn made the decision to get into the bed first, keeping the option of feigning sleep open, depending on how long Rachel’s routine lasted. Turning the lights in the living room off, Quinn got into bed, her back automatically facing where Rachel would be sleeping, the error of her ways made abundantly clear as Rachel emerged from the bathroom not a few moments later. Carrying with it the fresh smell of mouthwash and of a body lotion that had haunted Quinn’s dreams for more nights than she’d ever admit, Rachel’s body eased onto the pullout mattress, her weight immediately pulling at Quinn. The unexpected shift caused Quinn to roll towards the bar in the middle of the frame at the same time Rachel did, their shoulders pressing heavily against each other as Rachel looked over at her.

“Sorry about that, Quinn. I didn’t realize that Santana and Brittany had this particular model, with the bar in the middle. It’s supposed to allow for each person sleeping on the bed to have their own space but I think theirs may be defective.”

Quinn hadn’t stopped watching Rachel’s mouth move as she spoke and it was Rachel’s softly questioning tone as she said her name that made Quinn look up and meet Rachel’s eyes. The periphery of Quinn’s vision picked out the dark gray of the vee neck t-shirt Rachel chose to wear to bed and Quinn feels a rash of irrational anger that she forgot to close the shades when she got into bed, the light from the streetlamp outside casting Rachel in its muted glow. Their hands brushed as they reached to move the top sheet at the same time and Quinn had to clear her throat before speaking. “I doubt that. They probably broke this one in when they got it.”

“Oh. That’s um…”

There was a flush of heat at the back of Quinn’s neck as she realized what she said, relieved that Rachel’s eyes glance over at the closed bedroom door as Quinn looked down, Rachel’s legs shifting slightly as their bodies remained pressed side by side. There is a tension in Quinn as the bare skin of Rachel’s legs, barely hidden by tiny sleep shorts, warmed the top sheet where they pressed against Quinn’s thigh. Despite her sleeping clothes fairly matching what Rachel is wearing, Quinn felt like she had slipped on sweatpants with the amount of body heat being generated by being under the cover with Rachel’s weight against her. Trying to shift away from Rachel resulted in only bringing Rachel closer as she had been unprepared for the movement, Quinn’s heart pounding in her chest as Rachel’s chest brushed against her arm before they could pull apart.

Their gazes met briefly and Quinn felt something in Rachel’s look, the only sound in the room their breathing and the steady ticking of the clock hanging above the sink in the kitchen behind them. Rachel licked her lips, going to speak but Quinn cut her off, nerves adding an edge of irritation to Quinn’s voice as she sat up and gestured towards each edge of the mattress.

“I think if we each kind of sleep towards the edges, it might not be so bad.”

Sitting up too, Rachel looked at Quinn for a moment, reaching down to pluck at the cover resting over Quinn’s legs as Quinn looked anywhere but at Rachel’s face. “Okay. Are you going to share the covers?”

Rachel’s words brought Quinn’s thoughts to a screeching halt as images of their bare legs touching caused an ache in Quinn’s chest, her fingers curling into the mattress briefly before reaching down to lift the cover. Careful not to touch her hand, Quinn handed the cover to Rachel, moving to the edge of the mattress and easing down onto her side with her back to Rachel. She could feel Rachel watching her, the lack of movement on Rachel’s side of the mattress all but attesting to that fact. Turning her head slightly, Quinn looked over at Rachel, the image of Rachel’s hair pushed over one shoulder, her gray t-shirt twisted slightly to one side, burned into her mind as she smiled and told Rachel goodnight.


Quinn held her breath when Rachel paused, her body rigid as she waited for Rachel to continue speaking. The clock continued to tick along in the quiet room, uninterested in the tableau playing out in front of it. Every nerve ending in Quinn’s body was aware of Rachel sitting behind her, the mattress finally bumping and then sinking as Rachel stretched out for the night, the cover fluttering softly to cover them both.

“Goodnight.” Rachel’s voice is even softer than before and Quinn’s relief was coated uncomfortably in disappointment. Refusing to think about why exactly that was, Quinn tried to make herself fall asleep, taking a sneaking sense of comfort in the even cadence of Rachel breathing next to her.



But that was at least two hours ago and any sense of anything remotely serene had long since passed. Quinn is pretty sure Rachel fell asleep barely ten minutes after saying goodnight and that alone kept Quinn awake for a while, her irritation brewing over how easily Rachel seemed to accept, and then dismiss, their current situation. Here they were alone together, for all intents and purposes, barely two feet separating them and sharing space under the same cover when they hadn’t been alone like this since…

Well, since that one time at the Halloween party, in some supposedly haunted brownstone, that Artie had dragged them all to last Fall. And, after all this time, Quinn still isn’t sure if it was the vodka making her believe that it had been Rachel pressed against her as they moved through the dark hallway, going from room to room, in search of trick or treats. As Rachel mumbles in her sleep, her body inching even closer as the traitorous bed dips dangerously once more, Quinn closes her eyes on a quiet sigh, once again denying what she already knows. The body that somehow found its way over and over again touching or brushing or pressing against some part of Quinn in the dark that night was Rachel. If Quinn hadn’t spent every night since then replaying the contact over and over in her head enough so that just the hint of Rachel at her back now brings with it the actual phantom memory of her touch, the tell-tale scent of her body lotion would have done the trick.

Her fingers feel numb where they have been clutching the edge of the mattress and Quinn forces herself to release her grip, hoping that the tension in her body will prevent her from leaning back towards the evenly breathing Rachel behind her. But the time spent locked immobile has not been her friend and even though the movement she makes is small, the spasm in her back is not and instinct has her hand flying back to clutch the painful area. Her sleeping shoulder protests the sudden movement as her other hand swipes out in reflex, finding nothing but air in its position over the side of the mattress. The cramp in her side spasms again and this time she has no choice but to whimper softly, her body pulled down to the mattress in a rush as she seeks to alleviate the pain. Quinn’s arm collides with Rachel’s shoulder and jolting awake, Rachel instinctively goes to rise, pushing off the mattress with the hand that had been tucked under her cheek. But with Quinn’s body weight turned towards the middle of the bed, Rachel misjudges the distance, her hand pushing on Quinn’s side of the center bar. With her arm still down by her side, Quinn can’t raise her hand fast enough to stop Rachel’s forward motion and half a breath later finds Rachel sprawled over Quinn, their bodies sinking into the space made by both of them being on the other side of the bar.

The sheet, which should by rights be tangled between them, is instead draped across the back of Rachel’s thighs, thighs which are pressed tightly to her own. Rachel’s hair has fallen over one shoulder and almost absently, Quinn registers the softness of it as it brushes across her collarbone. Quinn goes to speak at the same time Rachel goes to try and push off the edge of the bed, her aim off as her palm careens off the side of the mattress, Quinn’s hands instinctively going to Rachel’s waist to stop her momentum. Inhaling through her nose, Quinn looks up to find Rachel watching her, her dark eyes never moving even as she shifts her weight slightly, Quinn’s legs parting before she can think to stop them as she allows Rachel’s thigh to settle between her own.

The slight ache in her back fades away as Rachel braces one hand above Quinn’s shoulder, the other hand slowly pulling the pillow out from under Quinn’s head until she’s lying flat on her back. The move freezes Quinn, her breath clogged up in her lungs as Rachel reaches up to place her other hand above Quinn’s shoulder until she’s stretched over her body. With her shirt pulled down slightly by the weight of the body above her, Quinn is hyper aware now that Rachel removed her bra before going to sleep. As Rachel takes a deep breath, the soft weight of her chest brushes against Quinn and her eyes are drawn down, helplessly taking in where their bodies are pressed together before looking back up at Rachel’s face. Quinn feels a million questions racing through her brain, the least of which is what the hell Rachel is doing. She’s pretty sure they should have jumped apart like the same side of two magnets as soon as Rachel landed on her side of the bed and she’s more than sure that Rachel’s pillow move was something that should have definitely not happened. Quinn realizes that her hands are holding Rachel to her rather than pushing her away, the excited pounding of her heartbeat coloring her cheeks with embarrassment as she has no doubt that Rachel can feel every beat. She has to because Quinn can feel Rachel’s heartbeat, solid and elevated as she pants in quick puffs of air, her breath sleep warm with the barest hint of her mouthwash from earlier. Quinn always believed that kissing someone when they first woke up wasn’t something she’d be too keen on, the taste of her own mouth in the morning dissuading her of the notion that kissing anyone like that would be remotely pleasurable. But as Rachel licks her lips, the warm skin of her thighs gliding smoothly against Quinn’s, Quinn realizes that she wants to know what Rachel tastes like right now.

Licking her own lips, Quinn almost hates how raspy and unsure her voice sounds, the mattress springs squeaking quietly as Rachel settles her weight back a little bit onto Quinn’s leg. “What are you doing?”

Answering Quinn’s whisper with one of her own, Rachel’s eyes dart between Quinn’s, the pressure against Quinn’s stomach growing as Rachel takes a deep breath and answers her. “I don’t know.”

“You don’t…” Turning her head slightly to look at the pillow now next to her head, Quinn meets Rachel’s gaze, the look in her eyes unreadable as Quinn feels her eyebrow arch on instinct. “What was that move with the pillow?”

Looking to the side as if to confirm Quinn’s story, Rachel looks back down, the back of Quinn’s legs tingling as Rachel shifts her weight again, the fact that both of their shorts are bunched between them becoming quickly apparent as Quinn feels the slightest pressure between her legs. “It wasn’t…that’s not a move, Quinn. You didn’t look comfortable and you were holding your side so I thought it might be better for you to be flat on your back if you were in pain.”

“Well you’ve got me here now.”

“I’ve got you…what?”

“Shhhh…” Quinn whispers harshly, Rachel’s voice naturally rising in her defensiveness. Quinn wants to groan in frustration as her admonishment only makes Rachel lean even closer, the tops of Rachel’s breasts visible where the vee of her t-shirt is straining against her body. Clenching her jaw lightly, Quinn wills her eyes to stay on Rachel’s even though everything in her is begging her to just look down once.

“First of all, Quinn, I doubt they could hear us whispering through the door when their bed is way on the other side of the room.”

“How do you know where their bed…”

“Second of all, you’re the one with your hands on my waist so it seems as if you’ve got me here now.”

The truth of Rachel’s statement hits Quinn a few seconds later and she has to check the instinct to pull her hands away quickly, pride keeping them there as Rachel continues to watch her, the faint light coming through the living room window shining briefly on the residual wetness on Rachel’s bottom lip.

“I was keeping you from pitching over the side of the bed.”

“After you elbowed me awake.”

“I didn’t…” Quinn amends her statement at Rachel’s sharp look, Quinn’s gaze drawn to the shoulder in question before continuing to speak. “Okay, I did but it was an accident. My back was stiff from sleeping on my side and it pulled or something when I went to turn over.”

Rachel watches her for a moment longer, something changing in her eyes as Quinn feels the mattress behind her head move, the soft line of muscles in Rachel’s arms flexing lightly as she responds to Quinn. “You weren’t sleeping.”

“You were sleeping. How do you know I wasn’t sleeping? Of course I was sleeping.”

“No, you weren’t.”


“I know you weren’t sleeping because I wasn’t sleeping. Not for the past half hour or so.”

Quinn wants to stop the words from spilling out of her mouth but they escape before her rational brain can pull them back, her palms slightly sweaty now from where they’ve been holding tight to Rachel’s waist, the body heat between them building with each passing moment. “If you weren’t sleeping, then what were you doing?”

“Looking at you.”

Rachel’s hushed confession hangs in the air between them, the comforting ticking of the clock fading away to be replaced by the soft sound of the sheets shifting as Rachel moves her legs once more, the contact between Quinn’s legs unmistakable now. Her thighs flex at the pressure, her stomach tightening as Rachel inhales sharply, both of them unable to look away from each other as Rachel deliberately curls her hips again.

It’s a tentative call and response and Quinn can’t deny the thrill she feels at having Rachel against her like this, the buildup of long held desires and feelings escaping in the darkness of Brittany and Santana’s living room. She wants to say something to Rachel and her mind is racing with thoughts of the ramifications of their current situation but then Rachel moves again, with slightly more purpose, and Quinn’s mind goes blank. There is no mistaking Rachel’s motion and the low hum of arousal that had been building inside of Quinn sharpens and pulses between her legs, their bodies shifting seemingly of their own accords into an even more intimate position. Bracing her heel against the mattress, Quinn can feel how warm Rachel is against her thigh and her fingers tighten against Rachel’s waist, her thumbs encountering soft skin as Rachel arches slightly and slips the bottom of her shirt free from between their bellies.

Rachel’s body feels heavy against Quinn for just a moment, the hesitation is enough to force Quinn’s gaze away as the embarrassment flushes hot across her chest, bracing herself for Rachel to pull away. But she doesn’t pull away and Quinn’s eyes shut as Rachel drops to her elbows, her hands gripping the edge of the mattress behind Quinn’s head. Everywhere they touch feels electric and despite the heat being generated by their bodies, Quinn feels goosebumps break out across her arms as Rachel’s warm cheek comes into contact with the side of Quinn’s jaw. A few seconds pass and all Quinn can think about is the sound of Rachel breathing so close to her ear, the noise jumping to the top of the list of one of the most erotic sounds that Quinn has ever heard until Rachel moans. She actually moans and Quinn has no doubt about the arousal between her own legs as Rachel moves again, her hips curling back and then forward in a slow rocking motion. Quinn’s sleeping shorts are bunched just right and every time Rachel moves there is a delicious friction and Quinn would feel embarrassed about how wet she is except her thigh is warm, almost hot where Rachel is pressed against it.

Another soft moan by her ear and Quinn feels her reservations melting away, her hands holding Rachel with purpose now as she starts to meet Rachel’s movements with her own. There’s no other word for what they are doing except for grinding and there’s a small part of Quinn that would laugh at the situation because it feels so high school except this isn’t a fantasy playing out in her head as she watched Rachel dance in the choir room. This isn’t anywhere near the thoughts that crept like a thief to steal Quinn’s sleep in the middle of the night until she stole it back with sticky fingers and guilt riding high on her cheeks. No, this isn’t anything like that. This is better. So much better.

Quinn’s still not sure where this is all coming from but she doesn’t care, not when Rachel presses her thigh a little higher, prompting Quinn to do the same and now there’s no denying what they are doing. Rachel turns her head slightly, her lips barely grazing the side of Quinn’s throat and Quinn lets go, sliding her hands from Rachel’s waist to the curve of her ass and taking a chance. Taking a chance that Rachel won’t stop and freak out in another minute or that their friendship won’t hide away once the morning light exposes them both to each other in a few hours. Pulling Rachel even closer, Quinn finally vocalizes her pleasure and is rewarded with an answering moan, Quinn’s eyes still closed as she gives herself over to whatever is happening between her and Rachel right now.

One of Rachel’s hands leaves the edge of the mattress and presses against the top of Quinn’s head, Rachel’s fingers pulling a few strands as she starts to move faster. The mattress is starting to pick up a tell-tale squeak, keeping time with their movements, and all of Quinn’s earlier instinct to quiet things down so Santana and Brittany won’t hear them evaporate at the sound of her name falling from Rachel’s lips. It’s barely a whisper and yet Quinn feels the sound travel across her body, the tone settling between her legs where it throbs inside her, the slickness between her legs warm as Rachel moves the fabric against her. Quinn’s mouth parts and her eyes open, looking down to where she can see Rachel’s hips moving and there’s a part of her that wonders who will come first. She can feel the dampness against her thigh and just knowing that she did that to Rachel, knowing that the trembling she can feel against her thighs as they both work each other closer and closer has Quinn almost to the edge. She needs just a little more and so she flexes her fingers, grabbing Rachel’s ass and guiding her to move harder and faster, all inhibition gone as Rachel opens her mouth and groans right against Quinn’s ear, bearing down on the pressure as Quinn braces her feet a little more against the mattress.

Rachel turns her hips slightly and Quinn swears she can feel wetness against her thigh as their shorts move but that thought is soon chased away by another as Quinn’s stomach tightens and flutters, the ache between her legs sharpening quickly before the orgasm blooms wildly inside Quinn’s body. Biting her lip, Quinn turns her head as her eyes close, her legs shaking as Rachel continues to move against her. She feels Rachel’s mouth drag across the side of her throat, her whimpering noises sounding desperate and Quinn pushes through her own pleasure still racing through her body. Licking her lips, she turns her head to find Rachel leaning up slightly and watching her, sweat rolling across her collarbone to land against Quinn’s shirt. Without thinking, Quinn arches up and kisses Rachel, her lack of finesse disregarded as Rachel kisses her back and every negative thought that Quinn had about kissing someone when they just woke up flies out the window. The taste of Rachel on her tongue, the feel of her moans against Quinn’s lips is everything that Quinn has ever wanted and she pours years of desire and need into the kiss.

The hand that Rachel has against Quinn’s hair drops down to grip the mattress as she ends the kiss, her body pushing hard against Quinn as she comes, Rachel’s legs pressed tight to either side of Quinn’s thigh. Sliding her hands across Rachel’s back, Quinn relaxes her body into the mattress as Rachel turns into dead weight, both of their hearts pounding in their chests as they try to catch their breath. Everything feels damp and warm between them, their clothes twisted and bunched everywhere they are touching and yet Quinn feels like she never wants to move from this spot. Her body feels alive and exhausted at the same time and she realizes that her hands are moving across Rachel’s back in long, sweeping caresses and it’s that gentle touch that finally opens Quinn’s eyes.

Looking up at the dark ceiling, Quinn figures she has about two minutes before either she or Rachel start to freak out. They haven’t even had a cursory talk about anything between them, even with the years of awareness that they’ve banked dancing around the issue. She hadn’t ever even held Rachel’s hand much less held her in a hug longer than a minute or two and now they’ve…they did that. And they kissed. On the memory of it, Quinn scrapes her teeth over her bottom lip as a helpless smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. She kissed Rachel. She kissed Rachel. Quinn closes her eyes briefly as Rachel lets out a long breath against her. Well, they did a lot more than kiss each other.

As if sensing Quinn’s thoughts, Rachel shifts against her, pushing off the mattress to flop ungracefully over onto her back next to Quinn, the bar separating them once more. Quinn’s arm is trapped under Rachel’s side at an awkward angle and she tries to tug it back, feeling a little weird now without Rachel’s weight on top of her. Rolling to her side, Rachel reaches down and clutches Quinn’s hand, pulling it out from under her back but then surprising Quinn as she keeps a hold of it, rolling once again to face Quinn as she holds Quinn’s hand between them. Reaching with her free hand, Quinn mimics Rachel’s gesture from earlier and pulls the second pillow from under Rachel’s head, placing it under her own before turning on her side too, reaching down with a self-conscious smile to straighten her shorts out from between her legs. Holding her smile as Rachel does the same, Quinn is the one that reaches for Rachel’s other hand, both of them shifting just a little bit closer until only the space of their held hands is between them.

Quinn’s hair feels messy and there’s a vain part of her that wants to fix it but fixing it would mean letting go of Rachel’s hands and the way Rachel is looking at her makes her think twice about doing that. She relishes the feeling of being able to run her thumbs across the back of Rachel’s hand and as Rachel takes a breath to speak, Quinn finds it almost comforting that she would speak first.

“I don’t know that I know quite what to say right now.”

“That’s a first.” Quinn’s teasing tone has the desired effect and pulls a smile from Rachel before her face becomes a little more serious. Looking at Quinn for a long moment, Rachel lets go of one of Quinn’s hands, reaching out to rest her palm against Quinn’s jaw instead.



“Would you…will you kiss me? Again?”

Quinn’s heart jumps into her throat at the softly spoken request and despite everything that just happened between them not ten minutes ago, she feels nervous and shy at the thought of kissing Rachel again. This time there is no heat of the moment and no urgent need. Rachel is asking to be kissed, by Quinn, and nothing previously conjured in Quinn’s imagination could have ever sounded better.

Smiling softly, Quinn leans in and presses her lips against Rachel, opening her mouth just enough to capture Rachel’s bottom lip. She feels Rachel’s thumb slide against her cheek and she holds the pressure just a little bit longer before pulling back to meet Rachel’s eyes again. The look on Rachel’s face, even in the shadows of the darkened living room, makes Quinn feel warm and happy and it takes her a second to realize that they are smiling at each other like idiots. Turning her head, Quinn places a quick kiss against Rachel’s palm before reaching down to pull the cover over both of them, each of them settling more comfortably on their side, their hands finding their way back to each other once more.

Quinn feels the heaviness that comes from staying awake through the middle of night coupled with the pleasant lethargy that comes post orgasm and doesn’t stop the yawn from coming, grinning as Rachel helplessly follows suit.

Squeezing Rachel’s fingers lightly, Quinn’s voice is low and scratchy, sleep determined to pull her away from the conversation she knows they need to have. “You know, we kind of went about this all backwards.”

“Maybe. A little bit. Though, I’m not sure I can say that I would complain necessarily.”


Rachel’s feet brush against Quinn’s under the blanket and Quinn has the sudden image of going to sleep like this every night and the jolt of adrenaline that thought brings is enough to keep the tiredness at bay, her eyes watching Rachel as she answers Quinn’s question.

“I’d been wanting to talk to you about it for a while but, I don’t know, I never could figure out the right way to start the conversation. I think I overcompensated a little bit.”

At Quinn’s questioning glance, Rachel shakes her head against the pillow, her sleepy voice holding a tiny bit of embarrassment. “I followed you around a haunted house.”

“It’s okay. I followed you around McKinley for years.”

Quinn keeps eyes contact with Rachel, even as she feels her cheeks flush at her admission. Rachel rewards Quinn’s confession with a kiss, settling back onto her pillow with a soft smile. A few more seconds pass and Quinn thinks that maybe they’ll just fall asleep this way, her eyes already drooping when Rachel’s quiet voice gets her attention again.

“Do you think we should maybe try not moving around so much and see what happens when we’re in the same space?”

Love coloring her voice, Quinn smiles at Rachel and answers her, running her thumb across the steady pulse at Rachel’s wrist. “There’s no place else I’d rather be.”