Title: bring me your sugar
Word Count: 2400
Spoilers: Vaguely references the events of 4x14
Because no one in the entire town of Lima, Ohio knows how to do things on schedule or in the proper order, Quinn has a guest this weekend.
She’s been guilty of this kind of thing herself, but she somehow expected more of Tina, who was always very conscientious even when dealing with all the drama that went with being a student at McKinley High School.
Luckily, even though her teachers and guidance counselors treat important things like college applications and scholarship deadlines like a joke, Tina’s parents most certainly do not.
Tina finds herself with the good fortune of having applied to five reach schools, including Yale, seven match schools, two safety schools, and getting accepted into every single one. The inconvenience is that she doesn’t know anything about them aside from their rankings on US News & World Report, what they look like in the brochures, and what she’s gotten from the forums at College Confidential. So, basically, she knows nothing.
They’ve talked since the wedding, mostly via Gchat and email because Quinn can’t be bothered with learning how to use the video function on her computer and Tina’s parent’s turned off her unlimited texts last summer after she texted Mike 5000 times during the month of August alone.
When the final late and deferred acceptances roll out and Tina still hasn’t made the final decision about where she’s going, Quinn asks her which campus she’d liked best and discovers that she hasn’t gone to any of them. It is possible that Quinn overplays how crucial campus visits really are. The phrase “imperative to your collegiate and subsequent life success” may have been used and Quinn wonders when she started talking like Rachel Berry.
It is also possible, that she really just wants someone from Lima to visit her. Someone who witnessed the trainwreck of her life in high school, saw her pull herself back up and could see how successful she is now. Santana doesn’t count because Quinn could be crowned Queen of the Universe and carried everywhere on a diamond-encrusted palanquin and Santana would still find a way to turn her nose up at it. But she remembers how impressed Tina had been when she’s announced her acceptance to Yale, and how generally supportive she’d been last year. Quinn’s not ashamed of liking it.
Maybe some small part of her is still that petty girl who likes to dangle her success in other people’s faces, but it’s not like she’s gloating. She fully believes Tina will be extraordinarily successful in whatever she does. And if she is being completely honest, aside from Santana, who can be called a friend just as often as not, and Brittany, Tina is probably the best friend she made at McKinley.
She’s by far the one Quinn has the most in common with in terms of interests, but also the one she has the least in common with in terms of general pleasantness. That’s one of Quinn’s favorite things about her.
This weekend is the only weekend that works with both of their schedules. St. Patrick’s Day is on tomorrow and Quinn’s not sure how interested Tina will be in the social scene, but she knows for a fact that her roommate is prepared to ‘go hard’ if Tina is into that.
Quinn picks Tina up at the train station. She’s coming down from her visit to BU and Boston where she has some family on her mother’s side. Tina is wearing this short red dress with a chunky gold necklace and black boots. She looks good. Her hair is down, curling over her shoulders and she still has those bangs Quinn keeps meaning to complement her on.
They hug and Tina squeezes her tight. Her hair smells like oranges and her skin smells like cocoa butter and Quinn resists the sudden urge to just sink into the embrace. She must just...miss seeing familiar faces more than she thought.
At this point, Quinn thinks that the universal cure for lagging school spirit is having a friend from home visit. She’s been in New Haven long enough for the Gothic architecture of the Memorial Quadrangle and the majesty of Harkness Tower to become unremarkable. But in the process of showing Tina around, it starts to feel like last September all over again. It’s even better than September really. She gets to experience that wide-eyed wonder, but this time with a warm body walking close beside her to combat the mid-March chill instead of the very slight but ever present pallor of loneliness.
It occurs to Quinn that shiny new feeling could actually just be a result of Tina specifically, because she’s absolutely sure that this pizza they ordered is not good enough to deserve the kind of noises she’s is making over it.
Finding herself watching Tina’s lips at she licks a small amount of sauce off her fingertip makes Quinn slightly uncomfortable. She heads into the kitchen to get a drink and to try and figure out why she can’t stop staring at her friend.
Ice-cold water is flowing over her hands, chilling them to the point of numbness when she hears the door open and close. The sound of voices indicates that it’s just her roommate coming back. Jamie and Tina met briefly yesterday and Quinn is confident they’ll continue to hit it off. Her roommate is what a high school cheerleader should be like rather than the teen movie cliché she was; bouncy, spunky and honestly a perfect diversion to give her a few minutes alone to reflect of the fact that she wants to kiss Tina Cohen-Chang.
It’s not that she’s got a problem with girls kissing girls, obviously. But she went from wanting to kiss zero girls to sleeping with one and fantasizing about another within the span of two months. That’s just a little too ambitious for Quinn right now.
She comes back, outwardly composed. Her roommate and her friend animatedly debate whether Sherlock or Elementary is the better adaptation. Quinn has no opinion either way seeing as she’d rather just read the books. She stands in the doorway and watches Tina elucidate in great detail just how Joan Watson is the best character to ever grace the small screen. She punctuates each sentence with wild gestures and that complete earnestness that makes up so much of her personality.
Tina smiles even as she raises her voice because with her, arguments can be fun and don’t always have to end with bitter words and slaps. Quinn comes to the conclusion that the reason she wants to kiss Tina isn’t necessarily physical--though desire is present too, but she needs more time to mull that over. She wants to kiss Tina because being around her makes Quinn happier. That’s more than enough of a reason.
Jamie suggests they go out even though Quinn has class tomorrow and Tina’s train is in the early afternoon. She’s not even Irish, but Quinn has seen the outfit she’s prepared and there’s no way they’re getting out of this.
The bar is crowded and messy but it’s a hole in the wall that makes no effort at all to check ID so Tina gets in with no problem and they head straight for the bar.
They had a healthy pregame before leaving the dorm because none of them are made of money. Well, Jamie’s family is old East Coast money, but she’s the cheapest person Quinn has ever met and she takes a shot or four before filling her engraved flask and slipping it in her purse.
It goes without saying that they’re at least a sheet and a half to the wind before they set foot in the door. Everything else that unfolds from there, Quinn is going to blame on the alcohol.
“Oh Quinn, look. All the drinks are green.” Tina’s volume is the only thing that indicates she’s under the influence, but they pretty much need to yell to be heard anyway.
“Yeah, they generally add green apple or lime flavors to the clear stuff. I’m not really sure what they put in the beer though.” Jamie looks dubious but nonetheless, signals the bartender for three beers. The drinks come and Jamie and Tina hold their glasses high.
“But it’s green” Quinn shouldn’t have to explain why she doesn’t want to do this.
“Come on, Quinn” Tina says, nudging. “This is my first time visiting you and my introduction to college life. Don’t you want me to have the full experience?”
The logic of Quinn drinking swamp beer so Tina can have a good time makes zero sense, but Tina’s got this hopeful look on her face and it’s not like Quinn can say no. She gives in and clinks their glasses together before taking a large swallow of beer. It turns out to be just food coloring because the sharply bitter taste is the same as always. Behind them a few people start chanting.
“Chug! chug! chug!”
Jamie must know them because she flips them off and tilts her head back further to take deeper gulps. Tina does the same and Quinn follows along because this too is probably somehow tied to ‘Tina’s authentic college experience.’
Out of breath and feeling extremely full, she slams her glass back on the bar and fights the urge to burp loudly. Jamie doesn’t fight the urge and lets out a belch that makes her sound like a trucker. Tina beams at Quinnand kisses her on the cheek. It’s like she’s proud. Or just drunk. Either way, that citrus smell floods over Quinn and she feels warm all over.
Jamie eventually peels off to join her friends, leaving Quinn and Tina with two shots of bright green liquid. Tina raises hers with a challenging smirk and that must trigger some instantly learned Pavlovian response because Quinn’s downs her shot and leans in close. At this point a kiss is a kiss and no one can prove that she wasn’t aiming for Tina’s cheek when her lips land at the corner of her mouth. Tina squints at her a little before tossing back her own shot. She grabs Quinn and twines her fingers in blond hair and there is no mistaking that she means to press their lips firmly together and tease the tip of her tongue just inside Quinn’s mouth.
“All right, girls!”
They break apart at the loud whoops and catcalls from the just next to them. A tall, muscular, obviously hammered guy stands in front of them giving them a thumbs up. He then points to his shirt. It says Kiss me, I’m Irish. He smiles in a supposed-to-be charming way and yells over the music that they both should kiss him because unlike them, he’s actually Irish. Quinn can feel her eyes rolling back into her skull, but Tina giggles and leans up to kiss him on the side of his jaw and accepts the high five he offers in exchange.
Quinn thinks he’s a complete idiot and is bordering on offensive, but he buys them both another drink before leaving them alone and ambling off in search of his posse. She guesses there is a such thing as a nice idiot.
When they get home Quinn doesn’t feel like reassembling the air mattress and she also doesn’t feel like having Tina that far away from her. She’s gotten used to the way Tina leans into her side and having to wrap an arm around her waist to steady her. And now, she can smell oranges on her own clothes and she’s grown pretty fond of that too.
Tina is drunker than Quinn but is somehow more functional. She giggles to herself as she brushes her teeth before stripping out of her clothes and settling into the far side of Quinn bed. By the time Quinn has struggled out of her boots and into her pajamas, Tina is fast asleep. She settles into the bed, which is small enough that they're pressed together hip to hip.
It’s awkward now when it shouldn’t be. They've danced, flirted, and kissed all in the last few hours. Neither of them is even thinking about sex, but her heart is racing and she just can’t seem to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. She fidgets for about twenty minutes until Tina rolls over and wraps an arm around her waist, stilling her.
The soft whisper is meant to be conforming but the burst of air behind her ear just tickles and makes her squirms away. She giggles, which is a bad move around a drunk Tina.
The laughter proves contagious and Quinn can feel the vibrations from Tina chuckling against her back. When she settles down, Tina snuggles closer and rests her warm palm just over Quinn’s navel. It’s already hot under the blankets and she knows they’re going to be sweaty and sticky and gross in the morning but she’s finally found a good spot and she’s so tired. Quinn can’t remember what else she was thinking because she just falls off to sleep like a rock.
She wakes up alone. It’s not a nice feeling, especially when compounded with her hangover. After taking a minute to brace herself, she sits upright and looks around. Jamie is...wherever Jamie goes when she doesn’t come home. Tina isn’t there but her stuff is. Quinn’s debating calling her, because she doesn’t know if Tina remembers not to leave campus, --New Haven is not a safe place--, when the door swings open. Tina, looking fresh and pretty and not hungover at all, rushes in shrugging off her jacket and tossing it over the back of Quinn’s chair. It’s today that she chooses to wear a form fitting green dress and that makes Quinn smile even as her head pounds.
“Oh hey” she says in a soft voice like she can tell Quinn feels like shit. “It’s good that you’re up. You have class, right?”
Quinn nods and immediately regrets it.
“I went and got coffee. You seem like you take it black but there’s cream and sugar in there as well. Also a bacon, egg and cheese bagel from that place down the street with the creepy cashier. I think he’s secretly an axe murderer, you should watch out.”
It ridiculous. She’s starving and her mouth tastes like death and she has class in less than an hour. Tina’s there with coffee and food and that same cheerful grin and Quinn can think of at least five more reasons why she wants to kiss her.
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