I can't believe there's only one chapter left after this. Sorry I didn't get this up sooner. I was busy writing a spec script for a Nickelodeon contest and that kind of ate up all my free time. It's in the mail and on it's way to CA though, so no more of that to distract me!
Quinn knows, logically, that she's got no reason to be nervous, but she still is. It's not even that she's nervous about messing up her speech (she's not giving one) or tripping on the stage as she goes to get her diploma (she's become quite good at walking and running in high heels and the chunky style she choose for graduation offer even more support than normal). She's not nervous about what this means for her relationship with Logan either (he'd been accepted into Berkley and she into Stanford and they're renting an apartment, courtesy of Malcolm Reese, right between the two). What makes Quinn nervous more than anything is the fact that, in less than twenty-four hours, everything is going to change. She's spent four years growing with (and learning to love) eight of the most wonderful people in her life. She's had learned to eat, sleep, study, play, and simply exist with them. They are almost more her family than her own mother and father. And now, after today, she's going to have to live without them for the rest of her life.
It's not so much that Quinn doesn't think they'll ever see or speak to each other again, because she knows how ridiculous that is. But seeing someone once a year (even if it does include weekly phone calls) is way different than seeing someone everyday. And although they can certainly try, it's going to make hanging out as a group, all nine of them, virtually impossible. Because, with the exception of Logan, everyone else is off to different parts of the country. Chase and Lola are both headed to New York (one for writing the other for acting). Zoey is going to spend at least a year abroad in England, closer to her parents and attending one of the best universities for fashion and design. Lisa and Michael are both attending University of Texas for music and acting (respectively). Vince is headed to Mississippi State with a full ride and football scholarship. And James is headed to the University of North Carolina to get his degree in elementary education.
The group is going to literally be scattered all across the country and Quinn is absolutely terrified by the prospect. A knock on her door breaks her out of her thoughts and she looks up to see Logan grinning at her, something hidden behind his back.
"Hey, Miss Valedictorian." He grins and greets her with a quick kiss on the lips.
Quinn giggles and smiles back at her fiancé. "Hey yourself."
"Tell me again how you go out of giving a speech?"
"Dean Rivers didn't want the valedictorian to give a speech. He feels like that's too cliché. So he picked on the best liked students and had her do it. He thought the students might be more receptive to a speech by someone they all know and love."
Logan pretends to frown at this. "They should all know and love you."
Quinn laughs, kissing the boy in front of her once again for trying to defend her. "You know I probably would have gotten up there and just had some boring scientific speech prepared. I think Dean River's choice was much better."
Logan tries to shrug nonchalantly, but it's hindered slightly by whatever he's hiding behind his back. "I would have listened."
"I know. And I appreciate the thought. What are you hiding?"
"Oh…" Logan grins and removes his hand from behind his back, "you mean these?"
Quinn gasps at the bouquet of flowers that are suddenly in front of her. Seven tiger lilies (her favorite flower), five tulips (her second favorite flower), three daisies (her grandmother's favorite flower), and several clumps of baby's breath look back up at her. "Aw," She takes the flowers from Logan, breathing in their aroma. "They're absolutely beautiful."
"I know you're really nervous about today. About everyone splitting up and going off to do their own thing. So I thought you might like these, you know, as a small reminder that you're always going to have me."
Quinn can feel her eyes well up with happy tears. She swiftly tries to blink them away, Zoey and Lola had spent an extra amount of time helping her apply her make-up perfectly this morning and she doesn't want to ruin it by getting emotional, especially about flowers. Or, rather, about what the flowers represent.
"I can't believe you remember that."
Logan pulls her into a hug, careful not to crush the delicate bundle she's still cradling. "I love you, Quinn. I may not have always loved you, but I've always been paying attention."
Logan looks up from the TV and is surprised to find Quinn standing in his doorway. She's forgiven them for their jokes during the whole Robot War fiasco, but she and he are not exactly on speaking terms on a regular basis anyways (this bothers the rich boy more than he cares to admit). "What's up, Pensky?"
Quinn walks into his room and gives him a shy smile. "Zoey, Lola, and Nicole told me that it was your idea to get me the tulips. I just wanted to say thank you."
"Oh. Well. You're welcome, I guess."
He can still remember that conversation. They'd all been in the lounge after Quinn's tiny robot and crushed Firewire's, all feeling horribly guilty about the pain in their science nerd's voice and face even though she'd just done what everyone had deemed impossible.
"I feel horrible!" Zoey had finally said.
Chase had nodded in agreement. "Yeah, we need to do something to make it up to Quinn."
"Do you think she'd like flowers?" Michael had suggested. "Girl's like flowers and Quinn is a girl."
There'd been some debate about what kind of flower to get Quinn when Logan had rolled his eyes, tired of listening to his friend's chatter. "Dude, just get her some tulips." Everyone had turned to look at him. "What? They're her second favorite flower. But tiger lilies aren't in season right now and roses don't exactly say 'I'm sorry'."
"How did you know I liked tulips?" Quinn's question snaps him out of his thoughts and back into the present.
Logan shrugs. "You mentioned it once. I forget why."
Quinn looks genuinely surprised and Logan feels a little insulted by that fact. "I can't believe you were even paying attention enough to register it, let alone to remember it. I mentioned that months ago."
Logan rolls his eyes. "First off, you're my friend Pensky, well kind of, so I do listen when you talk. Usually. Second, I know little things like that about everyone. Zoey's favorite fruit is an apple. Lola's favorite play is Hamlet, even though she doesn't fully understand it. Michael secretly loves country music. Chase's grandmother is probably his best friend besides Michael and Zoey. And Nicole's favorite candy is Mike 'n Ikes."
Her jaw has completely dropped after this mini speech and he can't help but feel smug that he's shocked the girl who knows almost everything. She's only speechless for a moment though. "Oh yeah. If you know all that stuff then how would you build a perfect bouquet for me? Hypothetically speaking, because obviously you're never going to be buying me flowers."
Logan smirks. "That's easy. Seven tiger lilies, because they're you're favorite. Five tulips, each one in a different color, because they're your second favorite flower, three daisies, because they remind you of your grandmother, who gave you Otis, and baby's breath to make the whole thing look nice."
"Why those numbers?"
Logan shrugs. "You like odd numbers. Probably because you're pretty odd yourself."
Quinn gives him a half-hearted glare at that, but there's no malice in his words. He's just stating a fact. And she knows she's rather odd, it's one of her favorite things about herself, usually. "You know Reese, I think you might be a nice guy under all that spoiled rich kid."
Logan scoffs. "I wouldn't bet on it."
The genius shakes her head. "No, I think you are." And with that she turns to leave the room.
"Hey," His voice stops her at the door, "just don't tell anyone. I have a reputation here to protect."
Quinn's good-natured laughter rings in his ears long after she's left the room.
The actual graduation ceremony flies by. Zoey gives a great speech about how PCA has helped change and shape everyone into the amazing people they are and how she's proud to be standing with all of them getting ready to take the next big step in their lives. She mentions her friend's specifically and how she doesn't know if she would have survived without them.
After the ceremony it's time for a million different pictures. The girls (and Michael) all start to cry halfway through this process, but they manage to get some really nice shots before mascara starts to run and eyeliner starts to smudge. Everyone poses with everyone else at least once and towards the end they manage to assemble together for one final group photo. There's no order to how they're standing; it's chaotic, crazy, random, and fun and Quinn think it describe their friendship perfectly.
She frames it and it follows her from PCA to Stanford to the first house she and Logan buy together. And whenever she misses her friend's it's there to comfort her. When misses her actress best friend, there she is, goofily blowing a kiss at the camera. And when she misses Chase and his hilarious freak outs, she only needs to look at where he's standing with his arm slung around James' shoulder (they'd become very good friends their senior year) and she can hear his voice in her head.
Logan sometimes (lovingly) tells her she's silly to keep it out all the time because they all see each other at least once (if not more) a year. But Quinn can't ever put it away. High School was far from the best years of her life, but they were definitely the start of them and she likes to think that it's this group of people that made it that way. How different would life have been if she'd walked away from the boys vs. girls basketball game without even trying to support her gender. Would she have become such good friend's with Zoey? Would she have ever known the man she lives with now as anything more than a name with a bad dating reputation? Would she ever have had the courage to give him her heart?
It's just nice to be reminded that even though their looks and lives may change, their friendship never will.
Okay, so this really wasn't so much Quogan fluff as it was the group's friendship. But as a graduation chapter, I felt like that was an appropriate topic to focus on. I love the group's collective friendship and think they're all absolutely adorable.
Also, I apologize in advance if any where in the series it says something that disagrees with the facts I had Logan rattle off about their friends. I don't recall there being anything, but seeing as I don't have the time or the resources to watch the entire series again, I may have missed something.
Well, let me know what you guys thought!