"Damn Fabray!" I fell back against the headboard next to Quinn. "So glad, we made it a two-time thing."
She laughed and looked over at me. She still had that hot after sex hair look.
"And just how long have you been thinking about doing that?"
"Obviously." She took another drink out of her bottle of water.
"You remember the day we met?" I asked.
"Liar." She passed me her water and I took a drink.
"Please, why would I lie about that?"
She turned and rested her head on her elbow.
"Are you really that senile, Q? Do you not remember the beginning of freshman year?"
"I remember. I think maybe I remember it differently than you though." She paused and then helped move a hair out of my face. "You were madly in love with Brittany back then. Still are, I think."
"Hey, I'm working on it. I'd say doing this with you is a good start at getting over her, but you do know that I liked you first, right? I mean, that day…"
"Not in the same way as her, Santana."
"You've got some revisionist history going on inside that brain, Quinn." I laid back on the bed. "The first time we met, even though I didn't understand, I knew there's was something about you. Something I wasn't exactly ready to deal with, but there was something."
"Well congratulations, you two have achieved two of the highest scores in the history of Sue Sylvester's Cheerio tryouts." Coach Sylvester sat in her red track suit behind her desk. I could see the rows and rows of trophies behind her that had driven me to tryout for the Cheerios in the first place. "On a scale of one to ten, you two pieces of chunky, fresh meat received a 5.5, which at normal schools with pathetic excuses for coaches, that would be an 11. Here at McKinley, we set a higher standard." She paused and blended what I assumed was a protein shake in a personal blender and I looked at the girl sitting next to me. She had long, blonde hair in a French braid and looked a little pretentious. "The upper classmen I've got this year are a bunch of sad sacks with no work ethic who spent their summers lounging by pools snacking on pork rinds and reading Tiger Beat. I need a new crop of underclassmen to light a fire under their sagging behinds and I think the two of you would be perfect for that role."
"Thanks, Coach Sylvester. I know I-" The girl next to me spoke, but Coach's hand went up to stop her.
"The first thing you'll learn about me blonde is that I rarely need you to speak when I do, I'll tell you what to say." She paused. "Actually, the first thing you'll learn about me is that I am a winner who wins and I don't care for loser who lose. Speaking of, there goes William Schuester." She pointed out the door where a man with what looked like a botched perm and a sweater vest walked by. "You'll do well to stay away from that guy, ladies. He's what we like to call around here a Lima Loser and do I tolerate losers on my Cheerios?" I sat quietly and I saw the blonde almost say something, but stop herself. "Well, at least you listen well. Welcome to the Cheerios. You're on varsity now, blonde and brown. You screw this up, you'll be sitting next to Schuester in the teacher's lounge wishing you could re-live your glory days. Dismissed." She handed us each a box and motioned for us to leave the office.
I stood and the girl followed me out of the office. We walked next to each other a few steps before I opened the box and saw a new Cheerios uniform.
"Works for me. Red is definitely my color." I told her. "I'm Santana, by the way. We didn't exactly get to do a whole meet and greet during tryouts."
"Do you maybe want to work out together? We're the only freshman on the varsity squad. Maybe we should stick together." I offered, closing the box in time to arrive at my locker.
"I'll let you know. I've kind of got my eyes on the prize. I want to be head cheerleader as a sophomore. That's never happened before here and I want to win nationals as head cheerleader."
I was a little taken aback by this. I thought we could be friends who helped each other out, but this chick had other plans.
"Listen up braids, I was trying to do you a favor by helping you get your ass into shape, but if you want to make this a battle royale, I'm all kinds of in and you should know that like Coach Sylvester in there, I do not lose."
"Bring it." She walked off toward her own locker at the other end of the hall.
"You dropped me on purpose, Santana. Just admit it." She scolded on the field after the rest of the Cheerios and Sue had gone. I was changing into my work out pants.
"I didn't drop you on purpose, Fabray. Maybe you could stop eating from the same troth as those seniors who can't even run a lap on the track before passing out."
"You're trying to make me look bad. If you're going to play this game, at least play fair."
I walked over to her and stood in front of her.
"You started this thing. I tried to be nice to you and you went all thunderdome on me. This is what you get when you say 'bring it,' Fabray. Amateur hour is over."
"Hey guys, Coach Sylvester told me to come to practice today, but I thought varsity had a lot more than 2 girls on it. I'm Brittany."
"Practice was over like 10 minutes ago." I told her.
"Oh, I guess I never changed my watch from the last time we were supposed to do that."
"If you want, I can walk you through the cheers we learned today." Quinn offered.
"Are you a freshman?" I asked her.
"Yeah, I was on JV, but coach said she kicked one of the juniors off the squad for fraternizing with one of the girls on the Carmel squad so she needs a replacement."
"I'll teach her the cheers, Quinn. I'm sure you have some pasta to go eat." I mocked. The truth was that Quinn wasn't at all fat. She was incredibly beautiful. She had this old world vibe about her that I really liked and I could see us, in another timeline maybe, being friends, but she threw the gauntlet down and I am not one to turn away from a challenge.
"We can both teach her, Santana. I know you're just trying to look good in front of Coach Sylvester."
"Do you see Coach Sylvester here?" I turned my back to the new girl to argue more with Quinn. As much as she drove me crazy, I kind of like arguing with her. She and I matched wits pretty well and no practice was boring.
"She might not be here, but you know you're going to walk into school tomorrow and tell her how nice you were to stay late and help the new girl with her cheers."
"Um… I think I'm just going to-" I could hear Brittany start.
"It's not even like that, blondie. I can be a nice person sometimes unlike someone I know."
"I am a nice person. I just go after what I want." She paused and looked past me. "Wait. Where did she go?"
"What?" I turned around and the new girl was gone. "Oh great, you probably scared her away." I grabbed my bag. "I'm outta here. There's going after what you want and there's being a bitch. You might want to figure out which you really want." I started walking off the field and made it to the bleachers before I heard her following after me.
"You know you're just as big of a bitch as I am. We're both stuck in this crap town unless we find a way out. Cheer could be that way for me and it's not like two girls from the same small town on the same squad are going to get scholarships to the big schools."
I started walking faster and she kept up to me.
"You could always use your brain to get out of here. I hear colleges like your grades to be good." I paused and stopped walking. She stopped too. I turned to her. "Oh, unless you're dumb. Is that the problem?"
"I'm getting all A's right now. So you tell me."
"Well, school just started so things are pretty easy. Let's see how you do when things get harder."
"What's your plan? Marry rich?" She asked me.
"You know you are seriously feisty. Maybe you need to get laid. Might help relieve some of that tension. That's probably what made you fall earlier."
"First of all, you'd be the last person I'd talk to about anything resembling my personal life and secondly, I don't do that. I'm waiting." She announced it as if it were something to brag about and dropped her bag on the ground and leaned against the bleachers.
"Waiting for what? Your knight in shining armor? The apocalypse?"
"My wedding night."
"Oh my God, I can't even imagine how tense you're going to be by then. You're going to explode, Fabray."
"I'm not a slut like you, Lopez."
I raised an eyebrow at her. The truth was that I hadn't had sex either yet, but I wasn't about to tell her that. I'd done stuff, but I hadn't gone all the way yet. I didn't look at my virginity as a stain, but I wasn't exactly bragging about the fact that I hadn't done it yet either. I looked at her and could see there was a fire in her eyes and it matched my own. I took a step toward her and dropped my bag to the ground. I moved so I was only inches from her face. She looked like she was both terrified and also maybe even turned on. I could tell that last part because that's how I felt in that moment.
"I'd rather be a slut that a prude." I professed and moved millimeters closer, almost closing the gaps between our lips, but leaving a little room because I was waiting for her to shove me backwards. Then, I'd laugh and tell her something about testing her and laugh some more. Really, I was kind of testing myself because I could tell she just put on some kind of berry flavored lip balm and I leaned in a little further and our lips touched briefly before I pulled back. Her eyes were huge and I could tell her brain was running at about a mile a minute. She was silent though and I took another step back. "Yeah, you're not making it out of here a virgin, Fabray."
I picked up my bag and walked off. My lips tasting of berry lip balm.
After the Two-Time Thing:
"You were making fun of me, Santana. I'd hardly say you were into me. It was barely a peck and we never talked about it again. You were all over Brittany after that day." She proposed while pulling the sheet up to cover what I'd just ravaged.
"You don't know the thoughts going through my head, Quinn and Brit and I were friends, but I did a few guys before we started fooling around as you recall. You stole Puckerman from me in a cheating/baby daddy scandal that probably could have gotten us our own reality show."
She laughed and I smiled listening to it.
"So you really would've dated me back then. If I was into it…"
"Hell no. I wasn't into it back then. Well, I was. I just didn't understand and I needed to hide for a while, but things are a little different now, aren't they?"
She didn't say anything at first. She just reached down to the floor to pick up my bra that she'd thrown off earlier.
"Not really." She tossed it at me.
"You sure? It's only 1am." I said looking at the clock on the bedside table. "We could go again. That's the benefit of being with a woman, Q. More stamina."
"I'm sure." She picked up my dress too and threw it at me, hitting me in the face.
"You're kicking me out? I knew you were just using me for my body."
"It's either now or the walk of shame tomorrow morning. Your choice."
"That shame is all yours' girl. I just nailed Quinn Fabray." I held up two fingers. "Twice."
"Fine, but were both putting on clothes." She climbed out of bed and I checked her out as she walked naked over to her suitcase to open it. "And stop checking out my ass, Santana."
"Stop flaunting it all over the damn room."
She threw one of her t-shirts at me and I put it on. She put on another one and climbed back into bed. We talked for a little while. I wanted to make sure we were okay now that we've done things to each other and everything. She fell asleep with a smile on her face so I figured we were good. We woke up and I put my dress back on quickly while she opened the door to check if the coast was clear.
"Things are different now. You know that, right Q?"
"San, let's not make a big thing about this. We talked-"
"Look, I'm still dealing with Trouty Mouth fake marrying my ex-girlfriend in a pre-apocalyptic ceremony presided over by the high school football coach. I think it's safe to say I'm not ready for anything right now."
"Yeah well, I'm not really offering you anything."
"Oh you offered me a whole lot last night and I think there's more to this than you're letting on about, but if you need to deny, deny, deny, then do your thing, Lady Fabray." I slid my heels on and used her for balance.
When I stood back up, she was looking at me with that same look I saw all those years ago. The one that told me I was right.
"I'm not ready for this… or anything right now."
I smiled and grabbed my purse.
"That's okay. You and me, Q… we've been battling like this since the day we met. I have a feeling we'll keep at it for a while and who knows? Maybe one day, you'll be ready and I'll be ready and…"
"Don't hold your breath, Santana. I'm a mess."
"Nah, you're just a work in progress. We both are." I opened the door again and checked to see that none of the losers I went to high school with would see me in my clothes from last night. "Don't be a stranger, Fabray." I said when I turned back to her. "We can't get ready for each other if you are."
She smiled and shook her head sideways. I let the door close behind me. I smiled and I walked to my own room thinking about how I could almost still taste that berry lip balm.