A/N: So I have to admit this is a little bit of a cheat for my Pezberry Secret Santa 2019 fill for angel-hummel on tumblr - as in, it's both my present fill and a prompt fill for my 25 Days of Christmas fic collection. As it is, I have plans to revisit this someday, but I hope you enjoy this self contained bit anyway. Happy Pezberry Secret Santa, angel-hummel!
Day 21: Character A is pretending to be their friend's lover for the sake of the friend's family. Character B is said friend's sibling.
"Santí! Come down and meet your brother's girlfriend!"
"That's really not necessary." Rachel smiled at Maribel, hoping the woman wouldn't see her unease. "If she's busy we can always meet later."
"Nonsense. It's time for her to come down anyway." Frowning, Maribel sighed, saying under her breath, "That girl," before taking a step on the staircase, rapping harshly against the wall. "Santí! Get off the computer and come meet Rachel! Your brother's girlfriend!" She turned her head, smiling at Rachel, "I'm so sorry. She's always playing around with those music programs of hers."
"Puck did tell me that she worked for Big Machine Records…" Rachel tried to placate, starting to feel even more awkward than she originally had when she'd first walked into her friend's father and step-mother's house as his fake girlfriend. "Perhaps she's busy mixing and can't hear you?"
Maribel huffed. "That would be just like her. Here," she turned, descending the step she'd taken, "Can you be a dear and fetch her for me? I have to check on dinner, and this way you can introduce yourself."
Blinking, feeling a little blindsided, Rachel barely had the chance to agree before Maribel was hustling her up the stairs, calling out a thank you as she turned to make her way back to the kitchen. Figuring there was no point in pausing in the middle of the stairs, she finished her walk up, pausing and wavering at the top before sighing and squaring her shoulders, turning to the hall of doors. About to start worrying about which she should knock on, she relaxed when she could see a door proudly proclaiming, "Santana's Room Keep Out!" from where she stood. That was lucky.
The door opened after Rachel's second smattering of hesitant knocks, Rachel still pulling her hand away. "I told you, Mamí, I have a deadline I have to – – you're not mom."
Beautiful brown eyes blinked down at her. Framed by thick, curly bangs and above a thin nose and plush, red lips, Santana Lopez practically took Rachel's breath away. When the striking eyes narrowed, Rachel realized she was still staring, and she took a step back, shoving her hands behind her back so they wouldn't fidget in front of her. "I'm Rachel. R-Rachel Berry," she stuttered, "Puck's… Girlfriend."
"You don't sound so confident about that," Santana smirked at her, leaning against the side of her doorway.
Red slashed across Rachel's face. "Oh, no, I am. I, er, just…" Trailing off, she remembered herself, standing forward to offer her hand, "It's nice to meet you."
Untangling her arm from the doorway, Santana accepted the handshake, and suddenly long, warm fingers were wrapped around Rachel's. "Rachel, eh? Puck's bandmate?" She made vocal bunny ears, "The tiny fellow Jew hottie?"
More red bloomed on Rachel's cheeks. "Ah, yes, that's me. Apparently…" She'd have to have a talk with Puck about how he described her in the future. Not wanting to relinquish the handshake, but knowing she had to before it became weird, Rachel pulled her hand back, Santana's grip briefly tightening before releasing her, sliding her hand into the pocket of her skinny jeans. Following the motion, Rachel wondered why she'd thought it be a good idea to wear one of her 'best impression wholesome girl' dresses when she could have worn something like what Santana was and have given her an extremely different impression than what she was probably giving her.
"Seems like a pretty accurate description," Santana smiled, bringing Rachel's attention back up to her face.
Rachel laughed self-consciously. "You should hear how he describes you."
Fine eyebrows rose. "Oh, you've gotta tell me."
"Well, you know…" Taking a second to come up with a response, Rachel affected her voice lower, "'Santana Puckerman? My totally pain in the ass step-sister.'"
Rolling her eyes, Santana shook her head, a smirk still curling her lips up. "He just never stops complaining about when I almost castrated him with a s'mores fork, doesn't he?"
"We were eight."
"Wait, his pain is literal?"
"I'm sure you've seen his ass. Is the scar still visible?"
"That's… Actually not something I would know." Thank god.
"Really?" Santana's eyebrows shot up again. "Normally bro's faster with getting his chicks naked. Boy does not know how to do the romance."
"And you do?" Rachel immediately lobbed back, both out of curiosity and automatic defense of her friend.
Santana smirked. "I'm sure you've heard the tales about me. What do you think?"
Opening her mouth, Rachel was saved from making some obvious and pathetic attempt at not being flirty by the loud racket of Puck loping up the stairs. "Babe," he called out carelessly, swinging himself around the banister, "Stop flirting with my sis and come make me look good. Mom's wantin' us all down there."
"Puck," Rachel snapped, not bothering to hide her mortification at his words as Puck wrapped his arm around her shoulders, pulling her into his side.
Puck smirked at Santana. "Ain't she hot?"
Again, "Puck," and Rachel elbowed his side, using his indrawn breath and flinch to disentangle herself, stepping aside and straightening her dress.
Santana surveyed them curiously, a lazy tilt of her lips showing her amusement. "At least this one seems to know how to handle you," she teased, shaking her head; disappearing into her bedroom – Rachel getting a glimpse of black and white and a sumptuous looking bed – she called over her shoulder, "Give me a sec to save my work and I'll be there."
Once Rachel was secure she was far enough away to be able to hold a furiously whispered conversation, she rounded onto Puck. "You," she jutted her finger at him, "Didn't tell me how… Attractive she was!"
That elicited a loud, full-belly laugh, Puck even going so far to pretend to wipe away tears. "You've seen pics, haven't ya?"
"Those were crazy, unflattering ones, and you know it!"
Still laughing, Puck shook his head, urging Rachel down and in front of him, meeting his mother in the kitchen. "Well now you know, eh?"
Giving Maribel a calm, benign smile, Rachel elbowed him again the second she was turned away.
A couple of hours later, gathered at the family table with a mug of spiked eggnog and reams of awkward, fake relationship comments behind her, Rachel couldn't look away from Santana.
"You're being obvious," Puck teased, breath hot against her ear, lips curled up.
"Not caring," Rachel lilted back, raising her mug in a toast when prompted, her tongue lapping up foam when it clung to her upper lip.
A strong finger poked her side. "Have you forgotten you're my girlfriend?" he prodded.
Rachel grit her teeth. Turning her head, angling back to glare at him, she humphed. "Shhh. You, grateful, me going to ogle if I want to."
"You do so criminally rarely ogle," Puck hummed agreeably. "Should I let slip that you're an out and proud bisexual?"
Rachel didn't feel bad about the strength of the kick behind the side of her foot impacting her bandmate's shin. She took a sip of her eggnog to cover the proud smirk at his fumbling of covering up the reason for his squeak. As her eyes traveled along aimlessly, she had to stop and blink, a blush covering her cheeks at the dark eyes smirking at her. Well. At least it was only Santana who had seemed to catch on. Rachel softly cleared her throat. "Dear, you alright?"
"No thanks to you," Puck hissed, but gathered himself. "Hey, sis," he abruptly burst out, motioning at Santana when both Abby and Santana looked at him, "Now that Show and Tell's done with me n' Rache, how 'bout you? Got any hot tail in LA?"
"Noah," Maribel sighed from her spot down the table, lowering her mug to the table, "Must you speak like that? I swear, I don't know where you and Santana got it."
Santana and Puck exchanged grins. "Lima Heights Adjacent," they chorused.
Maribel closed her eyes. "We never lived in Lima Height Adjacent."
"Tell that to the jocks and nerds who were terrified of Santana in high school," Puck laughed. He affected his voice, lifting his hands, "'I'm 'bout to go Lima Heights Adjacent on your ass if yous don'ts. Step. Offs. Afores I ends you.'"
Santana grinned. "You forgot the razors 'all up in my weave'."
Abby tched, rolling her eyes. "I went to William McKinley after you guys and heard nothing. So I think you're lying. Or exaggerating."
Grinning, her teeth biting lightly on the rim of her mug, Rachel watched the play-by-play. She jerked, cheeks glowing bright as Santana suddenly winked at her.
"Puh-lease. Puck was the one exaggerating," Santana grinned, tossing her hair and adopting a teasing tone, "Who was the one who was a 'sex shark' who died if they stopped having sex?"
"Ay Dios mio and the Mother Mary!" Maribel groaned, her palm slapping on the table, stopping Puck's retort, "Who raised you children? Have you no tact? Do I need to hear this, hmm?"
Santana snorted. "Ask your son, Mamí. He's the one who used that excuse."
"Oh, and you didn't use tricks to get the girls into your bed," Puck snapped, looking actually insulted, his chin and chest jutting forward.
Santana clicked her tongue at him. "Unlike you, I didn't need to."
"Oh god," Abby muttered, hands covering her face, "Stop! Forget about need, I don't want to hear this!"
"I agree," Rachel chimed in, steel filling her voice as she pressed her hand into Puck's thigh, stopping him. "Noah." She didn't actually really care, having made peace with how much of a horn dog her friend was years ago, but she figured his girlfriend probably wouldn't be amused at all.
Puck frowned at her. "Why do you care? You've always listened to me talk about girls…" he asked, Rachel's eyes widening as she figured out, before him, what he was saying.
Rachel didn't dare look at the stares she could feel until, taking a deep breath and pasting a large smile on her face, she looked up with a, "We… Have a very open relationship."
The first person she looked at was Santana, who quirked her eyebrows at her. "How open?"
"Santana Maria Puckerman, please stop antagonizing your brother's girlfriend."
"Who's antagonizing?" Santana asked 'innocently', hands raised, "It's a legitimate question."
Though obviously a little uncomfortable with the confession, Maribel helped (made) the conversation pivot, and with only a few moments of grumbling and heated glares at his sister, Puck settled down. Doing so as well, though expressing it with a dark smirk instead, Santana hummed, turned to Rachel, winked again, and only turned away in satisfaction as Rachel's ears heated up.
Rachel had a week more of this. Of Santana.
Rachel's teeth bit lightly into the rim of her eggnog mug.