AN: Here is the final part of this short. Thanks to all of you that have read, reviewed, alerted and faved this fic, you guys rock! Also thanks to my beta, I'm sure this would be way more nonsensical without ya.
I would love to know what you all think of the final product, as my beta will attest I have hard time finding the end point.
Quinn shouldered her gym bag and stormed out of the locker room, absolutely livid that she hadn't been able to catch either Stacy or Sarah after practice. Santana had bailed, causing Sue to run them into the ground like some drill sergeant on speed. Now, all she wanted was to grab something to eat and then try to speak to Rachel. Not necessarily in that order.
Striding towards her car, she scowled when she saw a certain brunette leaning against the side, arms and legs crossed, the very picture of someone that didn't' have a care in the world. "Where the hell have you been?" Quinn growled, coming to a stop in front of the Latina. "Coach was even more sadistic then usual since her former captain bailed on practice."
Santana continued to lounge against the car, not swayed by Quinn's irritation. "I had something I had to take care of."
"I hope it was important. Now will you please get out of the way, I have more important things to do than stand here talking to you." Quinn pushed the other girl, eager to be on her way.
Santana stumbled slightly before regaining her balance. "See I try to do someone a favor and this is how I get treated," Santana called out as she started to walk away, leaving Quinn with a confused look on her face.
"What favor?" Quinn finally called out. It really wasn't like Santana to miss practice for no reason, and since Brittany had been present and accounted for, the most likely cause didn't apply.
"Since you have proven yourself to be woefully inept at handling your girlfriend troubles, I decided to step in and help you out," Santana declared, a small smile twisting her lips. "You are even more unbearable than I am when you aren't getting any."
Quinn felt an odd mix of curiosity and dread. Santana's involvement could easily turn out to be a curse or a blessing. "What did you do?" Quinn asked, struggling to keep the accusation out of her tone.
Her attempt must have failed because Santana clutched a hand to her chest and adopted a hurt expression. "I'm wounded, Quinn. Truly hurt. Here I am selflessly trying to help you out and you act like I've done something wrong."
Quinn sighed. "I'm sorry," she said with false sincerity. "I didn't mean to make it sound like an accusation. I am just on edge about this whole situation." Quinn drew a steadying breath. "What did you do?" Quinn asked again, less accusingly.
Santana smiled. "Well first I had a little chat with Allison." Santana smiled more broadly when she saw Quinn frown. "Did you learn nothing over the years Fabray? The weak are always the easiest targets." Quinn narrowed her gaze, not really wanting a reminder about her past torment of the school's less popular students. "Anyway, she had some very interesting things to say."
"Such as?" Quinn questioned impatiently.
"Why don't we get in the car? I can tell you the rest on the way to Berry's," Santana hedged, not wanting to tell Quinn the whole story while still on school grounds. The likelihood that she would want to immediately hunt down the two Cheerios responsible was about as likely as Sylvester coming to school in a tracksuit.
Quinn narrowed her eyes at the suddenly fidgety Santana. "Why would we be going to Rachel's? I already told you that her dads' won't let me in to see her."
"Oh did I forget to mention that I also spoke to Berry? Well I did, and after some persuasion on my part, she has agreed to speak to you."
"Persuasion?" Quinn questioned, slightly panicked. "You didn't hurt her did you? Wait. Rachel agreed to see you but not me?"
"Do you want to waste time interrogating me in the parking lot, or do you want to go make everything well in the land of Lilliput?" Santana asked impatiently. She needed to get Quinn in the car and off school grounds, plus the sooner she could drop her off with Berry the sooner she could make things right with B.
"Fine," Quinn huffed, dropping the gym bag off her shoulder to fish for her keys. "Hey!" She yelled when Santana snatched the keys out of her hand. "I thought you wanted to get going. Give me back my keys."
Santana shook her head. "Nope. I want to arrive at Berry's in once piece and I fear that there might be an explosive case of road rage if you are behind the wheel, so you get shotgun," Santana instructed, unlocking the door and sliding in behind the wheel.
Quinn opened her mouth to argue, but realized that she really didn't care; she was still so wiped from practice that not having to drive didn't sound half bad. Walking around the car, she tossed her gym bag onto the backseat before getting into the passenger seat.
As soon as the door closed Santana put the car in gear and drove off. "Okay, first you have to promise to not freak out," Santana requested.
Quinn shot her a look of disgust. "Gee that's a great way to start a conversation and calm my nerves," she said mockingly. "Just tell me Santana, I have been driving myself nuts going over what could have happened. Whatever it is can't be as bad as what I have been imagining."
"Oh I wouldn't be so sure about that," the brunette muttered under her breath. Speaking more loudly Santana said, "Right, so you know when Stacy and Sarah said that they wanted to go skinny dipping but Berry freaked out and left?"
"Yes…" Quinn replied dragging the answer out.
"Well, they lied." Santana figured it was best to just rip the band aid off. "Rachel did strip down." Quinn was so focused on trying to process this rather startling piece of information that she totally missed the fact that Santana had actually used Rachel's first name.
"She what?" Quinn asked darkly, a faint stirring of jealousy forming in her stomach. Not even she had seen her girlfriend naked, the brunette always calling a stop before it reached that point, but apparently Rachel had no qualms about baring it all to her squad mates. Shaking her head to clear the image, she tried to focus on what Santana was saying; knowing there was bound to me more to the story.
"Apparently, when you get a little liquor in her, Berry is able to remove that stick she usually has jammed up her ass and actually let loose a little," Santana joked. Noting that Quinn was not amused, she quickly moved on. "Now I didn't get all the details, because honestly I didn't care, but they somehow managed to get Rachel out of the pool, tossed some drinks on her, made fun of her, took a picture and then sent her on her way." Santana finished the list in one breath, not wanting to give Quinn time to interrupt, and knowing that an explosion was going to be imminent.
"They did what!" Quinn thundered, causing Santana to wince at the volume. "Turn the car around. Now." Quinn felt sick, her stomach flipping at Santana's revelation. It was no wonder Rachel was in hiding. The girl had endured countless humiliations, but this one was extreme and she probably blamed Quinn for leaving her all alone with them.
"Christ Q! Blow my ear drum out," Santana grumbled. "I'm not turning the car around; there will be more than enough time to draw and quarter the Cheerios after you make nice with your girlfriend."
Torn between rage and guilt, Quinn shot Santana a sideways glance. "Why do you even care? I mean you seem to be going through an awful lot of trouble for someone you don't even like."
"I don't care," Santana replied, brushing off the question. "If you weren't dating the little freak I wouldn't be here right now, but you are, and since we aren't enemies at the moment and B is pissed at me over this, I figured that it was the least I could do."
"Britt's mad at you?" Quinn asked surprised. "Britt never gets mad at you, even when you act like a total asshole, which is often."
Santana sent Quinn an insincere smile. "Gee thanks," she offered sweetly. "Why am I helping you again?"
"What's B mad at you for?" Quinn questioned, reminding the Latina why she was here.
"Oh she's mad because she thinks my being mean to Berry is part of her wanting to leave," Santana replied.
"Leave?" Quinn asked confused. "Where is she going?"
Santana winced, forgetting that she had left out a few key parts of the events on Friday night. "Look there's no need to panic or anything, I'm sure once you talk to her and set the record straight, she won't be going anywhere," Santana tried to reassure the worried blonde, but only succeeding in escalating her concern.
"Really not making me feel any better Santana." Quinn drew in a steadying breath and closed her eyes. "Just tell me."
Santana sighed, knowing that this was going to suck; Quinn had put a lot of effort into earning the singer's trust and showing her that she wasn't the same person anymore. "There were a few parts of Friday that I may have forgotten to mention." Quinn just looked at Santana, remaining silent. "They may have led Rachel to believe that you were in on the prank," Santana finally revealed quietly, waiting for the fallout.
Quinn felt tears well almost immediately. "She thinks I did this?" She whispered.
"I'm sure it was just the shock of the situation, once she really sits down and thinks about it she'll realize you could never do something like that," Santana reassured the stricken blonde.
"It's been four days Santana, she's had time. She must hate me." Quinn interlaced her hands and folded them in her lap, focusing on them with every ounce of concentration; anything to keep her from falling apart.
Santana cursed herself, she hadn't meant to make Quinn feel worse. "Quinn she doesn't hate you. She just had a really big shock, and yeah given your history, it was probably easy for them to influence her. Her unwillingness to let you in to see her has just made things worse, but I talked to her, and she's willing to hear you out. She wants you to be innocent Quinn, it's not going to take much."
"It's no wonder she didn't answer any of my calls or texts," Quinn continued as though Santana hadn't spoken.
The Latina cringed. "She wasn't ignoring your calls Quinn, she didn't get them, they made her leave without her clothes and phone."
Quinn's head snapped towards Santana to look at her with a shocked expression before she shook her head. "Is there anything else you aren't telling me Santana? It seems every time we have finally gotten to the end you reveal a new and more horrible aspect," Quinn accused crossly, welcoming the anger and using it to drown out the pervasive sense of guilt.
Santana breathed a sigh of relief as she pulled to a stop in front of the Berry house. This emotionally charged atmosphere of the car was starting to wear on her. "Just that we're here." Santana looked past Quinn. Quinn spun in her seat to stare blankly at the tidy two story cape that Rachel called home.
"What do I say to her?" Quinn asked in a small voice.
"Just tell her the truth Quinn, everything will be fine." Santana smirked and handed the keys to her friend, pushing her playfully on the shoulder. "Now stop stalling and go get your girl. Now that I have done my good deed for the decade I should be able to convince B to forgive me."
Quinn smiled gratefully at her friend, but didn't get out of the car right away. Knowing what the other cheerleaders had put her through, she was afraid that the small diva would not forgive her as easily as Santana seemed to think. Drawing one last deep breath, Quinn grasped the door handle with a slightly trembling hand. "Thanks Santana, you're a good friend."
Santana rolled her eyes. "If you try to hug me I swear I will punch you." Santana pointed at the house over Quinn's shoulder. "Out."
With a nod of her head Quinn exited the car and started for the house. She wiped her sweaty palms on the soft cotton of her shorts. She could never remember being this nervous, not even when she had come to pick up Rachel for her first date, knowing that she was going to face the smaller girl's two fathers'; two fathers' that had known all about her past treatment of their daughter.
Her face paled when she realized that they likely also knew about Friday night. Oh God. She spun around and headed back toward the car, not sure she could face this.
"Quinn?" She stopped and slammed her eyes shut. Rachel. Slowly she turned around and came face to face with the girl for the first time in four days. She looked exhausted, her skin looked pale and dull, her eyes had dark circles, and her hair was a little bit unkempt. Quinn had never seen a more gorgeous sight.
"Hey." Quinn felt like an idiot. She had been trying for days to get the other girl to talk to her and once she finally got to see her, she was struck mute.
Rachel opened the door a little wider and stepped out onto the small front porch. "Were you leaving?" She questioned uncertainly.
"No I was just…" Quinn trailed off. This was ridiculous. "Santana told me what happened." Quinn quickly walked towards Rachel, finally finding her resolve. "I swear Rachel, I had no idea they were going to do that." Rachel looked at her quietly before nodding her head slightly.
"Come inside where we can talk, I don't really want to air all of the details to my neighbors." It wasn't the immediate fall in to each other's arms reunion that Quinn had dared to let herself hope for, but at least Rachel wasn't slamming the door in her face. She would take it.
Entering the house behind Rachel, Quinn looked around nervously. "Are your dad's home?" Quinn better understood the look that Rachel's father had given her when she had stopped by after school on Monday.
"No. Dad doesn't get home until 7 and Daddy went to the store to pick up a few things for dinner." Quinn sighed; relieved that she wouldn't have to face Rachel's parents just yet and ignored the twinge of hurt she felt when the other girl didn't automatically extend a dinner invitation; Rachel always invited her over for dinner. Quinn followed Rachel quietly up the stairs and into the brunette's bedroom.
Quinn stopped just inside the doorway, not sure just how welcome she truly was in the room. Rachel walked over and sat down on her bed. "So Santana told you about our talk?" Rachel finally broke the awkward silence that had fallen.
Quinn nodded, and took a few tentative steps further into the room. "I promise you I had no idea they were going to do anything like that, and I certainly wasn't in on it," Quinn pleaded. "You believe me right?"
Rachel didn't answer right away, taking a long look at the blonde. She looked haggard. Even when she was going through all the drama surrounding Babygate, Rachel didn't recall her looking this drained. Her first instinct upon seeing the blonde on her doorstep had been to wrap her in a big hug and tell her everything would be fine. Rachel had quashed that desire, determined to find out the truth before putting herself out there again.
"I want to," she finally answered honestly. "It's just hard Quinn. There's a part of me that knows that you would never have done anything like this, not after how close we became this summer." Quinn smiled at her tremulously. "Then there's another part that thinks maybe I just want this to be true so badly I am just overlooking the obvious, and that I am nothing but a trusting naïve fool." Rachel dropped her gaze to her lap, not able to maintain eye contact with the blonde.
The tentative smile slid off Quinn's face and she finally walked over and sat beside Rachel on the bed. "You're not a fool." Gathering her courage, and bracing herself for rejection, Quinn reached over and grasped one of Rachel's hands. "Look at me," she pleaded.
Rachel reluctantly lifted her gaze and met the blonde's hazel stare. "You are one of the sweetest people I have ever met. You're willingness to forgive people that have been horrible to you is one of the things I most envy. That generosity of spirit is a rare thing, and it doesn't make you a fool. The only fools are the ones that take advantage of it." Quinn reached up and unconsciously brushed a lock of hair behind Rachel's ear, causing the smaller girl to close her eyes briefly and lean into the touch. "Don't let three small minded cheerleaders take that away from you Rachel."
"Two cheerleaders," Rachel corrected absently. Call her a naïve, trusting fool, but Rachel believed what Quinn was telling her. Looking into the other girls eyes, Rachel couldn't see anything but honesty and affection.
"Two?" Quinn frowned in confusion.
Rachel nodded. "Apparently after Allison got to know me, and realized what a wonderful person I am, she couldn't go through with it and deleted the picture instead of sending it." Rachel couldn't quite suppress the hint of happiness in her tone when revealing that Allison liked her.
Quinn closed her eyes and drew in a calming breath. "Santana must have left out a few minor details," Quinn stated sarcastically. Opening her eyes she once again gazed at her, at least she still hoped, girlfriend. "Tell me what happened. All of it."
Rachel sighed, not really wanting to rehash one of the worst nights of her life. "Can't we just forget about it?" When Quinn just continued to stare at her silently Rachel relented. "Fine. After you left Santana got….bored." Quinn snorted and raised her eyebrow. "She and Brittany went into the house and after a few minutes Sarah suggested we all go skinny dipping." Rachel looked at Quinn nervously, not sure how her girlfriend would take this news, and was met with a glower of disapproval.
Rachel flushed slightly and quickly moved on. "So after Allison and I went off to swim for a bit we came back to find Sarah gone. She came back with some drinks and said that there were two more in the house for Allison and me if we wanted to get them. Allison seemed really uncomfortable about the whole naked thing, so I volunteered."
Rachel drew a deep breath and braced herself to tell the next part. "I couldn't see my clothes or a towel so I just decided to make it quick. When I stepped back outside they surprised me with a slushie shower, and a camera." Quinn ground her teeth together, determined to keep quiet until Rachel finished recounting the events of that evening. The urge to interrupt and apologize again was almost overwhelming.
"Allison snapped a picture. Sarah and Stacy said some unkind things and implied that you were in on it. Allison confirmed that she had sent the picture, which Santana assures me was a lie?" The statement was left hanging in the air as a question. Quinn wanted to assure her girlfriend that it was definitely not circulating, but she just didn't know.
Clearing her throat, which had tightened with emotion as the smaller girl recounted her ordeal, Quinn finally broke her silence. "I don't think Santana would lie," Quinn assured Rachel. "I am only finding out about this picture today, and that is pretty telling. I can't imagine if such a picture exists, that it wouldn't have been all over school by now." Quinn knew that was hardly the most reassuring answer but it was the best she could do.
Rachel nodded her understanding. "After that they just sent me home."
"Santana told me they didn't let you grab your clothes and stuff before leaving." Rachel flushed, embarrassed, but simply nodded her head. "I am going to fucking kill them," Quinn ground out. "Santana left out the small fact about them telling you they sent the picture. That's why you've been missing school isn't it?"
Rachel nodded her head. "I couldn't face it Quinn. Knowing that when I walked in the doors everyone would have seen me naked..." Rachel shuddered at the thought. "...I just couldn't face it."
Since the brunette hadn't yet pulled her hand away, Quinn felt emboldened enough to slide her other arm around Rachel's shoulders and pull her into a one armed hug. She let out a sigh of relief when Rachel leaned into the contact instead of pulling away.
"You won't have to. Like I said, I can't imagine something like this staying quiet if it exists, but I will get Santana to confirm it through threat of death before you set foot in school tomorrow." Suddenly remembering something else that Santana had said Quinn frowned. "You are coming back to school right? San mentioned something about you leaving?"
Rachel lifted her head up from where she had been resting it on Quinn's shoulder. "When I told my dads' what happened I pleaded with them to not make me go back. I considered going to Mt. Sebastian High School for the Performing Arts after junior high, but decided that I didn't want to be away from my family. We all decided that given the circumstances maybe a late transfer would be best."
Quinn winced. "So your dads know what happened? They must hate me," Quinn stated sadly.
"They were less then pleased. I had to actually restrain Daddy from driving to your house when they got back Sunday." Quinn tried to pull away but Rachel wrapped her arm firmly around her waist and held her in place. "When I tell them the truth they will be fine. It wasn't your fault Quinn."
Quinn looked into the brunette's warm chocolate eyes. "Does that mean you believe me?" She asked hopefully, her heart fluttering in her chest.
Rachel nodded, a grin spreading across her face. "I do. I'm so sorry I doubted you, I should have..."
Quinn leaned forward and kissed her, cutting off the apology. Pulling back slightly she whispered, "Don't apologize, it wasn't your fault." Leaning back in she recaptured the brunette's lips. Sighing happily when Rachel brought her hand up to run through her hair, she deepened the contact, gently parting the other girl's lips with her tongue. Rachel parted her lips and eagerly greeted Quinn's tongue with her own.
Quinn broke the kiss, resting her forehead against Rachel's, not willing to lose contact with the other girl. "This means you're staying right? You'll tell your dads that you don't want to transfer."
Rachel nodded her head, still running her hand soothingly through Quinn's hair. "They'll be relieved actually. I don't think they were quite ready to let me go, but under the circumstances were willing to accede to my wishes."
Quinn left out a breath of relief she hadn't even been aware she was holding. She flopped backwards onto the bed, dragging a startled Rachel down with her. Rachel let out a little 'oomph' of surprise, but wasted no time snuggling up against the blonde and resting her head in the crook of Quinn's neck.
"Sorry," Quinn said. "I'm just beat. Between the physical demands of practice and this little chat I feel like I have been hit by a bus." She tilted her head sideways and kissed the top of Rachel's head, squeezing her tightly with the arm that she still had wrapped around her. "I'm glad you decided to stay. It would have been really embarrassing to have to stalk you to…" Quinn trailed off, not sure where the high school was located.
"Chicago," Rachel answered softly, running her hand in soothing circles on Quinn's stomach.
"..Chicago," Quinn repeated. "So we're okay right?" Quinn was still afraid that despite her assurances part of the brunette still doubted her. Quinn felt the smaller girl nod.
"We're fine. Assuming you can forgive me too."
Quinn pulled her head back and tried to look down at the other girl, but her face was still buried in her neck. "Rachel you don't have anything to apologize for, I should have known better than to leave you alone with them."
"What they did was horrible, but I should have trusted you Quinn." Pushing herself upright Rachel hovered over Quinn so that she could look her in the eyes. "You have done nothing to make me doubt you since we have been together. It wasn't fair of me to jump to that conclusion. A relationship is doomed without trust and I just want to know that you can forgive me, and I promise to never jump to conclusions like that again without talking to you," Rachel insisted earnestly, looking intently into her girlfriends eyes.
Before she could react, Quinn quickly rolled Rachel over onto her back and pinned her to the bed. "I think it's silly and unnecessary, but if it means that much to you. Yes, even though you did nothing wrong, I forgive you. Although we might have to have a discussion about when and where it is appropriate to get naked," Quinn teased.
"Quinn," Rachel whined, avoiding the kiss that the blonde was trying to bestow on her. "I know this must have hurt you, you can't just suppress all the pain and anger you are feeling, it can't be healthy. If you don't discuss this openly it is only going to fester and lead to resentment later on."
Quinn groaned, and let her head drop to the bed beside Rachel's. Rolling to the side so she wasn't crushing the smaller girl she wrapped her arms around the brunette. "I'm not repressing my anger. I am just not mad at you." Quinn leaned forward to press a quick kiss to Rachel's lips. "I fully intend to let those responsible know the extent of my displeasure."
Rachel eyed the look on Quinn's face warily. Her girlfriend was plotting something. "Quinn I don't want you exacting retribution on my behalf," Rachel insisted.
Quinn blinked, pulling herself out of her revenge planning haze. "But Rachel, what they did was completely out of line. I can't just let it slide." Quinn looked at her girlfriend in disbelief; surely Rachel wouldn't prevent her from exacting payback.
Rachel shook her head. "It won't do any good. All it does is establish a feedback cycle and they will be looking to do something even worse next time. It will never end. Please, for me, let it go."
Quinn pursed her lips and glared darkly. "They had better not try anything else. If they do then I will be forced to..."
"Quinn!" Rachel cried. "That is exactly my point. If you do this then it just perpetuates the cycle."
"But Rachel," Quinn whined. She opened her mouth to continue, to plead her case but the pleading look on the brunette's face stopped her cold. Huffing she conceded, "Fine. How about a compromise?"
"A compromise?" Rachel asked, intrigued. She loved it when Quinn showed that she was willing to put in work to make their relationship work.
"I agree not to publicly eviscerate them, BUT in exchange, I get to make their lives a living hell in practice."
Rachel thought the proposal over briefly before nodding her assent. "I find this to be an agreeable middle ground. I really have no say in how you run your squad and I am sure Ms. Sylvester will stop you before you commit homicide."
Quinn decided it would probably be better not to dissuade Rachel of that notion and leaned over to kiss the girl again. Before things could get too heated a loud growling noise filled the room. Quinn pulled back and flushed in embarrassment.
"I'm sorry," she replied sheepishly. "I came here straight after practice and I didn't get a chance to eat."
Rachel smiled and pecked the blonde on the lips. "There is nothing to be embarrassed about, it is a normal bodily response to hunger." Reaching over she brushed Quinn's hair back from her face. "Would you like to stay for dinner?"
Quinn smiled and nodded her head happily. "I would love to."
Rachel sat in the passenger seat of Quinn's car and looked nervously out the window. It was nearly 15 minutes until the bell for first period, so the campus was beginning to fill with students. Rachel jumped when she felt Quinn rest a hand on her shoulder, squeezing gently.
"It's going to be fine," Quinn reassured. "I spoke to Santana last night; she talked to most of the squad mates and threatened to castrate Puck if he didn't tell her the truth. That picture never got out."
Rachel turned her head to meet her girlfriend's reassuring gaze. "I know. You're right. Sitting here and dwelling isn't helping." Rachel smiled brightly, not sure if she was trying to convince Quinn or herself. She gripped the door handle firmly and opened the door. "Let's go. 'Fortune favors the brave."
Quinn stepped out of the car and walked around to stand beside her girlfriend. Reaching out she grasped Rachel's hand and intertwined their fingers. Rachel looked down at their joined hands in mild surprise.
Seeing the questioning look Quinn smiled and gripped the brunette's hand more firmly. "I know we said we wouldn't hide our relationship, and we haven't been, but we also haven't been going out of our way to make sure people know. I can't help but think that if I had been a little more open, that Sarah and Stacy wouldn't have thought that I was possibly stringing you along."
Rachel beamed at the blonde. "That's very sweet of your Quinn. I didn't want to pressure you into showing public signs of affection if you weren't yet ready for them. The fact that you are willing to take this next step makes me extremely happy."
Quinn grinned back. "Well I'm glad." Quinn tugged on Rachel's hand and the pair started walking towards the school. "Did you just quote for Elton John's Aida? I thought you said that show was bland, boring, emotionally shallow and a travesty of the Broadway stage," Quinn questioned.
Rachel looked temporarily nonplussed. "I did." She smiled happily at Quinn, and reached up to kiss her on the cheek. "I can't believe you remembered that. I must be nervous; I have no idea why I would quote that. That show was extraordinarily insipid"
"Christ, get a room," Santana yelled, walking towards them, Brittany in tow. "I know I helped you guys get back together, but if my repayment for that is going to have to be watching you make out, I take it back."
Quinn halted her progress toward the doors and turned to greet the other Cheerio. "Please, after the countless times I have had to watch you and Britt practically molest each other I think you can stand a simple kiss on the cheek."
Santana rolled her eyes. "Whatever." Santana looked at Rachel and nodded her head. "Glad to see you aren't a total moron Berry, though I must admit, the idea of gagging you did have some appeal."
"Hey!" Quinn cried indignantly, not sure exactly what Santana was referring to. "Leave her alone."
Rachel patted her arm soothingly. "It's okay Quinn. Santana and I have come to an understanding." Rachel looked at the happily bouncing blonde that was standing beside Santana. "Good morning Brittany."
Brittany grinned broadly and wrapped Rachel in a bear hug. Rachel let out a small squeak of surprise before awkwardly wrapping one arm around the other girls back. Brittany released her and pulled back. "I'm so glad that you and Quinn were able to work it out. It wouldn't have been the same around here if you had left."
"So quiet and peaceful," Santana chimed in, earning a scowl from Quinn.
"Well thank you Brittany. I am just glad to be back, and eager to put all of the unpleasantness behind me."
At the mention of unpleasantness Santana's eyes lit up and she rubbed her hands together eagerly. "Speaking of unpleasantness, what's the plan? Constant slushies? Daily trips to the dumpster? Gluing their lockers closed? Swirlies? All of the above?"
Quinn opened her mouth to respond but Rachel beat her to it. "Actually Santana, I have decided it would be counterproductive to perpetuate an atmosphere of constant retaliation and escalation, and have requested that Quinn not pursue any type or recourse on my behalf."
Santana gaped at her in shock. "Are you fucking kidding me?" She turned to stare at Quinn. "Tell me she is joking."
Quinn flushed slightly but met Santana's gaze evenly. "She's not joking. She requested that I let it go, and since this happened to her it's her call."
Santana looked outraged. "I can't believe this! You're just going to let these two bitches get away with totally disrespecting you." Santana pinned Rachel with an accusing glare. "I blame this on you. You are making Quinn totally soft. A year ago she would have had them stripped bare and staked to the center of the football field."
Rachel raised her chin and met the Latina's gaze defiantly. "I prefer to approach these situations in a more mature and rational manner, and Quinn agrees. Don't you Quinn?"Quinn looked like she wanted to argue but she swallowed her words and simply nodded her head. Santana threw her arms up in exasperation.
"Sometimes the best course of action is to forgive those that have transgressed against you," Rachel insisted, smiling warmly at Quinn.
Santana narrowed her eyes and huffed in disgust. "And sometimes the best course of action is to bust some ass," Santana insisted.
Rachel shook her head. "I appreciate your concern on my behalf Santana, but I really just want to put this entire ordeal behind me."
"I'm not concerned," Santana insisted defensively. "I was just looking forward to causing some torment. It makes my day a little brighter and this had the potential to be an epic campaign of humiliation. But you just had to be all mature and take all my fun away."
Rachel smiled warmly at the brunette. "Of course, and I apologize for spoiling your fun, but I am confident that you will find something to fill the void."
Santana smirked at the smaller girl. "Oh you can count on it Berry." Santana grabbed Brittany's hand dragged her towards the doors. "C'mon Brit, lets ditch these two and you can help me fill that void," Santana said suggestively.
"Get a room!" Quinn yelled after the retreating pair.
Santana looked back over her shoulder and grinned. "Jealous?"
Quinn scoffed. "Hardly. I'm just sure trying to make sure no one is scarred for life."
"I don't know Q, you still seem a little grumpy, you might learn something," Santana taunted.
Quinn flushed, whether from embarrassment or irritation Rachel wasn't sure. "I can assure you that neither I nor Quinn require your dubious assistance," Rachel defended.
Santana opened her mouth to argue but stopped when Brittany leaned over to whisper something in her ear. Grinning widely Santana nodded her head. "You're right B. Later bitches." With one last wave from Brittany the duo disappeared inside the school.
Rachel sent a sideways glance at her girlfriend. "You're not jealous are you?"
Quinn looked at Rachel in surprise. "Of Santana? No, I can honestly say that I am not. My idea of a good time is not hooking up in the janitor's closet or the girls bathroom," Quinn assured her girlfriend.
Rachel smiled and wrapped her arm around the blonde's, reaching up to kiss her on the cheek again. "Good. I am sure that can not possibly be a sanitary place to engage in intimate activity." Rachel paused. "Although, I know that the Glee room is empty at this hour, and while I do not want our first time to be some hurried coupling on school grounds, I would not be against sharing in some alone time before class starts."
Quinn cocked an eyebrow and looked down at the smaller girl. "Why Rachel Berry, are you propositioning me?"
Rachel nodded her head, grinning happily. "I do believe that I am."
Quinn grabbed Rachel's hand and tugged her towards the school. "Then what are we standing here for? We've only got ten minutes and it seems a shame to waste them." Laughing, Rachel followed her girlfriend into the school, all the thoughts and worries that had been plaguing her effectively forgotten.
Okay not really the end – surely you knew there was no way this was going to end without Sarah and Stacy getting what they had coming to them – not everyone is as forgiving as Rachel ;)
"I can't believe what a bitch Quinn is being," Sarah complained as she and Stacy finally entered the locker room. Practice had been grueling all week and Quinn had insisted that they stay behind to put away all the equipment and clean up after the squad. They were both bone tired, sweaty and more than ready to jump in the shower.
"Oh I know. I mean we played one little joke on her pet and she totally loses her fucking shit," Stacy agreed, stripping out of her uniform and throwing it on the floor. She would pick it up after her shower.
"It's not like the plan worked anyway thanks to that coward Allison," Sarah griped. "God I'm wiped. Let's grab a shower and get the fuck out of here."
Padding towards the showers the girls stripped off the rest of their clothes, and left them in trail behind them. For several minutes, nothing could be heard in the locker room save for the hiss of the shower heads. Walking back toward the changing area clad only in towels, the girls continued their earlier discussion.
"All I am saying is that I think it wouldn't hurt to put Quinn her place once and for all. I don't know how she thinks she can get away with the shit she does. First she gets pregnant, then it turns out not even to be her boyfriends, and then she starts dating, not just a girl, but Rachel fucking Berry. It's too much, and she needs to be knocked off of that pedestal," Sarah complained bitterly.
"I couldn't agree more. I just don't know what we can do to accomplish it," Stacy commented, opening her locker and frowning in confusion when she saw that it was empty. "Where the hell are my clothes?"
Sarah frowned as she looked into her locker, which was empty as well. "Mine are gone too."
"Looking for these ladies?" Both girls spun to face the intruder they hadn't realized was there. Before they could open their mouths to respond, they found themselves drenched in ice and corn syrup. Both girls shrieked and tried to frantically wipe the icy mixture from their skin.
While they were distracted, their attacker dropped the now empty cups to the ground and reached forward, snatching the towels away from both girls. Finally clearing the slush from their eyes, they faced their assaulter.
"What the fuck is your problem Lopez!" Sarah cried, as Stacy just spluttered wordlessly beside her.
Santana quirked her eyebrow and crossed her arms across her chest. "My problem? I don't have a problem, but by the sounds of it you two still do."
"Yeah at the moment my problem seems to be that some psychotic bitch just threw a slushy at me," Sarah retorted.
Santana shook her head in disappointment. "Now I think we both know that's not what I was referring to, and trust me, the slushy is the least of your worries." Santana looked back and forth between the two girls disapprovingly. "I tried to tell them that letting you go without punishment was a bad idea, but Berry insisted that revenge would just lead to more conflict."
"Berry," Sarah spat venomously. "I should have know that little fashion reject was behind this."
Santana advanced and shoved the other girl backwards. "Why don't you take a page from your friend's book," Santana looked at the still silent Stacy, "and shut the hell up." When the other girl snapped her mouth closed Santana continued. "Actually, Berry made Quinn promise not to torment you. She seems to think there is something to be said for turning the other cheek. Me? I'm more a fan of kicking it."
"But Quinn promised, so that was the end of it." Santana grinned broadly. "Of course she didn't make me promise not to do anything. I was starting to wonder if maybe Berry had a point, forgiveness and all that shit, but based on the little conversation you were having earlier, it's clear that you are just as dumb as I thought you were."
"So what? You're in love with Berry now too? Whatever does poor Brittany have to say about that," Sarah asked snidely.
"I think it's great. San is so cute when she's trying to pretend to hate Rachel," Brittany piped up, appearing from around the next row of lockers. Santana flushed in embarrassment and turned to her blonde companion.
"B I thought I told you to stay hidden," Santana hissed, not wanting the blonde to be caught in the crossfire.
"I tried but it was boring, and I missed you," Brittany pouted, coming to wrap her arms around one of Santana's. The blonde eyed the two naked and dye stained girls disdainfully. "Are you almost done San I thought maybe we could go get some ice cream," Brittany said suggestively. Santana smirked at her girlfriend, something she had made official when she was begging B to forgive her, and turned back to the other two cheerleaders.
"Yeah I think I'm just about done here." She nodded her head towards the door. "You two are free to go."
Stacy frowned and spoke for the first time since Santana had revealed herself. "But we don't have any clothes."
Santana laughed. "Sure don't. I guess you will just have to figure out a way to get home without being seen." Her eyes turned cold. "Just like Rachel did." She nodded towards the door again. "Now get out of my sight before you really start to piss me off. And a word of advice, don't even think about going after Berry for this. You will not be happy with the results."
Sarah looked like she wanted to stay and argue, but Stacy silently tugged on her arm and led her towards the door. Santana wasn't joking, and staying would only make it worse, besides it was dark and hopefully they could hide out somewhere until they could reach someone to come pick them up.
Santana watched the two girls disappear and turned to give Brittany a kiss. "You're not mad at me now are you?" Santana asked playfully.
Brittany frowned in confusion. "Why would I be mad?"
"Well you got mad at me last week for being mean to Rachel, this isn't that different."
"Don't be silly San, this is totally different. Those bitches deserved it." Brittany paused. "You called her Rachel. You like her."
Santana frowned, not recalling the incident. "No I don't." Even though she was currently in the deserted Cheerios locker room, after just having basically defended Berry's honor, she refused to concede that she actually liked the small annoying singer. This was just a matter of teaching Stacy and Sarah their place. If they allowed such a slight to the head cheerleaders' girlfriend to go unpunished it would be anarchy. She did not have a soft spot for Berry.
Brittany laughed. "You do, you totally have a crush on Rachel," Brittany teased.
"B!" Santana cried horrified. "I have no such thing." Looking around the deserted space she checked once again to make sure they were totally alone. "Don't ever say that again, god that's just…" Santana shuddered. "Wrong. So very, very wrong. Besides, you know you're the only girl for me."
Brittany pouted playfully, "I better be." She grabbed Santana's hand and led her toward the door. Santana paused and made sure it locked behind them, she didn't want those two getting back in after they left. "C'mon, let's go get some ice cream."
"Anything you want B," Santana replied eagerly, not noticing the two naked figures crouched in the bushes alongside the building as she passed.
The End(for real this time)