A.N. Many thanks to those of you that have reviewed this story! As promised this section includes a confrontation (of sorts) with Karofsky, dinner with the dads and some RQS interaction at the end.
Since this one is a bit more R/S I've switched us back to that pairing for now.
"Well, what do we have here?" a male voice called out from behind Rachel.
She turned and rolled her eyes when she found Karofsky standing in the doorway to the choir room. "You must be lost." She made a shooing motion with her hands. "Run along before you catch gay from being in the choir room for too long."
He glared at her, stalking towards her in a few thundering steps, getting right in her face. "If I were you, I'd shut that mouth of yours unless you want to put it to good use." He grabbed his crotch.
"You're disgusting," she told him with a roll of her eyes. She sidestepped him and began to gather her papers from the piano top.
"Funny how your two bodyguards left you all alone in here," he said, the edge on his voice suddenly growing hollow. It chilled Rachel to the bone.
Her heart began beating faster as she began to formulate any kind of plan to get out of the room and to safety.
Suddenly there was a weight settled against her back and she turned instantly trying to push him away. "Do you mind? It's called personal space." She tried to maneuver around his hulking frame, but he reached out and grabbed her wrists.
He ducked his head to meet her gaze, smirking at how she struggled against him. "Which one of them are you fucking?"
"Excuse me?" she demanded, her bravery suddenly returning.
He cocked his head to the side, licking his lips as he grinded against her slightly, grinning when she whimpered a little. "Quinn and Lopez have you wrapped up like Fort Knox. Nobody can touch you. Why is that?"
"Because we're friends," Rachel spat.
He laughed and squeezed her wrists hard enough to make her wince. "You wish. You're just the only one in this school they haven't fucked. They trying to get in your pants?" He leaned forward, pressing his pelvis into her body and she shuddered when she felt his erection against her leg.
Rachel's face darkened. "Don't you dare talk about them like that."
"Or what?" he sneered in her face. "Freak."
Rachel felt her anger swell up inside her and before she could even register her actions she was slapping him across the face.
His face suddenly turned purple. "You bitch!" he bellowed, spittle spraying from his mouth as he grabbed her arms.
"What the hell is going on in here?"
The booming voice sent chills down Karofsky's spine and caused him to still his actions. He'd just been caught and knew there would be hell to pay now.
Rachel felt the relief like a hot shower on a snowy day, sweeping over her from head to toe. She had never been so glad to see Santana entering the choir room.
"We were just talking," Karofsky dismissed, releasing Rachel's arms and backing up a few steps.
She moved forward slowly, her movements calculated and fluid and it reminded Rachel of a panther stalking its prey. Her eyes narrowed and she stepped into his personal space, making sure to put herself between him and Rachel. "Talking, huh?"
He nodded furiously, swallowing hard. "Yeah. Talking." A moment later he was squealing as she grabbed his crotch and squeezed.
"Why the hell would you have a boner if you were just talking, Dave?" she asked, leaning in closer to him and twisting.
He whimpered this time and the sound was more satisfying than Rachel cared to admit even to herself. Beads of sweat suddenly broke out on his forehead and he shook his head furiously. "I'm s-sorry."
She squeezed again, smirking when his eyes clamped shut. "Sorry for what?"
"I just…" He was breathing hard and he squealed again when she twisted.
"Just what?" she demanded. "Tell me or I'll twist them right off."
"I just…wanted to know…why you're all over…her suddenly…" He crumpled to the floor and writhed in pain when she released him. "You bitch!"
She laughed out loud and crouched down next to him. "Listen up, Davey, cause I'm only going to say this once. Stay the hell away from Rachel. If I find out you so much as breathe in her direction I'll make this seem like foreplay. Got it?"
He glared for all he was worth but finally nodded, pulling himself to his feet and limping out of the room.
Santana watched him until he was gone and she turned to Rachel, who was slumped against the piano, rubbing her wrists. "Are you okay?"
Rachel met her gaze, tears shining in her eyes and her chin quivered. "I…"
"Come here," Santana coaxed gently as she stepped forward and pulled Rachel into her arms. It seemed that was all Rachel needed before the dam broke and the tears fell harder. She could feel the smaller girl trembling in her arms and she ran a gentle hand over her hair before pressing a kiss to the diva's temple. "Easy, Rach. You're okay."
"Hey guys…" Quinn's voice trailed off when she took in the scene before her. She could see Rachel shaking from her spot in the doorway and she was clinging to Santana like her life depended on it. "What's going on?"
Santana released Rachel when she felt the other girl pulling away from her and they both faced Quinn. Santana kept an arm wrapped securely around the diva next to her, suppressing too many murderous urges with every shudder that passed through Rachel's body next to her.
"Karofsky," Santana mumbled simply.
Quinn frowned and moved closer to the two of them. Her jaw clenched when she saw the angry red marks circling Rachel's wrists. "Do we need to kill him?"
Santana considered it for a moment before shaking her head. "If he even looks at her again, maybe. I think I made things very clear to him." She huffed a sigh. "He really doesn't want me to go all Lima Heights."
Quinn rolled her eyes. "You're so full of it."
Even Rachel managed to quirk a bit of a smile but she sighed heavily.
"Come on, baby girl, we'll take you home," Santana said softly. She slid an arm around Rachel's shoulders, smiling when she felt the diva's arm slide around her waist. Quinn looped her arm through Rachel's and the three of them made their way out to the parking lot.
"What did he say to you?" Santana asked. She needed every detail so she could decide just how much pain he needed to feel next time she saw him.
Rachel shook her head, a shiver passing through her body. "He said you two have me wrapped up tighter than Fort Knox and he wanted to know why. He thinks you're trying to sleep with me."
"That stupid oaf, he would think that," Santana sighed.
"Why would he think that?" Quinn asked her.
Santana raised a brow. "Because he's a guy and all they think about is sex. If it doesn't come down to sex they can't figure out what anything is about."
Quinn pondered this for a moment until she caught sight of someone leaning against Santana's car. "San."
Santana followed her line of sight until her gaze settled on the woman standing in the lot at her car. "Shit."
"Who is that?" Rachel wondered.
Santana's eyes closed and she stopped walking, pulling the other two to a stop as well. She met Quinn's eyes. "Take her home and I'll catch up with you guys there." Without so much as another word she made her way to the figure in the distance.
"Who is that?" Rachel asked again.
"Santana's mom," Quinn replied, her gaze settled on the two women. Santana kept her distance as the two of them began to talk, her arms crossed over her chest and Quinn could see it could get rather ugly so she urged Rachel along again. "Come on."
Quinn escorted a still shaken Rachel into her house and closed and locked the front door.
"Rachel, is that you, honey?" Leroy called from the kitchen.
"It's me, Dad," she called back.
"Come on, sweetie," Quinn urged gently, pulling Rachel into the kitchen slowly.
Leroy grinned when he heard the girls enter the kitchen. He had a small radio playing in the background, a wooden spoon in one hand and an apron on that read 'kiss the chef'. "Hi, girls. How was school? What's wrong?" he asked suddenly when he realized Rachel was not acting like herself.
Quinn frowned. "The guy who has been bullying our friend Kurt went after Rachel today."
"What?" Leroy's entire demeanor changed in that instant. He was suddenly still and the energy in the room darkened. "Tell me exactly what happened." He shucked his spoon and apron, snapping the radio off in an instant. He guided Rachel to a chair around the table and sat down next to her.
Rachel shook her head. "It was really nothing. He just doesn't understand why Quinn and Santana have been looking out for me at school. He was just trying to scare me."
"He's just pissed he can't pick on you anymore," Quinn sighed, her eyes narrowing as she thought of the many ways to torture a teenage boy. She ran a gentle hand over Rachel's hair.
"Rachel," Leroy started, waiting until chocolate eyes met his. "Do I need to go see your Principal?"
Rachel shook her head. "No, Dad. Like Quinn said, she and Santana have taken away one of his prime targets for slushies and name-calling. He's mad that he can't get away with it anymore and wanted to scare me." She suddenly smiled. "Santana gave him a taste of his own medicine though."
"Did she hurt him?" Leroy asked, torn between not wanting harm to come to anyone, but knowing the boy was picking on his daughter.
"No," Quinn answered. "But she will if he doesn't leave Rachel alone."
Leroy studied her for a moment and smiled. "I don't know why or what it is about you two girls, but I feel so much better knowing you have Rachel's back at school."
"We do," Quinn agreed.
"Hello!" a voice rang out from the front door. A moment later Hiram appeared in the kitchen. "Look who I found outside."
Rachel and Quinn had been expecting Santana. Needless to say they were shocked when Finn appeared behind Rachel's father. Their faces darkened and Leroy noticed immediately, but Hiram seemed blissfully unaware of it as he ushered the boy into the room.
"Hi," Finn greeted awkwardly with a wave.
"What are you doing here, Finn?" Rachel questioned darkly.
He shrugged. "I haven't seen your dads lately so I wanted to stop by." He shot Quinn what she thought was a haughty smile and it made her blood boil.
"Well, thank you for stopping by," Rachel mumbled with a grin. "But as you can see we're about to have dinner so we'll see you tomorrow."
Then it was Quinn's turn to smile triumphantly in Finn's direction.
"Oh come on, Rach," Finn coaxed, the sugar that was coating his voice made Quinn's stomach turn. "You know I missed your Dad's cooking. It's been forever. You really want to kick me out?"
"If she can't, I'm capable," Quinn practically growled as she stepped forward.
The doorbell cut through the tension and Rachel brushed by Finn on her way to the door. She pulled it open to find Santana on the other side. She frowned when she noticed the other girl's red-rimmed eyes and red nose, proof that she'd been crying.
"Are you alright?" Rachel asked softly, reaching out to pull Santana into her arms. She felt Santana nod against her shoulder and she squeezed the Latina tightly before pulling back, her hands remaining on the other girl's shoulders to keep her close. "I want to hear everything, but you should know that Finn is here and he's brown nosing my fathers into staying for dinner."
Santana let out a rather defeated sigh, her eyes tearing up again slightly. She bit her lip and shook her head. Her cheeks puffed out as she exhaled a deep breath, pressing the heels of her hands into her cheeks below her eyes. "Maybe I should go."
"Please stay," Rachel requested softly, reaching a hand out to grasp Santana's. "I really need you and Quinn here for this. And something tells me you need us just as close."
Santana nodded, a strange sensation washing over her when she realized that someone really, truly knew her. "Okay."
Rachel leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Santana's cheek. "Thank you. I owe you."
At that Santana smirked. "I'll keep that in mind, baby girl."
Rachel smiled as well and pulled her towards the kitchen. The tension in the room suddenly increased as Santana glared at Finn, who glared at Quinn, who glared right back at him.
"Frankenteen," Santana greeted coldly.
His eyes narrowed. "Satan," he replied, his tone just as icy.
"Won't this be nice," Hiram mumbled as he exchanged a look with Leroy across the kitchen.
The six of them sat around the table silently. It was a very uncomfortable silence and it made Rachel squirm in her seat. Quinn caught Santana's eye across the table. "Say something," the blonde mouthed silently to her.
Santana shook her head subtly. "You say something," she mouthed back. When Hiram's eyes landed on her she gave him a wide, tense smile, which was sort of returned. He certainly hadn't warmed to her any.
"So, Quinn, you're head cheerleader?" Hiram asked. He had actually grown rather fond of the blonde girl.
Quinn nodded, a small smile quirking her lips when Santana rolled her eyes. "When Coach put me back on the squad she made me captain again."
"Yeah because Santana got a boob job," Finn sneered across the table.
"Finn!" Quinn exclaimed, shocked that he would say something like that at the dinner table.
"What?" he replied, venom coloring the tone of his voice. "It's true."
Santana opened her mouth to retort, but she remembered where she was so she settled for glaring at his smug smile across the table.
"Finn, it's very rude for you to divulge personal information about Santana in mixed company," Rachel pointed out with a glare of her own.
"Rach, your dad is sitting right there," Finn pointed out, thinking Rachel had been talking about her fathers' differing races.
Santana snorted, unable to help the giggle that escaped her lips when she caught Quinn's look across the table, causing Finn to glance around and realize he'd once again missed the joke.
"So," Leroy piped up, wondering why they had invited the teenage boy who was suddenly making the air at the table so tense. "Santana, Rachel told me you're one of the best dancers in glee club. Have you been taking lessons or was it something you just picked up?"
Santana blushed under the scrutiny of the table and she shrugged. "My best friend, Brittany is the real dancer. I've known her all my life so she's always taught me everything she knew. I guess I'm just a quick study."
"Best friend?" Finn sneered. "Is that what you call someone you have 'benefits' with?"
Santana rolled her eyes. "Please suppress the urge to act like a twelve year old girl, Finnocence, with the air quotes you just used."
Leroy smirked at her comeback, hiding it when Hiram shot a worried look his way.
"You need to suppress the urge to act like a total bitch," Finn shot back.
There was a second of silence before three people shot to their feet, each of them talking over the other.
"Finn!" That was Quinn. She looked rather disgusted with him.
"I don't know who you think you are, but you do not speak to women like that! Not in this house!" That was Leroy.
"That's it! Get out!" That was Rachel.
"What?" Finn questioned, looking rather intimidated for the first time since stepping foot in the house.
"Alright, let's all take a breath," Hiram requested. "Finn, I know you didn't mean that."
"Actually I did," Finn told them all, standing. "Quinn and Santana are manipulators and somehow they have Rachel, like, under their spell or whatever. They don't deserve her!"
"Finn, I think it's time for you to leave," Leroy suggested softly.
"But, Mr. Berry-,"
"You need to do some growing," Leroy told him. "And you really need to accept the fact that Rachel is friends with Santana and Quinn now. And if you ever use the B word to describe a woman again you won't be welcome in our home anymore."
Finn glanced around the table and saw every person at the table watching him with varying levels of disdain and he stood up slowly with a nod. "I'll leave."
Leroy slid an arm around his shoulders and escorted him to the door, talking quietly to him the entire way. When he returned he clapped his hands together once. "Anyone for dessert?"
The girls seemed to snap out of it and they all smiled awkwardly.
An hour later the three girls were entering Rachel's room. Santana immediately flopped down on her back on the bed, shooting a smirk in Quinn's direction as the blonde took a seat at Rachel's desk. Rachel slid up on the end of the bed so she was situated quite literally between the two girls in her room.
"Think we can win Nationals without Finn?" Santana pondered quietly from her spot on the bed where she most certainly wasn't turning her head to the side to inhale the essence of Rachel suddenly overwhelming her from the pillow beneath her head.
"No," Rachel answered as Quinn said, "Yes."
Santana smirked. "We could find a twelfth easy. Besides I think Wheels and Puckerman can sing just as well as the meathead can, if not better."
Rachel shook her head. "When I scared Sunshine away I gave Vocal Adrenaline another piece of ammunition that they most certainly don't need. We need every ounce of talent we can get. Someone simply swaying in the background will not help us in any way."
"Okay, set Nationals aside for a minute and focus on what else we would gain if Finn wasn't in the group anymore," Quinn suggested. "We could be ourselves. We can hug each other and kiss each other and hold hands and not hide who we are and how we feel."
"Two for the blonde," Santana agreed in her own way.
"That's two more than you have," Quinn teased back with a playful smirk.
"You wish," Santana answered with a smirk of her own.
Rachel sat pensively for a moment before shaking her head. "I think we should put a pin in this discussion for now. It makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it."
Santana poked Rachel's thigh with her toe until those mocha eyes met hers. "I get it, baby girl, but we can't hide this from him forever."
"Two for her," Quinn agreed with a nod of her head in Santana's direction.
Rachel nodded finally. "You're right. Both of you. But can we wait to tell him until after Regionals?"
Santana and Quinn exchanged a glance and both gave a short nod of acquiescence.
"Fine," Santana agreed. "We win and give him the news. Then he either mans up or gets the hell out before Nationals."
"It's only a few more weeks," Quinn replied with another nod. "Though if tonight is any indication of what we're in for it won't really matter how much time he has to get used to it." Her cell phone suddenly chirped in her lap and she glanced down to read a quick text from her mother. "Mom's home for a few days. She wants me home." She glanced up at Rachel and smiled lovingly. "Can I take you out Friday night?"
Rachel beamed and nodded, her eyes following every one of the blonde's movements as she stood and gathered her things. "Of course."
Quinn grinned and leaned over to drop a quick kiss to the diva's lips, ignoring the dramatic sigh coming from her best friend. She gazed at Rachel tenderly as she pulled back and cupped her face with one hand. "Night, sweetie. I'll call you later."
"Night," Rachel answered with a bashful smile.
Quinn passed Santana and dropped a kiss to the top of her head. "Call me later?"
Santana agreed with a nod. "Later."
Quinn gave her a quick, but pointed look and smiled at them both once more before heading out of the bedroom.
Rachel was silent for a moment as she listened to the sounds of Quinn saying goodbye to her fathers and when the front door shut she stood from the bed and went to the door, closing it all but a crack. She then made her way to the bed and crawled up its length so she was settled next to Santana.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Rachel asked softly, thinking back to that sad face that greeted her when she opened the door earlier.
Santana shook her head, a sigh dropping from her lips. "Not yet."
Rachel nodded. "You know I'm here."
Santana smiled when the diva suddenly squirmed her way into her arms and she sighed contently as her arms wrapped around the slim frame next to her, loving the way the other girl's arms slipped around her as well. "You okay?"
Rachel nodded against her chest. "Thank you for saving me today."
"I could kill him for that today," Santana mumbled against Rachel's forehead as one hand began idly stroking over her hair. Her jaw clenched when she remembered the look in Rachel's eye when she'd walked into the choir room.
Even when Rachel had been tormented in the worst of ways her eyes never betrayed her. Her resolve refused to let those people see her shaken. Her eyes earlier that day had been swimming with pure fear and it had shaken Santana to her core.
"I think you scared him," Rachel pointed out softly, the tips of her fingers trailing an imaginary pattern on the inside of the taller girl's wrist. "Plus you hurt him. I think he'll keep his distance." The two were quiet for a moment and it was enough for them to hear a light rain falling outside. It was a strange sensation but Rachel swore she felt the body next to hers soften at the sound. "You like the rain."
"I love it," Santana breathed, rolling her eyes at how stupid she was sounding. "Lame I know."
Rachel shook her head as she pulled away a little to gaze up at the other girl, a smile quirking her lips instantly. "It's not. I promise." She was quiet for another long stretch of moments. "So now that we're alone…"
"Mmm," Santana purred suggestively, squeezing the diva a little.
Rachel laughed unabashed at that. "I'm being serious here."
"Me too," Santana mumbled. "Cause, baby, you are a certified hottie and I wants to get all up on that." She winked to let Rachel know she was kidding…mostly.
Rachel felt a strange pull deep in her belly when the word 'baby' reached her ears and she pulled herself up onto her elbow so she could gaze at the other girl. "Not tonight."
One perfectly manicured eyebrow rose in question at that. "Does that mean you'd consider it sometime in the future?"
Rachel smiled, a shrug causing one shoulder to rise up as a blush rose in the diva's cheeks. "I always told Finn I was waiting until I was twenty-five. But part of me feels like I was putting up that barrier because I never felt completely comfortable with him."
After Santana's brain connected the dots she spoke. "Does that mean you feel comfortable with me?"
Rachel stared down at her for a second, a tender sort of smile on her lips. "I know that I can trust you." Her voice was suddenly soft and it washed over Santana, making her stomach twist with an unusual sense of anticipation. "I know that you wouldn't hurt me. Not anymore. And after what happened today I feel safer with you than I've ever felt with anyone."
Santana felt her throat tighten and tears sting the backs of her eyes so she leaned forward, her eyes closing and she pressed her lips to Rachel's in the sweetest, most tender kiss she could muster. She wasn't sure what had come over her in that instant but when she pulled away she knew she had gotten it right. Rachel was staring at her with a mix of awe and sweetness and she could see how much the diva cared about her in that moment and if she'd been standing it would have made her knees weak.
Santana opened her mouth to speak but no sounds came out and she wasn't sure what was coming over her.
Rachel set expectant eyes on her and her gaze softened significantly when she realized the other girl couldn't really find the words. "Are you alright?"
"You…" Santana trailed off when she heard how thick her voice had become with the tears that were threatening. "You mean more to me than I think you'll ever know. More than I could ever say."
Rachel leaned forward to press her lips to Santana's and it was a kiss unlike any other they'd shared. It was as if they both realized how much they cared for one another and they were making a decision to move forward with the knowledge that they both had very real feelings involved.
And for the first time in her life Santana felt connected to another person.
A.N. I hope you enjoyed this little section of this story 'o mine. Up next we should see some Puck/San bonding and perhaps a Rach/Quinn date and San coming out to her father. Plus we should get some insight into S's mom and her little visit. Anyways, stay tuned!
Thanks again for reading!