I just...had this mad plan, this mad idea...
"Courage...is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what."
- Harper Lee, writer
Rachel didn't exactly know when this entire thing started.
It had probably built up over time; every single one of Finn's rejections had created this monster inside of her.
It tugged at her insides and sent this acidic feeling down her throat; every time she smiled at someone or talked to them it was painfully present. And after every time she walked away from that person, her entire body would tense like a coil and that smile would completely drop. The feelings of rage continued to get stronger every single day. Hadn't she done enough already? Every time Quinn was being her usually bitchy self, which was all the time, he would run to Rachel. And what would she do? Comfort him. It was a straining cycle that was sending her over the edge. And Quinn was being her normal self; bitchy, woe is me, I'm the one who should complain and not the boys, and pregnant. At first, Rachel felt pity for the Christian girl. She had been completely intoxicated when her virginity was taken; her biggest value, even though Finn was teased for it.
But as her offers for friendship were continuously shot down again and again, and Finn's frustrations seemed to lead him to Rachel, that pity turned completely into a strong, monstrous anger. Her own jealousy poked and prodded at her, and she really thought of the situation Quinn was in as her own damn fault. The girl knew better than to invite Puck over with alcohol.
But no, that's not the way Finn saw it.
"She lied to you Finn," spat Rachel, tears in her eyes. "And you're, excuse my language, fucking going to let her get away with it!"
The tall boy paced like a caged animal. "No-no I'm not."
In the end he had gotten into physical blows with Puck and had yelled at Quinn. But by the next day it was over. Well, it wasn't, but people had pushed it aside as if it were the plague. Everyone on the damn team was as selfish as the next. They had wanted to go and win Sectionals, so of course they had not planned to tell Finn. And Rachel was tired of the lying and wanted him, so of course she did tell Finn. And in the end everyone won but Rachel.
And perhaps Puck, she thought.
All she could do from then on was shake her head angrily at the still joined couple. Finn would avoid Rachel's eyes and hold Quinn possessively to himself, as if it were washing away her indiscretions. And he would glare at Puck a good portion of the time, holding Quinn even more possessively, if possible. And Quinn would hold her stomach and look at Finn with an extremely grateful look. Rachel was pretty sure the rest of New Directions were just as shocked as her; the subject being that Finn didn't leave Quinn.
But even after winning Sectionals, things seemed to get worse. Puck went back to his normal asshole self, which included the dumpster trips and the slushies. But oddly enough, he never came near Rachel with one. For once he seemed to actually relate to someone, because whenever he looked at Finn and Quinn, he would look to Rachel straight afterwards; he apparently needed the reassurance that someone could match his anger and resentment and sadness. And when it came to that, she certainly could.
But while Puck went down his old route, Rachel had taken a new one.
Revenge had never been her forte, but she willingly admitted that manipulation certainly was.
"And why the hell would I want to sleep with the Ogre?"
"Because you have certainly no qualms with sleeping with everyone else."
"And what makes you think I won't punch you in your fucking face, Berry?"
"Go right ahead. But you would be lying if you said you had no hard feelings against Quinn."
Santana's numerous attempts at seducing Finn were completely worthless. It had completely suprised Rachel, because although the boy was devoted to Quinn, she didn't think even he could resist an open invitation from Santana Lopez. There had been an aroused look in his eye when the latina kept flirting with him; rather explicit to the point that even Puck would be appreciative. And he had looked strained when he had denied the girl's offer. So that just proved to Rachel that his devotion to Quinn only went so far. But it still had not gone over well with Santana.
"I-I still can't believe he rejected you."
"Do you bring this up just to piss me off, Grendal?"
"I didn't realize that you were still sensitive about the subject."
"Your face is about to be sensitive after I beat the living shit out of it."
"Really Santana, your allusions to violence probably need to be further examined."
"It would be a better upgrade from what you look like now."
Rachel and Santana were not friends by any means. Hell, they practically hated each other. But you know what they say: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And Quinn was certainly the enemy to both parties. But lately, Rachel was confused as to who was her biggest enemy in the picture. At first it had been Quinn, but now it felt like everyone was Rachel's enemy. This massive set of confusion and Santana's own manipulation and lies would spin them all into a game that would permanently damage them all forever.
Of course, they hadn't known that at the time. They hadn't known this when they had devised the plan of what they thought was perfection. Of course, there had been a few flaws in the plan at first...
"I am not sleeping with Puck to get back at Quinn!"
"Who said Quinn, Man-Hands?"
Of course, Rachel had thrown that idea out of the window as quickly as it was suggested. Plus, Santana still had that weird claim over Puck that made her mad at Quinn in the first place for sleeping with him. And not only that, but the way Santana was suggesting things, it made the lines of who was getting back at who blur even more. In fact, she was pretty sure she was caught in a twisted game that she wasn't even in control of anymore. And sometimes that revenge feeling she felt at the beginning began to fade away to bitterness, but then Santana would worm her way back in and it would return to pure anger.
Sometimes she believed herself as a catalyst for Santana's anger, and vice versa.
But then they had come up with a plan that Rachel was suprised she even agreed to. Sure, she wanted to get back at Quinn, but she didn't think she had the courage to take that dangerous step and seduce Finn herself. In fact, she had been purely skeptical at first as to if it would even work. Because in someway, the boy has always wanted her. That was a given. She knew Quinn's pregnancy was the only thing holding the boy back from actively pursuing her. And Santana had seemed to want to exploit this weakness of his to the fullest.
Of course, it hadn't gone to plan.
"I-I'm sorry," muttered Finn, nervously. He pushed her away gently. "I-I can't do this."
She felt genuine tears spring to her eyes. "Why don't you want me, Finn?"
He ran his hands through his hair roughly. He seemed to be a walking bomb as he cursed colorfully, walking around his bedroom as it it were a cage. His eyes glanced around wildly, not even taken her into account. His hands seem to tremble with the effort of holding something back.
"It's not that I don't want you, Rachel," whispered Finn. "I just know I'm not the only one. And I cant do this to them."
Confusion and hurt had gone off in Rachel's mind like a siren.
Even Santana had seemed confused by Finn's rejection of her. After that, the latina herself had become hopeless at devising a proper plan of revenge. And Rachel couldn't really blame her. That is, until Santana had a conversation with Brittany. At first, she thought nothing of it. The two cheerleaders had always been exceedingly close, so it wasn't uncommon to see them whispering rather privately to each other. But then Brittany must have said something to trigger the latina, because at first the dark-skinned girl's jaw dropped in complete shock. She seemed to glance over at Rachel with a wicked gleam in her eye, the wickedest she had ever seen from the girl, before turning back to Brittany and whispering something. Brittany seemed to be quite against whatever Santana had been whispering.
And now Rachel bitterly recalled why. But at the time, she had been supremely curious as to what was going on. And when the plan was hatched, she had been reluctant and nervous. Very nervous. Santana had refused to tell her what information Brittany had shared with her, but she said it was enough to make this entire plan work. And the pure mischief that gleamed in the latina's eyes should have been a warning sign to the little diva.
"Okay tranny, we're gonna start a little rumor," smirked Santana, her eyes glinting with hidden viciousness.
Rachel was apprehensive. "What kind of rumor?"
"A sex rumor."
Now Rachel was supremely suspicious. "A sex rumor between who?"
The look on Santana's face should have alerted her to the answer. "You and me."
At first, Rachel had outright refused. First off, she was pretty sure she wasn't into girls. Second, would anybody really even believe that rumor? But then again, as Rachel started to think about it, they probably would if it were believable enough. Santana certainly was known for her sexual adventures with half of the male population at McKinley. And she was even more known for her sexual adventures with Brittany. So if Rachel could act the part, which she had no doubts that she could, she knew it could be believable. So Rachel had agreed to Santana's idea with an odd case of nervousness. Santana had looked positively alight with mischeviousness and something she couldn't quite place.
And after Rachel had agreed to the plan, they actually began planning. It would start off with a subtleness; very slight flirting and touching. And then it would go stronger each day. And then they would start the rumor the next day at the highschool, and would give a slight presentation in the hallway to make it seem true. That's what they planned and that's what they did.
But the reaction was entirely expected...
Santana had strutted up to Rachel's locker, leaning up against it with her signature smirk in place. She gave a slight nod at Rachel's questioning glance. Rachel released a breath as she noticed the entire hallway observing the interaction of the two with almost wonderous expressions on their faces. She cleared her throat nervously and put her books in her locker.
But she gasped when a hand on her arm whirled her around.
Santana was looking at her with dark eyes; Rachel had never seen anything like the current expression on the girl's face. It was quite odd.
She glanced over the girl's shoulder to see Quinn and Finn at their lockers. Finn had a tight grip on Quinn's arm and Quinn looked as tense as a coil.
But her attention was brought back to Santana when she heard a low growl come from the girl. Rachel could only freeze in confusion when the latina glanced over her shoulder, looking where Rachel had previously been looking. Rachel frowned and followed Santana's line of sight to Quinn and Finn. But when Santana whirled around to face Rachel again, and noticed where the girl's gaze was directed, the latina seemed angry. Santana growled again, grabbing Rachel by the waist and pulling her closer. The little diva squeaked in suprise when Santana pressed her soft lips against her own.
After that, all of it was a blur of massive confusion.
Whispers and catcalls broke out.
As well as a few exclamations of disgust.
Santana's lips became more forceful on Rachel's own, but all Rachel could do was stand there limply in considerable shock.
She heard a locker slam shut with so much force it almost shook the entire hallway.
And then Santana was forcefully pulled back from her. The latina stumbled and scowled angrily, glancing up at Finn who was grasping her arm, looking quite angry himself.
"I would back the hell off, Frankenteen," spat Santana, looking positively venomous.
Finn didn't heed the girl's warning, instead grasping her even tighter. His eyes were fiery and his face was hard-set. He looked over at the small brunette against the lockers, who still looked completely confused as to what was going on, before he turned his attention back on Santana. He released her arm roughly, but he didn't distance himself from her.
"Did you know?" That was all the boy asked.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Andre the Giant," scoffed the latina, crossing her arms and smirking.
He grasped her arms once more. "Did you know?" He enunciated each word.
Santana continued to look nonchalant. "Maybe."
Rachel had no clue what the hell was going on. She was so confused about everything. It seemed as if the games were all adding up to something, but she couldn't understand what. And then Santana was acting weird on top of that. She thought the girl could barely tolerate her, but then she had kissed her more passionately than the small brunette would have thought possible. And she thought she had imagined the tightening of Santana's arms around her waist, and the slight possessive hold that the girl had suddenly sprung up on her along with with the kiss.
But now Finn was staring at the latina with daggers in his eyes.
"You are her friend. W-why would you do this?"
Santana sounded annoyed. "I'm just doing what she did to me."
Rachel was so lost in her confusion.
"Please," spat Finn. "The situation is completely different and you know it is!"
"It's not my fault that Fabray covers-up her problems!" Santana seemed to emphasize the word cover-up.
Finn was completely red in the face, and he looked about ready to hit the fiesty girl. Instead he took labored breaths and slowly began to back away, shaking his head at Santana. The latina just stared at the boy who was backing away from her, looking daring and oddly satisfied. But then they both turned to the girl frozen against the lockers, who had been watching their interaction with fear and mounting confusion. Rachel gulped when Finn gazed at her intensely, his gaze seemed to be begging her to understand something. But when she could only return it with a blank stare, he shook his head in defeat and hurried away in a fast pace.
Santana seemed to lose her tension as the tall boy walked away. Her arms uncrossed and her shoulders loosened. She glanced at Rachel with an unscrutible expression, walking slowly towards her. She stopped in front of her, and that odd gaze only continued.
"What was that about?" Rachel finally found her voice.
"It was nothing, Rachel," murmured Santana, her voice oddly subdued and tinged with something.
And it had taken a week for Rachel to figure it out.
Maybe continue? I dunno.