She threw open the mahogany wardrobe, throwing hangers of clothes to the ground and letting them clutter the carpeted floor. She picked up jackets and rifled through pockets, letting out a frustrated sigh when she came up empty. The brunette walked over to her vanity mirror and began sorting through the makeup that lay on the dresser, picking up bottles of moisturiser and foundation and flicking her gaze over every inch of the shiny surface.
It was no use.
For the life of Rachel she had no idea where it had gone. She'd been searching for it for days now but the more time went on the more worried she got that she would never find it. She'd stupidly taken it off a few weeks ago to rehearse a partial nude scene for her play, but when she returned it was gone.
She was about to get up from her stool when there was a soft rap on the closed dressing room door before she was met with those eyes. Those eyes were meant to calm her, ground her, but they seemed to just make the panic that was claiming her body even worse.
"Hey," Santana greeted from behind black-rimmed glasses.
She'd begun wearing them permanently a few years back, claiming that it helped her with her image as an up and coming songwriter; Rachel just thought it made her look sexy.
"What's with the Diva meltdown?" she asked as she leant against the door once she closed it behind her, shutting out the noise from her cast mates and crew rushing past her room. Rachel watched her survey the destruction with an amused look on her face. Trust her to find this situation funny. She contemplated lying to her for a moment but thought better of it, figuring she'd find out eventually.
"I can't find your ring. Well, your ring that you gave to me, so technically it's mine," she rambled off. "Point is I can't find it."
Rachel turned away from her and continued to search for the piece of jewellery to no avail. She retraced her steps and combed back over the places she had already looked. She ringed her hands on her sky blue sundress but made sure to flatten out the creases; Tanya, her costume designer would kill her if she got it crinkled before curtain.
"When did you last see it?"
"I don't know, a couple of weeks ago I guess," she huffed, getting down on her knees to look under the couch that sat in the corner. "I stupidly left it here during rehearsals and now I don't know where it is and I have to be on in a few minutes. You know I can't go on without it."
She got up and paced back to the mirror, taking a seat to begin another search through her various toiletries that lined the long bench.
"Wait, you mean you lost my mother's ring?" Santana exclaimed, seeming to have finally grasped the situation and how not funny it really was.
"Yes," she replied curtly while she rifled through her jewellery box that sat on the table.
"The one I gave you when we were sixteen?"
"Yes, okay," Rachel sighed. "Don't make me feel even worse than I already do-"
She meet Santana gaze in the reflection, her eyes flicking down to her hand holding out the small band between her index finger and thumb, a smirk gracing her lips. Rachel swung around on the chair to stare at her with wide eyes.
"You mean this ring?"
"How did you..." she trailed off.
Because it was then that Rachel noticed the small diamonds that now incrusted the once plain band. Tiny white stones lined the black metal that wove in with the silver. She looked up into her girlfriend's eyes, completely confused when she coolly dropped to one knee before her. Rachel's heart beat right out of her chest at the sight, her head instantly shaking from left to right until she finally found her voice.
"Oh no, no, no, no," she stammered, standing up from the small bench. "Come on, get up, this isn't funny. And how dare you make me feel like shit for losing it, asshole."
"You're really going to call me an asshole while I'm trying to propose?"
"No, you are not proposing," she told her, shaking her head profusely. "Not when I'm about to go on stage, my first Broadway stage, in a few minutes. Do you know how screwed up that is?"
How dare she spring something like this on her moments before she was due to perform in front of a sold out crowd; she couldn't believe her ears right now.
"You do know who you're talking to, right?" Santana deadpanned.
"Yeah, you're the girl that got me arrested," Rachel spat. "And the one I had to spend the night in jail with while my parents bailed us out. I didn't get into Juilliard because of you."
"You never applied," she exclaimed in exasperation. "After you found out they didn't have a musical theatre department you went somewhere else. Why do you always have to bring that up?"
"We broke up at that night!"
"For twenty minutes!"
It was true. That night while they were waiting in a holding cell at the downtown police department for Leroy to make a few calls, she swore she'd never let the girl drag her into situations like this anymore. They'd argued like they always did before Rachel finally called it quits. It wasn't exactly the best laid plan considering she was stuck in a cell with her and once Santana finally got her to meet her eye it was all over. It was safe to say Rachel checked quite a few off her 'I Never' list that night.
"We can break up if you want and I can just ask you again in twenty minutes?"
"We can't, I have to be on in ten."
Santana fought off a chuckle that was bubbling behind her lips. It was always a problem for the pair; Rachel would get riled up over something and Santana would fight off laughter. It only infuriated her further which eventually turned into them having make-up sex. A part of her always wondered if the darker girl did it on purpose just to reach the inevitable outcome.
"Why would you want to marry me anyway?" Rachel asked. "We bicker constantly. We almost never agree on anything. I mean we're arguing while you're trying to propose to me."
"Because that's how we work Rach," Santana said, still kneeled down before her. "Because you tell me when I'm being an asshole and I tell you when you're over thinking things, like you are right now. It's how it's worked for the past six years. And now I'm here on one knee asking you, begging you to do just that for the next sixty." She held the ring out in front of her, her eyes pleading. "And because I'd rather fight with you than make love to anyone else."
"No, you are not allowed to quote lesbian film at me right now."
"For once that one was hetreo," Santana teased. "See, you need me."
"What I need is for you to get up," Rachel ushered, pulling her to her feet.
"Can you just stop being you for a second and just say yes?" Santana huffed. "It's the only way you're getting this ring back."
"Really?" Rachel berated in disbelief. "You're going to blackmail me in to being your wife?"
Santana stared back at her adoringly, taking a step closer to her. Rachel faltered under her intense gaze, her mind going blank and her irritation draining like it always did when those eyes turned on her. That was something that hadn't changed in their six years together. The irrational hold Santana had on her and her ability to make all else fade in comparison.
"Say it again."
She couldn't hold back the smile that stretched across her lips at the sound of that word floating from them. Santana stepped into her and held her left hand in hers, slowly slipping the black and silver ring on to her finger. She brought the pads of her fingertips up to her mouth and brushed them across her lips while keeping her eyes on Rachel.
"I'm totally going to regret this one day, aren't I?"
"Yeah," she nodded. "But then I'll just kiss you and you'll forget why."
Santana brought her hand up and brushed a loose curl behind Rachel's ear affectionately. She leaned down, getting an inch from her lips before Rachel spoke.
"You're still an asshole."
"You love it."
"Yeah," she breathed. "I do."
And that's the way I loved you...