AN: Hey guys! Sorry it's been so long, ugh, you can blame stress and real life for that b/c believe me I would rather be writing all day then going to school. Anyway, this chapter is just fluffy and fun again (with lots from the twins!), and once again due to length I had to split it up so the next chapters will be a reasonable length as well. But, that just means more, right! :) Thanks for all the alerts, favorites, and reviews...I still can't believe so many people keep putting this story on alert, it's crazy! Now, on with the chapter, you've been waiting long enough!
Chapter 23 – Dressing Room Drama
"Fuck…I taught you well, Rach," Santana whispered up to the ceiling, grinding her hips and gripping at the head of dark hair situated between her thighs. "You're so good…I'm close, I'm gon –"
"Get up! Get up! We're gonna go shopping!"
"Get off me!" Santana was shrieking while flailing and trying to get her pillows and blankets back up over her head. The twins were struggling just as hard, trying to perform the exact opposite.
"Papi said get up or else he's gonna leave you here and pick out your dress himself!" Noelia teased, punching her fist into the pillow that she knew her sister's head was underneath.
Isabel found a stray lock of hair that hadn't been concealed and began yanking it repeatedly. "He said it and he meant it!"
"Ow, that's attached to me!" Santana yelled and wrestled a hand out from under the comforter to shove at whatever small body she could find without actually looking. "Go away, damnit!" she croaked, burrowing her face further into the darkness of the sheets. "I'm tryna get my dream mack on…"
"Santana!" a voice called from somewhere further away, a deeper voice that she was more apt to listen to. "I'm prepared to let you spend my money today and all you want to do is sleep?"
At that, the beginning of a smirk quirked Santana's lips and she called back to her father, "How much money?"
"Just get up, girl…Rachel may or may not be downstairs waiting for you…"
"I'm up," Santana said quickly, sitting up and pushing her chaotic hair out of her face.
"Papi, turn up the radio!" Isabel shouted from Santana's right, followed by the demand of, "No! Change the channel," from her left.
"How about everyone shut up," Santana blandly suggested as she let her head fall back against the headrest of the back seat. She was attempting to fall asleep during the drive to the mall, hoping that she could pick up where her previous dream had left off. Or maybe not – having a wet dream in the car during their little family outing probably wouldn't make for the most comfortable situation.
"Santana," Rachel prompted, turning around from the front passenger seat with a smile that was annoyingly bright that morning. "I must ask what has you so on edge today. We're going to meet our friends to go dress shopping, aren't you even a little excited? I am!"
Pulling the hood of the sloppy Cheerios sweatshirt that she had chosen to wear down over her eyes, Santana mumbled back, "No, not excited at all. I'm tired and I just want to get back in my bed and get my cuddle on and shut out the rest of society." She attempted to stretch her legs out, but they only went so far before running into the middle console, irking her even more. "And now I have to sit back here in the middle and just ugh! No me gusta!" she snarled as she kicked at the console and flopped helplessly against the seat.
"What are you PMS-ing or something?" Andres laughed, knowing full well that the comment would cause even more drama.
"Shut up, papi!"
"Actually, she is," Rachel announced much to her girlfriend's dismay. Andres tensed awkwardly and pretended to focus on driving while the twins listened intently, waiting for further explanation. "I have these types of important events marked on our relationship calendar."
"Relationship calendar?" Andres echoed to himself in confusion. Since when did those come into fashion?
"Rachel, you shut up too!" Santana demanded, making the other girl turn to her with a fierce glare. "You're all pissing me off, so just shut up and don't talk to me!"
"Santana Alejandra, watch your language," Andres warned.
"That was decidedly rude and uncalled for," Rachel began to lecture, twisting even further around to look at Santana. "This is supposed to be a lovely afternoon of shopping for the biggest day of our high school lives and if you continue to let your attitude get the better of you, I'll –"
"You'll what?" the Latina shouted, suddenly sitting forward and waving her arms crazily. "You're not my mom, so stop acting like it and come at me if you have a problem!"
The twins' heads were swiveling back and forth between the two older girls and their father, waiting to see who would get in the next word. But it was Noelia who couldn't hold back anymore and blurted, "Fight!"
Everyone suddenly lurched forward as the brakes were stepped on and Andres whipped his car to the shoulder of the road, slamming the steering wheel with his hand in the process. "Alright, ladies, this is what's going to happen," he informed in a hot tone. "Twins, you two need to stay out of this. Rachel, no more talking about bodily functions and as for you, Santana, I just really don't want to hear your voice until we get out of this car!"
Rachel was already sitting back in her seat and facing forward with her arms crossed over her chest. Her bottom lip was bitten between her teeth to keep it from trembling and she hadn't planned on speaking anymore anyway. Not after Santana had screamed at her like a lunatic and basically threatened her to a fight like she was one of the nobodies who insulted her ego at school.
"Is that understood?" Andres asked as he used the rearview mirror to look back at his oldest daughter. The twins had been scared into silence on either side of her.
Feeling stupid for getting yelled at, Santana yanked her hood over her face again and put her head back. But not only did she feel stupid, she also felt bad. She didn't know why she said what she had but now more than ever she just wanted to curl up in bed alone. Unfortunately though, that wasn't an option and instead she was going to have to force a good mood to go try on tacky prom dresses. "Yeah, whatever…"
The response wasn't going to get any better than that and Andres gave her one more glance before continuing to drive. But in typical fashion, it wasn't long until the silence he had created was broken by one of the twins, Isabel to be exact.
"No one told us what PMS is…"
Rachel made her way through the mall with Isabel's hand in hers, and Andres and Noelia beside them. The eyes on her back were making her conscious of her every movement and she walked with a more clipped gate than what was usual. "What's she doing back there? Can you tell?"
In the most inconspicuous way possible, Andres turned his head over his shoulder to slyly observe his eldest daughter. Her hood was still pulled over her head as she lamely studied a display for some seen-on-TV product in the center of the walkway and she likened some type of criminal. "I'd say pouting and moping if I had to give it a label," he reported back.
Rachel winced and wanted nothing more than to go comfort Santana for whatever was wrong, but she just didn't know how it would be received. As slangy and Santana-esque as the outburst in the car had been, it still hurt to know that it was meant for her. Nothing like that had happened since before they started dating.
"Hey, Rachel," Isabel said softly, looking up and changing the adjustment of their hands. "I have an idea."
"What's that, Is?" Rachel asked as she directed a smile down to the little girl.
"I could be your girlfriend since San is being mean…"
The innocent suggestion made Rachel laugh for the first time that day and she squeezed Isabel's hand encouragingly. "Thank you, Isabel, I think you're a very upstanding young lady but don't you think I'm a bit too old for you? I think you could get someone more suitable than me."
Making a face, Isabel turned to her father who had been listening to the conversation with a smirk, asking, "Papi? Do you think Rachel is too old to be my girlfriend?"
"Maybe just a little, but Rachel already has a girlfriend," Andres told her. He sent another glance over his shoulder to Santana and this time found her loitering near a bench flanked by two trashcans, still looking aggravated. "Even if she is acting somewhat crazy today."
In an action that was sure to disturb the peace, Noelia suddenly broke into a sprint heading for an unknown destination. Andres ran a hand through his hair as he tried to keep his cool but when Noelia showed no signs of stopping, it was obvious that he had no other choice but to chase after her.
"My sisters are actin' crazy today," Isabel said with a shake of her head that made Rachel want to giggle. "But I'm not crazy," she finished, her words having a certain purpose.
"Fine," Rachel eventually gave in. "I'll be your girlfriend, but just for today!"
Multiple storefronts away, Noelia was finally coming to a halt in front of the very last place she needed to be – the candy store. "Papi, can we buy all of this!" she gushed, her eyes glazing over for the colorful containers of candy like she was rabid.
Andres stopped just behind her while hoping that not too many people had just seen the race he had ran. Silently, he was also hoping that Isabel would not grow up to be gay like her older sister. Of course he would love her no matter what, but he just didn't think that he would be able to handle any more women coming into his life. Three daughters – four, with the addition of Rachel – were plenty enough.
"No, we're definitely not buying all of it…I don't think we should buy any of it actually…"
"But papi!" Noelia cried, hanging her head and staring at him with her pleading brown eyes.
Just as Noelia was about to throw a fit, Rachel and Isabel caught up to them and it was already obvious that Isabel was beginning to have the same reaction to the candy as her twin. And knowing that there was no other way to diffuse the situation, Andres pulled his wallet from his back pocket. "Alright, alright, no one needs to start crying. We'll get some candy."
Noelia went from sulking to doing a nameless, improvised dance number as she headed into the store. Isabel wasn't far behind and she let go of Rachel, who was eyeing her girlfriend's father with a smirk and thinking he was just as crazy as his daughters.
"Don't give me that look!" Andres teased as he noticed Rachel's judging eyes, almost as if he was reading her mind. "I know I'm crazy for supplying them with more energy, but at least they'll be quiet."
Rachel was just about to reply, but a hand sneaking up to grasp her elbow interrupted. "Can I talk to you for a second?" a voice from behind her asked. She already knew who it belonged to by the gentleness of the touch and the scent of perfume that had come with it.
"Of course…" she answered and then let herself be led some distance away to where the mall was mostly empty.
"I'm sorry about earlier," Santana apologized in a quiet, guilty tone as she avoided eye contact.
Rolling her own eyes, Rachel reached up to remove the hood and smooth down Santana's hair. "It's fine if you want to be emotional and moody because you're about to get your period," she said as she continued to make her girlfriend look more presentable. "But don't take it out on me just because you're upset that you won't be able to have sex next week."
"That's not why I –"
"Because I've been doing some Googling and I've decided that I'm not above getting my red wings. I'd do it for you, your blood is my blood and I actually read that –"
"Rachel, stop!" Santana demanded and brushed off the hands that were still fussing about her face and hair. "That's not why I'm emotional and moody." Rachel gave her a look of disbelief, prompting her to go on. "Fine, maybe the PMS is just adding to it and the fact that I woke up with a wettie and my sisters punching me and pulling my hair didn't help either."
Rachel sucked her lips into her mouth and bit down to avoid laughing until she could compose herself. "Adding to what?"
Santana looked away and cast her eyes to the floor. "I don't want to say, it's stupid."
With a sigh, Rachel placed her hands on her hips and cocked her head. "You might as well just tell me now because you know I'm going to bother you until you do."
"No…" Santana whined as the shorter girl reached up to poke a fingertip into her cheek. "Stop it."
"Tell me," Rachel repeated.
"I miss my mom…"
The confession made Rachel freeze up and she dropped her hand back to her side. Santana hadn't been the only one thinking about her mother recently; Shelby had been consuming a significant portion of Rachel's thoughts as of late, Mother's Day was fast approaching after all. But in the face of Santana's situation her own seemed to pale in comparison and she put on a sympathetic smile for her girlfriend instead of thinking of herself. "I'm sorry, San…"
"It's so stupid but I keep thinking about how she should be here for this and she's not." Santana pressed the heels of her palms over her eyes and sighed. "And she's not ever going to be either."
"It's not stupid," Rachel assured and pulled her further away from any passersby. Then she moved Santana's hands away from her face and ran her own over her shoulders soothingly. "But don't cry, okay? You'll ruin your makeup…oh wait, no you won't because you were too lazy to put any on this morning."
"Don't make fun of me," Santana whimpered, although it was apparent that she was trying not to laugh.
"Don't make fun of me," Rachel mocked as she took the strings of Santana's hoodie and tugged at them. "You're such a baby sometimes, you're really not that tough at all."
"I'm your baby though, remember?" Santana pointed out and then nuzzled her face into Rachel's neck like she loved to do.
"Alright, I've seen about enough already!" a sassy, obnoxious voice sounded, making Santana fix her face with a glare for whoever the voice belonged to.
"It's fine," Quinn said as she approached the couple, leading the way for Brittany and Mercedes – Mercedes being the one who had so loudly announced her distaste for the mushy display that had been happening beforehand. "At least they'll be separated today."
"Ha…ha…" Santana droned without amusement as she untangled herself from her girlfriend and crossed her arms over her chest. "How did you bitches find us anyway? We were trying to avoid the masses, you know, like have some privacy."
Mercedes rolled her eyes. "Since when have you two cared about being private?"
"Look here, Weezy, I am in no mood for you today so don't go startin' anything," Santana informed, to which Rachel responded by taking her by the arm just for good measure.
"Hello, girls," Rachel greeted in an over practiced manner. "As you can see, Santana is a bit more volatile than usual, but I'm sure it's nothing that can't be remedied by an afternoon of shopping with friends."
"You'd be surprised," Santana whispered under her breath. While Rachel, Quinn, and Mercedes began chatting about which stores they would be visiting, she took the opportunity to shrug off Rachel's hand and do a onceover of Brittany, who had yet to say anything. The blonde wasn't looking as perky as usual, in fact she looked as if she had gone without an entire night of sleep and then gotten dressed in the dark. "Hey," Santana called to get her attention. "What's your problem?"
Brittany looked up from the floor in a daze and pointed to herself. "Me?"
The naïve gesture lightened Santana's mood by just a few fractions, but it was something nonetheless. "Yeah, you," she said with a slight smile.
"Oh…" Brittany said slowly and then nodded her head. "Lord Tubbington puked on my pillow right before I was about to go to bed last night, so I yelled at him. But then I felt bad, so instead of going to sleep I sat with him under the stairs in the basement all night. I even brought a little plastic bowl in case he needed to throw up again…which he didn't, by the way."
The story was a tad on the disgusting side but Santana gave her friend a sympathetic look. That's when she knew that Rachel's PMS monitoring had to be correct, she wasn't usually that emotional over a cat and all. "Well, I hope he feels better."
"He was pretty interested in eating my toast when he jumped on the table this morning while I was drying my hair, so I think everything is fine now," Brittany assured casually.
"Awesome," Santana replied and then waved a hand in the direction of the blonde's entire outfit, which consisted of a sweatshirt similar to her own, the shortest denim shorts in existence, rainbow striped knee socks, and winter boots that reached nearly as high as the socks. "Now, tell me what's up with this getup…aren't you like, a little bit hot and cold? I mean, you're wearing snow boots with shorts."
"Yeah, so?" Brittany questioned, shrugging her shoulders to show that she could see no problem with that. "My calendar said that it's May, doesn't that just mean that you may wear whatever you want?"
Santana could see her father and the twins fast approaching with clear bags of candy in tow and she knew that there wouldn't be enough time to explain the logistics of the calendar before Brittany would be distracted by said candy. Giving her another expression of sympathy for an entirely different reason, she patted her on the shoulder and whispered, "I'll give you a refresher course on calendars once everything settles down after prom."
"Sounds good to – gummy bears!"
Noelia was pushing the tiny bears into her mouth faster than she could chew them – making an intelligible response out of the question – but her excitement mirrored Brittany's and she wordlessly shoved the bag up towards the much taller teenager, urging her to take some.
"Look at all my candy!" Isabel shouted to the group of older girls as she held her own bag out for show, having just enough sugar already in her bloodstream to put her on the brink of sheer insanity.
Santana, figuring that some candy would get her on the fast track to free energy, began reaching a hand out for Isabel's stash. "Can I get some candy, Is?" she asked without really thinking that she would be refused.
"No! You're mean today!" Isabel immediately snapped, hiding the bag out of reach just as quickly.
"Oh, denied!" Mercedes shouted and then followed it with hysterical laughter.
Deciding that she would give her girlfriend more harmless punishment for her earlier behavior, Rachel draped an arm around Isabel's shoulders. "May I have some candy, Isabel?"
"Yes!" the little girl chirped happily, wasting no time in offering some. "You can even have my favorites!"
With a lazy pace that was meant to be facetious, Rachel unwrapped a watermelon Jolly Rancher, put it in her mouth and then arched a brow at her girlfriend. "See how well things work out when you're nice to people, Santana?"
Santana held back a growl of frustration and looked over to Quinn. "Whatever, let's get this moving. I'm taking Quinn and papi. Rachel, you can have Brittany and Mercedes."
"I'm stayin' with Rachel!" Isabel suddenly chimed in, causing Rachel to grin proudly.
"I'm stayin' with Britt!" Noelia added through a mouthful of gummy bears. Brittany nodded vigorously in agreement and gave a thumbs up since she was too busy trying to chew to speak.
"I don't think so," Andres interrupted as he stepped in to seize Noelia by the sleeve of her shirt. "You're well on your way to eating a pound of gummy bears, I think you can stay with me."
Brittany was the only one to protest the arrangement, sloppily whining, "No fair!" and raising a hand to her mouth to keep from drooling. Noelia knew how to fix the situation though and she pocketed a handful of gummy bears and crammed another handful into her mouth. Then, she gave the rest of the bag to Brittany which earned her a second thumbs up.
"Okay, let's do the damn thang," Mercedes announced, snapping her fingers once and pushing Rachel in the opposite direction of her girlfriend.
"Wait!" A collective eye roll occurred amongst the group as Rachel evaded Mercedes and caught Santana by the strings of her sweatshirt again.
"Whoa…hey," Santana breathed out as her face was pulled down. Her hands went around Rachel's waist and she brought their bodies flush against each other, never minding their audience. The impending kiss was inevitable as were the groans of repulsion, but what happened after the two parted had Mercedes doubled over in a fake dry heave and even Quinn – who had stayed mostly quiet – was looking subtly disgusted.
"I'm gonna barf," Mercedes said through her exaggerated gags.
Santana held the hard candy that had previously been in Rachel's mouth between her upper and lower teeth and grinned wickedly. "Thanks, babe, you're my favorite flavor," she said after slipping it under her tongue.
"You're welcome," Rachel said back just as slyly. "Now, we should probably go find some dresses. Good luck, I'll love it no matter what and that's because I love the girl who's going to be wearing it."
"Have you guys ever done that in front of Lord Tubbington? Maybe that's why he puked last night," Brittany commented, to which Quinn and Mercedes nodded in unison.
Andres was thoroughly stunned and now worried about what other types of suggestive and vulgar things Santana had been learning while he wasn't paying attention over the years. Before he had approached after letting their friends interrupt, he had overheard snippets of Santana and Rachel's conversation as he led the twins from the candy store. It pained him to hear his daughter say that she missed her late mother, but imagining how his wife would have reacted to Santana's tonsil hockey made him want to laugh. He could only imagine the butting of heads that would have occurred.
"Santana, I think we should begin before the twins have a sugar crash and start to get cranky," he suggested to his daughter. "Agreed?"
"Agreed," Santana said, although she was still focused on Rachel. "I love you too and I'll see you soon."
"Right, of course, I'll see you soon too. I –"
"Come on, sugar lips," Mercedes grumbled, catching a blabbering Rachel by the arm again and directing Brittany to take the other so she had no chance of escaping. Isabel offered her help by pushing against Rachel's back as they began to march her away.
Santana deflated a little as her girlfriend was walked further through the mall, but not for the reason that would have been expected. "Don't tell her this," she began. "But I'm kind of glad we're going to be apart for this…I hate trying on clothes as it is, I don't think I could handle all of the enthusiasm today."
"Come on, it's going to be fine," Quinn coaxed as she looped her arm through Santana's and took charge. It was apparent that she was going to have to provide the moral support for the day. "Now, let's see if we can get you looking a little less homeless…"
Santana laughed and allowed herself to be pulled in the direction of the store that she and Quinn had talked about the day before. "Fine, but even though I wanted to do this separately, I still don't understand why we aren't allowed to see each other's dresses. It's not like we're getting married or something."
"You never know!" Quinn said with a squeeze of her arm. "This could just be practice for the future!"
Andres brought up the rear while holding Noelia's sticky hand and mumbling to himself, "Someone save me…"
"Don't you know any other guys that you could have brought along for this?" Andres quizzed as he stood outside a dressing room with several prom dresses draped over his arm.
"What other dudes would actually want to do this?" Santana answered from the opposite side of the door. She had been huffing and groaning for the past ten minutes as she attempted to try on the third dress option by herself, without Quinn to aid her with the zipper.
"Exactly my point…"
"Papi, stop trying to be funny," Santana volleyed back, before adding a quip of her own. "Besides, I don't know any other guys who have as much money as you."
Andres smiled to himself and shook his head. "Touché…I don't know who you got your sense of humor from…"
"I don't know either, but I need you to zip this stupid dress!" The dressing room door was thrown open a few seconds later, revealing a frustrated looking Santana with one of her arms slung across her chest. "Don't look though. My boobs are like all out…"
"Not looking, not looking," Andres assured as he waited for his daughter to turn around so he could complete the task. Once Santana was facing away from him, he moved her loose hair over her shoulder and pulled at the zipper of the short black dress, finding that it had to be tugged rather than pulled. "It's a little tight, don't you think?"
"It's fine, that's how it's supposed to be," Santana informed as she turned back around and rearranged her hair to fall down her back again. "How does it look?"
Awkwardly, Andres gestured to the considerably low neckline. "Everything is still all out!"
Santana rolled her eyes and moved to inspect herself in one of the full length mirrors. "They're called boobs, papi, and I've had them for a while now. You know, I have grown up some over the past couple years," she said nonchalantly, while testing and looking at the fit of the dress from different angles. From over her shoulder, she gave herself a smirk of approval. "Plus, this one makes me look smokin' hot."
"That's the problem." Without giving her a chance to look any further, Andres turned her around, pulled the zipper back down and gave her a gentle shove back into the dressing room. "I don't care how long you've had them or how old you are. My little girl is not wearing that dress out in public."
"What happened to the black dress? I wanted to see how it looked," Quinn asked as she came strolling back in from the main area of the store. Behind her Noelia stumbled along, carrying another dress and doing her best not to let its hem touch the floor.
"It was too revealing," Andres informed.
"It was flippin' fabulous!"
"That's okay, I found a better one," Quinn said, taking the dress from her small, bored looking personal assistant and opening the door just a crack to offer it to her friend. "Black probably isn't the best for spring anyway, this color fits more with the season…"
"Pink!" Santana squawked after having snatched up the dress and slamming the door shut again. "I am not wearing a pink dress! I don't even think Rachel likes the color pink!"
When the doorknob began turning, Quinn grabbed it and put her back against the door, effectively trapping Santana inside the dressing room with the dress that she obviously did not want. "It's magenta, Santana, and just try it on. I think Rachel will like it just fine...it'll go great with your skin tone."
"You better be right about thi – ew! Why is the hanger sticky?"
Both Quinn and Andres looked to Noelia and found the answer to the question. With her right hand she was still pulling gummy bears from her pocket and systemically placing them in her mouth, while she licked the sticky remnants from her left palm between bites.
"It's probably just from a price tag or something," Andres swiftly cut in, not wanting to add anymore difficulties to the process. What Santana didn't know couldn't gross her out.
After what seemed like an excessive amount of time spent listening to Santana grumble and curse under her breath, Quinn released the door and stepped away to let her out. "Stupid pink dress," she mumbled as she breezed out the door and positioned herself in front of the mirror again, her hands on her hips. "There, happy? It's on."
"Yes," Quinn said with a smile. She had known all along that her taste would take them farther than Santana's. Stepping up behind her friend, she swept Santana's hair from her shoulders and twisted it up, letting the loose pieces create a mock updo. "Now, just admit that I was right. It looks amazing and you know it."
"Well…" Santana inspected the fluttering asymmetrical hemline that revealed her legs from mid-thigh in the front and worked around to fall into a short train behind her feet. She would have to have a great pair of heels if she wasn't going completely floor length, but that was something she planned on milking her father's wallet for whether her feet were visible or not; it was just a necessity in her mind. Experimentally, she raised herself onto her tip toes and watched to see where the hem would fall at the new height. "It's still pink…but…I do look pretty sexy in this color. I think I could work with it," she said, then searched for the price tag that was hanging below her left arm. "And it's only the most expensive one I've tried on yet…"
The older girls were suddenly on a mission and it required both of them to turn to Andres with all too innocent smiles and prettily pleading eyes. Quinn had already scoped out the price of the dress. "Papi..." Santana whined out as she cocked her head down.
"What?" he questioned. "Why are you two looking at me like that?"
Santana scuffed a bare foot back and forth over the thin carpeting of the room and continued to smile. "It's $582.97…is that okay?"
With an exaggerated sigh, Andres slowly slipped his credit card from his wallet as if it was causing him pain. Santana practically licked her lips as she grasped one end of the card when he held it out to her, but he kept his grip as she tried to pull it away. "Don't do anything drastic," he warned, making her yank the card free. "You'll be dipping into your wedding fund if you do and I doubt that your future wife would like that at all."
"Oh my God! Everyone needs to stop trying to marry Rachel and I off, it's trippin' me out!" Santana exclaimed, hiking up the dress to march back into the dressing room.
"Funny," Quinn mused and tapped her forefinger to her chin. "No one even mentioned anything about your future wife being Rachel…"
"My thoughts exactly," Andres added jokingly.
Suddenly, Noelia perked up and felt that she needed to be part of the conversation too. "Santana! Can I come to your wedding!"
"You can do more than come to the wedding…you and Isabel can be the flower girls!"
"Quinn, as soon as I figure out how to get this dress unzipped by myself you're dead!"
New TXT Message
Sat, May 7 2:22pm
How are you girls doing over there? Everything under control? - Dr. L
"Who the heck is Dr. L? Dr. Love?" Mercedes tested, giggling to herself after reading Rachel's newest text message. Considering that Rachel was currently embodying the word diva in every sense and had made her and Brittany haul around too many dresses to count, she couldn't be blamed for taking Rachel's cell phone from her midget sized jean's pocket to entertain herself. "Are you having some hot hook-ups with Dr. Love behind Santana's back?"
"Give me that!" Rachel demanded as she waddled forward in an enormously puffy light blue dress and repossessed her phone. "It's Santana's dad…L for Lopez, you creep."
Having had her boredom relief taken away, Mercedes stretched out on her back on the bench that she was seated on, placing her feet in Brittany's lap. "Ah, I see…ya'll are just one big happy family now, huh?"
"You look like a cotton ball dipped in blue nail polish remover," Brittany stated while she eyed the very unflattering dress. "Except like…less wet."
Isabel shrugged one shoulder and reached out to touch the smooth material that was falling off of Rachel in waves, examining its texture between her fingertips. "I think you look pretty."
Rachel shook her head a little, trying to form responses for all of the girls but ultimately getting too sidetracked by replying to the text message and the randomness that they were throwing at her. "Um, okay, acetone soaked cotton ball. I'll take that as a negative vote. Thank you, Isabel, I'll take that as a positive," she said, half-listening in favor of the task at hand. "And Mercedes, yes, Dr. Lopez has been doing a wonderful job of rehabilitating himself and we're all closer than ever. It's actually quite nice, it's like having an extended family. Since, you know, neither of my fathers really have many extended family members and I never grew up with any siblings or many friends, for that matter. Although I must admit that Santana is finding it difficult to be parented so much now. She practically has three fathers now that her own has – "
"That's nice, Rachel, real cute and all," Mercedes interrupted in a drab tone that made Rachel sneer a little. Santana would have never interrupted or ignored her, and if she had it surely would have been in a much more welcome way. And as for the sneer, well she couldn't help that some of Santana's bad habits were wearing off on her. "So...are you about done or whatever? Because you've tried on sixteen different dresses, you liked most of them, but you still haven't made a decision."
"Just shut your trap for a second, geez! I'm trying to type here!" Rachel finally snapped without even bothering to look up. The outburst seemed to do the trick and she finished sending the message before handing her phone to Isabel, who was much more trustworthy than any of her other companions.
Everything is great, aside from the fact that I still haven't decided on a dress yet! But, oh well! :D Isabel has been such an angel too! ~ SantanasGoldStar
After having had her feet shoved aside by Brittany so she could stand, Mercedes hauled herself up from the bench and tapped her hand against her forehead. "I'm confused now," she said. "I feel like I just saw the face of the devil…but it looked like Rachel Berry and sounded like Santana Lopez."
Rachel smiled at that and nodded in agreement, while stooping down a bit to let Isabel pull the end of the laces to untie the bow at her lower back. "You're just mad because Santana has taught me that I don't have to take crap from anyone. Also, you better watch what you say or else I'll tell the "devil,"" she air quoted, "that you're bothering her girlfriend."
Mercedes only waved her hand dismissively and laughed it off. The differences that Santana and Rachel had instilled in each other would always be hilarious to her and there was no better way to show that than through some friendly harassment.
"You got another one, Rachel!" Isabel announced when a beeping tone sounded again.
"Could you read it to me?" Rachel asked as she still struggled to get out of the dress that not even she had liked after seeing it on.
"I'll try!" The cell phone suffered some abuse when Isabel in her haste to read the new text message, tried sliding it open from the wrong side and then consequently dropped it on the floor. "Oops…okay, it says…I…should have…given you Noelia," the little girl sounded out slowly. "B, T, W…why are you Santana's…gold star?"
Biting her lip and putting her balled up fist to her mouth, Mercedes looked to Rachel and wondered how exactly she was going to explain the situation to both a six year old and a parent. Then, she vowed to herself to hang out with the hodgepodge group more often because there had yet to be a dull moment that day.
"Can I type it, Rachel, pleeease!"
With a tight smile, Rachel took the cell phone back, saying, "I think I better take this one," and then disappearing into a dressing room.
Ask Santana what it means. ~ SantanasGoldStar
Rachel sniggered to herself as she buttoned up her jeans and then put her bra back on. She couldn't wait for Santana's reactions to that one.
"Yes, Brittany?" the brunette answered back to the call from outside the door.
"I found a dress I think you'll like…it's just like that orange one you tried on, except it's teal and it's shorter…"
After having poured herself into the new, obscenely short dress that was nothing like the other with Brittany's help, Rachel pressed a hand to her overexposed cleavage and attempted to intake a full breath. "I can hardly breathe," she panted. "It's so tight…"
Brittany – who had already seen everything that was under the dress while helping to put it on – was standing dumbstruck, with mouth hanging open and eyes glued to every curve and dip of Rachel's figure. "You look sohot. You have to get it, Rachel, this is the one!"
"Let us see!" Isabel crowed outside the door before Mercedes opened it, allowing the two to barge inside.
"Holy boobs!" Mercedes shouted, probably drawing more attention than what was necessary from anyone else who happened to be passing by the area. "Rachel, why didn't you tell us you had all of that goin' on!"
Rachel tugged at the hem and tried to get it to move lower, but that only caused more spillage on top. "I don't have anything going on. Just close the door before someone gets an eyeful!" she hissed, still trying to properly cover herself. "I cannot get this dress, my dads would murder me!"
"And Santana would jump you," Mercedes pointed out.
Suddenly, Brittany batted Rachel's hands away and held them behind her back, forcing her to look at herself in the mirror. "You have to get this dress! It's so hot, like so hot that if I put my tongue on you it would get burned like when I drank my hot chocolate too fast this morning."
Struggling forgotten, Rachel mulled over the strange compliment while checking her reflection. She did look good – better than good – but in terms of skin it was just too much and in terms of material it just wasn't enough. "That's very nice of you to say, Brittany, and I'll have to ask that you keep your tongue to yourself, but I just don't know," she said slowly. "Santana is actually kind of protective when it comes to this sort of thing. She might not want everyone else getting a sneak peak at her…goods."
"I think San will like it…I like it," Isabel said, her voice sounding absent and distracted as she reminded the older girls of her presence in the room. With her small hand, she reached out to lay her palm over Rachel's hip and then began sliding it upward, watching intently as it glided over the material. "It's nice."
"Okay, enough of that!" Rachel announced somewhat uneasily and then shook herself away from Brittany just as Isabel's hand was approaching the swell of her breasts. "I'll get it," she finally gave in. If it made Brittany want to perform with her tongue and had Isabel practically molesting her in a dressing room, Rachel could only assume that Santana would appreciate the dress as well. She just hoped that she could manage to keep it on throughout the whole of prom night. But then again, it was awfully short.
"Noelia! Come get your smoothie, chica!" Santana yelled to her sister as she attempted to balance all of the clear cups in her hands, two of which were yellowish orange and the other two an off putting dark green.
"I don't want that!" Noelia screwed up her face in disgust as she was handed a smoothie that looked like green slime. "I wanted banana!"
"You got banana, just hold onto that for a second before I drop all of this shit," Santana mumbled, hoping that her father hadn't heard her say that. She resituated the other cups in her hands and then passed one into Noelia's free hand and took the slime smoothie back. "There, have your damn banana."
"Who's gonna drink those?" the younger girl demanded to know, still grimacing.
"Rachel and I," Santana explained and then glanced over her shoulder to see Quinn having difficulties trying to carry everyone else's drinks. "This is what I get for trying to be nice," she whispered under her breath. Shoving the other yellow smoothie at Noelia, she said, "Hold this and do not drink it. It's for Isabel, got it?"
"But I wanna know why you're gonna drink that green stuff!"
Pausing for a moment, Santana also had to wonder why she was going to drink the spirulina sludge that Rachel loved so much. It wouldn't have been her first choice, but sharing the nasty looking drink with her girlfriend brought back memories of an afternoon they had spent together wandering aimlessly around the mall. It reminded her of when after much goading and taunting Rachel convinced her to try it and she ended up pleasantly surprised. Simply, it reminded her of how much she loved Rachel and everything she did for her.
Taking a deep breath, Santana decompressed some of the stress that she was feeling. "Because I love Rachel and when you love someone you like to share things with them and do things that make them happy, that's why." She gave a small shrug of her shoulders after the explanation, signifying that it wasn't very complex but it was the truth.
Noelia chewed on the end of the straw in her mouth and then smiled around it. "Oh…okay, cool."
While Andres stood waiting for the girls – as he had been doing all afternoon – he scanned through the odd e-mail and the text messages on his Blackberry. Santana was making the day even more expensive by deciding to treat everyone to smoothies courtesy of the credit card she had yet to give back, but he knew that he would have let her do the same thing whether he was present or not. Although he did have to admit that it was kind of nice that his teenage daughter wanted him there for his input.
"Hey, I have a question for you," he said as his eldest daughter approached with her little sister and Quinn.
"What's that?" Santana asked as they began to make their way towards the food court to meet the others. She took a sip of her drink and then held it in her mouth, waiting for some of the ice to melt so it wouldn't cause a brain freeze when she swallowed. It was a logical idea but majorly ill timed.
"Why is Rachel your gold star?"
Suddenly, Santana had spirulina in her sinuses and green spit in the hand that was covering her mouth and nose. Trying not to cause a scene, she turned into Quinn and clamored for the napkins she held. "Ow, this shit burns," she whispered to her friend as she worked to wipe off her face and figure out an explanation to the question.
The blonde only laughed and pushed some more napkins at her. "Yeah, good luck with that one." It was obvious that she wasn't wishing her luck on cleaning up.
"What's the issue?" Andres asked again, slowly beginning to realize that maybe he didn't want to know the answer to the question if it caused a reaction like that.
"Oh, it's nothing." Santana quickly put on a big, fake smile and composed herself as best she could without bursting into laughter and/or blushing like a fool. "It's just um…it means that…that she's going to be a star one day. You know, Broadway…yay!" she eked out in a high voice, feigning excitement and giving a half hearted fist pump.
Andres eyed her skeptically. "I think you're lying…but something tells me that I don't really want to know and that Noelia doesn't really need to hear it," he said, continuing to walk and shake his head simultaneously.
Using a slicing motion across her neck, Santana let Brittany and Mercedes know that if they ruined her sneak attack on her girlfriend she was going to end them. She walked up quietly behind Rachel – not that it really mattered amongst the raucous atmosphere of the food court and Rachel's animated speaking – tipped her chair back and planted a wet kiss on her cheek.
"Santana!" Rachel immediately squealed while giggling and trying to turn her face away from the sloppy kisses.
After placing Rachel's chair fully on the floor again, Santana stood at her full height behind her and draped her arms over her shoulders. "How'd you know it was me?"
Rachel let her head fall back while at the same time Santana bowed hers forward, allowing them to make eye contact. "Because I don't think Brittany and Mercedes would let some stranger assault me."
"Yes, we would," Mercedes deadpanned.
"And I would assault you," Santana said with a pointed look at the other girl, before coming around to Rachel. "Anyway, I found the perfect dress and I got you a smoothie. It's all vegan, just how you like."
"Aw, you're the sweetest! Sit with me," Rachel requested, patting her thigh.
Santana complied and sat down on her girlfriend's lap, but not without rolling her eyes a little and bouncing her head back and forth like a ditz; it still made her feel weird to let everyone see her softer side at times. But that didn't prevent her from pressing her forehead to Rachel's temple and offering her the straw of her smoothie.
Mercedes groaned and then nudged Brittany with an elbow to the ribs. "Come on, let's go take the tots to play in that jungle gym thing. I can't take anymore."
Brittany was out of her seat in an instant, even before Isabel or Noelia could react. "Yes! I've been waiting to go in there all day!" Mercedes could only groan again and trail after them.
Once the other girls had departed, it left Santana and Rachel mostly alone except for the strangers milling about them. Quinn had disappeared into some store during the walk back and Andres was in search of another smoothie for Isabel, thanks to Noelia who had sucked down most of the ones she had been holding despite her older sister's warning.
Rachel smiled up at Santana, ran her fingertips down her cheek and then took a long black box from an equally black bag on the tabletop. "I got you something too," she said, opening the box and revealing the bracelet that had been broken months before.
"I forgot all about this!" Picking it up from the box, Santana held it over her palm where it shimmered with newness under the lighting. "I haven't seen it this clean in a while," she laughed and then looked into dark eyes that were only a shade or two lighter than her own. "Thank you, Rach, you didn't have to do this…"
"You're welcome and it was the least I could do," Rachel shrugged, all the while knowing that getting the bracelet fixed was probably one of the most meaningful things she could have done for her girlfriend.
"Well, aren't you just the sweetest," Santana said, repeating the compliment from earlier.
"I suppose I – "
"What's up?" Quinn chose that moment to reappear, but upon seeing the infamously familiar bracelet in Santana's hand she halted and hung back a few paces. She was the entire reason as to why the piece had to have its clasp replaced and on top of that guilt, she now felt bad for interrupting what she thought was a private moment.
"Quinn," Rachel addressed in a friendly tone, while Santana tried fumbling the bracelet back into the box. "Were you able to find a dress as well?"
"Um, no…I don't really think I'm going to prom anyway," the blonde admitted, watching somewhat uncomfortably as Santana put the box back into the bag. Her mouth opened as if to say something else, but by the change of expression on her face it became apparent that she had decided to go in a different direction. "Actually, I was just coming to say bye…I think I'm just going to go…" And with that she was walking off, not even waiting for a reply from either of the girls.
Rachel bit her lip and made a face that revealed her own discomfort with the situation. Had she known that Quinn would happen to see the bracelet and get a blast from their rocky past, she would have waited. "Soo…that wasn't exactly ideal."
"Yeah," Santana agreed. "Awkward…"
Okay, so a couple things...first, next chapter is going to be the actual prom and all the fluffiness that goes along with that and maybe some drunk sexytimes as well. ;) Second, I wrote that bit about Rachel's vegan smoothie like six months ago, but now it's just a nice fuck off to Finn Hudson and an example of HOW TO be a good significant other, so that was a bonus. I assume you all know what I'm talking about.
And lastly, just for my own entertainment...there's like this tiny, itty bitty connection between this chapter and chapter 6 of my other story, Brutally Honest. For the first person who notices it, I'll write a one-shot about anything you want...angst, fluff, etc. Pairings can be Pezberry, Brittana, or Faberry. Now, hurry up and go find it, I wanna write something new! :) If no one gets it before the next chapter comes out I guess I'll have to give clues.