A/N: Hey everyone! So I randomly had this idea come to me back in November and literally had most of the story written up since then. I figured why not post it and see where I can go with it! I'd obviously love all your thoughts on it! Especially if I should continue it or not.
The rain pelted the window of the Upper East Side brownstone apartment building between 1st and 2nd avenue. The apartment was a simple one, but decorated with the utmost elegance. One and a half bedrooms, the latter having been turned into a small nursery – a nursery that no matter how many attempts were made would never hold life in it. Two miscarriages and a stillbirth in three years, and the only tears shed were her own. He told her it would be okay, told her they would try again. However, the tone of his voice made her believe he'd never wanted children to begin with. She'd never had any intentions of falling in love again, and if she really thought about it her love never held up to her first true and honest love. Yet, is it not a fact that you never truly forget your first love? She loved him though; she loved him and married him. It was supposed to be her happy ending; it was supposed to be her fairytale. She had made it on Broadway and even received a Tony award as well as being nominated another time. It had been hard work, harder than she had expected it to be. Yet this was Rachel Berry and Rachel Berry was going to work her hardest to become a star. She wasn't huge, no, much to her dismay. She was known though, she was a winner and she was proud of herself. Maybe her high school dreams had been reaching a little too high, maybe now she was a bit more grounded and understood it all.
She was twenty-four when she met him on the subway. Her shoe had broken and when a huge man pushed right past her, she was sent into his lap. They laughed and talked until they both had to get off, which incidentally was the same spot. They traded numbers and met for coffee, it was everything she ever wanted it, it was everything she ever dreamed of. He was twenty-nine, a businessman, his name gaining recognition in his company each and every day. She was coming off her two year run in a play where she had received a Tony nomination, sadly not accompanied by a win. The two began to date and it seemed like everything was fitting into place. Rachel had begun to star in a new play that had just debuted and her boyfriend Patrick had been made CEO of his company. The night she won her Tony was the same night he proposed. They eloped. Something that both humored her, and made her think of the past. Rachel became pregnant not long after. However, after a miscarriage she decided to depart from the stage to focus on building her family. He had seemed supportive, but he was always busy. She had known going in he was someone of great importance, but it seemed that their relationship wasn't as strong as it had been when they were just dating.
When the news came that Rachel was in fact pregnant again she was filled with joy and immediately began to redecorate their small second bedroom into a nursery. They had moved in after being married only two months and as much as she loved the place they'd found together, she never truly felt like it was her home. Her mother-in-law, some uptight socialite, hired the interior decorators. She told Rachel to trust her judgment, for it was much better than a twenty-five year old actress'. She had begged her husband not to tell his parents about her pregnancy, not until she had set up the nursery the way she had wanted. His promise lasted a week until his mother swooped in with a handful of decorators to make the place fit for a princess. Rachel didn't hate it, though. It was a calming room. All she cared about was the baby growing inside of her.
When the doctors broke the news that their little girl had died within her womb, Rachel was a mess. She became distant. When it came time for her to deliver her husband never showed up to the hospital. She delivered their stillborn daughter and cried. She would have never wished that upon her worst enemy. They gave her a small funeral and Rachel proceeded to lock herself in her bedroom for two weeks. It was then she began to truly notice her husband. Had she been so caught up in wanting to fall in love that she had missed the little signs? She thought she was in a bad movie when she saw is collar lipstick stains on the collar of his dress shirts. He swore it was nothing, swore she was over-thinking. He claimed her overbearing. Santana saved her. It was an unlikely duo, especially given their history in high school. Santana had married into the same social circle that Rachel's husband and his friends belonged. All the other wives constantly talked about Santana, speaking of rumors they knew from before she had met her husband. Instead of joining in on them with her own book of juicy stories she had on Santana, she befriended her. Rachel herself was an outcast in the group, so why couldn't they be outcasts together?
She took her to a spa weekend, let her cry, let her scream, she told her to let it all out. It had helped, it had helped immensely. It was also the first time in a long time that she talked about Finn. They broke up years ago but she still thought fondly of him. He had married, he had a child, she was happy for him, but it pained her. She begged Santana to not try to tell him about what happened (when her friend has suggested contacting him), to not tell anyone. That She keep it a secret. She had been reluctant, but understood. Once he left Rachel began to feel like her old self again. She began to feel like Rachel Berry again – or rather, Rachel McGuire. She wasn't ready to go back to the stage, not yet anyway. Instead she signed on to become a ballet instructor for younger girls. It was a start. Dancing always made Rachel feel better. Teaching voice lessons soon followed as well. She even began to feel like her relationship with Patrick was improving immensely. Yet, everything that goes up must come down at some point? At least that's what Rachel began to believe. She became pregnant once again, she took leave from both her jobs immediately in hopes it would make everything all right. She suffered a miscarriage within the first few weeks. She wasn't able to come back from this one.
Rachel became a shell of what she once was. After the stillbirth it had been so hard for her to come back, and truthfully she'd never fully recovered. The miscarriage was the breaking point. She couldn't pretend she was all right anymore. She would never be all right again. Patrick didn't care about her. He never came home and when he did, he smelled like a mix of perfumes that were not her own. Almost four years of marriage and she began to believe she never knew him at all. Maybe she had been right when she first noticed things. Maybe trying to fix their marriage after the loss of their child had all been a sham. He had become cruel to her, his words, his looks, he was not someone she knew at all.
She sat in the rocking chair in the nursery and watched the rain hit the window. Patrick had never come home last night and she didn't even care anymore. When she heard the door open she didn't budge, her eyes stayed fixated on the rain.
"Rachel?" his voice rang through the apartment, "Are you here?" she didn't respond. Finally she heard footsteps approaching followed by a loud sigh, "I should have guessed." He flipped on the light and let out a groan, "I've decided I'm changing this back into my office. We've had this godforsaken nursery set up for almost three years. I think we need to stop kidding ourselves."
"No," she muttered under her breath.
"And she speaks!" He said with a sarcastic chuckle, "Speak again bright angel."
"You're not touching this room."
He was silent for a moment before a laugh escaped his lips, "The hell I'm not. You just need to fucking face it, you are not meant to have children. And I honestly don't want to pretend like I want children. Do you know what kind of blessing it was that you had those two miscarriages? And then losing our daughter?"
"Who are you?" Rachel lifted herself up from her chair and turned to look at him. "You're still in the same clothes from last night. You're drunk," she groaned as she went to walk by him. Trying not to let his words hurt her anymore than they had already.
"Don't you walk away from me," Patrick snatched her wrist and pulled her towards him so she was facing him. "I am so sick and tired of acting like everything's all right between us. You've become such a fucking bitch I can't stand it."
"Then why did you even marry me?" she spat at him, trying her hardest to pull her arm away from his grasp.
"Do you want to know the honest answer?" he stared her directly in the eyes, "My mother told me I had to get married or she was going to cut me off. I figured you were a safe bet – so naive." He lifted his free hand and stroked her cheek, "You were so sweet that day on the subway, so full of life; a nice little Jewish girl with big dreams. My mother didn't approve of you being an actress but I told her if I made you believe I wanted children you wouldn't worry so much about that."
Rachel couldn't believe what he was saying, "You're lying."
"Why would I lie to my dear little wife," he let go of her arm roughly causing her to bump into the wall before waltzing out of the room and over to their bar to pour himself another drink. "I wasn't ready for kids, Rach. Hell, I didn't even really want to be married. I liked you and man you were a good lay. I mean that thing you do with you-," he paused for a moment as a huge smirk appeared on his face, "Mmm.. soo good."
"I just-," Rachel slowly came to a halt, her arms wrapped around her protectively, "You know I hate when you drink. Just sleep it off, please."
"I've been fucking other girls since the day I met you," He chuckled, "I mean come on, you knew! You even found the evidence that one time, but chose to completely ignore it. You were always good at that, right?"
She didn't believe this was happening; no this was just some bad dream she was going to wake up from. "Why?"
"I've told you... I never wanted all this," he motioned to everything around him, moving his glass so fast some of the brandy spilled onto the floor. "I tried, Rachel. I did try to actually care. I was never a one woman man. Maybe I believed it'd be different after I met you."
"You're not even making sense!"
"I'm not?" he looked at her confused, "I'm making perfect sense to myself."
She closed her eyes and just stood there for a long time not saying or doing anything. She was sure he continued to speak, but she couldn't recall anything he possibly said. Part of her was believing everything he was saying, but the other part of her could only assume that it was the alcohol speaking. Then again, wasn't it that people spoke the truth when they were drunk? When she eventually opened up her eyes he was gone and she sunk to the floor and cried.
This was not Rachel Berry. This was some stranger.
"I don't want to get into the middle of this! It's not our place!" The voice boomed from the bedroom, causing her to jump slightly. "I know she's your best friend, but why does she have to come here!"
She sneer was unmistakably, and even though she was in another room of the apartment she could hear it perfectly, "Because she is my best friend and it's your so-called asshole friend that is destroying her! So suck it up." The silence that followed was quickly shaken by the sound of a door slamming and loud footsteps approaching, "All set, you can stay in the guest room."
Rachel let out a sigh and looked at Santana, "You sure? Mark didn't sound too happy."
There was no reason for Satana to even try to muster up a smile, she knew that Rachel wouldn't buy it for a second, "He just doesn't want to get involved. Patrick is still his friend..," rolling her eyes she took a seat on the couch next to Rachel and quickly reached for her hand, "God knows why, I mean your husband is scum. Why are you married to him still?"
She didn't want to talk about Patrick, but she knew she couldn't avoid the topic, "He's a good man-," she paused for a moment noticing the distaste upon Santana's face, "somewhere inside, he just gets... I don't know," she shrugged her shoulders and sat back against the couch, "He just gets rude when he's drunk."
"I never liked that man, Ray," Santana told her forcefully, "I knew it from the day I met him. He's a player," she turned and pointed her finger at Rachel as she made this statement, "I mean I should know, I used to be one myself."
Never in a million years did Rachel Berry ever expect to be sitting on a couch in the middle of the night with Santana Lopez – or rather Santana James, and thinking of her as her best friend. However, this was exactly where she was and truthfully? She probably couldn't have asked for a best friend. "He told me he's been sleeping with other girls."
"DIVORCE HIM!" Santana exclaimed with a hint of evil hidden in his tone, "Take that bastard for everything he has!"
"I don't want everything," she sighed softly as she absentmindedly rubbed her petite stomach, "I just want our daughter back, San."
"I know losing her was so hard on you, hell, it was hard on me seeing you have to go through that," she reached over and placed her hand on her shoulder, "But you can't continue to dwell on it. I knew you were lying when we came back from that spa weekend. You've always tried to be brave and act like things aren't bothering you, I know that's not the case."
"I thought I was all right," she admitted in a soft whisper, "I was feeling like my old self again, but maybe I was just lying to myself."
Santana licked her lips and gulped, she knew she was going to regret the next thing she was about to say, "Maybe you need to take down the nursery. I think it's a constant reminder over what happened and-,"
"Are you coming to bed?" Mark James cut off his wife causing her to turn to him and glare.
"I'll be coming to bed when I want to come to bed." Rachel couldn't help but smile at Santana's response, deep down, she may have become a better person, but she was always going to have that Santana Lopez attitude.
Mark just rolled his eyes at his wife and turned to Rachel, "Goodnight, Rachel."
"Night, Mark," she whispered softly. Mark James wasn't a bad man, he wasn't anything like his friend Patrick McGuire. Then again, Mark had to be a good man to put up with the likes of Santana.
Once he was out of sight, Santana turned back to Rachel, "Just think about it, okay?" she pushed herself up to her feet and smirked, "Now if you'll excuse me I need to get some sleep. I have a 5 am Pilates class in the morning and then I have to have lunch with the monster-in-law. I think I'll wear that deep low-cut red dress I have. I always love when I freak her out," she shot Rachel a playful wink before turning on her heel and heading towards her bedroom.
Once she was out of sight, Rachel could no longer keep the tears back. Santana was right, she wasn't okay like she had thought she was. Having another miscarriage after the stillbirth had been the final straw, and the nursery was a constant reminder. It didn't help that being a ballet instructor to little girls made her heart yearn for her own child. Yet, at the same time they brought so much joy to her life that being around them often brought a smile to her face.
It was in the end a win/lose situation if there ever was one.
Rachel had been woken up by Mark and Santana's maid Frannie. She was the sweetest little thing, always referring to Rachel as 'Miss Rachel'. Rachel had never wanted a maid, even when Patrick so desperately tried to push for one. Growing up she and her fathers had done all the cleaning themselves, and well, she had no intentions of paying some person to clean her own messes. After a cup of coffee and a quick read of the paper she grabbed her belongings and headed back to her and Patrick's apartment. When she stepped inside she breathed a sigh of relief over the fact he had made it to work, however, he almost always made it to work. She often enjoyed being in the apartment by herself, the apartment she had to convince Patrick to buy. It had helped that it was in a neighborhood he had liked, but he and his mother both would have preferred for the couple to move into a larger place. Rachel really didn't understand why they needed so much room. This place was perfect, aside from the reminder of what they lost.
Taking a few steps towards the nursery, Rachel took a deep breath and walked inside. She would spend time in there everyday and maybe that was the problem, she wasn't letting go. She took one more look around before stepping back and closing the door behind her. Eventually she would change the room, but for now just closing the door was a step in her eyes. Heading into the bedroom she just rolled her eyes when she noticed Patrick's clothing laying around on the floor. With a shake of her head, she quickly sighed and reached down to pick up his pants and straighten them out. However, as she did this she noticed something colorful sticking out of his pants pocket and reaching inside she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Red silk panties. They were not hers by any means. Clutching them in her fist for a moment, she opened her eyes and sniffled before shoving them back into his pocket and dropping the pants to the ground.
After taking a long and much needed shower she slipped into her ballet outfit and grabbed her bag before heading down to the studio for one of her classes. Today was her youngest group of girls. Five and six year olds. They honestly melted her heart with their smiles. As she walked into the studio, she couldn't help but smile as they started to call out of her name. Quickly running over to her and giving her hugs. "Happy to see me?" she laughed softly before slowly slipping from their grips and going to put her bag down in the corner, "Are you girls ready to get started?"
"Miss McGuire! Miss McGuire!" a one Madison Hudson called out as she reached her tiny arm into the air to get Rachel's attention causing her to smile.
"I worked on my pile over the weekend!"
Rachel let out a soft chuckle at Madison's use of the wrong word as she went over to Madison and knelt in front of her, "Would you like to show the whole class your Plie?" Madison nodded eagerly and Rachel stood up and backed up, "Everyone, Madison would like to show us her plie, now lets all pay attention." She clapped her hands and motioned for the small little brunette to show everyone.
One step at a time. That was all Rachel needed.
feedback? should I continue? I'd love to get everyone's thoughts again!