A/N: I do not own Glee nor the characters within. Well. This is a monster. I finished chapter seventeen of my story Echoes of the Past when this plot bunny came to me. So I've been writing this for the past week and finally finished it. Woo! If you've been waiting for an update on EotP, I hope that this story will make up for it. Alrightie, the story's long enough without a huge ass author's note to add to it. Enjoy~


Rachel was studying when Santana drunk texted her. God damn, berry. Get ur fuckin legs outta my head.

A minute later, she got another. Fuck it, wrap those legs around me. Let me grab that juicy ass.

And then three minutes later. Mmm… U alone? Cuz i wants to get me some of that bangin body.

Rachel stared at her phone. While being completely inappropriate and crude, she couldn't deny that Santana was making her feel oddly flattered. Disturbed at that thought, she quickly typed back. Santana, I would appreciate you ceasing this at once. I am sure your thinking is impaired, and, to help prevent any awkwardness come sobriety, it would be in your best interest to give your phone to someone else.

Santana's response was short and to the point. I kno u want me.

Deciding not to even touch that, Rachel threw herself back into her history book. She was sure that if she didn't reply to any more texts Santana were to send, the girl would either grow bored or forget about it entirely. But, to her surprise, after that last text, her phone went quiet.

…For fifteen minutes. But this time, it was Puck. Heads up. S is on her way 2 ur house.

Rachel's eyes widened. WHAT? Noah, why didn't you stop her? She's obviously inebriated, and in no condition to drive anywhere!

Relax. Shes walking.

ALONE? Noah! I'm disappointed in you!

Jeez, berry. Stop freaking. Asian fusion twins r with her.

Rachel frowned, her eyebrows drawing together. What was going on? Fine, but we shall still talk about this later. Did she say why she's coming here? It was a good thing blushes couldn't be seen over phones.

When Puck's reply came five minutes later, she barely had time to read it before someone started pounding on her front door; She started crying n' ranting sumthing about ur ass. U wanna tell me sumthing?

Happy that her parents weren't actually there so she would have to come up with an explanation for at least one drunk underage teen that, supposedly, was going to jump her the second she opened the door, she quickly made her way downstairs. She took a deep breath and swung the door open.

"Would you please stop pounding on my door? The neighbors are already – gah!" She had barely gotten her readied speech started when her arms were suddenly full of a sobbing Santana who kept muttering things about 'annoying midgets who were hot as hell, fucking teases, and liked Quinn and dolphin flipper boys better'. Sliding her arms awkwardly around the girl's upper chest to keep her upright, Rachel looked at Mike and Tina with wide eyes.

"Well, uh, she's here in one piece, so, uh, we'regonnagonow!" Tina babbled out, grabbing Mike's arm to pull him with her as she made her escape. Mike gave Rachel a small apologetic smile before following his girlfriend down the street and back in the direction of Puck's house.

Mouth dropped open, Rachel couldn't believe that they hadn't even greeted her. Instead, Tina and Mike had dropped an uninvited girl in visible distress off at her house and left her to deal with her. She frowned, already planning what she was going to say to them before Monday's glee practice. That wasn't any sort of respectable behavior.

Hands clutched at the back of Rachel's shirt, and a great, sweeping sob pressed into her neck reminded her that she had to deal with this problem first before she thought about the next one. Sighing, she started dragging Santana into her house and over to the large couch in the living room, kicking the door shut around one of Santana's long legs. She was thankful the taller girl was lighter than she had expected.

It wasn't until the side of her legs hit the edge of the couch that Rachel realized the moisture she was feeling on her neck wasn't just from tears anymore. No, that was quite obviously Santana's tongue swiping along her skin. Squeaking, Rachel tried to wrench herself away while pushing Santana back, but the cheerleader was determined to continue nibbling her. "Really, Santana!" she gasped, uncomfortably aware that her body was starting to betray her; starved for affection, her hormones were going haywire, "This is hardly proper! You obviously are not aware of what you're doing, and – "

"Shut it, Berry," Santana growled, pushing Rachel down onto the couch and crawling on top of her. Sniffing back the last of her dying tears, the girl's eyes had ugly streaks of mascara running down from them, and they were rimmed with red, making Rachel wonder how long she had been crying, but the firm tilt of her lips and darkening of her eyes made her seem more predatory than pathetic.

Feeling knees pressing into either side of her waist, strong hands holding her arms down above her head, and strands of Santana's hair falling forward to tickle her face, Rachel's mouth dried. "Santana," she whimpered, "Please let me go."

A wide smirk streaked across Santana's face, and she sensually ground her pelvis into Rachel's stomach. "Imagine that," she whispered, "You're already calling my name." Her words were slightly slurred, but nothing else than that and the crying spoke to the level of drunkenness that could be the only reason to explain her behavior. "But I believe I told you to shut it, didn't I?"

Shifting to hold both of Rachel's wrists with one hand, she dragged the other down one arm and onto her chest, thankfully bypassing anything intimate. Instead, she teasingly slipped the tips of her fingers under the bottom of Rachel's tank top. "Now let's see just how damn fine the rest of your body is…"

When Rachel felt fingernails scrape against her skin, she immediately bucked, renewing her struggle to get out from under Santana. The mixture of pleasure and ticklish sensation was too overwhelming.

Not prepared for the violent reaction or the sudden shifting of her seat, Santana tightened her thighs, letting go of Rachel's hands. Prevented from rolling off the couch and concerned that if she did Santana could get seriously hurt, Rachel tensed her abs and sat up, shoving the girl on top of her back to now straddle her upper thighs. Having used Santana's arms as an anchor to help pull herself up, Rachel now realized she may have miscalculated things, because the girl who apparently wanted to jump her was now nose to nose with her.

Santana's fingers dug into her waist, and before Rachel could fully register what was going on, she crashed their mouths together. Insistent and slightly clumsy, the cheerleader's kissing technique was an extension of what she'd done to her neck earlier: all swipes of tongue and nibbles, practically devouring her lips.

What the… From drunk texts to practically humping her, who the heck was this Santana?

When Santana's tongue actually slipped into her mouth, bringing in with it the taste of lipstick and some kind of alcohol and beer, Rachel moaned shamelessly. Shocked immobile from the betrayal of her vocal chords, she wasn't prepared when Santana, the girl taking the noise as encouragement, wrapped her arms around Rachel's ribs, pulling them chest to chest. Suddenly more up close and personal to another girl's breasts than she had ever anticipated (and especially never thinking it would be Santana's!), once again her rational mind managed to take over.

No, no, no. Lifting her hands to dig her fingers into Santana's hair, she yanked her back. Squawking in pain and surprise, Santana let go of her to fly her hands up and try to stop the pressure on her scalp. Pulling until she could put her off balance enough to slide her legs out from under her, Rachel scrambled off the couch.

"Mother fucker!" Santana yelled, trying to massage the pain away, "What the hell?" And, to Rachel's surprise, big tears started welling up in her eyes, her face crumpled, and she started sobbing, falling forward to hide her face in the cushions of the couch.

Rachel's mouth dropped open. If she hadn't been able to see the shaking of her shoulders and hear the large, gulping, gasps of air, she would have thought Santana was faking. Against her best judgment, she grabbed the box of tissues on the nearby coffee table. Walking quietly back to the couch, she hesitated before reaching out to touch the other girl's shoulder. She had to rub her fingers back and forth a couple of times to get Santana to finally sit up and look at her.

"Here," she offered softly, holding out the tissues.

Santana sniffled, but reached out and took one, wiping roughly at her eyes. Moving her legs so she sat against the back of the couch, she muttered, "Come here."

"What?" Rachel's eyes widened, and she had to force herself not to take a step back.

Santana's lower lip trembled, and she shook her head. "Come here," she repeated, "Or am I not good enough?" The tears appeared again, "No, I know I'm not good enough. I can't compare to anyone, right? You want someone else. I know how it is. You like her better!"

"Her?"

"Quinn Fabray," Santana spat out, glaring through her tears, "Everyone always wants her. The 'golden girl'. She's the all American blonde cheerleader." Shoulders trembling again, Santana looked down at her hands, "I just can't compare."

"Uhm… What?" Rachel blinked, honestly confused. Where would Santana get the idea she liked Quinn? "I'm sorry, but I've never… Er, wanted… Quinn." Almost certain the other girl wasn't going to pounce on her as soon as she sat down, Rachel took a seat near Santana, placing the tissue box between them for added safety.

Santana eyed her distrustfully. "Then it's Finn, isn't it?" she threw out, "Or Puck. Tell me so I can beat him up!"

Rachel stared at the girl who seemed to vacillate between anger and sadness, aggression and depression.

"Sam? Mike? Artie? Mr. Schue?" Santana was almost frantic now, and a huge sob welled up from her again, "What do they have that I don't?"

Penises, was Rachel's first thought, but she knew that wouldn't be appreciated. "Santana," she started slowly, "I'm going to get you some water. I think you need to sober up. I am finding it quite… Disquieting to speak to you in your inebriated state." Standing up from the couch, she carefully skirted around it and headed into the kitchen.

Yes, water sounded like a good idea. She was oddly thirsty, and taking the time to get it would give her some time alone so she could figure out what the heck was going on. Grabbing two clean glasses from the dishwasher and bringing them over to the sink, she started trying to sort everything in her head.

Santana Lopez was in her house. Santana Lopez was in her house, they were alone, and she, for whatever reason, seemed to be sexually attracted to Rachel. Chalk that up in the column of 'things that were never supposed to happen, ever'.

If it had just been the drunk texts, Rachel could have easily shaken off the whole thing. But she couldn't, now. Santana had actually searched her out. And she seemed determined to find out who Rachel liked so she could incapacitate them. Could that be just the alcohol talking? It wasn't something Santana really felt and only the alcohol could bring it out?

She sighed and ran a hand through her hair. She was woefully unprepared for how to deal with a situation like this.

The girl in the living room was nothing like the Santana Rachel knew. True, ever since Sectionals of last year, she'd been a little less caustic, but none of that had ever hinted at the Santana she was experiencing now. And, Rachel winced, what would this mean for how Santana would treat her after this?

Setting the filled glasses down onto the counter, Rachel went to the refrigerator and pulled out the fruit salad she'd made that morning. Maybe if she gave this to Santana, it would start the sobering up process. And having Santana sobering up while still in her presence would be much, much better than having Santana leaving now and waking up in the morning remembering everything without Rachel there to do damage control.

After taking out two bowls, Rachel frowned, realizing that it would take more than one trip to bring everything. Sticking her head into the living room, she called out, "Santana! Can you come into the kitchen, please?"

Hearing a noise of acquiescence, Rachel sighed in relief – she'd honestly been afraid Santana would have taken the chance to escape without Rachel there to watch her – and started filling the tea kettle with water. Some hot tea after the food sounded good.

When Santana shuffled in, it was obvious she had taken Rachel's absence as a chance to try cleaning herself up; she'd washed off the mascara and tamed her hair, putting it up into a loose ponytail. Knowing that meant she was probably already starting to sober up, Rachel smiled at her.

Santana crookedly smiled back, but her face was already less open than it had been earlier. It was still striking, however, because Rachel had rarely ever seen the cheerleader smile at her before.

"Here," Rachel handed her one of the waters, then motioned for Santana to take a seat at the breakfast bar. Joining her, she pushed the fruit salad at her. "You can go first," she offered.

Santana raised her eyebrows at the fruit salad, then looked at Rachel with an incredulous expression, "…Fruit salad?"

Rachel frowned. What was wrong with fruit salad? "It's nutritious, and it should help with preventing dehydration."

Sighing, Santana picked up one of the spoons and scooped out a pretty impressive portion despite her initial reluctance. "Ice cream's just as good," she muttered, and it was so unexpected Rachel laughed. "What?" Santana glared lazily at her, taking a bite of watermelon, "I think I would have more knowledge of hangover techniques than you."

Rachel rolled her eyes. "That's not really anything to be proud of," she poured the rest of the fruit salad into her own bowl, "But I can see how ice cream may help. Mentally, that is."

"Damn right," Santana smirked. She leaned forward, "So do you have any?"

"Well, I do have dairy free…" Santana made a face, and Rachel giggled. "Yes, I didn't think you'd want that."

Santana shoveled another spoonful into her mouth, mumbling about "…crimes against nature." Then, before Rachel could start correcting her, Santana reached out and placed her hand over her mouth, "None of that, Berry! I'm still a little drunk, and I don't want to vomit." Staring intently at her until she dropped her shoulders, Santana smiled triumphantly and took her hand away. "I eat animals, kay?"

Rachel winced, but didn't feel like attempting to start her lecture again. Santana's hand on her mouth had made her remember where it had been before, and what she had been going to do with it.

Realistically, she should have been more upset at how forceful the other girl had been with her, but like her texts, the attention had been oddly flattering. It had been a while since she and Finn had broken up, so she wasn't surprised that her hormones were peaking. It was just… Santana?

The clattering of spoon against porcelain knocked her from her thoughts, and she looked up to see Santana staring at her with a peculiar expression on her face. "What?" she asked nervously, starting to eat again.

"I don't understand you."

Rachel paused. "Excuse me?"

Putting her elbow onto the counter and resting her chin on her palm, Santana leaned forward. "You're not mad at me. In fact, you don't even seem annoyed that I'm here. That confuses the hell out of me."

Rachel shrugged, placing her bowl down onto the counter and swiveling the chair to face Santana fully, clasping her hands in her lap. "You needed me," she said simply, "In whatever capacity you thought it was." Almost as an afterthought, she smiled gently, "I'm glad that you're not crying anymore, though. I would say that was the most surprising."

Santana snorted, looking away, and Rachel could see that her eyebrows were drawing together. "It's a bad secret that I'm a bipolar drunk." She straightened, almost looking amused as her eyes met Rachel's. "Too bad I'm not drunk enough to forget this in the morning." Then, raising her eyes to the ceiling and shaking her head, she half-shrugged, "Which will make it harder to deny this ever happened when you tell everyone about it."

That made Rachel frown, insulted, and she hopped down from the chair, gathering the dirty dishes as she did so. Walking over to the sink, she couldn't stop herself from almost dropping them in. "Give me more credit than that, Santana," she said lowly before turning on the water to start rinsing the dishes, "Not only do I not take matters of peoples' sexualities lightly, especially not in a small town like Lima, but what would I gain from telling people about this?"

She heard Santana follow her over, then a tanned hand reached around and turned the water off. "Hey!" Rachel snapped, "Excuse me, but what do you think you are do – mmph!"

And she was suddenly pinned to the counter, Santana's pelvis pushed securely against hers, the taller girl's hands curled around the sides of her head, holding her still as she kissed her thoroughly.

Staring at Santana's closed eyes and furrowed eyebrows as she claimed her mouth savagely, Rachel's eyes fluttered shut when strong teeth nipped at her bottom lip. She lifted her hands onto Santana's shoulders, not sure if she was going to pull her closer or push her away. Then, when Santana's tongue snaked in between her lips again, making her moan again, the decision was pretty much taken away from her. This was too exciting, too abnormal, too letting her know she was wanted.

Santana's tongue was everywhere. Sliding along her teeth, twining around hers, exploring Rachel's mouth for all it was worth. Starting to pant a little, Rachel did her best to keep up though slightly overwhelmed. And when Santana drew her tongue back, she barely hesitated before following her.

There was something incredibly different about her tongue being in Santana's mouth. That meant she was an active participant. She was kissing back. It wasn't just Santana's show. It made her feel incredibly naughty, and that felt good.

Santana seemed to know the distinction between kissing and being kissed back, and she eagerly drank Rachel's efforts in. "Mmm… God, you taste so sweet," Santana muttered, pushing herself even closer into Rachel. Rachel squirmed, not sure if hearing the other girl's voice made this whole thing feel better or remind her just who it was she was with. The feeling of breasts against her was already foreign enough, but it wasn't a bad foreign…

One of Santana's hands slid back to tangle in her hair, cupping the back of her neck, the other moving down to her hip where it gently stroked up and down. Deciding that she was being a bit too passive and willing to explore, Rachel traced her hand along Santana's collarbone and up her neck, amazed at how soft and hot her skin was to the touch. Slipping her other hand behind Santana's back, she clutched at the material of her jacket, feeling the flexing of the other girl's muscles underneath. Santana was skinny, but she was very much in shape.

Letting out a low sound of appreciation at her continuing new found participation, Santana started moving her lips down, kissing along her jawline and under her ear, smoothly manipulating Rachel's head wherever she wanted it. Shocked because none of her ex-boyfriends had been so smooth, Rachel could only gasp and whimper as the cheerleader's nips and licks turned into bites and sucks; she knew she should be worrying about hickeys, but she couldn't find it in herself to care.

Presently, Rachel became aware of Santana's hips moving against her. Not too hard, not too noticeable, but Santana was definitely rocking into her. Swallowing at the sudden rush of heat that left her breathless, she bit her lip, looked up at the ceiling, and tried to think logically about this.

Tried, because Santana had just bitten down on the spot where her neck met her shoulder, and Rachel's legs went weak. "Ahh, Santana!" she groaned, sliding her hands down and up to wrap them around her shoulders, "What are you… What are you doing to me?"

Santana chuckled darkly, coming back up to kiss Rachel deeply again, "Stop asking rhetorical questions, Berry." Moving the hand behind her head down to her waist, she took a step backwards, drawing Rachel with her. "C'mon," she husked between kisses, "Let's go put that couch to good use."

Oh goodness. Feeling Santana's long fingers lace with hers as she turned and started tugging her out of the kitchen and back to the living room, Rachel stared at the back of her head, at the lines of her shoulders and back, at the messy ponytail that she had almost succeeded in pulling out completely. Not pressed up against her so intimately anymore, and without her mouth on her, Rachel was starting to think rationally again. Oh, she was still breathless and turned on, but…

But this was Santana! The girl who had taunted her for years, barely spared her a kind word, and always seemed to find her annoying. And now she wanted her? If her actions had been due to a rabid denial of homosexual tendencies, that could explain it, but that alone didn't sit completely well with her. This just didn't make sense. Could it be an elaborate joke? Rachel frowned. Even if it wasn't that, she didn't want to be someone's drunken conquest.

Oh, she was going to hate herself for this. "Wait," she planted her feet into the carpet of the living room, halting them and clearing her throat, "Santana, wait."

Santana narrowed her eyes. "What?" she asked warningly, taking a step back to close the distance between them again.

Rachel pulled her hand away, then raised it into the air. "Forgive me, Santana, but I don't think… I don't think this is a good idea."

Santana stared at her. "Oh, c'mon, Berry!" she growled, "You can't just start and then not follow through! That shit ain't cool!"

Wincing at the other girl's language, Rachel firmed her expression. "No, Santana. This is twice you have thrown yourself at me, three if we count the original texts, and I cannot deny the problems with this whole situation anymore. I do not wish to jump into something headfirst without understanding what is going on."

Crossing her arms, Santana glared at her. Rachel tried not to flinch. The girl in front of her was steadily morphing into the Santana she was most familiar with. "It's not like I'm in love with you or anything, Berry. I just need an itch scratched."

Trying not to feel insulted, knowing anger was Santana's defense mechanism, Rachel walked around her to take a seat at one end of the couch, pulling her legs under her. "Why me?" she asked simply, watching as Santana reluctantly took a seat at the other end, her eyes dark and intense.

"Cuz' I knew you'd be alone and available."

Ouch. Rachel sighed. This was why she hadn't wanted to do this. She stared at Santana, putting as much of an unimpressed expression on her face as she could.

Santana met her gaze squarely, not giving anything away.

Rachel decided that if she wanted answers, she'd have to ask more questions. She knew there was no guarantee the other girl would answer them, though. She sighed, looking away from Santana to study her hands. If she didn't want their glee relationship to suffer, she was almost tempted to forget about the whole thing…

Still, maybe if she explored this a little, it would be a great chapter for her memoir.

A loud sniffle made her snap her gaze back to Santana. What…? She was crying again? She must have been much more drunk than Rachel had thought. Either that, or she had a hip flask hidden somewhere on her person. It bothered Rachel a little that that second option seemed more likely. She should probably search Santana at some point, if she got the chance.

With her shoulders and head drooped, the cheerleader seemed to have traded sadness for anger, her eyes screwed shut and mouth twisted into a giant grimace. Eyeing her suspiciously, Rachel slowly offered her the tissue box again; if the cycle was consistent, she was going to try to jump her again soon. And if she did, Rachel wasn't sure she'd be able to say no quite so easily as before. Each time, Santana tore down some more of her reservations.

Opening her eyes and seeing the tissue box, Santana took one, but crumpled it into her hands instead of using it to wipe some of the tears trickling down her face. "I'm such a loser," she moaned, looking up at Rachel with a heartbroken expression, "Even you don't want me."

Ignoring the insult, Rachel leaned forward. "Why do you say that?" she asked, trying to look compassionate, "Regardless of my part in this equation, I don't see why you think you are a loser. You're Santana Lopez, aren't you?"

Santana shrugged jerkily, "Then why doesn't anyone want Santana Lopez?"

Rachel blinked. She was starting to get this. Still, that was absurd. "I'm sorry, but I think you're quite mistaken. Santana, you look at someone, and they want you." This was a pep talk she never thought she'd be giving. Pushing some of her hair behind her ear, Rachel smiled self consciously, "I'm a little jealous of you, to be honest."

"Why? You're smokin' hot." Dragging her gaze down Rachel's body, Santana licked her lips then looked back up at her, her eyes darkened again, "Don't believe any of the shit we've told you. Aside from your horrible fashion sense, you're fuckin' sexy, Berry."

Why couldn't Santana tell her this when she was sober? Heart thumping at the obvious appreciation on the other girl's face, Rachel blushed but pushed herself firmly into the arm of the couch, unconsciously trying to put more space between them. "I am quite secure in my own attractive qualities, thank you, and while your somewhat of an apology was appreciated, it was not needed."

With her makeup having been sobbed and washed off earlier, Santana's face was quickly losing the redness that made it clear she had been crying. Instead, a wide, lustful smile took over her mouth, and she fluidly dropped onto her hands and knees. Stalking forward with breath-stealing seductive movements and a predatory smile, Rachel found herself licking her lips even as she knew this was a bad idea and she should get up…

"But you know you like hearing it, don't you?" Santana breathed, using one hand to tug Rachel's legs out from under her to stretch out in front of her, brushing against her own legs. "Santana…" Rachel started, whatever she was going to say turning into a gasp when Santana once again straddled her thighs.

"Do you want me?" the girl asked her, sliding her arms around either side of Rachel's shoulders to support herself on the arm of the couch, "Because you drive me fuckin' crazy…"

"Santana…" Rachel shook her head, continuing to push herself back, feeling like she was drowning in deep brown eyes, "What is going on? Where is this sudden… Attraction to me coming from?"

Santana groaned. "Stop talking."

"No." Firming her chin, Rachel gave Santana a determined look, pressing her palms firmly against Santana's sternum, trying to ignore what was right under them. "I insist that you explain yourself. Though I am not… Adverse to engaging in some… Light necking, I would like to be on even footing before I do."

"Necking." Santana snorted, shaking her head before giving Rachel a hooded come-hither look. "Does it matter?" she asked, testing Rachel's determination to keep her back, "Just let yourself go…"

As Santana's fingers started tickling her neck, playing with her hair and brushing against her skin, Rachel's breath hitched. She could feel the girl's body heat against the palms of her hands through the thin fabric of her shirt, the solid weight of her on her legs. It had been so long since she'd been this close to someone, and it was exciting.

Santana shifted on top of her, bringing herself forward. "Don't you think there are better places for those hands?" she murmured as she tensed her legs to push herself up.

To her mortification, Rachel found her hands suddenly sliding over the swell of another girl's breasts, and before she could snatch them back, Santana had captured them with her own, keeping them there. "San, I…" her eyes kept flickering to her hands and Santana's face, "I… Th-this is not proper." Her breasts… Even through Santana's bra, they were amazing. So much more than the small ones genetics had left her with.

"Screw 'proper'," Santana cupped her hands to make Rachel do so as well, arching her back to thrust herself closer. "Mmm… Perfect size, right?" she husked, looking at Rachel from below her eyelashes.

Rachel swallowed. Santana's hands were warm, her breasts were firm, and really, there wasn't much else she could concentrate on.

"C'mon, use those talented fingers of yours…"

She and Finn had barely gotten this far. And they'd dated for months. No wonder he'd kept on asking to get to second base with her. Giving a tentative squeeze, Santana rewarded her with a deep breath and squeezing of her knees against her legs, "That's it, keep doing that."

In for a penny, in for a pound. If she was going to be doing this, why not go for it? It would just be the start of… What was it called? Mutual masturbation? Though she wasn't naïve to think making out with a girl was any less than making out with a boy, the newness was making her so curious she could feel herself getting risky.

Santana must have read her expression, because her eyebrows rose, and she gave Rachel an intrigued look. "I like the way you think," she purred, taking her hands away to shrug off her jacket, pooling it onto the floor next to the couch. Then, wrapping her hands over Rachel's again, she moved them down. Resting them momentarily on her hips, patting them and telling Rachel to "Stay," Santana lifted up the bottom of her shirt.

Staring at the toned stomach being revealed to her, Rachel suddenly found her hands curled around Santana's bare waist, the girl having moved them again. Taking advantage of her surprise, Santana leaned forward, slipping her tongue back inside her mouth.

Ohhh. It was so sudden and forceful Rachel immediately dug her fingernails into Santana's skin, dropping her mouth open to give her tongue more room. Santana was so good at working her body, and she'd barely touched her. Her mouth was so hot and wet she didn't want to stop kissing her. Was she sure Santana was the drunk one?

Barely noticing anything except Santana's lips, teeth, and tongue, as well as the feeling of the muscles in her torso bunching and clenching as she moved against her, and the burning heat of her skin, the only hint she got that Santana was continuing to strip was when the girl moved away for two seconds, fabric brushing past Rachel's forehead. Coming back in a clashing of teeth, Santana's fingers wrapped around her hands again, pulling them up. Losing air as she felt a sudden large expanse of soft skin and Santana's ribs moving past her, Rachel froze completely.

Too fast too fast too fast! Wrenching her mouth away, she stared at where her hands were. Yes. She was, in fact, cupping Santana's naked breasts.

Watching her with a shuttered look and flushed skin, Santana licked her lips before leaning close to nip at Rachel's ear, whispering huskily, "Don't they feel even better?"

"I…" Rachel swallowed, eyes as wide as she'd ever felt them before. Santana's… Santana's breasts were in her hands? Those were really her nipples against her palms? Her mouth went dry at the sensation.

Getting impatient with her lack of motion, Santana sat back again. "Do I need to do everything?" she asked, tightening her grip on Rachel's hands as she looked pointedly at her.

"I… I really don't think…" Rachel breathed, somehow ignoring the voice in her brain that was telling her to take her hands back and get out of there. It was just… She was holding what all of the boys (minus Kurt and whoever else was a closeted homosexual) and many of the girls of McKinley High lusted after. Biting her lower lip, she glanced up once more at Santana's face, and made her decision. Spreading her fingers wide, she rolled her palms up.

"Finally," Santana hissed, arching into the touch. Dropping her hands, she slid them up Rachel's arms to wrap them around her shoulders, pushing her lower body into her stomach as she squirmed closer. "Damn, I knew you'd be good at this."

Really? Santana had actually thought about doing this with her before? That still surprised her. Sucking in her breath at the other girl's grinding, she could feel her back start to protest at the awkward angle of being bent over the arm of the couch. "Uhm, I'm a little uncomfortable. Can I sit up?" she asked tentatively.

Santana opened her eyes, so dark it made heat pool in the pit of her stomach. "Whatever," she grunted, letting out breathy moans as Rachel became more confident, "Just. Don't. Stop." She rose on her knees so Rachel could pull her lower back flush against the arm, spreading her legs a little to make it more comfortable as she settled into her new position. It had been a little hard to do without taking her hands away from Santana, but she had managed.

When Santana looked down to make sure she was situated, she frowned. "No, no, this is no good."

"What?" Rachel looked up at her, stopping the movements of her hands in a mixture of confusion and insecurity.

"You're gettin' on top of me." Without waiting for an answer, Santana pulled herself away from Rachel's hands, swung her leg out from over Rachel's thighs and leaned heavily against the back of the couch. When Rachel stared dumbly at her, she rolled her eyes. "C'mon, get up." Pulling her forward enough so she could slip in behind her, Santana took the position Rachel had just been in. When Rachel turned around to stare at her, Santana reached forward and pulled her forward, making her straddle her. "That's better," she purred, slipping her hands around Rachel's waist as she gave her a seductive smile.

Rachel shivered, trying to keep herself upright when Santana attached her mouth to her neck. It was completely different being on top. If she really wanted to, she could get off and stop the whole thing, but… Looking down at the top of Santana's head, feeling her bare skin under her hands as she circled her shoulders, her upper thighs between her legs, her bare chest pressing against her, and her insistent tongue, Rachel was too turned on to even think about putting a stop to this just yet.

Santana's fingers slipped under her tank top again, but in this position, it wasn't as ticklish. "You know," the girl muttered in between kisses up her jaw and towards her mouth, "This isn't really," she started hiking the tank up, "Fair."

Rachel sucked in a deep breath. Was she… She actually wanted to feel Rachel too? It wasn't just about her? "I… I don't know if I want, I want to do that," she gasped just as Santana settled her lips over hers.

"Why not?" Santana tugged on her bottom lip with her teeth as she slid her hands teasingly up her sides, making Rachel tense her muscles. "Remember 'never say no'?"

Because if she did, Santana would be the first person to see her half naked. If she admitted that, what would the cheerleader think of her? She could have played everything off from earlier with the excuse of it being her first time making out with another girl, but not this.

Feeling vulnerable, Rachel drew back, shuddering when Santana's tongue darted forward to lick her lips. Forcing the girl to meet her gaze, she smiled slightly, "That's for you. I've found that philosophy doesn't work for me. If you please…" She made sure Santana was listening, "I'd like to stay clothed."

Santana furrowed her brow. Looking down at the amount of Rachel's stomach she could see, she moved her hands, splaying her fingers out to mold them against the front of her torso. Letting the tank top fall to cover them, she slowly started sliding her hands up, using the lines of Rachel's ribs to lead her to her back.

Skin tingling while she tried to hold her breath, Rachel used Santana's dark eyes as something to concentrate on. "What are…?" she started, cut off by a very pleased smirk and nimble fingers unsnapping her bra. Rachel whimpered. Santana's confidant cockiness and attitude was consistently arousing while arrogant.

"There…" Santana whispered, keeping her triumphant smug expression, "I don't need to see them if I get to feel them."

Rachel stared at her. She should stop this. She shouldn't let this go to someone who didn't care for her. Who she hadn't built a loving relationship full of trust and respect with. This went against all of her morals. Her convictions. What was she doing?

She shoved Santana back, not caring if she tore her tank top because of her hands still under it. Scrambling off the couch, she crossed her arms over her chest, feeling the awkward hanging of her free bra. "No, no, this isn't right," she shook her head, "I can't give that to you!"

As soon as the words left her mouth, she wanted to take them back. That single sentence could be taken so many ways, and none of them good. Still, maybe Santana deserved that, seeing as she'd been evilly seducing Rachel all evening. And now it was her time to take back control of the situation. Without Santana's hands on her, hopefully she could think clearly.

"God dammit!" Santana groaned, falling back onto the couch. Not caring of her half naked state, she looked at Rachel out of one eye. "You are a total buzz-kill, you know that? It's not like I haven't seen any before. And you certainly got a handful of mine."

Finishing hastily refastening her bra and adjusting it, Rachel turned back around just in time to see Santana had rolled onto her stomach and was fishing for something in her jacket. Finding what she was looking for and pulling it out with a wide smile, Rachel could only stare in total disbelief as Santana produced two sample sized bottles of vodka and started unscrewing one as she sat up.

"Oh no you're not!" Jumping forward, Rachel managed to successfully swipe one away from the other girl, quickly coming back to take the one she had been opening.

"Hey! Le'go!" Pushing Rachel back and keeping the other one away from her, Santana growled, "What the hell?"

Pushing the first bottle into the pocket of her yoga pants, Rachel lunged forward, trying to slip under her arm. "You are not going to take part in underage drinking in my house! Why do you even feel the need to do so? I thought we were trying to sober you up!"

"No, you were the one who wanted to sober me up." Gritting her teeth and sliding around so her back was to Rachel, Santana snapped out, "I need it to deal with you and your fucking Virgin Mary routine. It's fucking ridiculous."

That made Rachel pause. Taking a step back, she watched in silence as Santana, looking wearily at her the whole time, downed the vodka. She knew she should be going back to making a fuss over the illegal and stupid act, but she needed to take a moment to finish putting the pieces together in her mind.

"You really want me," she whispered, looking at Santana in wonder, "You want me, but you hate that you do. That's why you're drinking. You want to be able to blame everything on the alcohol."

Closing her expression, Santana turned away, picking up her clothes, the lines of her shoulders tight.

Rachel knew she was on the right track. "You've liked me for a while, haven't you?" she asked softly, "But you were able to keep it to yourself."

Santana continued ignoring her, putting her bra back on, followed by her shirt, in short, quick movements.

"But something changed. Something happened tonight, didn't it? Something that made it impossible to continue doing so." Seeing Santana flinch, Rachel walked over to her, stopping at her side. "Santana, what happened? What made you send those texts?"

"You don't know what you're talking about." Avoiding her gaze, Santana shrugged her jacket on, "Stop flattering yourself."

That retort was incredibly weak, not up to the cheerleader's usual standards. Sucking her lower lip into her mouth and chewing on it, Rachel knew she only had a small window of time before Santana tried to run away. Moving in front of her, she smiled supportively, not surprised in the least to see returning tears starting to crowd the taller girl's eyes. "Come on, San," she reached out and straightened Santana's jacket, patting it softly, "When I'm not talking, I've been told I'm a good listener." She hoped the use of Santana's nickname and self deprecating humor would surprise the other girl mentally enough to keep her off balance.

When Santana looked down at her, Rachel's heart skipped a beat at what she saw in her eyes. So deep brown, so intense… Studying her gaze intently, Santana's expression was so severe it looked like it hurt.

Rachel held her breath. If she was rational, she should have been worrying about this backfiring, because there was no telling what kind of hell Santana would put her through for the rest of high school if that happened. But that was the farthest thing from her mind. Somewhere, however it happened, she and Santana had developed an explosive attraction to each other, and now that she'd discovered it, Rachel wanted to explore it. But first, she needed to see where Santana stood. She needed an explanation.

Long fingers reached out and pushed hair behind her ear, making Rachel shiver, Santana taking a small step forward. Taking in a deep breath and letting it out shakily, the taller girl tried to smile through the tears she couldn't keep from slipping down her cheeks, "You're an annoying little midget, you know?"

"I'm only three inches shorter than you," Rachel huffed, glad Santana wasn't retreating.

"Yeah. Tiny." Sniffing, Santana blinked then took a step away, heading for the couch and tissue box, which at some point had gotten squished.

Well, at least that was better than Man Hands or Ru Paul. She could deal with being called tiny, but midget and dwarf and any other variation would have to go. Even if she was two inches below the average height for women in the U.S. She took refuge in the fact that she still had time to grow.

"Ugh," Santana moaned, dropping onto the couch, using the palms of her hands to scrub at her eyes, blinking as she looked up at her, "I think I am willing to chance some of that crime against nature ice cream."

Well, she had made progress. Santana wasn't angry, and she wasn't trying to run. Rachel could be patient for a little longer. So she found herself grinning even as she rolled her eyes. "It's really not bad once you get used to it," she lightly poked Santana's leg with the tip of her sock.

Santana snorted. "'Once you get used to it'. Really?" Making a face, she kicked back. Then, sighing and fluffing her hair, taking it out of the ponytail that was barely hanging on, she looked at Rachel expectantly. "Well? You're not gonna make me get it myself, are you? I might drop your dishes or somethin', and I'm sure your dads wouldn't like that."

Sighing, Rachel gave Santana an exasperated look and figured she wouldn't be able to understand the girl's mood swings any time soon. Hopefully the ice cream would jumpstart the sobering process again and overturn whatever effect that small bottle of vodka had done. She couldn't believe she'd been right about Santana smuggling in some more alcohol into her house.

Making her way into the kitchen and heading straight for the freezer, she prayed she was right in trusting Santana not to bolt. Was she giving the girl too much credit? She frowned, starting to look through frozen peas and Eggos and everything else her parents had stored away; she was not looking forward to chasing after her in the cold if she did make a run for it.

…Wait. That gave her pause. Letting go of the carton of ice cream she had just found, Rachel sat back on her heels. Exercise was another way of sobering up, right? And since she and Santana were not going to be doing any more of that anytime soon, she thought, blushing, and chances were Santana wouldn't try anything in public, she had a really bad idea that could turn out to be a really good one.

Standing up and shutting the freezer door, she turned around, intent on walking back into the living room. …Only to find Santana standing right behind her. "Ahh!" she screamed, jumping backwards and hitting the freezer door, a hand flailing out to hit Santana's shoulder in admonishment, "Don't do that!"

Looking at her with wide eyes that quickly shut in amusement as she started chuckling, Santana let Rachel push past her. "Ohh, Berry, that was hilarious! You should have seen your face."

Rachel glowered at her as she tried to catch her breath and calm her pounding heart. "Just for that," she threatened, "I'll make you eat the dairy-free ice cream instead of what I was going to get you."

"And what would that be?" Smirking, Santana sauntered forward, stopping just a couple of inches away from her.

Rachel raised her chin, crossing her arms. She knew very well what Santana was doing. Could the girl not exude sex? "Tell me," she sidestepped the question and questioner, starting to head out of the kitchen and towards the stairway, "How good are you at walking in a straight line?"

"Uh… Why?"

Hah! She'd managed to make Santana speechless! Giggling to herself, Rachel stopped at the top of the stairs, turning to see if Santana was still following her. She was. While staring at Rachel's ass. Blushing furiously, Rachel spun around and jogged into her room. She was always helpless against blatant ogling.

Leaving the door open to make doubly sure Santana would know where she was, as well as make it clear that she was allowed to come in, Rachel turned to her closet. If she and Santana were to leave the house, she wanted to change. Her tank top and yoga pants weren't appropriate attire.

The soft click of her bedroom door let her know Santana had entered. Barely throwing her a glance, she went back to visually comparing tops and sweaters, trying to remember what bottoms she had in her dresser.

"Whoah, no pink."

Rachel made a face. Why was it that everyone thought she would have a pink bedroom?

Santana's voice became appraising, interested, "Ohh…? That's a nice, big bed. I knew you – "

Whirling around, Rachel glared, unamused at the toothy smirk Santana was giving her, "Do not finish that sentence, Santana Lopez! You and I are not going to… To engage in any sort of physical activity until we talk." Then, adding quickly, forcing herself to ignore the falling of Santana's expression, "And it's not even guaranteed then.

"Now," grabbing a long sleeved shirt from her closet and a pair of skinny jeans from her dresser, she offered a small smile to the now sullen girl sitting on her bed, "Make yourself at home while I go change. I shouldn't be long at all."

"Whatever. Have fun touching yourself while you think of me."

Dropping her mouth open, Rachel decided it would be better to not respond at all, and gave Santana a cross look before hurrying into her bathroom, Santana's extremely self satisfied smirk and dancing dark eyes following her in.

As soon as the door shut behind her, Rachel let out a deep breath of air. What… What was she doing? Was this an episode of Twilight Zone? Was she going insane? Santana Lopez, the girl who'd seemingly hated her for years, had shown up at her front door, drunk and horny, jumped her, pretty much molested her, and Rachel hadn't kicked her out? She'd left her on her bed? Oh goodness. What if the girl took that as an invitation and stripped while Rachel was getting changed? She'd seen this scene before, in movies. Once Rachel stepped out of the bathroom, Santana would be waiting for her under the covers, then, as Rachel looked at her in confusion, she'd draw back the blankets and whisper seductively for her to join her and…

Rachel dropped her head into her hands, groaning. Okay, so she had always thought Santana was one of the most attractive people at McKinley High, didn't matter what gender. So maybe she'd admired her from a distance, but that was normal female development. This rush of arousal and want for the cheerleader, though… It wasn't exactly heterosexual. Had it always been there?

Or was she substituting Santana for the hole Finn had left in her life? That it was just a warm body and attention she was responding to? That maybe whenever Santana had kissed her or touched her, her body had thought it was Finn?

Of course, that theory didn't hold up when she realized Finn didn't have breasts. Unwillingly, her mind conjured up the feeling and sight of Santana's naked chest, and she sucked in her breath, biting her lip. If it was only Finn she wanted, a girl's naked body wouldn't affect her so much.

And, as Rachel studied her reflection in the mirror, taking in her mussed hair, still slightly swollen lips, various red marks and blemishes Santana had left on her neck, her heart thudded in her chest and her legs grew weak. No. It was safe to say she was now one hundred percent certain Santana affected her.

And she was one hundred percent certain she was attracted to the other girl.

Almost as if that realization lifted some sort of weight off her shoulders, Rachel smiled to herself and started stripping. There wasn't anything wrong with being gay or bisexual, as she now figured she could think of herself as. Growing up with her fathers had prepared her for every possibility in the maturation of her sexuality, so she didn't feel any different. Not really. Just a little surprised, that's all, but it wouldn't change anything about herself. Rachel was still Rachel. She had just figured out she wasn't adverse to female companionship. And if that attraction turned out to only apply to Santana and no other female, she didn't care, either.

Shimmying into her jeans and pulling the long sleeved shirt on over the tank top, Rachel quickly brushed out her hair enough to keep it flowing around her neck. She may have enjoyed getting the hickeys, but she really didn't want to show them off. She'd have to bring that up with Santana. If they were ever going to engage in similar behavior again, she should know that leaving noticeable marks would be prohibited.

Splashing water on her face and applying a quick coat of lip gloss, taking one last look in the mirror and telling herself she did not have to put any extra effort into looking good for the other girl, Rachel dropped her yoga pants into the clothes hamper after securely hiding the vodka under the sink and exited her bathroom.

Her eyes immediately flew to the bed.

Which, while Santana was lounging on it, she wasn't under the covers or naked. Pushing a faint feeling of disappointment away, she smiled shyly at the raised eyebrows and wide smile that grew on Santana's face, "I am done if you would like to use the bathroom."

"Damn, Berry! Why the hell have I not seen you in those jeans before?" Sitting up straight and hopping off the bed, Santana grabbed her shoulders to spin her around. "Oh fuck, that ass," Rachel heard muttered huskily, and Santana's hands slid down to dig into her hipbones, tensing before letting go.

Pure fire had run down the path Santana's hands had gone. Rachel's decision in the bathroom must have made things easier for her body to feel. Taking a second to gather her wits, breathing deeply, she found Santana sitting on the edge of her bed again, watching her with hooded eyes. "Well," she smiled nervously, nodding her head, "I am assuming you don't need to freshen up." Santana raised an eyebrow, and Rachel continued, "Alright then. Let's go."

Following her out of her bedroom and down the stairs, waiting as she grabbed her coat and scarf off of the coat rack near the front door, slipping on boots she'd left earlier in the day, Santana stayed silent the whole time. When Rachel unlocked her Prius and waited for her to enter, she couldn't help casting the other girl concerned glances. Buckling her belt, she paused, lowering the keys to hold them on her thigh. "You okay?" she asked quietly.

Santana stared out the passenger side window. Face in shadow from the streetlight down the street, she sighed. "Take me home, Berry."

"What?" Stomach dropping and eyebrows furrowing, Rachel licked her lips. "No, I was going to drive us down to the Dairy Queen. You wanted ice cream, and I admit I wouldn't mind something to eat as well, so I figured that would be an appropriate place to sit and perhaps sort out the situation we have found ourselves in."

Santana didn't turn away from the window. "No, I'm over this."

Feeling rejected and blindsided, Rachel tried again, hoping to keep her hurt out of her voice, "Over what? Maybe we should talk about it. Because I honestly believe if we let everything go without discuss – "

"Jesus, Berry! Shut up. I'm over this, okay? I'm over you. I don't want to be around you anymore. So put that damn key in the damn ignition and fucking take me home."

Rachel flinched, clicking her mouth shut. In the tense atmosphere within the car, she could hear Santana breathing deeply. Blinking and swallowing, trying to find her voice, she clenched the keys tightly in her fist. "Alright, fine," she finally managed, low and restrained, "If that's what you want, you can walk home. I imagine if you're over my company, you wouldn't be able to handle the fifteen minute ride. So, if you excuse me, I am going to take a walk in the exact opposite of your house so there's no chance you will run into me, or, if for some reason you decide to come back to my house, I won't be there." Jabbing her seatbelt free, she pushed the door open, swung herself out, and slammed the door shut, all in a rather impressive imitation of her frequent glee storm out. Shoving her hands into her pockets to get them out of the chill of the night air, she started power walking in the direction she knew wasn't the one Santana would take.

Trying to hold in the tears that had been building since Santana told her to take her home, Rachel yelled at herself in her head. How stupid was she? Dairy Queen. Talking. Getting Santana to talk was like getting Mr. Schuester to not pick Journey songs; just didn't happen. She'd been naïve to think that whatever truce Santana had been working under would have lasted. Rachel had already rejected her three times, wanting to talk.

But talking was what Rachel was good at. She needed to talk. She couldn't just… Jump into things. Suddenly making out with Santana, especially when Santana was drunk… She needed to know why. Because if she didn't know why, she let herself imagine why. And when she imagined, she always found the 'good' reasons for the whys and hows. The reasons that only benefited her. The reasons that made things more important than they were.

Santana had probably just been horny. The two people Rachel knew Santana had continuing history with, Brittany and Puck, weren't available anymore, and it was just like Santana had said: Rachel was alone, and she was probably needy enough that if even Kurt had looked her way, she'd be all over him. But when Rachel didn't fall all over herself to get into Santana's pants – no, she wanted to talk instead – that probably ended any interest the cheerleader had in her.

There was no 'incident' that made Santana text her. She'd probably just calculated the best way to get Rachel's attention. Made her think she liked her, because she knew Rachel wasn't into flings or one night stands.

Rachel angrily rubbed at her eyes, knowing that walking and crying at the same time wasn't the safest thing to be doing. But even if she could make herself cry on cue, it was something else entirely making herself stop when she was actually crying. And she couldn't see herself stopping anytime soon. Santana had played her. In fact, she was probably laughing at her right now, plotting to humiliate her in some enormous way on Monday. Though she knew she'd be able to survive whatever it was Santana was going to cook up for her, as there was no choice for her not to, it didn't mean it wouldn't hurt her.

Because even if most of the night had been about trying to figure out how to deal with Santana and her bipolar drunkenness, Rachel had never felt as… Close to the other girl as she had that night. Not just physically. Emotionally. Even if a lot of it had been bravado or the alcohol talking, she'd thought she might have been seeing something real.

But that had probably been a calculation, too.

The sound of her phone getting a text message cut through her thoughts. Instantly, her stomach dropped again; she wasn't in the mood for getting angry texts from Santana that probably read like U effin B*TCH! How DARE u leave me here, u effin LESBO, man hands!

Eight seconds later, the text notification sound went off again.

Okay… That was either a long text cut into two, or two quick texts sent after each other, or two texts suddenly sent from two different people around the same time. Slowly taking her phone out of her pocket, she unlocked it just because she didn't want miss it if it was from one of her fathers. Pushing the icon of 2 new messages, and sneaking a quick look up the street to make sure there was nothing or no one in front of her, her inbox appeared.

Santana Lopez (2).

And, as she watched, it switched to (3).

Tightening her grip on her phone, Rachel slid it back into her pocket. There was no way she was going to read them anytime soon. She needed to prepare herself first. And that meant, she took a more thorough look around, taking a left at the next street and walking towards downtown Lima to get the nearest coffee shop. It was still fairly early in the evening, and if she picked up her pace, she should get there with enough time to hang out for maybe a half hour or so. That was probably long enough to make sure Santana was gone when she came back.

Rachel shook her head. Using the end of her scarf, she scrubbed some of the tear tracks off her face. The cool night air was seemingly determined to latch onto the wetness, so she decided to concentrate harder on stopping crying. It was a simple fact that would make it easier to do so: Santana wasn't worth her tears.

Turning left, she'd made it halfway down the block before her phone rang. Checking hesitantly, Dad flashed on the screen, so she quickly hit accept. "Hi, Dad!" she forced herself to sound normal, hoping wind interference was down to a minimum.

"Hey, honey. How are you? Still hard at work studying?"

Rachel winced. "Uhm, no, not currently. Actually, I left the house a little while ago to take a walk."

"Oh? Are you sure that's safe?"

"Yes, Dad. I have my coat with me, and it has pepper spray and a whistle in it. As well as I have my phone, and my wallet has my emergency info in it."

"Good. Do you have any idea when you'll be coming home? Your Daddy and I are making the last circuit around the party, so we should be leaving soon. If you need a ride, we'd be glad to come get you."

That made her smile. Glancing up at the nearest street sign, she mentally tried to calculate her estimation of time, but because it was so dependent on how she felt, she finally settled on, "Okay, Dad. Give me a call when you actually leave, and I'll let you know. Thank you."

"Of course." She could hear an answering smile in her dad's voice. "Ohp, he's giving me the hairy eyeball, so I guess my time is up. Talk to you soon, hun. Love you."

"Love you too, Dad! Pass it on to Daddy, too. Bye."

Hanging up, Rachel sighed, shuffling her shoulders. That had almost made her turn around and start walking home. She needed to make sure Santana and all traces of her were gone, after all. However, going back over the evening, all she could think of was the squashed tissue box, and that wasn't anything big. Thankfully.

As for Santana herself… Rachel really couldn't see her hanging around her house, waiting for her to come back. She'd almost, honestly, expected the cheerleader to have chased after her when she'd stormed off, but that hadn't obviously happened. She hadn't heard the car door open or close, and she'd already checked to make sure no one was following her. She didn't want to admit that hurt, but it did.

Rachel groaned, her forehead wrinkling. What had she been thinking, leaving Santana in her car? Had she locked it when she left? Had she even left? Hopefully she hadn't gotten so desperate to get home and angry at Rachel that she'd hot wired the vehicle and gone for a drunken joyride. It wouldn't be a surprise if the girl knew how to do so; like Puck, she had the air of 'juvenile delinquent' about her. Then again, that could always be another of the false airs the girl put on. Which made her wonder, not for the first time, who the real Santana actually was.

She tightened her scarf around her neck, anything to ignore the burning of her phone in her pocket. Checking it had to wait. She wanted to be settled and calm before she did so, and that would not be accomplished as she was walking down the street. Seeing she was only about five minutes away from where she remembered a Starbucks being, she picked up her pace even more.

It would probably be warmer inside. She wasn't freezing, but she wasn't very comfortable, either. Hopefully her coat and scarf were enough to keep her from getting sick. If she did take ill, that would be another reason to be mad at Santana. And she would be able to justify her anger. Absolutely justify it. Rachel's livelihood was her voice, and she couldn't risk damaging it. There were many dangers with even the mildest of colds, laryngitis notwithstanding.

Her latest battle with laryngitis had been mortifying. First she'd chosen Miley Cyrus, which was pretty terrible, but combining that with the cat screeching that had come out of her? Sheer and utter humiliation. Once cured, she'd listened to the tape of the recording Lauren had made before being told to remove all of the microphones, and she hadn't known how she was ever going to live that down. Fortunately, glee and the gleeks had a new scandal almost every week, so eventually it seemed everyone had forgotten about the complete and utter fool she'd made of herself.

Starbucks appeared up ahead. Gladly tramping up to the door, she ducked inside, welcoming getting out of the cold, and headed straight for the counter. Idly browsing the CDs they had for sale as the cuter of the two male baristas she'd seen many times before retrieved a cup of steeping mint tea for her, she quickly claimed the small table in the corner of the shop, away from the few other patrons. Ever since she'd left the kettle by the stove at home, tea had been in the back of her mind.

And now, finally, she had some. Holding her hands close to the searing heat of the sides of the paper cup, she used a warm palm to rub her forehead. Well. She'd promised herself that as soon as she got situated, she was going to take her phone out and read whatever abuse Santana had left her. And now she was situated. So, taking a deep breath and firming her constitution, she opened Santana Lopez (3).

Fuck berry ur such a fuckin drama queen. FUCK U 2.

Ok dammit cum back. I didnt mean wut i just wrote.

Berry, u kno i dont do apologies. Cum back so we can talk. Or tell me where ur going. I dont wanna freeze out here.

Rachel drew in a deep breath of air, holding it in her lungs before releasing it slowly. It was bad, but it could have been worse. Did Santana really want to talk? Could she believe her? What was she supposed to think?

Testing the side of her tea again and finding it still too hot to risk harming her tongue, she ran a hand through her hair while taking a sweep around the coffee shop. No one was very close to her. They shouldn't be bothered by a phone call…

But no. That would be playing into Santana's hands. She didn't deserve the concern.

…But Rachel wouldn't be Rachel if she didn't give people second chances. It would be hypocritical of her if she decided just now not to help out a fellow member of the glee club because of something they had done. If Rachel wanted everyone to think of glee as a family, she had to be the first one to demonstrate that sentiment. And there was no denying that there were many things that could happen to Santana if Rachel just left her outside by herself, no matter if she was still at Rachel's house or not.

Obviously, the right decision was already determined for her. She knew what she had to do, even if it was just to make sure Santana was out of the cold. Picking up her phone, she stared at the screen before opening her phonebook. Retrieving the number she needed, she pressed call, and waited.

It got picked up on the third ring.

Hearing only the hiss of connection, Rachel licked her lips. "…Santana?"

"What do you want?" The answering words were rough and low, masking if the owner of the voice was angry or upset.

At least she was still alive. Rachel made herself as neutral as she could, ignoring the way her heartbeat had sped up at the other girl's husky voice, "Hello, Santana. Are you at my house?"

"Why do you care?"

Rachel closed her eyes, sighing to herself. "We can talk about that later. Where are you?"

There was a pause, and she could hear Santana moving around. "'N your backseat. It's pretty boring, alone. At least you have a blanket."

"You're still in my car?"

"No, I crawled in through the window of your bedroom; yes, I'm in your car." The silent dumbass rang loud and clear.

"All… Right. How long are you planning on staying in there?"

Santana yawned. "However long until you tell me where you are."

Rachel fought a smile. She was not supposed to find Santana's attitude charming when she was still upset with her. Eying her tea and expecting a call from her dad at anytime, she knew it would be a good idea to get the other girl away from her house. "…Fine. The Starbucks near Jerry's. Will you be fine walking by yourself?"

"Don't get your panties in a bunch. I can take care of myself." The other girl sounded almost insulted.

Hearing a car door opening and closing told her Santana had stepped out, and Rachel blurted, "Make sure you lock it!"

"Chill, Berry. Got it covered. Jesus, who would want to steal a Prius, anyway?"

Not retorting with "Plenty of people!" because that would be petulant, Rachel almost sighed in relief when she heard the beep that told her she had another call. Talking to the cheerleader without being able to gauge her expression or body language was an exercise in patience. "Please hold on while I take this call. I'll be back as quickly as I can." Not waiting for an answer, she switched over, "Hi, Dad." Thank you.

"Hey honey, we're taking off now. You need a ride?"

Taking a tentative sip of her tea and finding it bearable and delicious, she took a bigger sip before answering, "No, that's all right, Dad. I actually ran into a classmate in Starbucks, so, uhm, I figured I'd stay a bit longer to talk with her." She made sure to put an emphasis on the gender of her friend. Since her fathers were not aware of her newfound bisexuality, she knew they would feel better about her meeting a girl instead of a boy. She disliked lying to her parents, but when she had to, she knew how to phrase the lie or lies in the best way possible.

"Do we know this girl?"

Unconsciously, Rachel could feel a blush start to warm her cheeks. "I'm not sure you've met her personally, but I know you know her. Santana Lopez. She sang 'Valerie' at Sectionals." And had been absolutely electric. So confident and… Sexy. Once she'd forced down the outrage of not being the one to have the solo, as well as dealing with… Other stressors, Rachel had been blown away by Santana's performance.

Her dad made an excited sound of recognition. "Ohh! That gorgeous girl with the marvelous bone structure and amazing voice! How wonderful. Why don't you invite her over for a duet some day? Or, better yet, since it's Friday, bring her home with you tonight?"

Almost staring at her phone in shock, Rachel couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Dad, no, I think she already has plans for the evening."

"You're not even going to ask her?"

"Jonathon," Rachel heard her daddy chide gently from the driver's seat, "Be reasonable."

Her dad sighed ruefully. "Alright, alright, fine. Just, let us know if plans change." He sounded hopeful.

Rachel shook her head. She highly doubted that was going to happen. "If they do, I will do so."

"Good. Alright, take care, and don't be afraid to call if you need a ride after all."

"Thank you, Dad. I shouldn't be out too late, however. Even though it is the weekend, I still need to get my eight hours of sleep, and with my rigorous morning workout schedule, I cannot afford to stay out at all hours."

Her dad chuckled. "We know, dear. Alright, I won't keep you any longer. Please tell Santana that we truly enjoyed her performance and cannot wait to see her in future ones."

"Hear hear!" her daddy added.

Rachel smiled. Her fathers were wonderful men. "I will gladly do that. Talk to you later, Dad, Daddy. Love you."

"We love you too. Bye."

Echoing one last goodbye, Rachel waited until her dad had hung up before switching back to Santana. Hopefully that hadn't been too long. "Santana? I'm very sorry about that. Do you know the way here?"

More wind interference met her than before, and when Santana spoke, it sounded like she was talking louder to be heard over it, "Ask me that in two minutes."

Two minutes? What did that mean? Surely Santana couldn't be that close already. It had taken Rachel about twenty minutes at a very brisk pace to make it when she did, so Santana had to be overestimating her ability. But before she could clarify what the cheerleader meant, a "Gotta go, Berry," was barked in her ear, and the line went dead.

No, that wasn't worrying. Debating whether or not to call Santana back, but knowing that had a high probability of annoying the girl which would just make things worse than they already were, Rachel sighed and set her phone down onto the table. Picking up her tea, she sat back in her chair and turned her gaze to the entrance.

…What was she doing? Truly? The girl she'd been crying because of not ten minutes earlier was supposedly going to waltz through that door in two minutes. Why was she sitting there, waiting for her? Shouldn't she be far away, somewhere where Santana couldn't, presumably, manipulate her? Was she falling farther into Santana's trap? Why the heck was she not allowing any space or time between them?

Because of the simple fact was that Rachel was scared. Scared of what Santana could do to her. What Santana wanted to do to her. Scared of the whole situation. If their encounter didn't end, there was no chance for things to be left out of control. As long as Santana was with her, she didn't have to think about the future.

Why did that sound so unhealthy in her mind?

She tightened her grip around the paper cup, trying to let the soothing taste of mint calm her. Wasn't really working, but she almost expected that. Without someone to discuss everything with, she'd only get her own side of things, and that could be a dangerous mire to get stuck in.

Whatever happened that evening, Rachel knew she was going to schedule a session with her therapist for the first available time. She wasn't as freaked out as when Shelby had come back into her life, so she didn't think she had to move her therapist back in, but she definitely could use some neutral advice. Make some sense of things…

Rachel started wondering if Santana's kisses with the possibility of more of them coming were worth what she was feeling when Santana entered, all red cheeks and windblown hair. Her eyes immediately zeroing in on Rachel, she gave her a small eyebrow raise before walking to the counter.

Blinking, Rachel pulled up her phone to check the current time and when their call had ended. Almost three minutes. Why did that not make her want to know how Santana did it?

Santana slid into the chair across from her, clutching a large coffee that smelled sickeningly sweet. As they stared at each other silently for a couple of seconds, Rachel keeping her chin up and Santana keeping her lips down, she wished her heart hadn't thumped loudly to make sure she knew the other girl was in her presence.

Finally, Santana narrowed her eyes. "I don't chase after just anyone, Berry," she remarked sharply, "So this damn well better be worth it."

She hadn't chased. She'd followed. There was a distinction. Rachel shook her head. "You tell me. Obviously there is something you want with me, or else you would have taken that opportunity to make your way home."

Santana rolled her eyes, bringing her coffee cup up to her mouth. "You're so dramatic, Berry." Taking a big sip, she leaned back in her seat, studying Rachel with dark eyes that gave nothing away.

Rachel met her gaze calmly, willing herself to stay quiet. Unlike Finn or Jesse who had never hesitated to tell her what was wrong or bothering them, she knew Santana, who was completely or close to being sober at this point, needed to do things on her own terms. Which honestly begged the question: why was Santana still bothering with her?

Rachel's gaze unconsciously wandered, taking Santana in. Her cheeks were losing their red wind-chill blush, and she had smoothed down her hair, probably with her hand. Her jacket was open, and as she reclined back, it fell back to frame her chest. Rachel had held those breasts. She'd felt them.

And Santana had wanted to feel hers.

That still surprised her. Well, not so much anymore. Not if her theory about Santana actually liking her was correct. And that theory had gained traction when Santana, just like Rachel, didn't seem willing to let the night end without some form of acceptable conclusion. She didn't know what acceptable to Santana was, and though it quite frankly scared her to think of… Dating the other girl, Rachel had realized that was due to the absurdity of the notion at face value. But the truth was that Santana was more than the HBIC Cheerio she worked hard to be.

Santana set down her coffee. "Tell me," she settled her elbows onto the table, resting forward on them, "What the hell are you doing here?" But before Rachel could ask her what she meant, she continued, "Why didn't you get the hell away from me? You didn't have to tell me where you were."

"That's… True," Rachel started slowly, "And to be truthful, I thought about ignoring you for the rest of the evening and weekend if need be. However, I hadn't realized you would be hiding in my car, so I worried that you were out in the cold."

"Okay, first of all," Santana shook her head, "I wasn't hiding. I was waiting. There's a difference, Berry. Santana Lopez does not hide."

Stifling her smile at the girl's use of third person, Rachel waited for the rest of the list.

Santana straightened. "And secondly, I wouldn't have frozen. I have a higher than normal body temperature."

Remembering how hot the other girl had been whenever she touched her bare skin, and even through her shirt, Rachel could believe it; she wished she had that physiology, as she tended to get cold quite easily. To bring herself back to the conversation, she asked, "Why were you waiting? If I recall correctly, and I do, you said you were 'over me'." She glared at Santana just enough to convey her disappointment.

Santana looked at her severely. "And you believed me?" she asked.

"Excuse me?" It wasn't Rachel's place to believe Santana or not! To decipher if she was telling the truth or lying. That was completely irresponsible to put the expectation onto someone else. Selfish. That's what it was. "You cannot surely be telling me that it was my responsibility to… To vet the validity of your statements! Due to our shared past history, it was quite reasonable of me to believe what you were saying."

"Hey! Berry, chill. No, I didn't expect you to not believe me. What I was not expecting was for you to throw one of your ridiculous diva tantrums and run like a fucking coward."

"Like you cared," Rachel retorted, starting to retreat into herself, the warmth of her tea doing nothing for her anymore.

Santana's mouth curled into a fierce sneer. "You're right. I didn't care," she snapped, her eyes daring Rachel to respond.

For the second time in an hour, Rachel felt like someone had socked her in the gut. No. Santana wasn't worth this.

"…But I did when I calmed down five minutes later."

What?

Her face impassive, Santana's dark eyes looked shuttered.

…This was probably the closest to an apology Rachel was going to get. However, that didn't make it all okay. "Well. Good for you. I guess," she glared down at her tea, not wanting to look at Santana in case she saw the beginnings of tears that had sprung up. "Though that doesn't really make me feel any better."

"God dammit, Berry. Do not do this self pity shit right now. I need you to listen to me. Or are you incapable of that?"

Rachel gritted her teeth, but looked up, shaking her head.

"Thank you." Sitting back in her chair, Santana let out a deep breath of air, annoyance written all over her face. She raked a hand through her hair, messing up some of the effort she had made before to smooth it down, tucking some of it behind her ear. She didn't take her eyes off of Rachel. "Okay, this is how it goes." Her mouth was a thin line, but her head was still held up proudly. "Berry, you are the most annoying person I know. You are loud, self centered, and it seems like your mouth never stops moving. It's distracting. You have no sense of fashion, and it's embarrassing being seen with you. Even now, when you're halfway decent. And it's because of the fact that you're you."

Santana's voice was so matter-of-fact that it took Rachel a second to understand what she was saying.

"But, and this is a big but," Santana spoke again, cutting through Rachel's instant affront, "For some reason, even with all of the shit I've done to you, you don't hate me."

"So?" Rachel spat, "That's supposed to mean something?"

"Yes." Santana nodded. "It does. To me."

Rachel couldn't believe this. "Well, I'm happy for you." Keeping her voice low enough so she didn't disturb any of the other customers, she still managed to put all of her fury in her tone, "But after this evening, don't expect things to stay that way."

To her complete surprise, Santana smirked in amusement. "This, right here," she nodded at Rachel, "Is why I can tolerate you."

Rachel gave up trying to predict Santana. There was no way she could even hope of understanding her. "And what is that?" she asked stiffly, picking up her tea again.

Santana smiled in satisfaction. Following Rachel's lead and picking up her coffee, she took a long sip. "You don't take shit from me. You never have. First, I used to find it incredibly annoying," Santana sighed, rolling her eyes and giving Rachel a pointed look, "A loser hobbit daring to talk back to me. I needed to crush that out of you.

"But no matter what I did: taking Finn's v-card, the X-rated drawings in the bathroom, the insults, you never gave in." The cheerleader inclined her head slightly, "And after Sectionals of last year, I started… Respecting you. A little. Still found you annoying as hell, but you were slightly more tolerable."

Mentally wincing at the mention of her and Finn's past, Rachel realized that this was probably the most real conversation she and Santana had ever had that was not aided by the influence of alcohol. But there was still something Santana was keeping back. "But that's not it, is it?" she asked, swallowing back some of her apprehension, "You don't just tolerate me, do you?"

Santana's eyebrows drew together. "What do you want me to say? That I love you?"

"No." Rachel shook her head, a sardonic smile curling on her lips, "I wouldn't expect that. Santana." She bit her lip, leaning forward. Giving Santana a soft smile, she lowered her voice, "Do you like me?"

Santana eyed her warily, looking like she was a second away from slipping into her HBIC persona. Finally, almost defiantly, she repeated, "What do you want me to say?"

Rachel found herself grinning, sitting back in her seat. Her heart flipped, and she shyly met Santana's gaze, "You just answered my question."

"What are – "

"You didn't say no." It was such a simple sentence, but she could see that her words made Santana relax. Leaning forward again, Rachel smiled, "It's okay. You don't have to say the words. I'm sure it's hard for you." Inside, her mind was doing flips.

Santana rolled her eyes, but an actual smile quirked the corners of her lips up. "You're insane. I think it's you who likes me. But I can't blame you. Who wouldn't want to get all up on this?" She proudly thrust out her chest, smirking at the wild blush that took over Rachel's face.

"Santana," Rachel coughed, quickly changing the subject to something she still really wanted to know, "What made you text me tonight?"

Instantly, Santana's good mood disappeared. Muttering under her breath, she snapped her gaze up to ensnare Rachel's, eyes smoldering as she scowled. "Puck and Finn got into a fight over who'd gone farthest with you."

Rachel blinked. "I'm sorry. What did you say?"

Santana frowned deeply, running a hand through her hair before sitting up straight. "Puck. And Finn. Got into a fight, essentially, over you."

Rachel swallowed, starting to feel sick. Were Finn and Puck so crass as to…?

"Finn was trashed. Fuck, more than me. And he started accusing Puck of pretty much raping you. Mike and Sam managed to break up the fight," Santana sneered, "Sadly. But not before they'd started yelling at each other about what parts of you they'd touched. Like you were a fuckin' object."

Trying to push away the mortification and hurt she felt, Rachel didn't know how to feel about the fierce look on Santana's face. "But, Santana," she started, "Your texts were hardly innocent of objectification."

Santana shrugged. "I needed to outdo them."

Outdo them in what? "So this was just a contest?" she whispered harshly, it coming out of her mouth before she could stop it.

"No." Santana gave Rachel a direct stare, "Stop twisting everything I say to make yourself the damn victim." When Rachel dropped her gaze, chastised, she continued. "I knew the fallout of all of this male posturing would be either one or both of the idiots setting out to seduce you. I didn't want that. Look," she sat forward, lowering her voice, "I've always thought you were too good for either of them. That you could do better."

Rachel dropped her mouth open. If she was hearing this correctly… "And you thought you were a better candidate. I imagine your growing attraction to me didn't make it any easier, either."

"Berry, stop – ! Okay, whatever. Yes, I thought I would be better," she hissed, sitting back and crossing her arms, giving Rachel a piercing look, "But I am never going to repeat that."

Santana didn't have to. Rachel knew she would always remember it. This… this was really happening, wasn't it?

Unfortunately, after imparting that bit of knowledge, it looked like Santana was retreating back into her comfort zone; she had that severe look on her face again.

Rachel sighed. Was it worth it, getting involved with someone so hot and cold? It seemed like every other minute Rachel was insulted, hurt, or ecstatically happy. Would it ever get better? She really, really wanted it to. There was something about Santana that intrigued her. But to date her… She still needed to see if that's what the other girl wanted.

"Excuse me."

Looking up, Rachel saw that the younger of the two baristas had come over. Smiling at both her and Santana before focusing back on her, he made a vague motion in the direction of the counter with his hand, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but we're about to close up."

"Oh." Blinking, Rachel looked around the shop, noticing that most people were in the process of standing up and getting ready to leave. "All right," she quickly glanced at Santana. Not able to read her expression, she shook her head and then smiled at him, "We'll take our leave, then."

As the barista nodded and walked away, Santana continued staring at Rachel, lips slightly pursed.

Rachel raised her eyebrows, trying not to show her unease. "Am I to leave you here?" she asked, pushing hair behind her ear.

Santana didn't answer, taking a slow sip of her coffee.

Sighing and shaking her head to herself, Rachel stood up. Santana's attitude was succeeding in making prickles of frustration grow into the seeds of anger. Straightening her jacket and pulling her scarf tight around her neck, she picked up her tea to thow it away. "Well, if you decide you want to follow me again, go for it. I don't need to pander to your stubbornness." Spinning on her foot, she forced herself to smile at the baristas before walking purposefully to the door of the shop, barely pausing before pushing out into the cold.

Yes, Rachel may have wanted to clarify whatever it was between the two of them, and what it was Santana expected from her, but there was a point at which the ridiculous became too much to bear. Besides, as she chanced a quick glance behind her, she knew Santana wouldn't let her get far.

And indeed, in long, irritated strides, Santana was coming up behind her. Slowing to let her catch up, Rachel's eyes widened involuntarily when, instead of stopping at a comfortable distance, Santana reached out and grabbed her wrist, yanking her around the corner of Starbucks. Once out of the open, Santana swooped forward, pulling her into her body in a violent collision. Barely able to take in a quick breath of air, rough fingers pulled her head up as Santana's mouth came down to claim hers.

Heat flashed up through her body, and Rachel immediately pressed closer into her, threading her arms around her neck. Santana was kissing her. Santana was sober. Santana was sober and kissing her. Even with the airing of her feelings, the confirmation was invigorating. With unrelenting desperation, Santana's lips were everywhere, her hands holding Rachel's head still. It was like she was devouring her.

"God dammit, Berry," Santana snarled between long, deep kisses, "You make me so fuckin' furious."

The low timber of her voice only turning her on even more, Rachel kissed back as eagerly as she could. Even if this turned out to be a fluke, some kind of need for Santana to express her dominance, Rachel wanted to get the most out of it. Thrilling at the feeling of their chests pushing together, now exciting instead of weird, she determined that she was going to commit everything about kissing Santana in her memory, because, really, she'd never felt so wanton. "You are likewise often intolerable," she panted back, not able to keep a moan to herself when Santana huffed and thrust her tongue between her lips to probably get her to stop talking.

As her tongue twined with hers, Santana cupped her right hand to angle Rachel's head, her left dropping to splay on her lower back, molding them together. Tangling one hand in Santana's hair, her other curling around one shoulder, Rachel found that at some point, she had leaned so far into Santana that the girl was supporting much of her weight. Once again, she was pleasantly surprised at how strong the cheerleader was.

Eventually, Santana drew away, pressing slow, gentle kisses onto her lips to prolong the cessation. "Even with the mint, you taste like berries," she whispered, smirking lightly.

Rachel blushed. "I believe that is my lip gloss," she replied, shyly meeting Santana's dark gaze. The other girl was still so close, her breath warm, making Rachel's skin tingle in the cool night air. Her body was solid, thrumming against hers, her hands still holding her proprietarily.

Rachel felt thoroughly ravaged, but she still wanted more. Santana was intoxicating.

Fingers brushed against her cheek. "I shouldn't be doing this," Santana studied her intently.

Rachel's stomach dropped, but she tried not to let it show on her face. "Then why are you?" she asked lightly, forcing herself to stay in Santana's embrace instead of stepping away.

"I told you," Santana raised an eyebrow before smirking at her again, "You make me furious." She leaned down to kiss her soundly, grinning against her lips, "Doesn't hurt you're hot as hell for a dwarf, either."

Ugh. Making a face, Rachel finally stepped away, sliding her hands into her pockets so they wouldn't reach out for Santana again. "Santana," she looked at her seriously, hoping she wasn't making a giant mistake, "If we are to explore… This thing between us… There cannot be any negative nicknames. I am not adverse to the idea of nicknames themselves, but I do not appreciate most of the ones you use."

Santana rolled her eyes, closing the distance Rachel had put between them. Unerringly finding Rachel's hips through her jacket, she pulled her forward. Bending, she moved past to softly brush her lips against her ear. "Rachel…"

That shot straight through her. Delivered in Santana's smokiest voice, followed by a teasing nip of her teeth, Rachel's heart almost exploded. "S-Santana?" she gasped, licking her lips.

Santana made a very pleased noise. "Now that I've gotten my hands on you, I don't think I'm'a gonna wanna stop."

"O-okay," Rachel swallowed, heart pounding.

Soft lips pressed into her cheek, and Santana murmured, "But I don't think you really mind…"

No, Rachel did not. "I don't," she whispered back, slowly sliding her arms around Santana's waist. Closing her eyes, she admitted hesitantly, "I… I want to see where we go. Try this… Us… Out."

"Hmm." Now running her hands up and down Rachel's back, Santana paused. Drawing in a big breath of air and letting it out, tickling Rachel's neck, Santana nodded against her. "Okay."

Rachel let out a sigh of relief, almost sagging in the cheerleader's arms. That was enough for now.

"You've already touched my boobs, after all. And not just anyone gets to do that." Brushing her cheek teasingly against Rachel's as she pulled back, Santana pressed a kiss at the corner of her mouth. Heart fluttering at the almost innocent action, Rachel squeaked when the girl stooped, her hands suddenly groping her ass.

"Mmm… Yeah, juicy," Santana purred, moving over to swallow Rachel's protest, her tongue coming out to swipe her lower lip.

Twisting her arms back to take hold of Santana's wrists, Rachel tried to keep back the shiver and moan curious fingers were drawing from her. "Sa-Santana!" she whispered hotly against the other girl's incredible mouth, "You are taking liberties that I would appreciate you halting." No matter how amazing it felt.

"Are you sure?"

No.

"'Cuz…" Santana hummed, squeezing her tightly, succeeding in bringing Rachel's pelvis securely into contact with her upper thigh, shifting to increase the pressure, "I can tell you're enjoyin' it."

Having dropped her hands when she rocked into her, Rachel gasped and surged forward, burying her face into Santana's warm neck, trying to keep herself still. If she moved against Santana, that would be too much too fast. If she moved away, an overwhelming feeling of loss would make her feel terrible.

Santana was not fair.

Again, Rachel tried to figure out how she had gotten to this moment. What was it about Santana that made her normal reservations almost nonexistent? And how could she make that weakness go away?

She should be upset at Santana, mad at her for pushing boundaries that Rachel hadn't been able to set yet. If she was honest, it was scary. Santana's touch affected her so strongly Rachel didn't know what to do about it. And the cheerleader knew it!

Rachel's ringtone went off. Almost leaping away, making Santana let her go, Rachel dug furiously into her pocket to find her phone. Keeping her back to the smug girl, she flipped it open, willing her arousal to quickly filter out of her body, "Hello?"

"Hey honey!" her daddy's chipper voice greeted her.

"Daddy?"

"Yup! I figured Jonathon would insist on getting you to invite Santana over, so I thought I'd better be the one to call."

Rachel blanched. "Well, thank you for that," she answered, sneaking a glance to see what Santana was up to. To her horror, the other girl was nowhere to be found. Her heart hammering in her chest, she spun around in a circle to search the whole area. Had Santana suddenly regretted everything and run off?

Her daddy was speaking again. "I know you can take care of yourself, baby girl, but seeing as it's after ten, we just wanted to make sure you were aware of that."

Not seeing her anywhere, Rachel jogged back around to the front of the Starbucks. "Well, I wasn't aware of that specifically, but I knew it was getting later…" Seeing Santana next to a bike rack, she let out a sigh of relief, only to frown the next second. Why was Santana at a bike rack? And why was she pulling a green bike out of it? Oh no. Santana!

"Alright, well, now you know. Have you had dinner yet?"

Walking slowly towards the girl and what was no doubt a stolen bicycle, Rachel had to remind herself she was on the phone as she got closer, "Ah, no, I have not. But that's alright, Daddy. I can find something when I come back home. Which should be soon." Probably.

Santana smiled with self satisfaction as she met Rachel, wheeling the bike next to her. Stopping in front of her, she quickly threw her leg over the frame, settling onto the seat. Quirking an eyebrow at Rachel, she motioned at the trick pegs jutting out of the back wheel's axis on both sides.

Rachel stared at her, shaking her head emphatically. She was not going to become an accessory in a robbery! Getting caught would surely end all chances of her future, and that just wasn't worth it.

"Are you sure? Your dad's got it in his head to make some vegan lasagna. At this hour, I don't know why, but you know how he gets."

"Yes, I do." When Santana frowned, motioning again for her to get on, Rachel firmed her expression, not moving an inch.

"Anyway, so that'll be available, and if you come home in about half an hour or so, you can sit down with us."

Dark eyes glared at her, Santana sitting back on the seat with her arms crossed. "Berry," she hissed quietly, "Stop being a pussy and get over here. I'm returning the damn bike as soon as we get back, so the longer you waste time, the better chance of it being discovered as missing."

"Nice to know. Thank you, Daddy. I'm sorry to say that I need to go now, but I'll talk to you soon. Love you! Bye!" Hurrying her father off the phone, she snapped it shut. "Santana Lopez!" she hissed back, looking around to see if anyone could conceivably be around to hear them, "I cannot believe you would have… Stooped so low as to resort to petty thievery! What did you hope to achieve?"

Shaking her head while looking up, Santana mumbled something Rachel couldn't make out. Turning back to her, she looked unapologetic, "It's not robbery if I'm just borrowing it. 'Sides, it got me here, right?" She smiled arrogantly, somehow making it seem seductively tempting. "You really wanna walk back in the freezing cold, one slow, icy step at a time?"

Rachel closed her eyes. She really could not be contemplating actually agreeing to this, right? No, of course not!

"Become a tiny Berry flavored icicle?"

She cracked one eye open to study the pegs and Santana as she pushed the bicycle even closer to her. Almost as if to illustrate the other girl's point, a bone-chilling gust of wind swept past them, kicking up her hair and making her face instantly pale. It was a very chilly night. She tightened her scarf around her neck.

It was probably true that if Rachel insisted on walking, Santana would linger along with her. That would make the possibility of discovery more likely. And it was unlikely that the Lima police force would be out, around this neighborhood at this time of night…

"Or maybe a Berry flavored popsicle. Put you in my mouth and you'd melt all over – "

"All right!" Rachel blushed, avoiding Santana's cocky smirk. "If you promise to get rid of all of the evidence of our… Borrowing," she grimaced, already disappointed in herself for prolonging Santana's flimsy excuse, "This bicycle, I shall reluctantly accept your dishonest offer. Even if we do not have helmets."

Santana rolled her eyes, wheeling the bicycle around to present the back to her, "Way to make me sound like a saint, Berry. You're just lucky I'm not making you pedal for that."

Studying the pegs and moving her gaze up to trace the lines of Santana's back and shoulders, she met amused dark eyes as the cheerleader watched her over her shoulder. When she smiled, dark hair falling over her face before she pushed it back, her beauty took Rachel's breath away.

She couldn't believe this girl liked her.

Taking the initiative, she moved in. Resting one hand gently on her shoulder, she leaned in and softly brushed her lips over Santana's. Feeling the girl just starting to kiss back, she smiled and pulled away. "Alright," she whispered, pushing the hair that had fallen in front of Santana's face again back, tucking it behind her ear, "How do we do this?"

Santana's smile widened. "Brace your hands on my shoulders and hop up onto the pegs. I'll be the one doing the real work; you just need to stay on. Got it?"

Rachel eyed the pegs again, but nodded. "I think so."

Santana smirked at her before shifting back to face the front, "Okay, go for it."

Taking a deep breath, Rachel wrapped her hands securely around the tops of Santana's shoulders, setting one foot down onto a peg and quickly jumping up to the other. She tightened her grip to find her sense of balance. "Maybe you should start moving," she leaned in to make sure she could be heard, "So presumably my perch would be a little more sturdy."

"Sure, princess." A teasing tone to her voice, Santana looked back to give her one more reassuring smile. Then, pushing forward with one foot, they were off.

Getting the feel of the motion, as well as unashamedly enjoying the feel of Santana under her hands, Rachel thought of something. Sure, she wasn't ready for anything too serious, but she didn't want the night to end. "Mmm… Santana?" she spoke over the wind, cold but thankfully going to be over soon, glad Santana couldn't see or hear her blush, "Do you want to spend the night at my house? My dads said you could…"