Title: (Damnit, Rachel,) I love you
Spoilers: though "The Rocky Horror Glee Show"
Disclaimer: nothing is mine, unfortunately
Summary: 5 times Santana didn't say I love you to Rachel out loud and the one time she did.
Note: English is not my first language. Thanks to phandomsock for the help. Written for a prompt at the glee_fluff_meme
They were sitting on a bench in the park, hidden from view to avoid being seen together, but more importantly, to avoid being seen eating ice cream. God only knew what Coach Sylvester would do if she found out.
Brittany was sitting on the grass, trying to catch the crickets that were the soundtrack to the warm evening, even though it wasn't an easy task with the lack of proper illumination in that area of the park. Brittany was mostly lunging at nothing, ending—more often than not—sprawled on the grass.
"Go talk to her."
"What?" Santana looked at Rachel.
The shorter girl smiled at her. "I saw you looking at Brittany." Santana opened her mouth to apologize, because even she knew that looking at another girl while on a date with her girlfriend wasn't a good thing to do, regardless of her intentions or motivations, or that she tried not to. Rachel, continuing to smile, put her index finger on Santana's lips.
"You can ask her to join us if you want."
"Really?" Santana inwardly rolled her eyes at herself: Can't I do anything better than ask one-word questions?
"You sure?" Good, two words, now. Santana thought while paying close attention to her girlfriend's expression: Was she really okay with inviting a third person on their date? Santana was pretty sure that it wouldn't qualify as a date anymore.
"She is your best friend. You don't have to choose." Rachel pushed her lightly, prompting her to stand up.
Santana took a couple of steps towards Brittany before turning to look at Rachel: the girl nodded her head encouragingly.
"Eh, B!" The brunette greeted her best friend as she walked over, squatting down so she was at eye-level. During their conversation both Cheerios turned towards Rachel, Santana pointing to where they were sitting, before Brittany leaped to her feet.
Rachel waved shyly at the blonde as they skipped, well, as Brittany skipped towards her, dragging Santana by her pinky. If she had looked at Santana instead, she would have seen, written clearly on her face, what she wasn't saying: I love you, Rachel.
"Hello?" A groggy voice answered the phone.
"If you ever again feel the need to direct a trans jibe at me, this is the perfect moment."
"Rachel," Santana repeated softly.
"Sorry," Rachel said just as quietly, hearing the guilt in the other girl's voice. "I'm a little ill-tempered right now."
"A little?" Santana tried to lighten the tone.
"A lot, okay. I hate being sick."
"I know, baby, I know. Want to me to come over?"
"No!" Rachel almost shouted.
"Wow, if you feel so strongly about it…" Santana trailed off, negatively surprised by her reaction. "I could bring you some…" she stopped herself from saying chicken soup. "some company? Food?"
"Santana, you know that I would love nothing more than having you here with me,"
"But there is no way you're coming within 5 miles of me while I'm an incubus of viral plague."
"You've been watching movies all day again, haven't you?"
"What else can I do? I tried to sing but my throat hurt," she whined.
"Poor baby," Santana cooed, thankful no one could hear her.
"Thank you," Rachel knew that her girlfriend was sincere and wasn't mocking her.
"You know, if I come over, I could entertain you…"
Rachel giggled, imagining Santana wiggling her eyebrows suggestively on the other end of the phone.
"I'd love it…but no."
"Why?" was the half-surprised and half-whining question.
"Because you have a competition next week, and I won't be the one who gets you sick and makes you miss it."
"I thought you weren't afraid of Coach." Santana teased.
"I'm not," Rachel huffed. "But I know how important to you this one is," she said seriously.
"When can I see you then?" the Cheerio asked after a beat.
"Well…" she trailed off.
"Please, tell me you're joking."
Rachel didn't answer.
"Rach, a week?" she asked incredulously. "A whole week? We've never…" Santana didn't need to finish: they both knew that since they'd started dating, they had never spent so much time apart.
"We can always talk on the phone."
"It's not the same thing," Santana snapped, but she immediately regretted it when she heard Rachel replying tightly.
"It's not like I'm having fun, Santana, it's hard for me too."
"I know, Rachel, I'm so sorry. It's just…" she took a breath. I love you. "I miss you."
"I miss you, too."
"Santana, what are you doing here?" Rachel hugged her, the surprise evident in her voice.
"My girlfriend was first ballerina and I wouldn't have missed it for the world."
Rachel beamed at her before the smile wavered a bit.
"But you hate classical ballet." She said with a small frown before being swept off by congratulating fans.
Yeah, but I love you. Santana thought, watching as her girlfriend gracefully received her rightful praises while still turning to look at her every now and then; amazement, and Santana would dare to say love, shining in her eyes.
Rachel's was drying Santana's hair with a towel when the Cheerio broke the silence.
"Fuck! It has been a day from hell!"
"What happened?" Rachel asked, having learned that sometimes it was better to let Santana vent without too many words on her part.
"Well, let's see…I had a surprise test; some idiot called B a retard and made her cry, so she wasn't at her best for practice and Coach wasn't happy. And the longer she kept us, the worse we did because we were dead tired. Then Q forgot that she was my ride home, so I had to walk," Rachel nodded to herself: it explained why Santana stopped by her home; it was closer to school than her own. But Santana wasn't finished.
"And naturally, it started raining. And I missed lunch, so I'm so hungry that I could eat a whole elephant!"
Rachel smiled at her self-proclaimed badass girlfriend quoting 101 Dalmatians, but she asked caringly. "What do you need? What can I do?"
"I just need a shower, dinner and then sleep for the next two weeks."
"Go shower, food will be ready when you finish." Rachel offered her hands and pulled Santana up.
The singer looked in the fridge, then raised her head to listen to the shower going. She closed the fridge and quickly put her coat on, grabbed an umbrella and her keys, and dashed out of the house.
Santana stepped out of the bathroom and sniffed the air; she really needed to sleep, she was having olfactory hallucinations! She went to find Rachel, but stopped dead in her tracks in the kitchen doorway.
"Rach? Is that what I think it is?"
"Yes?" the other girl said, unsure.
"It's a steak? Like a real animal steak, with blood and-" she stopped, seeing Rachel cringe and turn pale.
"You cooked it?"
"Well," Rachel waved her hand around, "not exactly."
Santana raised her eyebrow.
"I had it done for you. I heard it's really good," she said sheepishly. "I know how much you love steaks and I thought it would lift your spirits…"
Santana smiled appreciatively before hungrily looking at the steak.
"Well, I'm going to be in my room while you eat this poor, defenseless animal," she mumbled as she backed out of the kitchen. Santana waited until she was sure Rachel was gone before attacking her steak, moaning as she took the first bite.
"Is it over?" Rachel knocked on the kitchen door.
"Yes, it was perfect. Thank you, Rach, I loved it." Santana smiled at her girlfriend. I love you, she thought, getting back to washing her plate.
"Santana, can I talk to you?"
The Latina looked around at the other people in the room, all busy rehearsing their songs and dances, before shrugging. Rachel led her out of earshot of the group.
"I wanted to be sure that you were okay with me playing Janet." Rachel kept it short.
"I put up with you singing sickeningly sweet songs with Frankenteen every time, why should this time be any different?"
Rachel rolled her eyes at how Santana still played the bitchy cheerleader act, even if there wasn't anyone around to witness it. She guessed it was the school that had this effect on her girlfriend.
"You know that I can't do anything about it," she lowered her voice, "If it's not Finn, it will be Noah." She continued, "But I was talking about the fact that I will be in my underwear for half the play…and that I have a highly suggestive and sensual scene with Sam…You know, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me."
"Everyone ready? We're starting." Mr. Schuester yelled.
Santana nodded stiffly at Rachel as she was dragged to her place by Brittany. She didn't like it, but it wasn't Rachel's fault, and she refused to hold her girlfriend down with her petty jealousy. That was a Finnessa move, not her own.
Rachel winked at her. Santana missed her cue: all she could think was Damnit, Rachel, I love you.
"Girls, guys, can I have your attention, please?" When she was satisfied, she picked up again. "I wanted to talk about our next competition." Groans could be heard, but she continued. "I was thinking that since Mercedes didn't get the chance to sing her ballad last year at Sectionals …maybe she should start preparing her solo."
While everyone else sat stunned—because , really, had Rachel Berry just suggested to give a solo to someone who wasn't Rachel Berry?—Santana crossed the room with rapid strides to stop short, directly in front of Rachel.
"God, Rachel, I love you."
"Santana," Rachel hesitated.
"No. Rach, you don't know how many times I thought it but didn't say it out loud, because we agreed to go slow."
The girls didn't notice how the excited and surprised chatter that had generated from Rachel's words had abruptly stopped. If she had looked around, Rachel would've commented on how unattractive they all looked, with their mouths open like fishes and their eyes bugging out.
The Gleeks certainly hadn't expected that when Santana had charged over to get all in Rachel's face. Even Mr. Schuester had gotten close to the girls, ready to break up a possible fight. After all, it had happened before with Santana. But hearing Santana Lopez declare her love for one Rachel Berry…that had to be a joke, right?
It seemed their thoughts were confirmed when Santana grabbed Rachel's hair with one hand, and the back of her neck with the other. Santana leaned closer, stopping when her nose was touching Rachel's, and looked straight into the shorter girl's eyes.
"I love you, too." Rachel breathed out. With that, Santana crashed their lips together. After all, she had always been more fluent in body language.
And the fluff is back! Hope you liked it.