A/N: Yeah, the crack is coming out a little (read: A LOT) in this chapter. Fair warning!
Creature #3: Chupacabra
"Seis tequilas, por favor!" Santana called out to the bartender.
This was their sixth excursion to Mexico in the past three years. Something about the atmosphere - also, the booze - normally had Quinn's team coming back more than once a year. But they were definitely here with a purpose other than consuming mass amounts of hard liquor.
They would be searching for the chupacabra. Quite literally, goat sucker. It was easily Santana's favorite. But Quinn thought her infatuation with the search for this particular creature stemmed more directly from the connection to tequila than, well, the actual cryptid itself.
The bartender laid out six shot glasses and filled them all to the brim. Santana and Brittany had each grabbed two of them and were headed across the room when Quinn laid down the appropriate cash. "Gracias," she said sweetly, and the bartender winked at her before setting down two extra glasses and filling them to the brim. He picked one up and held it aloft. Quinn mimicked his actions, taking the free shot and clinking it lightly together with his before downing it on one go. "Woo!" She slammed the glass back down on the bar top, slapping her hand next to it before collecting her last two shots and following Santana and Brittany across the room.
In the following of traditions, this was how Mexico started out for them no matter what. Two shots of tequila each promptly followed by Brittany getting the entire room to sing along to whatever absurd song she could come up with. And it always amazed and greatly humored Quinn how it didn't matter which part of Mexico they were in, what bar, what city - everyone knows Garth Brooks.
"Alright ladies, here's to spotting the infamous chupacabra, once and for all!"
"Hear, hear!" Santana chimed in.
In unison, the three women picked up their shots, slammed them back, and slammed them down.
"Ow ow!" Brittany exclaimed in between shots, and then they were taking their second shots - Quinn's third.
"Jesus H. Christ," Quinn grimaced, "tequila never tastes any better, does it?"
Santana laughed and wrapped a hand around Brittany's waist. "Are you kidding?" she exclaimed. "Tequila is fucking awesome!"
Before they could discuss their next move - more tequila or juke box sing-alongs or ridiculous drinking games to pretend like they were still twenty-one years old - cheers rose up from the other side of the bar. Quinn's ears perked up, and she twisted her body on her seat to try and get a glimpse of the cause of the commotion. Her back pressed against the table behind her, and she rested her hands on her jean-covered thighs.
Quinn caught sight of someone from the bar ducking down and popping back up, a microphone now in their hand. They tossed it down the counter where another person caught it and passed it on again. Quinn followed its progression until it disappeared in a mass of twenty or so bodies, landing somewhere in the middle. The speakers crackled to life, and Quinn couldn't help the grin that slipped onto her face as the familiar track began to play.
But then, instead of Gloria's voice, Quinn heard a voice that she had only been hearing in her dreams as of late.
"First I was afraid, I was petrified!" The bar rose up in cheers, and Quinn was already swooning - and was immensely thankful for the seat beneath her. "Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side. But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong, and I grew strong, and I learned how to get along! And so you're back, from outer space! I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face."
"Whoa whoa whoa, hold up," Santana said from somewhere behind Quinn. "Is that Berry?"
The smile on Quinn's face was almost embarrassingly huge already.
"I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key. If I had known for just one second, you'd be back to bother me!"
The crowd was still cheering and singing along raucously, but they were suddenly parting like the waves in a Charlton Heston film. And there in the middle of the parting masses was Rachel, Rachel Berry. And her eyes were already set on Quinn.
"Go on now, go! Walk out the door! Just turn around now, cause you're not welcome anymore. Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye? You think I'd crumble? You think I'd lay down and die? Oh no, not I!" Rachel gestured cutely between herself and Quinn, and Quinn just raised her eyebrows and shook her head while playfully pointing towards her own chest. Rachel winked as she got closer and closer, and Quinn couldn't believe how much she had missed this girl. "I will survive! As long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive. I've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to give. And I'll survive - I will survive!"
The song continued with the crowd around them clapping and singing along and generally behaving like the drunken miscreants they were. But the focus of Quinn's world had distinctly narrowed to the beautiful brunette with the glorious singing voice in front of her.
"It took all the strength I had not to fall apart, kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart. And I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself. I used to cry... But now I hold my head up high! And you see me, somebody new. I'm not that chained up little person still in love with you. And so you felt like dropping in and just expect me to be free, now I'm saving all my loving for someone who's loving me!"
As Rachel sang the words, she began to dance around Quinn on her stool. The blonde was sure her cheeks were flaming red at that point, but she also knew that she was the person who Rachel was saving all of her love for. And Quinn's heart swelled up with pride as she eyed the electrifying diva (who knew?) working her way around the blonde's table. Rachel shook her ass in Brittany's direction, and the girl playfully slapped it - which elicited Santana to audibly growl and pull Brittany in for a kiss.
Rachel made her way back around the table, and Quinn caught herself mentally sending the little brunette waves of grace - because her heels looked dangerously tall, and Rachel never had been the best at walking.
A couple of choruses later, and the song was finished. The entirety of the bar broke out into a cacophony of cheers and applause and wolf-whistles in Rachel's direction. She turned briefly from Quinn and gave the crowd two or three sweeping bows. Before Quinn could even gain the higher brain power to step forward and pull her girlfriend - her girlfriend - into a bone-crushingly tight embrace, Brittany was bounding forward.
"That was awesome, Rach!" she proclaimed, hugging Rachel around the shoulders. Rachel laughed, returning the hug. Brittany pulled back and pecked the other girl lightly on the cheek before snatching the microphone out of her hands and turning back to Santana. "Excuse me, Miss Lopez," she whispered huskily into the microphone. Quinn saw Santana's gulp from her position on the chair. "Would you do me the honor of singing with me?"
The crowd cheered, and Brittany grabbed Santana's hand, dragging her across the room to the jukebox.
With Brittana - as Quinn so affectionately called them in her head when she didn't want to take the time to say both of their names - gone, Quinn was finally able to focus on Rachel. The brunette's cheeks were flushed from her performance, and Quinn had never seen her look so stunningly beautiful before.
"Chupacabra hunting in early autumn, my darling Quinn?" Rachel purred, moving forward to stand between Quinn's legs.
Quinn bit her lip as Rachel's arms snaked around her neck. She nodded. "Indeed, Miss Rachel, Rachel Berry."
"It looks like the universe has brought us together once again," Rachel whispered. And despite the noise level in the bar, Quinn heard every word - because Rachel's lips were already practically pressed against hers.
"Actually," Quinn whispered back just as softly, "I think it was American Airlines this time."
Rachel smiled and her eyes locked with Quinn's. "Shut up and kiss me."
And as Brittany and Santana jumped right into the chorus, singing, "Cause I've got friends in low places - where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away. And I'll be okay. Yeahhh, I'm not big on social graces, think I'll slip on down to the oasis! Oh, I've got friends in low places," Quinn and Rachel's lips fused together for the first time in months - but not for the last time over the course of the next two weeks.
Somewhere on the Other Side of Town - Probably in a Field or Something Shady Like That
"Look, Squatch, your Best of Barbra CD collection is not sufficient for the ante!" Chupa Cabra said to his old friend. "We go through this every year..."
Big Foot shook his head miserably. "Come on, Chupa! Spot me a sheep this one time. The missus barely even let me out of the house this year!"
"Hurry it up over there, will ya!" Hodag - possibly the ugliest of all the players - yelled from the far side of the poker table.
"I concurrrr," the Creature (from the black lagoon) slurred through a mouthful of slime.
The Jersey Devil snapped his fingers. "Listen, boys, I have rehearsal for Guys and Dolls three days from now at home. Let's get this game started so I don't have to be late."
Chupa, Sasquatch, Hodag, and the Jersey Devil all finally took their seats - Chupa having spotted the Squatch a couple head of livestock to get him started. Also, kittens.
Three hours later...
Hodag narrowed his eyes - or at least, the skin crinkled oddly around the place where they thought his eyes were. "Chupa," he hissed, "I don't like feeling cheated."
Chupa lazily blinked his humongous, shiny black eyes in the other creature's direction. "My friend, do I look like I would cheat you?" Everyone at the table turned their heads in the chupacabra's direction, taking in his spiky appearance, his sharp claws, and the fangs that protruded from his lips. "Err..." he trailed off, his bulbous eyes again blinking into the darkness. "Fine. I probably fit the profile. But I didn't cheat! Those twelve kittens are totally mine, fair and square."
"Let'ssss just call it quitssss before ssssomeone getssss...upsssset," the Creature said. He normally was the voice of reason.
Sasquatch nodded vehemently. "Agreed. I really don't want to get blood on my new Marc Jacobs." He gestured down at his white high tops. "Totally stole them from some camper last week." He received a round of highfives.
The other cryptids cleared out, and Chupa found himself alone with his loot - fourteen kittens, Squatch's Barbra collection, a trout, and one goat. The moonlight illuminated the goat's face, and Chupa licked his lips. The goat 'bahhh'd pitifully before opening its mouth and asking, "You're not seriously going to eat me, are you?"
"Of course not!" Chupa threw his arms up in the air. "I don't eat livestock. I'll just drain your blood. I'm single, you know - so I need to maintain my stunning figure."
The goat just continued to chew on its mouthful of grass with a despondently bored look on its face.
Suddenly, a spotlight swept the area. A farmer checking his livestock or something else completely absurd and hopelessly inconvenient. Chupa realized that he had to run or else risked being discovered. And after decades of eluding capture, he wasn't about to be found out now because he refused to leave behind his poker winnings. "It's your lucky day, Mr. Goat!" And then he was bounding away into the darkness.
He even forgot all of his kittens.
Their last night in Mexico found all four women back at the bar where they had spent their first night of this particular expedition. Over the past two weeks, they had spent their nights staking out prime livestock locations and their days pouring over night-vision footage. But they had found nothing - unless you counted the random stack of playing cards out in the middle of a field next to a picnic basket full of kittens. They had taken the kittens into town, handing them out to children. It had been odd, but they hadn't allowed themselves to dwell on it for any particularly lengthy amount of time.
"Ocho tequilas, por favor!" Santana's knowledge of Spanish consisted primarily of insults and tequila orders.
She grabbed the tray of shots and carried it over to their table in the corner of the bar. Brittany was dancing to whatever song was playing on the jukebox, and Quinn and Rachel were sitting close together, knees touching and heads bowed close as they whispered to each other. Santana rolled her eyes at the adorableness of it all.
"Shots!" she yelled.
"Why, thank you, Santana! I don't mind if I do," Rachel replied, reluctantly pulling away from Quinn just enough to grab each of them a tall shot of tequila.
Santana handed Brittany a shot and took one for herself. Suddenly, Brittany squealed and giggled and jumped up and down in merriment. "San, look! I totally got the worm!"
A few rounds of shots later in the evening, and Rachel was tipsily wobbling her way to the jukebox. She dropped in the necessary coins, punched the appropriate buttons, and then turned around, leaning heavily against the machine. Her head began to nod back and forth with the harmonica that was emitting from the speakers. People cheered, and the bar's (apparently lone) microphone was suddenly being passed out to Rachel again.
She happily took it in her hands and began to sing. "It's nine o'clock on a Saturday. The regular crowd shuffles in. There's an old man sitting next to me, making love to his tonic and gin." Rachel started moving through the crowd, giving hugs to strangers at random. Quinn met her in the middle of the floor, ready to catch her at a moment's notice if she should falter. "He says: son, can you play me a memory? I'm not really sure how it goes... But it's sad and it's sweet, and I knew it complete, when I wore a younger man's clothes!"
Rachel pulled Quinn flush against her body, wrapping her hand up into the nape of Quinn's neck. The microphone rested between them, and they sang together, "La la la, di dee da. La la di dee daaaaa, da dum."
Santana and Brittany walked out onto the floor with their arms around one another. They approached Faberry - as they often referred to Quinn and Rachel when drunk - and Rachel tossed Santana the microphone. Together, Brittana sang, "Sing us a song, you're the piano man. Sing us a song tonight. Well, we're all in the mood for a melody, and you've got us feeling alright!"
Lyrics poured softly from Rachel's lips to Quinn's, and the world managed to almost pass them by entirely as the night wore on. Because they would be saying goodbye again in the morning, and it was almost too painful to bear.
"I'll see you again soon, right?" Quinn whispered against the perfectly soft, smooth skin of Rachel's cheek.
Tinkling laughter echoed in Quinn's ear, and she knew she would never be complete as long as she was apart from this woman in her arms. "You haven't seen the last of me yet, Quinn Fabray."
"Now John at the bar is a friend of mine. He gets me my drinks for free. And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke, but there's someplace that he'd rather be..."
Together, all four of the girls - affectionately referred to as Faberrittana by this author - finished the verse together. "He says: Bill, I believe this is killing me, as a smile ran away from his face. Well, I'm sure that I could be a movie star, if I could get out of this place!"
Eventually, the song faded to a close. Eventually, the tequila began to wear off. Eventually, Quinn and Rachel said goodbye - with fervent, passionate kisses and whispered 'I love you's between them. But they knew it wasn't the end of their love affair born in the rolling Scottish highlands.
No, it wasn't quite the end. Because there were plenty more legendary creatures to search for together before all was said and done.
A/N: This story... It's so absurd. I kind of love writing it. Hope you enjoyed reading it. ;-)