A/N: I finally managed to finish this darn chapter. Blar. Also, not a lot of Sam in this chapter, but there will be more of him soon.
She'd already run through one and a half boxes of Kleenex and was in the middle of singing Adele's Take It All to her red-eyed, miserable reflection in the mirror when Kurt came barreling into her room. Flinching, she didn't have time to get out a shocked, "Kurt?" before he came to a stop in front of her.
"Rachel Berry," he gasped, dropping down to sit next to her, "How dare you keep me in anxious limbo, worrying that Santana had snapped and killed you? And then, when I finally decided that moping around my house, video chatting with Mercedes wasn't doing enough to assuage this panic, I arrive over here to find a battle-worn Quinn parked on your front porch while an equally thrashed Santana is furiously making out with Sam on your living room couch, and you up here, bawling your eyes out. What happened?"
"They're still here?" was all she could muster. Quinn on her front porch. Sam and Santana making out on her couch. She didn't know which one bothered her the most. "And… Anxious limbo?"
"The forty-thousand texts I've been sending you, of course!" Kurt pulled out his phone, opening up his outbox to show her, "But that's secondary now. It's obvious too much drama has been going on for you to even think about figuring out where it was you left your phone while outrageously drunk."
Rachel averted her eyes, unable to stop another wave of crying past her defenses. Crushing her Kleenex against her eyes, she leaned far enough towards Kurt that she upset her natural sense of balance and fell into his shoulder.
"Miss Rachel Berry!" he gasped in shock, hands coming up immediately to push her a couple of inches away from him, "I may be gayer than Blaine currently thinks he is, but I'm not going to kiss you like many a fine gay has done to many a fine fag hag when she's upset."
Though his tone was lofty, his expression was sufficiently concerned, and Rachel nodded, righting herself. "Sorry," she cleared her throat, dabbing at her eyes, "I'm j-just overcome."
"Well, I'd say." Crossing his arms, Kurt looked at her expectantly, then rolled his eyes and grabbed the Kleenex box, thrusting it at her when the one she had expired, "You totally got it on with Eight Pack Ken and Saucy Latina Barbie last night! And, by the looks of it, they stayed all night." He practically clapped in glee. "Alert the presses: when you get adventurous, Rachel, you do it in style. And good taste. Tell me, Sam's not a natural blond, is he? Oh oh, I'm sure he isn't."
But Rachel wasn't listening to him anymore. "Kurt," she interrupted, tears building in her eyes again, "Please, don't tease me about this. Can't you see I'm crying?"
Kurt blinked. Pulling his head back, he stared at her. "Well, yes, but…" His eyes softened. "Oh, I'm sorry. Okay." He drew in a deep breath and shuffled his shoulders, "I'm concentrated. What's wrong?"
Sniffing, Rachel shook her head. "Can I just say everything and be done with it?"
"No. The Ice Queen is parked on your porch, and Santana seems like she's trying to reinforce her heterosexuality by swallowing Sam's tonsils." Kurt sighed, shifting over to gently pat her knee before taking his palm back to lean on it, "But you're up here. I'm taking it Quinn attacked you?"
Rachel snorted, shaking her head. "She tried, but Santana stepped in. Hence their disheveled states." She still couldn't believe it.
"Hold up." Kurt stared at her. "Santana – Satan Santana – got into a fight over you?" His voice rose to an incredibly girlish excited tone at the end of his question, "Over Sam or herself, I would have expected, but you? I mean, I wouldn't have thought she…" He trailed off.
Even though she understood his shock, it still wounded Rachel's ego. "Maybe I inspire a sense of chivalry?" she sniffed haughtily, more tears spilling forth as her attitude completely disappeared the second it appeared; her voice turned quiet and rough, mirroring the twisting in her stomach, "Okay, no, Quinn in-insulted her."
"Mmhm. I'm sure that's all it was."
"Never mind." Kurt waved her question off, "Now's not the time nor place. Rachel." He gave her a compassionate look, pulling a Kleenex out of the box for himself and started cleaning up her tears, "Why are you up here?"
Rachel bit her lip, lowering her chin and shoulders. "…Finn."
"He showed up here, too?" Kurt gasped, pausing with his Kleenex pressed directly into Rachel's eye.
"Right, right. Sorry." Continuing his ministrations, Kurt gently finished dabbing her eyes.
The affection of his actions helped calm Rachel's anxiety, and she gave him a small smile and equally small, "Thanks," then drew in a deep breath. "No. He didn't – hasn't come over."
Kurt shrugged. "Can't help thinking that's a good thing…"
Rachel agreed, though she didn't want to. Quinn was one thing, but Finn… "I don't care," she whispered harshly, curling her hands into fists on her thighs, trying to tell herself she meant what she was saying, "But you can't be mad at me for your highly hypocritical conduct with Quinn!"
A low, 'ahh' left Kurt's body, and Rachel looked at him again. His eyes were apologetic. "Because I know you were not talking to me, I take it you've learned about the recoupling of Fuinn?"
Pain burned hot and jagged in Rachel's heart. "So it's true…" she whispered. Idiot as she was, she'd still been hoping it wasn't. More tears threatened, but she clamped her eyes shut.
No. No more tears. Santana and Sam were still here. Quinn was still here. She couldn't stay tucked up away when none of this, directly, had to do with her. Finn's decision to chea – to engage in a relationship that was all manners of wrong was his choice. Even if, for the life of her, she couldn't understand why.
She just… She just didn't understand. Not about Finn and Quinn. Not about Santana or Sam. Not about last night and all of the conflicting feelings rushing through her body. Everything was messed up, and everything needed to be cleaned.
"Kurt!" Rachel exclaimed, standing up and defiantly dashing the last of her tears away.
Kurt's eyes widened, "What?"
"You're going to help clean the basement."
It wasn't a question, and Rachel knew Kurt knew it too.
"Up!" Rachel barked, storming into the living room. Watching the jumble of limbs that were Sam and Santana jerk apart, she leveled cool stares onto each teenager. Preventing herself from feeling anything other than determination, she waited until two sets of eyes looked at her to toss two garbage bags at the floor near the couch. "If you're not in the basement helping Kurt and me clean in the next two minutes, then I will sing only Barbra songs for the next two weeks." Using her idol as blackmail fodder didn't sit well with her, but she knew it was something Santana, especially, would hate.
"Fuck no!" Santana snapped, and Rachel arched an eyebrow at her.
"Do you want to try me?" she hmmed.
As they glared at each other, Rachel forced herself to ignore how utterly 'macked' Santana looked, a blush still rising on her face as a sick mixture of what uncomfortably felt like jealousy and arousal flickered into life in her belly. Eyes flicking back to take in the same level of mussed countenance on Sam's face, Rachel focused on Santana again. "Two Barbra songs per day," she lowered her voice.
At that, Sam sighed and pulled himself out from under Santana. "Dude," he muttered, shaking his head, "One I can handle. Two?" He stretched and pulled down on his shirt, wiping a hand over his face before bending to pick up a bag; he looked at Rachel, his lips twitching, "You're harsh."
Rachel averted her gaze from the stain of lipstick at the side of his mouth, waiting until he'd exited the room to ask pointedly, "Do you want three per day?"
Santana snorted. Leaning back on the couch, turning so she could cross her legs and prop her elbows on the back of the couch unconcernedly, she challenged, "Schuester wouldn't go for it."
"Really? I wouldn't be so sure of that." Santana's lipstick was almost completely gone, her hair wilder than it had been when she had woken up, and various nicks and mars dotted her skin, but Rachel couldn't tell if everything messy about her was due to Sam or Quinn. Either way made her stomach unsettled.
Santana raised her chin. She studied Rachel. When she spoke, her voice was even, "You're not crying anymore."
Averting her eyes, Rachel frowned. "I'm not," she allowed, "But why do you care?"
Santana shrugged. "I don't." A fingernail tapped on the fabric of the couch, and she tilted her head, "You didn't know?"
…This was not what Rachel wanted to talk about. She swallowed, raising a hand to push hair behind her ear. "No." The word came out short and hard.
"Oh for the love of – After sacrificing my lips to prove – " Rolling her eyes violently, Santana shifted and slapped her hand down onto a nearby cushion. "Sit."
Her heart rate picking up, Rachel gingerly shuffled forward and slowly lowered herself onto the couch, the farthest she could get from the other girl. "What is it?" she asked brusquely. Something told her she really didn't want this conversation.
An inscrutable expression took over Santana's face, and she held up three fingers. "One," she pursed her lips, "Can you see over that giant beak of yours?"
That was not amusing. "Yes," Rachel ground out.
A hint of a smirk lit Santana's lips. "Two, you have a brain, or does that giant mouth of lead all the way up to your brain cavity?"
Still not amusing. Gritting her teeth, Rachel nodded.
"Three, of course you fucking knew!"
Flinching from the hissed barb, Rachel opened her mouth.
"Uh uh, no. When I's be speaking, I's be speaking." Slashing her hand through the air, Santana quickly turned it into a finger pointing directly at her. "Berry, cut the bullcrap. You knew."
"I did not!"
"Yes you did."
Anger roiled in Rachel's stomach. "I did not!"
And then Santana's mouth was on hers, harsh fingers digging into her collar as Santana's body loomed over her, knees pressing roughly into her thigh. "You did," she grunted when she pulled her mouth away, accusing directly into her lips, "But you want to be so damn dramatic – the victim. That's where you're best, isn't it? Woe is me and so damn high and mighty."
When Santana kissed her again, her mouth tasted like anger and last night, and when Rachel pushed back, arching up into her, she didn't think she wanted to know where the anger was coming from… Or why she wasn't pulling away. Defending herself.
Because what Santana said couldn't be true, could it? Rachel hadn't known. She hadn't.
She hadn't wanted to know.
The tears came again, then, and as Rachel started to cry, Santana slowed down. Her grip eased on Rachel's collar. "You knew," she pressed into Rachel's lips, shivering when Rachel's arms snaked around her neck and pulled her clumsily closer.
Rachel nodded. "I knew," she whispered, barely louder than a breath of air.
"Good." And Santana's voice was suddenly back to normal, and she pushed Rachel back, sliding off of the couch and giving her an unforgiving sneer, "Then stop acting like a complete pussy."
As she stalked out of the room, snatching up the garbage bag on her way, Rachel stared after her. If she hadn't seen the flickering in Santana's eyes in the moment before the sneer had snapped into place, Rachel would have burst into tears all over again. Instead, she put a trembling hand down onto the couch to hold herself up, raising her other hand to her lips.
What… What did Santana want from her?