Fic: Falling Stars
Author: JR Boone
Rating: M for strong sexual themes and violence. Also I have the mouth of a sailor so every other word is a curse usually.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or anything having to do with it. I wish I did. LOL that would be awesome. It would be like The L Word only musical.
A/N: This has nothing to do with my Leave Me Alone, I'm Lonely verse. It's just something that I had to get out of my system. Probably six to eight chapters with a few time jumps here and there.
Can we pretend that airplanes in the night's sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now…
Santana Lopez slowly took a swig out of the beer she had been nursing for a few minutes and smiled at the antics of her friends. The twenty-five year old was currently out celebrating one of her colleagues impending marriages with a bachelor party that had so far taken the New Yorkers through four bars, a cab ride, and had now landed them at a rather seedy strip club in Eastern Queens. It was going on one a.m. now and most of the group was completely trashed. Santana had decided that she would stay mostly sober for the night so at least one person would be in their right mind, and also because of a party in Junior High she refused to elaborate on.
Life after High School had been good for the Latina. With a scholarship granted to Latina American females and a GPA of 3.8 the former Cheerio had been accepted to NYU before Christmas Break had even let out during her Senior year. With additional money from her father the girl had been able to completely throw herself into her studies and had been swooped up by one of the most prestigious law firms in New York directly after graduating Magna Caum Laude and a year early to boot.
The Latina's natural caustic attitude and drive had ensured that she had risen quickly within the firm and it was projected that if she kept winning cases the way she was then she would grab a partnership in the firm in a little less than three years.
The only drawback of living life the way she did was that it left her little time for a social life, which was odd for the girl that had once been the center of every party in High School. She had kept up with a few of her old classmates after High School ended but not as strongly as she would have liked. After their Nationals win at the end of Senior year they had all sworn to keep in touch, but after a year of college most of them had gone their separate ways. It wasn't ill feelings, just the inevitable drive of separate lives and separate dreams.
The ones that she had kept in touch with she talked to at least once a week on the phone or online. Brittany had been noticed at Nationals by a talent scout and was currently touring Europe with the prestigious Russian Ballet as their Prima Ballerina.
Puck had moved out west to California and actually owned a very successful pool maintenance business in Beverly Hills, every time they talked he regaled her with stories of which celebrities pools he had been cleaning lately and Santana had smiled warmly at a picture of him being spotted making out with Hollywood's latest starlet.
Quinn was the only one that Santana had really stayed in touch with in the end. Both girls' had moved to New York together and shared a dorm room at NYU until Quinn had graduated and moved on to Columbia for medical school. The blonde was currently ending up her third year of medical school and between her classes and the work she did at a free clinic in Brooklyn the two rarely saw each other beyond their bi-weekly drink night that had become customary since their first year.
The years had matured Santana a great deal. The process had started the day she walked in to the Choir Room Sophomore year and had continued gradually has time had gone on. Even by the end of the Senior Year of High School everyone was beginning to get glimpses of the woman that Santana could one day become. The girl now sitting at the sticky table watching her drunken colleagues in amusement was sure of herself in every way. She no longer looked to anyone but herself for self-justification and she was damn proud of everything she had made of herself, if not a little cocky. Because yes she had matured over the years beyond being an insecure bully, but the fire that burned in Santana Lopez's heart was still going strong. She would still cut a bitch if needed and it was that attitude that made her an amazing lawyer.
She flagged down one of the shamefully dressed waitress walking past and called for another round of drinks for her friends, admitting to herself at least that it never hurt to appease those you worked with, especially when one of their fathers owned the whole damn law firm.
The drinks arrived to a volley of cheers at their table and Santana graciously raised her glass when they toasted to her life in general. Their attention was drawn to the stage by a rather sketchy looking guy in a disgusting polyester suit whose dark hair was slicked back into a pony tail. The man was slightly overweight and held a cigar behind one ear, his hands adorned with golden rings as he clutched the microphone. To Santana he was what she liked to call an un-winnable case, because no matter if he was innocent or not he was clearly the kind of person that any normal human would love to stick behind bars just in case.
"Ladies and Gentlemen I would personally like to thank all of you for coming out to the Pussy Box tonight! We've had a great evening so far and we're gonna keep the ball rolling with one of our favorite girls," he said, his voice nearly very literally dripping with slime. "So let's give a big dick up for our own Gold Star! Cherry Berry!" He yelled walking off the stage to the jeers and cheers of what Santana assumed were the clubs regular audience.
The lights went dim in the club as a spotlight hit the strip club in the center of the stage that disappeared above to a second floor. As music one would associate with cheap porn started booming through the speakers a tanned body dressed only in a matching set of black underwear and a red negligee began to slowly slide down the pole from above, legs spread wide open.
The catcalls of the crowd grew louder all around her and Santana rolled her eyes at the lewd comments, but couldn't deny the tightening she felt in her loins at the sight before her eyes. The girl continued her downward slide gracefully and Santana noticed a slight pause only when a rather drunken idiot next to the stage let out a bark of laughter and loudly exclaimed that, "there wasn't anything Cherry about that slut!"
When the girl hit the ground she lay still for just a second before flipping over backwards and standing up straight, quickly launching herself at the pole which she latched a tone leg around and began to spin outwards as she tossed off the negligee. Santana was joining in the boisterous cheering until the girl spun their way and then she literally felt all of the breath leave her body.
She would know that girl from anywhere. She had grown up with that girl her entire life, that girl had been one of her favorite targets for her misplaced anger. Rachel Berry in all her glory was spinning on a pole less than twenty feet away from Santana in nothing but a bra, g-string, and painfully glazed over smile.
Tears almost sprang to her eyes at the sight before her and Santana wanted to look away so badly that it hurt. But she couldn't, it was like an accident on the side of the road. The years had been kind to Rachel in the sense that she was still beautiful, but it was obvious that the girl had been through glaringly hard times.
From her seat Santana could make out the girl's ribs pressing against tanned skins mottled with faint bruises. The girl had very obviously had a boob job and Santana winced when she caught sight of a scar on the underside of her left breast when the former Diva tossed her bra across the room to the cheers of the men surrounding the stage.
Even through all of the girl's stage makeup Santana could make out dark rings under her eyes and what appeared to be the end of a blackened eye. Letting her eyes rake over the girl Santana had to fight back the urge to scream when she saw heroin track marks running down the girl's arms, the lightness of them devastatingly obvious against the girl's dark skin.
Every time Rachel looked in their direction Santana concentrated on the girl's eyes, searching desperately for the spark of life the girl had once had in them, completely disappeared now behind eyes glazed over by drugs.
As the girl pressed her ass into a guy's face to receive the money he had been holding up Santana felt her body become possessed by the urge to run up on the stage and take the girl away from all of the perverts surrounding the stage simultaneously gouging out all their eyes with the tiny brunette's stilettos. . She had just stood out of her seat when she felt a hand on her shoulder, breaking her out of her anger induced haze.
Turning around she was met with the greasy haired announcer who was staring at her smiling, showing off two front teeth cast in gold and a cigar dangling between his lips. "You like what you see up there?" He asked sneering.
"I need to talk to that girl," Santana demanded stepping into his space.
"Whoa whoa little girl, this is a business and I own that girl up there. If you wanna 'talk' to her," he said putting quotations on the word talk, "you can do so after you pay for a lap dance."
"How much is it?" Santana ground out snatching up her purse and pulling out her wallet.
"Ten bucks for ten minutes or fifteen for twenty Sweetheart," he said holding out a grubby hand.
"I want a private booth for twenty," Santana demanded holing on to her money.
"That'll be an extra twenty Firecracker," he said gleefully chewing on his cigar. Santana slapped the money into his hand and glared at him menacingly. "All right Sweet Thing here you go, stall twelve," he said handing her a key and pointing to a hallway to the left of the stage.
Santana flew past him and ran down the hall way as quickly as she could, jerking open her door and slamming it behind her. She tried to calm her furious breathing and sank into the couch directly in front of a small stage with a sliver pole in the middle of it.
Thoughts and feelings were racing through her body at close to a mile a second and it took everything she had in her to not break out into sobs. She was furious, disgusted, and devastated all at the same time and she had to lean over and put her face in the palms of her hand to get her breathing under control. "Oh god I was turned on by her," Santana growled, hating her self at the thought.
Her head snapped up when the latch on the door turned and her eyes instantly locked with the tiny brunettes the second the girl had stepped into the room and closed the door behind her. The former Diva stared at the girl for a millisecond smiling before her hazy eyes cleared and she recognized the girl staring at her from the couch.
Each one was shocked into silence and Santana once again felt the air leave her body when upon closer inspection of the girl's body she realized that her once perfect skin was marred with scars and bruises, the once tan color now had taken on a sickening yellow tint that was glaringly obvious under the bright white light above them.
Santana had not seen the former diva in six years and had barely thought of her in five. The last time she had laid eyes on Rachel Berry was the summer after their Freshman year of college. Despite being in the same city none of the girl's had bumped into each other that first year at all. Not that any of them really care. While by the end of Senior Year Quinn and Santana no longer were downright hateful towards the shorter brunette, they were no where near friends.
Santana had seen the girl twice during that summer break, the first time a week after all of the original Glee kids had returned from their respective colleges for a BBQ at Mr. Schue's house; the second time when she had respectfully attended Rachel's father's funerals after the men had been hit by a drunk driver. The details of the crash had been sparse but from what Santana had gathered both of the men had died upon impact and Rachel had walked away without a scratch.
The girl had looked so tiny standing in between Puck and Finn and Santana had gone up and given her an awkward hug, telling her to give her call sometime when she got back to the city. After that she had left, with the attitude one does when leaving the funeral of someone they never met out of kindness for a person they never really liked.
Santana and Quinn had been back at school for about five months when they received a call from Puck asking if either of them had heard from Rachel at all. Both girls hadn't and they told the boy so, but promised to try and get in touch with her. Santana and Quinn had both attempted to contact her, the Latina even going as far as to contact Julliard to track the girl down. The woman on the other end of the line had simply told Santana that Rachel had dropped out four months into the semester and not left a mailing address or phone number to be reached at.
Santana had passed the knowledge on to Puck a little surprised and bit worried, but after not to long the feelings had abated. She had simply assumed that Rachel had moved away or perhaps met someone. Quinn and her had even shared a spiteful laugh at the thought of Rachel ending up in a shot-gun wedding with some theatre guy.
Staring at the girl in front of her now the Latina couldn't believe her eyes. Desperately she wracked her brain for any sound reasoning or maybe a sign that could explain how the girl destined for Broadway had turned into a stripper in one of the biggest shit holes in New York City.
A knock on the door telling them they had ten minutes left snapped both girls out of their thoughts and Santana's eyes snapped back up to Rachel's, which had cleared up completely in the last ten minutes. The girl shook her head quickly and jumped up on the stage, her hands shaking as she grabbed a hold of the bar.
"Rachel stop," Santana said, closing her eyes tightly when the girl made to start dancing.
"This is my job Santana and you paid for it," Rachel said, her voice dripping with sarcasm and she began to lazily spin around the bar.
"I wanted to talk to you," Santana ground out as she jumped off of the couch intending to get Rachel to sit down with her. Rachel visibly flinched at the Latina's quick move and outstretched hands and stumbled backwards a big, her eyes wide with fear. "Fuck…I'm not going to hurt you," Santana said stilling in place.
Rachel quickly recovered and returned to the bar, "why not? You paid for it," she said plainly as she resumed her lazy dancing movements.
"Damnit Berry I didn't pay for this! I paid to talk to you," Santana yelled angrily whilst rubbing her temples.
"What the hell could we possibly have to talk about Santana?" Rachel spit out, her voice dripping with venom. "You wanna rub it in my face that I ended up the stripper and you didn't, well fucking go for it bitch, but I'm getting paid to dance and if my ass isn't on the pole when security looks at the cameras then I'm screwed, so talk from the damn couch."
"What the hell happened to you?" Santana asked at a loss for words as she sank back onto the couch.
"Life happened," Rachel said morosely as she jumped up onto the bar and held onto it with her legs. "You guys were all right, I wasn't anything special."
"That is crap," Santana said snapping her head up fiercely.
"No that is just a cold hard fact," Rachel murmured.
"Where did Rachel Berry go?" Santana asked, looking deep into the girl's eyes. A bang on the door signaling their time was up caused Rachel quickly dismounted from the pole and head to the door.
"Don't bother looking for Rachel Berry Santana…she died in a car crash didn't you hear?" She said sweeping out of the stall.
Santana sat in silence for close to a minute before a large bouncer popped his head in and told her if she wanted another girl she had to come out and pick one. Santana glared at him as she jumped off the couch and headed out of the room, heading back into the main club part and stalking over to her table. At this point her colleagues were completely blitzed and hadn't even realized the Latina had left.
Grabbing her beer the woman chugged it down as her eyes darted around the club for the former diva. Finally she spotted her just off of the corner of the stage very obviously doing a line of cocaine and growled. She kept her eyes trained on the girl and when the sleazy club announcer hopped on the stage to do an intro for her again Santana grabbed a chair at the front of the stage and threw her body into it.
As the girl danced Santana glared at any man who so much as looked at her and less than halfway through the girl's dance most of the men had moved onto a different stage, leaving the Latina to stare up at the petite woman. As more and more people began to leave Rachel became more and more aggravated, her dance movements becoming jerky and forced as she fought to keep a smile plastered on her face.
Santana kept up the pattern for the last hours the club was opened, following the girl with her eyes and physically intimidating any man who came near her. By the end of the night Rachel's face was red with fury any time her eyes locked onto Santana and the Latina saw the girl knocking back multiple lines of Coke as she was ushered out the door with the rest of the patrons.
Making sure her colleagues were safely taking off in cabs Santana leant up against a wall across from the Club door and waited. After about twenty minutes the doors flew open and Rachel stormed out wearing a tube top and a pair of shorts despite the coolness of the air.
The woman clearly saw the Latina but just stomped right past her, not bothering to hide her obvious fury. "Rachel wait up!" Santana yelled chasing after the brunette.
"Leave me alone Santana!" Rachel yelled as she turned a corner onto a dimly lit street and marched over to a payphone, not bothering to go into it though, just leaning against it facing the street.
"I want to talk to you Rachel," Santana demanded as she marched up to the girl.
"Well that is too fucking bad Santana because your stubborn ass scared away all of my tips for two hours so now I have to make up that money at my second job or I'm dead meat," Rachel ground out, stamping her foot angrily and exhibiting a slight bit of her old personality.
"Fuck how about this, I give you a ride to your other job, and we can talk then," Santana pleaded almost desperately.
"Really Santana!" Rachel barked out and started to laugh humorously. "Where else do you think I fucking work?" Rachel sneered as a car started to slow down until it came to a stop before them. Quickly Rachel hustled over and leant into the open passenger's side window.
Suddenly it clicked in Santana's head what Rachel's "second job" was and the Latina woman growled furiously as she stomped over to Rachel and pulled her away from the window. "Leave now!" She barked at the creepy looking guy in the car who just nodded and sped off into the night.
"What the hell Santana!" Rachel yelled. "You just can't come in here on your white fucking horse and do this! This isn't a movie! This is my life and I need that money he was gonna give!"
"What for Rachel? So you can go get fucked up?" Santana demanded stepping into the girl's face.
"So what if that's it?" Rachel asked getting nose to nose with the Latina woman. "I bet it's really fucking funny for you to see me like this, well have a good look, have a good laugh, and then get the hell out of here!"
"You know you said Rachel Berry died in a car accident but that's not true is it?" Santana asked crossing her arms.
"Don't." Rachel demanded turning away from the Latina.
"Rachel Berry is still alive; she's just fucking killing herself slowly like a chicken."
Rachel spun around furiously and pressed a finger into Santana's chest, "don't act like you know who I am Santana Lopez. You do not and have never known who I am."
"I know that you're better than this crap," Santana ground out angrily.
"Just go the fuck away!" Rachel yelled losing her temper and pushing the Latina back by the shoulders.
"What the hell is going on here!" Came a booming voice and Santana jerked her head to the left to see the skeezy announcer from earlier walking up to them.
"Nothing Mickey," Rachel said shrinking back quickly as the man got to them.
"Nothing Mickey my ass, what the fuck are you doing out her? You should be out making money bitch," the sleazy man demanded, his face red.
"I was just talking-" Rachel started but stopped instantly when Mickey raised a large hand in the air threateningly.
"Do not fucking touch her," Santana demanded stepping in between them and looking at the man menacingly.
"Oh it's the talker," Mickey sneered. "Listen bitch get the fuck out of here so I can earn back some of the money you lost me tonight," he said dismissively shooing the woman away.
"How much?" Santana ground out for the second time that night.
Realizing that the woman had just turned into a paying customer Mickey smiled viciously. "For you Firecracker we can work out an hourly rate," he said chuckling.
"I want her for a week," Santana demanded reaching into her purse.
"A week?" The man asked in disbelief. "Look if you wanna drop that much dough lets go find you a nicer girl. Cherry here is one of my five dollar specials," he said laughing spitefully.
"I want her," Santana ground out.
"Alright alright," he said holding up his hands. Putting a hand on his chin he looked Santana up and down before running his eyes over Rachel. "Considering all the money I'm not gonna make from both jobs I got her hired for it's gonna run you two grand," he said laughing as she crossed his hairy arms.
"Deal," Santana snapped out as she began counting out money, thankful that she had taken so much out of the bachelor party earlier only to find out that her co-worker's father was paying for the whole thing.
"Pleasure doing business with you Sweetheart," the man laughed before looking over to Rachel and pulling a baggy out of his pants. He tossed the bag of powder to the girl and broke out laughing when Rachel dove to the pavement to retrieve it. "Make it last Cherry cause your ass is hers for a week," he said laughing again as she walked off greedily counting his money.
Santana glared at him until her turned the corner and then quickly kneeled down next to the brunette and pulled her to her feet. Rachel glared up at her as she clutched the bag of coke to her chest. "I hate you," she ground out.
"This is me not caring what you think about me," Santana said as she flipped open her cellphone and quickly called for a cab. Snapping the phone closed she looked at the brunette whose face was a mask of anger and realized she was shivering. Santana rolled her eyes she quickly shrugged off her coat and wrapped it around the diva that simply pulled it around her self the best she could with one hand, her other still clutching her bag of powder.
The two stood in silence for a few minutes before a cab rolled up to them and called out Santana's name. Grabbing the petite girl's hand Santana drug her into the cab and reached over shutting the door. "71 Broadway," she barked out at the driver and leant back in her seat.
"Manhattan?" Rachel asked, her voice tinged with curiosity.
"Yah Manhattan," Santana said sighing.
They rode in complete silence with the exception of the radio playing lightly and it surprised both girls when they stopped in front of Santana's apartment. Quickly the Latina tossed some bills at him and pulled the former diva out of the car and into the building.
Santana kept the girl's hand in hers as the elevator slowly rose to the 15th floor. She considered what the hell she was doing but couldn't come up with anything except the mantra you have to save her, you have to save her.
Rachel was silent as Santana led her into her apartment and the Latina watched the woman's face closely as her eyes swept over the posh apartment that the law firm had hooked her up with. Santana stepped away and sat her purse down as Rachel took a few uneasy steps into the living area, her hands shaking silently as she took everything in. She stopped at the large windows and looked out them down at the city below her and the street she had always dreamed of. Santana stood silently as she looked at the girl's reflection in the mirror and her heart broke a little as a tear rolled down the girl's cheek.
Quietly she stepped closer to the brunette and she winced when she saw dark finger-shaped bruise marks that were fading on the girl's thighs and peaking above her shorts. As if sensing the Latina was getting closer Rachel moved away from the window and started studying the pictures on the Latina's mantle piece.
There were a few of her and Quinn, some of her family and in the middle was the group picture of the Glee Club surrounding the Nationals trophy at the end of Senior Year. Rachel's lips quirked up in a small smile as she looked at her and Santana's joined hands, something that had for some reason become tradition after their Sophomore year.
"Rachel," Santana whispered, coming up from behind the girl and slowly running a hand down the girl's arm that was clutching the baggy of coke. Under her finger's Santana felt the girl's body loosen and she breathed a sigh of relief when she was allowed to gently pry the drugs out of the girl's hand.
Finally it seemed that all of the events of the night and the last six years caught up with the woman and she sunk to the floor with deep heaving sobs. Santana instantly dropped to the floor next to her and gathered the brunette in her arms, refusing to let go even after the woman beat on her chest in anguish.
"Why? Why are you here!" She screamed angrily. "I wanted to die!" Tears sprung to the Latina's eyes at the girl's words and just tightened her arms. "Don't you get it! I was ready!"
"I know you were sweetie," Santana murmured into the woman's ear. "But I can't let you."
"Why not?" Rachel cried out.
"Because this is not how your story ends Rachel. I'm not going to let you slowly commit suicide."
"But I'm so useless now," the girl sobbed out.
"No you're not beautiful. You're just broken…I'm going to fix you," Santana said her voice leaving no doubt to her determination.
"You can't," Rachel cried, her body beginning to weaken and go slack in the Latina's arms.
"Yes I can," Santana said standing up and pulling the feather-light woman into her arms. She walked quickly into her bedroom and lay the already sleeping brunette down on her bed. Heading into her bathroom she was quick to pour of the contents of the bag into her toilet and flush it, making sure to wash out the inside of it as well. Tossing away the bag Santana washed her hands and grabbed a washrag, quickly wetting it and then walking back into the bedroom. Sitting down on the edge of the bed she pulled Rachel to her and gently wiped the girl's stage make-up off, fighting back the urge to vomit when she uncovered a mess of bruises on the girl's face that the make-up had been hiding.
Steeling her stomach she went over to her dresser and quickly changed into sleep clothing before bringing some back over to the bed and carefully undressing the brunette and shoving her into a set of pajamas. She thanked god that she had been given the weekend off as she turned off her alarm clock and put her phone on silent. She was about to get into the bed when she had a thought and quickly walked over to her bathroom. After rifling through her medicine cabinet she made sure to take out everything stronger than Tylenol and shoved it all in a box. Quickly she carried it out into the living room and deposited it on the coffee table.
Padding back to her bedroom she grabbed her keys and locked her bedroom door, thankful for once that she had paid extra for the double locking doors she had purchased in case she was ever robbed. Making sure the brunette was still asleep Santana slipped the key off the ring before reaching up and letting the key fall into a light sconce.
Content that the woman wouldn't be able to get up and get a fix and/or leave before they could actually talk she carefully crawled into the bed. She looked at the brunette's battered face for a few seconds before the events of the evening finally caught up with her and her body began to shake with quieted sobs.
She tried to control her noise level but after a few minutes of crying Rachel's eyes fluttered open and for a second Santana saw that girl from so long ago that would drop everything if a friend was upset. Rachel swallowed once and closed her eyes before scooting her body against the Latina's and resting her head gingerly on the woman's shoulder.
Santana wrapped her arms tightly around the girl as he continued to cry, letting out a sob when she felt Rachel's ribs poking against her palm. "I'm going to fix you," she promised through her tears.
Rachel was silent after the declaration but the girl nestled closer into the Latina's side. Santana assumed she had fallen asleep until she heard the woman's soft whisper, "please do…"
What do you guys think?