AN: Okay, this story was winning the poll on my profile by a major landslide, so I decided I would just go ahead with it now since I already have a few chapters written. I can swing two stories at once, so no worries! For those of you who were rooting for Unholy Unrest, too bad it's getting locked away in a vault, never to see the light of day again. Ha, yeah right, it'll be posted eventually! ;)
This story earns it's M rating right off the bat, so please be aware of that! I don't want to give anything away in the summary, you'll have to read and find out why. As I said before...it's gritty and nothing like my other stories. In this first chapter you get introduced to Santana's life and Rachel's as well, although they won't be coming in contact with one another until next chapter. Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: You all know I don't own Glee...
Chapter 1 – Ones, Fives, & Twenties
Six years after high school, Santana Karofsky was even less secure with herself and even more flawed. Her caramel hued skin didn't glow on its own anymore, but that was what bronzer, blush, and a myriad of other make up products were for. Dark eyes no longer dazzled and her too-thin figure was no longer a picture of health and athleticism. Even the nose that had once set off her exotic good looks was just a slightly-less-than-straight, painful reminder.
While she used to love mirrors and the hours she spent building up her power in front of them, a schedule worked every Friday and Saturday night for the last three years had taught her to loathe them. Even with half of the lights dimmed out from old age, her dressing room mirror still managed to illuminate everything she hated about herself – some visible, others invisible.
"Fuck it," Santana whispered to her reflection as she tried and failed to remove all of the heavy, black eyeliner from her eyelids. Who cared if it smudged and made her look double her age, it was just going to go back on the next night and she needed to tend to more pressing matters.
Pulling her cropped trench coat around her and tying the sash at her waist, Santana walked out to her car in the darkened parking lot of the strip club where she worked. She watched the deserted area as she walked, trying to make sure that it stayed that way. What she was about to do could get her into a lot of trouble – maybe even fired or worse – but when she remembered her four year old daughter, her mostly empty refrigerator, and the bitchy babysitter who she would have to pay for the night, she knew she was making the right decision.
The man who had boldly whispered in her ear in the club was standing against the door of her car, the one she had described to him after making a quick, snap judgment. "Took you long enough…" he said as he pushed himself off the vehicle and stepped away.
"I told you I still had half an hour left on my shift," Santana stated matter-of-factly, not bothering to look at him but instead getting out her keys and opening the car door.
"It's fine. Are you still up for this?" he asked. Out of the corner of her eye she could see his thumb hooked into the belt on his jeans, this fingertips already ghosting over the zipper trying to relieve pressure. It disgusted her, but she swallowed her pride just as she would be swallowing his in a few minutes.
"Yeah…" Santana said evenly as she sat down in the driver seat, keeping her scuffed patent stilettos on the pavement. "You got a condom?"
"Shit…no…" he swore, patting his pockets.
Santana hesitated and thought of just turning him away. But once again thoughts of her daughter and the lack of tips she had made that night clouded her brain. It wasn't like she really cared about what happened to her body anymore and if anything it was just a way to make more money. "Whatever, I'll do it, but it's gonna be seventy-five then."
"You said fifty!" the man hissed, his own eyes scanning the few cars still occupying the lot.
Sighing, Santana pulled her hair back into a low ponytail. "You want it or not, man? I could just say no." A selfish part of her wanted him to decline, but the mother in her was silently begging him to accept.
"Let's just do this," he finally replied. The sound of his zipper seemed deafening in the quiet environment, but Santana just ignored it and let him cup the base of her skull with his large hand, pulling her head forward.
She tried to take her mind to another place, but it was hard to do while trying to concentrate on breathing through her nose and rolling her tongue. At least if she made it good it would be quicker for both of them and it wasn't too long before the nameless man was holding her jaw with both hands, thrusting until she could feel him half way down her throat. When he finally pulled himself away, Santana doubled over in a gag but picked her head up just in time to have a warm, gush of fluid catch in her false eyelashes.
"Ah, damnit!" she gasped, reflexively bringing her fingertips to her eye. "You fucking bastard!"
"Whatever, slut," he said back nonchalantly, pulling a few bills from his wallet and tossing them in her lap. He started walking away before she could even get her eye open again, probably a good indicator that he hadn't owned up to the price she set.
"Stupid mother fucker." She continued to mutter under her breath until she finally got to count the money in her lap, which happened to be four twenty dollar bills. As she stuffed them into her bra she guessed that someone must have been on her side that night after all.
As she made the hour drive back to Lima, Santana tried not to think about her raw throat and the tears that were always threatening to fall. Tears didn't keep her daughter fed, but writhing on poles and blowing guys in back parking lots did and she knew which option she would continue to choose.
Before exiting her car and entering her house, Santana thanked whoever was watching over her that her husband wasn't home yet and wrote a check against the steering wheel. She was pretty sure the high school girl from down the street who served as her babysitter had already figured out her weekend occupation, but she would be damned if she paid the girl with all singles and the occasional five dollar bill. It wasn't hard to figure out what someone had been up to when they came home covered in a fine sheen of body shimmer, stomping around in six inch heels.
A knuckle rapping on the glass window made her jump and swivel her head to her left. Her heart calmed a little when she found that it was just the babysitter, standing there expectantly with a backpack slung over her shoulder.
"She's asleep on the couch, I'm going home," she said blandly, as Santana stepped out of the car and tried not to notice the judging eyes studying her bare legs.
Santana handed over the check; the girl hesitated before taking it carefully by a corner. "Thanks for staying with her tonight."
"Yeah…" she simply answered and then turned away to walk back to her own home.
Once inside and despite everything, Santana found herself smiling at nothing as she locked the front door. Of course the smile wasn't really for nothing; it was for her daughter, Olivia, who lied tangled up in her blanket sound asleep. The little girl who shared all of her beautiful and dominant Hispanic features and none of her father's was the one thing Santana was proud of in her life.
"My baby girl…" she whispered, as she tucked a strand of long, dark hair behind Olivia's ear. She bent to kiss her forehead, but quickly straightened herself again after remembering the last place her mouth had been. Shame and guilt creased the skin between her brows, and she tore her coat off preparing to go take a shower and brush her teeth until she gagged some more.
After showering, Santana aimlessly walked into the kitchen. She didn't even know why she bothered coming into that particular area of the house; it wasn't like she really ate anymore. It was bad for business and her limited funds.
"Looks like you had a pretty good night tonight…"
Santana gasped at the sudden voice that she hadn't been expecting and pressed her hand to her chest, covering the worn white and black WMHS letters that emblazoned the front of her old Cheerios sweatshirt. "Jesus Christ, you scared me!"
Her husband, David Karofsky, sat at their kitchen counter on a stool. In front of him, laid the pile of cash that Santana had dumped from her purse, some bills wadded up haphazardly and others still strategically folded lengthwise. Then off to the side of those there were four crisp bills, still folded as if they had just come from a wallet.
"Thirty-seven ones, two fives, and –"
"It was a slow night," Santana interrupted, busying herself with a glass of ice water.
Dave didn't believe the story for a second and his eyes grew colder, piercing into his wife's back. "So…it was a slow night," he reiterated and picked up the four twenty dollar bills between his index and middle finger. "And then some high roller just happened to stop by a seedy strip club in the middle of nowhere Ohio and paid you eighty bucks for a lap dance?"
"That's right," she sing-songed back. One thing she hadn't lost over the years was her snotty attitude. If anything it had just gotten worse.
Dave was right up beside her in a matter of seconds, ripping the glass tumbler out of her hand and smashing it into the stainless steel of the sink. It cracked into pieces with a sharp crash.
"Great, you probably woke her up!" Santana said, dodging her husband's large frame and heading for the living room.
"I don't give a fuck if she wakes up or not!" Dave shouted back. He caught her by the arm as she tried to leave and swiftly shoved her against the nearest wall. Santana glared at him with eyes that always seemed to burn with anger, fear, or a combination of both. "Now, tell me where that money came from."
"A few different guys…" the Latina mumbled as she rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest. She couldn't move away from the wall because he was blocking her and it annoyed her because she knew exactly how it would end. "It wasn't just one, obviously."
"You're such a liar," Dave said with a cynical smile.
And then without warning, his knuckles forcefully collided with Santana's eye socket. It hurt – even more so because her head was against the wall – but she didn't cry out, she hardly even flinched. "That all you got," she asked slowly, while relishing the way her eye felt like it was about to explode. She always lost the battle, but at least by maintaining some of her dignity and fight she could feel like she was winning the war.
The comment sent him into a rage just as she knew it would and by the time he was finished with her, Santana was sitting down against the wall, no longer able to stand because her head was swimming with snaps of light. She had found herself in the same position a thousand other times. The prickling and tingling beneath both of her eyes was a tell tale sign that the skin would be a pretty shade of purplish black in the morning and the warmth running over her full lips let her know that her sweatshirt was probably getting stained.
A hand came down and wrapped in the loose, still-wet waves of her hair, forcing her to look upward. "You're a fucking whore, Santana! You always were and you always will be!" Dave yelled down at her. "The only difference now is that you actually get paid!"
He let go of her hair and Santana let her head fall as she huffed out a humorless laugh. "I know."
Santana startled awake when something brushed her cheek and her pain receptors fired into action. "Fuck," she hissed, opening her eyes to find her daughter sitting next to her head. Then she groaned, "Ugh, mami didn't mean to say that."
"Your face is hurt again, mami," Olivia announced, moving her small hand to touch the bruised area once more, not understanding that it would cause pain.
"I know," Santana sighed as she gently stopped her hand. "But please don't touch it, baby, it hurts."
"Why did daddy do that?"
Because your mami is a half-way hooker, baby, but you'll never need to know that, Santana thought as she looked into Olivia's deep brown eyes. Despite everything she had witnessed in her young life, those eyes still shone with childlike innocence – exactly as they should have.
"He did it because he was mad, you know that."
Olivia rolled her eyes and Santana smiled even though she shouldn't have considering she was only a four year old. "He's always mad. Are all daddies mad?"
Sitting up, Santana thought back to her own father, who was always in some type of bad mood over this, that, or the other thing. Long shifts at the hospital, complaining patients, paperwork, a straying wife, an inconvenient daughter, a messy divorce – it all caused him to be withdrawn from his family and taught Santana to fear him from a tender age. She knew Dave's reasons were different. He had been naturally violent and angry in high school, but it also stemmed from a lot of other factors, two of them being her unwanted presence in his life and his repressed homosexuality.
"I don't know," she answered honestly, because really she didn't know, at least not from her own experiences. "Come on, let's go get breakfast, mija."
"Well, sweetie, while I understand the sentiment behind you staying here for the summer, I still can't believe you're actually doing it," Leroy Berry said to his daughter as he set down another box filled with her belongings in her childhood bedroom.
"Daddy, if I didn't know any better I would accuse you of trying to talk me out of this idea," a voice shouted from outside in the hall.
When his daughter finally entered the room carrying the last box, he couldn't help but admire the woman she had become. Time had been kind to Rachel Berry. She had grown into the features that she had once been made fun of for; her dark hair was still long, but cut into various layers that framed her luminous smile, distinct nose and equally dark eyes. She had even abandoned her old style of dressing like an elementary school student and opted for something fresher and actually appropriate to her age group. But that could have been due to living in New York City since she graduated and spending time with enough stylists to pick up a fashion sense.
In just six short, yet chaotically satisfying years, she had done everything that she promised her high school peers she would. She had made it to Broadway, won two Grammy's, starred in a Tony Award winning show, and to top it all off, she had even gotten to sing with her greatest idol and namesake – Barbra Streisand – on a few occasions.
"Oh, he's not trying to talk you out of it, Rach. We've been looking forward to this for months," Hiram Berry announced as he filed in behind his daughter. "We just can't believe that you're giving up the city to come back to little ol' Lima."
Rachel beamed, motioned for both of her fathers, and then wrapped her arms around their waists. "You know I love the city, but the city doesn't have two of my most favorite things…my dads," she said sweetly. Her persuasive and brown nosing qualities were still as strong as ever. "I haven't been here for longer than a few weeks since I graduated, it'll be nice to be home for a change! Who knows when I'll get to come back next after I start my new show in the fall! Besides, even if this is a small town, I'm sure I can find some type of trouble to get into this summer!"
Later in the evening, Rachel and her fathers sat in the middle of BreadstiX, in a booth that she was pretty sure she had once frequented years ago with her old boyfriend Finn Hudson. To say it was making her just nostalgic would have been an understatement.
"I can't believe this place is still here!" Rachel gushed as she speared her salad with a fork. "I have so many fond memories of this restaurant. I remember when Kurt had a meeting of the Lonely Hearts Club here and the Dalton Warblers sang for Valentine's Day. Speaking of which, who still lives in the area, anyone from Glee club?"
Leroy teasingly rolled his eyes at all of his daughter's reminiscing. "You're making us feel old, but if you insist on knowing I think a few of them might still be in town."
Rachel perked up even more, quickly asking, "Who! Anyone that I was actually friends with?"
"I know that Puckerman punk is still hanging around, although he's not much of a punk anymore." Hiram explained. "He actually owns a pool cleaning and supply company."
Water nearly shot from Rachel's nose as she choked on the liquid while laughing. She swiftly recovered and dabbed at her mouth with her linen napkin. "Wow, life is definitely ironic…"
"Definitely." Leroy echoed, as he twirled some pasta on his spoon thoughtfully. "Oh! That cheerleader is still here…the mean one. I can't think of her name."
"No, the other one. Hispanic, dark hair…I think her name was something-or-other Lopez, maybe?"
"Santana Lopez!" Rachel half exclaimed, half asked, sounding surprised. "She always made it sound like she was going to leave this town behind. She was talented in school, I thought she would have went off to college or something at least." Even though that's not where I told her she would end up in junior year.
Leroy shook his head in disagreement. "Nope. Now she's married to that Karofsky guy that used to bully your friend Kurt. I've seen her in a few places with her daughter, she's a cute little thing."
Suddenly, it became apparent to Rachel that she was the one who had left her hometown behind. Sure she kept in touch with Kurt Hummel, Mercedes Jones, and occasionally Finn, but none of them ever really searched that hard to figure out what their other classmates were doing. She knew Quinn had gone off to law school somewhere on the East coast and had eventually settled down with the nice Christian man that her parents expected her to be with. Brittany Pierce – despite all of her randomness and lack of common sense – had even somehow made it to Los Angeles with her affinity for dancing. But as for the others, Rachel hadn't done much to keep track of them and she was sure it was mutual on their parts as well.
To hear that Santana Lopez had stayed in Lima to get married and raise children was shocking. Rachel had always secretly thought that out of all the other Glee girls, Santana would be the one to end up in a big city somewhere, living a wild and crazy existence where she used all of her spunk to break hearts and get exactly what she wanted out of life.
"That's…interesting, to say the least," Rachel finally said, still trying to process just how much had occurred since that day when the Glee club parted ways in white and red robes and caps. "I never would have imagined that lifestyle for her. Dave must have changed a lot for her to end up marrying him and have a daughter… she must be happy."
So...do you all hate me now? :/ Hopefully not! I know it's a change of pace, but it's a serious issue that I really could imagine Santana getting sucked into. Just trust me when I promise a happy ending! Also, I'm not just using Karofsky as the token "bad guy," there's a reason for his role and it will all be explained soon enough. So please don't flame me saying that he's actually a nice guy, etc. I'm actually beginning to forgive his character on the show, but for this story I need his darker qualities. For now, please let me know what you think of this first chapter and if you have any questions concerning the content/plot you know you're free to message me!