A/N: Thanks to everybody who's read and reviewed. Especially if you've stuck around after so long. Constructive criticism is always appreciated. Hope you guys enjoy.
Warnings: I don't own Glee or any of the characters or any of the songs I may use. This will include lesbian sex, maybe some hetero but it's not likely. Possibly Finn bashing, I'm not entirely sure how yet, but I'll try to find a way, might even toss in some Jesse bashing.
The laptop rested in it's bag on the floor, cold from disuse. The lights had long since been shut off. The only sounds in the room, the entire apartment, were our mingling breaths and the thoughts that plagued us. I wouldn't have been surprised if she heard my nerves as clearly as I heard her reservation. It would be hard not to as close as we were fitted together. My back was pressed firmly to her chest while one arm rested over my hip; it's connected hand had found a placed just below my navel, and though I made no move to change that my mind kept finding its way back to the warm fingers resting so earnestly above the waistband of my shorts. Keeping my mind from wandering only grew harder as Santana's thumb began a slow motion. She interrupted the silence first.
"Did you mean it?" It was barely above a whisper. It was a task to convince myself I'd even heard it, especially the pleading edge.
I didn't quite understand, "Mean what?" I chanced, trying to keep my voice just as low.
"Do you," she started, the pleading more evident, and moved her hand to my hip. I almost shivered as she rolled away from me, exposing my back to the cool air. She started again, "Do you want to be with me?"
The silence that fell was heavier this time, weighing me to my spot and her to lay farther back. For a time, I was certain she was holding her breath, but I knew she wasn't asleep when she moved again, sitting up this time. I nodded. "Yes."
I don't know how long our silence lasted but I'd allowed doubt to seep into both of our minds.
She didn't lie back down, "Why?"
"What?" I finally moved, craning my head and leaning back to see her.
"Why?" She asked again. I could only make out her figure in the dark; a black silhouette against the unlit room, "If it isn't for sex," I saw the way her head dropped back, "And it isn't to brag, why would you want me?"
"Santana," I had no idea, what to say to that.
She didn't let me think as her head turned. I felt her eyes on me as if she could see me clearly past the darkness. "I'm eighteen different kinds of fucked up Rachel. What could you possible want to do with me?"
"Don't say that." It was my turn to sit up, still a bit uncertain in the dark. "You're not fucked up Santana."
Her laughter was bitter as it shook the bed.
"I mean it," my voice dropped, "You've been through a lot, certainly far more than most people our age, but you're not fucked up. You're a lot sweeter than you'd probably be willing to admit, you're probably some sort of genius, and you're my friend."
"That was the worst argument I've ever heard," she chuckled, and I had to wonder if her voice actually sounded thicker.
I worried my lip slightly, uncertain of what to do next. Typically Santana was the one waiting on me. Usually, she was the more experienced in, well, everything. I didn't think either of us really knew what to do.
Still, she moved first, turning back onto the bed. I moved to lay down, facing Santana as she moved closer.
"We should still talk about everything else," I mumbled softly into the darkness. I could tell Santana was grimacing as I reminded, "Everyone else."
I heard a wet noise, a moist tongue running smoothly over dry lips before she sighed, "We will."
"But not now?" I asked.
Another sigh before we fell into a short silence.
"Tomorrow," she assured, "Can we talk tomorrow?"
I nodded wordlessly.
I really should have grown used to the dejection I felt at waking up alone. I held the pillow beneath my head tightly, taking in the familiar scent, except, it was far stronger than on my own pillows. It hit me like a ton of bricks about then, I'd fallen asleep in Santana's bed. She'd let me. Yesterday came back quickly as I left the room, only barely registering that I was in yesterday's clothes. I made my way to the front of the apartment, sure to check the game room and bathroom before I actually got to the kitchen. I couldn't hide my elation at the familiar scene of Santana and Daddy sitting at the counter, nursing their own bowls of oatmeal and cups of coffee of their respective phone and laptop.
"Good morning," I smiled, going to the cupboard to get my own bowl.
"Morning sweetie," Daddy greeted, "You're still in yesterday's clothes. Yesterday must have been pretty hectic if you dropped like that."
"Yeah," I agreed quickly, "It was, but I just have to get through this week and then we're getting a few weeks off for the holidays."
Daddy nodded past his coffee, rushing to swallow, "Did I tell you, Dad's coming out? He's finally coming to see the place."
"Really?" I had to refrain from bouncing, "He's coming out?"
"Oh my," I set the bowl down to hug Daddy.
He kissed my forehead and smiled before looking to the girl across from us, "How about you Santana, would you be interested in going home to see your uncle for the holidays?"
"Don't think Mr. Berry would be too thrilled with that," she scoffed before taking a sip of her coffee.
Daddy laughed, "He's really not a bad guy. We'd hardly keep you from seeing your family."
She shook her head, "It's fine, really, my uncle's probably living it up, not having to keep track of me. He has his own work and I should be focused on my own as well."
"If you're sure, we're more than glad to have you here for the festivities," he assured, beaming, "Right Rach?"
"Of course," I beamed, "We can sit and watch Christmas specials."
"You're Jewish," she pointed at me skeptically.
"I've been exposed to both of my fathers' faiths, it just happens that Dad was a bit more devoted to his than Daddy," I explained.
"You make me sound worse than I am," Daddy teased.
"Yes, I make you sound worse," I assured, kissing his head before moving to sit beside Santana.
"You should probably hurry up if you want to shower and dry off before we leave, it's cold out and I doubt anybody would want you getting sick," Santana assured.
"Wear coats, both of you," Daddy reminded before getting up, "I'm going to go call Dad and tell him you're both very excited." He gave a quick wink to Santana before kissing my head. He dropped his dishes in the sink and left.
"We can go get a tree," I was almost giddy with excitement, "A real tree. We only have a fake one at home but it would probably be best to get a real one."
"My Papi always got a real tree when I was little," she mentioned.
I watched her silently as she finished her coffee; maybe hoping for more or some sort of explanation. Instead, all I got was, "You should probably hurry, unless you want to go to work rocking yesterdays musk."
I blushed and nodded, finishing my bowl before heading to my own room, enjoying this familiarity.
Broadway Babe and Hollywood Hottie! Cosette dropped the magazine onto the small coffee table in front of me on the couch. Normally, I wasn't exactly interested in them, but it was hard to ignore my own picture on the cover. Technically, Cyrus and I were on the cover, and I could even make out Santana off to the side. I was unnerved as I read the first page. It mentioned one of our recent dates. I didn't even bother opening it before Santana took it from my hands and scanned it, slipping it into her back pocket before looking to Cosette angrily.
"What the fuck did you do that for?" She demanded.
"I just thought the princess might like to see what the rest of the world is saying about her," she sneered.
"Well you thought wrong." I watched from the couch as Santana moved to face the girl, standing toe to toe as the silent war waged.
I could almost feel the rage radiating off of Santana, but all Cosette had to show was amusement.
"She's right," I assured, standing up, "I should have expected this. Thank you for grabbing this, do you mind if we keep it?"
Both girls looked at me with surprise before their other emotions set in.
Cosette finally seemed upset.
"Rachel," Santana called, "Don't just-"
"Really," I stopped her before turning back to the other girl, "Cosette, I'm sorry."
I don't think I'd ever actually seen the girl angry before. I found myself grateful when I realized the emotion began slipping from her face, although I only caught a glance before she huffed and turned away, "Whatever." She slipped out of the trailer without another word to either of us.
"What was that?" Santana questioned, looking at me sternly.
"Cosette and Cyrus got the short end of the stick," I reminded her, "The least we could do is try to act civil."
Her expression softened but she didn't say anything.
"I don't want them to hate me," I added quietly.
That seemed to break her. "Rach," she called, moving to pull me in her arms, "If they didn't hate you before, I'm sure they don't now." Lips brushed easily over my temple as she sighed, "They're just hurt."
I nodded and leaned into her touch.
"Just give it time."
They hated me. While Cyrus was far too sweet to outwardly show it, I could tell. During scenes he was perfect, as usual, but as soon as we finished shooting one rather than hanging around to talk to me, he'd find just about anybody else. Even when I tried talking to him, he'd excuse himself to go talk to anybody else. Cosette, was a bit more obvious in her avoidance. Unless she was required on set she stayed in the trailer. Both went out for lunch while Santana found a nearby truck with at least a salad. Our own lunch was spent in silence before I had to get back to work.
The rest of the week was spent in a very similar fashion. Not much improvement happened. The tabloids caught on pretty quickly that mine and Cyrus's flame had fizzled out. Some paparazzi had started showing up at the studio although they weren't quite allowed inside. A couple tried following us home but Santana proved it fairly easy to lose them, although I hadn't even noticed the cars following us. By Thursday Cyrus had grown especially tired. He was hounded with horrible questions as if the break up were his fault, but he still didn't tell them anything about what I'd said. Finally, on Friday I got the chance to talk to him though.
"Seriously guys, can I just get to my car? It's the holidays," Cyrus sighed.
"Just talk to us about Rachel," one pleaded while camera's flashed at random.
"Did she cheat on you?" One demanded. "Did you cheat on her," another countered.
The boy fidgeted but shook his head, "Could you ask about anything else?"
"Was it a messy break up? Did you argue, did you fight?" The questions only continued.
"Pretty boy," Santana finally called as we grew closer.
That only excited the mob as they began voicing questions for me.
"Rachel, who did you cheat on Cyrus with?" "Did he catch you with the other guy?" "Did he know you were with someone else?"
It never ceased to shock me how invasive these people were. I felt the color drain from my face as I fell back behind Santana.
"Cyrus come here," Santana didn't hesitate to grab the boy and pull him behind her as well. She turned to a few of the people shouting out questions and pulled off her sunglasses, blinking a couple of times before assuring, "You and your cameras mean nothing. Keep that in mind and don't touch the goods."
Cyrus and I were a bit surprised as she led the way through the dense group. The first few photographers were actually surprised when Santana bumped them out of her way. I'm not sure what I actually expected but seeing Santana hip checking people was pretty hilarious. When I looked up Cyrus even had a small smile on. Santana led us to the car easily although the photographers still followed us, they were just more wary of the raven haired girl. When we got to the car I was almost disappointed to part ways but since Cyrus had parked farther away than usual Santana offered, rather, demanded to drive him to his car. At first it was rather awkward.
"I hate them," Santana mentioned, driving around the lot.
"Turn here," Cyrus nodded, "I know, I mean, I get that they've got to work too, but wow."
"I don't know how you deal with it."
"We can't all go around throwing people out of the way," Cyrus reminded.
Maybe it was only awkward for me.
When we pulled up behind the familiar I gnawed my bottom lip slightly. We'd come to a stop when I finally turned in my seat. "Cyrus, can we just talk?"
Any hint of a smile faded fast, and although he kept his hand on the handle he didn't open it.
"I just wanted to say that I didn't mean to hurt you," I started, wishing I had actuallyplanned more, "But I still understand why you'd be mad. I wasn't fair to you, and I've just gotten us in this mess."
He remained silent.
"And, not now, but maybe we could still be friends eventually," my voice fell a bit as I gripped the seat and console. "I'm just not used to you," I paused, looking down as I thought, "not being you."
"Rachel," he started, his voice tense, "That doesn't always work. Most people don't just break up and be friends. Especially when you tell them you have feelings for someone else."
I nodded wordlessly, trying to keep my face blank.
"But I get it," he confided, "I've been a dick."
I was surprised at that but let him continue.
"We work together, so I should try to be civil."
I gave another nod, although, this time I was having a bit harder of a time keeping my face neutral.
"But yeah, maybe can be friends," he offered a weak smile, "Eventually."
I smiled, even as he opened the door, ready to get out.
"Don't pay any attention to me, but," Santana began, stopping the boy, "I'd have been down if you wanted custody of me."
Cyrus laughed pretty loudly at that, "Happy holidays guys."
"See," Santana started as we drove off of the lot, "I told you they don't hate you. Maybe they aren't your biggest fans at the moment, but they don't hate you."
I could only gape at her.
"We should go out," I pointed out as I sat at the kitchen counter.
"Why would we do that?" Santana wondered distractedly.
I fiddled with the salt shaker before me, "To eat."
"I can cook," she reminded, "Or we could order in."
"Or we could go out," I stood up and went to stand beside her, "We've lived here for months and we haven't gone anywhere."
"We've gone plenty of places," she assured, finally closing the cabinet and turning to me.
"Like?" I crossed my arms.
"That café, the beach, that trail, Cosette's," she counted off places, not even sounding very convinced herself as she refused to look at me.
"Please, we can go anywhere you want," I quickly remembered to add, "Within reason," when she raised an eyebrow at me.
It was a moment before she shook her head, "Go ask Leroy."
She didn't seem to be expecting it when I grinned and brushed my lips over hers before leaving the kitchen to head down the hall. Daddy's door was open as he sat at his disk, his phone pressed between his ear and shoulder, and a screensaver flashing over the obviously forgotten computer.
"I love you too, I can't wait to see you," he muttered into the phone. "Rachel's excited too. She's trying to talk Santana into getting a real tree.
I was certain I could have guessed Dad's response.
"Be nice Hiram," Daddy scolded, "Rachel's never had a friend like her before, and she's never been able to go out like this without one of us before. Give them both some credit. She keeps her out of trouble."
Daddy nodded and I could almost see him rolling his eyes, even if I couldn't see his face.
"Hiram, I've never seen Rachel this happy," he reminded, "Listen, I love you, I'll tell Rachel you said hi. Don't forget to pack the decorations."
I shuffled my feet awkwardly before knocking at the doorframe, "Daddy."
"Oh, sweetie," he stood up, turning the chair quickly, "Did you girls decide on something?"
"I was wondering if Santana and I could go out for dinner? We'd be glad to bring you something back?" I grinned, trying not to dwell on the phone call.
"Of course," he beamed, "You two have fun, let me know what you find."
"Alright, should we be home at a specific time?"
He pursed his lips in thought before looking to the phone. When he looked back to me he shrugged, "I'll trust your judgement."
I smiled and nodded, moving in to hug him, "Alright Daddy."
"Dad said hi," he informed, "You should probably call him and let him know you're alive. I don't think he believes me."
"I will," I laughed before heading to my room. I grabbed my jacket and shoes and went to find Santana ready to go.
"Where's Leroy?" Santana wondered.
"It's just us."
She glared at me for a moment before sighing.
"So, you're plan is for us to literally just drive around until we find something that catches your eye?"
I nodded fervently.
"I thought I got to pick," Santana reminded.
"Of course I'll take your opinion into consideration, but-" the wheels screeched beneath us as we came to a sudden stop. I gripped the seatbelt at my chest, looking around for some sign of an accident, but stopped as I saw Santana's grin. "Santana, that's not funny!"
"I thought it was hilarious," she reminded, picking up the pace, "But I'll take your opinion into consideration."
I glared darkly at her as she continued driving.
Our drive continued for quite some time. Santana made sure to take the most scenic route, passing different stores and restaurants until we finally reached the beach. Santana parked, filling the meter for quite some time as we got out to walk. I shivered in the cold night air but let Santana lead me past more restaurants and storefronts. Santana pointed out plenty of different places but none exactly interested me. A karaoke bar seemed to have plenty of patrons, spilling out onto the sidewalk as we passed. Walking through the large crowd, I felt fingers brush lightly over my palm before I let Santana's fingers link with mine. I blushed but did my best not to focus on the gesture, but it grew harder when we stopped.
Santana turned to me and grabbed my other hand, bringing them up between them and blew a gust of warm air onto them. "Hurry up," she groaned, still rubbing her hands over mine, "It's fucking freezing."
"Um," I really hadn't even realized how cold I felt Santana's over mine. Her words registered and I looked around quickly, spotting a small place between a bar and a currently closed gift shop, "How about here?"
"Gyros," she asked, looking to the neon sign. She nodded before lowering our hands so that only our linked fingers remained between us. "Let's see if they cater to you rabbit people."
Normally, I would have huffed and chastised her, instead I was busy sneaking glances at our hands as we went inside.
We left with our food in hand and a bag for Daddy. We crossed the street and headed back to the car, sitting on the small border that split the sidewalk from the sandy beach. I dug my heels into the sand, wishing I could feel it, although it was far too cold to even consider taking my shoes off. Santana and I talked idly and joked around for a bit. Mostly she teased me about mine not being a real gyro. Even when she took a bite and seemed pleasantly surprised. When we finished we still sat, staring at the dark moonlit water and listening to the music, although I use the term loosely, coming from the karaoke bar.
"Do," I began nervously, realizing the night was coming closer and closer to an end, "Do you think we could consider this a date?"
Santana didn't reply immediately. I did my best not to look at her as my blush grew deeper with each passing second. I looked down at my shoes in the sand instead. Finally, when I was considering just getting up and going to the car I saw a subtle motion, "If that's what you want to call it."
I turned to look at her, unsure of what I was looking for. I was greeted with a controlled face.
I worried my lip slightly and nodded.
The silence that engulfed us was anything but uncomfortable but I still appreciated it when Santana broke it. The sound was barely audible, especially with the ruckus from the bar, but I still heard it. I couldn't stop a smile at the familiar song on her breath.
"What is that?" I wondered.
"She's been living in her uptown world."
I shoved her lightly but still smiled, "From what I understand, you think you're cute."
"I bet she's never had a backstreet guy."
"I bet her daddy never told her why."
I got up, grabbing our trash and Daddy's food.
"I'm gonna try for an uptown girl."
"And just for future reference, there is no thought about it; I know I'm cute," Santana followed me to the car.
"Go," Santana urged.
"Remind me why again," I mumbled, my lips a breath away from hers as I held her t-shirt.
"Because," she sighed, licking her lips, "That's what you do after a date. You go home, and geek about each other."
"But I can geek about you in here," I assured, pressing my lips to hers again. I loosened my grip on her shirt and slid my arms around her neck.
The hands on my hips clenched and relaxed over and over while I let my tongue run playfully over Santana's lips.
We'd been having this conversation for about fifteen minutes. Santana had made no headway in convincing me to leave. It just about grew futile when she tried for an innocent goodnight kiss. For at least ten of the last fifteen minutes were spent with my back to the door.
"Go," she tried again, pulling away with a moan as her lip slid between my teeth.
Finally, I was pressed fully to the door, Santana's head beside mine against the barrier and her lips brushing by my ear. "Because I have something I need to handle and unless you're going to participate I'm sad to inform you it's not a spectator sport."
I finally tensed at that, flushing as her lips met the tender skin just below my neck. "What do you mean?" I finally asked, tilting my head readily for her.
"Rachel," she moaned my name before sucking gently, "Are you really going to make me spell it out?"
I nodded wordlessly, "Tell me."
The hands at my hips began to wander, the left sliding up beneath my shirt but not above my stomach, "I need to work out." She pulled away entirely, the biggest grin on her face.
"Santana," I whined, following her to the small closet.
"Go to bed Rachel," she repeated for the umpteenth time, "Your dad's coming here soon. You don't think he'd find it a little odd that you sleep in my room every night?"
I made a face and shrugged, "We don't have to worry about that until next week."
"Humor me," she tried, hanging up her coat.
I didn't even try to fight the pout that overtook my features.
She kissed my forehead easily before moving to sit on the bed, "Just go, and I'll think about continuing our driving lessons."
My lips became a tight line for a moment. I held her eyes for a moment. "That's not fair."
"I never said it was. Go."
"Fine," I rolled my eyes, heading to the door.
"I really have ruined you," she chuckled.
"Goodnight to you too," I stuck my tongue out.
A/N: The song used is Uptown Girl. My mind says glee but google says Billy Joel.