Pairing/Characters: Rachel/Santana, Puck, Brittany/Marisa, Quinn/Alyson, Sue, Figgins, Mike/Wendy
Summary: Graduation and other finality related events.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Word Count: ~9,030
A/N: So believe it or not, this is the final one and we are now approximately where Ambitions picks up. If you're still around after all this time, I thank you. And if you're one of those that has been here the whole time, when this was just me writing random crap that amused me and also happened to fit together, then I offer my most sincere thanks for the encouragement and for actually sticking around because apparently it's been over three freaking years. I fully admit that it's the only reason I've managed to finish it.
"It's the beginning of the end, bro," Puck tells Rachel.
"Is that why we're sitting on very cold metal bleachers instead of on my much more comfortable and warm couch?" she asks.
"How can you be cold?" he asks, taking a sip of his beer. "It's almost summer."
"Maybe because you didn't tell me that we'd be sitting outside tonight," Rachel retorts. "Plus the weather's particularly chilly lately in the evening. They're saying that the weather patterns are changing and we'll be experiencing a lot more extremes of all sorts of weather. Which is why it would have been nice to have been warned—"
"Sorry," Puck replies, standing. "Hold on a sec." He stomps down the bleachers and jogs back to his truck where he pulls a McKinley High sweatshirt out from behind his seat. He jogs back and hands it to Rachel.
She accepts it and sniffs it gingerly. "How long has this been in your truck?"
"Not as long as you're thinking," he replies.
She sighs and he wonders which side of her pragmatism will win out. A moment later, she's pulling it over her head. Because it's a XXL, it looks ridiculous on her, but it does allow her to pull her knees up and under the material as well.
"I must really like you," she says.
"Same here, bro," he replies. "Because giving you something that makes you cover up those fabulous legs is a crime."
She rolls her eyes at him. "Always the gentleman, aren't you?"
"Hey, that was a compliment," he says.
"Whatever you say, Noah," she replies. "So why are we here again? It can't be to relive your football glory days. Because those don't really exist."
"Whoa, harsh, Rach."
"Too much?" Rachel asks.
Puck nods. "I'm not sure why we're here, actually. I just... dunno, felt like it."
Puck waits for her to say more. Finally he blurts out, "That's all you're going to say?"
"What else is there?"
"You were like super pissed a minute ago," he points out.
"Because I was cold," Rachel replies. "Now I'm not. And even though this sweatshirt is highly suspect, I am perfectly content as long as I don't think about where it's been."
They lapse into silence again as they both drink their beers, though Puck finishes three in the time that Rachel almost finishes one.
"Have you decided yet?" Puck asks.
She looks over at him, questioningly, but he just shrugs because in his mind, there's only one thing he could be referring to.
Rachel sighs. "I think I did a couple months ago. I just wasn't ready to admit it to myself."
"It's the only decision that makes sense, Noah," she huffs angrily.
"Not that," he replies. "I mean, yeah that sucks too, but I meant, having it hang over your head for months. And for the rest of the summer."
"Oh. Yeah. It really does," Rachel agrees.
"I'm here for you, though," he says.
"We graduate next week," Brittany says.
They're lounging on Brittany's couch. For once her house is relatively quiet and they're taking advantage of it.
Santana nods, but doesn't reply, her eyes still on the movie.
"It's kind of unbelievable," Brittany continues.
"What's really unbelievable is that you're probably going to place ninth academically," Santana retorts. "How the fuck didthat happen?"
"No seriously, how did that happen?"
Brittany shrugs again. "I really don't know. I mean, really, I don't. I mean, my grades were better than expected, but still... Probably Coach Sylvester."
"No one's going to believe it, though," Santana points out.
"Well, at least I don't have to give a speech," Brittany says.
"I just wish we weren't going to be on opposite sides of the country," Santana replies. "I'm gonna miss you, B."
"Don't talk like that, San," Brittany says. "We have all summer. And now that we don't have to worry about Cheerios in August, it'll be like an extra month of summer for us."
Santana sits up quickly. "You know that I'm like ridiculously proud of you for getting into UCLA, right?"
"Of course, I do," Brittany replies.
"Good," Santana says, relaxing again.
Rachel is definitely going to miss Sunday dinners at the Lopez house. They've been so warm and accepting of her and Rachel hates that she's eventually going to lose that. She just hopes that they eventually forgive her for breaking Santana's heart.
"I still can't believe that you girls are graduating in a week," Clara says over dinner. "It feels like just yesterday that Santana joined Cheerios."
Rachel nods. "Yes, though some days seemed to drag on forever, I still can't believe that it's almost over. I've been dreaming of this day for too long now."
"Yeah," Santana agrees. "I can't wait to get out of Lima."
"Your eagerness to leave us could be considered hurtful," Tomás tells them.
"You know that's not why we want to go, Tomás," Rachel assures him. "Certainly in my case, Lima hasn't been the most welcoming place to grow up."
"Don't act like me wanting to get out of Lima is something new, papa," Santana adds.
Tomás grins. "Your ambition is one of my favorite things about you."
Santana blushes slightly and Rachel is just barely able to hold back her "awww".
Clara, on the other hand, doesn't hold back. "We are very proud of you, dear. You too, Rachel darling."
"Thank you," Rachel says quietly, trying to ignore the tightening in her chest.
Rachel has no idea why Figgins would summon her to his office, bright and early Monday morning, but she's feeling no fear, even though he could very well keep her from graduating for any number of reasons. Just because he's afraid of Coach Sylvester, doesn't mean he doesn't still want retribution for the two years of pranks she put him through.
His secretary tells her to go right in, but she still knocks to announce her presence. He looks up with a grimace and gestures her to sit.
"I suppose you're wondering what I call you here for," he says.
"Well, let me reassure you that it isn't to inform you that won't be graduating."
Rachel lets out a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. "I'm glad to hear it."
"But don't think it's because I think you shouldn't have been expelled for what you've pulled over the years, Ms. Berry," he continues.
"I don't," she replies.
Figgins nods. "Well you're not an idiot, so I assumed as much."
"No offense, Principal Figgins," Rachel says. "But why am I here?"
"With graduation looming, I just wanted to make sure that there won't be any... surprises at the ceremony."
"Well," Rachel replies. "I can only speak for myself, but, I am unaware of any surprises."
"I see," he says.
"I'm simply being honest," Rachel explains.
He nods. "Just make sure your... associates don't give me any trouble either."
"I'll do my best."
"You better do more than that," he replies. "Because I will be holding you responsible."
"That's hardly fair, Principal Figgins."
"I wasn't aware that I had to be fair, Ms. Berry," he replies. "Especially considering what you put me through these past few years."
"I could say the same about the first two years I was here," Rachel retorts.
"That was hardly my fault," Figgins replies. "That blame lies in the hands of Sue Sylvester. And yet, now, you seem to be... aligned with her."
"We've come to an understanding."
"And then, of course, there's Ms. Lopez," Figgins continues.
"What about her?" Rachel asks, warily.
"She is a concern, as much as you are," Figgins replies. "Perhaps more so because she is a... product of Sue Sylvester's tyrannicalness."
"So she doesn't fall under the category of my associates?" Rachel questions. "Then who does?"
"Please don't insult me by playing dumb, Ms. Berry."
Rachel sighs. "Look, Principal Figgins. Can I promise that absolutely no pranks will take place at graduation? Of course not. Contrary to popular belief, my influence at this school is not all encompassing. However, I can promise that myself and my... associates, including Santana, will not be involved."
"That is hardly reassurance, Ms. Berry," he replies.
"I didn't realize I was so powerful that I could control the entire student body," Rachel muses. "If I'd realize that I have that kind of power..."
"I certainly hope you're not threatening me, Ms. Berry," Figgins says.
"Oh, is that not what we're doing here?" Rachel questions. "I apologize for misreading the situation."
"You're quite arrogant for someone with so little power," Figgins tells her.
"Perhaps," Rachel replies. "Perhaps."
Figgins growls in frustration. "Fine, Ms. Berry," he says. "This is your last warning. If there is any sort of chaos at graduation, I am holding you solely responsible. And not only will you fail to graduate, so will all of your fellow glee clubbers."
"What possible justification could you have for that?" Rachel scoffs. "Not to mention that I have no intention of—"
"You may have masterminded these pranks and claimed sole responsibility, but I know that they are all your lackeys and so for blindly following you, they will go down as well."
Rachel rolls her eyes. "Then you really should update your intel, Principal Figgins. We are not the united front you paint us as."
"Mutiny?" Figgins chuckles. "I hear that sometimes happens in dictatorships."
"If you're done attempting to bully me," Rachel says, standing. "I really should be going."
"You haven't been dismissed," Figgins protests.
"I have class," Rachel replies. "Don't you have a school to run, sir?"
Figgins scowls at her. "Fine. You may go. But remember what I've said, Ms. Berry."
"Oh don't worry, sir," Rachel says as she stops in the doorway. "I definitely won't forget."
Rachel needs to talk to someone about the conversation she had with Figgins and curses the fact that most of her circle have short fuses; not that hers isn't just as bad. It is the reason that she's in this precarious position in the first place. Spotting Mike in the hall before lunch, reminds Rachel that she has a least level headed person in her life.
"Mike," she calls out.
"Hey Rach," he grins. "What's up?"
"I really need to talk to someone and you're the most coolheaded individual I know."
"Thanks, I guess."
"Do you mind?"
Mike shakes his head.
"Good," Rachel replies, dragging him towards the choir room.
Wendy is actually sitting with the rest of the Cheerios and not with Mike today and so Missy has taken the opportunity to try and pull her back into her Rachel Berry obsession.
"Are you ever going to explain to me what your fixation on her is about?" Wendy finally asks, exasperated.
Missy looks hurt.
Wendy rolls her eyes. "Oh please."
Missy pouts and then smirks. "Fine."
Wendy waits but after a full minute, her patience runs out. "Well?"
Missy shrugs. "I just really hate Lopez. And her girlfriend is fucking hot. And she totally doesn't deserve her. We all know how the Cheerios used to dump on her. And then there's the fact that she's the damn prankster. I don't know. I just... it's not fair."
"That's still no reason for you to be so..."
Missy shrugs. "So I have a problem with my infatuations becoming obsessions. At least I'm aware of the problem."
"Yeah, well, no offense, Mis," Wendy says. "But I'm not sure that Rachel would be interested in you with or without Santana."
Missy glares at her. "What makes you say that?"
Wendy shrugs. "I've just had a change to get to know her while dating Mike... and I just don't think she'd be interested in you."
Missy looks insulted and Wendy can't help but giggle. "Would you have preferred that I lied?"
"Of course not."
"Then you need to chill out, Mis," Wendy tells her. "Otherwise, Coach Sylvester is going to be on your case."
"Is that a threat?"
"They graduate this week, you know," Wendy says as if she's talking about the weather. "And I doubt that Rachel will ever come back to Lima."
"Not that I blame her," Wendy continues.
"Yeah," Missy says.
"Next year will be easier that way," Wendy tells her. "Out of sight, out of mind, right?"
Missy doesn't reply.
The longer Rachel remains quiet and eats her lunch, the more Mike worries. Whatever has her worried has to be fairly big if she's concerned about her hot tempered girlfriend and best friend.
"I'm sorry to spring this on you, Mike," Rachel says finally. "But I need to discuss it with someone and as someone who's involved, yet still not insanely impetuous, you seem to be the perfect choice."
"Your compliments are..."
"I apologize," Rachel says. "I just..."
"It's fine, Rachel," Mike replies. "Really. I don't mind."
Rachel nods. "This morning when I first arrived, I was summoned to Principal Figgins' office."
"And he threaten to ban my graduating if a prank is pulled at the ceremony," Rachel continues.
"Well, that's not that big of deal," Mike says. "I mean, it's not like you were planning anything, anyway, right?"
"Agreed. However, I may have let my hubris get the better of me," Rachel replies, looking embarrassed.
"I may have threatened him back," Rachel admits.
"How?" Mike questions. "I mean, what could you threaten him with?"
"It was vague and ominous," Rachel says. "It just sort of slipped out."
"Oh," Mike says. "So now he's following through?"
Rachel shakes her head. "He said that if anything happens at graduation, even if I'm not behind it, he won't let anyone in glee club graduate."
"It is," Rachel nods. "And so I was hoping you could keep your ears open, in case one of the dozens of morons decides to try something."
"I'd be glad to, Rach," Mike replies. "But I don't think anything will happen."
"Because... no one wants to try something and have it not be as good as yours. I mean, not only did you humiliate the administration, but you also did it to the extreme. If someone else tries to pull something and it's not as good as yours..."
"So you're saying that the fact that this school is filled with imbeciles is finally a good thing?" Rachel questions.
"I suppose that's one way to look at it," Mike replies. "I mean, I can ask around. After all, underestimating the stupidity of the students at McKinley can be hazardous. I'll check with Wendy too. But I think, for once, we might be okay."
"That... is not the reassurance I was expecting," Rachel says.
"You don't sound relieved," Mike observes.
"I am," she tells him. "Really. I just... it'd be one thing if it was just me, but the fact that he's going after the other members of glee..."
"It's definitely unfair," Mike agrees.
"Would it be wrong to go after him once graduation has occurred?"
Mike wasn't expecting that. "Ummm..."
"I mean, I know I should just let it go," Rachel continues. "We're graduating and getting the hell out of here."
"On the other hand, I've felt a certain amount of validation in retribution," Rachel explains. "It seems I'm not as magnanimous as I originally thought."
"You're a teenage girl, Rach," Mike replies. "Not Jesus Christ."
"I'm also Jewish," Rachel adds.
"You know what I mean."
"I do," Rachel nods. "Perhaps I should table that decision for another day. When I'm not as... defensive."
"He is fighting, dirty, though, right?" Rachel asks.
"He is," Mike agrees. "Though he probably feels like he has no choice."
"You are not allowed to defend him."
"No, I'm sorry, Mike," Rachel says. "Thanks for... well, everything."
Mike grins. "You're welcome, Rach."
"I'm sorry I can't make it back for you graduation," Alyson tells Quinn.
"Why?" Quinn asks, flopping onto her bed, cell phone cradled against her cheek. "It's just a stupid ceremony. I'm sure you had to suffer through one of your own."
"Yeah, I did," Alyson agrees. "But it's still a big deal."
"So is passing all your finals," Quinn replies.
Alyson groans causing Quinn to giggle.
"It'll all be over in a week," Quinn reminds her.
"And then I get to come home to my loving family," Alyson retorts.
"Josh and Kat will be happy to see you," Quinn says. "And we should be able to hang out plenty this summer."
"True," Alyson agrees. "That will be nice."
Conversation turns to the insanity that is Sue Sylvester during the last week of school. Losing some of her most intense and impressive Cheerios is having an obvious effect on the coach, though no sentiment has been expressed. Not that Quinn expected any. Still it's nice to know that Coach Sylvester will miss them, even if it's in relation to how it will affect her.
In comparison, Alyson's coach seems like a kitten. Despite the eight national titles for the Cheerios, Alyson seems relieved that she never had to experience anything like Coach Sylvester; of course, after hearing stories, most people say that.
When they hang up an hour later, Quinn wonders what it means that there's been no real discussion of the future beyond the first few weeks of summer. And do they need to have one? Santana and Berry haven't had that conversation, though she's not sure she wants to model her relationship after the two of them. Quinn just doesn't want to be the one to bring it up. She hopes that doesn't make her too big of a coward.
Despite being ecstatic that both her fathers are home for a few days and that they plan on attending her graduation, Rachel still feels a bit awkward around them. She's so used to having the house to herself, that it almost feels claustrophobic when they're around. It also feels like a step back for her to have to report and justify her whereabouts to them. It probably doesn't help that knowing that they disapprove of so many of her choices lately leaves Rachel feeling like a disappointment.
And of course, the three of them are acting like nothing's wrong, avoiding sensitive topics like Santana or Rachel pulling pranks.
Still, she loves them dearly and vice versa, so she sits down to family dinner with a smile plastered on her face. They talk about safe things like work and glee while Rachel is very careful to not mention anything that might upset them. It's a pleasant, yet mostly superficial meal, making Rachel ache for her childhood when she could do no wrong in her dads' eyes, who she believed created all the stars just for her. Watching her daddy out of her peripheral, makes Rachel believe he misses it as well.
After, she and her dad begin clearing the table; daddy has a call that has to made at exactly seven, leaving the two of them to clean up.
"Have we told you how proud we are of you?" Rachel's dad asks her.
"I assumed as much," she replies.
"Well we are," he says. "You haven't let this place get you down or anything hold you back."
Rachel appreciates what he's trying to do, but it feels a bit like he's down playing all that she's gone through; not to mention the fact, that she faced quite a bit of that without the support of her fathers. "Yes, well, I've told you both as much."
"He'll come around, Rach," her dad tells her. "Now that it's obvious that you're still on the right track."
Rachel sometimes wonders what her fathers would do if she decided to become a doctor instead. Would that still be considered the right track? "Okay."
"Things'll be better once you're in New York," he continues.
"I hope so," Rachel replies. "I'm not sure I could stand it if daddy hates me forever."
"Honey, he doesn't hate you," her dad assures her. "He just doesn't agree with your choices and isn't quite used to disagreeing with you."
He would be if they'd been around more, Rachel thinks. "I know, dad."
"Just don't be so hard on your old dads, honey," her dad continues. "We are trying."
Rachel sighs and nods, not knowing how else to respond.
"So I heard something hilarious during lunch," Wendy tells Mike.
They're at Breadstix for dinner, trying to spend as much time together as possible. Though it hasn't been said, Wendy is expecting the relationship to end when Mike leaves for New York in four months.
"Apparently the hockey team is going to try and pull a prank at your graduation," Wendy laughs.
The look of horror that spreads over Mike's face is definitely not the reaction she was going for.
"Do you, uh, know what they're going to do?" Mike asks.
"Um, I'm not sure that they know," Wendy replies. "They were still arguing when lunch ended."
"Well, what were some of the ideas they had?" Mike presses.
"Oh, well, the big winner was putting glue on all the chairs, but obviously, the glue would dry before anyone sat on it, the same with paint. Though since that would be obvious because it would be a different color... The last I heard, they were just going to throw a barrage of pee balloons."
"They said the word, barrage?" Mike questions.
"Uh, no," Wendy says. "That's my word choice. I think they said 'launch a shit ton of pee balloons', actually."
"Are you okay?" Wendy asks. "You look kind of nauseous."
"I'm fine," Mike replies. "But I'm going to have to know exactly who you were talking to."
"Uh... all right," Wendy says.
Becky leads Rachel directly into Coach Sylvester's office. For once Rachel doesn't have to wait for the woman to finish with her previous task. However, neither speak, each studying the other. Rachel blinks first, causing Coach Sylvester to smirk.
"Berry," she says. "I'm only going to say this once, but I'm going to miss the havoc that you've wrought on this school. McKinley will be terribly dull without you next year. I'll have to amuse myself by torturing glee more than I used to."
"Couldn't you leave the others alone?" Rachel questions. "They've done nothing to you."
Coach Sylvester grins. "Perhaps. After all, I'd hate to be predictable."
"Only a tool would accuse you of that," Rachel retorts.
Coach Sylvester just smiles. "Now for the real reason I asked you here."
"Asked isn't the word I'd use," Rachel says.
"Nonetheless," Coach Sylvester continues. "I was hoping that you could leave me with some detailed suggestions of pranks for next year."
Rachel smirks, but nods. "I could do that."
"But?" Coach Sylvester prompts.
"If I give you some... ideas, it would mean you leaving the glee kids alone and not allowing your Cheerios to rule the school so harshly, like they did before."
Coach Sylvester sighs.
"No slushies, at the very least," Rachel continues.
"You really know how to take away all my fun, Berry," Coach Sylvester replies. "The only reason I allowed Lopez's little ban is because both you and the results amused me."
"Where's the fun for me now?" Coach Sylvester questions.
"Well, you could inform the glee kids that it's because of myself or Santana that they're not being bullied or harassed and remind them that Mr. Schue still isn't doing anything to protect them," Rachel replies.
"Why Berry," Coach Sylvester smirks. "Is that a hint of bitterness I hear in your voice?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Rachel says. "However, being able to... lord over Mr. Schuester with your... goodness is something he'll never expect."
"That's certainly true," Coach Sylvester muses. "I knew there was a reason I liked you."
"He will definitely hate the fact that Santana was able to do what he wasn't," Rachel thinks out loud. "You know he was absolutely certain that Santana was the prankster until Figgins caught us."
"A compliment in my book," Coach Sylvester says.
"Another difference between the two of you," Rachel replies.
"Flattery will get you everywhere, Berry," Coach Sylvester smirks.
"So do we have a deal, Coach?" Rachel asks.
"We have a deal," Coach Sylvester agrees. "But that means you give me at least ten ideas and they better be as impressive as your previous attempts."
Rachel grins. "They will be, Coach. I had plenty of things planned, just not the time, labor force or energy to try them."
"Excellent," Coach Sylvester says. "That's exactly what I was hoping to hear."
Mike's spent the night thinking about what Wendy told him about the hockey players. And though he hates to do it, he sees no other alternative, but to go to Santana with the issue. He knows that Rachel chose to tell him because she worries about Santana's temper, but Mike thinks S's protective streak should work in their favor. Santana got the entire school to stop slushing people. Plus what she did to Bender and Willis.
Though following that line of thought, Mike has to wonder why the hockey team is even considering this. Maybe they figure Santana won't retaliate after graduation; after all, why would she care?
From what Mike knows of Santana, that's a stupid assumption, but McKinley isn't known for its students' high IQs.
But knowing what he knows, something has to be done and so Mike spends his lunch hunting down Santana and explaining what he knows.
"I really wish that we didn't have to break up."
Brittany continues staring at her English essay. "Well, we don't have to."
Marisa sighs. They're stretched out on their stomachs, side by side on her bed. Her bedroom door is open so she can hear if the twins are causing too much trouble and though she's the one that started this discussion, she still wishes for a bit more privacy for the conversation. But at least her brothers seem to have become bored with spying on her for the moment.
"You really want to try a long distance relationship?" Marisa questions.
"It's not ideal," Brittany admits.
"I appreciate you trying to spare my feelings," Marisa replies. "But we've always know that we have an expiration date."
"That seems cynical," Brittany observes.
"I like to think it's Rachel's pragmatism," Marisa tells her.
Brittany's quiet, eyes still on her essay and so Marisa shrugs and returns to her Algebra.
"Do you wish I hadn't asked you out?" Brittany asks quietly.
"Because you're leaving and I'm staying?" Marisa clarifies.
Marisa's not sure how to answer that. "Are you?"
"Definitely not," Brittany replies. "I just wish things didn't have to end."
"You could come to California," Brittany offers.
"That's two years away," Marisa points out.
"So?" Brittany shrugs.
"And what? You're going to wait for me?"
"Well, no," Brittany replies. "Just like I don't expect you to wait for me."
"Because there are so many options in Lima," Marisa retorts.
"I'm just really going to miss you," Brittany says.
"And I want us to stay friends," Brittany continues.
"Because you're going to California all by your lonesome?" Marisa asks.
"It's not the only reason," Brittany pouts.
"Then I want that too."
"We're not breaking up yet, though, are we?" Brittany questions.
"I wasn't planning on it," Marisa replies. "After all, we have a whole summer, right?"
"You know you're going to kick ass out there, don't you?"
"I just can't believe I'm graduating this week," Brittany replies. "There were times that it felt like it would never happen."
"You're going to drop the dumb blonde act too, right?" Marisa questions.
"It is no longer useful," Brittany assures her.
"Good," Marisa says. "Because it's so beneath you."
Brittany shrugs. "It felt right at the time."
"Maybe you could even drop it for the rest of the week," Marisa suggests.
"Not worth the effort," Brittany replies. "When did you get so..."
It's Marisa's turn to shrug. "I guess knowing that the hottest Cheerio in the school chose me, bolsters my confidence."
Brittany grins. "Well keep it up. It's super hot."
Marisa groans. "Don't look at me like that. I'm supposed to be watching the twins."
Brittany pouts dramatically. "So we can't make out?"
"My mom will be home in an hour," Marisa says.
Brittany's pout increases.
"And then we can do whatever you want since we won't be bothered for a while," Marisa finishes.
Brittany's grin is downright lecherous. "Something to look forward to."
"Not that I'm complaining," Kat says. "Because I'm not, really. But why are we at the park instead of your house?"
They're both sitting under a large tree in the park near Kat's house.
"My dads are home," Rachel replies.
"That's a good thing, right?" Kat questions.
"It is," Rachel agrees. "They're here for my graduation."
"You seem less excited than I expected," Kat observes.
Rachel nods. "I'm glad that they're going to attend my graduation. However, since they're home so sporadically, I've gotten used to having the house to myself. It's just a bit of an adjustment."
"Parents," Kat says.
Rachel chuckles. "You're absolutely correct, though I fear that you're too young to already feel that way."
"Have you met my parents?"
"Touché," Rachel replies.
Being dragged to Chang's house by Santana is a surprising way to start his afternoon, but Puck doesn't question it. But as he sits at the kitchen table, he does experience a bit of déjà vu since it feels very much like a planning session. He's surprised that Brittany isn't there as well, but Santana wants it to be a small operation. Puck agrees that that's a good idea, though it would probably help if he knew what the hell is going on.
"Figgins really said that?"
Mike nods. "That's what Rach said."
"She didn't want you guys to worry," Mike continues. "Or, you know, go on a rampage."
"Except now we have to," Santana says. "There's no way in hell that I'm not graduating because of those dip shits."
"Do you think they're doing it to get back at Rachel?" Mike asks.
"Doubt it," Santana replies. "They probably want to do something big and impressive to prove that they're not losers."
"Wanting to throw pee balloons in the first place makes them losers in my book," Mike says.
"So I assume you have a plan, S?" Puck questions. "Or why else would you have called this meeting?"
"Called this meeting?" Mike scoffs.
"Calm you shit, Pucky," Santana says. "Of course I have a plan."
"Rachel, do you have a moment to talk?"
"Sure, Mr. Schuester," Rachel replies. "Um, here?"
Will looks around. Though the hallway is mostly empty, he still feels Sue's spies. "How about my office."
Rachel nods, following him, full of curiosity, hoping she'll still have enough time to eat her lunch after.
"I was hoping we could touch base once more before you graduate," Mr. Schuester says as Rachel sits down.
"All right," Rachel replies.
It's obvious that he's expecting her to say something, but since this chat was his idea, Rachel isn't going to start.
"Um, yes, well," he says after a long, awkward minute. "I think we've come a long way these past three years."
He's still waiting for her to say more, but seems to catch on much quicker this time that she won't be.
"And, even though our relationship hasn't always been... smooth, I still hope that you think of me as your mentor."
"Please feel to speak freely," he prompts.
"I'm sorry to burst your bubble, Mr. Schue," Rachel says. "But I've never considered you my mentor. Finn's perhaps, but never mine."
"Everything's worked out though," Rachel tries.
"Please just tell me that you don't consider Sue your mentor," he pleads.
Rachel shakes her head, because she doesn't, per say. "Of course not, Mr. Schuester. She and I have very different approaches and goals."
"Is that all you wanted to talk about?" Rachel questions when the silence becomes awkward again.
"Uh, yeah, it is," he replies.
Rachel has a feeling he was expecting a lot more from this conversation, but since she's taken him by surprise, he has no idea what to say. She probably shouldn't find that so amusing.
"All right," she says, standing. "Well, thank you for... this."
"Of course Rachel."
She quickly leaves before he can say anything else, hoping she still has enough time to eat her lunch.
Tracking down Ben Williams the next day is easy enough. And lucky for them, he's alone, so Puck and Mike each grab an arm and slam him against the wall.
"Hey douchenozzle," Santana greets, stepping in front of him, bottle of chloroform ready. "We need to talk."
"Is this the part where you threaten me, Lopez?" he scoffs. "Oh no, what horrible thing will you do to me?"
Santana chuckles. "Now I understand why you're not scared." She holds up the bottle of chloroform for him to see. "Because you seem to think you'll be given a choice." Santana grabs the bandana sticking out of Puck's back pocket and balls it up.
Williams visibly gulps, but continues to glare at Santana.
"And the only reason we didn't just sneak up on you," Santana says. "Is because I wanted to make sure you knew who was doing this to you."
"What the fucking fuck is that supposed to mean Lopez?"
"It was nice knowing you, Williams," Santana tells him. "Well, not really, but now hardly seems like the time for the truth. Seems cruel that the last thing he hears is what a waste of breath he is."
Mike and Puck nod. "Definitely." "Agreed."
"You really expect me to believe that?" Williams scoffs. "Being hit in the head with a hockey puck twice, doesn't mean I'm a retard."
Santana rolls her eyes. "Believe what you want, moron. But I have a bottle of chloroform and a rag. Plus, two guys strong enough to drag you anywhere." Santana grins. "And none of us particularly like you. So there's that."
"Whatever, bitch," William retorts. "You don't have the fucking balls."
Twisting open the bottle, Santana just smirks. "Well, I guess we're about to find out."
The end of the school year is always a trying time to be a principal and it's with a sense of relief that Figgins exits his office on the last day of the school year. The campus is almost completely empty, the only people left being the janitorial staff as they prepare for the next day's ceremony.
When Figgins arrives at his car, he's shocked to find a student duct taped, naked to a crucifix made of hockey sticks and "was going to prank ceremony" written in permanent marker on his chest, leaning against it.
Ripping the tape off his mouth, Figgins asks, "Is that true, Mr. Williams?"
"What? Course not," Williams replies.
"Then why would someone do this to you?" Figgins questions. "Make this accusation?"
"Payback, I guess."
"For what, Mr. Williams?"
"No, really," Figgins says. "I'm curious."
"No idea, sir," Williams sighs.
"Well then, Mr. Williams," Figgins replies. "I think you and I need to have a discussion with your parents."
"You sure that you don't want to spend tonight with Marisa?" Santana asks Brittany as they wait for Quinn to show up.
Brittany shakes her head. "We have plenty of time."
"Are you guys breaking up?"
Brittany nods. "End of the summer."
"Oh," Santana replies. "You seem... fine with it."
"Well, I'm not happy about it," Brittany says. "But what choice do we have?"
"I hope you realize how lucky you are, S," Brittany continues. "You and Rachy don't have to deal with that conundrum."
Santana can't help but smile. "No, I suppose we don't."
"I kind of love the fact that Rachel still makes you a big soft gooey marshmallow," Brittany smirks.
Santana rolls her eyes, but doesn't dispute Brittany's claim.
When Figgins leaves the Williams' house, he feels confident that there will be no interruptions during the ceremony tomorrow.
It seems like threatening Ms. Berry was a wise move on his part. Not only has it stopped Berry and her cohorts from pulling something, it also, apparently, made her vigilant about stopping any and all other possible attempts.
Figgins is so pleased that he doesn't even mind that he had to suspend someone on the last day of the year and all the extra paperwork that the move entails.
He won't be completely relaxed until everything tomorrow happens smoothly, but, hopefully, tonight will be a bit less restless for him.
"I would have thought that you'd want to spend tonight with Berry," Quinn says as Santana hands her a beer.
"Rachy understands," Brittany answers. "Besides, she's going to be stuck with Santana in New York. She deserves a hiatus."
"Nice, B," Santana retorts. "Thanks."
"That's true," Quinn muses. "She's going to be stuck with you for a long time now. She's probably glad for the reprieve."
Santana rolls her eyes. "You're both hilarious."
"I'm honored that you want to spend tonight with me and not Lopez," Puck says.
"She's with Quinn and Brittany," Rachel explains.
"Ah yes," he replies. "The Unholy Trinity."
"Like you haven't worshiped at that alter."
"Damn bro," he says. "Jealous?"
"Of your drunken fumbling?" Rachel scoffs. "Hardly."
"I know it's hard, Rach," Puck says. "But if it helps, I think you're making the right decision."
"Yes, well, thank you," Rachel replies. "I just don't want to regret it."
"You sound incredibly sure," Rachel says. "May I ask you something?"
"You know you can, bro."
"Something possibly painful."
Puck sighs. "You can ask."
"Do you regret giving up Beth?"
"Shit, Rachel," he says. "Really?"
She doesn't respond.
"Things work out the way they're supposed to," he replies. "And we can only move forward."
"You're awfully introspective tonight," Rachel says.
"Blame it on the beer."
"It's nice to know that even you aren't immune to the pensiveness of graduation," Rachel tells him.
"Hey, I can grow."
"Thanks for the heads up about the hockey team," Mike tells Wendy.
"Oh sure," Wendy replies. "Though I didn't realize that you needed a heads up."
"Well no one really did," Mike admits. "So that's some good luck on my part."
"Do I even want to know what you did with that info?" Wendy asks.
Mike shrugs. "All that matters is that it's been taken care of," he says.
"If I didn't already know what Rachel and Santana are capable of, I'd think you worked for the Asian mafia or something," Wendy informs Mike.
Mike chuckles. "Yeah, I guess that does sound a bit ominous, huh?"
Wendy nods. "I'm going to miss that next year."
"Yeah, I'm going to miss it too. Just having to worry about college will almost seem mundane," Mike agrees. He pauses. "Do we need to, uh, talk about next year and… us?"
"I don't think so," Wendy replies. "I mean, I don't see any other option. And we've never been that serious."
"Yeah, I suppose not," Mike says.
"Though next year is definitely going to be boring as hell," Wendy says.
"Knowing this place, someone will step up to keep things interesting."
"God, I hope so," Wendy sighs.
After the ceremony, Rachel receives hugs from her fathers and they take a dozen pictures of her in her cap and gown and all the usual tension between them seems to have melted away. Rachel knows her dads do care, but most days it's difficult to remember, however today is a joyous day. In spite of this, it's quickly dimmed when Rachel mentions Santana and the mood quickly shifts. Suddenly, her dads have places to be. She nods and tries not to look too disappointed. She knows the reason they're leaving is to avoid any sort of confrontation, especially one in public and she appreciates that. She's not in the mood for another disagreement about her choice of girlfriend. Though, she does wonder about their level of loathing for Santana, that they can't even keep their temper on this happy day. A small part of her, the part that's always craved their approval and has shrunk over the years, but not totally disappeared, wants to tell them about her plans to end things with Santana. But her pride, which has only grown over the years, doesn't want to give them the satisfaction; especially since it's not for the reasons they have. Her reasons are her own and she knows that no one else will understand her logic. But mostly, she know that she couldn't bear to see the joy on their faces from the announcement, so she simply bids them goodbye and decides to seek out Santana and her family. That will definitely cheer her up.
The ceremony can't be over fast enough for Santana. Being done with McKinley is even more of a relief than she expected it to be. She spends most of the ceremony daydreaming, while watching Rachel sitting rows in front of her. Even her girlfriend looks bored, so Santana doesn't feel that guilty about not paying attention.
Afterwards, her parents insist on tons of pictures which she doesn't mind too much, despite her very snarky protests.
Rachel appears sooner than Santana expected and it's obvious from her expression that her fathers have once again disappointed her.
Santana's mom seems to sense the same thing and begins to distract Rachel with congratulations and pictures, which her father quickly joins, making Santana extremely grateful for her parents. She doesn't even mind how obvious it is that Rachel is their favorite.
Rachel drove herself to McKinley; despite her fathers' protests. Personally she doesn't see what the big deal is. She's just glad she won that argument and since her fathers took off without her; Rachel is willing to bet, that they are, as well. Though it is mostly their fault in Rachel's opinion. They can't leave her to her own devices for years and then expect her to so easily fall back in line.
Now as she finds herself with the Lopezs', she's especially glad because it means that she and Santana can leave together. They've barely seen each other lately and though that is by their own mutual design, Rachel has really missed Santana. She supposes the weight of the impending break up is the largest factor. Rachel thought making the decision would help her feel a bit more at ease, instead she feels infinitely worse.
But today is a happy occasion, so Rachel tries to shake it off and just enjoy the rest of the day.
Rachel's honestly not sure whose house she's at. Brittany had picked her up, having already gotten Quinn and Santana. The party is already well underway when they arrive and so they head into the kitchen, looking for drinks. Figuring someone should stay sober to drive them home, Rachel makes herself a very weak rum and Coke before she begins wandering. It seems like every other party she's been to, except that people seem even more determined than usual to get wasted as fast as possible. Apparently now that they have their diplomas, keeping their few remaining brain cells doesn't matter anymore.
"You say that as if they ever cared about that, Berry," Quinn says. "Personally, I'm surprised that most of these idiots managed to graduate."
"Because McKinley has such high standards," Rachel retorts.
"I'm a bit disappointed in you, Berry," Quinn continues.
"And why is that?" Rachel inquires.
"I thought for sure that you would have pulled some elaborate prank at graduation," Quinn explains. "Go out with a bang or whatever."
"I did have one in mind," Rachel replies. "But Figgins wouldn't have let me graduate."
"So?" Rachel repeats. "So I wouldn't have been able to attend Julliard."
"Not to mention the shame of being expelled from McKinley," Noah adds, joining them. "I don't think anyone's ever been expelled. And there's been some crazy shit pulled there and that's not even including what me and my bro pulled."
"Just because you were the barely there brawn to Berry's brain, doesn't mean that you get to be smug, Puck," Quinn retorts.
"Whatever, Q," Noah scoffs. "You're just jealous that I had more fun than you."
"Which definitely shows in your GPA," Quinn retorts.
"Like that matters anymore, Fabray."
"I can't believe I'm saying this," Rachel interjects. "But maybe you two should have another drink."
"Good idea, babe," Santana says, plopping into Rachel's lap.
"I can't wait until I never have to see you again," Quinn tells Puck.
"Love you too, Q."
"You guys hear about Williams?" Tina asks.
"The moronic captain of the hockey team? What about him?" Quinn questions.
"He got suspended yesterday," Tina informs them.
"The last day of the year?" Quinn scoffs. "Idiot."
"I heard it was cause he was going to prank graduation," Finn adds.
"And Figgins caught him?" Rachel questions.
"Course not," Puck says. "Me, S and Chang took care of it."
"Shut the fuck up, Puckerman," Santana snaps.
"Why would you do that?" Rachel asks.
"Yeah," Tina adds. "Why?"
"You know why," Santana tells Rachel.
Rachel sighs. "I take it that Mike told you?"
"He had no choice, babe," Santana replies.
"What the hell are you two babbling about?" Quinn asks.
Rachel sighs. "Nothing."
"Rach," Puck prompts.
"Is this about Figgins not letting any of us graduate?" Brittany asks.
Rachel sighs again and rolls her eyes.
"Figures," Santana laughs.
"What does that mean?" Tina questions. "Any of us?"
"Figgins is an ass," Santana says.
"Yeah, duh," Finn pipes up. "Even I knew that."
"He wasn't going to let any of us graduate if a prank was pulled at the ceremony," Puck tells them.
"Even if Rachel didn't pull the prank?" Tina asks.
"Apparently anything crazy that now occurs is my fault," Rachel retorts.
"And when you say, us?" Quinn prompts.
Rachel sighs again. "All the seniors in glee."
"He can't do that," Finn protests. "Can he do that?"
"He definitely can do that," Artie says.
"Well it doesn't matter now, guys," Rachel says.
"Still, we should prank him," Artie suggests.
"Why?" Santana asks.
"The last time Rachel listened to you about a prank, she got caught," Brittany points out.
"That wasn't my fault," Artie protests.
"It was bound to happen eventually," Rachel adds.
"Exactly," Artie agrees.
"I think we should prank Figgins," Finn says.
"You would," Santana scoffs.
"It'll be a bonding experience," Finn continues.
"We don't need to bond anymore, Finn," Quinn snaps.
"It could be our last hurrah together," Brittany pipes up.
"Please don't help, B," Santana says.
"I think we should do it," Artie says.
"It could be fun," Tina agrees.
"One last prank for old times' sake, bro," Puck adds.
"That's five, Rach," Artie announces.
"I bet Kurt would go for it," Finn adds.
"Chang would be up for it too, I'm sure," Puck offers.
"You don't know that, Noah."
"Tell me that you don't have an idea already," Puck replies. "And I'll drop it."
"That is so unfair," Rachel protests. "You know that I do. Otherwise you wouldn't have said that."
"Does that mean that we're doing it?" Finn asks.
Rachel sighs again. "Only if everyone is in."
"Awesome," Finn says, jumping up. "I'm on it."
"Don't let them push you into this, babe," Santana hisses.
"There's no way that everyone's going to agree, tiger," Rachel whispers back.
"Everyone's in," Finn announces twenty minutes later.
"Seriously?" Santana questions. "Even Mercedes?"
"Yep," Finn replies.
"Finn feels like he missed out before," Brittany points out. "I bet the others feel the same way."
"You're in too, Q?" Santana asks.
Quinn shrugs. "Why not?"
Santana sighs, causing Quinn to smirk.
"It's fine, San," Rachel replies. "I should have expected it."
"It's just... what if you get in trouble again? Coach won't be around to save you."
"Awww, S, that is so sweet," Brittany exclaims.
"Hush, B," Santana tells her, trying to hide her blush behind her plastic cup.
Rachel actually feels a bit sorry for Figgins; but apparently it has to be done. She's not exactly sure why, since any leverage Figgins has over her is now gone. Rachel even swears that she saw grudging respect in his eyes when he shook her hand at graduation.
Okay, so maybe it's a matter of pride; no one would disagree that her arrogance is high. She's been telling herself it's because Figgins threatened her friends, but there's a small part of her that wonders if it's something else beyond that and Finn's pushing.
"Don't worry about it, babe," Santana tells her as they quietly approach Figgins' house. "What's done is done."
"But we haven't done anything yet."
"Where did you get the cement mixer from?" Santana questions, obviously trying to distract her.
"You don't think we're going too far?" Rachel responds.
"You're probably asking the wrong person," Santana replies. "After all, I was schooled by Coach Sylvester. This is definitely mild in her book."
"Let's just get this over with," Rachel sighs, quietly climbing out of the car.
"That's not the attitude to have, Rachy," Brittany whispers loudly.
"I know, Britt," Rachel smiles. "But can we talk about it later?"
Brittany nods and skips back over to Noah's truck.
"Smile babe," Santana whispers. "It's your last prank ever."
Rachel nods and lets herself lean into Santana as they watch Mike and Noah attach the chute to the mixer, push it up the driveway and position it.
Knowing that their time is limited, everyone springs into action. Artie is running the mixer and he starts it up as Tina begins scooping in the Bisquick mix while Brittany adds the water. Once it's blended properly, Mike and Puck each grab a shovel and start throwing the extra thick batter onto the driveway. Meanwhile, Rachel and Santana each grab a concrete rake and begin smoothing the mixture out. As the driveway is covered, Kurt and Finn help Artie move the mixer backwards down the driveway while Quinn and Mercedes drag the still remaining water and Bisquick powder containers along as well.
Everyone had been skeptical when Rachel had explained the prank, but weirdly no one protested. For which Rachel is thankful; because in her mind, the over fifty pranks she successfully pulled are her defense. Not to mention, no one else offered any suggestions. Plus, it's simple enough to pull off on short notice, the most difficult thing to find being a cement mixer, but all that took was a call to Tommy Saunders. Noah was able to get a hold of the various needed tools while the others paired up and bought the Bisquick and jugs of water. The others had questioned that decision, but Rachel pointed out that buying like sixty boxes of Bisquick at once would be probably look suspicious.
The whole process is a quiet team effort that takes a little over an hour. Rachel is pleased with their speed, while everyone else, except for Santana and Brittany, are surprised that Rachel didn't make them sing while they worked.
Once the entire sidewalk and driveway is covered, the tools are tossed back into the back of Noah's truck and the cement mixer is awkwardly lifted onto the truck bed by the guys.
Without another word, everyone climbs back into their vehicles and drives away.
They end up at Noah's house since Rachel doesn't want to risk running into her dads and his house is empty. And apparently they're having a party because there's a keg and Noah is toasting their efforts.
"I told you," he crows, holding up his half full plastic cup. "Fucking epic! That's how we do it. Figgins can go fuck himself!"
"Calm your tits, Puckerman," Santana retorts. "You're acting like it's your first time."
"Or the last, Lopez," Puck replies. "Gotta enjoy the high."
"That was damn fun," Finn exclaims. He plops down on the couch. "Totally awesome."
"You said it dude."
"And totally addicting," Finn adds.
Kurt groans. "You better not start pranking me now."
"No way Kurt," Finn says. "Your dad would kick my ass."
They end up emptying the keg; Puck says that it's a must.
"It's our last bash, guys," he tells them all.
"You say that like there won't be parties all summer," Brittany counters.
"Because what else is there to do in this hell hole?" Quinn adds.
"Why do you have to ruin all my fun?" Puck whines.
"Like I said," Quinn replies. "What else is there to do around here?"
Puck flips her off and goes to turn up the music.
Eventually no one's sober enough to go home and so people end up crashing on every bit of furniture or the floor.
Santana wakes up wrapped around Rachel on the couch. Everyone is passed out around the room. There's an odd weight on her legs and blinking to help focus, Santana raises her head and sees Brittany curled up in a ball at the other end of the couch. Santana's not sure how her best friend managed to sleep comfortably in such a small space, but figures all that beer helped.
Despite the hangover that's slowly making itself known, Santana is happy. High school is over, she has an entire summer of freedom in front of her, she's in love, she has her best friends to hang with all summer, not to mention that she and her fellow glee clubbers just pulled one more awesome prank. She definitely has no complaints.
Her shifting seems to have woken up Rachel, though.
"Too early," she mumbles. "Back to sleep, tiger."
Santana chuckles, making her head throb slightly. Though the sun is just barely up, Rachel is usually up by this time every morning. Her girlfriend must have drank more than Santana realized.
Deciding that Rachel's command is a good idea, Santana closes her eyes, relaxes around her girlfriend and lets herself all back asleep.
A/N: Once again, thank you for reading and reviewing and favoriting and/or following. I really appreciate it. I would like to actually finish Ambitions, once I figure out what I want to happen. But for now, I will probably try and work on more deleted scenes. Anything you want to see, let me know.