Disclaimer: I do not own Glee.

Author's Note: This is a response to a prompt. I can't find the name of the pen author who posted it up because I wrote just the prompt in my notebook. You know you had fun when you can't tell your parents what you did. Crap. I should have looked up before shutting down the computer. Anyways. This is straight up alternate universe. So you know. Please read and review. I'm really trying to improve my writing. And if you can, I appreciate lots of constructive criticism. Thanks and here's the story.

The Girl Next Door

They dub you the dropout next door when you moved in four months ago on a January morning. You're unaware that my bedroom window is right across from yours. Or that I know all there is to know about you, even though I don't really know you.

Your father is Dr. Gustavo Lopez. He lives on Trumount Place in a cul-de-sac, and has a Mustang behind a big Grand Caravan in his drive way. You have a little brother named Cesar, and your mother left the family when you were three years old.

I watch you. Watch you bask under the summer sun in a tank top and pajama pants on the front lawn like you're doing now. You father hates it when you do that, but you never bother to find somewhere else to read The Shining.

Saturdays you'd take the Mustang and screech out of town for a few days. I'd wonder where you ran off to, or if you were ever coming back. Sometimes on Tuesdays, you lounged on your bed after turning up the stereo when no one was at home.

Your name is Santana Lopez, but you don't like it when people call you Esther. That's your middle name. My mother advices me to ignore you. Everyone does. They say that you gave up on Oberlin, and now you're just like one of the Lima Losers at twenty four.

People say you've done more things that should get you killed, but I don't listen to them because I might as well be dead too. You've been in jail more times you can count. Your license is suspended, but you continue to steal the Mustang for hours and manage to come back without handcuffs.

Early mornings I'd see you sitting on the porch with another book in your hands. I'd get in my car, taking short glances in hopes that you'd notice. But you never look up. I don't think you know I exist.

"Need a ride?"

The swooshing of cars passing by on the highway almost droned out her voice, but Rachel snapped her head up and looked ahead of her. The hot sun made her blue summer dress stick uncomfortably to her skin.

She already kicked off her canvas flats, passing the time by resting her head in her arms. Beyond the heat lines, she could see the outline of a yellow Mustang humming. And when she narrowed her vision by placing her hand over her eyes, she saw a young woman leaned over with tanned hands braced on the steering wheel.

"What?"

"I said, do you need a ride?"

Thankful that the hot sun already made her cheeks already flushed, she shook her head and said, "I already called the tow truck. They should be here any minute. My mom's picking me up."

"How long have you been there?"

"About half an hour. Don't worry, I'll be fine."

She wasn't sure if the woman wanted to listen because she saw her shook her head. "I'll wait with you."

Ignoring the pulsing in her chest, she waited patiently for the car to park in front of her beaten down one. When she heard the engine turn off, she thought she was dreaming. Moments like this weren't possible. Not with a woman like Santana Lopez.

She saw her leave her car, and let her eye caress a white tank top and dark pants geared with black combat boots. Unlike most days, Santana's hair fell over her shoulders.

"What's your name?"

Rachel realized that her companion was now sitting right next to her with her Ray Bans perched over her head. And in the heat of the sun amidst the busy highway and dead vehicle, she was well aware of tobacco mingled with cherry blossoms.

"Rachel."

She stretched out a hand. "My name's Santana."

"I know." Rachel said with a small smile.

The woman didn't seem surprised by the fact. When she grasped Santana's hand, she's surprised when the woman kept it for a little longer than necessary before letting it slip away.

"You're Corcoran's daughter."

Rachel nodded. "And you're Lopez's daughter."

"One and only."

A moment of silence passes by. She watches the highway for any sign of a truck because she doesn't know what else to say. What could you say to a woman you think of kissing for months? Or when dark eyes lock unto you as if they wanted to figure you out?

"Your mom's a piece of work."

Rachel laughs. That wasn't even the half of it. "Maybe."

Rock pebbles grind against the ground before Rachel felt her arm pressed down. Santana had gotten closer her and now their arms were touching.

"Think she'll curse me out for sitting with you?"

"Not if you're going to try something." Rachel countered back.

"Like what?"

She licked her chapped lips, turning her head the other way. The way she said it made the brunette blush. Her voice was low, and hinted at something she'd rather her mother never found out about. By now the heat of the sun hugged her neck more, because

"Rachel, how old are you?"

"Eighteen."

She looked back just in time to see Santana nodding slowly. As if she was taking this in when her dark brows furrowed.

"That's too bad."

"Why would you say that?" She asked.

Her lips curled. "I don't think you had to ask me that."

The boldness of her tone startled the young girl. For a moment, she almost regretted dreaming about this. Her first instinct was to hide and never speak to this woman again. This woman whose attentive eyes were fixated over the laced closing of her denim dress.

"I have a boyfriend." That was true.

Santana's brow rose, along with the corner of her full lips.

"And?"

The distant horn of the tow truck tore her gaze away. Just in time. Her cheeks burned with embarrassment at the dull ache that flared in her lower belly.

"Looks like your ride is here." She stood. "I'll see you later."

My mother said that you lived here once as a child. You always looked out of place, as if you don't belong in Greenwich Heights. She said that anyone could never imagine that you were the daughter of the most reputable doctor in town.

But I don't recall seeing a girl who looked just like you in dark pigtails wearing frilly dresses that always got muddy quickly, or even hearing anyone who sounded just like you. Is it the smoking? Has it made you voice more hoarse that I can't tell what your real voice sounded like? Or do you just sound like that? Like molten chocolate rusted with tiny bits inside.

"How much do you have to pay?"

"Don't worry about it mom. I have it under control."I say, placing a plate inside the dish rack on the linoleum counter in the kitchen.

"Did you tell Finn yet?"

I nodded absently, warmed by the gust of hot water over my hands. "Mm-hm. His dad will pick the car up tomorrow to fix it."

There's this moment of silence when my mother looks adoringly at me, dolled up in the tradition apron over a blue shirt dress. I could imagine the plastic smile lined by red lipstick, or the bare number of wrinkles shown behind her thickened layer of make up.

"That's great honey. You're lucky to have Finn, he's such a good boy."

I smile at her the way I do for years, and she still could never tell the difference.

"I know, mom."

It's a different kind of feeling when you watch me more closely now. I try to pretend I don't notice. But it's futile. You might say otherwise, but I'm sure you're aware of it. Perhaps that's why your lips curl sometimes, and maybe why you stare more than you intend to. Or maybe. Just maybe, it's why we might share the same thoughts.

End Note: So what do you think? This is a three part multi-shot. My next chapter for 'A Swift Turn' will be done soon in another week or so. My midterms are approaching. But it's not going to bother with anything. Please read and review.