Chapter 1 - An ordinary day
This is a day like any other or, better said, a friday like every other friday. Laura, my daughter, is being picked up by my ex-husband Finn after school to spend the weekend with him and his new wife Rachel. I can't stand the woman, true, but its not jealousy. She just talks way too much and she is happy ALL THE TIME it's gross. Laura loves her, i've got to admit she's great with her. It still bothers me a bit to leave my daughter with someone who dresses like a japanese executive's creepy sexual fantasy but Laura loves musicals and Berry takes her to watch the high school play rehearsals. Rachel is a music and drama teacher at WMHS and you can tell she's got some Broadway frustration going on. The only downside is having Laura singing Woman in Love every single Sunday night. But it's okay, since she's three years-old, she misunderstands the lyrics and makes her own original take of the song. I tell her she's a star in the making but she tells me that she just wants to be like me when she grows up, she wants to arrest the bad guys. I beam proudly at her and smother her with hugs until she's begging me to let go but I'm homicide squad and i couldn't possibly wish that kind of future for my daughter. If I could, she'll live in a place where the definition of bad thing would be a stomach ache or her father's football team losing a match.
Sometimes I spend the night awake thinking about it, about all the wrong i see in the world and how i can spare her from it. Bad things happen to good people, i'm making a living out of it. The amount of killers that have slipped by unpunished shattered the ideals that got me on the job. I'm never gonna keep the crap out of the streets, there's just so many. As i see it, even with all the technology, criminals are always one step ahead. All we can do is work our ass to get a tenth of it behind the bars, it's really frustrating. I'm a determined, focused workaholic so a tenth isn't nearly what i would consider satisfying. I get up grumpy and i go to bed grumpy. Laura is the only thing that's making my days brighter these days and I'm not complaying. She's a handful of sunshine and she is everything i need in this world. That and to handcuff some bastards now and then.
So I help her put on the turtle backpack and check for the last time the gym bag with the stuff she needs for the weekend. I almost hope it's Rachel turn to pick her up, Finn tends to slack off. He loves the kid a lot, he's like a giant teddy bear around her but he has a problem with time. Man-hands, I mean Rachel, is a control-freak so I can count on her to be there ten minutes before Laura gets out of class.
I'm a bit of a control freak myself so as we pass the door I phone said Man-hands to get confirm the time of the pick up. I'll be at the precinct doing paper work all day so I can't able to use a stake out as an excuse to see if they do pick her up and Puck, my partner, is having a longer weekend so i can't ask him to do it for me either. I have to trust Finn Hudson and its making me a nerve-wreck already.
I yell at Rachel to keep it simple and clear. 5pm. Sharp. If she doesn't want to lose a vocal cord before she even has time to say Barbra one last time. The woman is so scared of me that I just know she'll be there.
In the meantime, Laura is being adorable asking about Puck and Quinn, if they are spending the weekend together making babies and i laugh with a bit of sadness. Those two have become so obvious that even my kid wants them together, however, Puck is spending the weekend with Lauren. I try to explain that to Laura but she says Miss Fabray would make a prettier girlfriend. Quinn is her kindergarten teacher and one of my longest best friends. We were in Cheerios together trying to rip each others throats to get to the top but, as soon as we graduated, we became best friends. She went to college, i think that time apart did us good because i can't even imagine how i could hate her back then. She's the sweetest chick I know and i agree with my daughter she would be just what Puck needs. But he's too blind and she's too much of a princess to make the first step so they are stuck in a limbo of longing stares and stolen smiles. Its disgusting. Or I'm getting sour, ever since Finn and I got divorced and I've gotten bitter and bitter, i was never a sugar-coating kind of girl but even i have to admit it's getting a little out of hand. One thing is the guys at the squad saying I've got balls of steel because i never turn my face away from a dead body even if its 10 days ahead in decomposition, the other is this shrinking feeling that i will never love anyone other than Laura. I'm fine with that except when she spends the weekends with her father and my life gets a little on the grey side. I can't help but wonder if I'm wasting my life away. When i was in highschool i loved to dance and sing, specially in glee club, but please don't tell that to my colleagues it took me a long time to get this cold hard bitch reputation and I'd appreciate if it keeps that way. I was the youngest person to become a detective and on top of that a female, if that wasn't shocking for some of them the fact that I am gorgeous was. I'm not saying it because i feel gorgeous, i have a latina beauty pageant tiara that says it. Obviously, I didn't win with sympathy vote, so it must be true. My self-esteem isn't doing great these days either, it doesn't help that Finn always told me that i was beautiful but he didn't love me that way. I didn't love him that way either but it's always hurtful anyway. So, now, my personal life is in the mud, my professional life is going down the same path and my daughter loves her stepmother. I think I'm going down to the police gym in lunch break to punch this all away into a sandbag…with Rachel Berry-Hudson's face on it.
But I'm lost in my thoughts and we are already parking in front of her school. I give her a kiss in the cheek as i get her off her kiddy chair. I take her to the entrance of school and hand her to Quinn who will keep the bag with her until Rachel picks her up. I give Quinn a kiss in the cheek and a hug and thank her again for doing this. Laura is not in her room but she is my eyes inside the school and i must have worry all over my face because Quinn whispers in my ear.
"She'll be fine, Santana, like she always is when she spends a weekend with them."
"I know, but i can't really help worrying. I mean, she's all that i have." I frown because the sun is beating in my face.
"You look adorable right now. And you need to change that, I'm going out tonight with this guy named Joe to a karaoke bar, join us."
"I don't know Fabray, i hate being a third wheel."
"Oh but you won't be, Sam and Mercedes are coming too, you can sing a song together. It will be just like old times. Besides Sam is bringing a friend that is new in town. She's tall and blondeeeeee." She says in that sing-song tone THAT I HATE while she jumps up and down. She reminds me of Berry and if I didn't love her that much I'd punch her right there.
"Fabray, cut it. I'm tired of being your social charity case. I'll go out because i haven't seen Mercedes since her record exploded, I'm even surprised she manages to come here without the papparazzi showing up. I miss her, to be honest, so I'm in. Aaand just to piss you off, i hope blondie doesn't make it" I use the same singsong tone right back at her. We are interrupted by my daughter who is anxious to meet Tina and Mike's kid on the playground.
"ARGH Santana, suit yourself. I'm picking you tonight at 8pm so we can have dinner and then head to the bar are going to have some fun. It's an order, Detective Lopez."
I put my aviators on and I grunt at her. "Later, Fabray" I turn to my kid and kiss her cheeks, ask her to be safe and wish her a great weekend. I have a knot in my throat as I step away from them. I have a tiny version of myself waving happily, screaming "I love you mommy" so loud I can hear her in my car as i get in. She runs to Chang's kid and they go inside holding hands. Damn, kids grow so fast.
I get to the squad at 9.30 am, I might have paper work waiting for me but i won't keep it waiting. This is an ordinary day, with or without a dead body.