It all started with a knock on her door. Which – in itself – was weird enough, because no one ever knocked on her door. There was no one to knock on her door. She didn't really know that many people in the city yet, and she had just been rehearsing some dance moves to impress that horrendous new teacher of hers, when said knock had happened.
Then came the second weird thing regarding that knock on the door.
When she finally managed to gather her confusion and step into the hallway to open the door, it was Santana Lopez on the other side of it. Yes, you heard right. Santana Lopez had knocked on her door.
That was weird, wasn't it?
Although…. The weirdest thing hadn't happened yet. The weirdest thing was only about to happen, when Santana Lopez opened her mouth and said, "Hi Dwarf, I'm here in New York now, and I'm going to be your room-mate." before she stepped into the apartment, threw a bag and a suitcase on the floor and looked like she'd basically been there many times before.
Rachel smacked her door close and turned to stare at the Latina with wide eyes, "Excuse me? It sounded like you just said that you were going to be my room-mate?" she questioned. She thought that she had left all of Lima behind her and that she was going to live her New York adventure by herself, without Finn and without Kurt, and she'd spent the entire train ride there coming to terms with that, and what – now this? Santana Lopez was the last person she had ever thought she'd see at this point in her life.
Admittedly they had settled their differences and become friends. Rachel cared immensely about Santana, words could not describe how important the other girl was to her; they'd moved past everything and the Latina had ended up with her picture in her locker, and Rachel had a picture of Santana tucked into her lyrics book.
"Yes." Santana empathized as she took a seat on Rachel's worn couch, "My parents gave me their savings and said to follow my dreams in the big city." she shrugged her shoulders, still glancing here and there to take in the humble place that was Rachel's apartment, "I wasn't sure whether or not to leave Brittany, but then I figured… She's going to be okay and so am I."
The diva didn't doubt that they were both going to be fine, even without each other, but that still didn't explain why she had come here. "Still," the brunette urged her on, "why are you here?"
Santana smiled at her, "Well, I thought we could live together. That's going to safe us both a lot of money, which will… make my savings last longer. I'm still not sure how I'm going to make my dreams happen, but being here is the start."
"I only have one bedroom." Rachel said then. She wasn't sure – Santana's suggestion was making her feel torn. On one hand, the Latina was so absolutely right, it would be easier, they'd be two people to handle the bills, but on the other hand… Santana could be such an obstruction. Would she still be able to practice and perfect every assignment for school if the Latina was present all the time?
"We'll split it." Santana said then, "I mean, I strongly suspect the both of us will be having sex eventually – or at least, I know I will, and I hope that you will move past Finnocence and enjoy life a little – and when that happens, the other takes the couch." she patted the cushion, and even if it wasn't so soft, she nodded to herself like it was really possible to spend a night there, "On every regular evening, we'll just split the bed? Look," she paused, glaring at her, "why are you being hesitant? Do you not want me here or something?"
Taken completely off guard by Santana's bluntness (even though she was very familiar with it by now, she should be, she'd spent three years hating it), Rachel scrambled to explain her thoughts, "No! No Santana, it could be… quite lovely having some company, I'm just… I just don't want your presence to interfere with my school work." She softly finished. It would be nice with some company though. She had never been good at making friends, and she hadn't quite succeeded at that at NYADA yet. She'd just been discussing her experiences over the phone with Blaine, Kurt, Quinn and her fathers.
Rolling her eyes, the Latina continued, "No worries Midget, I'll let you sing, dance and fail in peace." She glanced around and winked at her, "So what do you say? We have a deal?"
Rachel couldn't help the soft smile that came on her face then. Santana could be so absolutely rude and crude, but deep down inside – she really cared. Rachel was not in doubt about that. Just the sole fact that Santana was even here, it was proof that she really did care about her. Otherwise she would have never seen this as an option. "We have a deal." The diva mimicked, before she fell onto the couch, on top of the other girl, and wrapped her arms around her.
Santana returned the hug, although briefly, "Alrights Berry! I don't have a lot of shit with me, but I figured the Daddies Berrys would probably have set you up real good, huh?" she leaned back then and glanced yet another time around the room, "Although real good apparently isn't that... good."
The diva tucked a piece of hair behind her ear and sheepishly said, "Yes... The savings they had made for me, though very much in Lima, doesn't get me far here. This is the best I could afford to make my savings last for the longest time. I still have to be careful with everything I buy to make the next four years."
The Latina looked at her with her serious thinking-face. She was quiet for a second or two, before she said, "How about a job, Berry? Huh? Ever think of that?"
"I was contemplating it." Rachel quickly said then, a wicked smile on her face. "But now you're here and we're two people to pay the bills... Looks like I won't have to at all. I can just focus on my school work!" she excitingly said. Having Santana here was already starting to pay off in her book. She had really been thinking about getting perhaps a waitress job to just earn a bit extra money, but now that Santana was there... there really was no point. She'd have to spend half as much on regular expenses, and could even afford to buy things for her own enjoyment now, and she'd still have saved a bit in comparison to what she did now. Having Santana with her was really starting to look good now. Both financially and for company.
Santana groaned and turned to look at her, "Am I going to have to listen to you sing all the damn time, Berry?" she questioned then, one eyebrow raised.
Rachel nodded, "You most certainly will have to, Santana, and must I add, I would very much like it if you could start calling me by my first name, which is Rachel, or perhaps use my pet name from high school, which is Rach." she blinked a few times as she looked at the other girl. She felt that she needed to say this now that they were truly going to be around each other every day, "I know that we only had a few months of friendship in high school in which you did not take to call me neither, but now that you are here, I would very much like it if you put Berry and the degrading nicknames aside." she paused, "I'm Rachel and you're Santana."
The Latina bit her lip, clearly contemplating something. Rachel wasn't quite sure that she wanted to hear what the other girl was thinking, but she was also pretty sure that she would. "How about..." the other girl begun, a sneaky expression coming onto her face, "I still get to call you every nickname in the book, and you-" she poked a finger into the side of Rachel's arm, just to make sure that they both knew who she was referring to, "-you can get me a nickname as well." she licked her lips, "Just makes the every day a little bit funnier."
Rachel had to think about that for a second or two; she had known going in that Santana would not be easy to reason with, and that the fierce Latina would not be pleased to hear that she wanted her to drop the nicknames. She hadn't even really believed within herself that she would be able to convince that other girl that she had to, so this... it was not so surprising. The good part was that Santana had willingly said that they could figure something out and she could actually give her a nickname, too. That was quite something, wasn't it? Now, what was she going to go with? Satan or Satana? Oh, those possibilities...
"I'm going to think about that for a few days..." Rachel trailed off then, smiling at her friend, now room-mate. "I'll let you know what your degrading nickname is going to be."
Santana laughed, "Sure alrights, Dwarf!" she slung her feet onto the coffee table then and glanced around, "Now, we're going to have to live together, and I know we're friends now and everything, but I really fucking believe that it's going to be a challenge for both of us not to kill the other."
Standing up from the couch to go into the kitchen and fetch them some coffee, Rachel glanced at the other girl, "Please Santana, I am much more civilized than you. I have never wanted to kill you."
Snorting, Santana said, "Now you're just lying to yourself, Berry-cakes." she lightly said, "And I take my coffee black, if you don't mind. Sweetening it up is for pussies."
Sticking her head into the living room to look at her friend, Rachel laughed, "Now, that we can agree on, Santana! Although... I'd put it in a less crass and hostile way."
"Ya' take your coffee black as well?" the Latina questioned, and when Rachel gave her a nod, she whistled, "Nice one."
Rachel chuckled to herself as she turned away from the doorway and into her small kitchen; it was practically nothing more than an alcove. She – well, from today on, they, she guessed – had a little fridge with a freezer above it. On the end of the small room was a window with a sink underneath it along with some drawers. On the right was the small counter – it was no more than five feet, where a stove was squeezed in with an oven beneath it and the small space left was filled up with her toaster and her kettle. Beneath the counter and in cupboards above it she had stored all of her kitchen essentials, along with all the food that didn't need to be in the refrigerator.
She believed that she had managed to squeeze many things into small space, and she was proud of herself for that, now she had everything she needed. She hummed to herself as she filled the kettle with water and got two cups out along with the instant coffee. She measured the tea spoons as she listened to Santana in the living room; the other girl seemed to be preoccupied with her bags, at least that's what it sounded like, and Rachel knew that they were going to figure out where to put her clothes and the few things she'd brought.
When the kettle went off, she poured the boiling hot water into the cups, stirred both of their drinks and went into the living room to greet her friend. She had been right; in the few minutes she had focused on making their coffees, the former cheerleader had emptied out most of the contents in her luggage and it was now stacked on the floor.
"Here you go." Rachel told her and handed her a cup.
Santana happily took it. "Thanks, Midget."
Rachel took a seat on the couch, taking a sip of her cup and loving the instant awakening she received simply by the smell. "No problem." she said. She should probably have rehearsed her choreography a bit more, but she had to realise that it wasn't going to happen tonight; they should get Santana settled instead. "So I figure we're just going to divide the drawers in the bathroom, two for each, so I hope all your things can fit in there, and-" she paused, "I don't know what to do with your clothes, my closet is fully stocked. I see you have some DVDs and books though, some personal belongings, they should fit right in next to mine."
Placing her cup on the floor, Santana leaned slightly backwards, resting her weight on her arm. Like that, she could just gaze into the tiny bedroom, and when she pulled back, she shrugged her shoulders, "Yeah, I can see that. All I need is to have my dresses and jackets on some of those hangers you have, and tomorrow I'm going to use some of my savings to buy some bed-rollers."
Gaping at her, the diva questioned, "Bed-rollers?"
"Hell yes!" the Latina continued happily, "I don't get why you don't have any of those in here? It's those plastic boxes on wheels, they go right beneath the bed?" she looked at her, questioningly, "You don't fucking know what they are? Berry, they're perfect to keep my clothes in. It's going to be good, they roll right beneath the fucking bed, alright?"
Rachel couldn't believe that there was such an invention and she hadn't heard of it before. "Yeah... yeah. Good idea, Santana." she simply just said, before she sipped her coffee again, musing things over.
Santana laughed at her. "And I'm going to be looking for a job, so I can start to bring home some money!"
"That's a brilliant idea, Santana. We need to make sure that things can go round before anything." Rachel replied, nodding her head. "You should never forget though, why you're really here. You want to follow your dreams." she paused, licking her lips as a thought struck her. She'd heard Santana go on and on about New York before, how she wanted to go there and follow her dreams instead of going to that cheerleading college, but... She'd never actually heard what those dreams were. "What... are you dreams exactly?"
Turning her head to look at her, Santana took a long sip of her coffee as silence overtook the small apartment. As she placed her cup on the floor, she gnawed at her lip and met Rachel's eyes in an honest gaze. "I'm not..." she trailed off, pausing, "sure exactly."
Rachel whispered, "But something with performance, right?"
"Yeah..." Santana nodded, "Yeah... definitely something with performance."
Rachel couldn't help but sigh heavily. Looks like her time in New York had just taken an entirely different turn than she'd first anticipated. She didn't know yet, if it was going to be for better or for worse. Only time would tell, she reckoned.
Rachel left early the next morning to get to school by eight o'clock. Santana had still been sleeping; finally happy to have gotten the entire Queen sized bed to herself after sharing all night with Rachel, when the diva had stepped into the bedroom – singing loudly some song from some musical – a coffee in one hand, and completely dressed in her usual Berry attire. The Latina knew that she had been up for hours, working out on her elliptical (at least she'd had the thought to move it into the living room last night, before they went to bed), but she was just way too chipper for such early hours.
She'd pulled the covers off her and placed the coffee in the windowsill, before she'd ordered the Latina to get up and get moving, so she could find a job. And then she'd left.
Santana had spent a few minutes in bed, huddled up in the duvet and with her strong coffee warming her hands, before she had told herself that Rachel was right, and that she really did need to find work. She didn't want to admit this to the diva, but Santana was a bit worried about the money. She knew that they were going to pay half of everything now, which was only fair. Rachel had a big college fund to support her, and the Berry men were well off if they ever really was in need, but... they had to make do for themselves. Santana's savings weren't half as big as Rachel's (they'd looked everything over last night), and they'd only last her for so long. She really needed to find a job to get in some money.
So that was why she was now walking around in the neighbourhood, looking for small cafés. She wanted to work near the apartment, it'd just be easier and more convenient, and she'd prefer a waitress job above some other crappy job she might be able to get. She was technically nothing, she was fresh out of high school without any remarkable grades. All she had going for her was her looks, which meant that any restaurant or café would be fucking lucky to have her. She was easy on the eyes, and she'd attract a helluva lot of male customers. And the female kind too, of course, the gay ones (which, Santana was pleased to know this, New York had many more of than Lima, Ohio).
She hadn't even bothered to write a resume. She figured that she was better off, just walking into some place, and demand they hire her. They'd be stupid if they didn't do it. She just really needed a job – if she had a job, a regular income, she'd be able to focus more on what she wanted, and how she had to get there. She wasn't dumb enough to think that it'd be easy and she'd just strive to the top; she had hopes, dreams, but she was well aware of the fact that it'd take her time to get there.
In a way... She was so thankful for Rachel and the fact that she had her now, here. That they were in New York together. She was pretty sure that Rachel would learn to appreciate the company as well, as soon as they got used to each other. It just seemed less scary, less... dangerous now that they were here together. Not that Santana was ever fucking scared of anything. It was just – it was just nice.
She'd been in two small places where she could see herself work, but they didn't need anymore staff, she'd skipped a few places because they were too much drinking and too little food (and she really didn't need to be around alcohol in her everyday life; that'd just tempt her). She'd then continued to walk through the small streets, just gazing at windows and trying to figure out where she might be able to find a job that was up to her standards. She wasn't really picky per say, she just didn't want to write home to her parents and only have shitty things to tell.
They'd be hella fucking proud of her if she called home tonight and told them she had a place to stay, a job and a fucking sweet room-mate. They'd love even more that it was Rachel, her mother completely adored her; after all the Glee performances they had seen her in, they were in-fucking-love with her.
And then when Santana turned a corner, it was like everything fell into place for her. There, just across the street from her, was the perfect little coffee shop. It looked quaint, homey, and when she crossed the street, she took a look at all of the signs they had on the pavement. There was food on the menu; light lunches, sandwiches, salads, all those kind of things, and there was coffee and other hot drinks. It even looked like they served alcohol at nights where they had open until two.
She took in a deep breath and told herself that this was the place she was going to work. She'd have to pursue the owner into hiring her, and that was just that. Pushing the door open, she stepped into the small place and took a look around; she was immediately pleased with the atmosphere. It was cosy, warm, and she was pleased to see that there was a small makeshift stage in one end of the room, and she would be thoroughly pleased if there were small amateur shows sometimes. She needed music in her life, especially now that Glee was over and all she had was her iPod and Rachel's constant singing.
Walking up to the counter, she riled herself up with confidence and demanded to see the boss. "I want to see the manager." she said to the young guy who was standing behind the counter.
He offered her a small smile, "Sure. Just a moment."
Santana smiled wickedly at him, "Yeah I'll wait." she replied. She had such a good feeling about this place; she could just feel that this was where she wanted to work, this was the place for her. She could see herself, dolled up in a hot as fuck waitress uniform, trying to smooth-talk the customers and rudely kick those out who were misbehaving.
She was pulled out of her thoughts then, by an old cracked voice, "Ya' wanted to see me?"
Turning around on the spot, Santana put on her biggest smile and said, "Yes. You're the boss in this place?"
He held out his hand, smiling warmly at her. He was old, he had the nicest pair of eyes and a face covered in wrinkles. His beard was grey, and he wore glasses. "I'm Rick." he told her.
"Santana Lopez." she shook his hand. "I just moved here from boring Lima, Ohio, got a place with my high school friend, she just started school, and I was... Sort of hoping to get a job in this joint."
He stared her up and down then, clearly amused, "A job, you say? And what are your qualifications that'd pursue me into hiring someone like you?" he chuckled, "What are you? 18? 19?"
The Latina replied, "18. But I'm a quick learner. And as you can see, I'm a fucking catch, I'll sure as hell be attracting a lot of male customers."
He laughed. "Clearly."
Santana raised an eyebrow, staring at the old fellow. She was always pretty good at reading people, but she had no idea what to do with this man. In appearance, he seemed like any other old grandfather, but it was pretty clear to her that he was not. "Look," she said then, fiercely, she knew that she had his interest, she just wasn't sure how she was going to rope him in and hire her. "what do you want me to say, Rick? I'm in need of a job, I can work whenever you want me to, I live just a few blocks over. I need the money." she crossed her arms in front of her chest and stared up at him, "I'll be the best fucking waitress you ever had, alright? I excel at everything I frigging do."
He laughed again, "You got a mouth on ya', Sweetheart. I like that." he leaned himself against the counter and gave her a once-over, "You'll fit right in here, Santana Lopez. And it just so happens that we're actually short on staff after Delilah ran off with her boyfriend last week."
"You fucking serious?" Santana questioned; she couldn't believe her luck. She was really feeling as if coming here to New York had been the right decision to make after all. This was the place she had just felt was it for her – and now look, she was hired! Rachel was going to be fucking thrilled when she got the news. And so would her parents.
"I'm nothing but serious." Rick replied, "You can come in tomorrow around nine, we'll find you a uniform, get you trained." he licked his lips and gave her a pad on the side of her arm. "I'm looking forward to this, Santana, I hope you won't make me regret this."
The Latina snorted, "Not a fucking chance, Rick." she stepped back and pointed at him, "I'll see you tomorrow? Bye." she was smiling brightly to herself as she stepped outside and heard the shop close behind her; already liking the ding that was heard from the back of the shop, all the way to where she was standing now, outside.
Step one of her plan for today was completed, and she had to say that she was making pret-ty good time.
The next step of her plan for today? Bed-rollers.
"Alright, I have to admit, Santana Lopez, that you managed to make this place look more than presentable." Rachel said then, as she spun around in their modest two bedroom apartment to take in the new changes.
Santana had been working her ass off all day to make her things fit and still make the place liveable. It's not because it was that important to her that it looked nice (she couldn't care less about cleanliness and stuff, but she knew that Rachel would maim her if she messed the entire place up on her first day there), but she just wanted her shit to fit. She wanted this place to be hers as much as Rachel's, which was why she had done more than she usually might have. "You totally do not have faith in me, Berry-cakes." she replied, happily taking a look at her day's work, too.
Rachel smiled up at her with glistening eyes. "I might have to change my view on you." she sincerely said then, and they were quiet for a moment, before she skipped into the bedroom and pulled one of the bed-rollers out from beneath the bed. "This was a fantastic idea as well, Santana! It simply stores clothes in a place one usually wouldn't use anyway. It's practical and easy! I like it."
The Latina clicked her tongue. "Well, what can I say? I'm just frigging awesome."
Laughing, Rachel nodded her head, "I hope you're hungry, roomie, because to celebrate the occasion of you moving in here, I decided to spend a little extra on dinner tonight. Well... I actually brought home dinner." she pointed towards the paper bag that she had placed on the coffee table (the paper bag that Santana had been curious to know what contained ever since she saw it), "I seem to remember that you also like... sushi?"
"You bought fucking sushi!?" Santana exclaimed, and she practically couldn't hide her excitement! She and Brittany used to fucking get sushi all the time back home, and she loved it like she loved the blonde. "Fucking A, Berry!" she licked her lips as she practically fell over the table to take a look into the bag.
The diva shook her head, chuckling, "I usually don't spend so much on dinner, it's about saving money where you can, but... This is a new beginning for both of us. You're here to fulfil your dreams, and I will no longer be here to experience this alone. That calls for celebration." she pointed towards the bag, "I got you some different kind of things since I don't know what you like, and I got me the vegan ones. I'm sure you can tell them apart. How about you set that up and I'll fetch us some cold water?"
Nodding, Santana started to get the food out of the bag, practically salivating on it. Damn, Berry really knew how to make her not regret knocking on her door. She had to admit, she had been on the fence about it, but then again, where the fuck else did she have to go than to Berry's apartment, and plus, this was shaping up to be a pretty damn good choice.
Rachel entered the living room again, holding up a water pitcher and two glasses, and she sat down on the couch next to Santana, still smiling brightly. "So you managed to do all of this, but how was your job search?"
Santana held out a pair of chopsticks to the diva and accepted the glass of water that was handed to her. "Oh. Got a job." she nodded, "At Rusty Rick's. He needed a new waitress, I needed a job, so all I had to do was charm him with my wicked ways, and that's why I start tomorrow."
Pausing, Rachel gaped at her, with a piece of sushi dangling on the chopsticks a few inches from her mouth. "You got a job already?" she lowered her hand, "Wow Santana! That is absolutely fantastic! Congratulations!"
"Don't sound so fucking surprised, Midget, I've got skills." the Latina replied, swallowing a moan as she tasted a piece of shrimp.
"All I have to show for my day is sore legs from all that dancing and a killing head-ache after being yelled profusely at by my new teacher." she shook her head, "She is horrendous, but I know she's just there to make me better... Doesn't mean it's not a terrifying experience though."
Santana shrugged her shoulders, "She sees your fucking potential, Berry, ya' just need to work your tight butt off to please her. It's for your own good."
Rachel smiled warmly at her. "Oh I know... Thank you though. It'll be nice to have some back-up support from you."
The Latina made a face. She wasn't really aware that being the room-mate also got her a job as back-up supporter, but she had to take it. It wasn't really her thing, but what the fuck could she do about it? Apparently Rachel needed back-up support, and what the hell, perhaps she'd need Rachel and her pushy ways as well? She wanted to work on her dream, and maybe that would be easier with some of that – what was it Rachel called it? - back-up support? "Oh yeah. Back-up support... That's me." she winced.
The diva laughed and took another piece of sushi into her mouth. "I found a nickname for you by the way." she teasingly said, before she swallowed her food and turned to Santana with a giant smile on her face. "I needed something to take my mind off that gruesome dance-lesson today, so I pushed through it while I amused myself by making up names for you."
Santana chuckled. "Alright..." she said, nodding her head; she couldn't wait to hear this, hear what Rachel had made up. It was probably going to be hilarious in the nerdy kind of way, since the diva's idea of funny was far from her idea of funny. "Hit me then, Berry. What are your suggestions?"
She smiled sheepishly at her, "After much debate..." she trailed off, wriggling her eyebrows, "I ended with Satana Hopez." she paused, "Or either if I'm feeling less particular. I thought that since you have so many options for me, I should be creative for you."
Laughing, Santana was actually impressed. "Alright, Dwarf..." she trailed off, leaning back in the couch and taking in the entire apartment – her new home. "I guess that's good then. We'll be good together. Midget and Satana."
"Yes." Rachel nodded, "We will be."
Santana wasn't even lying, when she said it – she was positive; they were going to be just fine.
Alright everybody! Thank you so much for tuning in! I'm back with another Pezberry – this time they're slightly older and ready for an adventure in New York :) this story is going to be settled around both of them, and I will feature point of views from both girls as I did in this chapter, and I'm going to focus on their relationship, Rachel's struggles in school and how Santana will strive to find her dream.
Anyway! Leave me your thoughts and I'll try to update as soon as possible :)
Disclaimer; I don't own Glee.