A/N: This story was inspired by a gif set I saw on Tumblr.
Friday May 25th, 2012. It was a date that Rachel Berry would never forget. It was the day she wished never happened. She'd been watching the news, like she did every evening to keep up on what was going on in the world, when they were interrupted by breaking news. The first image on the screen was an aerial view on a plane crash. The body of the plane ripped into pieces, and portions still on fire. Rachel leaned forward in her seat as she put one hand over her mouth in shock.
It wasn't long after that, that she'd gotten a frantic call from her girlfriend's Mother. It wasn't just a plane that had crashed, it was her plane. When Hiram saw the look on his daughter's face and asked what was wrong, Rachel couldn't respond, only shoving the phone in her Dad's hands as she sprinted to the nearest bathroom to throw up. That was hours ago. Too many that Rachel had lost count. She was sitting in the hospital waiting room in Dayton, with, what seemed like, every resident in Ohio.
They were all there for the same reason she was, to see it their loved ones were alive or dead. Not just the people that were on the plane though, but the people that had the unfortunate luck of have it rip through their neighborhood. There was the constant commotion of doctors rushing around, people scrambling around, asking if they've seen their Mother, Father, brother, sister, cousin, most walking away with no luck. It was bad. Rachel knew it. But like she had all her life, she had hope.
She didn't know when she'd fallen asleep, but when she woke up, it was the middle of the night. The hospital was still hectic, but quieter, most everyone who was waiting had fallen asleep also. Out of the five of them, only Rachel and Santana's Father, Roberto, were awake. Rachel lay in her Daddy's arms while her Dad's head leaned on his other shoulder. Santana's Mother, Maria was in a similar position with her arms wrapped around her husband's waist. Tear marks could still be seen on her face.
Well into the next day, they had seen survivors coming in one at a time. If the doctors recognized the name, they would come into the waiting room and say the name out loud. The families would rejoice and hug each other before going with the doctors. How lucky they were. At least they knew. That was what was eating away at Rachel inside. She just wished she knew if Santana was alive or...dead. If all this waiting and hoping was for a good outcome. She could see her Dads were thinking the worst.
Eventually, Hiram and Leroy decided to get a room at a nearby hotel, that way Rachel would still be close to the hospital if they got any news. After forcing down some food, the three of them fell into their separate beds. Hiram and Leroy were out as soon as their heads hit the pillows, but Rachel had a much harder time. She'd only passed out the previous night from sheer exhaustion, but right now, she couldn't fall asleep not knowing the fate of the girl she'd fallen in love with.
The minutes felt like hours, and hours felt like days as Rachel laid motionless on her hotel bed, staring up at the off-white ceiling. The only thing that was keeping her sane by this point, was immersing herself in memories. The first time she'd ever seen Santana, they date she'd joined Glee Club, the first time she'd truly looked at Rachel, the first time Santana kissed her, their first date, the first time they'd spent the night together, Valentine's Day when they made love for the first time.
It was early Sunday morning when Rachel's cell phone rang. She'd finally given into sleep a few hours earlier, but the ringing next to her ear made her shoot up out of bed in surprise. When she realized it was her phone, her heart seemed to stop as she grabbed it and answered the call as fast as she could, her mind still foggy. It only took three words from the woman on the other line to make Rachel throw on her shoes and race out the door, leaving her Fathers to only follow behind her.
"They found her."