Gold Stars and Wishes
"Thanks for bringing me home, Santana," Rachel said, shivering.
"No way I was letting you walk home in the rain, especially after you'd been slushied."
They made their way through her house and into her room.
"How did I know it would be pink?" Santana asked with a grin.
"Not sure. Do you often think about the décor of my room?"
"Ha ha…. Go shower and I'll pick out a movie. Oh, by the way…"
"Do you sing Streisand in the shower? Because I owe Quinn thirty bucks if you don't."
"Sorry, you're going to have to pay up," Rachel told her, peeking out of the bathroom. "Maroon 5 are my go-to shower songs."
"Damn it!" Santana lamented, flopping backward onto the bed. She rolled to one side and looked through Rachel's DVDs.
By the time Rachel came out of the bathroom, she'd watched two episodes of Mighty Mouse and was putting in The Avengers. "Feel better?"
"Yep!" Rachel chirped, shrugging on her Wicked hoodie.
"What was that?" Santana asked.
"On your back."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Rachel mumbled, not meeting the older girl's eyes.
"Don't bullshit, Rachel. What did we agree at the beginning of this year?"
Rachel smiled. "That we wouldn't mess around with secrets and gossip and anything that held us back before."
"Exactly. So…I believe I saw a tattoo on your back. Story time with Rachel…."
"It's hard to explain."
Santana stared at her girlfriend. "What's wrong?"
"Rachel," Santana said gently. "Let me see."
With a sigh, Rachel took her hoodie off, and turned so that Santana could see her back.
It was a tattoo of a tree, but the branches formed pictures. Pictures of some really weird things.
"Um…what the hell?"
Rachel turned to face her again. "I have something to tell you…. It's important, and you're probably not going to believe it…."
"Rachel, did someone…make you get these? What's going on?"
"The answer is both no and yes. Santana…I'm…different. Really different."
"You're starting to scare me, Rach," Santana said, taking her hand.
"Don't be. I'm sorry; I'm stalling. Just…listen for a second. I'm…a genie."
"Really," Rachel continued. "Like…yeah, the type that grants wishes. My dads adopted me so they could…er…have it all, I suppose."
"You've got to be joking."
Rachel shook her head. With a sigh, she began to explain. "There are…two different races of genies. One is the, um, Aladdin kind. Three wishes, that's it. My kind are a bit more powerful. As long as you're in control of our soul source—our 'lamp'," Rachel added, seeing Santana's blank look. "As long as you have that, you get your wishes. But the lamp chooses who we belong to. So if Jacob Ben Israel stole my soul source, I wouldn't have to become his love slave or anything," she joked, trying to ease the tension. "I can also grant wishes on my own."
"Like, if you wished for something, I could choose to grant it. Go ahead, try."
Santana looked at her, and then at her back. "Let's say, for the sake of argument, that I believe you…. If I make a wish, will it come up on your back?"
"Yep. That's my…history. Well, one of them."
"I'll explain that part later. Go on. Make a wish."
"Will it hurt you?"
Rachel couldn't help but smile at Santana's concern. "It—" she stopped with a gasp. The gold star coin bank on her desk was glowing a beautiful purple-blue color. "Oh my god."
"What the fuck?"
"It…it chose you."
"Huh? You mean your lamp…er…piggy bank…"
"Wish for something."
"Not if it's going to hurt you."
"It won't. I feel a little…sting for about two seconds. Otherwise it's nothing."
"Okay…I guess…. I wish for—"
"I should mention that I cannot give or take life, and I can't create or destroy affection."
"So if I wished for Finnocence to fall madly in love with Jew Fro…?" Santana asked, grinning despite the high levels of freaky in the room.
"Couldn't do it. Also, be specific."
"I wish for two breadsticks, of the Breadstix variety, at lunch and dinner every day."
Rachel touched a finger to her lips and took a deep breath. "Done."
"I'm just realizing that I probably should've picked something with immediate payoff."
Rachel smiled. "We'll cook in a little while. It's already four o'clock."
"In the meantime… I think I need you to explain more."
Rachel nodded, and settled down next to Santana. "They adopted me when I was one. It's easier than you'd think to find genies online."
"I'm sure. Just google 'I need a surrogate- must be magical'."
Rachel rolled her eyes, but smiled. "They started making wishes when I was around three."
"How did you even know how to…use your powers, or whatever?"
"Er…that's where this gets a bit complicated. See…I exist in other forms, in different times."
"You mean 'existed'."
"Time runs parallel. Right now, I'm nursing a wounded soldier back to health in World War II. I'm also running a jazz lounge during Prohibition."
"Fuck right off."
"No, seriously," Rachel said. "That's what I meant earlier when I said my tree is one of my histories. And, might I add, my jazz club is super successful."
Santana's mind was reeling. "So… let me see it again."
Rachel turned over on her stomach and lifted her shirt.
The tattoo showed all of the things Santana expected to see. Money, cars, the house…material things. It also showed—
"Er, Rach? Is that a dick?"
She sighed. "Unfortunately. They got greedy a few years ago. Started wishing for more and more stuff. Daddy wished to be…er…more well endowed."
"Oh my god…." Santana said. She continued to trace the blue shapes on Rachel's back, occasionally stopping to ask about one. Finally, she asked, "What will they do when they find out?"
"Freak. That's why they chose to move to a small town instead of living a glamorous life in some big city. They figured there was less of a chance that people would find out. Less of a chance that I'd have to move on. But they still have one last wish before I officially belong to you."
"Stop that. You're my girlfriend, not my property. So, what do you think they'll wish for?"
Rachel squirmed nervously. "Money, probably. That way they won't really need the wishes anymore…."
"I sense there's a 'but' coming."
"When I was little, and didn't want to perform, they used to threaten to free me."
"Well…that wouldn't be so bad now, would it? I mean, when you were younger, you probably thought they meant they'd leave you. But we're going off to college next year. You don't really need them."
"It's not just that. If I'm freed in one time, I'm freed in all the others as well. And my soul source would choose one time period for me to live out. So I might end up as Rachel the scullery maid, or the nurse. I know all my forms, but I like living this one the best. Scullery maids tend to get beaten, and mine is no exception. And my nurse is on the battlefield, which I'm not overly fond of."
"What happens if you…you know…?"
"Die? I'm reformed in another time."
Santana pulled her a little closer. "Wait…can't you—I mean, your maid form—fight back? When those assholes beat you….?"
"No," Rachel said sadly, shaking her head. "The thing about the lamp choosing a worthy owner—"
"Please, stop saying that."
Rachel kissed her forehead. "Okay…the lamp choosing someone…the person is supposed to be the genie's protector. Because we can't use our magic to just do things. I'm not like Hermione Granger, here."
"Your Potter reference is noted and appreciated. So you really can only grant wishes."
"Right. So she's…left to the mercy of the innkeeper at the moment. I'm sad for her."
"Me too," Santana said quietly. "We need to tell Quinn."
"What?" Rachel asked, alarmed.
"She's my best friend, and she won't tell. Plus, if your dads don't free you in the magical sense, but free you in the Russell Fabray sense, you'll be able to stay with her. I'd offer, but Papi's still not entirely cool with the gay thing. I think I might be pushing it—"
"It's fine. We can tell her if you're sure."
"I'm positive. She's…grown up a lot over this summer."
"I'd definitely noticed. We all have."
The stayed there, quiet as Thor and Loki battled onscreen.
Finally, Santana turned to Rachel. "I can't even begin to wrap my mind around this. So I'm not going to try. Not tonight. But I'm going to keep you safe. I promise."
Rachel smiled. "Looks like my 'lamp' knew what it was doing." She kissed Santana on the cheek. "Let's go see about your breadsticks."
LbN: A new Glee poll is up on my profile, if you want to vote! :)