Rachel was scared. Rachel was sad. The words she never imagined Shelby would say to her had been said. She figured Shelby would be the one to leave long long long before she would kick Rachel out. But here she was faced with the decision of wether she was going or staying. She wiped away the tears that had fallen down her cheeks at the closing of the door and before she could finish cleaning up her face, Rachel broke out into sobs and dropped to her knees, her forehead rested against the cool wood floors as her hands covered her eyes.
Outside, Shelby cried her own tears as she listened to her eldest daughter sobbing in the condo. It killed her to hear Rachel upset, especially since it was Shelby's words that caused it. She never intended on saying those words out loud. She was tired and fed up with Rachel's behavior and didn't know what else to do. It was regretted as soon as she said it but the shock on Rachel's face made Shelby continue. Perhaps the girl was beginning to learn her attitude wasn't being tolerated. Moving away from the front door, Shelby went to the car and retrieved all of their bags that had been left there not long ago when they first arrived home.
Rachel heard the door knob jiggle and got off the floor, running into Shelby's bedroom and diving onto the bed. She didn't want to go to her dads', she wanted to be with her mom and Beth. She calmed her sobs into hiccups and cuddled into Shelby's pillow, soaking up the soft and sweet smell that belonged to Shelby's shampoo. She loved this scent and she loved Shelby's bed.
Beth's bedroom door was opened and moments later, it closed again. Shelby appeared in the room seconds later and Rachel peered over the fluffy white pillow, watching her mother place the pack of cigarettes and the yellow lighter on the nightstand just a mere ten inches from her face. Glancing up at Shelby, she was expecting to meet an angry expression but Shelby was strangely calm.
"Sit up." Shelby said, taking her own seat. Rachel sat up and wiped her face dry, still clinging to the pillow. "You've decided to stay?"
"Yes ma'am." Rachel softly said and immediately apologized. "I will prove to you that I really am sorry. Whatever you want, I'll do it to prove myself."
"Mind your attitude is a start. I understand you're going I have your sassy and angry moments but you need to learn to control yourself more. Swearing at me is not okay, I've made that quite clear." Shelby said. "Now before we get into our talk, are you willing to accept any and all punishments that I give you?"
"Are you going to spank me, again?" Rachel asked.
"I haven't figured out what your punishments are. I want to talk to you first and go from there."
"Let's talk about my car." Shelby started. "Since I will have to leave my car at the body shop for a day or two, I will be using your car, which your dads have decided you are grounded from for two weeks but that's a different discussion for you to have with them. To pay for the cost of the damage, I have decided that while you are suspended you will be babysitting Beth."
"But I've never watched a toddler before." Rachel worriedly said, having only watched her eight year old twin neighbors. She didn't want to disappoint Shelby and mess up with Beth.
"Over the weekend I will show you how to take care of her." Shelby said. "It's quite simple and won't be for more than a few hours a day."
"Alright." Rachel said. She figured it was an easy punishment.
"But tomorrow you will be staying home with Beth and Grace. And I don't want to hear that you misbehaved or gave Grace any trouble."
"I don't need a babysitter." Rachel pouted.
"Rachel." Shelby warningly said.
"She's not going to be babysitting you, she'll be taking care of Beth. All I am asking is that you try to help her out some and make sure your chores get done."
"What you don't think you're just going to lounge around all day tomorrow do you?" Shelby scoffed. "You'll be given a list of things and I expect them to be done by the time I come home. If not, you'll be spending the whole weekend cleaning. I won't ask you to do much when watching Beth next week, besides cleaning up after her and washing your dishes from the day. Whatever chores I do have for you will be done after I get home and before you go to bed."
"You mean before I go home."
"No, I was correct." Shelby said. "I talked to your fathers after I went outside and they decided you would be spending your suspension at my house. It's where you were staying when you got in trouble and its me you've been yelling and swearing at, so they felt it was only right to have me carry out your punishment. You may visit them, as long as you have my permission to go over there. I won't keep you from seeing them but I do need to know where you are and give you a proper curfew to be home. Got it?"
"Yes ma'am." Rachel nodded. So far this wasn't as bad as she was thinking it would be.
"Now as far as attacking Becca-"
"She deserved it! She stole my work and used it as her own."
"Be that as it may, your teacher was going to handle it. Pushing and hitting her was uncalled for."
"I'm sorry but I was mad. Accounting is my favorite class and I've worked so hard to keep my grades up. I was defending myself and what I love." Rachel said.
"How many times have you been in trouble this year for physically hurting someone?" Shelby asked.
"Three." Rachel whispered and Shelby raised her brow, throwing Rachel into defensive mode. "I didn't do it for fun! Two times I was doing it to get back the money they stole from me over time and the other time, I did it because someone made a bad comment about you being a bitch. I wasn't trying to be a bully, honest and you already spanked me for the way I had been behaving, wouldn't that include the first three punches?"
Shelby studied Rachel for a moment and then decided to believe her, after all Rachel did have a point that she had already gotten punished. "Fine, then I will let this argument with Becca go, however, the next time I hear you've been in a fight, no matter the circumstances, I will ground you."
"Thank you." Rachel gratefully said.
"And I do want you to come to me, Mr. Shuester, or Miss Pillsbury the next time someone tries to or bullies you. Do not take matters into your own hands."
"I won't." Rachel said.
Shelby reached past Rachel and picked up the cigarettes. "Now let's talk about these. Do you realize the risk you are taking from smoking?"
"Then why the hell are you doing it?"
"I don't know?" Rachel said. "I guess it was just one more thing to get your attention."
"I am glad you are being honest with me, however, I will not tolerate smoking or drinking underage in my house. I am sure your fathers feel the same way. You are done. You understand me? If I catch you or think you've been smoking, you won't be able to sit for days. The spanking you got yesterday is nothing compared to what you will get."
"Yes ma'am." Rachel gulped. She didn't feel so bad ass anymore.
Shelby continued to lecture Rachel for another fifteen minutes until Beth woke up. She let Rachel go into the livingroom with instructions to find a book, magazine, or something other than the television or an electronic device to keep her busy while she tended to Beth. Rachel loved to read but only for fun, not when she was being forced too. Then again the events of the afternoon replayed in her head. She didn't want Shelby to have to threaten to kick her out again. Or what if there wasn't another threat and Shelby kicked her out? Rachel didn't want to chance it.
"Thank you for doing what you were told." Shelby kindly said, setting Beth on the floor with her toys. "Would you like to help me fix some lunch?"
"Yes ma'am." Rachel said, closing her book and placing it on the coffee table.
"Cut it out with the yes ma'am thing. I only want too and expect to hear it when you are in trouble. Other than that, mom is fine. Or Shelby." She quickly added.
"Okay." Rachel said.
"So." Shelby said, pulling out the ingredients needed to make a grilled chicken salad for her and a regular salad for Rachel, along with some chicken nuggets for Beth. "Are you rejoining glee?"
"I don't know." Rachel softly said.
"What do you mean you don't know?" Shelby asked, turning around to look at her daughter. "Rachel, you love glee."
"Do I?" Rachel questioned and Shelby took it as a slam against her.
"Look, I know I don't know that much about you but it's very clear that you love to be on stage." Shelby defended.
"I didn't mean it as anything against you." Rachel said. "It was a question I was asking myself."
"What do you mean?" Shelby asked, getting the salad dressings from the fridge and placing them on the counter.
"It's nothing." Rachel settled.
"Talk to me, Rach." Shelby gently pleaded.
"I know they didn't mean any harm." Rachel started. "And I really loved to sing and dance as a kid."
"But, when I started winning all the trophies and medals and awards, they began pushing me more. I was attending three different dance classes, doing voice lessons several times a week, and was constantly having to do competitions. Then when I joined glee, it was suppose to be fun and at first it was. I just wish my dads didn't turn it into a job. For a long time now, I've been wondering if I am still in glee because I like it or because it's what pleases my fathers."
"You know what I think?" Shelby said, walking into the livingroom to collect Beth. As she was putting Beth in her high chair, Shelby continued to talk. "I think during your suspension, since that means you're banned from glee for the week, you take this time to figure out if you miss it because you love it or you miss it because that's what your dads expect you too. If you truly miss it, go back. If not, find something else to do. NYADA will still be an option but you really need to do what you want. In terms of glee that is."
"I don't think my dads will agree with you."
"So what?" Shelby shrugged. "Rachel I love you for you and not your talent."
A small smile spread across Rachel's face and she began eating. She took a few bites and set her fork down. This time she really did have a headache and wasn't faking. Shelby's brows furrowed as she watched Rachel scrunch her eyes close and a tiny hand reached up to rub her temples. Shelby got Beth settled with some food and stood up to get some medicine for Rachel. The girl took the pills without any qualms and ate a few more bites of her salad.
"I can't eat anymore." Rachel pouted, pushing her plate away. It might have been only a simple salad but for some reason when Shelby made it, it tasted better than when she made a salad just like it.
"Your head making your belly hurt?"
"Yeah." Rachel whimpered.
"How about you take a nap and see if that helps?"
"Why not?" Shelby asked covering Rachel's bowl with Saran Wrap in case she wanted to eat later.
"I can't sleep in the middle of the day."
"You slept fine yesterday afternoon." Shelby said.
"That was different, I was worn out." She blushed. Shelby chuckled and walked over to stand next to Rachel. "Maybe if you,- nevermind."
"Maybe if I what?" Shelby softly asked.
"Could you hold me? Like you did?" Rachel whispered.
Shelby smiled down at her little girl. The once stubbornly defiant teen now looked like a small child wanting her mommy. Shelby got Beth from her high chair and washed her hands and face, telling her to find her toys in the livingroom. Beth wandered off and Shelby turned back to Rachel, taking her hand. Using the same wash cloth she did on Beth, Shelby washed a spot of dressing off Rachel's chin and then walked her into the livingroom. Sitting in the recliner, Shelbh pulled Rachel into her lap and held her close.
"Try to go to sleep." Shelby whispered, rocking the chair with her feet.
"Thanks Shelby. For everything." Rachel said, tucking herself into Shelby. "Imma try harder to be a better daughter; the kind you want."
"Oh Rachel." Tears pricked Shelby's eyes and she held Rachel tighter. "You are the daughter I want. I just didn't think I could have you, and I was so wrong."
"But I'm not the baby you wanted. I'm a teenager and I'm almost an adult."
"I wanted you no matter what age you were. It's just, I missed sixteen years of bonding and thought we'd have to spend another sixteen years getting that back. I can't have the little you back and I've been trying to accept that so I don't miss out on anymore time with you."
"What if-what if there was a way you could have the little me back?"
"It's impossible." Shelby said, lightening her grip on Rachel.
"True but what if there was an alternative?" Rachel asked, playing with her fingers.
"What do you mean?"
Rachel bit her lip and reached into her pocketed skirt, wrapping her hand around the pacifier, pulling it out. She held it out to Shelby and the woman took it. Shelby looked at the pacifier and looked down at Rachel, who looked down in embarrassment.
"I've been trying to accept not having you in my life. Since I was a little girl I had fantasies about having you. At all the school music programs, I'd imagine that one of the women in the audience was my mom. When she'd clap, it was towards me. Or I when I couldn't sleep, you would rock me and sing me to sleep. When I'd get hurt at school, it wasn't the nurse fixing me up, it was you. I just want a taste of what it's like to be your baby. Last night wasn't enough. I liked it but it wast enough."
Shelby didn't say anything and Rachel grew extremely embarrassed. She got off of Shelby's lap and into Shelby's room, shutting the door and collapsing on the bed. Rachel buried her head into the pillows, feeling stupid for asking Shelby to treat her like a baby. She thought it would be the perfect solution for the two of them missing out time together.
"I really can't stand when you walk away from me when we are talking." Shelby said, sitting on the bed with Beth in her lap.
"It was a stupid idea." Rachel mumbled into the pillows but Shelby caught most of what she said.
"Well had you not walked away, you'd know that I like the sound of the idea." Shelby said, Rachel lifted her head and looked at her mom. "There's going to be some rules though to make this work."
"Okay." Rachel quietly said.
"First, no big girl sentences. You need to talk like a small child would. Second, when we are doing this, you need to wear a diaper and if you need to go to the bathroom, you have to go in your diaper and I will change you. Thirdly, you have to call me either mommy or momma. I understand that you aren't ready to call me mom yet as a teenager but as a little child you need too. Okay?"
"Alright." Rachel agreed to after a few moments of thinking.
"Would you like to start today or this weekend?"
"Can we do it today?" Rachel asked.
"Sure." Shelby smiled.
Beth was placed on the bed and Rachel was instructed to lie on her back. Rachel klaus back and Shelby grabbed the diaper from the night before, setting it next to Rachel but out of Beth's reach. Rachel's skirt was pulled off her body and folded on the nightstand and her cotton panties went next. Rachel blushed as Shelby diapered her and blushed even more as Shelby removed her shirt and bra. Shelby ignore Rachel's embarrassed look and went to her dresser, pulling out her Barbra Streisand t-shirt, slipping it over Rachel's head.
Rachel looked down at the shirt and smiled up at her mom. Shelby knew it would help Rachel get more comfortable. Shelby settled Rachel on her hip and got Beth on her other hip, carrying them out to the livingroom and setting them on the floor with some toys.
"You two play nicely while mommy cleans up the kitchen." Shelby turned on Sesame Street and went into the kitchen.
Rachel watched Beth play and copied her, putting the small plastic balls in the maze and watching them roll through the elephant shaped toy. Beth squealed as the elephant blew the multicolored balls out of its trunk. Rachel mimicked Beth and clapped her hands childishly.
After a few more rounds with the elephant, Beth got bored mind moved on to another toy. Rachel continued to play with the elephant and occasionally glanced up at Shelby to make sure the woman was still around. Shelby caught Rachel's eyes several times and smiled at her, reassuring her that she was doing a great job.
Rachel noticed what was now claimed to be her pacifier sitting on the counter top beside Shelby. She wasn't sure if she was allowed to walk or not so Rachel crawled her way into the kitchen and over to her mom. She got on her knees and reached her arm up to get her pacifier.
Shelby currently had her back to Rachel and turned around to collect the rest of the dishes. Rachel's hand was just inches from the sharp knife Shelby had used to cut up the cooked chicken and vegetables.
"Rachel!" Shelby exclaimed. She dashed over to the girl and took a hold of the girl's tiny wrist. She smacked Rachel's hand lightly. "No! You do not touch the counters."
"Binkey." Rachel whimpered.
Shelby handed the girl her pacifier and carried her into the livingroom, sitting her on the floor. Beth looked over at her big sister, almost a laughing at the girl for thinking going into the kitchen was a good idea. Beth knew better.
"Momma." Rachel cried out. Shelby was suppose to be holding her so she could nap.
"One second Rachel." Shelby said, finishing up stacking the dishes in the dishwasher. All she had left was to wash the counters and Beth's high chair.
"Momma!" Rachel shouted, cringing as she did so.
"Rachel you need to stop." Shelby sternly said.
"Momma! Momma!" Rachel bellowed, throwing a plastic ball at the wall. It hit a framed picture enough to knock it off center. She tensed up, hoping it wouldn't fall and sighed with relief.
"Rachel Barbra!" Shelby shouted, making Rachel tense up again. "You do not throw toys!"
"Hold me." Rachel demanded.
"That's not how we ask for things. You need to say please."
"Hold me!" Rachel pouted. "You hold me."
"Rachel stop this tantrum right now." Shelby placed her hands on her hip.
"You say you hold me for nap." Rachel growled.
"That doesn't mean you act this way." Shelby said. "You need to remind mommy nicely."
"No! You hold me." Rachel began kicking her feet.
"Rachel, you're going to go on time out if you don't stop."
"Hold me! Hold me!" Rachel said, adding flailing arms.
Shelby marched over to Rachel, standing the girl up. She swatted Rachel's backside twice, effectively ending the tantrum. Once she had Rachel's attention, she walked the girl to an open corner of the room.
"You stay right here and face the corner until I get you out. And when I come back I expect to hear an apology."
"Hold me." Rachel whispered, wiping the tears that came from being spanked.
"Mommy will hold you after you say you're sorry. " Shelby calmly said.
Shelby returned to the kitchen and washed the counter and started the dishwasher. She poured Beth a sippy full of apple juice and filled one of Beth's old bottles with soy milk she liked to give Beth, for Rachel.
Beth happily took her juice and laid on the couch to finish the episode of Sesame Street. Shelby heated up Rachel's bottle and placed it beside the recliner before going over to Rachel.
"Do you have anything to say to mommy?"
"I sorry. I not yell at you again." Rachel's eyes widened, giving her mom a puppy dog look.
"Good girl." Shelby said, hugging Rachel. "Do you want momma to hold you now?"
"Yes pwease." Rachel nodded.
Shelby stood up, still hugging Rachel and sat them both down. Rachel laid her head in the crook of Shelby's arm and accepted the nipple of the bottle Shelby held to her lips.
Rachel gazed up at her mother with sparkling eyes. Shelby smiled down at Rachel, wishing she had a free hand to caress Rachel's cheek.
The soothing rocking, light hums from Shelby, and the calm steady sucking of the bottle, made Rachel sleepy. Shelby placed the empty bottle to the side and continued to rock Rachel.
The sleepy little girl, sleepily played with the delicate beading on Shelby's blouse. The mom smiled as Rachel's hand went limp, falling flatly on Shelby's chest as Rachel finally passed out.
She carried Rachel into the master bedroom, covering the girl with her blanket and slipping the pacifier into Rachel's mouth.
"Sleep well, Love." Shelby kissed her forehead.
She couldn't wait for Rachel to wake up so they could continue their bonding game.