A/N: And here's a nice little chapter to bring this story to an end. I do plan on writing more in this series, but I'm not sure exactly when I'm going to do that. Maybe sooner instead of later since I have the worst writer's block ever in regards to my other fic Nocturnal. Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this story as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Please remember to review, and check out Nocturnal if you have some time to spare.
Rachel curled up on her bed, and pulled the covers over her head to try and block out the dreaded sun. It was eleven thirty in the morning, she had arrived back from New York yesterday, and refused to leave her room since. They lost Nationals, didn't even place in the top ten. None of the judges said it outright but everyone knew it was because of what Finn did. Finn kissed her on the National Stage, and they placed twelfth. And for reasons that she didn't really understand, everyone blamed it on her. Apparently Finn is exonerated for being such a good guy, and she's a little temptress who should have known not to stand anywhere near him because how is a boy with hormones supposed to control himself when the object of his desire is right in front of him?
She couldn't take the looks everyone had given her on the long bus ride home so she ended up at the very back of the bus, ear buds blasting sad songs the entire time as she tried not to cry. After a while, Quinn had sat down next to her, but neither one of them had said a word. She simply took Rachel by the hand, laid her head down on her shoulder, and fell asleep. She didn't know until Quinn did it, but it was exactly what she needed; physical comfort without the bullshit pleasantries. It helped calm her down until she got home, and she actually got a couple hours of sleep after a night spent tossing and turning and worrying all night.
And she felt refreshed and relaxed until she had to explain to her dads why they lost. Both of them wanted to kill Finn, even though she told them it wasn't entirely his fault. She did feel like a temptress. Finn said he just wanted to be her friend. He said he was over her, and that he was glad they were hanging out, but he promised he no longer had feelings for her. But she should have known he was just saying that so she would spend more time with him. She should have known when his hands would linger on her hips, or his stare wouldn't quite reach her eyes, or his mouth would hang out when she performed a dance move that showed off her body that he was still into her.
It doesn't freaking matter now, she thought and rolled over onto her other side. She had been lying still for so long that her hips were getting sore, and it felt painful just moving around. Maybe they're starting to atrophy. I feel like I'm dying so maybe it's starting to happen for real. Then I won't have to go to school in the fall and face all of the ridicule from everyone else. And how am I supposed to explain to the recruiters why we lost? 'I'm really talented and have been training for this all my life, sirs and madams, but my ex boyfriend lost control of his actions and kissed me in front of thousands of people, and that's why we lost. But our performance was perfect, other than that. Why yes, I can show myself out, thank you for your time', yeah, I don't really think that will go over so well.
She was pulled out of her thoughts by a soft knock on the bedroom door. "Daddy, I told you, I don't want to get up! Please, just let me wallow in my misery and leave me alone!" she yelled, and buried her face in her pillow. She pulled it up around her ears and let out a groan of frustration when she heard the door open anyway. Her eyes burned with fresh tears, and she bit her bottom lip to stop herself from sobbing. She could smell food, and fresh coffee and it made her way to vomit. She hadn't had anything to eat since returning home, and her appetite seemed to be on strike.
"Rise and shine, Berry," she heard someone say, and her eyebrows furrowed so tightly it caused a pain in her forehead. "I know you're awake, Berry, I can hear the sniffles. Come on, get up, we have to get you ready." She pulled the covers down just enough to free her head, and she rolled until she was looking at the intruder. Her whole body went numb with shock, and she blinked a couple of times to make sure she wasn't hallucinating. Even then she didn't trust her own eyes.
"Santana?" she said, her voice rough and scratchy sounding. The other girl set a tray down on the bed that was piled high with pancakes, slices of different kinds of fruit, toast with some kind of jelly, a glass of orange juice, pineapple juice, and two cups of coffee. "What are you doing here? How did you get in here? Why are you here?" Santana barely made eye contact with her at school, she always avoided her when they saw each other in public, so what she could possibly be doing here, delivering her breakfast and coffee, and acting like they were friends just didn't make any sense. Maybe she was abducted by aliens. That's the only thing that would explain this, she thought and sat up.
"I'm here to help you get ready. We're meeting Quinn and Brittany at the mall for some retail therapy. You're not the only one who's all mopey about losing Nationals," she said, and walked over to the other girl's closet. Rachel pulled the covers around herself like a shield as she watched Santana moving through her bedroom as if she had done this a million times before. She is so confident it's annoying, she thought, and shook her head a little. Ok, that's exactly what people have been telling me for years and I think I finally understand what they were talking about.
"I don't understand. Quinn hasn't called or text or anything. Why wouldn't she tell me that we're going shopping?" she asked, and ignored all of the less than flattering noises Santana was making while she went through the other girl's clothes. She finally pulled out something that she deemed suitable; a black v-neck sweater, and a red plaid skirt. It was an outfit Rachel bought special for one of her dates with Quinn. Seeing it now after ignoring it for over a month made her heart pound. If the other girl noticed her discomfort, she didn't let on as she went right back to Rachel's closet.
"Because she knew you wouldn't pick up your phone. So she sent me over here to get you," she said, and pulled out another top, and laid it at the foot of the bed with the others. "Come on, Berry, eat up, we don't have all day." She didn't wait for a response before she made her way to Rachel's dresser, and started looking through some of the drawers. She pulled them open slowly and simply peeked inside, as if she were expecting a venomous snake to be lurking about.
"That still doesn't make any sense. Quinn knows that if I wouldn't answer my phone all she has to do is come over. It's a little unfair that I'm almost incapable of saying no to her," she said, and brought her knees up to her chest. Santana quirked an eyebrow as she pulled out a pair of underwear and a bra, and tossed them onto the bed. Rachel blushed crimson, and glared down at her comforter. "Besides, she would have sent Brittany before she sent you because she knows how mean you can be about my clothes." Santana let out a huge sigh. Her shoulders seemed to deflate a little and she finally turned to face the girl. Rachel couldn't help but look up at the sudden change in her attitude. It only managed to confuse her more, and she remained silent as she waited for an explanation.
"Alright, look. Brittany isn't talking to me anymore," she said and glanced down at her feet, a look of what Rachel guessed was most likely shame flicked around her features before they returned to normal. "She thinks it's unfair that everyone is blaming the whole kissing thing on you, and she said she isn't going to talk to me until I apologize for yelling at you. Quinn thinks she's right, and she's not talking to me either. So, I'm sorry for threatening to kick your ass, and I'm sorry I made a voodoo doll that looks like you." She didn't sound very apologetic, but the fact that those words had left her mouth at all was some kind of world record.
Rachel sat there in stunned silence, her mouth slightly agape as her mind tried to process the words that were just thrown at her. Her eyebrows furrowed again, and she licked her dry lips as she watched Santana go back to her closet and start searching through her shoes. This can't be real, this has to be a dream. But it does make sense a little. Brittany is the only person who can ever really get Santana to do anything, and Quinn is her backup when Brittany can't or won't hang out with her. But why did Dad and Daddy let her in? I just want to go back to sleep.
"Come on, Rachel, your food is getting cold," Santana said, and pulled out a pair of boots that went perfect with the black sweater, red skirt outfit. It wasn't a coincidence. She had spent six months worth of allowance on them so her date night outfit would be perfect. It also wasn't a coincidence that when Quinn's hands began to wander Rachel didn't stop them. We were finally starting to really bond, to be connected in a way I've never been with anyone, and then I fucked it up. Just another thing to add to my list of failures, she thought, and wiped at the tears that swelled in her eyes.
"I said I was sorry for being a bitch, you don't have to get all weepy about it. I know you have this giant flare for the dramatic, but can we please skip the tears? I already ate and I would like to keep my food down," Santana said, and without warning, pulled the blankets back, exposing Rachel to the cool air of the room. She was in a tank top and sleep shorts, but she felt so raw and bare that she might as well have been completely nude.
"It's not that. It's just, I bought those clothes and those shoes special," she said, and wiped away the tears. She sniffled loudly, and tried as hard as she could to keep her bottom lip from quivering. "It was my fifth date with Quinn, and I wanted to feel sexy. I thought that maybe that night would have been the night we finally consummated our relationship, but I was too scared, and nervous. I don't think I can wear them today, not if I'm going to be around her." She heard Santana let out a big sigh, but she didn't look up at the other girl. She's probably annoyed right now. She doesn't understand why this is such a big deal. I bet she gave away her virginity just to get more popular. Ok, Rachel, being mean to Santana isn't going to make you feel better so don't be a bitch.
"Alright, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, but you have to promise not to tell anyone, ok? Quinn will kill me if she found out I told you," she said, and sat down at the foot of the bed. Rachel was able to get herself under control and stopped crying. Her ears strained as she waited for Santana to continue, even though she felt conflicted. She didn't want to betray Quinn's trust, not again, not after everything, but if Santana was willing to give her an olive branch and help her in the process should she really turn that down?
"Quinn is going to take you back. She just doesn't know it yet," she said, and held up her hand when Rachel opened her mouth to interrupt. She stayed quiet even though every fiber of her being wanted to protest. "As much as I hate to say it, you made her happy, happier than she's been in years, but she can't forgive you yet because she's still ashamed of herself. She doesn't like to be reminded that she's not perfect since she tries so damn hard to be the queen of everything. She isn't just upset about you bringing up Beth, she's pissed because you reminded her that she cheated, and way worse than you did. So she's going to take you back and you guys are going to be all puppies and rainbows and little baby kittens again. You just have to wait for her to get over herself a little bit, ok?"
"I just wish there was something I could do," she said and let out a frustrated sigh. "I've apologized, and I was sincere and she knows that I meant it. She knows that I would never do anything like that again. I've learned from my mistake and I'll never repeat that. Now we're going to try and be friends, but I honestly don't know if I'll be able to be around her, to have her so close but still feel like she's thousands of miles away. Do you think there's anything I could do?" She never thought in a million years she would be practically begging Santana for dating advice, and yet here she was in her pajamas with really bad bed head, and a puffy face with Santana sitting across from her looking perfect.
"Yeah, there is," she said, and Rachel unconsciously leaned closer to her. "You can get your ass out of bed, brush your teeth because your breath smells like a dragon's ass, and you can spend time with her. I know it's going to suck, ok? I had to be around Brittany and Artie while they were all over each other, and it cuts deep. But the only way to show her that you really want to be with her, is to put in the effort of being her friend. When things start to calm down again, then you can start pushing for more, but don't push too soon or you're going to scare her away."
Rachel nodded her head, and let out a little sigh. "Ok, I can do that." She got a little smile on her face, and the look in her eyes changed. It made something deep within Santana's gut clench and coil in an uncomfortable feeling. "Thank you, Santana. I know you're here against your will, but it means a lot that you're at least pretending to be my friend. I don't have any people I can turn to, and even though we've had our differences, you've been a big help. So, thank you." She watched with some amusement as Santana stood up, and walked over to the dresser and began looking through all of the trinkets she kept there. She was clearly uncomfortable and Rachel thought it was amazing how Santana the Bad Ass was suddenly Santana the Timid.
"Don't mention it. And hurry up, would you? We're supposed to meet them in thirty minutes, and I'm not going to miss out on spending time with my girl because you're a total fucking mess," she snapped, but Rachel just rolled her eyes. Santana the Timid always lashed out when she felt uncomfortable and out of her element, and anything to do with showing genuine emotions always ripped her out of her comfort zone. This is certainly going to be an interesting day, she thought as she pulled the tray towards her and began munching on her breakfast. I hope I make it through in one piece. I've never been shopping with the Unholy Trinity but if they're anything like Quinn by herself then I might not make it out alive.