This one follows season 4 as I best remember it, so sorry for any mistakes in the timeline.
Summary: Slight AU, takes place sometime after Feud. Rachel has been suspicious of Santana ever since they got back from Mr. Shue's wedding, but after Kurt refuses to conspire with her to get to the bottom of whatever is making their roommate so happy, she decides to let it go. Until one night she comes home and her suspicions are confirmed.
Trigger Warning (apparently): Brochel with mentions of Finchel. Since I was flamed a few times for including these, let me explain: I can't stand Brochel or Finchel, but I'm following season 4 with a few modifications. Even though these relationships were poorly handled by the writers, in my opinion, they are still important for Rachel's character development, which is why I included them.
"It can't just be me, Kurt. Santana has been acting strange ever since Mr. Schue's wedding," I whisper, well, I whisper as best as a person trained in the dramatic arts can whisper. It's more of a stage whisper, and we both know it. Thank God Kurt always has a flare for the dramatic that he can't turn off either because if he were anyone else right now they would have rolled their eyes at me, and I don't think I would be able to handle something like that today.
"Rachel, maybe she's finally just getting settled, and doesn't feel the need to be so defensive. People are allowed to relax every once in a while. Just because you're like a neurotic purse dog on crack doesn't mean we all have to be," he says, and I give him a little glare. He's been spending too much time with her, and the insults fall out of his mouth like nonorganic coffee grounds that was probably picked and processed by children from a third world country.
"It isn't just in my head. Did you know it's been four days since she's complained about me singing show tunes before ten am, and she hasn't commented on my shelf in the refrigerator at all since we got back, and she hasn't made fun of my looks or my new clothes in three days, ok? Something has definitely changed, and I don't think it's her finally getting comfortable with living in this city," I tell him, and I'm trying to be quiet because Santana could come home from one of her jobs at any minute and I really don't want her to overhear this conversation and take it the wrong way.
It's not that I'm not happy for Santana because I am. I'm happy that she's finally starting to warm up to living here. I'm glad that she isn't insulting me every chance she gets, and she doesn't seem to care that my dietary requirements can be very limiting and a little complicated at times, especially since the amount of money that goes into buying my food is more than their weekly grocery allowance. But what I can't figure out is why. Why is Santana being so nice to us after all this time? Why is she suddenly so calm, and cool about everything? Why does she walk around with a little smirk on her face like she has some big secret that's constantly on her mind, but she won't tell anyone?
I know that look. I used to walk around with that look on my face after Finn and I slept together but I tried to keep the code of the bedroom. I tried as hard as I could not to tell anyone about Finn and I's consummation of our relationship, but I had to tell someone. I couldn't really tell Kurt since he and Finn are step-brothers, and love each other like brothers. I couldn't really tell Quinn about it since I have a feeling the love triangle that was between us for so long still stings her even if she isn't willing to admit it. So I ended up talking with Tina about it. She was the one who encouraged me to be with Finn if the time felt right, and our hearts were in it, and she promised not to gossip about it, and she kept that promise.
But why is Santana walking around on figurative clouds? Brittany is still with Sam, they were together all night at the wedding-that-wasn't reception, and there's absolutely no way she could have met someone here to be happy to be back with. She spends all of her time working, and when she isn't working she's digging into my love life with Brody, and when she isn't doing that she's on her phone. I know that sounds like I'm missing an obvious observation. In this day and age if Santana had met someone she would text or talk with them all the time, but I did a little snooping of my own, and there were only eight numbers on her phone: mine, Kurt's, her mother's, her three jobs, and Quinn's.
"Rachel, will you please just let this go? Yes, it's a little weird that Santana is being so nice, especially to you since lately you've been a little extra diva-ish, and you've been attacking her as much as she used to attack you, but that none of this is an excuse to pry into her life. We should respect her privacy, and if she's ready to tell us about anything then she'll tell us," he says, and my eyebrows raise in surprise. He isn't making eye contact anymore, and that's a clear sign that there's something he's not telling me. And now he's picking at his cuticles, he only does that when he's feeling guilty about something. Why would Kurt be feeling guilty?
"Oh my god," I say, and my whole body tenses. Why didn't I see it before? It was practically written all over his perfectly exfoliated face! "You slept with Blaine at Mr. Schue's wedding?" It's a question but I worded it like a statement. He doesn't need to say a damn thing for me to know the truth. He immediately gets up from the table and puts his bowl of cereal in the sink. He won't make eye contact and he looks really tense. On a side note, we really need to do some grocery shopping if he's eating off brand Lucky Charms for dinner.
"Kurt, are you going to tell Adam?" I ask, and my voice sounds sympathetic. I have no room to judge him for letting the romantic atmosphere of the reception go to his head...and other parts. I slept with Finn, after all, and I haven't been exactly forthcoming to Brody about it. Yes, our relationship is technically open, but I know he would have a problem with me sleeping with Finn just because of all the emotional baggage that would usually come with it.
"No, I'm not," he says and he finally turns around and looks at me. His eyes are turning red and there's tears swelling up in them. His nose and ears are also starting to turn pink like they always do when he's upset. I know it would be totally inappropriate to point out how cute it looks, so I'll just keep that thought to myself. "And I would appreciate it if you didn't tell him. Things are going so great with us, and I don't want to ruin everything because of one little mistake."
I jump up from my chair and throw my arms around him in a big hug. It takes him a couple of seconds, but he wraps his arms around my back and squeezes like his life depends on it. I can practically feel the weight of his guilt, and confusion, and I tear up a little too. I've felt so alone too, and I never thought I would say this but if it wasn't for Santana's support I probably would have packed my bags and gone back to Lima to cry in my daddies' arms, and let them think the city was just too much for me to handle. And speaking of which, I almost forgot.
"Don't think that you can distract me from everything else with your sad tale, Kurt Hummel," I say through a sniffle, and laugh a little. He laughs too, and we break apart. I keep my hand on his arm, though, because just this little bit of contact does feel really comforting. I think I'm going to start snuggling with him while we watch television or movies because if just this little gesture is making me feel better than I've been depriving myself of human contact too much lately. "Something is going on around this apartment, and I want to know what." He rolls his eyes, but the smile on his face lets me know he's just teasing.
"Rachel, if Santana has managed to find some small scrap of happiness after everything that's happened between her and Brittany, why are you so desperate to figure it out? If she isn't ready to tell us about it then we shouldn't pry. Look how crazy she's making you with all of her comments about Brody," he says, and I can't help but sigh. He's right, I know he's right, but that doesn't mean I have to admit that out loud. For a while I was perfectly happy with Brody, then everything happened with Finn at the wedding, and now it does feel a little tainted. But that doesn't mean Santana's rude comments and suspicions are any less annoying and rude.
"Ok, ok, I'll back off. But something is definitely going on, can we at least agree on that?" I ask, and he nods his head. See, I told you I was right. Santana is up to something. It seems like the only time Santana is ever happy is when she's up to no good. I may have peeked at her phone to see who she's been calling and texting, but I didn't read any of her texts with Quinn. I do have some respect for her privacy, though I don't know why I bother. She's torn through this apartment snooping through our things so many times that it would even the score a little.
"Alright, well, I'm meeting up with Adam at that little art revival theater, and I don't know when I'll be back so don't wait up," he says as he walks over to the fridge and grabs a bottle of water. He gives me a peck on the cheek as he grabs his shoulder bag, and heads for the door. When he's almost there, he turns around and gives me a very poignant look. "And Rachel, don't snoop through Santana's things. She'll know, and I don't feel like dealing with the blood stains when she rips your eyes out for finding her porn stash, or whatever it is she keeps under her bed." I roll my eyes at his dramatics, and agree to mind my own business. Why does being a good person have to be so hard sometimes?
I never thought that I would say this, even to myself, but being on a stage can be so exhausting sometimes. I got the lead in a workshop for school, but instead of working on it in class like a normal school would, the rehearsals are at seven at night. Between classes at NYADA, rehearsing for the workshop, and trying to maintain a somewhat normal relationship with Brody, I'm feeling a little run down. We haven't been spending as much time together, which is making me feel very lonely, and after everything that happened with Finn, I don't know how much more guy drama I can take.
Maybe I should call things off with him, and follow through with being an independent woman and focus on my studies instead of trying to wrap my head around everything else. I mean, I never thought I would be the kind of girl who has a pregnancy scare this early on in life. My dads suggested that I go on hormonal birth control as soon as I hit puberty, and once they explained why I didn't hesitate. Plus I've never had sex without a condom just to be safe. It isn't just that, though. Not only did I think I was pregnant, I also wasn't sure who the father was.
Not that there's anything wrong with having multiple partners, if that's what makes you happy, and everyone is a consensual adult then the more power to you. But I've always seen myself as a one man kind of woman, even if what Brody and I have isn't exclusive. It isn't like I went out with anyone else or fooled around with anyone else until Mr. Schue's not-a-wedding. Being with Finn again, even if I tried to pretend that it was just for old time's sake, and it didn't mean anything, it's sparked something in me that I didn't realize was even there.
I want to be in an exclusive relationship, and go on dates, and be treated like a princess. Not that Finn ever treated me like a princess. In hindsight, I don't even think that meat he cooked for me on the night we almost slept together for the first time was actually substitute. Finn didn't even know what vegan was until I explained it to him, and since it wasn't important to him he never really paid too much attention to the difference. But he was my first real love, and he'll always hold a special place in my heart. Even if he doesn't understand the importance of buying organic or the evils of factory farms.
I'm not saying that I necessarily want to break things off with Brody. Brody is sweet, and he understands why I'm working so hard to be on Broadway because he has the same dreams as I do. He just isn't conceded like Jesse was. Just because we don't have exactly what I want doesn't mean it can't work, at least not for now. The sex is amazing, and he always holds me and talks to me afterwards, not just before or during. He cares, and even if it doesn't show it in a traditional, romantic comedy kind of way doesn't make it any less important.
I let out a huge groan as soon as I see the door to the loft. I cannot wait to peel off these stylish yet completely uncomfortable boots, change into some sweats, and pass out while watching Kurt's DVDs of I Love Lucy. Is it sad that I'm only nineteen and staying in and watching an old black and white show sounds like heaven? Then again when have I ever really acted my age, except for the boy craziness of high school? I just want to be able to change into some comfortable clothes, maybe open up one of the bottles on wine hidden under the sink, and curl up on the couch and forget about my problems. Is that really so much to ask?
Apparently it is. When I open the door and walk into the loft, I can't help but notice the mess in the kitchen. There's dishes from where two people obviously had dinner together, and there's a candle in the middle of the table. What makes me groan a little in frustration is the fact that there are two empty bottles of wine sitting on the counter. Two was the exact number of bottles of wine that we had under the sink, which means I'm going to be relaxing tonight without a glass. That makes me sound like an alcoholic, but I'm not. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it will help me fall asleep, and it would really help numb the blisters on my feet from these stupid boots, but I guess I'll take a nice, long bath instead.
I shut the door as quietly as I can because this headache is going nowhere anytime soon, but there's really no way to be quiet when closing a giant metal door that's probably only a year from falling off it's hinges and killing whoever is standing near it. Great, now I'm going to have bad dreams tonight about that. Why did I have to think that? Ok, Rachel, just because you had a stressful and tiring day doesn't mean you have to be a Debby Downer. Just because Kurt and Santana drank all the wine, and already had dinner without you doesn't mean anything. They probably put some leftovers in the fridge for me so I won't have to cook because otherwise I'll be going to bed hungry tonight.
I set my bag down next to the coat rack that Kurt found at a flea market last weekend, then take off my scarf, and coat. They may not do too much on keeping the cold out, but at least they look really cute, and I've never really been able to say that about my clothes before. I never wanted to admit it in high school but I wore such awful clothes mostly because I didn't know any better, I was too proud to ask anyone for help, but mostly it was because I didn't see the point of buying nice clothes if they were just going to be ruined by red dye forty when one of the athletes or cheerleaders decided to give me a slushy facial. But those days are behind me, and I've even caught Santana checking me out a couple of times.
I'm about half way to the kitchen to check and see if they saved me any dinner when I hear something odd. It makes me freeze, and my ears feel like they're burning as they strain to listen to see if the noise will happen again. I don't hear exactly the same thing, but there's definitely something going on, and I have a feeling I know what it is. The first noise sounded like a moan, and now it sounds like people are kissing. Oh that's right, I forgot Kurt said he was going to stay at Adam's tonight, so he isn't here. That can only mean that Santana brought someone back to the loft, and now they're probably having sex. Ok, now I know how she feels whenever Brody stays over, and we have sex or do other intimate things. How am I supposed to relax, and fall asleep with a peaceful mind when Santana is getting laid only twenty feet from my bed? This night just went from bad to worse, but hopefully this means she's starting to get over Brittany. Even if this girl is only a rebound, it's better than Santana crying into her pillow when she thinks we can't hear her.
I have to admit, though, that if this is just a one night stand, Santana has gone all out. Not only did they have our wine, but she also cooked? Santana never cooks for us unless we agree to do her chores for a week. But then again, with the promise of sex I'm sure Santana would go above and beyond her normal limit of "domestication practices". And those are her words, not mine. I swear, she throws around all of these false feminist arguments just to get out of doing things around the apartment like cleaning and cooking, and doing the weekly grocery shopping. I do have to hand it to her, though, because I never thought she would be so well read on the subject.
Sure, Quinn always talked about stuff like that in high school, and she always had a book in her hand about feminism in a post modern world, plus the classics, but Santana would just roll her eyes. In fact, the only time I ever remember Santana caring at all about women's issues is when Brittany got involved with student government. Maybe seeing Brittany stand up for herself, and for all of the young women at McKinley sparked something in Santana and made her want to find out more on her own? I always knew that Brittany was good for Santana, I just never knew how much influence she really had on her. But none of us were ever friends, so there's no way I could have known the extent of it.
I check the fridge just in case, but there are no leftovers. Now that I know Kurt and Santana are not the ones who made dinner, and drank the wine without me, I'm not surprised or upset that there isn't anything for me. I'll just grab my bag of granola, put on my noise canceling headphones, and spend the night curled up in bed and try desperately not to wonder who Santana has in her bed. It isn't like I'm jealous, because I'm not. I may have thought about what it's like to be with a girl, but I've only ever been attracted to boys. I'm just curious who Santana went for post-Brittany. Is she blonde? Is she super tall? Does she have amazing legs? Or did she go for the opposite of her ex because the thought of being with someone anything like Brittany is too painful?
Ok, I really do need to mind my own business. Kurt and I had that little discussion two weeks ago, and I've done a fairly good job of staying out of Santana's way. I may have peeked at her phone a couple more times since then. I didn't read her texts, but I was curious to see who she's been talking to all the time, since she's still walking around the apartment with a smirk on her face that is driving me crazy. But it's still the same. She only texts with Quinn, and occasionally Kurt and I, and the only calls are from work, her mother, and Quinn. I honestly think she's sleeping with one of her coworkers but Kurt won't hear any of it. He doesn't want to indulge my crazy obsessive behavior, but I can tell he's curious too because Santana has been in a great mood for too long to not be seeing someone, even if she is only hooking up with them.
I grab my granola out of the cupboard, and head towards my section of the loft. I'm so glad we put up these privacy curtains instead of just having mattresses on the floor like most people do in this type of situation. Even if Santana is being relatively quiet, I really don't want to see the covers moving because of whatever it is they're doing, and God forbid if they were to slip off and I accidentally get an eye full. I'm pretty sure she would rip my eyes out if that were to happen. Then again, she is Santana, and she's never been shy about her body. Maybe she would take her time pulling the covers back over them, and even send me a perverted wink while she did so. Even just the thought of that makes my stomach turn.
At least I don't have to actually deal with that type of situation, and once I get my noise canceling headphones on I'll be able to just pretend that it isn't happening. I kind of can't wait until the morning to see who she brought home, though. Plus I'll be able to tease the hell out of her after all of things she's said about Brody. I'm sure if I even ask if they're dating Santana will blush she hard her ears will look like they're about to explode. Maybe I'm not such a good person after all since just the idea of teasing Santana about this is making me feel a thousand times better. Now all I need is sleep, and I'll be as good as new.
"Oh my god, Santana!" I scream when I pull back my curtain. From the posters on the wall, and the pink alarm clock on the table, I know that this is my bed. It's my bed, and she's under the covers with another girl, and since there are two sets of skirts, and tops, and shoes, and under...things I know that they're completely naked. My eyes get even wider when Santana's head pokes out from under my comforter and she has an annoyed look on her face.
"What the fuck, Berry? Get the hell out of my room," she says, and before I can even reply, she pulls the blanket back over her head. I hear someone giggle, and it doesn't sound like Santana. It does sound familiar, though, and it makes my eyebrows furrow for a second. But then the very distinct smacking sound that can only be created when kissing someone with too much tongue rings loudly through the small space, and I forget my confusion.
"This isn't your room, it's mine! How much did you drink tonight?" I scream, and her head pops up from under the covers again, and she looks around the room a little bit. I can tell by the look on her face that she's pretty confused, but the confusion goes away as soon as reality sets in. Instead of getting up, she starts laughing her loud laugh that only happens when she's drunk. The girl under her starts laughing too, and I swear I've heard that laugh before. It doesn't matter, though, because this is not ok. I kick the side of the mattress, and then stomp my foot. Ok, so I still stomp my foot sometimes. Some habits are easier to break than others.
"Get your floozy out of my bed right now!" I yell, and that makes the laughter stop almost immediately. She looks over at me with a scowl on her face, and if she weren't so drunk I would be intimidated. But drunk Santana has the coordination of a baby learning how to walk, so I know I would be able to out run her if she did try to attack me.
"Watch who you're calling a floozy, Miss Open Relationship," she slurs, and I can't help it, but her words do sting. I see a hand move under the covers, and then there's a loud smack to what I'm hoping was on the back of Santana's thigh and not her ass because that thought is a little too much for me to handle right now. "Ow! What the fuck?" She looks down at the girl under her, and I can see some blonde hair on my pillow. Ok, so I guess not all blondes remind her of Brittany. That would be a good thought if they weren't fucking in my bed.
"Don't be a jerk," the girl says, and a cold shiver runs down my spine. There's no way. There is no freaking way. I walk over to the bed and rip back the covers. Not enough to expose anything...private, but enough for me to see a face. My eyes go so wide that they actually hurt, like my muscles have to strain to keep them in their sockets, and my mouth falls open. Both of them let out loud shouts of "hey!" in surprise, but it barely registers in my mind. Pale hands wrap around the comforter and pull it tightly against Santana's back, but she doesn't try to cover up her face. So, I guess that means she's not ashamed?
"Quinn? What are you doing here? When did this happen? How long has this been going on?" I ask, and I didn't take a breath between any of those questions. They both look a little confused. Well, Quinn looks confused as she tries to process my words; Santana just looks annoyed. I'm assuming she's annoyed because I've interrupted what was a very intimate night with Quinn freaking Fabray.
"The first time was at the wedding," Quinn says and her words are just as slurred as Santana's. I can't say anything. With one sentence Quinn Fabray has rendered me completely speechless and it wasn't with some horrible insult, or threat of violence. While I'm just standing here like a mute, she gets a big, dopey grin on her face, and softly runs her fingers through Santana's hair. "The first two times, actually." Santana returns her smile, and she leans down and kisses her. Holy shit. Oh my God. They're not just hooking up. They actually have feelings for each other.
"I knew it!" I scream, and let out a little laugh. They break apart, and look over at me like I'm losing my mind because, who knows, maybe I am, and I can't freaking believe this is happening right now. "I knew you were acting different after the wedding, but Kurt said I was crazy, and that I should just wait for you to tell us, but now I don't have to wait because I know why you've been so happy lately! I'm not crazy! I can't wait to rub this in Kurt's face! This is amazing! You two are perfect for each other!" I start laughing again this time I can't stop, and they're still looking at me like I'm crazy.
"I'm so happy for you!" I scream, and what would probably be a move that is against a rational person's judgement, I lunge at them. I jump on the bed and wrap my arms as well as I can around both of them because I'm so happy, and tired and emotionally drained that I may have actually lost my mind a little bit, and I can't hold it back. Santana immediately tries to shrug me off, and Quinn looks like she's having trouble breathing.
"Get off me, Hobbit!" Santana yells, and Quinn winces because her face is right there, and that must have hurt her ears. I give Santana an extra squeeze before hopping off my bed. I'm going to ignore the hobbit comment for now because I don't want to spoil this mood. Instead I run over and grab my headphones, and my MP3 player, and a book to read because why not? Their eyes are on me the entire time, and Santana is definitely looking at me like I've lost my mind, and at this point I really can't blame her.
"Ok, so you can have my bed for the night, and I'll just sleep in yours," I say, and run back over to the opening of the curtain. I really don't want to see them get out of bed because even though my confidence has grown, seeing them naked, especially together, would kill whatever good feelings I have about my body. "Oh, and you're going to wash my bedding tomorrow, and you owe me breakfast every morning for a week. Have fun!"
I quickly slide the curtains closed, and head towards Santana's section of the apartment. When I'm about half way there, I can't help but smile when I hear, "So, exactly when were you planning on telling your roommates about us? Because I have a feeling one just found out." It's really nice to see that Quinn has a sense of humor about this, and hopefully it isn't just the alcohol that's making her so calm about everything because otherwise I'll have two former HBICs that want to kill me and hide my body. Maybe I'll just text Brody and see if I can stay at his place tonight despite that fact that I'm ready to end our relationship, it seems like a much better alternative to being murdered.