A/N: Hello again everyone. I just wanted to give you a heads-up that Rachel's interview with the detective will take place in Chapter 13, as I know some of you were expecting it to happen in this chapter. Also, I know some of you expressed that you wanted to read the interview from Rachel's POV, but I am sticking to Santana's throughout. That was my original plan, and it is what I most wanted and continue to want to focus on, but no worries. You will still get the full account of what Rachel remembers and will be given a very good idea of what is going on in her head.
I hope you enjoy this chapter, and thank you to all who continue to favorite and follow this story and especially to all of you who review. I truly appreciate it. XO-Chrmdpoet
Chapter Twelve: The Heart Yearns
I jolted awake as violent, bloodcurdling screams ripped through the loft, my heart already racing in my chest. Terror screamed in every fucking cell of my body as I leapt up from my bed and sprinted in the direction of Rachel's bedroom. I nearly slammed into Kurt as he got there at the same time as me, but I just steadied myself and pushed past him in order to get to Rachel. It was all I cared about in the moment, just getting to Rachel.
As soon as I saw her, the fear ripping through my veins lessened as I saw her thrashing in her bed, punching into the air and screaming for her life. That fear was replaced by sorrow as I realized that she wasn't in danger, but she was hurt, on the inside anyway. She was in constant pain and constant fear, even in her dreams. I could only imagine what she was dreaming about, the horrid images that were most likely haunting her mind as she struggled against her sheets and blankets. I quickly closed the distance to her bed, crawling in and wrapping myself around her.
She thrashed and pushed at me, but I only held her tighter, trying to still her body while talking in her ear, doing my best to soothe her, to remind her that she wasn't in danger. I just wanted her to wake the hell up and realize that she was okay, that I had her, and that I wasn't going to let go.
"Wake up, Rachel," I said over and over again in her ear. "Wake up. You're okay." No matter how many times I said it, though, she wouldn't wake. She was trapped in the horror of her dream which, if I had to guess, was more of a memory in that moment, and it only made my heart break more for her. I was afraid that if I couldn't wake her up or calm her down, she would rip her stitches or hurt herself, and I didn't want that to happen. I had to wake her up.
"Please!" She screamed. "Please let me go!" I glanced over to the doorway where the moonlight from the windows had casted a soft glow and I could see Kurt standing there. His eyes were wide, a hand lifted to cover his mouth, and tears streaked down his cheeks. He seemed paralyzed in that moment, unable to do anything but stare, and so I knew that he would be of no help to me.
"Fuck!" I yelled as one of Rachel's arms broke free of my hold and she landed a hard right hook to my jaw. "Son of a bitch, that hurt!" I could practically feel the bruise already growing on the side of my face and tasted blood on the inside of my cheek, but I didn't let go of Rachel. I just kept holding her, trying desperately to wake her up, but finally, I just opened my mouth and yelled as loud as I could right into her ear.
"RACHEL!" I screamed, my lips mere inches from her face. "WAKE UP!"
Suddenly, Rachel jolted awake, her deep brown eyes wide and full of terror and her body still thrashing as she floated between the dream still haunting her mind and the reality that she was slowly returning to. I continued to talk into her ear in the most soothing voice I could manage, but I made sure to lift up a bit so that she could clearly see my face in the moonlight, and after a few minutes of staring into me while I reminded her that it was only me and that she was safe, she finally began to calm down. Her fists stopped thrashing and her body relaxed into me and within seconds, she dissolved into tears, turning and sobbing into my chest.
"I've got you," I whispered to her, doing my best to rock her back and forth without moving her too much considering I didn't know how much damage she may have caused to her incisions and wounds, and I didn't want to cause any more. "It was just a nightmare, Rachel. You're safe. I promise you're safe."
I turned a bit, my chin resting atop Rachel's head as she continued to sob into my chest, and looked to see that Kurt still standing motionless in the doorway. "Kurt," I said softly and I had to repeat his names several times before he finally snapped out of his daze and looked at me. When he did, I quietly asked, "Could you grab a bottle of water from the kitchen?" He nodded and after another minute of just staring, he finally turned and headed for the kitchen.
When Kurt returned with the water, I noticed that his hand was shaking as he reached out to hand it to me. "Hey," I said softly until he locked eyes with me and I could see the fear and heartbreak in his eyes which only made my own intensify. I didn't know when I became the person to comfort everyone else, but I just felt like it was my responsibility in that moment. I'm not sure why, but it just seemed like that was what I should do, so I whispered, "She's okay." He stared into me for a long moment, his entire body shaking and tears still streaming down his porcelain cheeks. "Kurt, she's okay," I repeated, and finally he nodded before lifting a hand to wipe his cheeks.
"What can I do?" he asked me quietly, but I just shook my head and told him, "I can take it from here. Go back to bed."
"Are you sure?" he asked, and I just nodded and turned back to Rachel as I heard him shuffle from Rachel's room and back to his own.
It took some coaxing, but I finally got Rachel to sit up to the best of her ability and drink some water. She downed nearly the entire bottle before handing it back to me and curling back into my chest. I sat the bottle on the floor and though I hated to make her move any more than necessary, and I really wanted her to get some actual peaceful sleep, I still needed to check her incisions to make sure she hadn't ripped any stitches or anything. So, I pushed her head back a bit and brushed the hair from her face before I said, "Rachel, I need to check to make sure you didn't bust a stitch. Is that okay?"
She nodded without saying anything, so I slipped slowly from her bed and heard her whimper as I moved away from her. I quickly crossed the room to flick on the light before crawling back onto the bed and carefully removing her shirt. There wasn't any visible blood soaking through her bandages so that was definitely a good sign, but I had to be sure, so I carefully pulled away each of the bandages from her abdomen and shoulder so that I could clearly see her incisions and wounds. They looked a little red, but her stitches seemed to all still be intact. I breathed a sigh of relief before jumping back up to grab all the supplies I'd need to redress her wounds. I used the spray and salve that the nurses had given Rachel to put on her incisions before putting on new bandages and helping Rachel back into her shirt.
"Are you in pain?" I asked her and, again, she didn't say anything. She just nodded while keeping her eyes fixated on me, though I wasn't really sure where she was looking. I guess she just needed to visually remind herself that it was only me and that she was truly safe. I moved from the bed again to grab her pain medicine before giving her one massive pill that I figured had to be seriously difficult to swallow and the last bit of water left in the bottle. She took it quickly but still said nothing and I was starting to worry that something was seriously wrong…or maybe she was just too, I don't know, traumatized, maybe, by the dream she'd had. I just wanted her to be okay. I wanted her to talk to me, but I wasn't going to push.
I flicked the light off again and crawled into bed with her, pulling her close to me and wrapping my arms around her body, making sure to watch their placement so as to avoid settling any of my weight on her wounds or on her ribs. She relaxed into me and after a long while of silence but for the sounds of her breathing, I was pretty sure she had fallen asleep again, but just as I was about to close my own eyes and try to get some rest, her tiny voice whispered to me in the dark.
"He was here," she said softly, a crack audible even in her whisper. My heart hammered in my chest irrationally at her words because I knew that her attacker hadn't really been in the loft. It had only been a dream, albeit an extremely vivid dream if Rachel's reaction to it was any indication, but even knowing that didn't stop the fear from creeping into my heart and staying there for the rest of the night. I did my best to soothe her, though.
"No, Rachel," I whispered to her, pressing a soft kiss to her cheek. "He wasn't here." I lifted my hand and pressed the tip of my index finger to her temple, saying, "He was only in here. Just in your head. I promise you're safe."
She whimpered and the sound nearly brought me to tears, but then she dug a hand into my chest and quietly asked, "You'll stay with me?" And at that, I couldn't help the tears falling. They spilled silently over my eyelids and slid down my cheeks and all I could think in that moment was thank god for the dark. I didn't want Rachel to see me crying. She needed me to be strong for her, and that's exactly what I intended on being.
"I'll stay with you," I told her, pressing another kiss to her cheek before settling further into the side of her body until we were both comfortably resting together. Just as I was about to drift off to sleep, I heard her whisper to me again, and my heart swelled in my chest, because, well….it was just so Rachel.
"Will you sing to me?" she asked me in a shaky whisper. I didn't even bother answering her. I just started singing, because in that moment, there wasn't a damn thing that I would deny that girl. I sang the first song that came to mind, which just so happened to be a song that I knew Rachel would appreciate given her extreme love of musicals. So, as the darkness settled around us with only thin strips of moonlight streaming in through the window and our bodies pressed snugly together, I held tightly to Rachel and let my voice fill her ears and fill the air, until it felt like it had somehow enveloped the world.
Without you, the ground thaws,
The rain falls, the grass grows.
Without you, the seeds root,
The flowers bloom, the children play.
The stars gleam, the poets dream, the eagles fly.
The earth turns, the sun burns,
But I die without you.
I could feel Rachel's tears as they dripped down the side of her face and onto the skin of my arm that I had settled just beneath her head, and it only made me want to hold her closer, tighter. It only made me want to sing to her as if singing to her was what I was made for. I didn't understand the depth of my feelings in that moment, but I did understand that they were real, and that they weren't going anywhere any time soon.
Without you, the breeze warms,
The girl smiles, the cloud moves.
Without you, the tides change,
The boys run, the oceans crash.
The crowds roar, the days soar, the babies cry.
The moon glows, the river flows,
But I die without you.
Just as I moved through the end of the second verse, I felt Rachel turn gently in my arms so that her face was now only inches from mine and I could feel her soft breaths on my lips. I expected to see her eyes closed and her breathing deep signifying that she had fallen back asleep, but instead, her eyes were open. The deep chocolate of her gaze bore into me as I continued to sing, and I honestly have no idea how I managed it, because I could hardly breathe with the way she was looking at me.
The world revives, colors renew,
But I know blue, only blue, lonely blue.
Within me, blue.
Without you, the hand gropes,
The ear hears, the pulse beats.
Without you, the eyes gaze,
The legs walk, the lungs breathe.
The mind churns, the heart yearns, the tears dry.
Life goes on, but I'm gone,
'cause I die without you, without you, without you…
As I finished the song, my eyes still locked onto Rachel's, a few tears slipped down the bridge of my nose and dripped onto our shared pillow in the small amount of space between our faces. Rachel's fingers were warm to the touch as she reached up a hand a gently wiped the trail of wetness from my nose, and then, before I could even realize what was happening, her soft, full lips just barely brushed against mine. It was a kiss so similar to the one she'd given me at the hospital, a kiss so brief and so soft that I wasn't entirely sure that it had happened at all, that I hadn't actually just dreamed it, but I definitely felt it. I felt it in every part of me as if it somehow sank right into my soul.
No one had ever kissed me like that, not even Brittany, and it was then that I realized, that I somehow just knew, that Rachel Barbra Berry completely owned my heart.
"Thank you," she whispered even more softly than she had kissed me, so that it barely left her tongue before dying sweetly on the air.
I swallowed thickly as my heart thudded in my chest. "Goodnight Rachel."
A/N 2: The song incorporated was "Without You" from the Broadway Musical Rent. I own nothing.