A/N: Hello everyone. I wanted to ask that if you are able to, please log in before you review if you are going to ask me questions in your reviews. This is the only way that I can respond to your questions directly. I would appreciate it greatly!
For now, I wanted to address a specific guest review, which read: "Rachel has a classic case of 'damsel in distress' syndrome, Santana does know that right? She'd have pseudo-romantic feelings for whoever rescued her from the alley."
In response, I first want to say thank you for bringing this up. Secondly, I want to say that this effect does not happen with ALL cases like Rachel's, so it is not definite that that is the case at all. However, I will say that this very issue will be addressed in a later chapter, although that does not necessarily mean that Rachel is having such an experience. Great question, and thanks for posing it.
Alright, now on with the story. This is a more humorous chapter, and has much to do with Santana's internal reflections and concerns about her growing relationship with Rachel. Enjoy! XO-Chrmdpoet
Chapter Seventeen: The Letter "S"
It had been twenty-three days since Rachel was released from the hospital, and thankfully, she was actually doing pretty well, better than anyone had expected of her. We'd developed a nice, solid routine that worked for both Rachel and I—covering everything from dressing/undressing to showers/baths to eating to bathroom breaks to bedtime. We did practically everything together and in only twenty-three days, it was like the universe hit me with a damn shrink ray and my entire life narrowed to revolve around a small, solitary person—Rachel Barbra Berry. She, and our little routine, had become my whole world without me even realizing it. And that, of course, was just fucking nuts.
I mean, I guess it made sense. It was easy to lose yourself in something when it felt good and right, but it was even easier to do so when you literally had nothing else to distract you or demand your attention. I didn't have a job. I didn't go to school, and I wasn't in a relationship; unless, of course, you counted the strange symbiotic relationship that I had developed with Rachel (if I was remembering my biology lessons correctly. God, if people ever knew that I had actually paid attention in my classes in high school…). Or maybe it was more like a parasitic relationship, the only catch being that Rachel and I each served as both the parasite and the host. Because, yeah, we were all mutually dependent and shit, but it just somehow seemed to go beyond that. It was like we didn't just need each other. It was more like we were actually fucking feeding off of being around one another.
Okay wait. I'm going to go ahead and stop myself there before I manage to make Rachel and I sound even more like weird-ass pod people from a bad sci-fi book than I already have.
My point, because I did actually have one, was that I no longer had a damn clue where Rachel ended and I began, or the other way around. Whatever. We'd gotten so used to one another, so adapted to each other, in those twenty-three days that we could practically read each other's minds. I mean, I'd known Quinn and Brittany way longer than Rachel, like years and years and years, and I knew pretty much everything about them, but in only twenty-three fucking days, I had become like a damn wizard or psychic or something when it came to all things Rachel Berry. Maybe it was because we spent literally almost every minute together. Maybe it was because we went to bed together every night and woke up together every morning. Maybe it was because we secretly fantasized about one another (okay, so that part was just me). Maybe it was because we stayed up late so often just talking about anything and everything. Or maybe…maybe the biggest reason was because Rachel and I shared the "dark place."
When there's only one person in your life that knows how you're feeling about something, or maybe doesn't know entirely but at least can share some of your trauma, it's like your soul just latches onto that person and hangs on for dear life. It's like you've suddenly never needed anything or anyone more than you need the comfort of that one person who can offer you even the tiniest bit of understanding, even the smallest hint of empathy. It's like nothing and no one else even matters, and that's just…well, that's just everything. It's beautiful, and it's terrifying.
I hadn't put much thought into it before, but once I actually did, I didn't really know what to think or how to feel about any of it. It seriously started to unnerve me, because I worried that maybe it wasn't healthy for us to be so attached to each other, especially given that our relationship was legitimately platonic (on the surface, at least, because inside I was pretty much screaming "KISS ME!" like twenty-four-seven). Maybe it wasn't healthy for Rachel to be so wrapped up in me and not actually interacting with other people, except for the occasional movie and dinner with Kurt when he was home with us, and of course the few days that Quinn had been able to visit from Yale. Even that mean-ass, albeit fucking HOT, dance teacher of Rachel's showed up at the loft…TWICE. It seemed the lady actually did give a shit about the dwarf after all. She'd even cried a bit when we talked about Rachel's injuries. Shocked the hell out of Berry—oh god, her facial expression in that moment had been priceless.
Other than that, though, yeah, Rachel Berry's life pretty much went like this: Santana. Santana. Bath. Santana. Vegan (aka bird) food. Santana. Santana. Wheelchair. Santana. Nightmares. Santana….and well, you get the picture.
In my humble and totally non-biased opinion, that is a pretty damn sweet life; at least, if you take out the bird food, the wheelchair, and the nightmares. Yup, baths and Santana. Sounds hella wonderful if you ask me, but here's the catch:
Rachel's life before the attack went a little more like this: Singing. Singing. NYADA. Singing. Occasional poor choice of boyfriend. Singing. NYADA. Singing. Vegan (aka bird) food. Singing. BROADWAY. BROADWAY. BROADWAY…dreams, of course, not the real thing (at least not yet). And so on and so forth.
Now, the issue there? Check the comparison. Oooh yeah, there was a ton of the letter "S" in the happy, pre-attack life of Rachel Berry, but unfortunately, not a damn one of them was followed lovingly by "antana." And therein lay the issue.
Rachel and I had definitely been growing closer prior to her attack, but I knew I wasn't one of the most important people in her life. At least, I didn't think that I was. And now…now I was THE most important person in her life. I was everything now, and that both scared the hell out of me and elated me beyond words.
I wanted to be important to Rachel, and yeah, maybe a part of me did really hope to be the most important, but another part of me was so fucking terrified that the only reason I was in that position now was because I'd saved her life. Would Rachel still have been this way with me if I hadn't saved her life, if I had just been a coward? Or what if the attack had never happened at all? Would Rachel have ever come to need me this way?
There were parts of me that needed so badly to know the answers to those questions, but then there were other parts of me, deeper parts, that were far too terrified of what those answers might be.
Because I truly believed that even if the attack had never happened, I would have fallen for Rachel Berry somewhere along the way anyway. I just didn't know that I could say the same for her.
Twenty-three days since Rachel's release from the hospital and things had been great between the dwarf and me; however, a little over two weeks since the epically fucked debacle also known as Finn Baby-Fat Hudson, and that graceless ogre had become the bane of my otherwise glorious existence. Oh sure, he'd stayed the hell away from New York and Rachel ever since Kurt went all diva-brother on him and I declared a Lima-Heights-style Mexican-American war on his chubby ass; HOWEVER, Lumps the Clown had actually managed to stumble upon his (more than likely) tiny, doll-sized testicles and dared to shift the battleground to the internet, aka Facebook.
Nearly every day since the Orca swam back to Lima, he'd posted a lame-ass jab (both subtly and not-so-subtly aimed at me) on his Facebook status. Normally, I would find it ridiculously funny if someone who had retained enough baby fat to look like the giant legal version of a dirty old man's deep, dark, perverted dreams actually had the nerve to step to me on Facebook or otherwise, but this wasn't a normal situation. This was different. Finn was saying personal things…or at least, he was implying them, and all Rachel would have to do was open her newsfeed to see them and she'd easily be able to put the pieces together.
Finn fucking Hudson was messing with my life and with Rachel's, and all because he was feeling sorry for himself; and what was worse than that was that he didn't seem to have a fucking care or respect in the world for what either of us had been through, especially the girl he claimed to love so freaking much. He was too busy being concerned about his oversized self and his vendetta against a certain hot Latina (no names, of course), to even think about how immature or insensitive he was being.
Seriously…no, seriously…You know those times in your life when someone will say some annoyingly, ambiguously optimistic shit like "God made us all," or "Let's love one another," or whatever? Yeah…well, it was times like these that I wanted to find one of those people and introduce him or her to Tubs Hudson and ask them to explain what the hell had been going through God's mind when he decided to take a giant human mold, fill it with 250 pounds of stupid, and top it off with creepy triangular custard nipples and a persistent diarrhea face. Because I was basically inclined to believe that God had just been high as a fucking kite that day. Or maybe he'd been joking. If so, that dude had a seriously twisted sense of humor. And either way—no, no, no me gusta.
I'd been doing my best to ignore his statuses. I mean, I read them. Of course I read them, because I had to be prepared in case Rachel happened to see them and jumped to conclusions. We were good, Rachel and I. We'd been really, really good ever since that day with Finn—all gentle touches and soft laughter and whispered conversations and NO awkward almost-kisses. I didn't want to lose that, so I kept myself informed and prepared, but I did my best not to rise to the obvious bait. I didn't comment on the statuses, which I hoped only pissed him off more, but it turned out that I didn't really need to say anything at all, because for every single status Finn made, he always got at least one comment and every one of them was from the same person—Quinn.
Kurt and I had filled her in on everything that had happened with the ogre, and there had practically been steam coming out of her ears by the time we were finished. Ever since then, she'd made it a point to comment on all of Finn's rude-ass statuses. And damn if that wasn't the funniest shit ever.
Finn Hudson: wishes people, who were never anything but mean to someone in high school, would not pretend to care about that someone just because those people like helped that someone out one time.
-Quinn Fabray: wishes that Finn Hudson would stop writing convoluted Facebook statuses in order to comment on circumstances that are none of his business.
Finn Hudson: I really miss my girlfriend.
-Quinn Fabray: You don't even have a girlfriend.
Finn Hudson: Just because you want her to be your girlfriend doesn't mean she's going to be. Even if you did save her life, she's not gay. NOT GAY!
-Quinn Fabray: Just because you want her to be your girlfriend doesn't mean she's going to be. Even if you did idiotically pop the question in high school, she's not your property. NOT COOL!
Oh yeah. I laughed hysterically at that one. Well played, Quinn. Well played.
Finn Hudson: I'm so tired of people thinking they know her when they don't. They don't know her like I know her. I'm just so tired of it.
-Quinn Fabray: So take a nap, Finn, because I'M so tired of you bitching about things that you no longer have a right to bitch about. I'm just so tired of it.
Finn Hudson: Apparently you can't have a lesbian for a roommate without her thinking that she can date you.
-Quinn Fabray: You have a lesbian for a roommate? Oh wait, *rolls eyes*, you're still going on about the same damn thing you've been on about now for two weeks. Apparently, you can't break up with a stupid boy without him whining like a baby about it for months.
Oh god. I could hardly breathe when I read that one. Fucking hilarious. Quinn's sarcasm had always been one of her best qualities. So damn perfect.
Oh, and really? As if that wasn't the most obvious status in the history of the universe. Way to be smooth and subtle there, Finnadequate.
And then I got to Finn's latest status, posted only five minutes ago. Rachel was napping, so I was in the kitchen playing games on my laptop to kill time. When my phone beeped to notify me that Finn had updated his status, I opened my Facebook, and I couldn't fucking believe what I was reading.
Finn Hudson: She just wants to date her. She doesn't even respect the fact that she's actually been through something really terrible. She's just trying to get in her pants.
-Quinn Fabray: You did not seriously just write that, did you?
-Kurt Hummel: Finn Hudson, you take that back right this second, or must I remind you that it is actually YOU who has failed to respect her and the fact that she has been through something terrible. You are a horrible person right now, Finn. Sweet Barbra, I can't even look at this anymore!
-Santana *Snix* Lopez: OH HELLS TO THE NO, FINNESSA! All you've been doing is whining about yourself and your own feelings for weeks and you haven't given a fuck about her, not to mention that you're putting all her personal business on blast all over Facebook. You are a pathetic fucking loser, and I seriously can't believe you'd sink low enough to say some shit like that.
-Quinn Fabray: You really need to grow up, Finn. I'm disappointed in you.
-Mercedes Jones: What in the hell are y'all talkin' about?
-Santana *Snix* Lopez: You should probably sleep with one eye open, Tubs Hudson.
Before anyone else could blow up on him about it, though, the status disappeared and was replaced with a short message that read as follows:
-This status has been deleted by the author-
Well, at least the idiot made one smart decision. I didn't really give a fuck, though, because my blood was boiling in my veins. How dare he have the audacity to say something like that, to suggest that I didn't respect what Rachel had been through and was just trying to hook up with her. That was utter shit. I had more respect for what Rachel had been through than ANYONE. I'd gone through it with her, and Finn…well, he didn't know shit. He couldn't even respect Rachel enough not to go spreading her business all over Facebook. I swear I would've given anything in that moment to plant my fist in his fat face.
But then my phone beeped again, and what I read changed everything.
I re-opened my Facebook app to see that Rachel had updated her own status just seconds after Finn had deleted his, which meant that she'd woken up and probably read what Finnability had written. Assuming as much, I was nervous as hell to read what she'd written, and my nerves only intensified when my notifications box informed me that Rachel had actually tagged me in her new status.
My heart slammed into my ribcage, my breath hitched in my throat, and my entire fucking body just started buzzing as I clicked on her profile page and read.
Rachel Barbra Berry: loves Santana *Snix* Lopez.