Chapter 1: Chapter One
Brittany Pierce and Santana Lopez were sitting on a bench at the park, Brittany tossing pieces of bread at the ducks swimming lazily in the pond. Everyone thought the two were in love with each other, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They were using each other as a replacement. Brittany wanted a different brunette, one that was shorter and far more dramatic, and Santana wanted the blonde who ran the school. For three years, Brittany had pined after Rachel from afar, hoping that the starlet would rise above high school and keep focused on her dream. She had planned to find Rachel again in New York, when they were both at Juilliard, and make her move then. But Finn Hudson had to ruin everything!
“Britts, you okay?”
“We need to save Rachel.”
Santana frowned, turning to face Brittany. “What? I know you care for her, but you told me you weren’t going to do anything in high school, because you didn’t want her to choose between you and her dream.”
Brittany shrugged, tossing some more bread at the ducks. “Yeah, but Finn’s not awesome like me. He doesn’t care about her dreams, San. He’ll try to keep her in Ohio and that’ll make her a sad panda…”
Santana smirked. “You’re telling me we get to piss off Finnocence, and you get the girl?” Brittany nodded. “Fuck yeah let’s do this.”
“Thank you,” Brittany squealed, wrapping Santana in a tight hug. “And I’ll help you get Quinn so you can have some cuddles, too. It wouldn’t be fair if I got to get my sweet lady kisses on and you didn’t.”
“Britt, we’ve talked about this. I like Quinn, but she’s straight.”
“San, I told you before, Quinn’s riding the rainbow, but she’s scared because her dad was all super Christian and stuff, and she doesn’t really know about her mom.”
Instead of trying to reason with Brittany, who was actually scarily accurate when it came to reading other people, Santana decided to focus on how they were going to save Rachel from the walking tree that masqueraded as Finn Hudson. As much as it pained Santana to admit, Brittany was right about his effect on Rachel’s life and her future. Santana’s main reason for antagonizing Rachel was that Quinn had a grudge against the girl ever since Rachel was named Dorothy in their elementary school production and Quinn had to be the Lion. Santana wasn’t in the same school as the two, they had gone to private school whereas Santana’s parents felt she would acclimate to American culture better in public school, but Brittany had told her all about it. Apparently, Quinn couldn’t handle the fact that an ethnic girl, one who was raised by two men, had beaten her at something. The Fabrays pulled Quinn from the school at the end of the school year, deciding that public school would offer her more opportunities to excel, but the grudge never really went away. When the four hit high school, and Rachel and Brittany joined them in public school, Quinn used her position of power to right the perceived wrongs Rachel had made against her. Brittany tried to make Quinn stop, but her worries were shoved aside as the concerns of someone who cared too much but wasn’t smart enough to be a threat.
“Won’t helping Rachel make Quinn not like me, though,” Santana asked softly, resting her head on Brittany’s shoulder.
“If you shower Quinn with sweet lady kisses, she won’t be mad at Rachel anymore, because she’ll have someone to giver her a happy whenever she wants or needs one.” Brittany kissed the top of Santana’s head. “Quinn only pretends to hate Rachel because her daddy was all mean when she was a kid and he made her brain all twisty so she thinks some things are wrong when they’re really okay. If we help fix that, she won’t be angry at Rachel and we can all be friends, like it was supposed to be.”
Santana was about to fall asleep when Brittany gasped and sprinted towards the far end of the duck pond, causing Santana to crash against the bench. The brunette stumbled to her feet, rubbing her head, and gingerly followed her blonde friend over to a figure leaning against one of the few oak trees still growing in Lima’s city limits. The figure was small, with thick brown hair and smooth, tanned skin. Rachel. Brittany already had the starlet wrapped in her arms, Rachel’s head hiding in the hollow where Brittany’s shoulder joined with her neck. The brunette had been crying, her cheeks raw. She clung to Brittany, practically in the tall blonde’s lap. Santana sat down next to them, ready to wait for Rachel to explain why she was so sad.
“My dads called today,” Rachel mumbled against Brittany’s neck, curling closer to the blonde’s torso.
Santana was about to say something, but Brittany silenced her with a glare. “What did they say this time, Rae?”
“Does it matter? It’s always just more of the same.”
Brittany kissed the top of Rachel’s head, cuddling her closer. “It matters, Rae, because it makes you sad. Besides, I thought they were going to come spend some time with you after Nationals.”
“I guess I’m not the only one they duped.”
Brittany frowned, petting Rachel’s head. “What does ‘duped’ mean?”
“It means they tricked us, Brittany. They called to say their contract in Boston was extended a full two years, and that this would teach me my lesson for throwing Nationals away for some stupid boy.” She sat up, wiping her eyes forcefully. “A boy who doesn’t even care that I’m sad about it, because it messes with his plans of a stress-free summer. A boy who told me to get over it when I asked him why he never even wondered why my dads weren’t at home. What did I even see in him?” She tried to pry her way out of Brittany’s arms, but the blonde dancer held her tight. “I didn’t even want to kiss him at Nationals, but pulling away would have been even worse for us. Why can’t he be nice and caring, like he was when he was dating Quinn? Why does she always get everyone’s good side and I’m stuck with the bad?”
Brittany glared pointedly at Santana, who had the decency to look ashamed of her previous actions. “Rae, Finn’s an evil rat, the kind that even Lord Tubbington wouldn’t eat when I stopped feeding him fondue. Charity might gobble him up, but she doesn’t like big rats.” She smiled at Rachel, her fingers running through the thick brown hair. “You have my number, right?” Rachel nodded, sinking back into Brittany’s embrace. “You can call me to talk about the things that rat-Finn doesn’t want to talk about. I may not be smart, but I can listen.”
“You are smart, Brittany. You’re one of the smartest people I know.”
Brittany smiled at Rachel, resting her head against the brunette’s while continuing to finger-comb her hair. Santana nodded at Brittany, happy that her friend was getting a chance to get closer to her love. She had to admit that they looked very adorable, sitting there all wrapped up in each other. She sprawled herself in the grass, tossing one arm across her eyes to stop the glare.
“Rachel, if Finn’s such an ass, why are you still with him?”
Rachel peeked out of her hiding place in Brittany’s neck to glance at Santana, a look of pure confusion coloring her face. “I’m not dating him, Santana. I told him, after the Nationals fiasco, that I couldn’t be with someone who disregards my opinions and feelings. He just assumes we’re together because he doesn’t understand that someone isn’t attracted to him. The only reason I still talk to him is because he’s the only friend I’ve managed to keep in high school, and I don’t really want to be alone.”
Brittany hugged Rachel tighter, pouting at Santana. “Well, San and I are your friends now, aren’t we?” Santana grunted in acceptance. There were worse things than being Rachel Berry’s friend, she supposed. “We’ll make sure Finn isn’t a giant evil rat, and you can hang out with us instead of him this summer. I’ll still be your friend when school starts, too, so don’t worry about that.”
The look Rachel gave Brittany was so pitiful that Santana actually felt bad for going along with Quinn’s plan of forced social isolation of the starlet. “Really?” Santana bit back a groan at how innocent and childlike Rachel sounded.
“Yeah! We can have sleepovers, and watch movies, and go to that amusement park that just opened, and all the fun stuff you’re supposed to do during the summer! OH! And Mrs. Flannigan said I could use the dance studio whenever I felt like it, so we could practice dancing! I miss having dance class with you, Rae. It was like the best part of my day.” Brittany’s smile eclipsed the sun, and Rachel couldn’t help but smile back.
“I miss dance class, too, Brittany. It was the only time I felt like I really had friends.” She tried to pry herself from Brittany’s grasp, but the dancer hugged her tighter, kissing Rachel’s cheek.
“Well, now you have Santana and me, so we can do all the stuff friends are supposed to do! And I promise that San’s not going to let her meanie side come out, because she wouldn’t want me to go all angry panda on her ass.” She mock glared at Santana, who rolled her eyes at Brittany, a smirk gracing her lips. “Do you want San and I to sleep over at your house tonight?”
Rachel looked apprehensive about having Santana in her house, but nodded anyways. If anything, company would take her mind off the fact that a boy who claimed he loved her didn’t really care about her and that her fathers only cared when she was doing something that reflected well on their supposed parenting, never mind that they’d been gone since she turned twelve. The excited look on Brittany’s face was enough for her to toss aside her apprehension and just revel in the fact that, for the first time, it felt like she actually had friends. Brittany seemed to like her well enough, and that was usually enough for Santana to act civil.
“Great! We’ll be over around five, okay?”
Rachel nodded, which caused Brittany to smile even wider, and finally managed to free herself from Brittany’s arms, even though that felt safer and more comfortable than any hug she’d ever felt. “I’ll be waiting. What would you like to eat? I’m quite a good cook, if I do say so myself, and –”
“Rae,” Brittany said with a bright smile. “Why don’t you just make us something you love, and I promise we’ll eat it?” Santana growled, but Brittany’s glare silenced her. “And Santana will be nice, even if she doesn’t like it.”
Rachel smiled at them and softly said goodbye, heading towards a rather nice sedan parked near the eastern entrance to the park. Santana glared at Brittany once she was sure Rachel was gone. “Britts, I don’t want to eat any of that vegan shit! It probably tastes like cardboard and ass!”
Brittany just shook her head, a playful smile teasing the corners of her mouth. “Have you ever had any of Rachel’s cookies?” Santana nodded. “You do know those were vegan, right?” Santana frowned, shaking her head. “Rachel makes a lot of vegan food, and she knows how to season it properly so that it tasted good.”
Santana glowered at her, crossing her arms petulantly. “Okay, but I’m blaming you if it tastes like ass.” Brittany rolled her eyes and got up, extending an arm to Santana. “And I’m guessing that booze is completely out of the question, and sexy or scary movies are completely a no-no.”
Brittany smiled as she pulled Santana up. “That’s right. I want to watch Disney, and I’m sure Rachel will want to watch some form a musical, which most Disney movies are, so it’s two to one, San, and we win!” She giggled at the scowl on Santana’s face, tapping the other cheerleader’s nose. “Let’s go get some snacks for when we go over to Rachel’s later. I’ll need you to help me check the ingredients so I know they’re vegan.”
“Whatever you say, Britts.”
They showed up five hours later at Rachel’s house, armed with every single snack from the vegan section at the local grocery store. Rachel actually smiled when she saw them, which made Brittany smile and Santana feel a bit better about showing up with all those snacks. Rachel escorted them into a part of the house that they hadn’t seen when they were there for the Trainwreck Party Extravaganza. The stairway to the basement shot off from the entrance hall, which meant that the Gleeks never really saw the inside of the Berry house.
Santana had to admit the house was really nice. The living room had a state of the art home theatre system, and what looked like every English-language movie on the face of the planet. A few French films were thrown in there, hiding amongst the English ones, but they were ones that Santana had heard of. Brittany, for her part, fell in love with how put-together the house was. She smiled. Rachel obviously took care of the place, even though she was the only one living in a house that was meant for at least four people.
“I’m thinking of pasta with a vegan pesto sauce,” Rachel murmured, nervously fiddling with her hair. “It doesn’t take long to make, and I’ve been told that it actually tastes good, so…”
Brittany wrapped Rachel in a bone-crushing hug. Santana had to admit that it was adorable to hear the usually loquacious and confident so self-conscious about her own words. There was obviously a side to Rachel that no one knew, and Santana was beginning to suspect that Finn was too stupid to realize that the Rachel at school was far different from the Rachel that existed outside of school. From the way Brittany was smiling, Santana could tell the blonde dancer saw it, too. Rachel was snuggled into Brittany’s neck, hiding from Santana even though she didn’t have any reason to distrust her at that moment.
“That sounds delicious, Rae. I’m sure Santana will love it.” Rachel grumbled and pressed deeper into Brittany. “But let’s watch a movie before you make dinner. Oh! I want to help cook!”
Santana chuckled. “Britts, recipes confuse you.”
“Yeah, but I, like, want to help Rae make dinner. Maybe she can make recipes less confusing.” Brittany pulled Rachel away from her, smiling sweetly at her. “Besides, it’ll be fun! And you can join us, too, San!” Santana groaned, covering her face with her hand. “But first, let’s watch Sleeping Beauty!”
Santana gaped at Brittany, her mouth opening and closing for a while as she seaerched for something to say. “But your favorite movie is The Aristocats…”
Brittany smiled innocently and draped her arm across Rachel’s shoulders. “Yeah, but I’m only allowed to watch that when Lord Tubbington and Charity are present. And I want to watch Sleeping Beauty, anyways. It’s a beautiful story.”
They sprawled out on the couch, the movie droning on. An excited bark broke the drivel, and an excitable husky-German Shepherd mix bounded into the room, pouncing on the couch where Brittany and Rachel were cuddling. Rachel grinned and pulled the dog onto her lap, pressing against Brittany’s chest. The blonde dancer wrapped both of them in a hug, running her fingers through the thick fur.
“Who’s this pretty puppy?”
Rachel blushed, burying her face in the dog’s fur. “Her name’s Stella. The name is very dramatic, ever since A Streetcar Named Desire. The name also means “star” in Latin. She’s about a year old. I got her as a present on my last birthday, another gift to try and ease their guilt at leaving me alone all these years. I spend most of my time training her.” Stella licked Rachel and Brittany’s hands, the ones that were linked against Rachel’s thigh. “You two are the only people whom she hasn’t growled at.”
Santana rolled her eyes, trying to focus on the movie. “She has good taste.”
“I suppose,” Rachel said, peeking out from her hiding place in Stella’s fur. “She did hate Finn more than Noah or Jesse, and she hated Noah and Jesse equally. Maybe she just doesn’t like boys.”
Brittany nuzzled the side of Rachel’s head, enjoying that she could use the brunette as a human body pillow. “Maybe she’s a unicorn like San. Unicorns don’t like boys.”
“She means –”
“She means gay, I know, Santana. I am well-versed in Brittany-speak. I wouldn’t have survived dance class without learning how to translate what Brittany says into something I can understand. Though most of what she says is perfectly comprehensible once you’ve been granted access to the codex –”
Brittany placed a hand over Rachel’s mouth, giggling as Stella nuzzled into her master’s chest. Santana glanced at the pair, one of her sweeter smiles gracing her lips. Brittany and Rachel looked so couple-like, sitting there all cuddled up on the couch with Rachel’s puppy. Santana wished she could be like that with Quinn, but she knew that it couldn’t happen just then. She wanted to focus on making sure they saved Rachel from the doom that was Finn Hudson, which would hopefully help her incur some favor with Quinn, and then she could work on getting closer to the eponymous Ice Queen.
“Can we make dinner now?” Brittany asked as she cuddled into Rachel, scratching behind Stella’s ears. “Can we? Please?”
Rachel smiled, gently picking Stella up and carrying her to the kitchen. Brittany followed her with a bounce in her step, Santana trudging along with only light aggravation. Stella sat near her bowl next to the fridge, watching Rachel as she gathered everything necessary for the vegan pesto. Cooking was actually kind of fun, and Brittany worked hard to try and remember the recipe. It actually tasted really good, if Santana had to force herself to admit such things. After dinner, they changed into pajamas and trudged back to the living room, Stella in tow, to watch another movie. They chose My Fair Lady, Rachel explaining that the role was originally written for Dame Julie Andrews, and she took the world by storm performing it on London’s West End. This lead to a five-minute rant about how incompetent the man who operated on her throat was, which Brittany ended by dragging Rachel into her lap and snuggling into her. Stella decided that Santana would be her cuddle buddy for this movie, and draped herself across the cheerleader’s lap.
“I liked that movie,” Brittany said sleepily, her eyes drooping close as she leaned further into Rachel. “It had a nice ending.”
Santana nodded as she curled her body around Stella, nuzzling into the dog’s fur. “Yeah, pretty good for a musical.”
Rachel chuckled, grabbing a blanket and draping it across her and Brittany. “It’s one of my favorites. Sleep now.”
Brittany kissed Rachel’s temple, grinning as she wrapped the girl of her dreams in a tight hug and letting dreams take her over. It was almost perfect. In the span of a single day, she had made a place for herself in Rachel’s life, and she knew it would be practically impossible to throw her out – even though Finn was obviously going to try. Rachel, for her part, fell asleep immediately, feeling so safe and warm that she didn’t need to do her nightly window checks for creeps like Jacob Ben-Israel. Santana was just glad she had something warm and cuddly to help her through the night.
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee. If I did, it would be ten times gayer and not as misogynistic.
A/N 1: The Berry men will be making an appearance later in the summer. This will explain the situation between them and Rachel in full.
A/N 2: Just because Santana and Brittany stayed overnight at her house doesn’t mean that Rachel trusts them. There is a long road ahead if they want to fully gain her trust.
Rachel was the first of the three to wake up, her body trapped beneath Brittany’s. The blonde had rolled over sometime during the night, her head now resting peacefully on Rachel’s chest. Rachel gently slid out from beneath the sleeping blonde, righting her wrinkled clothing. The blonde did look peaceful, which is why Rachel moved slowly enough so as to not wake her. She moved to where Santana lay, gently moving the brunette’s arms from around Stella. The German Shepherd-Husky mix pounced off the couch and made her way to Rachel’s room, where she curled up next to the elliptical machine. Rachel changed into her normal work-out clothes and turned on her iPod, smiling as her work-out mix flooded the room. She patted Stella’s head and climbed onto the machine, relief flooding her as the usual whirring created an ambient sound behind the music.
Forty-five minutes later, Rachel and Stella made their way into the kitchen, Rachel grabbing a protein smoothie and slurping it as silently as possible. Stella slobbered her kibble up, her tongue scooping up little bits of food and shoveling them down her throat. Rachel peeked in the living room, smoothie still in hand, and was surprised to find Santana and Brittany still there, fast asleep. Kurt and Mercedes usually left before Rachel was done with her morning work out, only caring enough to text her when they were safely home so she didn’t worry about them. To have Brittany and Santana still there – her heart informed her it was Brittany, more so than Santana, that made it that much more memorable – made her smile.
The doorbell rang, jolting her from her happy thoughts, and she grudgingly made her way towards the sound, silently praying that it did not wake up her houseguests. She growled as she peeked through the peep-hole, Finn Hudson standing on her stoop. Of course he would show up when she was finally feeling happy. He seemed to show up only when she felt like she was going to get rid of him. Only, this time, she had no intentions of going back. Her belief that Santana and Brittany were possibly not genuine notwithstanding, she knew what true companionship felt like. She knew what it felt like to have people actually there for her.
“Hello, Finn. What do you want,” she growled as she opened the door, her lips twisted in a frown.
He smiled at her in a way that she used to find charming, but it now just looked like he was slightly constipated. “Hey, Rach. There’s this awesome new movie that I want to go see, and I was thinking you should come with me, because you’re my girlfriend and all.”
She glared at him, eyebrows knotting together. “Finn, I’m not your girlfriend.”
“But our kiss!”
“You kissed me without my permission, after I told you that I didn’t want to be in a relationship because I wanted to focus on getting to New York. If you can’t respect me when I say no, then we can’t be in a relationship. Please leave.”
“But Rach –”
“No, Finn,” she said forcefully, trying to shut the door, but Finn’s foot got in the way. “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?”
For the first time in her life, Rachel was truly glad that Santana Lopez was around. The cheerleader, dressed in a pair of Superman boxers and a Bob Marley tee-shirt, appeared next to Rachel, wrapping one arm around her fellow brunette’s waist. She leveled Finn with her patented Death Glare, though Rachel was unsure if she was glaring at him because he was being an ass to her or because he’d ruined Santana’s beauty sleep. Rachel then realized that it didn’t matter, because Santana would make Finn go away.
“What are you doing here, Satan?”
“She’s my guest, Finn,” Rachel said as she stepped behind Santana, the brunette cheerleader growling at Finn. “Please respect that.”
He frowned at them, in that confused look that was essentially natural for him. “But Rach, she’s been super mean to you! Why are you letting her stay at your house?”
“I’ve told you to stop calling me ‘Rach,’ Finn. And she’s at my house because everyone deserves a second chance. Lord knows I’ve given you enough.”
“But I’m your boyfriend! I’m supposed to have a nickname!”
Santana growled at Finn, who stepped back a bit so that he was no longer blocking the doorway. “Hudson, you need to leave. You weren’t invited, and I’m pretty sure you’re not Rachel’s boyfriend. You assaulted her mouth, and she had no choice but to play along because your stupid fucking brain did it on stage. Leave before I make you bleed.” She wanted him gone before Brittany woke up, because she knew the blonde dancer’s heart would break seeing him on the front steps. “Move along, Gigantor.”
“San?” Brittany wrapped an arm around Rachel’s shoulder, resting her head on the singer’s hair. “Is Finn being mean again? Because Rae is shaking and she doesn’t look happy.”
Santana nodded, still glaring at Finn. Brittany started running her fingers through Rachel’s hair, trying to calm the singer down. “This is bullshit!” Finn’s face contorted in anger, making him look even more constipated than he usually did.
Rachel shook harder, trying to hide herself in Brittany. “I’m taking Rae inside, San,” Brittany said, gently leading the brunette in her arms away from the door. “Make sure he knows not to be mean.”
Santana heard Brittany reassuring Rachel that she wasn’t going to murder Finn, and she rolled her eyes. She definitely wasn’t going to murder the overgrown child standing in front of her. Her father would be incredibly disappointed in her, especially because he was one of the senior detectives at the Lima Police Department. She wasn’t even going to hit him, even though he deserved it. Her papa talked to her about getting into fights, and he told her that as long as she only fought with her words, he was okay with it. She smirked at Finn and advanced, causing the quarterback to stumble back.
“Now listen here, Finny boy, I fully recognize that I’m a bitch. I don’t do emotions and I like using other people to make me feel a little better. But you, asshole, are the worst offender of misogynists.” She rolled her eyes at the look of utter confusion on his face. “You don’t respect women. You seem to think that because you have a dick, your opinions are better than those of people who don’t have dicks. You don’t understand that when Rachel says ‘no,’ she means FUCKING NO.”
“This isn’t fair, Satan! I’m a good guy! Rachel should be with me because I love her!”
Santana growled at Finn, her hands turning into fists. “She has the right to choose, Finn! She can say no to you if she wants to, and you needs to learn to respect that. Now, you need to wobble on home, Pillsbury Dough Turd. And don’t think of showing up again this summer. Learn to be somewhat nice, and maybe Rachel will be your friend again.”
“Fine,” Finn said as he walked back to his car. “But you need to be nice to Rachel, too.”
“Will do, Finny boy.”
Finn paused after opening the door to his car. “Can I send Puck over to check on her? They were super bros before high school, and I know he wants to be her Jewbro again.”
“Sure, whatever,” Santana said as she sauntered inside, shutting the door behind her.
She found Brittany and Rachel in the living room, Stella curled up on their laps, watching Anastasia. Brittany had her arm wrapped around Rachel’s shoulders, resting her head against Rachel’s. Santana smiled at them, burying her jealousy at their easy friendship. She knew it had everything to do with Brittany’s eternal optimism and her ability to only see the good in people, but it still hurt that Brittany could so easily turn away from the way they had all been throughout high school and be the person she actually was, which was the person that Rachel needed by her side. Santana wished she could be the person that Quinn needed by her side.
“Hey, San!” Brittany lifted her head slightly, still wrapped around Rachel. “Did Finn leave?”
“Don’t worry about Finn. He’s going to try and be a man instead of an overgrown boy. He’s just trying to get ahold of his hormones and shit.” She collapsed on the couch, glancing up at Brittany. “Also, he said Puck wanted to be Rachel’s Jewbro again.”
“I have missed Noah,” Rachel said softly, running her fingers through Stella’s fur. “He was my only friend growing up. But he wanted to be a football player in high school, so I told him to do what needed to be done to make that happen.” She snuggled into Brittany, who placed a gentle kiss on Rachel’s temple. “I think the only reason he hasn’t come by since freshman year is because he’s embarrassed by the front he’s put on for our peers.”
Santana sighed, staring up at the ceiling. “Hey, Rachel?”
“What are your plans for this summer? Because Britts and I don’t really have anything planned, and I think it’d be straight-up awesome to get to know you better.”
Rachel sighed and straightened her posture, pulling away from Brittany ever so slightly, staring blankly at the DVD case surrounding the plasma screen. “That would be nice,” she said after ‘Once Upon a December’ was finished. “But can we do stuff outside of my home?”
Brittany snuggled closer to Rachel, drawing the diva back into a comfortable slouch. “Of course, Rae.” She reached over and tangled her fingers with Rachel’s. “We can go to the movies and just hang out at the park. Whatever you’re comfortable with, Rae.”
Rachel smiled at them and stood up, Stella scrambling to her feet as she was unceremoniously dumped on the ground. “That sounds wonderful, Brittany, if that’s okay with Santana and yourself.”
“It’s totally cool, Rachel. You’re pretty awesome, and that’s coming from me,” Santana said, winking at the other brunette. “Besides, it beats lounging around doing nothing all summer.”
Rachel looked so extremely shy in that moment, hiding behind her hair, that Santana suddenly felt the weight of everything they’d done to the diva. She wasn’t used to people wanting to spend time with her. She had grown so accustomed to their peers throwing insults and slushies her way that friendly situations were met with complete apprehension. Santana knew she and Brittany needed to have a long heart-to-heart about how they were going to change with regards to Rachel at school, because Santana knew she couldn’t reconcile being a complete and total bitch now that she had spent some time with Rachel. For the first time in her life, she realized that they could very well have completely destroyed Rachel’s chance at happiness because of how they enforced her social isolation. Santana suddenly realized why Rachel had always seemed so awkward in social situations. She had always assumed that the other girl knew how to make friends, because she did all these extracurricular activities that she bragged about. But Santana finally understood that Rachel had only ever had Noah Puckerman, and she had allowed him to go his own way because he wanted to be popular to distract from the fact that he was actually a huge science nerd and was in advanced math classes and on the fast track to attending M.I.T. to study astrophysics.
As she and Brittany bid Rachel farewell for the day, both insisting that they would check in on her tomorrow so they could plan out what movies they wanted to see. Brittany looped her arm through Santana’s, dragging her hot-headed friend towards her car. “She’s so sad, San,” Brittany said once they were inside the car, heading towards the Pierce’s house. “When you were talking with Finn, she and I talked about why she always went back to Finn.” Santana nodded to show that she was listening, driving as calmly as possible so that she didn’t get another traffic violation on her record. “She told me that he was the only person who actually wanted to be her friend. She said that she and Puck used to be friends, but that was only because they’re the only Jewish children who grew up in Lima. Jacob ben Israel only moved here in middle school, remember?”
“I remember, Britts. We tried to break him out of his creepiness but his obsession with Rae somehow sustained him.”
Brittany rolled her eyes and reached for Santana’s free hand. “She said that Finn was supposed to help make things easier for her at school, even though he didn’t, and he’s the only one who ever really said she was pretty. She and Puck dated back when they were still secret friends outside of school, but people started making fun of him and he got scared like Lord Tubbington does when Charity goes anywhere near the car.”
Santana scowled at Brittany as they pulled into the Pierce’s driveway. “I will teach you to drive, Britts. Charity doesn’t know how to drive. She can’t reach the pedals.”
Brittany glared at Santana and got out of the car, skipping towards her front door. “Hey, mom,” she greeted as her mother opened the door. “I had a great time at Rachel’s! She’s so nice, mom, and she sings along to movies when they have songs in them. Her voice is so pretty. It’s like if a unicorn and a rainbow had a baby, and that baby was Rachel.”
Johanna Pierce, who had raised Brittany by herself ever since Brittany’s father had committed suicide before the wedding they were supposed to have, wrapped her daughter in a hug and pressed a gentle kiss against the girl’s temple. “I’m proud of you for trying to make things right with Rachel, Brittany Susan. But it’s going to take a while before that girl starts trusting you and Santana.”
Brittany smiled beatifically at her mother, wiggling out of the older woman’s embrace. “I know, mom. We’ve been bad to Rachel for a long time, and it takes a while for bad times to get happy, but hopefully I can show her that I’m not so evil. San and I are going to be really nice starting this summer, and then we’re going to make we’re super nice to her at school, too, because that’s where she needs her knights.”
Brittany bounded inside to go snuggle with Charity and Lord Tubbington, leaving Santana to face the wrath of the elder Pierce. “Jo… I just… It hit me, today. You know, the depth of what we did to her. And I can’t even blame Quinn because she only moved here for high school after that whole Lucy Caboosey thing and her dad forcing her to undergo cosmetic surgery to be that picture-perfect Fabray image. I don’t know what went wrong, because I was raised to accept everybody and my uncle Roberto lives with James McAllen out in San Francisco and we spend Christmas with them, so it wasn’t because she has two fathers. And it isn’t because she’s Jewish because Puckerman never received that same scrutiny.”
Johanna smiled sadly at Santana, wrapping an arm around the one girl who had accepted her baby girl without any questions and always stood up for her. “Why don’t you come inside and we can talk about this over tea. Don’t worry, I won’t charge you for this therapy session.”
“Ha ha, very funny, Doc,” Santana grumbled as she entered the house she knew as her second home, slouching against the breakfast bar in the kitchen. Johanna Pierce was a certified psychologist, with a degree from Stanford. Santana attributed Brittany’s ability to read people so easily to the fact that Johanna would read her research texts to the dancer while she put herself through graduate school. “I hope you have some of that peppermint tea, Doc.”
Johanna placed a mug of peppermint tea in front of Santana and sat across from her, sipping at her own mug of earl grey. “Are you sure you want to delve into this, Santana? I can guarantee you won’t like what we’re going to discover.”
Santana shrugged. “I need to know just how much I need to work on in myself before I feel comfortable assuring Rachel that I’m really there for her.”
Johanna nodded, waiting for Santana to expand on what she was thinking. The self-proclaimed badass of McKinley High rarely talked about her feelings, but when she did, it was always on her own terms. Johanna was more than aware that Santana needed to broach the subject on her own; she actually figured out Santana’s emotional modus operandi before the girl even knew what her own psyche was telling her to do. They sat in a silence that was only broken by Brittany’s account of what had happened while at Rachel’s, which Johanna knew was the only thing currently keeping Charity and Lord Tubbington from making their way downstairs to smother Santana with a huge, purring ball of fluff.
“Am I just a psychopath, Doc?”
Johanna gently placed her mug on the marble top of the breakfast bar, resting her head on her hand. “Santana, you’re not a psychopath. You clearly feel remorse for your actions, which true psychopaths are incapable of.”
Santana sipped at her tea, rolling the liquid around in her mouth before asking, “But how do I trust myself to not be a total bitch?”
“Santana, as far as I can see, all of the violence you’ve enacted in your life is a direct result of your desire to protect Brittany. You’ve always seen her as someone who you need to protect, because she could very well have been targeted in the same way Rachel was. In my professional opinion as your pro-bono therapist, you simply need to see Rachel as someone worthy of your protection, and all will fall into place.” Johanna picked up her tea, sighing as she sipped at it. “You are far kinder than you give yourself credit to be, Santana. It’s simply a matter of opening yourself up and realizing that much of your bitchiness is simply a defense mechanism.”
Santana downed the rest of her tea, scowling as it scalded her esophagus, and placed her mug in the sink. “Thanks, Doc. You always know how to make my head make sense.”
“One of these days, Santana,” Johanna said, smirking, “I’m actually going to make you pay for using me as your shrink.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Santana said as she made her way to Brittany’s bedroom, frowning as the cats swarmed her legs the moment she stepped inside. “Hey, Britts? Do we maybe need to talk about this whole Rachel thing?”
Brittany smiled at Santana, who became Charity and Lord Tubbington’s bed as soon as she collapsed onto Brittany’s. “San, isn’t it just you becoming Rae’s protector and being as nice as you are with me with her? Because that doesn’t sound like something we need to talk about. It’s something we need to do.”
“Don’t let anyone ever say you’re stupid, Britts,” Santana said as she scratched the cats’ heads. Brittany smiled proudly at Santana, curling up next to her best friend. “But how do I start seeing myself as Rachel’s protector?”
“San,” Brittany said as she faced her friend. “Don’t worry about it. That’s why we’re going to become super friends with Rachel over this summer. When you get super close with Rachel, you’ll start seeing her as this awesome person that you need to keep safe from the idiots at school.”
“If you say so, Britts,” Santana said as she closed her eyes. Whenever she had an emotional break-through, she needed a nap to sync her mind up with this new information. “Your mom’s the best, Britts.”
Brittany chuckled as Santana fell asleep. “Mom knows, don’t worry,” she said as she kissed Santana’s forehead. “Don’t get too dirty with Q in your dreams. I don’t think my sheets can handle that again.”
Santana grumbled and turned over, leaving Charity and Lord Tubbington to curl around her head. Of course she was going to dream of Quinn. And it would most likely be a sexy dream, because that’s all she dared let her body hope for. She heard Brittany laugh and the door close, the soft click of the lights getting switched off. She smiled as she felt arms surround her, Quinn’s voice pure velvet in her ears.
"But Rach –"
"No, Finn," she said forcefully, trying to shut the door, but Finn's foot got in the way. "What part of 'no' don't you understand?"
For the first time in her life, Rachel was truly glad that Santana Lopez was around. The cheerleader, dressed in a pair of Superman boxers and a Bob Marley tee-shirt, appeared next to Rachel, wrapping one arm around her fellow brunette's waist. She leveled Finn with her patented Death Glare, though Rachel was unsure if she was glaring at him because he was being an ass to her or because he'd ruined Santana's beauty sleep. Rachel then realized that it didn't matter, because Santana would make Finn go away.
"What are you doing here, Satan?"
"She's my guest, Finn," Rachel said as she stepped behind Santana, the brunette cheerleader growling at Finn. "Please respect that."
He frowned at them, in that confused look that was essentially natural for him. "But Rach, she's been super mean to you! Why are you letting her stay at your house?"
"I've told you to stop calling me 'Rach,' Finn. And she's at my house because everyone deserves a second chance. Lord knows I've given you enough."
"But I'm your boyfriend! I'm supposed to have a nickname!"
Santana growled at Finn, who stepped back a bit so that he was no longer blocking the doorway. "Hudson, you need to leave. You weren't invited, and I'm pretty sure you're not Rachel's boyfriend. You assaulted her mouth, and she had no choice but to play along because your stupid fucking brain did it on stage. Leave before I make you bleed." She wanted him gone before Brittany woke up, because she knew the blonde dancer's heart would break seeing him on the front steps. "Move along, Gigantor."
"San?" Brittany wrapped an arm around Rachel's shoulder, resting her head on the singer's hair. "Is Finn being mean again? Because Rae is shaking and she doesn't look happy."
Santana nodded, still glaring at Finn. Brittany started running her fingers through Rachel's hair, trying to calm the singer down. "This is bullshit!" Finn's face contorted in anger, making him look even more constipated than he usually did.
Rachel shook harder, trying to hide herself in Brittany. "I'm taking Rae inside, San," Brittany said, gently leading the brunette in her arms away from the door. "Make sure he knows not to be mean."
Santana heard Brittany reassuring Rachel that she wasn't going to murder Finn, and she rolled her eyes. She definitely wasn't going to murder the overgrown child standing in front of her. Her father would be incredibly disappointed in her, especially because he was one of the senior detectives at the Lima Police Department. She wasn't even going to hit him, even though he deserved it. Her papa talked to her about getting into fights, and he told her that as long as she only fought with her words, he was okay with it. She smirked at Finn and advanced, causing the quarterback to stumble back.
"Now listen here, Finny boy, I fully recognize that I'm a bitch. I don't do emotions and I like using other people to make me feel a little better. But you, asshole, are the worst offender of misogynists." She rolled her eyes at the look of utter confusion on his face. "You don't respect women. You seem to think that because you have a dick, your opinions are better than those of people who don't have dicks. You don't understand that when Rachel says 'no,' she means FUCKING NO."
"This isn't fair, Satan! I'm a good guy! Rachel should be with me because I love her!"
Santana growled at Finn, her hands turning into fists. "She has the right to choose, Finn! She can say no to you if she wants to, and you needs to learn to respect that. Now, you need to wobble on home, Pillsbury Dough Turd. And don't think of showing up again this summer. Learn to be somewhat nice, and maybe Rachel will be your friend again."
"Fine," Finn said as he walked back to his car. "But you need to be nice to Rachel, too."
"Will do, Finny boy."
Finn paused after opening the door to his car. "Can I send Puck over to check on her? They were super bros before high school, and I know he wants to be her Jewbro again."
"Sure, whatever," Santana said as she sauntered inside, shutting the door behind her.
She found Brittany and Rachel in the living room, Stella curled up on their laps, watching Anastasia. Brittany had her arm wrapped around Rachel's shoulders, resting her head against Rachel's. Santana smiled at them, burying her jealousy at their easy friendship. She knew it had everything to do with Brittany's eternal optimism and her ability to only see the good in people, but it still hurt that Brittany could so easily turn away from the way they had all been throughout high school and be the person she actually was, which was the person that Rachel needed by her side. Santana wished she could be the person that Quinn needed by her side.
"Hey, San!" Brittany lifted her head slightly, still wrapped around Rachel. "Did Finn leave?"
"Don't worry about Finn. He's going to try and be a man instead of an overgrown boy. He's just trying to get ahold of his hormones and shit." She collapsed on the couch, glancing up at Brittany. "Also, he said Puck wanted to be Rachel's Jewbro again."
"I have missed Noah," Rachel said softly, running her fingers through Stella's fur. "He was my only friend growing up. But he wanted to be a football player in high school, so I told him to do what needed to be done to make that happen." She snuggled into Brittany, who placed a gentle kiss on Rachel's temple. "I think the only reason he hasn't come by since freshman year is because he's embarrassed by the front he's put on for our peers."
Santana sighed, staring up at the ceiling. "Hey, Rachel?"
"What are your plans for this summer? Because Britts and I don't really have anything planned, and I think it'd be straight-up awesome to get to know you better."
Rachel sighed and straightened her posture, pulling away from Brittany ever so slightly, staring blankly at the DVD case surrounding the plasma screen. "That would be nice," she said after 'Once Upon a December' was finished. "But can we do stuff outside of my home?"
Brittany snuggled closer to Rachel, drawing the diva back into a comfortable slouch. "Of course, Rae." She reached over and tangled her fingers with Rachel's. "We can go to the movies and just hang out at the park. Whatever you're comfortable with, Rae."
Rachel smiled at them and stood up, Stella scrambling to her feet as she was unceremoniously dumped on the ground. "That sounds wonderful, Brittany, if that's okay with Santana and yourself."
"It's totally cool, Rachel. You're pretty awesome, and that's coming from me," Santana said, winking at the other brunette. "Besides, it beats lounging around doing nothing all summer."
Rachel looked so extremely shy in that moment, hiding behind her hair, that Santana suddenly felt the weight of everything they'd done to the diva. She wasn't used to people wanting to spend time with her. She had grown so accustomed to their peers throwing insults and slushies her way that friendly situations were met with complete apprehension. Santana knew she and Brittany needed to have a long heart-to-heart about how they were going to change with regards to Rachel at school, because Santana knew she couldn't reconcile being a complete and total bitch now that she had spent some time with Rachel. For the first time in her life, she realized that they could very well have completely destroyed Rachel's chance at happiness because of how they enforced her social isolation. Santana suddenly realized why Rachel had always seemed so awkward in social situations. She had always assumed that the other girl knew how to make friends, because she did all these extracurricular activities that she bragged about. But Santana finally understood that Rachel had only ever had Noah Puckerman, and she had allowed him to go his own way because he wanted to be popular to distract from the fact that he was actually a huge science nerd and was in advanced math classes and on the fast track to attending M.I.T. to study astrophysics.
As she and Brittany bid Rachel farewell for the day, both insisting that they would check in on her tomorrow so they could plan out what movies they wanted to see. Brittany looped her arm through Santana's, dragging her hot-headed friend towards her car. "She's so sad, San," Brittany said once they were inside the car, heading towards the Pierce's house. "When you were talking with Finn, she and I talked about why she always went back to Finn." Santana nodded to show that she was listening, driving as calmly as possible so that she didn't get another traffic violation on her record. "She told me that he was the only person who actually wanted to be her friend. She said that she and Puck used to be friends, but that was only because they're the only Jewish children who grew up in Lima. Jacob ben Israel only moved here in middle school, remember?"
"I remember, Britts. We tried to break him out of his creepiness but his obsession with Rae somehow sustained him."
Brittany rolled her eyes and reached for Santana's free hand. "She said that Finn was supposed to help make things easier for her at school, even though he didn't, and he's the only one who ever really said she was pretty. She and Puck dated back when they were still secret friends outside of school, but people started making fun of him and he got scared like Lord Tubbington does when Charity goes anywhere near the car."
Santana scowled at Brittany as they pulled into the Pierce's driveway. "I will teach you to drive, Britts. Charity doesn't know how to drive. She can't reach the pedals."
Brittany glared at Santana and got out of the car, skipping towards her front door. "Hey, mom," she greeted as her mother opened the door. "I had a great time at Rachel's! She's so nice, mom, and she sings along to movies when they have songs in them. Her voice is so pretty. It's like if a unicorn and a rainbow had a baby, and that baby was Rachel."
Johanna Pierce, who had raised Brittany by herself ever since Brittany's father had committed suicide before the wedding they were supposed to have, wrapped her daughter in a hug and pressed a gentle kiss against the girl's temple. "I'm proud of you for trying to make things right with Rachel, Brittany Susan. But it's going to take a while before that girl starts trusting you and Santana."
Brittany smiled beatifically at her mother, wiggling out of the older woman's embrace. "I know, mom. We've been bad to Rachel for a long time, and it takes a while for bad times to get happy, but hopefully I can show her that I'm not so evil. San and I are going to be really nice starting this summer, and then we're going to make we're super nice to her at school, too, because that's where she needs her knights."
Brittany bounded inside to go snuggle with Charity and Lord Tubbington, leaving Santana to face the wrath of the elder Pierce. "Jo… I just… It hit me, today. You know, the depth of what we did to her. And I can't even blame Quinn because she only moved here for high school after that whole Lucy Caboosey thing and her dad forcing her to undergo cosmetic surgery to be that picture-perfect Fabray image. I don't know what went wrong, because I was raised to accept everybody and my uncle Roberto lives with James McAllen out in San Francisco and we spend Christmas with them, so it wasn't because she has two fathers. And it isn't because she's Jewish because Puckerman never received that same scrutiny."
Johanna smiled sadly at Santana, wrapping an arm around the one girl who had accepted her baby girl without any questions and always stood up for her. "Why don't you come inside and we can talk about this over tea. Don't worry, I won't charge you for this therapy session."
"Ha ha, very funny, Doc," Santana grumbled as she entered the house she knew as her second home, slouching against the breakfast bar in the kitchen. Johanna Pierce was a certified psychologist, with a degree from Stanford. Santana attributed Brittany's ability to read people so easily to the fact that Johanna would read her research texts to the dancer while she put herself through graduate school. "I hope you have some of that peppermint tea, Doc."
Johanna placed a mug of peppermint tea in front of Santana and sat across from her, sipping at her own mug of earl grey. "Are you sure you want to delve into this, Santana? I can guarantee you won't like what we're going to discover."
Santana shrugged. "I need to know just how much I need to work on in myself before I feel comfortable assuring Rachel that I'm really there for her."
Johanna nodded, waiting for Santana to expand on what she was thinking. The self-proclaimed badass of McKinley High rarely talked about her feelings, but when she did, it was always on her own terms. Johanna was more than aware that Santana needed to broach the subject on her own; she actually figured out Santana's emotional modus operandi before the girl even knew what her own psyche was telling her to do. They sat in a silence that was only broken by Brittany's account of what had happened while at Rachel's, which Johanna knew was the only thing currently keeping Charity and Lord Tubbington from making their way downstairs to smother Santana with a huge, purring ball of fluff.
"Am I just a psychopath, Doc?"
Johanna gently placed her mug on the marble top of the breakfast bar, resting her head on her hand. "Santana, you're not a psychopath. You clearly feel remorse for your actions, which true psychopaths are incapable of."
Santana sipped at her tea, rolling the liquid around in her mouth before asking, "But how do I trust myself to not be a total bitch?"
"Santana, as far as I can see, all of the violence you've enacted in your life is a direct result of your desire to protect Brittany. You've always seen her as someone who you need to protect, because she could very well have been targeted in the same way Rachel was. In my professional opinion as your pro-bono therapist, you simply need to see Rachel as someone worthy of your protection, and all will fall into place." Johanna picked up her tea, sighing as she sipped at it. "You are far kinder than you give yourself credit to be, Santana. It's simply a matter of opening yourself up and realizing that much of your bitchiness is simply a defense mechanism."
Santana downed the rest of her tea, scowling as it scalded her esophagus, and placed her mug in the sink. "Thanks, Doc. You always know how to make my head make sense."
"One of these days, Santana," Johanna said, smirking, "I'm actually going to make you pay for using me as your shrink."
"Yeah, yeah," Santana said as she made her way to Brittany's bedroom, frowning as the cats swarmed her legs the moment she stepped inside. "Hey, Britts? Do we maybe need to talk about this whole Rachel thing?"
Brittany smiled at Santana, who became Charity and Lord Tubbington's bed as soon as she collapsed onto Brittany's. "San, isn't it just you becoming Rae's protector and being as nice as you are with me with her? Because that doesn't sound like something we need to talk about. It's something we need to do."
"Don't let anyone ever say you're stupid, Britts," Santana said as she scratched the cats' heads. Brittany smiled proudly at Santana, curling up next to her best friend. "But how do I start seeing myself as Rachel's protector?"
"San," Brittany said as she faced her friend. "Don't worry about it. That's why we're going to become super friends with Rachel over this summer. When you get super close with Rachel, you'll start seeing her as this awesome person that you need to keep safe from the idiots at school."
"If you say so, Britts," Santana said as she closed her eyes. Whenever she had an emotional break-through, she needed a nap to sync her mind up with this new information. "Your mom's the best, Britts."
Brittany chuckled as Santana fell asleep. "Mom knows, don't worry," she said as she kissed Santana's forehead. "Don't get too dirty with Q in your dreams. I don't think my sheets can handle that again."
Santana grumbled and turned over, leaving Charity and Lord Tubbington to curl around her head. Of course she was going to dream of Quinn. And it would most likely be a sexy dream, because that's all she dared let her body hope for. She heard Brittany laugh and the door close, the soft click of the lights getting switched off. She smiled as she felt arms surround her, Quinn's voice pure velvet in her ears.
Chapter 3: Chapter Three
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee. If I did, it would be ten times gayer and not as misogynistic. I also don’t own the movie Robin Hood, obviously, or Netflix.
A/N: Sorry it’s shorter! But I was rushing to finish and didn’t want to leave in the middle of the Klaine/Puck/Brittana plotting scene, which will take up most of the next chapter.
Rachel was lounging on the couch in the living room, Stella slumbering on her lap. The room was completely dark. She was still so confused as to why Brittany and Santana had been so nice to her. Well, not Brittany so much, because the dancer was always incredibly nice to everyone, but Santana. The most confusing thing about it, though, was that Santana didn’t seem to force herself to be nice. She was genuinely nice, and it didn’t visibly pain her. Rachel scratched behind Stella’s ears, staring blankly in the television’s direction. And what was up with Brittany? The other girl seemed to cling to Rachel as much as possible, almost as though she believed that Rachel would disappear if she loosened her grip even a little bit. Rachel couldn’t quite explain the fact that Brittany’s embrace made her feel warm and safe. All she knew for sure was that she liked it, and she wanted more.
The doorbell brought her out of her thoughts, and she gently placed Stella on the floor, the pup grumbling in protest. Rachel padded to the door and opened it slowly, a smile on her face when she saw who was on the other side. Noah Puckerman wrapped her in a tight hug, her head pressed against his chest.
“I’m sorry, Jewish American Princess. I should have been there for you.”
“It’s fine, Noah,” she said, her voice muffled by his shirt. “We both knew what would happen. But it’s time for you to be Noah now, not Puck.” He smiled at her and they walked inside, Rachel turning on the lights in the living room. “Should we do what we used to?”
“Yeah, random movie time needs to be reinstated. Roshambo to see who picks?”
Rachel shook her head and curled up on the couch, Stella clambering into her lap. “You pick, Noah. Nothing too scary, though.”
“Fine. You still have Netflix, right?”
They ended up watching the newest Robin Hood movie, the one with Russell Crowe. Noah had been uncharacteristically silent throughout the movie. He would usually have commented on how much this movie deviated from the standard Robin Hood legend, and that it sucked horribly – he was a closet Robin Hood geek. According to him, Robin Hood was the biggest badass in history, stealing from rich people and then sticking it to them by giving that to the poor. This time, however, he looked uneasy.
“Noah, if you’re not into the movie, we don’t have to watch it.”
He sighed and turned the movie off. “It’s not that, Rachel. It’s just… Finn mentioned that Santana was here earlier, and I didn’t want to just bring it up but I’m kinda worried about you because Satan can be a sneaky bitch and confuse you into thinking she’s being nice but she’s actually planning your demise and –”
“Noah,” Rachel said, laughing softly, “you’re rambling more than I do.” He glanced at his hands, pouting slightly. “I promise that Santana wasn’t being mean. She and Brittany were both here, but Santana was the one to help me send Finn away this morning. They both apologized for everything and are working on being worthy of my friendship. Please, don’t try to scare them off. I… They actually want to be my friends, Noah.” She wrapped her arms around her torso. “They want to spend time with me.”
Noah gently placed a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’ll only kick their asses if they try to mess with you. You’re my bro, though, and I feel like shit after what I did to you, so I just wanna look out for you. Cuz what I did was pretty shitty, even if you said it was okay, and I don’t want that to happen again. I gotta step up to the plate, okay? Be the badass bro you deserve.” She smiled gratefully at him. “Anyways, what’s up with you and Finnocence?”
“Finn and I will not be resuming our romantic fiasco, Noah.”
Noah nodded, patting her shoulder gently. “Good, because dude never did deserve you. He was always whining about the fact that he wanted Quinn when he was with you, and then he wanted you when he was with Quinn. And he never treated you right. At least when we went out for that week I fucking walked you to class and tried to make sure you weren’t slushied.”
He simply placed a finger on her lips and flicked through Netflix instant, searching for another movie for them to watch. “Trust me, Jewish American Princess. Finn never treated you right, and if Satan and Brittany helped you see that, then maybe they aren’t so bad.”
“Let’s just watch a movie, Princess.”
After a Robin Hood movie marathon, and a vote to see which one was the best (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves won, because it has Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham), they made their way into the kitchen, where Noah made macaroni and vegan cheese, which he finally admitted was not so bad. He smiled at her once they finished, and actually cleaned up the kitchen, before informing her that he had something important to do. He kissed her forehead and got into his truck, waving at her before pulling out of her driveway. He drove to the Pierce house, because he knew that Santana practically lived there after an awkward conversation with her own parents about her sexuality. She didn’t get thrown out, but her home was more tense than it had been before.
“Hey, Doctor Pierce,” he said as Johanna opened the door. “I haven’t hung with my two bros lately, and I just wanna make sure everything’s okay.”
“I think Santana’s napping, Puck, but you can go up and hang out. No funny business, though.”
“You wound me, Doc,” Noah said, dramatically pressing a hand against his chest. “I would never! My bros trust me, and I don’t wanna break that trust.”
Johanna shook her head and ushered him upstairs. He took them two at a time, trying to alert Brittany that he was there. The blonde dancer flung her arms around his neck as soon as he reached her door, giggling as he spun her around.
“Pucky! I’ve missed you!”
“Hey, Britt,” he said, gently placing her on the ground. “I’ve missed you, too.”
She giggled and pulled him into the room, both of them flopping on the bed. “Fuck you, Puckerman, I was sleeping,” Santana said, groaning as she extracted herself from the hold Lord Tubbington and Charity had on her. “What are you doing here, anyways? We don’t have any badass stuff planned.” She glanced at Brittany, who was frowning. “Sorry for the naughty words, B, but it’s Puck. He don’t care.”
Brittany pouted, but picked up Lord Tubbington, who splayed across her lap and began to purr contentedly as she ran her fingers through his fur. “Fine. But pretty please don’t do it too much?”
Noah rolled his eyes, but promised that he’d keep his swearing to a minimum. If Brittany and Rachel both kept on that, he might even curb it permanently. “Anyways, I heard from a little songbird that you two were hanging out with my Jewish American Princess. What’s up with that?”
Santana glanced at Brittany, who shrugged. “Well, you see, Brittany has been in love with Rachel since middle school, but we’ve been bitchy to her because I’m in love with Quinn, and we both decided that since we were already friends with Quinn that we weren’t going to abandon her so that Brittany could try and be Rachel’s friend. Now, though, we’re trying to make up for lost time and give Rachel the friends she deserves.”
Noah grinned at her. “You know, I won’t even bother to try and question you, Satan. You used Princess’s real name and not one of those fucked-up nicknames, sorry Britt, that you and Quinn made up.”
Santana kicked Noah, who stuck his tongue out. “Shut up, Puckerman. Britts doesn’t like them, so I don’t say them. I’ve spent too much time being a bitch, anyways.”
Brittany glared at them and turned on her television, which was conveniently on the proper channel for her dvd player. “You two need to stop bickering and watch a movie with me.”
“Britts, can I –”
“Nope, I’m picking.”
They sat through The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and Cinderella before Santana was able to convince Brittany that they needed to strategize with Noah about the whole Finn situation. There was something off with how easily he’d taken everything that morning, especially because he’d never really thought of Rachel as being capable of not loving him. Brittany pouted, but her brain informed her that this would help her protect Rachel, so she turned off the TV and perched on her bed, blue eyes bright and expectant. Santana and Noah both sat cross-legged on the floor, angling themselves so they could see Brittany and each other.
“Tell me what happened this morning, Satan.” Noah knew Finn had shown up at Rachel’s, it as the reason he had shown up and hung out. But, as was always the case with Finn, there was obviously more to the story. Rachel wouldn’t tell him because she wouldn’t want to get between him and his supposed best friend, and so he had to rely on Satan, with whom he had an awkward relationship with ever since babygate, to tell him the truth.
“Finnsuficient was all up in Rachel’s grill because he thinks a forced kiss means a relationship, and so I stepped up and told him to beat it, because he’s an ass and was ruining all the work I put into my beauty sleep. He was surprisingly nice about it, but I’m not putting it past him to try something when Britts and I aren’t there, because Stella’s a puppy and can’t really protect her, even though Stella’s a fucking badass and is half-Siberian Husky, half-German Shepherd.”
Brittany frowned. “Why is Finn so mean? I thought you made sure he wouldn’t be mean anymore.”
“Britt,” Noah said softly. “Finn is the kind of person who doesn’t get it until he’s forced to really shove it into his brain, and that usually does mean hitting him over the head with something. He doesn’t understand that girls, especially Rachel and Quinn, don’t want to fall all over him, and so he won’t stop until we force him to grow up.”
“I don’t like being mean, Pucky… Even if it’s Finn and he kinda deserves it…”
Santana glanced at Puck, who nodded slightly. She would have to explain that Finn would try to force his way of things if they weren’t somehow automatically done in his favor, and this would be allowed because he was the quarterback, and Figgins was the Athletic Department’s personal slave. The sports teams – mainly the Cheerios and the hockey team – brought in money for the school, and so athletes were allowed to get away with rampant bullying and aggravated assault against fellow students, even though they would all be sent to prison if these incidents ever reached the police. Santana growled, her eyes misting over slightly. She knew she was part of the original problem, and that it would take a long time to even begin to fix things. She couldn’t even guarantee that things would suddenly be perfect for everyone – Quinn wasn’t on board, and there was a very small chance that she would want to step up and protect the so-called losers.
“Britt-Britt, Finn left today because I was there, and he thought Puck would go and convince Rachel that we’re bad people and she shouldn’t hang around us. He’s not going to stop just because we made him leave. No one’s ever really told him that he can’t get what he wants, and so he’ll always go after Rachel because he sees her as someone who belongs to him. He doesn’t understand that she doesn’t want him like that, and that she’s not comfortable around him because of what he did in New York. If we want him to stay away, we have to make it hard for him to stay popular and hang out with Rachel,” Santana said softly, her mind working overtime to figure out a way to do this without alienating Rachel further. “We need to make him less popular, so he’s focused on regaining his popularity and not on getting Rachel back. Part of the problem, Britt-Britt, is that for a long time Rachel’s been his personal cheerleader, putting herself aside to make him feel better.”
“Pucky’s better at football than Finn, so can’t he just become quarterback so Finn isn’t captain, and then he’s really not popular? Because Finn kinda sucks, and it’s not like he can go to college on a football scholarship. And then we hang out with Rae lots and lots so she knows we’re really friends and doesn’t worry about Finn being a big meanie.”
Santana sighed. “Britt-Britt, Finn will probably follow us around the entire summer unless we find a way to occupy his time. I want to keep you and Rachel happy and away from him. The only reason he hasn’t accused us of turning her gay yet is because he didn’t realize we spent the night at her place. He thought we just showed up early this morning.”
Noah ran a hand over his ‘hawk, eyes darting from Brittany to Santana. He could actually feel how much Brittany cared for Rachel. A smile crept its way onto his face. It warmed his heart that someone actually accepted his Jewish American Princess entirely and still loved her for it. He had been worried that no one would step up to the plate, especially because they’d all had a hand in trying to teach her that she’d never be enough.
As he was thinking about how much Brittany cared, and how she and Santana seemed more like sisters now than lovers, a thought popped into his mind, and he actually found it somewhat brilliant. “Kurt,” he said, interrupting the hushed argument between the two cheerleaders.
“Puckerman, have you fucking lost it?”
“No, seriously, hear me out,” he said, raising a hand to stay the tirade Santana was sure to have prepared. “Kurt and Mr. Hummel live with Carole and Finn now, right? And Kurt’s our resident expert on all things gay, right? So, why don’t we set up a meet between us three and Klaine so that they can help run interference and keep Finn away from you guys and Rachel. I, of course, will be bouncing between you and them, to make sure that Finn doesn’t guess that I’m one your side and to keep Princess happy.”
Brittany smiled widely, and leapt of the bed to crush Noah in a tight hug. “You’re the smartest duck in the bunch, Pucky. I’d call you a special unicorn, but you don’t ride the rainbow, so I can’t.”
He smirked at Santana as he patted Brittany’s hair. The dark-haired girl sighed and rolled her eyes. “All right, all right. This has potential. But how are we going to make sure that Lady Lips doesn’t spill the beans to absolutely everyone? Britts and I have had a long discussion about this, and we don’t want Rachel to feel pressured to be with Britts just because we’re hanging out with her. And that means no one else spilling the beans.”
Noah’s smirk widened. “I’ve been hanging out with Kurt a lot, especially because Finn usually stomps off when I beat him at Call of Duty, and he’s my best gay. You two are my favorite Cheerios, Rachel’s my Jewish American Princess, but Kurt’s my best gay. If we ask him nicely to keep this on the down-low, he won’t disappoint.”
“Fine,” Santana growled. “Call him and ask him to lunch with us tomorrow. Make sure he brings Blaine Warbler, too, because we don’t want Chinese Whispers to fuck shit up. Ow, geez, Britts!”
Brittany simply glared at her. “I don’t like naughty words, and Rae doesn’t either. Now watch your mouth or I’ll feed your unicorn soap instead of hay.”
Noah smiled at the two cheerleaders. In the past, he would have tried to entice them into a threesome, but now that he knew Brittany was all about his Jewish American Princess, he wouldn’t even dare. His Princess deserved someone like Brittany, who was kind, gentle, and would never take advantage of her. And so Noah Puckerman decided that it was time to put Puck to rest – though Brittany would still be allowed to call him Pucky – and start being Noah, which meant actually being a decent guy and not trying to sleep with every female that crossed his path. He kissed Brittany’s head and gently pushed her off his lap. He had a phone call to make.
Chapter 4: Chapter Four
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee. If I did, it would be ten times gayer and not as misogynistic.
A/N: Kurt’s Aunt, as mentioned in this chapter, is an homage to the character Anne Hathaway was supposed to play: Kurt’s lesbian Aunt. Her partner’s looks are based on Zoe Saldana. Their names are of my own imagination.
The Lima Bean was bustling with the noise of students on their summer vacation. Kurt and Blaine had secured a booth at the back of the coffee shop, with Noah Puckerman sitting across from them. Brittany and Santana walked in, pinkies linked, and slid in, Brittany squashing Kurt and Blaine in while Santana took the empty space next to Puck. Kurt and Blaine hadn’t been filled in on the situation, but Kurt knew something was up by the way Finn reacted to Puck showing up.
“Can someone tell us what’s going on?” Kurt craned his neck to look at Brittany. “Finn has been acting very strange all summer.”
“Your idiot brother, Gayboy, seems to think that Rachel belongs to him, and the only reason she isn’t glued to his side is because she’s pissed we lost Nationals. So, it’s your job to make sure Finntarded doesn’t mess with Little Diva’s summer. I don’t want him as a pain in our side when me and Britts make sure she has a pretty awesome summer.”
“And why would you and Brittany be hanging out with her?” Blaine leaned forwards on his elbows, looking at all of them.
“Rae is awesome, and I told Santana I wouldn’t help her get the girl she loves if she didn’t help me with Rae.”
“What,” Kurt and Blaine said together, Kurt spluttering coffee from his mouth.
“I said I love Rae, and I told San that she had to help me make Rae happy, or I wouldn’t help her with who she loves. It’s pretty simple.”
Kurt stared blankly at Brittany, his paper coffee cup starting to turn a little brown. “Oh my Liberace, is that why you and Rachel were always so close in those dance classes we all took as children? And why she always returns with a fierce blush from her tap and modern dance sessions?” Brittany nodded. “You better treat her right, Brittany. She’s my Diva.”
“But Kurtie, you haven’t even been here. You ran away to Dalton, leaving her here all alone. And I couldn’t help because I promised myself that I would find her after we had both found our way to Juilliard, her for acting and me for dance.” Brittany shook her head. “That doesn’t matter anymore, because it’s summer, and I’ve decided that Rae needs me more right now than she ever has, and I won’t let anyone break her.”
Kurt frowned into his coffee cup, swirling the liquid around before draining it. Brittany slid out of the bench, Blaine following her, and they both made their way to the counter. Blaine was staring at Brittany, who was acting far different than she ever had in front of them. From what Kurt had told him, Brittany was a simple soul who rarely understood anything of the real world. But, from what his boyfriend knew, Rachel was an eternally happy diva who never thought of anything but Broadway. He sighed. When Kurt expressed a desire to return to McKinley for his senior year, Blaine begged his father to let him follow Kurt. But, if nothing was as Kurt said, he knew he might need more time than he thought to prepare for his integration.
“I’m sorry for how Kurt’s acted, Brittany.”
“Don’t be, Blaine Warbler! It’s not your fault Kurtie forgot all about being Rae’s friend while he still wanted her to help him out with a lot of stuff. You don’t really know Rae, no one does but me and Pucky.” Brittany smiled at the barista. “An iced vanilla latte for me, and a normal Frappuccino for Blaine Warbler here.” Brittany handed a ten dollar bill to the barista, shaking her head when Blaine tried to hand Brittany money.
“Still,” Blaine said as they walked towards the waiting area. “I should have made sure that Kurt wasn’t just leaving his friends behind, especially after he told me Rachel helped with his audition piece.”
Brittany shook her head, taking a small sip once her coffee was delivered. “Rae is strong. It’s more than just Kurtie forgetting about her that made Rae sad. It’s more that Finn doesn’t understand that he’s a big meanie, you know? Like, he things that he’s so nice because he tries to listen to her, but he sometimes never listens at all and just pretends to. Rae figured that out when he took her out to a restaurant and tried to order her some meat, and when he gave her a pig for Christmas because he forgets she’s Jewish.”
They sat back down, Kurt glancing at Blaine. The two of them were trying to have a silent conversation, but Puck just kept laughing at their facial expressions, and so they stopped. Santana snickered at the embarrassed looks on their faces, while Brittany smirked and sipped her latte. It was a nice day for the five of them, even if Kurt and Blaine still had no idea what was really going on with Rachel and Finn. Brittany hummed to herself as they all set about arguing. It was times like these that she really enjoyed pretending to be really stupid. She wasn’t a genius, but she wasn’t as dumb as she pretended.
“You guys, you’re all being silly. We just need to keep Finn away from Rachel. It shouldn’t be that hard.”
Santana rolled her eyes. “Britt, I love you like a sister, but that’s really stupid. It’s not just about keeping Finn away from Rachel, it’s about trying to teach Finn that he can’t treat people that way. If he doesn’t learn how to be a decent person, someone else will just have the same problems Rachel’s having, only that person might not have someone like you to save them.”
Brittany pouted, but nodded at Santana. “Fine, I don’t want anyone else to get super hurt by Finn. But how are we going to do that?”
Kurt drained the rest of his coffee and smiled sadly at Brittany. “I think I know what to do. My Aunt is coming to visit over the summer with her partner, and Aunt Stephanie doesn’t have much patience for people who are assholes. She’s coming this afternoon, actually. Driving all the way from Seattle.”
“I’m a little nervous,” Blaine said, sipping at his Frappuccino. “Stephanie’s partner Jamie is an ultimate fighter. They’re bringing their Akita with them, too.”
Brittany smiled sadly at Blaine. She knew the boy had been badly mistreated at his first school, the one he went to before Dalton, and that his brother had brought violence into their home (what, she googled him to make sure he was good for Kurt). She patted his arm and sipped her latte. He would be naturally afraid of anyone who was intimately familiar with violence coming anywhere near him – it was why his father had been so reluctant to send him to William McKinley.
Brittany had to admit, having an ultimate fighter there would be a good incentive for Finn to learn how to act like a decent human. And that would be a very good reason to keep Finn away from Rachel. And, from what Kurt told her of his Aunt Stephanie during the time she dated him, Stephanie was tough. She may be a writer, but she trained with her partner and was the primary trainer for their dog. Brittany didn’t know much more than that, because Kurt had suddenly stopped talking about her, as though they weren’t as close anymore.
“I’ve missed Aunt Stephanie,” Kurt said, slurping the rest of his coffee. “Jaime took her to Dominica for their honeymoon, and before that they were in Brazil for Jaime’s final tournament as an ultimate fighter.”
“Oh, what does Jaime do now,” Santana asked, and Brittany giggled softly. She knew that her best friend was busy trying to hold back excitement at the possibility of meeting someone that badass.
“She opened a gym in Seattle, and works a lot with underprivileged kids so that they have an outlet for their emotions that doesn’t involve drugs or violent attacks on other people. She also helps out with a charity focused on helping victims of abuse reintegrate with society.” Kurt nudged Blaine, and he and Brittany slid out of the bench. “I’ll be right back.”
“So,” Puck said as soon as everyone except Kurt was seated again. “I’m thinking we should tell this Jaime all about how Finntarded doesn’t realize that girls aren’t his personal property, and just leave it at that. Especially because if he decides to try and go to the police about this, we need plausible deniability. And, this way, we can say that we honestly didn’t know what was going to happen to him beforehand.”
They all finished their coffee and went their separate ways, Brittany and Santana heading to the mall to pick up some new clothes. Brittany insisted on some new dance outfits, because hers were all “too ratty” which meant she couldn’t dance in them properly. Santana couldn’t see much difference between the clothes when Brittany first bought them last summer and the way they looked now, but she knew better than to try and figure out Brittany logic. It was one of those great mysteries of the universe that probably wouldn’t be figured out for the next hundred years even though it was painfully obvious that it worked very well. Well, maybe if Rachel was able to crack the innocent shell that Brittany had wrapped around herself. There was something about Rachel that made Brittany more vibrant, which made Santana calmer, because it meant that Brittany wasn’t falling back in to that darkness that had gripped her in Junior High, which Brittany still refused to talk about.
At the mall, they spotted Shelby Corcoran, who was pushing a squirmy Beth around in a pink pushchair. Santana growled. What was Shelby doing back, anyways? She had already abandoned Rachel, taken Beth, and moved the fuck on to New York, or, at least, that’s what Santana understood. Yet, here she was in the middle of Lima, shopping in the world’s crappiest mall, pushing her adopted daughter around like she wasn’t going to mess up three lives. Santana glanced at Brittany, who nodded minutely. They both made their way over to Shelby, standing in front of the stroller. Shelby looked startled to see them, which made Santana roll her eyes. Really, did the woman not expect to find McKinley students at the mall over the summer?
“Wh=what are you two doing here?” Obviously, she was as stupid as Santana had feared.
“Dude, it’s the mall. It’s where high school students go during the summer, because, hello, we have free time,” Santana said, scowling. “The better question is what you’re doing here. Last I heard you were in New York.”
“I was spending too much time at work and not enough time with Beth,” Shelby said softly, looking down at the blonde child. “I moved back here because it would be easier for me to raise Beth. I was offered a job at McKinley as an English teacher and assistant Glee Club director because of my expertise in both areas.”
“Great,” Brittany hissed, glaring at Shelby. “Just great. Did you ever think about Rachel, Quinn, or Puck? Because none of them are ready to see you. You were a bad kitty and you haven’t made up for that.” Shelby shrank back slightly, afraid to meet Brittany’s eyes. “What level of English are you teaching?”
“Senior English,” the woman said meekely, staring down at her adopted daughter. “But it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. They’ve had a year to get over the fact that I adopted Beth.”
“How long did it take you to get over the fact that Hiram and Leroy adopted Rachel,” Santana asked, tapping her foot impatiently.
“She was five years old when I finally accepted that she wasn’t mine to keep.”
“And you offered your body as a surrogate to Hiram and Leroy, correct?” Shelby nodded. “Quinn didn’t sign a contract stating that her uterus was to house a baby that she never had control over. She got pregnant because she was feeling insecure and Puck said he would make her feel better. So it’s probably going to take her longer to face the fact that Beth is not hers than it did for you to understand that the little Diva wasn’t yours, because Rachel was never yours to begin with. So what the fuck were you thinking when you came back to Lima and accepted a job at McKinley?”
Shelby straightened up, smoothing her shirt. “I don’t have to answer to you about things you have no knowledge of. If Rachel, Quinn, and Noah can’t deal with my return, they’ll simply have to find a way to do that fast. I will not stop living my life because they need more time.”
“No,” Santana said icily. “It’s painfully obvious that they don’t factor into your life at all, bitch. Which is a shame, because they’re all pretty awesome people. So fuck you and your selfish ways. Just know if you purposefully mess with any of them, I’ll go all Lima Heights Adjacent on your ass.”
Brittany and Santana made their way into the dance store, where Brittany immediately went to the more skin-tight outfits. “Uh, Britts, what’s with the really tight outfits? You normally like more swishy stuff because it lets you move better.”
Brittany turned bright red, and fiddled with the dance clothes she currently had in her hands. “Uh, well, I heard Madam Lisette telling Madam Henriette that Rachel and I were going to be in the same dance class for our senior year, and I wanted her to notice me. She’s seen me dance before in my normal dance clothes, but she never looks at me. And so I thought if I got different ones, I’d be able to get her attention.”
Santana sighed softly, reaching out to grab the clothes out of Brittany’s hands. “Britts, you want Rachel to like you for who you are, not what you ware. Let’s get you some new clothes, but ones you’ll actually feel comfortable in, and then plan out how we’re going to deal with this Finn problem, because I bet he went over to her house today.” Santana would have continued, but her phone rang. She glanced at the caller id, cursing when Rachel’s name blinked across the screen. “Little Diva, what’s wrong?”
“It’s Finn. He won’t leave!” Santana heard pounding, and then Rachel’s scream. “Please! I don’t know who else to call…”
“Shh, Little Diva, we’re on our way. Just hang tight wherever you are and Britts and I will deal with this Finnocence shit. We got your back.”
“What’s wrong,” Brittany asked as soon as Santana put her phone back in her pocket.
“Put the clothes down, we ain’t got time to spare. Finnocence is being all violent up at our little Diva’s place, and we needs to go be knights in shining armour or some shit.”
Brittany grabbed Santana’s arm and dragged her out to the car, leaving the dance clothes in a pile on the floor. She got into the driver’s seat, holding her hand out for the keys. Santana handed them over, strapping herself tightly into the passenger seat of her Ferrari.
“What are you going to do to Finnessa,” Santana asked as they pulled into Rachel’s driveway.
“I don’t really know,” Brittany said, pulling her hair back into a loose pony-tail. “I just want to make sure Rachel’s all rainbows and sunshine again. She’s been too stormy lately.”
They both got out of the car, Santana bending down to scoop Stella into her arms, the puppy shaking as she burrowed her head into Santana’s neck. Brittany didn’t even break stride to push the door open, kicking it down in one smooth motion and moving on to where Finn was standing. He was pounding on the door to the downstairs bathroom, the mahogany creaking under his fist. Brittany immediately body-checked him into the wall, frowning as some of the drywall came down around him. Santana passed the dog onto her friend, standing over Finn.
“What are you two doing here? Rachel doesn’t want you here!”
“Shut the fuck up, Hudson. Rachel called me cuz you was in here scaring the shit out of her, and so Britts and I came to make sure she was okay. Because scaring her to the point where she hides in the bathroom, and then sticking around like a motherfucker isn’t cool, Hudson,” Santana said icily, advancing on him. “You’re the lowest of the low, and I know some pretty fucked up people in Lima Heights Adjacent. Now, your ass needs to gets in your car afores I mess up that face of yours, cuz that’s really the only thing going for you.”
Finn growled, but clambered to his feet and slunk out the door. Brittany kicked him as he passed, anger burning in her eyes.
“Rae,” she said once Finn’s car pulled away from the curb. “Rae, it’s okay. He’s gone.”
They heard the door unlock, and Brittany’s arms were then filled with a hysterical Rachel Berry. They couldn’t understand what she was saying, but her sobs were enough to tell them that they needed to stay there for another night. Brittany walked Rachel into the family room while Santana stayed behind, sending a text to Kurt and Puck, informing them of the situation. Kurt’s reply was almost immediate. He informed Santana that his aunt was due to arrive first thing in the morning and that he would inform them of Finn’s attitude problems. Puck’s reply was slower to arrive, but once Santana saw what he wrote, she understood.
“Hope you didn’t break your hands again, Fuckerman,” she mumbled as she put her phone away, Puck’s message of beating up his wall again still blinking on the screen. “You might need those for Hudson’s face.”
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
A/N 1: Sorry it's been so long that I've updated! I've been very busy with school work and stuff. I promise I won't take so long to update for the next chapter.
“Britts,” Santana said while they waited for Rachel to get out of the shower. She’d been in there for the past hour, and they could hear her sobbing softly. “What’s the deal with the whole Lucy Caboosey thing? I never quite got it.”
“Well, when Rachel got Dorothy in our elementary school play, the Fabrays pulled her out of school and moved away. But Quinn really let herself go because she felt she had failed her family. When her dad had to get transferred back here, she worked hard to get back in shape and he rewarded her with a nose job. She dyes her hair every Wednesday night, as a ritual of sorts, and cries over a picture of her old, first-grade self.”
“Wow…” Santana couldn’t help but let a few tears escape at the thought of her love conforming to an image just to make herself appear worthy. “She’s not really Russell’s daughter, is she?”
Brittany paused for a moment, and then shook her head. “No, I don’t think so. I mean, Frances has blonde hair, and Judy has blonde hair, and Russell has blonde hair, so there must be some brown-haired guy who’s really Quinn’s dad.” Brittany shrugged, scratching Stella’s ears. “I think Quinn knows, too, which is why she tried so hard to make Russell happy.”
They heard the shower shut off, and Stella pawed at the door. Brittany and Santana glanced at each other, before creaking the door open and letting Stella in to see her master. Together, they made their way into the living room, which was just as they had left it, blankets strewn across the floor and a pile of musicals sitting on the coffee table. But Santana saw that one of the cabinets beneath the television was slightly open, and she walked over to it, opening it fully.
“Holy shit,” she breathed out as she saw all the DVD cases. “Britt, come look at this!”
Brittany laughed at the gob smacked look on Santana’s face. “Rae is a huge movie buff, San. The only reason we only saw the musicals is because she knows I like them. She likes a lot of the same movies you do, San.”
Santana frowned, closing the cabinet. “Why is she so uptight at school, then?”
“I don’t know if I can tell you.”
“It’s okay, Brittany.” Neither of them had heard Rachel come into the living room. “I’d rather you did it now than have her see me break down at some point when the bastards call again.”
Brittany pouted and pulled Rachel into her lap, Stella curling on their feet. Santana sat next to them, patting Rachel’s shoulder. Santana figured that there was something wrong with Rachel’s dads, because they weren’t around at all, even though it was the summer. Besides, there was that half-conversation Rachel and Brittany had in the park, where it was clear they both knew there was more to the story.
“Rae’s dads both wanted to be on Broadway, but they weren’t good actors, so they failed a lot of auditions. They met Shelby in New York, and asked her to be a surrogate for their child. Shelby had lots of Broadway prospects lining up, so they thought her talent would be passed onto Rae.” Rachel whimpered, and Brittany soothingly rubbed her back. “Ever since Rae could talk, her dads have been pushing singing, dancing, and acting classes on her. She’s never wanted to be an actress or on Broadway. She does like music, but she likes composing and writing her own songs more than singing them. She likes dancing, but it’s more of a way for her to work out and be free from pressure and stuff. Her dads left her alone when she turned thirteen to go work on their business. Mrs. Puckerman or my mom drove her to school every day until she got her driver’s license. Her fathers bought her a car for her sixteenth birthday so that she could get herself places. The only sort of parenting they do is send her enough money each month to buy food and they give her extra money at the beginning of each school year for some clothes, but it’s never much because they’re stingy bastards. They cater to her diet, but the only clothes she can afford are the really bad ones.”
“Those fucking bastards,” Santana seethed, her fists gripping the sofa. “Abandoning their kid? And forcing her to follow their dreams because they fucking failed?”
“Don’t make a big deal out of it, San,” Brittany said, stroking Rachel’s hair. “They said they’ll pay for whatever school she gets into, as long as no one exposes them to the police.”
“It’s still fucked up.”
“It is how it is,” Rachel said, pulling away slightly from Brittany’s embrace so that she could see Santana. “I don’t want to leave here.”
Santana blinked, her arms and hands relaxing. “What do you mean?”
“If anyone found out that my dads are criminal child neglecters, I’d be shipped off to Portland or Seattle, where their siblings live. I’d have to leave Lima behind, and I really don’t want to do that. Not while I can pretend I still have a pretty normal home life and I just know that my uncle in Seattle would just pity me, and my aunt and uncle in Portland would refuse to take me in.”
Santana glanced at Brittany, who nodded slightly. It was obvious that Rachel didn’t see Shelby as a viable option. It wasn’t something Santana wanted to think about, because it would hurt Quinn and Puck and probably Rachel, but maybe a home life would do her some good.
“And it’s not like Shelby can legally take me in,” Rachel continued. “She signed away any parental rights when she gave me to my dads. Legally, I can’t be placed with her. And it’s not like she wants me, anyways.”
Well, there went that question. Santana sighed. “Look, Rachel, I won’t tell anyone. But you can’t blame me for checking in on you every fucking weekend once school starts, okay? Because it’s fucked up that you’re here all by yourself because of the shitty stuff people like me were a part of.”
“It’s okay, Santana. I forgive you. I don’t really trust you, but I forgive you.” The two smiled at each other. “And we can work through our past, because I do forgive you, and I know you can be a wonderful person. The way you treat Brittany proves that.”
Santana’s smile widened and softened as she saw the way Brittany nuzzled into Rachel’s hair. It was clear they were meant for each other, especially with the way that Rachel was so protective of Brittany. Santana could see the two of them in New York, Rachel composing music while Brittany danced around their apartment, two cats crawling over all the surfaces while Stella howled along to the music. It was a beautiful sight, both of her friends – yes, Rachel was now her friend – looking so happy and carefree. She sighed. She knew why Brittany wanted to wait until she and Rachel were out of high school. Lima was awful, especially to anything that deviated from the homogeneous, straight WASP look that everyone else was a part of. Santana and Rachel, even more so than their other non-white schoolmates, were in danger of becoming the most hated people at McKinley. Santana may be the true HBIC, but she knew that her peers would turn on her if they found out she was gay. Homophobia was so natural in this town she actually wondered why Rachel’s dads had decided to retire from their aborted Broadway run in Lima, Ohio.
“Hey,” Brittany said, snapping Santana out of her thoughts. “Why don’t we take Stella to the park? We can just hang out and be like little kids until the sun sets, and then we can come back here and have another sleepover.”
“Sounds wonderful,” Santana murmured, glancing at Rachel.
“Yeah, let’s do that.”
The three of them wandered to the park, Stella doing most of the path finding as she sniffed out squirrels. Rachel explained to the cheerleaders that she was working on leash skills with Stella, but she had already worked on a lot of skills with Stella that morning, and so she just wanted to let the puppy roam. She had blushed as she said this, as though she was embarrassed for how naughty Stella seemed to be acting. Santana had merely chuckled and said the dog was still better behaved than her brother Miguel, which had brought a smile to Rachel’s lips. Brittany had immediately chimed in that Miguel couldn’t even keep his room clean after Mrs. Lopez had cleaned it.
“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Man Hands. Have you decided to apologize for making us lose Nationals, or are you just going to be a bitch?”
Santana turned to Quinn, who had just walked up to where she, Brittany, and Rachel sat, and swallowed thickly. The current head cheerleader looked beautiful, but Santana refused to let herself get sucked in by that. Rachel was her friend, and she would not let her love for Quinn excuse any vile behavior.
“Q, it wasn’t Rachel’s fault. The giant tub of lard that is our quarterback forced a kiss on Rachel, which is sexual assault in case you were wondering. He lost us Nationals because he doesn’t fucking understand the word ‘no.’ So get the fuck off your high horse and realize that shit isn’t always the way you want it to be, and that shit really doesn’t always fit in your world view.”
“S, it’s MAN HANDS. You’ve hated her since elementary school.”
“No, Quinn. You’ve hated her since the first grade and she was chosen to be Dorothy in that private school you, Britt, and Rachel went to. I was in public school because my parents thought it would be better for me. The only reason I hated her in high school is because you started in on your feud again and I wanted to look out for Britts because she’s my best friend.”
Quinn glared at them, her nostrils flaring. “Fine, but it’s your rep on the line.”
“Quinn, you really should be nicer to Rachel. You don’t know anything about her,” Brittany said sternly, her arm draped across the shorter brunette’s shoulders. “She’s really nice, and she always makes sure I’m okay when I don’t understand something. She’s helped me get through English and science class ever since the start of high school. And she never makes me feel stupid.”
Quinn’s eyes softened for a moment, but she pressed on. “Look, you guys. It’s our year to get it right, and I don’t want anyone messing with that.”
“Yeah,” Santana said slowly, an idea popping into her head. “You want to go down in McKinley history, right?” Quinn nodded. “Well, what if you totally stopped the bullying. You’re head Cheerio, and Britts and I are your enforcers. We could stop all the slushies and the bullying at school and be fucking heroes. Puckerman will help us and everything. You can be the fucking hero that made our school safe for people who are different. And, if we can do this, it’ll be like nationally important. Like, students aren’t fucking assholes and can totally change things.”
“You really think so? Like, I’ll really be able to make a difference?”
Santana looked at Rachel, who took it as her cue to start speaking. “Yes, Quinn. You could make the school a safe environment, which people like Principal Figgins and Mr. Schuester have failed.”
Quinn smiled at them, a tear slipping down her cheek. “Okay, then. I’ll do it. I’ll change the school.”
Santana grinned. “Listen, Q, you can hang out with Britts, Rachel, and I at any time this summer. We’re going for one last badass romp before we have to worry about getting our shit together for college and stuff. And you’re pretty badass, and that’s coming from me.”
Quinn, in a completely uncharacteristic fit, hugged all of them before skipping away with promises to text Santana. “You’re so whipped,” Brittany said, giggling. “You totally pandered to her ego and her drive to make a difference.”
Rachel glanced between them, her head moving so fast Santana was afraid she’d get whiplashed. “You like Quinn?” She asked Santana, who nodded. “But… I… Aren’t you two together?”
“Me and Britts?” Rachel nodded. “Look, I love Britts. And yeah, we had a little something going on, but we’re not what the other wants. But all that shit stopped after Nationals, because we both knew it wasn’t fair if we kept fucking each other while pining after other people.” Rachel looked shell-shocked, so Santana turned to Brittany. “Why don’t we get her back to her place and then we can explain a little more fully? Because she deserves to know, Britts. And it’s getting kind of dark, ya know?”
“Okay,” Brittany said, scooping Rachel into her arms. “But you’re walking Stella back.”
“That’s so not fair, Britts!”
On their way back to the Berry’s, Rachel fell asleep in Brittany’s arms. Her jaw was slightly open, a thin line of drool making its way down her chin. Santana smiled at the sight, wiping the drool away. Brittany stuck her tongue out, and Santana just knew she was silently mocking her for being so caring towards Rachel. Whatever. Badasses could take care of their friends. It was part of the code.
When they walked up Rachel’s front steps, they found Puck leaning against the door. “Hey,” he said, ruffling Brittany’s hair. “I told my mom that I was finally pulling my head out of my ass and stepping up for Rachel, and she demanded that I spend the night and take care of my Princess. So, here I am.”
“Princess?” Santana frowned at Puck. He knew Brittany was completely in love with Rachel. If he was planning anything with the diva, Santana was already plotting out how to completely remove his male anatomy.
“Yeah, like Jewish American Princess. She’s my Jew Babe, and we hot Jews need to stick together. I’m here to help you both get your girls and be a good fucking man. I’m the bro of this little Lez pack.” He smirked at them. “Y’all are like wolves, right? Highly loyal and fucking excellent hunters?” Santana rolled her eyes and shoved him out of the way, unlocking the door. “Don’t mind me. I’m just your friendly neighborhood bro, here for all your party and badass needs.”
“You know about her dads,” Brittany said, gently placing Rachel on the couch.
“Yeah. She ran to my house the day after they left her for Boston or where the fuck ever. She begged me not to tell my Ma, and so I didn’t. I just told her that both of Rachel’s dads worked long hours and so she might need to pick Rachel up and drop her off some days.”
“That’s the same thing I told my mom.”
Puck smiled at her. “Yeah, I figured. It’s time to take care of our little Diva, isn’t it?” Brittany nodded vigorously. “You and me, we got this. Santana’s more focused on Quinn, but she’ll be good. And I’m totally your wingman for getting Princess, because I can see how happy you make her.”
“HEY! What do you mean more focused on Quinn?”
Puck shrugged, lying down on the floor. “Quinn’s your one perfect thing, Satan, and you’re so in love with her that you want to make her perfectly happy. If we get Quinn to turn around this summer…”
“We have,” Santana growled.
“Okay, so now that Quinn’s not focused on hating Princess, you’re gonna be to Quinn what Brittany’s gonna be to Rachel. And so you’re gonna focus on Quinn, even though you wanna help Rachel too. And I totally get that, because Q’s so your girl. The four of you are going to be like the four Musketeers or some shit, and I’ll be your bro.”
“You know, Puckerman,” Santana said, smiling at him. “You’re not so bad.”
“Thanks, Lopez, I do try.”
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee. If I did, it would be ten times gayer and not as misogynistic.
A/N 1: First off, I would like to apologize to everyone waiting for updates on my other stories. I've been really busy with school-work and dealing with some personal issues, but I promise updates are coming. I'm working on them right now, in fact, and I've implemented a system for myself that I refuse to deviate from, which will mean more frequent updates. Again, I apologize.
A/N 2: I have a projected end for this story: I’m going to go through the whole summer and end it with the day before their senior year of high school. I feel like I could write the whole history of the world on them, but I’m going to stop myself because I have other projects I’m working on. This story is a pleasure for me to write, but I feel like it’s time to move on. All three of my currently ongoing stories will be ending within the coming year. And I promise they well all be finished before I start on any new fanfic projects.
Brittany carried Rachel up to her room, gently placing her small frame in the middle of the bed. Brittany sat on the edge of the bed, running her fingers through Rachel’s hair. Puck stood in the doorway, Santana next to him, and they all watched as the worry lines that usually defined Rachel’s face disappeared. The sleeping girl whimpered and crawled over to where Brittany was sitting, her hand closing around the edge of Brittany’s shirt.
“Britt,” Puck said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Why don’t Santana and I leave for a while, and let you and Rachel talk about, you know, everything.”
She looked at them with big, soft blue eyes. “Please?”
“Of course, Britts,” Santana said, grabbing Puck’s elbow. “Do whatever it is you need to do. You’ve got this, Britts. I know you do.”
Santana and Puck left, and Brittany moved so that she was spooning Rachel. Rachel twitched, her hands clawing at Brittany’s wrists, and her whole body convulsed, nearly throwing Brittany from her spot. Brittany simply held on tighter, resting her chin on the crown of Rachel’s head, and waited for the spasm to pass.
“Brittany,” Rachel whispered, her eyes slitting open.
“I’m right here.”
Rachel turned in Brittany’s arms, burying her head in the hollow between the blonde’s shoulder and neck. “Why?”
“Hmmm?” Brittany said, her mind not really focusing on words. Rachel was in her arms, Rachel’s breath was on her neck. “Why what?”
“You’re here… Why are you here?”
“Why would I be anywhere else? I like being here.” Brittany punctuated her statement with a kiss to Rachel’s forehead. “I like being where you are.”
Brittany sighed and scooted back, shifting so that Rachel’s head was in her lap. “I really like you, Rae. I’ve always wanted to be your friend, and I had always planned to follow you to New York. We’d be at Julliard together, about to take the world by storm, and we’d be best friends…”
“How can you be sure?”
Brittany sat up, twisting in the bed so that she could stare directly into Rachel’s eyes. “I need you in my life, Rae. I know it’s strange to hear, and I know no one’s ever really been there for you like this, but I need you, Rae. More than I’ve ever needed anything else.”
She didn’t know why, but she leaned forwards and pressed a kiss to Rachel’s forehead, her fingers winding through the silky brown tresses. She felt Rachel sigh against her, the smaller girl curling into Brittany’s warmth. She kissed Rachel’s head again, trying to tell her that things would be all right, that she would always be there. But Rachel couldn’t trust that, not yet. Brittany knew she had work to do before Rachel could trust those words.
“It’s got to be more than that,” Rachel said, her head slipping into the hollow between Brittany’s neck and shoulder. “No one needs me.”
Brittany sighed, smoothing down Rachel’s hair. “Why does it have to be more than that? I need you, Rae.” She licked her lips, knowing it was now or never. “I’ve needed you for a long time, ever since we started dance class together.”
Rachel pulled back, staring blankly at Brittany. The cheerleader licked her lips again, leaning forwards slightly. They connected gently, Brittany moving slowly so as not to spook Rachel. The kiss itself was soft, full of promise. Rachel gasped, but Brittany didn’t invade her mouth. She needed to be courteous, to let Rachel set the pace.
“Do you get it now,” she said as Rachel pulled away, brown eyes full of fear. “I need you, Rae. You make my heart beat.”
“B-Britt?” Rachel reached out, running the tips of her fingers over Brittany’s face. “What was that?”
Rachel’s fingers were working some magic spell over Brittany, moving from her face down to her neck. “Did you really mean that?”
“Yes.” Brittany’s answer was definitive, her eyes holding Rachel’s. “I really, really meant it, Rae.”
“Good,” Rachel said, leaning forwards again.
Their second kiss was fiery, but still gentle. Brittany didn’t want her to spook, and her hands gently cradled Rachel’s head. Her thumbs brushed over the swell of Rachel’s cheeks and felt wetness there. She pulled away from Rachel’s lips and kissed away her tears, smiling as Rachel clung tighter to her.
“Don’t cry, love.” Her lips kissed away all trace of tears. “There’s nothing to cry about.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m crying…”
“We can talk about it,” Brittany said, smoothing down Rachel’s hair and kissing her forehead. “I may not be school-smart but I’m people-smart. Talk to me if you need to, love.”
“Brittany, no, you’re incredibly smart.”
Brittany smiled, the pads of her fingers roving over Rachel’s face. “Talk to me. I promise not to judge.”
Rachel shook her head, burying it against Brittany’s neck. Her lips were pressed tight, as though she had something to say and was refusing to let it out. Brittany threaded her fingers through Rachel’s hair, gently rubbing the silky strands. Rachel sighed, her breath caressing Brittany’s skin.
“Please tell me, love.”
Brittany kissed Rachel’s forehead. “You don’t have to be scared.”
“Yes, I do! What if my dad’s find out and they take me away? What if they sell the house and make me leave? I have nothing, Brittany. Nothing. I need… I just need for things to be okay. I need for things to stay the same.”
“Love, things are going to get better. Santana and I are going to protect you. Everything’s going to be fine.” Rachel shook her head more forcefully, nuzzling deeper into Brittany’s neck. “San and I will keep you safe, that’s a promise.”
“I don’t know if I can trust that…”
Brittany sighed. It had been a while since she’d been open and tactile with Rachel, but she knew the girl’s moods. Rachel had been shy as a child, always afraid that someone would hurt her because of her fathers. Before middle school, they’d doted on her to make up for how people treated her. And Rachel hadn’t needed anyone else besides her fathers. But then things started to change, and Rachel was left all alone. Stella was bought out of guilt, to give Rachel a companion to the loneliness they’d always fostered.
Brittany was determined to change that. She’d failed Rachel all those years ago, and now she was determined to right things. Cradling Rachel to her chest, she felt an overwhelming urge to protect the starlet.
“We have the whole summer,” Brittany murmured, kissing Rachel’s hair. “San, Puck, and I will be there for you no matter what.”
Rachel fell asleep and Brittany eased out from under her, pulling the blankets up to her chin. The walk down to the kitchen, where Santana and Puck were arguing over who was more of a badass.
“How is she,” Santana asked, shoving Puck to the ground.
“Rae’s fine. She’s sleeping.” Brittany patted Santana’s head. “She’s so scared…”
“Of what?” Puck stood up, dusting his shirt off. “Britt, what’s she scared of?”
Brittany stared at the marble-top counter, her fingers tracing hearts into the surface. “She doesn’t want anyone to hurt her. She’s been hurt so much… I think she’s forgotten how to trust in a good thing.”
Santana and Brittany glared at Puck. “I hope you have plans,” Santana said to Brittany.
“Not much we can do, Satan.” Puck sat heavily on one of the stools, running his hands over his ‘hawk. “We’ve got a ton of shit to prove. Even you and me, Britt. Sometimes I think we fucked up the most.”
“We need to keep her dads from figuring anything out. And keep Shelby out of everything. If she finds out…” Brittany’s fist slammed into the counter. “No matter what, we need to keep her safe.”
Puck met Brittany’s eyes and nodded, standing. He patted her shoulder as he walked past, heading for the front door. “I need to go… talk to Kurt or whatever.”
“The fuck was that?”
“Come,” Brittany said, heading into the living room. “There’s a lot you don’t know about Rachel, things that only Puck and I know outside of the Berry family. You need to know, and I need to tell you.” Brittany sank into the armchair, tucking her legs into her chest. “Do you know just how lonely she’s been? We were never really nice to her at all. But it used to be okay, because she had her daddies and they loved her so much. All throughout elementary school she was fine because they loved her, even if no one else did.”
“What happened to her?”
Brittany rested her chin on her knees. “She was attacked, the summer before we all went to middle school. My mom found her on the side of the road, barely moving. We rushed her to the emergency room and my mom called her dads, who were working in Columbus at the time. They never came for her.”
“What do you mean?”
“They didn’t come for her. Mom and I nursed her back to health and then took her home. It wasn’t until three weeks later, when school was about to start, that we realized she still hadn’t seen her fathers.” Tears had started streaming down Brittany’s face, but she made no move to wipe them away. “She lived with us until Christmas, even though we had to pretend to not like each other until we were safe inside. Then, her dads came back for a while, and she wasn’t allowed to live with us anymore.”
“What. The. Ever-loving. Fuck,” Santana growled. “You can’t just do that!”
Brittany shrugged, curling tighter into herself. It wasn’t pleasant to think about. The best moments in her life had been when Rachel lived with her, when they would crawl into bed with each other at night, Rachel’s head resting gently on her chest. Brittany could remember exactly how Rachel’s body felt when pressed against her own.
“Fuck. And we just… Fuck. Did they catch the fuckers who tried to kill her?”
Brittany nodded, finally wiping away her tears. “Yeah. Surely you heard about it? Two adults sent to federal prison for attempted murder of a minor.”
Santana’s fists clenched, pressing into the suede of the sofa. “Adults? Where the fuck do they get off, trying to kill a kid?”
Brittany shrugged. She still got nightmares about the night she and her mom found Rachel on the side of the road, covered in bruises and barely breathing. She remembered curling up next to Rachel on the hospital bed, resting her palm against the other girl’s chest just to make sure her heart was still beating. The four days in the hospital haunted her, and it was part of the reason she still felt so guilty, even though she didn’t actively harm Rachel at school. The pain in her chest whenever she saw a slushy, even if it wasn’t in the hallways of William McKinley High School, was one she knew she would always live with.
Stella padded over to them, nudging Brittany’s shin with her nose. Her amber eyes were wide, and she whined. Sighing, Brittany stood up, scratching behind Stella’s ears. “I’ll go lay with her. San, you might want to start on this whole Quinn thing. But don’t say anything about what I just told you. Rachel doesn’t trust Quinn, and I won’t have you breaking her trust.”
Santana saluted, rolling her eyes, and walked out the front door. Brittany would take care of Rachel. She needed to get to Quinn. Texting the current HBIC, Santana slid into the driver’s seat of her Camaro and waited for a response. It was a simple text, a ‘hey do you want to meet up for coffee,’ but she still felt her heart slamming into her sternum. Her phone beeped twice, indicating a response. What she saw broke her heart. Quinn needed a place to stay for the next two weeks – her asshole parents were off to some Caribbean island for a second honeymoon.
Sighing, she called Quinn’s number. “Mi casa es su casa,” she said as Quinn picked up. “There’s shit we need to deal with anyways.”
“Yeah, Q. Look, you can stay with me or Britts. We’ll take care of you, or whatever.” She ran her fingers through her hair. “Where are you right now?”
“At… the park. I have some clothes in a bag, and I still have my house key in case you guys get bored of me.”
“Fuck’s sake, Q. We’re gonna take care of you, not drop you if we get bored. This summer’s supposed to be awesome, okay? That means no getting bored and no abandoning people. I’m coming to get you.”
“Santana you really don’t have to.”
“Keep your ass parked where it is, Q. I’m coming to get you.”
“Santana, I’m serious.”
“So am I, Q. Your ass is staying where it is and I’m gonna pick you up, and then we’re gonna get some coffee and talk it out, or whatever it is fully=functional human beings do.”
“See you soon,” she said, ending the call.
The drive to the park was gentle, but Santana couldn’t calm her heart. She leapt out of her car the moment she pulled into the parking lot, stumbling towards a wicker bench where Quinn was seated. She slumped next to her, her arm slung around Quinn’s shoulders.
“Told you I’d see you soon,” she quipped, leaning into the blonde.
“You’re crazy, you know.”
“Nah, Britt’s mom checked me out. Not crazy, just anger issues. Fixed that shit by going to a gym and punching things.”
“Shit’s true.” Santana grinned wickedly, her eyes twinkling. “And I know, watch my language. Now, come on. You can’t camp out in the park. That bag’s too small to hide a tent.”
“Don’t worry about it, Q. I know you’ll beat yourself up trying to make this up to us. Just sit back and enjoy the ride for once in your life, okay?”
Hesitantly, Quinn nodded, leaning into Santana’s embrace. Santana ran her fingers through the blonde’s hair, smoothing out the tangles that were probably due to waking up and being forced to leave her home before any hygiene ritual could be completed. Santana was really starting to hate adults and their bullshit.
“It’s gonna be okay, Q. You’ll see.”
“You can’t promise that.”
No, she couldn’t promise that. Okay was a state of being that needed to be worked for. Santana knew, better than anyone, that okay was harder to be found than LGBTQ allies in the middle of nowhere, Ohio. Still, she’d work damn hard to make sure that Quinn would find an ‘okay,’ even if it wasn’t with her. She loved Quinn, more than anything she’d ever loved, and all she wanted was for the blonde to be happy.
“What are you planning?” Quinn stared at Santana, her eyes glistening with tears. “You have to be planning something. No one cares.”
“Let’s just go get some coffee, okay? You can tell me all about it. Or not, and you can talk about whatever. But you need to get out of the open air and get some food into you.”
She pulled Quinn up from the bench and shouldered her duffel bag, dragging the blonde towards her car. Once Quinn was situated in the passenger seat, Santana pulled away from the park, heading towards the only coffee shop in town. She placed a caramel latte in front of Quinn and sipped at her own frappe. The cooling breeze of the air-con system whispered across their skin, causing goose bumps to rise on Santana’s arms.
“Thanks, I guess.”
“Don’t mention it.”
Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee. If I did, it would be ten times gayer and not as misogynistic.
A/N 1: Hey y’all it’s SUMMERTIME [well, summer vacation time for me]! That means I’ll have more down time to work on this, as well as my other fanfics and some original fiction as well. Anyways, hope this update doesn’t disappoint!
A/N 2: This chapter is a late birthday present to myself. I would have posted this on my actual birthday, but I was too busy binging on brownies.
Moving Quinn into Santana’s spare room was a simple affair. Brittany managed to pull herself away from Rachel and help them, but she kept her eye on the time, which confused Quinn. The other blonde was still wary about Rachel, who she still viewed as an enemy, but she could see that Brittany was in love, and she couldn’t bring herself to make Brittany feel bad about her emotions. Though she didn’t understand how anyone could even tolerate Rachel, Quinn trusted Brittany’s intuition and emotional intelligence.
“You really didn’t have to offer me a place to stay, Santi,” Quinn said, sitting on the edge of the bed. “I could have just stayed at home.”
“How the fuck you gonna stay home when your ass can’t cook and don’t have enough money to get take-out every day until your ass-hat parents get back?” Santana flopped down next to Quinn, her hair fanning out around her head. “Let me take care of you, alright? Your ass needs it right now.”
Brittany grinned at Santana, who stuck out her tongue. “I really need to get back. Rae and I are having dinner with my mom and I’m picking her up.”
“What’s up with you and the Hobbit, Britt?”
Quinn paled at the uncharacteristically stern glare Brittany fixed her with. “She’s not a Hobbit, Q. She’s a human being and you should treat her like one. Because we’ve all been super shitty to Rae and now we’ve got to make up for like everything.”
“That’s not what I meant, Britt. I just… I want to understand.”
Brittany’s smile is beatific. “You will understand, Q. But I don’t trust you with her right now, so I won’t let you near her. She’s mine, she’s precious, and I will protect her as much as I can.” She kissed Santana’s cheek before waltzing out, pausing in the doorway to say, “I’ll text you later, San. Maybe we can all go to the museum in Columbus. Rae has a really nice car.”
Santana nodded, giving Brittany a half-wave. Quinn flopped next to her, turning to face the bronze-skinned girl. Santana’s smile was so honest that Quinn didn’t really know how to process it, and so she tucked her head against Santana’s shoulder, one hand curling around a tanned biceps.
“You’re confusing me, Santi. You’re being so nice, even though you’re the baddest self-proclaimed bitch in Ohio. Why are you being so nice?”
Santana’s smile never faced, and she started running her fingers through Quinn’s hair. “You know I’m not really a bitch outside of school. It’s the summer and no one’s being an ass, Q. Besides, Britt’s mom has me on this functioning human kick, so I’m trying that shit out.”
“It’s been a while since we’ve even been friends, Santi, so I don’t really know anymore.” She nestled deeper into Santana’s impromptu embrace. “What’s up with Britt and the…. Rachel?”
Santana sighed and slipped away from Quinn, scooting up to sit against the headboard. “I don’t know how much to tell you, but it isn’t fair to keep you in the dark all the time.” She closed her eyes and waited for Quinn to crawl up next to her. “Britt has been in love with Rachel since like forever, okay? She and I were lovers, but we were only placeholders for each other. But we found Rachel practically broken in the park and decided that each other isn’t good enough when we could have who we really wanted, and who we really wanted is in need of us. We brought Rachel back to her house and we’ve been taking care of her and her cute-as-fuck dog since them. Puck’s been helping to, because he’s apparently not an ass.”
Quinn felt a strange fluttering in her chest. “And who do you really want?”
Santana weighed her options. She could tell Quinn everything, but of the two situations that would arise from that (one of which being Quinn returning her feelings and the other being Quinn running from her home) Santana was sure the latter would happen. She stood at a fork in the road of her life, eyes flicking between both options.
“Do you really wanna know, Q? I don’t wanna mess up our friendship if we’re just getting it back, ya feel?” Santana smiled at Quinn again, that same honest smile. “I’ll tell you one day, or maybe you’ll figure it out, you smart bitch.”
Quinn laughed, something she hadn’t done in a long while. “You’ll tell me, one day. I’ll make sure of it.”
Quinn couldn’t get over Santana’s smile. It was the kind of smile that spoke volumes and wormed its way into her heart. She didn’t quite know what to make of it, so she ignored it, cuddling into Santana’s side. The other cheerleader’s fingers went instantly to her hair, running through it.
“What are your plans for Finn?”
Santana sighed, unsure of how much to share. “Well, Kurt’s Aunts should have arrived today, and tomorrow Puck, Britt and I are gonna talk to them about all the shit Finn’s pulled. His Aunt Jaime is a retired ultimate fighter and she hates entitled white boys, especially entitled white boys who don’t respect women.”
“Wait,” Quinn said, pulling away from Santana. “You’re not actually going after Finn yourself?”
“Nah. I’d probably end up sending him to the hospital and then going to jail for assault, and I wouldn’t do well in jail.” Santana grinned wickedly at her. “Don’t worry, pendejo won’t bother you or Rachel anymore. Britt refuses to accept anything less.”
“She really loves Berry, doesn’t she?” Quinn rolled her eyes. “And I won’t call her anything but Berry, until I can come up with a nickname that doesn’t make Britt want to kill me.”
“That’s smart on your part, Q.” Santana stuck her tongue out again, grinning at how carefree Quinn looked in that moment. “She’s really not so bad, you know. And her dog’s totally badass.”
“Look, I’ve promised to have an open mind. You can’t ask more than that.”
Santana tackled Quinn to the ground, her heart light at the squeal Quinn let out at finding herself pinned beneath Santana. They wrestled until Quinn was too tired to deal, and then Santana left, whispering goodnight as she shut off the lights.
Across town, Brittany was busy giving Rachel a pep-talk about their dinner with Doctor Pierce, running her hands through the brunette’s hair. “I promise, mom’s really nice. You remember her, Rae. She’s never judged you.”
“It’s not her judging me that I’m scared of,” Rachel whispered, curling into Brittany’s side. “It’s the first time I’ll see her since I got my car, and the first time since we started… you know.”
Brittany nuzzled the top of Rachel’s head. “Mom loves you, Rae. And she knows I’m totally into you. There’s nothing you could do to make her hate you, okay?”
“They say that there’s nothing you can do to make your parents hate you, Brittany, but that happened.” Rachel slumped into Brittany’s hug. “How can parents that aren’t mine love me? How can anyone…”
Brittany wrapped Rachel in a hug, catching her before Rachel’s legs crumbled and she sobbed, clinging to Brittany’s shoulders. Not for the first time, Brittany wanted to strangle the Berry men, her arms cradling their abandoned daughter to her chest. She didn’t do anything but hold her, not wanting to push Rachel into anything that would make her run. Sure, they had kissed, but that didn’t necessarily mean anything.
“I need you to kiss me,” Rachel whispered, her lips ghosting Brittany’s pulse.
“When you kissed me, I felt calm. You made all the bad shit go away. So I need you to kiss me before we leave so I can be calm.”
Brittany smiled brilliantly before her lips brushed against Rachel’s, fingers tangling in chestnut-brown locks. Slowly, she started moving her lips, parting them slightly and attempting to suck Rachel’s lower lip between her own. The kiss deepened and Brittany’s fingers tightened, holding Rachel to her. She smiled into the kiss as Rachel moaned, and then pulled away, resting her forehead against the brunette’s. Rachel’s eyes fluttered open, a serene smile gracing her lips. She trailed the backs of her fingers on Brittany’s cheeks, her thumbs brushing over Brittany’s lips.
“Ready?” Brittany kept her voice soft, loathe to break the tranquility surrounding them.
Rachel shook her head, hiding her face in the crook of Brittany’s neck. Brittany laughed and gently pulled Rachel’s face up, connecting their lips again, her tongue outlining Rachel’s lips. She felt Rachel gasp in her arms and tightened them. Rachel arched into her, their bodies pressed into each other.
“We should go before I forget where we’re going,” Rachel said against Brittany’s lips, her eyes still closed. “Because I don’t want to leave, but if we don’t we’ll never get there.”
Brittany kissed her again, tenderly this time, and escorted Rachel to her car, one that she restored herself when she was given it for her sixteenth birthday. Brittany wasn’t school smart, but she did have an excellent memory when someone physically showed her the steps. It was why she was so good at dance and cheer – she could see how the moves looked and could mimic them with her body. Her uncle was a mechanic in Columbus and taught her about cars, showing her everything about engines ever since she was six and could hold a wrench.
“Have I mentioned that I love your car,” Rachel said as she slid into the passenger seat.
“Once or twice.”
Johanna Pierce opened her front door and smiled as Rachel and Brittany walked to the house from the garage. Johanna hadn’t seen Rachel in a year and a half, except for Glee club events – even then she didn’t really see Rachel so much as attend an event where Rachel performed. She smiled at the girls and waved them in, shooing them into the dining room. From Rachel’s body language, Johanna knew the girl was hesitant about this meeting. Johanna understood her apprehension, but she pushed down the hurt in her chest and hugged Rachel anyways.
“It’s lovely to see you, Rachel,” she said as she wrapped the girl in a hug. “I’ve missed you around the house.”
Rachel blushed, reaching out for Brittany. The dancer wrapped an arm around Rachel’s shoulders and pulled her tight, smiling sadly at her mother. Johanna sighed and waved the two girls off, returning to the kitchen to keep dinner from burning.
“Told you,” Brittany muttered, leading Rachel into her room. “She’s missed you, Rae. You should come over whenever you need. She loves you.”
“Brittany, I can’t just leave Stella home alone.” Rachel played with her fingers, her eyes darting to Brittany’s eyes before finding the wallpaper incredibly interesting. “And I don’t know how to deal with parents.”
Brittany kissed Rachel’s forehead, holding the starlet to her chest. “I promise that mom won’t judge you. She might try and get you to talk more than you want, but she will never judge you. She taught me all about not judging people, you know.”
Johanna walked upstairs, to get the girls for dinner, but she stopped in the doorway. Rachel was wrapped up in Brittany’s arms, standing on the balls of her feet. Brittany stroked her arms up and down Rachel’s back, their lips fused together. A smile graced Johanna’s lips. She knew all about her little girl’s love for Rachel, having spent Brittany’s childhood sitting up with her and listening to a perfect recall of every encounter her little girl had with Rachel that day. She waited for them to pull out of the embrace before altering them to her presence. She caught Brittany’s eyes and nodded, which Brittany returned. It was a simple moment, an understanding between mother and daughter, but Johanna trusted Brittany to know the full extent of that nod.
Brittany thanked her mother as she brought Rachel into the dining room. The nod was her mother’s way of giving permission, of accepting that Rachel would be a permanent fixture in their lives. Brittany, when she loved, loved deeply and completely. She gave herself in her entirety to whomever she wanted to be with and would never betray that person. As that hypothetical person had always been Rachel, there was nothing that would make her turn from Rachel, no matter the uncertainty of the future.
Dinner was vegan Pad Thai, a dish Johanna knew Brittany enjoyed immensely. Rachel took tentative bites before smiling widely and digging in.
“I still remember what we cooked when you lived with us,” Johanna said, her lips turning up as Rachel blushed and asked for more. “Brittany and I still order out from Breadstix every Friday, you know. You’re more than welcome to join us.”
Rachel’s blush intensified. “I wouldn’t want to impose.”
Johanna shook her head. “You’re never an imposition, Rachel. I adore having you around, dear.”
Brittany nudged Rachel, a grin plastered on her lips. From the look in Rachel’s eyes, Brittany knew Rachel didn’t trust anything that was being said. But she turned her attention to her mother, attempting to convey her desire to protect Rachel from every hardship in that one glance. Johanna nodded, causing Brittany to sigh in relief. Her arm snaked behind Rachel’s neck, resting on the starlet’s far shoulder. It was such a gentle movement that Rachel smiled, her left hand lacing Brittany’s. Brittany scooted her chair closer, trying to ignore that her mother was in the room.
Johanna rolled her eyes and cleared the table, leaving the two girls to their bubble of tenderness. She peered in from the kitchen, rubber gloves covering her arms. She could tell that there was something bothering Rachel, something she felt she couldn’t tell anyone. Johanna remembered carrying Rachel to the hospital, a small body broken and bruised that was barely keeping itself alive. In that moment, she had wanted to keep Rachel with her, shield her from everything that was terrible in the world. Johanna was almost certain that Rachel didn’t have her parents with her, and she wanted to push. She wanted to push through the walls that Rachel had built around herself and help the girl to heal, but she wouldn’t. She would never do anything to harm that beautiful girl that had her little girl’s heart. Johanna would die before she saw any more tears fall from those big brown eyes.