A yawn ripped out of Santana’s mouth as she pushed the door to the loft closed. Kicking off her shoes she let out a groan before dropping her bag and keys on the table near the door. She was glad it was Friday. The week had been Hell and she was ready to relax. “Berry? Are you home?” She called out as she walked to the fridge for something to drink. When she got no answer she glanced at the microwave clock and realized it was after six. She was probably already at the theater. “Q?” She perked an eyebrow and when there was still silence she smiled. She had the place to herself.
It wasn’t that she hated living with Rachel, and Quinn on the weekends she managed to be home, but she definitely liked having the place to herself. No cute coupley stuff to watch at dinner, no sappy movies, and no talking in the next room until three in the morning. If she wanted to be up that late she would go out.
With the place to herself she plopped onto the couch, kicked her feet up on the coffee table, something Rachel always scolded her for, and grabbed the remote. Time to catch up on all the shows Rachel hates. She was fast forwarding through some commercials at the beginning of one of her shows when she noticed a pretty envelope near her feet on the table. She sat up straight and reached for it without hesitation. She was nosy and no one was there to stop her. Besides it was probably an invite to another lame Broadway party. Rachel got so many of those she probably didn’t blink at them anymore.
Half glancing at the tv, she pulled the card out of the envelope then started reading the gold lettering. That is when her hand went cold. “We cordially invite you to celebrate the marriage of Judith and Preston.” Santana blinked a few times then gave her head a shake of disbelief. It took her a moment to process but finally she mumbled “Shit. She is getting re-married.”
She re-read the invite a few times then flipped over the envelope to see that it had been addressed to only Quinn. Santana let out a huffed laugh “no wonder it says she can bring a guest.” Although Judy didn’t treat her daughter’s girlfriends like they were invisible scum anymore she did tend to exclude them “accidentally.” It was still a bit of a touchy subject even after all the years that had passed.
Santana shook her head and tossed the invite back onto the table before kicking back once more. She was glad she didn’t have to go. Just as she was getting comfortable again the door slid open and Quinn came into the loft. Santana sat up again and gave her a smile “Hey, you’re home! I thought you’d go see Rachel first.”
“Seen it” Quinn mumbled and pulled her suitcase across the kitchen floor toward her bedroom. “She doesn’t expect me to see her in the play every weekend.”
“You used to” Santana shrugged and set down her water before standing and moving over to help Quinn with her bag.
“Yeah that was when she first got the role. It’s been a year now. I’ve seen her so many times I think I could play the role.”
“You and me both” Santana mumbled with a laugh as she settled the suitcase on Quinn’s bedroom floor with a thud. She watched Quinn flop onto her bed and shook her head “Why do you lug this home every weekend? They have laundry mats in New Haven, don’t they?”
“Don’t be dumb. I have the means to do it here, why would I pay to do laundry there?”
“Convenience?” Santana offered with a shrug.
Quinn rolled her eyes then laughed. She was right. Doing her laundry at school would be easier. She rubbed her eyes and shook her head “Rach likes doing my laundry” she admitted.
Santana perked an eyebrow and let out a laugh “You are so whipped.”
“I am not.”
Santana rolled her eyes with a smirk “Okay, whatever you say.”
“I’m not! She just likes doing it. Says it makes her feel close to me since she doesn’t get to see me everyday.”
“Fine” Santana lifted her hands in surrender. “Whatever you say.”
“Get out” Quinn threw a pillow at Santana, which she dodged then ducked out of the room with a laugh. Quinn rolled her eyes in annoyance then smiled. It was weird but it made Rachel happy so it was the least she could do.
“Hey, Q?” Santana’s voice broke through Quinn’s thoughts as she entered her room again. This time with something in her hand.
When Quinn sat up and spotted what she held, she let out a sigh “Yeah?”
“You going?” Santana asked as she sat on the edge of the bed and handed it to Quinn.
Quinn nodded and took the invite, her eyes looking at the gold lettering before she shrugged and looked at her friend “I kind of have to. I mean, it’s my mother’s wedding. I can’t miss it.”
Santana lifted a shoulder in half of a shrug then looked at her friend “Think it’s going to be weird?”
“No weirder than coming home for Christmas to see him cooking dinner with her and her acting like we should have expected it even though none of us knew she was seeing someone.” Quinn’s voice held a bitter bite to it. The entire subject of the divorce and her mother’s new husband to-be was still rather sore for her. Just like everything in life, Judy had not handled telling her girls about him appropriately.
Santana sighed and put a hand on her friend’s leg. She remembered how the divorce had affected everyone. That had been a hard time for not only the Fabray girls but everyone around them too.
Quinn shook her head and tossed the invite aside “It just sucks that Rach can’t go.”
“Why not?” Santana was surprised to hear that, to say the least.
Quinn just shrugged “She can’t get the time away from the play. So I am going alone.”
“Q” Santana gave her leg a squeeze and pouted “You won’t be alone. Your family will be there.”
“Hey! What are you doing?” Quinn perked up as if she hadn’t even registered what Santana had been saying.
“Ohhhh no” Santana shook her head and gave Quinn a firm glare. “No way.”
“San” Quinn whined out.
“No” Santana stood up from the bed now “Way too weird! You are just gonna have to go alone.”
“Santana...” Quinn now sing songed her name and gave her a sweet smile.
Santana laughed and shook her head “No. Q, I’m sorry, but no. I’m not going to put myself through that.”
Quinn pouted her bottom lip out and gave a fake sniffle. “Please? It won’t be that weird.”
“I haven’t talked to her in two years.”
Quinn sighed and held her pout. She watched her friend from across the room and her pout turned into a genuine frown when she saw the pain on her face. “San, I know. But you won’t have to talk to her. I’ll be there. Britt and Dana will be there. I’m sure it would mean a lot to my mom.”
Santana curled her lip at the corner. She had been like a second mother to Santana since middle school. Even if she had handled the whole gay thing badly she had still supported Santana. Finally she rolled her eyes and sighed “For your mom.”
Quinn smiled widely at that “I love you, Santana Lopez!”
“Yeah, you better.” Santana shook her head and waved her hand as she left the room.
“Hey, where you going?”
“I gotta pack” Santana called behind her ducking into her own room now. This was the last thing she expected she would be doing this weekend. She hoped Quinn was right. She hoped she could avoid speaking to Charlie for the next few days. Even after two years she was not ready to face her. How do you look into the eyes of the person who shattered your heart into a million pieces? What do you say? Hopefully she wouldn’t have to find out.
“How could you do this to me?” Santana’s voice cracked, giving away the fact that she was fighting off tears.
Charlie just shrugged. She had no answer, at least not one she was willing to share just yet.
Santana shook her head as tears finally broke forth and slowly trickled down from her eyes. “I don’t think I can ever forgive you for this.” She wiped at a tear on her cheek quickly then pointed to her dorm room door “get out. I never want to see you again.”
“Out!” There was fury behind Santana’s eyes that Charlie had never seen before. She knew this was probably the last time she would ever see Santana Lopez. It was only now in this instance that she regretted her actions.”
“You ready, San?” Quinn’s voice was soft as she broke into Santana’s memory. It was early the next morning, too early, and they had a flight to catch.
Santana cleared her throat and pushed away the painful memory she had just been lost in before putting on a forced smile and turning now to face her friend “Yeah, let’s do this.” She knew the next few days were going to be ones that she never wanted to experience. “For Judy” she kept telling herself during the entire flight back to Lima. Back to a life she had given up the day Charlie had torn her heart from her chest.
“What the Hell? Where’s mom?” Quinn looked around as her arms circled her older sister.
“Good to see you too, sis” Dana laughed as she returned the hug then pulled back. “She’s busy with finishing touches for tonight. Where’s Rachel?”
“Good to see you too, bud” Santana mocked Dana’s tone from a moment ago then laughed and offered her a hug as well. “What? No more funky colors?” She asked with a smirk as she pulled back from the hug and flicked a lock of Dana’s dyed black hair.
“Apparently it’s unprofessional.” Dana shrugged then gave her a smile. “Good to see you. It’s been too long.”
“Yeah” Santana nodded and the old friends share a look that said it all. Dana still felt bad about Charlie.
“Rachel has her show” Quinn shrugged. “Where’s B?”
“She is making a circle with the car. Didn’t wanna pay for parking.” Dana laughed then motioned to the doors she had come through. “Better go see if she is back, don’t want her getting yelled at by security for sitting too long.” The girls all nodded in agreement before grabbing their bags and heading for the doors.
“Santana Lopez?” Brittany squealed from the driver’s seat, through the open window, when she saw the girls come out of the door. She nearly pushed the door off it’s hinges as she got out of the car and quickly made her way around the trunk to meet them at the curb. She wrapped herself around Santana in a fierce hug as soon she was within arms reach. The hug nearly knocked Santana off her feet there had been so much momentum in it.
“Hey, Britt” Santana laughed softly and wrapped her arms around her old friend. “Good to see you.”
“I had no idea you were coming!” The blonde pulled back from the hug now and was beaming ear to ear with a smile.
“Surprise” Santana offered with a smile that matched her friend’s. “It was kind of last minute but I think I’m glad I came.”
“Well I know I’m glad” The blonde giggled then turned to Quinn who was already putting her bag in the trunk of the car. “And Quinn! Look at you. You look so adult!”
Quinn looked at herself and laughed. She was wearing comfortable traveling clothes. Her hair was pulled up into what had become her signature bun that looked very clean and neat but she definitely wasn’t as done up as she usually was. “Hey, B” she said softly and opened her arms for a hug.
Brittany gladly accepted and the two girls held each other a moment before breaking off and sharing a smile. “I am so happy to see you. This is so crazy. I can’t believe mom is getting married again.”
Quinn nodded and let out a huff of a laugh “You and me both.”
“Can we go?” Dana asked while shutting the trunk after helping Santana put her bag in there as well. “That airport security dude has been giving us the stank eye.”
“Yes, please” Santana nodded, already opening the back door to get into the car. “I’m starving. Can we stop for breakfast?”
“Mom already has the caterers there.” Dana mumbled as she got into the passenger seat and immediately buckled her seatbelt, a habit that was definitely new. “She wants everyone that is helping set up to be fed all day. She said hungry workers get lazy and she wants today to be perfect.”
Santana just nodded and let out a laugh to herself. That sounded like Judy alright. Quinn and Brittany settled in now and after checking her mirrors, Brittany pulled away from the curb and they were on their way.
It was a fairly quiet ride back into Lima. There was small talk about how the flight had gone, what everyone was up to, and even how weird it was that they were going to a wedding for Judy. No one thought she would ever get re-married with how the first marriage had ended.
Suddenly Brittany looked into the rearview mirror and cocked her head to the side a bit “Wait, where’s Rachel?”
Santana perked an eyebrow and smiled. Good to see some things hadn’t changed. Brittany hadn’t always been the quickest on the uptake but it had always been adorable.
“She got stuck doing the play. She couldn’t get the time off.” Quinn shrugged, her eyes glued to the window as she watched her old childhood hometown pass by.
“That’s a bummer” Brittany frowned then looked at Santana. “At least that means you got to come.”
“Quinn was very convincing” Santana mumbled and gave her friend a playful shove across the car.
“Never could say no to a pretty girl could you?” Dana chirped with a smirk on her lips.
Santana reached forward and flicked her friend in the back of the head. “You’re one to talk.”
Dana rubbed the back of her head with a scowl then glanced at Brittany and offered a smile “Just one pretty girl.”
“One since Sophomore year. Don’t forget about all the girls before that.” Santana smirked.
“Hey” Dana turned now to look at her friend with a glare. “You’re one to talk.”
“Girls” Brittany said loudly, silencing them both. It was a trick she used with her kids all the time and it still surprised her it worked on adults too. Being a teacher had actually taught her a lot about controlling a room full of people and bringing order to chaos. “Let’s not. The past doesn’t matter now. Besides, the past makes us who we are today. I have no problems with Dana’s past. I didn’t have the cleanest record when we got together either.”
Dana and Santana both just nodded. She was right. No need to delve into the past. It was just a habit, though, to pick on each other and make snarky remarks to get a rise out of the other. Good to see that some habits never died, even if they hadn’t hung out regularly since high school five years ago.
A silence fell over the car again as each girl fell into their own different thoughts. As Brittany navigated the car, Dana would make little remarks to her about her driving. Little things like reminding her to use her blinker, double checking to see if a lane was open before telling her it was clear, and reminding her not to follow the car ahead of her too closely.
Santana watched them interact for a few moments and suddenly the seatbelt made sense. Dana was terrified of Brittany’s driving. She couldn’t blame her. Brittany was the last to get her license and no one liked when she drove. She had to admit, though, the driving had definitely gotten better since their junior year in high school.
Finally they were pulling into their old neighborhood where they had spent so much time as kids. Santana couldn’t help but smile a bit as she watched memories fly by her. They passed the school where they all graduated from, the old park where she had learned to ride her bike, and even the creepy old house on the end of the block that no one liked to walk by. Suddenly she felt calm about the trip home for the first time since Quinn had convinced her to come. She thought maybe it would be alright.
As Brittany parked in front of the Fabray house, which Judy had gotten in the divorce, Santana’s heart leaped. She was home. Obviously not her home, but close enough. She had spent a good majority of her high school years here. The girls all piled out of the car and were unloading the trunk when another car pulled up across the street. Quinn and Santana both turned to see who it was. Dana and Brittany, on the other hand, froze in what they were doing and braced for impact, so to speak, and for good reason. The car was turned off and the driver stepped out soon after. That’s when Santana’s heart dropped to her feet. Standing across the street from her was Charlie Fabray.
Charlie froze when her eyes fell across the street and saw Santana standing there. She was the last person she had ever expected to see this weekend. She didn’t really know what to do. So she just stood there, frozen, staring at the girl.
Santana did the same thing. She had expected to see Charlie, obviously, but not so soon and not so suddenly. So there they stood, staring at each other across the street, neither of them moving. She felt like she might pass out. That was probably because she had been holding her breath since seeing Charlie. Her arms were tingling and her eyes going dry from the lack of blinking. She was so not ready for this. This was such a bad idea.
“Hey” Quinn whispered and stepped in front of Santana, now effectively breaking the stare down. She grabbed her friend’s chin and lifted her eyes to meet her own. She offered a soft smile and shook her head “Ignore her. Dana is going to go talk to her. We got this handled, okay?”
Santana nodded and cleared her throat, which was dry. She needed a drink. A nice stiff drink. “Yeah” She managed to mumble before looking down at her bag and grabbing onto it. She could do this. She would only have to interact with Charlie on a very minimal level. Polite pleasantries between plates of catered food and “I do”. Once it was over they would all part ways to their different sleeping locations, Santana staying with her parents obviously. She could do this. It wouldn’t be that bad.
Dana was nearly to the car that Charlie was now unloading when a second person emerged from the passenger side door. “Charlie, look-” she stopped mid-sentence when her eyes caught sight of the second person. She eyed them up and down a few times before her eyebrows knitted together and she slowly looked at her sister “What the Hell?”
“What?” Charlie glanced at her guest then to her sister and shrugged “Mom said I could bring a guest.”
“What the Hell is that?” Dana motioned over her shoulder not too subtly.
“My name is Josh” The newcomer spoke up, having heard every word.
At the sudden addition of a new voice, the girls across the street all turned in unison to look at the source of the new voice. Santana went cold again and nearly tripped over her own feet where she had been lugging her bag onto the curb.
“Oh that’s classy” Quinn mumbled and shook her head. She turned quickly from looking at the newcomer and put her arm around Santana. “Come on, let’s get our stuff inside.”
Santana just nodded and let Quinn basically pull her along. She hardly registered anything that was going on around her now. Her ears were cloudy, her vision blurred, and her legs wobbly as she went. She couldn’t believe it. Charlie was here, with a date, who was a boy. This just kept getting better and better.
Dana waited until she saw Quinn and Santana disappear into the house before looking back at her sister and giving her a hard shove that threw her off balance and almost caused her to fall into the open trunk “Dude, so not cool.”
“What?” Charlie straightened up and pushed Dana right back. “I didn’t know she was coming! Besides, it’s been two years. I don’t owe her shit.”
“But, yeah, you kinda do, you dick” Dana growled and shoved her sister again.
“Fuck off, Dana” Charlie mumbled and slammed the trunk closed. “She made it clear she wanted nothing to do with me.”
“Because of what you did to her” Dana shouted now and that got the attention of a few of the employees that were moving between the front of the house to the back, setting up things for the wedding.
“Dana” Brittany came up behind her and put a hand on her back softly. “Come on, let’s just go inside and get some food. You haven’t eaten yet. You know you get cranky.”
“Brittany, don’t tell me what to do.” Her tone was harsh but Brittany didn’t even blink. She was so used to Dana snapping at her that it hardly phased her.
“I’m Brittany” She smiled and offered a handshake to Josh who had come to gather the bags that Charlie had gotten from the trunk.
“Nice to meet you” He said softly and gave her hand a shake. He looked between the sisters and offered a sweet, crooked smile “I guess you weren’t kidding when you said your sisters came with a lot of drama, babe.”
“Gross” Dana rolled her eyes and grabbed Brittany by the arm. She scowled at her sister and took a few steps backwards toward the house “So not cool. Just stay away from her, okay? She’s here for mom. Try not to ruin it, okay? I might not like it, but mom seems happy and if you do something to upset her this weekend I will kick your ass.”
“I’m so scared” Charlie rolled her eyes and turned to pick up the last bag that Josh hadn’t managed to get a hold of. She offered him a shrug then motioned to the house “I’m sorry, I will explain later. Let’s just go put our stuff in my room.” They fell in line and headed inside. This weekend just got a whole lot more complicated than it already was. Charlie was still on the outs with her sisters because of what happened with Santana and now she had to actually be in the same room as her? She wasn’t sure she was ready to deal with this yet.
“I said I never wanted to see you again” Santana called through her closed dorm room door. When the knock had come early that morning she thought it was her dorm mate who had forgotten her keys again. She had been up all night crying and it showed. Her eyes were red and puffy, her nose sore from being wiped by a tissue, and her hair was a mess. The last thing she had wanted was for Charlie to see her like that. So when she opened the door only to be greeted with the last person she wanted to see, she had shut it just as quickly.
“Santana, please” Charlie put her hand against the door and spoke through it. “I just want to talk to you.”
“There is nothing to talk about” Santana yelled a little more loudly than was needed to be heard through the thin door.
Charlie let out a sigh and looked around. It was early but there were already people in the hallway bustling to classes. “San, please. You are making a scene. Will you just let me in?”
The two of them were known for being dramatic. This was not the first time they had fought through her dorm door. People on her floor whispered about her as she passed by every time she and Charlie got into a fight. She hated it. She hadn’t let it get to her the first time but after numerous fights, break-ups, and make ups, she was sick of being the laughing stock of her building.
She pulled the door open with such anger she was surprised it didn’t come off it’s hinges. Charlie slipped inside without a word and after slamming the door closed she turned and looked at her “I fucking hate you.”
“Santana, look, I’m sorry” Charlie’s face was down trodden and her words seemed sincere as she spoke. “I never meant to hurt you.”
“But you meant to fuck someone else?” Santana bit back tears and shook her head in confusion. She couldn’t believe they were here right now.
Charlie opened her mouth to say no but the word couldn’t escape. She didn’t want to lie. She knew it would do her no good. So she just sighed and sat on Santana’s bed. “I know what I did was a little messed up.”
“A little?” Santana choked on a laugh and moved over to the bed. She wrapped her hand around Charlie’s forearm and ripped her off her bed and to her feet. “Don’t you dare get comfortable. I want you to get the Hell out of my life.”
“Santana, please” Charlie begged, her own eyes starting to fill with tears now.
“Please, what? Forgive you? Understand?” Her head shook and she wiped at a stray tear that had escaped. “Charlie, you cheated on me. That isn’t something I just brush off.”
“Save it” Santana held up her hand to silence her. She stared at the girl that she had loved so deeply for so many years and felt herself crumbling inside. She hadn’t in a million years pictured this would ever happen. They had definitely had their hard spots but this? This wasn’t something she could have ever predicted could happen. “There is nothing you could say to me to make this any better.”
“Santana” Charlie frowned and glanced at her feet. She honestly had no idea what to say. She drew in a breath and looked up at her now “It’s complicated.”
“Complicated?” Santana half laughed and half cried at that. “It’s not fucking complicated, Charlie. It’s actually really fucking simple. You fucked someone else while you were with me. It’s called cheating and it’s disgusting. You somehow managed to make it even worse when you decided to fuck a dude.”
Charlie bit her lip and drew in another deep breath. She couldn’t explain it if she tried but she was starting to get pissed at Santana for attacking her, for not hearing her out and trying to understand. This went so much deeper than Santana even knew.
“Nothing?” Santana blinked and spat out a bitter laugh. “Perfect. I don’t know why you even came here. You have nothing to say for yourself.”
“We weren’t even together!” Charlie spat out in a fit of rage now.
Santana blinked and her brows knitted into a scowl. She stared at the girl in front of her for a moment before finally shaking her head “Excuse you?”
“We were fuck buddies, Santana, that was all. You know it, and I know it. I have no idea why you are being like this.”
“Fuck buddies?” Santana laughed out the words then looked up at the ceiling with a shake of her head. Her body was starting to vibrate with rage now. She licked at her lips, drew in a steadying breath, and looked back at Charlie with a glare so fierce she might have lit Charlie on fire if she could have “You have got to be fucking kidding me with that shit. You and I both know we weren’t just fuck buddies. You stayed over all the time, sometimes after being up all night crying. I would hold you and do everything in my power to make you feel better. You would tell me I was the only person who meant anything to you now. We ate almost every meal together. We studied together. I helped you with papers and you made sure I wasn’t late for classes. Fuck buddies, Charlie, really?”
“You knew what I was going through and you agreed not to complicate it when I came to you that first night.”
“That first night was over a fucking year ago!” There was no doubt now that people were listening to their fight through the door after Santana yelled that out. She didn’t care. She was so blinded with rage right now she was surprised she hadn’t tossed Charlie through the wall. “You can not seriously be standing here defending your actions to me because of that night a year ago.”
“We never, not once, had that talk Santana. You know I didn’t want to get into anything with you. Not after what happened with my parents.” Charlie was just as mad as Santana was now. They were both standing just outside of arms length, puffed up, red faced, yelling with all their might. Neither of them seemed to think they were wrong.
“Oh, poor Charlie. Her parents got a fucking divorce, boo hoo. Welcome to the majority of America, sweetheart. That doesn’t give you any excuse to treat me the way you did.”
“Fuck you” Charlie bit back in a near growl. “You have no idea what I’ve been going through the past year.”
“Yes I do!” Santana howled in frustration “Yes I fucking do because you and I talked about it. You and I have gone down that path together. I have held you while you cried your fucking eyes out about it. Don’t you dare tell me I have no idea. I’ve been there every fucking step of the way, Charlie. I’ve been there because I was your girlfriend!”
“No you weren’t.”
“Yes I was!” Santana’s eyes were starting to swell with tears again, this time out of frustration. “Fuck buddies don’t talk about shit like that, Charlie. We weren’t just fuck buddies you asshole.”
“Yes, we were!” Charlie shook her head and looked away from Santana. She wanted so badly to punch something, anything, but she wouldn’t. Maybe she should just leave. This was going nowhere quickly.
Santana just shook her head. She blinked a few times rapidly, causing tears to spill onto her cheeks. She hated that Charlie had done this to her but she hated the fact that she was seeing her cry over it even more. She drew in a few breaths and wiped her face before moving to the door “So you’re sticking with that, huh?”
Charlie blinked away a few tears and looked up at Santana. She bit the inside of her lip and nodded firmly.
Santana nodded too then pulled the door open “Then get the Hell out of here.”
“Santana” Charlie’s face softened a bit. “Let’s just talk-”
“I’m done talking” Santana shook her head. “You don’t see what you did was wrong so I’m done.”
“No” Santana motioned to the door with another long shake of her head. “I want you to leave. Don’t come back. Don’t fucking call me. I don’t want to see you ever again, Charlie. You made your bed, you fucked in that bed, and now you have to lie in it.”
Charlie opened her mouth to speak but she knew it was no use. She saw the look in Santana’s eyes and knew this was it. There was no going back. She drew in a deep breath then started to the door. She paused right in front of Santana and let her fingers brush along her arm “Santana.”
“Don’t” Santana ripped her arm away and put up her hand to stop her. She scowled at her then looked into the hallway “Get the Hell out of my life. You disgust me.”
Charlie’s head dropped and she just left. She hated herself but even more so hated that she had hurt Santana and couldn’t even give her a good reason why. There wasn’t a good reason, there is never a good reason for doing what she did, but at the moment she felt her reason was good enough. Santana just wasn’t listening to her.
Santana slammed the door closed as soon as Charlie was out of the way. Her back hit the door and she broke down into tears. She slid down the door to sit against it, her head falling into her knees, and sobs taking over her body. Out of all the people in her life, she never expected Charlie to be the one to hurt her like this. She wasn’t sure she would ever feel anything resembling good again.
“You alright in there, San?” A knock came to the bathroom door behind her and Santana quickly wiped at her face. She had locked herself in the bathroom almost as soon as she had gotten to the house. She claimed she had needed to shower and start putting herself together for the wedding that night but, honestly, she knew a locked bathroom was sacred in the Fabray house and had just needed some time to herself. She sniffled and looked toward the door with a nod even though it was closed.
“I’ll be out in a minute.” She called out softly.
Brittany let out a sigh and leaned against the door. She closed her eyes and listened for a moment, trying to see if she could hear Santana on the other side. She hated seeing her oldest friend like this. What Charlie had done to her had affected them all. No one liked Charlie very much, still to this day. They only tolerated her because she was family. “Can I come in?”
Santana looked back to the door from the sink where she had been washing her face. She breathed in deeply then reached for the doorknob and unlocked it. She put a towel to her face to dry it as Brittany slipped into the room and locked it right away. When she pulled the towel down it was obvious by her red eyes she had been crying.
Brittany frowned and reached out to rub at her back lightly “I’m sorry, San. I know this is hard for you. Dana is pissed. Quinn hasn’t stop trying to convince mom to kick her out of the wedding since she arrived.”
“They don’t need to do that. I will be okay.” Santana offered a forced smile as she tried to sound certain in her words. “I just needed a moment, you know?”
Brittany smiled and nodded her head. “You know what I tell my kids when they are having a bad day because of what someone else in class did to them?” She shifted now to lean against the sink next to Santana. “I tell them that letting someone make them feel sad is letting that person control everything. Then I ask them why they would let someone who doesn’t even care about them enough to make them smile control them?” She smiled and shrugged slightly “Then I offer them a hug and tell them I care enough about them to see them smile and that’s the kind of people they should pay attention to.”
Santana let out a soft laugh “Those kids are first graders, B.”
“I know” Brittany shrugged and gave her friend a nudge “But I got a laugh out of you, didn’t I?”
Santana rolled her eyes but smiled and nodded. Brittany always had a way of making her smile even when she felt like shit. “I guess you are pretty good at what you do.”
Brittany shrugged and grinned “I did win best teacher last year.”
Santana laughed softly and turned now to lean her butt against the sink “I think I should be offended that you used first grade logic on me right now but I will let it slide since you got me to smile.”
“Deal” Brittany nodded and offered her a hug. She had missed Santana. They didn’t talk as much as they used to ever since she had moved to New York to go to medical school. She missed how easy it was to just be around her. Effortless.
Santana drew in a deep breath and broke the hug, still holding a smile as she looked at her friend “So, does Dana always tell you how to drive or was she just nervous because we were on the highway?”
Brittany rolled her eyes and her smile fell “Always. She always picks on everything I do, it seems. I didn’t spice the sauce enough, I used too much fabric softener, I stay up too late grading papers. I know she means well and she loves me but I don’t need to be told how to live every aspect of my life. I can take care of myself.”
“Have you talked to her about it?” Santana asked softly. She knew Dana had always kind of protected Brittany but this wasn’t high school anymore. They were both adults and Brittany had her own career now. She seemed to have the whole being an adult thing down pretty good.
Brittany just shrugged “Every time I bring it up, it starts a fight. She says she’s just taking care of me. I try and tell her I don’t need constant supervision and she goes off saying I don’t appreciate the little things like I used to.”
Santana frowned and put her hand on Brittany’s. She gave it a squeeze softly “I’m sorry, B.” She looked down at their hands then slowly back up to her friend. She didn’t want to ask the next question because she didn’t want to upset her, but she needed to know. “Are you still happy with her?”
“Of course” Brittany said with a quick nod. “I think we’re just in a rut. The seven year itch, you know? I’ve read that a lot of couples go through this sort of thing around this time in their relationship.”
“Okay” Santana said with a half smile “As long as you’re sure. You know all I’ve ever wanted was for you to be happy.”
“I am” Brittany nodded. “I love her. I love her more than I can even say. We just need to communicate better, I think. That will help with the fighting.”
Santana gave a nod and a smile “You are so smart.”
Brittany let out a soft laugh “I read a lot.”
“It shows” Santana laughed and offered her friend a hug. Just then there was another knock at the door, this time it was Quinn on the other side asking if everything was alright.
“Great” Santana said with a nod as she unlocked the door. When both Brittany and Santana came out of the bathroom together, Quinn perked and eyebrow. Santana rolled her eyes and shook her head “She knew I was crying. She came to cheer me up.”
“Alright” Quinn said with a shrug. She knew given her history, Santana would never let Brittany cheat. Not that she thought they would anyway. Their history in high school was just that, history.
“QUINN!” Dana called up from downstairs and all three girls looked in that direction. Quinn rolled her eyes at that. Her sister hadn’t changed. She would still rather yell like a barbarian than come get her like a normal person.
“What is it?” Quinn moved to the top of the steps and called back down to her sister.
“Rachel is here!”
“What?” Quinn looked at Brittany and Santana then turned and hurried down the steps. As soon as she hit the tile of the foyer she was greeted with a grinning Rachel Berry in all her beautiful Broadway starlet glory. Quinn smiled and went over to her, sliding her arms around her tightly “I thought you couldn’t make it?”
“Well after telling my understudy about the wedding and how it was basically my mother-in-law she talked to the director and convinced him I could miss a weekend to be there for my family.” Rachel said all of this in one breath then pulled back from the hug with a grin. “I know I’m making a dramatic entrance but I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”
“It wouldn’t be you without a dramatic entrance” A voice came from behind everybody, Santana and Brittany having come down the stairs behind Quinn, and everyone turned. Charlie was standing just outside the doors of her mother’s fancy tea room that had now been converted into the catering room. She gave her old friend a smile, avoiding eye contact with anyone else. “I’m glad you made it, Rach.”
Rachel nodded softly and offered a smile. She hadn’t spoken to Charlie in months. Even then it had been awkward. Their whole friendship had been awkward since the whole cheating thing. She hadn’t wanted to take sides but what Charlie did really was unacceptable. “I’m glad I made it, too. You look good.”
“You too” Charlie said with a nod, looking over her friend. It had been years since she saw her last. She had grown up so well. She looked like a movie star. But that’s what happens when you become Broadway’s new darling, she supposed.
“Well get over here” Rachel stepped passed Quinn and offered her arms out for a hug. She wrapped her arms around the girl when she was close enough and pulled her into a tight embrace. She missed her friend, more than she could say. But she was still very sore about her actions with Santana.
She was just pulling back from the hug when her eyes fell on Santana. She had no idea she had come! She saw the look on Santana’s face as she watched her hug Charlie and suddenly her heart dropped. This was going to be a really awkward weekend. Rachel quickly changed her face from a sorry look toward Santana to a smile as Charlie’s eyes met hers. “Good to see you.”
Charlie nodded and stepped back. She put her hands in her pockets and looked at the floor. An awkward silence fell over the room for a moment and no one really knew what to say next. The silence was snapped like a twig, however, when Josh came out of the catering room with a plate of food. He looked up at everyone and paused the bite he had been moving toward his mouth. He put the food back onto his plate then offered a smile.
“Who are you?” Rachel asked with a pleasant smile as she walked up to him and shook his hand. She figured he was one of the several employees Judy had hired or maybe one of the family members of the groom.
“I’m Josh. I’m Charlie’s boyfriend.”
Rachel’s face did nothing to hide her shock. Her hand went limp inside his where they had engaged in a handshake and her head slowly turned to look at Quinn. Quinn just nodded. Rachel then nodded too and looked back at him with a forced smile on her lips now “Well it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Likewise. You must be Rachel. I’ve heard a lot about you.” He dropped his hand away from her now and went back to his fork. “I’ve heard a lot about all of you, actually. I’m glad to finally put faces to the names.”
Rachel nodded slowly and turned back to her bags. She picked them up, gave everyone a weird, stunned smile, and headed to the stairs. “I am going to go put my things away.” She looked at Santana as she passed her and bit her lip. She couldn’t even imagine what her friend was going through.
“I’ll help” Santana managed to choke out before grabbing one of Rachel’s bags and nearly ripping it out of her hand as she headed up the stairs. No one did anything to stop her. They all just watched her and Rachel disappear up the stairs.
Once they were out of sight, Quinn rolled her eyes and moved passed Charlie with a not-so-subtle bump to her shoulder. Charlie frowned but didn’t say anything. She just turned and went back toward the catering room. “Well I’m hungry so I’m going to dig in.”
Dana was biting her tongue for the moment. She really wanted to yell at her sister again but she wouldn’t. She would get some food first. That would help her keep a clear head for now. “You hungry, babe?”
Brittany nodded and looped her arm through Dana’s “Famished. Let’s eat.” With that everyone moved into the room with the food to get a little nourishment for the day. It wasn’t even noon yet and it had already been a long day. The way things were going they were all going to need all the strength they could muster to get through this.