Word count: 9280
Summary: Quinn wants to say I told you so because she’d pretty much predicted this the day Santana had dropped out of her freshman year of college in an effort to become a badass guitar-playing rockstar.
Notes: Written for Onomatopoetic. Title from Sara Bareilles’ song Gravity.
It’s eleven o’clock on a Thursday night when Quinn opens the door of her apartment and finds Santana there.
“Hey, Q,” Santana says easily. There’s a duffel bag under one arm, and a guitar under the other. “Mind if I crash here a couple of weeks?”
Quinn lets her in, watches her make up a bed on the couch, and doesn’t ask what she’s doing here, because they don’t do things like that.
“You cut your hair,” she remarks instead, and Santana glares up her at from the sleeping bag she’s spreading out.
“Yeah, no shit, Q,” she snipes. “You noticed.”
Quinn shrugs. “It looks better. You looked like a hooker before.”
There’s a moment, and then Santana breaks into a smirk. “I missed you, Fabray.”
Quinn snorts. “Yeah, whatever,” she says, but there’s a little smile playing at the corners of her lips. “I’m going to bed.”
“Uh huh,” Santana says disinterestedly, sitting on top of her sleeping bag and picking up the TV remote. “You get the porn channels?”
Quinn rolls her eyes and goes into her bedroom, shutting the door firmly. She doesn’t bother hanging around to ask any questions. Santana never answers them, anyway.
Quinn’s up and making breakfast before seven o’clock the next morning. She doesn’t bother to keep the noise down, but Santana’s still passed out on the couch, half of her face pressed unattractively into the cushions, and she doesn’t stir while Quinn gets ready for work. Quinn leaves her a note, and an apartment key, and goes.
When she gets home again just before seven, she finds Santana in the kitchen, looking through the fridge.
“What the fuck?” Santana says as a greeting. “What’s all this goddamn rabbit shit you have in here? Where’s the real food?”
“Some people prefer not to live on burgers and beer,” Quinn replies. “Try a carrot stick; it might not kill you.” She considers that for a moment, and then adds, “Or maybe it will. So please, eat one.”
Santana scowls at her. “We’re going out,” she announces, heading for the door. “I’m not eating whatever lentils you were planning on having for dinner.”
“Don’t you think you should change?” Quinn asks, looking her over. “You’re wearing short shorts and a T-shirt. It’s December. In New York.”
Santana pauses, pursing her lips. “Fine,” she sighs, and glowers at her. “Don’t look so goddamned triumphant, Fabray. I’m from LA, remember?”
“Uh huh,” Quinn says, and goes into her own room to change out of her work clothes.
They end up at a seedy diner around the corner that Quinn’s never been to before. The waitress thumps the burgers down on the table as if they’ve given her a personal grievance, and glares murderously at Quinn when she asks her for a napkin. Santana watches the exchange with amusement.
“Seriously, Q, you are so -,”
“What?” Quinn asks, raising her eyebrows in challenge. “So what, S?”
“So upper class,” Santana finishes. “Your parents would be so proud.”
Quinn rolls her eyes, biting into her burger. It’s cold. “Shut it, Lopez,” she snaps.
“Hey.” Santana raises her hands in defense. “I’m just stating facts. You’re all high powered shit. You’re not used to this.” She pauses to lick mustard off of her finger. “How is the lawyer lifestyle working out for you?”
“It’s great,” Quinn says, narrowing her eyes. “Absolutely fantastic. A dream come true. A total breeze.”
“Whoa,” Santana says. “Easy, tiger. It’s a legitimate question.”
Quinn looks at her suspiciously, and then sighs. “Not so great,” she admits. “I’m working crazy hours and all I get to do is paperwork. The guys treat me like a receptionist.”
“Damn,” Santana says sympathetically. “Still, at least the pay rocks.”
Quinn shrugs in acknowledgement. “What about you,” she asks daringly. “Latest band didn’t work out?”
“Huh,” Santana snorts. “The drummer knocked up the lead singer. Who was fucking married to the bass player. So I got out of there before I got caught up in their shit. The next band I join better not be so goddamned lame.”
“Oh,” Quinn says. She wants to say I told you so because she’d pretty much predicted this the day Santana had dropped out of her freshman year of college in an effort to become a badass guitar-playing rockstar, but she doesn’t think it would go down well.
They eat in silence for a while. The teenage guy at the counter stares at Santana, who winks back flirtatiously. He blushes.
“Santana!” Quinn hisses, watching. “That kid is probably fifteen!”
“Yeah?” Santana shrugs. “So what? It’s just a wink, Q. I’m not going to go down on him or anything.”
“Santana!” Quinn repeats furiously, glancing around to see if anybody heard. She shoves the last of her burger in her mouth and stands up. “Come on,” she says, hauling Santana to her feet. “We’re going home.”
“I haven’t finished!” Santana protests.
“I don’t care,” Quinn snaps. “Eat a vegetable for once. See if you melt.”
She strides ahead, trusting Santana to follow her. She does.
They spend the rest of the evening in the living room, with Santana watching American Idol while Quinn tries to shut out the noise and concentrate on the paperwork she’s trying to finish. There are plenty of questions she wants to ask, but she knows enough not to voice them.
It’s been two years since she last saw Santana. They haven’t exchanged emails or phone calls, or sent Christmas cards. She hasn’t heard a thing either from or about Santana during that whole period of time, and now she’s sitting on Quinn’s couch watching TV as if they’ve seen each other every day since kindergarten.
It’s weird. It’s also kind of nice.
She goes to sleep that night to the sound of canned laughter.
The next morning is a Saturday, and Quinn’s planning on sleeping in until at least lunch time, but Santana pushes her bedroom door open at nine o’clock in the morning and says, “You’re out of milk.”
Quinn groans and turns over, pulling the covers up over her head. “Go ‘way,” she mumbles. She whines when Santana pulls back the curtains.
“Here,” Santana says. “I got you coffee.”
Something warm is thrust in front of Quinn’s face, and the sweet aroma of coffee makes its way into her nostrils. Quinn cracks an eye open and sees a Starbucks cup in front of her.
“You made a coffee run?” she mutters, her mouth dry. She sits up and reaches for the cup.
“Uh-uh,” Santana says, pulling it out of her reach. “You have to get out of bed, Fabray.”
“Fuck you,” Quinn mumbles, rubbing her eyes. “Gimme the coffee.”
Santana laughs. “Quinn Fabray!” she admonishes. “Did you just say the F word?”
Quinn glares. “I hate you.”
Santana chuckles, and hands her the cup. Quinn inhales a few mouthfuls, and then blinks.
“What are you doing in here?” she asks, feeling more awake already. “I was asleep.”
“I was bored,” Santana shrugs. “Don’t you want to show me around the city?”
Quinn raises an eyebrow. “Well yeah, because I’m sure you’d love all the art galleries and museums, right?”
“Ha,” Santana snorts. “Funny. Can’t you take me to meet your friends or something?”
“No,” Quinn says firmly.
“Why not?” Santana fires, glaring. “Are you ashamed of me?”
Quinn shoots her a look. “Don’t you remember what happened the last time you met my friends?”
“Geez, come on,” Santana says. “I said I was sorry like a million times already. I didn’t mean to get you fired.”
Quinn shakes her head. “Just – no, Santana,” she says. “Let me go back to sleep.”
“Fine,” Santana snaps. “I’ll see you later, Q.”
Santana’s gone when she wakes up. The sleeping bag is still spread out on the coach, though, so Quinn pushes it out of the way to settle on the cushions with her book. She gets a whole afternoon – and most of the evening as well – of peace until the door opens again.
“Hey,” Santana says, “did you know your neighbors had no idea that you even existed? Half of them thought this apartment was empty.”
“Really,” Quinn says flatly. She keeps her attention trained on the book.
“I spent some time with Mr Peterson from downstairs,” Santana continues, sitting down next to her. “Nice guy. Nice apartment.”
Quinn looks up, horrified. “You didn’t sleep with him, did you?” she asks. “He’s, like, fifty, plus he has two kids who live in Michigan.”
“No!” Santana says, and then smirks. “I just left him my business card for later.”
Quinn pauses, and then eyes her sharply. “Oh my god,” she says. “Tell me you’re not actually a prostitute?”
Santana only smirks, raising her eyebrows.
“Santana!” Quinn hisses, leaning forward. “Tell me you’re not a prostitute!”
Santana holds the smirk for a few seconds longer, and then laughs. “Relax, Fabray,” she says. “I promise I’m not making my money by being a call girl.” She pauses, contemplating for a second, and says, “Maybe I should, though. I’d be damned expensive.”
“That is not funny!” Quinn snaps. A beat of silence goes by, and then she ventures, “So how are you making your money, then?”
“Oh, a little of this, a little of that,” Santana says airily. Taking in Quinn’s expression, she rolls her eyes and says, “I’m temping. God, Q. Are you legally required to think the worst of me at all times?”
Quinn huffs. “I learn from the past,” she says.
“Fair,” Santana acknowledges, and smirks. “Don’t worry,” she says. “As soon as I find a new band, I won’t have to do these batshit jobs anymore.”
“Good,” Quinn says, “then maybe you can finally pay me back for all this freeloading you do.”
Santana laughs. “As soon as I make my first ten million, I’ll give you half,” she promises, smirking.
“Whatever,” Quinn says, half laughing. “What with property rights, you owe me at least 90%.”
“Fucking lawyer,” Santana grumbles. She’s quiet for a minute, and then she says, “So what are we doing tonight?”
Quinn raises an eyebrow. “I don’t know. Whatever stupid TV show you want to watch, I guess?”
Santana frowns. “Fabray,” she says slowly, “I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but it’s Saturday nightDon’t you have friends or anything?”
“Yes!” Quinn snaps defensively. “Just – not the sort of friends that – that you hang out with on Saturday nights.”
Santana blinks at her. “We’re getting out of here,” she declares. “Because I am not spending my Saturday night watching TV.”
“Oh?” Quinn says. “Fine. What’s your brilliant plan then?”
Santana stares at her. “We’re in New York City!” she says. “There’s gotta be hundreds of places around here we could go.”
“No,” Quinn says. There are bars aplenty in her area, but she’s never had the greatest experiences there. “Santana, no.”
“Why?” Santana demands. She narrows her eyes. “You don’t have some boring-ass boyfriend, do you?”
“No,” Quinn snaps. “I don’t have a boyfriend.” She waits a beat, and then adds, “And neither do you.” She’s pretty sure of herself, but fishing for a little information can’t hurt.
Santana gives her a look. “Why would I want a boyfriend when I can sleep with anyone I want?”
Quinn flounders for a moment, trying to come up with a good response. She fails.
“Okay,” Santana says, standing up and digging through her duffel bag to pull out something that glitters. “It’s settled. We’re going out.”
“Go and get changed,” Santana orders. “I don’t care, Fabray. Get your ass into your bedroom and find something sexy to wear.”
Quinn sighs and obeys, going through the closet to find something appropriate. It’s a while since she’s been out properly, because mostly her job keeps her too tired to think of going out on the weekends. Plus, she’s never been good at holding her liquor, and the nights usually end up as embarrassing half-memories to be made fun of later by people who call themselves her friends.
When she emerges from her bedroom, dressed in a tight, short black dress that ends at mid-thigh and shows off impressive cleavage, Santana looks her over with a grin.
“Damn, Fabray,” she says. “You look so good I almost want to rip that dress right off you.”
Quinn blushes, vaguely uncomfortable. Santana’s wearing a skirt almost as short as their old Cheerios skirts, and a beaded top that shows off her own cleavage. Quinn catches herself checking her out, and then has to consciously tear her eyes away.
It’s been way too long since she last got laid.
Santana’s never been to New York, but she says she’s heard of some places that sound good. They eventually manage to find their way to a dark, grungy looking club that charges way too much for entry. Quinn hands the money over without complaint, and follows Santana to the bar. In the past, she’s usually frequented fancy cocktail bars, or clubs that played pop music, and this is completely different than what she’s used to. She actually likes it, a little.
“Hey, Q,” Santana mutters as they wait for their drinks. “Three o’clock, checking you out.”
Quinn turns surreptitiously to her right, and sees the guy. He’s tall, with stubble on his chin and bright blue eyes.
“No,” she says, turning back to Santana.
“Why not?” Santana asks. “He’s hot.”
“Just – no,” Quinn replies, feeling rattled.
Santana sighs. “Don’t you want to get laid?” she asks.
Quinn hesitates for a moment as they take their drinks and look for a seat. “You are not having sex on my couch,” she warns. “I don’t care what you do, as long as you go back to his place.”
Santana snorts. “Because the couch and the sleeping bag are so hot?” she asks. “Of course I’m going back to his place!”
“Well,” Quinn says, taking a swig of her beer and feeling off-balance. “Good.”
“Come on,” Santana says, finishing her drink and then swigging the last of Quinn’s. “Let’s go dance.”
They make their way onto the dance floor, and in what seems like seconds, Santana’s grinding against some guy who looks totally wasted. Quinn hangs around dancing next to them until she sees his hand slip up the inside of Santana’s skirt. She decides to gets herself another drink and heads over to the bar, perching on a stool by herself.
A few guys come by to try to pick her up, but Quinn steadfastly turns them all down. She doesn’t know why she’s saying no; some of them are hot, and it’s really been a while since she’s had any, and none of these guys are offering anything more than no-strings-attached one night stands. But she knocks them back one after another until finally Santana comes back to her.
“Where’s your date?” Quinn asks.
Santana shrugs, reaching across Quinn to take a sip of her drink. “He went back to his girlfriend,” she says breezily.
Quinn blinks. “Oh.”
Santana sighs, and leans forward. “Listen, Q,” she says, almost gently. “You’re supposed to be having fun.”
“I am!” Quinn says immediately.
Santana raises her eyebrows. Quinn sighs.
“I don’t go out that much,” she admits.
“Really,” Santana deadpans. “I would never have guessed.”
Quinn makes a face, and punches her in the arm. “Shut up, Santana,” she says. “Listen, I just – I’m not so good at this, ok?”
Santana blinks. “Sex?”
“No, you ass,” Quinn exclaims. “You know – dating. Relationships.”
“Well, Q,” Santana drawls, “I don’t think you have to worry about any of these guys wanting relationships.”
Quinn sighs. “I don’t have good luck with guys,” she says, more quietly. “Don’t you remember what happened last time?”
Santana doesn’t say anything for a minute, and Quinn knows she’s thinking back to Quinn’s last real relationship, when she was supposed to get married, and got left at the altar instead by a guy named Jeremy. She’d met him on what was supposed to be a one night stand, and it had lasted right up until the day they were supposed to walk down the aisle. He had claimed afterwards that Quinn had pushed him into the wedding, despite having spent weeks convincing Quinn that getting married was a good idea.
“Q,” Santana says softly. “That was three years ago.”
Quinn looks away.
“Alright,” Santana says, “do you want me to take you home?”
“No,” Quinn says immediately. “I’ll go by myself. You can stay, have fun.”
Santana pauses. “Are you sure?” she asks. “You only have one chance to change your mind.”
“I’m sure,” Quinn says. “Go on. Go find some poor unsuspecting guy and terrify the hell out of him.”
Santana laughs. “Sure, Q. Night.”
“Night,” Quinn says, and pushes her way through the crowd to the door. When she glances back, Santana’s already back on the dance floor with some guy’s hands all over her ass.
Quinn smiles, and leaves.