A/N: The referenced world is featured here: Scraps #102, here: Scraps #103, and here: This Tiring Mischief.
Rachel pulled a furiously glowering Santana into her house. “Santana! You’re soaked!” Immediately leading her to the downstairs bathroom, she kept giving her concerned looks over her shoulder, “What happened?”
Santana only answered her after Rachel had pushed her down on the edge of the bathtub, stripped off her jacket and shirt, and rubbed a towel over her chest and back and face and neck and finally ending with wrapping her hair up into it, “I’m going to kill your gremlin.”
Staring down at her, mouth slightly open, Rachel let out a giant sigh, shoulders lowering; touching Santana’s cheek, she lightly stroked her knuckles along her skin, “Oh San… I’m so sorry.”
Santana nodded, then reached out and pulled Rachel closer, burying her head into her stomach. Hot air pushed through Rachel’s shirt as she breathed.
Stroking her shoulder, Rachel closed her eyes. Familiar guilt welled up in her chest. “What happened now?”
Santana slid her hands up and down Rachel’s back, fingers playing with the bottom of her shirt. “So I was hangin’ with Wheezy, like I told you I was gonna be, right?”
“Mmhm.” Rachel softly scratched the bottom of her neck.
“Well, Wheezy’s sick. I figured if I just stayed across the room and didn’t touch anything she had I’d be fine.” Her words slightly muffled as she moved her head up and down, arms falling to loosely hold Rachel’s thighs, Santana’s shoulders slumped even more under Rachel’s hand, “But we had to work on our song. And I guess I was riding high, thinking I had some time before he inflicted another curse on me, you know.”
Rachel tried not to shift nervously. Her heart thumped around her rib cage. All things told, the Berry family gremlin had actually been pretty tame for its history, and Rachel had been trying to convince herself it could stay that way. She just hoped… She’d heard horror stories…
“Every time Mercedes coughed, I threw the nearest thing to me at her. I finally had to leave when the only thing left was my laptop, but as I was packing up, she sneezed.” Santana laughed humorlessly, muttering, “I kissed her.”
“Got worse when I was leaving and her dog sneezed. At least that time I was allowed to kiss his nose. It’s why I walked here. I wasn’t going to chance the bus.”
“Santana…” Dropping down to her knees, Santana’s arms sliding up to her shoulders, Rachel cupped Santana’s face, “I can’t even… I’m so sorry.” She bit her lip, willing herself not to cry. This wasn’t supposed to happen. How could… How was Santana dealing with all of this?
Her girlfriend managed a crooked smile. Leaning forward, she bumped her forehead against Rachel’s, then kissed her, laughing softly as her turbaned towel slipped down her neck. She pulled it off. “At least it’s better than the time he made me sing all of my words. Maybe.”
Sitting back, shaking her head, Rachel put her hands over her face. She drew in a deep breath, pulling her shoulders into herself, “Why are you still here?”
“What?” Stopping retwisting the towel around her hair, Santana stared at her.
“Why are you still here? With me? He messes with you so much, and - ” Rachel jerked when Santana’s hands wrapped around her wrists, moving her hands away as the girl knelt down in front of her. “How is this worth it?”
“Rachel.” Her dark eyes meeting Rachel’s watery ones, Santana frowned at her. “Stop this. We’ve been over this.”
Rachel looked away. “But…”
Santana poked her chin, making her look back at her. “Stop it. We already know the not-so-welcome gremlin’s focused on me. He’s not going to go away easily. So even if you…” She gestured at Rachel, then at herself, one corner of her mouth twitching up, “Get a fucking noble idea of breaking up with me and staying away to get this to stop, it would take a long, long time. And you know what?”
Licking her lips, Rachel nodded.
“Right.” Santana smiled, stroking Rachel’s hair behind her ear, “I’d rather be miserable with you than be miserable without you. And besides.” She shrugged, expression changing into a laissez faire smirk, “This gives me a legit reason to skip school.”
Rachel laughed softly, shaking her head, then threw her arms around Santana and hugged her tightly.
“Like, can you imagine?” Santana pitched her voice higher, settling back and pulling Rachel between her legs, “I ain’t getting my lips anywhere near that hell hole of disgusting losers. The only lips I want, mmhm, are yours.”
Just then, Rachel sneezed.
Santana swooped down, pressing her lips to hers firmly, pulling away for only a second before going back in to kiss her more deeply.
Groaning, Rachel kissed back while laughing and trying to separate them at the same time. “Tissue! Santana, tissue!”
“Spoilsport!” Grinning, Santana finally allowed her to reach for a tissue atop the sink. “On one hand, this could be incredibly hot if you’re getting sick. But on the other hand, it’s also incredibly disgusting. And what if I get sick and sneeze? Who am I going to kiss then?”
“I’m sure he’s figured that out,” Rachel answered, tossing the tissue into the trash and snuggling back into Santana. She shivered. “Your hair’s still wet.”
Santana wrapped her arms around her. “Then take a shower with me.”
Rachel smiled, turning her head to kiss Santana’s jaw. “I’d like that.”
She really, really would.