Summary: It's their moment, but it's Rachel making it happen for all of them. She tries to hide a sniffle as Rachel sits there, cross-legged, looking happier than she's ever seen her.
Word count: 2,700
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
AN: This story is based on this picture prompt and hurricane Sandy in general. It's slightly AU because they are about 10 years older than they are right now. Everything else remains the same.
Santana limps into the bedroom and faceplants on the bed, having spent most of her Sunday afternoon hopping about with a sprained ankle (momentary distraction on the treadmill—don't ask) barricading the windows and getting rid of perishables. If it were up to her, she'd have just eaten the stock of Ben & Jerry's and to hell with the rest (there's this awesome Tales From The Crypt marathon that she can watch until the lights eventually go out), the trash chute is right down the hall if things start to smell. But of course, Rachel would have her head if she just decided to disregard Sandy so completely like that.
Sandy. Rachel's been referring to the hurricane like it's an actual person, to the point of attributing female pronouns and not wanting to make 'her' mad.
Sometimes she thinks she married a fucking lunatic.
(She did. And she wouldn't have it any other way.)
She barely cranes her neck to the side when she hears the front door open abruptly and then slam shut, amidst some muffled bickering. Or maybe chirped chatting. You can never tell with Rachel. There's the ruffle of bags and she remembers the Milky Way bars she asked them to pick up and her mouth actually waters. Maybe she'll have to move to get there. Maybe she'll—"Ow!" Her thought process gets halted when she gets whacked in the head with something inside a paper bag. She sits up, massaging the back of her neck and faces Rachel, dressed in her Halloween finest: black and orange striped sweater, gray scarf with tiny embroidered skulls, hands set on her hips and a positively scary look on her face.
"It is madness out there!"
"Then you must've felt right at home," she mutters.
Rachel rolls her eyes for a millisecond and continues. "People are stocking up for the apocalypse! I could barely get to the soy section and this neanderthal nearly elbowed me in the ear."
"So you ran into Finn?"
"You're not being funny, Santana."
"That's what you get for nearly knocking me unconscious with this," she waves the paper bag in the air to make her point.
Rachel sighs and runs a hand through her hair. "Sorry, I'm still a little jittery, it was very stressful."
Sympathy works its way through her brain and she holds Rachel's hand while she tries to calm herself down. Then Santana grabs the bag and kneels down at the edge of the bed in front of her wife with a smile. "Is this what I think it is?"
Before Rachel can reply, Sam walks into the room and throws her another bag. She's less startled this time, but people have got to stop throwing shit at her. "No, this is," he says and she notices he's just about as edgy as Rachel. Sure enough, Sam's bag has her candy and it really doesn't bother her that he just walked in, they're all pretty much past the point of propriety and common courtesy such as knocking. He lives across the hall with his girlfriend Ellie, but they might as well just gate the hallway and claim that section as their own. "The other one has—"
"Yes, it has—" Rachel continues and runs her hand nervously along the arm Santana has around her waist. She suddenly feels like a frog has lodged itself in her throat and all she can say is, "Oh." This is the moment, isn't it? In the middle of this insanity, she sent her possibly-pregnant wife to gather supplies while she sat pretty contemplating which flavor of ice cream she would eat first. Granted, she could blame her own blaring stupidity for answering her phone on a treadmill (it threw her off-balance, it happens) and Sam was with Rachel the whole time—after all, he had a part in it. Not just providing his share of enormously-mouthed genes, but as an actual parent in this crazy unit they learned to call family. Something occurs to her. "Where's Ellie?"
"She's calling her folks, said she'd be back when we're… done."
Santana wants to hug the shit out of the woman. This is their moment after all. Which is why she needs to try and leap out of bed to get this thing going. Rachel sees her struggling a little and helps her stand up. "Okay. Baby, how many gallons of Gatorade have you had?"
"Two bottles of the Fruit Punch. I'm about to burst, actually."
She's not sure who's holding the other up at this point. Sam keeps chewing on his bottom lip, then suddenly splays his hands up in the air, "So are we doing this? Rachel needs to go."
Santana snorts and puts the bag on her wife's hand, pulling her face closer. Rachel smiles faintly, "Don't say anything crass right now." She'd take offense in that if it weren't for the butterflies flapping about in her stomach.
"Knock 'em dead," and she kisses Rachel soundly and she can feel her rolling her eyes.
"Oh my God," she mumbles on her way to the bathroom, after a hug from Sam.
It's been a few minutes of her and Sam sitting side by side at the edge of the bed, staring at nothing, basically. She'd pace around, but that pesky ankle brace is there as a reminder every time she tries to get up. The frog hasn't moved and she's pretty sure the butterflies have now been joined by a slew of other insects. Another minute and she'll make Sam give her a piggyback ride to the bathroom door to check if Rachel's even still alive—it's not like her to go this long without uttering a word. Thankfully, the door flies open and she turns her head in tandem with Sam. Rachel's an actress and they had this whole thing where Santana would say she'd kill her if Rachel dared to pretend it didn't take only to surprise them a few seconds later, and, as it turns out, she can't act her way through this. She's already crying, sporting the largest smile she's ever seen on anyone.
Sam jumps up and Santana can't really feel her legs. This is surreal. And apparently, her reaction was expected judging by the way Rachel straddles her and starts crying into her neck, telling her to breathe in-between sobs and giggles. She's a mess and Sam's eyes are red and, okay, so maybe Rachel's smile wasn't the biggest she's ever seen—she constantly underestimates Sam's humongous trap. She hopes to all deities she won't see that on their kid for the sake of Rachel's boobs.
She hears the words 'camera' and 'picture' and 'yes' and she's suddenly being dismounted, slowly coming out of her stupor. And nothing better to snap her out of it than a pregnancy test being shoved in her direction. "The fuck, Rachel?"
"We need to hold it for the picture!"
"No way, you peed on that."
"Santana," she whines.
She manages to stand on one leg and moves next to Sam, holding his phone up. "No, this—this is your picture." It's their moment, but it's Rachel making it happen for all of them. She tries to hide a sniffle as Rachel sits there, cross-legged, looking happier than she's ever seen her.
"Don't cry," Sam chuckles as he focuses the camera.
"I'm not crying," she says, and she knows she's not convincing anyone here. And that's really, really okay.
So they broke Rachel.
It may have taken them seven months, but they did it. They'd all thought Rachel would be eager to find out the sex of the baby and name the kid something ridiculous from a musical that would just sound better on a fucking cat, but she surprised them all by holding it off as long as she did. She said she had plans and no, they didn't involve musicals. "Maybe in a roundabout way," she said at one point. Now she's lounging on the couch with her feet on Santana's lap, being handed the iced tea Ellie made for the two of them, with this dopey grin on her face.
"I don't know what the fuss is all about," Santana says, "you would've had the same reaction if it had been a boy."
Sam eases back on the armchair with a beer. "Says the woman who blubbered all over my shirt for the very same reason."
"Oh, shut up, guppy."
Rachel sighs, all happy and relaxed. "I admittedly had my hopes up for a girl because I know exactly what to name her. Though it might've worked on a boy as well. As a nickname, probably."
Oh lord. It's okay, she's ready. She just hopes she doesn't look or sound as panicked as she's feeling at this moment. "And what's that?"
"Sandy," and she's smiling as if she's saying You're welcome.
Santana's suddenly livid. "You have got to be fucking kidding me."
Sam holds his hand up. "Santana, don't curse in front of the—Sandy."
"The baby can't hear shit," she places both of Rachel's feet back on a sofa cushion and stands. "We agreed on no stupid musical names!"
Rachel furrows her brow and sits up, "Well, it's… not?"
Ellie gets this faraway look. "Isn't that from Grease?" And Santana motions her hands toward her general direction because at least someone's on her side. (How the hell they're gonna get through threeway parenting if things are starting off like this, she just has no clue.) "Yeah, Danny, Pink Ladies. Yep. Grease."
"But that's not what I was going for!"
"Rach, I like it," Sam moves to sit on the arm of the couch, placing a gentle hand on Rachel's back. Judas. She's surrounded by traitors. "You have my support if you feel strongly about Sandy." Rachel looks up at him with these big, grateful eyes and she just wants to slap them both.
"Excuse me," she almost yells, "Ellie, help me out here!"
She raises both her hands. "Hey, I'm not a parent here, it's not my kid. I'm just the eventual stepmom." However, she turns to Rachel and Sam and shrugs. "It's a musical name."
Santana wouldn't hand over this kind of power to just anyone, maybe not even Brittany. Ellie's been with Sam about five years and a fixture in their lives since Rachel started NYADA, and the woman's so damn chill and mature about their situation it's hard to even conjure up appropriate insults, even when she deserves them. And sometimes Santana needs a sane presence when both her wife and her best friend are freaking out about vitamins and herb pillows. They'll need to have a beer after this damn talk is over.
She tries to conjure up every smidgen of patience she has left on her body and turns back to Rachel and Sam. "Baby," she takes a deep breath, "what's the story?"
"Well, now that apparently you've calmed down, I can clarify my point. The night we found out I was pregnant was the beginning of a very significant event in our time, which just happened to be—"
Santana pinches the bridge of her nose and closes her eyes. "Please don't tell me you're naming our kid after a hurricane."
"Rachel!" Sam yelps, like it's really offensive. And, well, it is. Now he's on her team on account of decency. It feels awesome to be right, but she has to get past being horrified and maybe try to rectify her wife's pregnancy-addled brain.
"You're missing the point here! It's the meaning, the significance."
"Yeah, tell that to New Jersey, Berry."
"Berry-Lopez. You forgot."
Damn it. She can't smile, she cannot smile right now. But it's working its way to her lips and she clamps her mouth. She realizes she's lost when Rachel bites her bottom lip to disguise a giggle. But shit, she really does hate the name Sandy. It just reminds her of Spongebob. She tries another tactic. "Baby, this girl's gonna be raised by us. You know us. Do you really think she needs the added association to a freaking hurricane?"
Rachel sighs deeply and Sam kind of has been watching this like a tennis match (despite their arrangement, he knows when to butt out). It's like Rachel's trying to reason a counterargument when Ellie perks up and squeaks, "Olivia! Like, Newton-John, Olivia!"
Three sets of eyes turn to her like they've been baffled into silence. Ellie's face, however, is still lit up like she just solved a massive problem. Which…
"Liv, that's so pretty—"
"Yeah, I like that."
And they continue to stare at Ellie in amazement. There's no way this woman doesn't deserve a beer right now. As she's making her way to the fridge, Rachel gets up and fishes out her phone. "Ellie, could you—do something for me?"
Santana smiles as they make their way to the bedroom and laughs when Sam slumps behind her in a bear hug. Her heart does this funny thing where she wants to turn around and lean into him. So she just does. "Thank you."
"Everything," she sniffles. "Dork," she completes, just to keep things familiar.
Santana rubs her eyes as the light filtering through the curtains has been kind of bothering her for a while. A little over an hour. Laziness is a funny thing. Actually, she's just about exhausted every ounce of energy left in her trying to get Liv to sleep. Then she just watched her baby until she felt her eyes start to burn and, okay, maybe she needed sleep. But it's kind of impossible not to stare at that child.
Looking around and adjusting her eyes to the light, she finds out she's not alone. She can see Rachel's back a little further down the bed, a little hunched down and the little fist peeking out from the other side gives Santana a pretty good idea about what's happening. See, impossible.
She stretches a bit and crawls down to where her wife is. Rachel gives her the sweetest of glances and says, "Hey, sleepyhead."
Santana kisses her shoulder and rests her chin there, looking down at Olivia. "It's barely 8, babe."
"We've been up since 6, we win."
She huffs a little tiredly. "What's for breakfast?"
"I haven't had any yet, I was waiting for you. I just fed Liv and—" She can actually see Rachel blushing as she trails off.
"You've been sitting here this whole time, haven't you?"
"Okay, now you really can't say stuff like that. She's here," Rachel says and turns back to Liv. "She's really here," she adds softly.
And yeah, sometimes it's really kind of baffling how she's here, with them, being shuffled around in this surprisingly well-oiled machine that is their family. Sometimes she pities the kid for getting the longest name in existence, but Olivia Ellen Evans Berry-Lopez packs a punch and she's fucking proud of how it all came together. How well they work. (And Liv's adorable pouty lips will now forever contribute to her supply of jokes, no matter how much—and how long and how loudly—Rachel protests.)
The three of them sit there in silence, just being, when a familiar noise grows a little louder outside. She feels Rachel smile against her cheek. "She's been here six days, but it's like a final blessing or something."
It's the first time a Sandy reference doesn't bother her. It's just the way Rachel's sitting here, looking at their child in complete adoration that makes Santana understand. It's evolution and it's growth and it's their love, right here.
Rachel doesn't even notice when Santana gets up and takes the most beautiful picture she's ever seen.