A/N Written as a FaberryCon Fundraiser Fic for Pooh, who wanted pezberry at their McKinley High ten year reunion.
The invitation comes over Facebook, which seems… weirdly anti-climactic. Rachel had always imagined a note in the mail, a card she could agonize over or possibly pin to a vision board and stare at dramatically, in candlelight. Not that she's given it much thought or anything.
"You've got a look on your face," Santana says, coming in from the kitchen with a bowl of freshly-peeled pomegranate pips. (She likes ripping them out with her bare hands; she says it looks like blood, and it's very therapeutic. Rachel allows her this.)
"I always have a look on my face, that's what having a face is," Rachel mumbles, distracted, as she tries to click away to a different tab. She's too slow.
"I meant a weird look, but you always get mad at me when I say your face is weird, so I just—oh my god, is that what I think it is?"
It's too late; what's been seen cannot be unseen. And besides, she's sure an identical one is in Santana's inbox at this very moment.
You're Invited! 10 Year Reunion: McKinley High Class of 2012
The message is just a smiley face along with a date and time, which makes no sense until Santana realizes that reunions are organized by the class president, and the class president was… Brittany.
"We don't have to go if you don't want to," the women say in unison.
Ultimately, they do decide to go. Rachel says that she owes it to her past self, and to all of her former daydreams of walking in and being able to say she's a famous Broadway star (which she is) and that they never appreciated her enough (which they didn't). She's not nearly as bitter as she'd imagined she'd be, and frankly she still stays in touch with plenty of people from high school, but still. Promises you make yourself are important.
Santana always planned on coming back to McKinley rich as hell and hotter than, and that's worked out like she wanted, so.
What's the worst that could happen?
"I look like I'm trying too hard, don't I?"
Rachel emerges from her childhood walk-in closet wearing a ridiculously stunning off-the-shoulder sequined dress, and Santana swears to god, in the time it takes from the words to travel from her brain to her mouth, her appreciative "You look amazing" manages to transform itself to a could-be-construed as malicious "Not too hard."
She has no idea why Rachel puts up with her, but in whatever way she does, Rachel translates that back into the language normal humans use to talk to their significant others, smiles, and gives her a kiss. "Thank you," she says, and Santana's pretty sure she's the luckiest bitch on the planet. "Why aren't you dressed?"
"Can't decide what to wear."
Rachel frowns. "I thought you packed an outfit specifically?"
"I did. But I packed two, and I figured I'd pick when we got here, but now we're here and I can't pick."
Rachel sits down next to her on the bed, but makes shooing motions to try and make her get up. "Well, what are they?"
Santana makes her way over to her suitcase and pulls out the two clothing bags she'd tossed in haphazardly before they left. Rachel makes a face, because Santana said she'd fold them nicely and clearly she didn't, but. Whatever.
She holds one up in each hand. "Option one, you've got Red Carpet Beyonce, which will make everyone jealous of my body. This was going to be my Tony dress, but I figure a trial run can't hurt. Option two, you've got Kate Beaton 1980's Business Woman, which will make everyone scared of what a badass lesbian I am."
The adorable scrunch in Rachel's brow lets Santana know she's taking this decision seriously. "Does the suit have huge shoulder pads?"
"Oh my god, Santana."
"I wouldn't wear them if I couldn't pull them off!"
"Getting away with it and pulling it off are two different things."
"Nobody ever calls me out."
"Because they must think you're built like a linebacker under your blazer! No. Business Woman is out; I want to go to the reunion with Beyonce."
Santana laughs as she puts the suit back in her travel bag. "Well, who wouldn't?"
"Does that make me Jay-Z?"
Rachel says it with such hope in her eyes; Santana hates to be the one to break it to her that if anything, she's more of a Blue Ivy. Which is a weird train of thought to travel on, so she disembarks quickly.
"You're adorable," she says instead, and for once her mouth says what her brain means.
It's made very clear that they're overdressed the second they enter the atrium outside the doors to the high school gym and are greeted by Sam Evans, who's wearing khakis and a tweed jacket with elbow patches. He looks like a British professor of natural history, and Rachel has to pinch Santana's arm to keep her from laughing. At least he still has all his hair.
"Oh my gosh, you guys look amazing!" he gushes, stepping out from behind the table he's manning to give them both hugs. "I'm so glad you made it."
"We wouldn't have missed this," Rachel tells him as she gives him an extra squeeze. She glances behind him as he lets go and laughs a little. "How did you get roped into being Name Tag Guy?"
"Your guess is as good as mine. I thought I was going to be Punch Ladle Guy, I feel like this is a major downgrade. How's it going, Santana?"
"Fine," she says simply, because dude is getting chatty with her wife and like, she doesn't have to be all buddy-buddy about it.
"Glad to hear it. Anyway, yeah, name tags are on this table, but it seems kind of a shame for you to pin them to such nice dresses. Maybe I should just follow you around all night holding them over your heads or something."
She knows he's joking, but—that's enough. "You got something you wanna say, Evans?" Santana asks, expertly moving her feet to avoid Rachel's attempts to stomp on her toes.
He blinks at her. "Um. No?"
"Good," she says, before grabbing her name tag, Rachel's name tag, and Rachel's hand, and dragging the whole lot of them into the gym.
Rachel always pictured a super sad setup when she imagined her high school reunion. A few balloons, a few streamers… just enough effort put in to show that no matter how much they tried, they could never make Lima even half so glamorous as her most average day in New York.
Again: she forgot that Brittany Pierce was their class president, and Brittany never did anything by halves.
Luckily, there's no dinosaur theme, but the gym is nearly unrecognizable from the room of regular pain and torture she still thinks of it as being. Tonight's motif seems to be—communist Russia? With unicorns? It's hard to tell, but that's the vibe Rachel's getting.
"Oh my god, what did she do?" Santana breathes as she looks around the room, and Rachel can only shrug.
"I don't even know."
Santana shakes her head, then leans forward to affix Rachel's name tag to her dress. (And if her hand slips and she gropes some boob in the process, like. Whoops.) "So what's our strategy here? Linger by the food and make like we're too good to socialize with everyone else? Dance to avoid awkward questions? Do the social circuit so everyone has a water cooler story to tell their friends about on Monday?"
Rachel blinks. "I don't know. I hadn't thought about it."
"Well, it's your revenge fantasy. You're the boss."
"It's not a revenge fantasy! You make me sound like Carrie or something."
"Rachel! Santana! I'm so glad you made it!"
Mr. Schuester is walking towards them, and there is no chance of running away.
After Will lets them out of his grasp, it's just a parade of well-wisher after well-wisher. They haven't gotten to spend much time with their friends, even, because most of the people who want to meet Rachel are either former classmates who never gave her the time of day, or the wives of guys who made Rachel's life a living hell who have no idea their husbands are dicks. It's its own form of entertainment, Santana supposes, but not how either she or Rachel planned on spending the night. She can tell Rachel's getting a bit overwhelmed from all the attention (there's a first time for everything), which means… it's time to stage a dramatic rescue.
She hates herself for even thinking of it, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And besides, she doesn't even have to pay the DJ to get him to scram; he was happy for the break. (Rachel's going to kill her for pulling this on all of them when they're not warmed up, but there's an open bar, so… she figures the vocal chords are pretty warm already.)
No one even notices she's on stage with a microphone in her hand until she purposefully puts it near a speaker to get some feedback. Then they're screaming.
"Yeah, yeah, cry me a river," she says with a roll of her eyes, before clearing her throat. "Okay. All you stupid glee kids better get your asses on this stage right now, because we've been here for like an hour and nobody's spontaneously burst into song yet."
"Santana!" a voice hisses near her foot, and when she looks down she sees Quinn Fabray staring back up at her, glare on maximum strength. "Get down from there! Are you drunk?"
Santana elects to ignore that last bit. "I'm not getting down, y'all are coming up. Don't make me come get you."
People move pretty quickly after that.
It's astonishing, how fast it all comes back. Don't Stop Believing is like a language Santana'd forgotten she spoke fluently, and that's only the beginning. They're on their second encore of Run, Joey, Run when the lights come up and they're told they all have to go home. The rest of their graduating class seems to heave a sigh of relief (bitches), but all the former gleeks seem bummed.
"… My dads still have karaoke set up in the basement," Rachel says.
From there they set up the most complicated car pool system known to man, because some people are still local and others are staying at hotels and blah blah, Santana doesn't really care, but the upshot is that a half hour later they're all back in the room where they collectively discovered alcohol twelve years ago.
It's… strangely nostalgic, actually.
(And now when Santana shouts "I want you, I do" at Rachel, Rachel walks over to her, and they make out, and like—she wishes she hadn't been so dumb as a teenager. She'd been missing out.)
It's past 3 am by the time everyone has either gone home or passed out on Rachel's basement floor.
"Don't think I didn't see what you did there," Rachel says as they tiptoe up the stairs to get back to her room. Santana snorts, but waits until they're behind a closed door to respond.
"Did what where?" she asks innocently, reaching behind herself and unzipping her dress without a second thought. She'd been this close to doing it in front of everyone, but she hadn't had that much tequila, so… the clothing stayed on.
Rachel perches on her bed and watches Santana disrobe with a smirk on her face. "You engineered a performance to get me away from those people."
"Nah, I was bored. And Puckerman spiked the punch. It had nothing to do with you."
"You are such a liar!"
Santana takes her bra off. "So what if I am?"
"Then—it—" Rachel shakes her head, as if to remove the fog from her brain. "You're not going to hang that up? That's supposed to be your Tony dress, it will wrinkle on the floor."
"Let it wrinkle," Santana says.
That's about as far as they get with the talking.