A/N: I don't own Glee nor the characters within. Another story begat from a prompt sentence, this time from ellowyntinuviel, who supplied the quote of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot. (It really is an amazing poem.) I don't foresee this story being a long one (or having the length of chapters you've come to expect from me), but of course we'll see. Anyway, on with the show~
"Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky."
Rachel was crying when Santana picked up the phone. "Berry?" she asked, setting down the controller of Puck's Xbox 360. Hearing her, Puck set his own controller down and quirked an eyebrow. Santana shook her head.
"San-Santana?" Rachel sniffled, voice breaking and so soft Santana could barely hear her, "I – I know we aren't friends anymore but…" A loud, heartbreaking sob almost blew out the phone speaker, "But can you pick me up?"
Santana's heart squeezed so hard she almost couldn't speak. "Berry…"
Oh god. Closing her eyes, Santana didn't even have to think before she jumped up. "Okay, okay. Rache. I'm coming. Where are you?"
There was silence, and then Rachel was sobbing again, and Santana felt even worse because she knew it was because of her. "Rache, hun, please, tell me where you are?"
"I'm… I'm at the Christmas tree pl-place. F-Finn, he…"
"Christmas tree?" Santana repeated, and suddenly Puck was next to her.
"Son of a bitch," he growled, "Finn must've done something. Here, I know where he was going to take her."
Staring at him, Santana blinked, then nodded. "Grab my coat," she hissed, "And start the truck." Barely making sure he was following her orders, she took a deep breath. "Rache, honey. Rache, are you listening to me?"
Heavy breathing hitched, and then a low sound of confirmation managed to come through.
"Good. I'll be there soon, okay? Puck's driving so I'll even get to stay on the phone with you." Pausing, Santana dropped to the ground to start shoving her feet into her boots. Violently yanking one over her heel, she asked, "Are you somewhere warm?"
Rachel was still crying, but it was a little easier to hear her. "It's sn-snowing."
What? "Are you in the snow?"
Alarm flared, and Santana all but ran outside, having never been happier when she saw Puck's truck already steaming in the falling, thickening snow. "Is there anywhere you can get inside?" she raised her voice as she jumped into the warm interior of the truck; Jesus, if she was this cold from just running from the house, she didn't want to imagine how cold Rachel was.
Pushing her coat at her, Puck didn't even wait for her to buckle up before taking off with a roar of his engine. "It's going to be about ten minutes in this weather," he grunted, intent on the swirling white and black that was the world outside the windshield, "But I'll try faster."
"You better." Having missed Rachel's answer, Santana tried again. "Rache, you can go inside?"
Her sobs now intermittent, Rachel sounded hoarse and husky and thick, "Too many people. Are…" Her voice fell to a whisper again, a fresh wave of tears apparently flowing over, "Are you coming?"
Santana's heart squeezed even tighter. She dropped her head, curling her free hand into a fist on her thigh. "I am," she promised, feeling weak and helpless, "I'm in the car now, Rache. I'm coming to get you."
A loud guttural noise blew air directly into the phone, and Santana strained her ears, trying to hear anything over the sound of wind. Finally, in an almost broken, disbelieving voice, Rachel's response held years of pain, "Are you really?"
Santana closed her eyes. Puck cursed loudly, having to yank the wheel sharply to the left, but she barely noticed. "Yes."
"Why? Wh-why now? Why not before?" A harsh cough cut off her words, finally tapering off into deep, intent breathing.
Santana swallowed. "Because I always promised you I would," she pushed out, losing her breath by the last word. Struggling to draw in air from lungs that weren't working, she hunched in her seat, pressed the phone even closer to her ear, and said something that should have been said a long time ago, "I promised you, Rachel. And I'm finally going to keep it."
"If – if you're not…"
"No, Rachel." Shaking her head, Santana snapped up to look out the windshield, willing herself to see where they were and for the truck to fly, "I'm coming for you."