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The One That Got Away

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The One That Got Away (Alternate Pezberry Ending)

Rachel tells herself that she needs this and it was the only way she could get closure even if she hasn't thought of Quinn in months. But maybe the invitation to perform at Toad's Place was really a sign. Even if she didn't believe any more about serendipity and love, it didn't mean it didn't really exist. It just meant that it probably didn't exist for her. So she quickly signs the contract before she leaves her apartment as she really does not want to be late today.

And Rachel knows that even if she was still unlucky in love, she had so many other things going for her. Her EP on iTunes was at number 24 this morning. She had to blink about fifteen times, rubbing her eyes as she looked at the charting on her laptop. The fact that she'd never performed on TV as yet and her music was just being talked about on the internet. Coupled with her graduation you tube video actually getting close to a million hits and a couple of hundred thousand reviews, was just overwhelming. Even if about one hundred and eighty six of those comments actually came from Santana (she most definitely counted and noted the word sexy appearing about eighty two times).

Better yet was the number of offers to perform, small clubs around New York and at the end of the month, an actual appearance on the Tonight Show. There's still a chance they would cancel if a bigger musical act was available but Rachel doesn't care because she finally feels like she's doing what she loves and is actually good at it.

It in no way fills that particular hole she knows she has in her but even that was slowly fading. She knows it is because she feels it less and less and when she hears her phone ring (the melody some old Katy Perry song that she picked but does not want to admit means something) she knows exactly why that is and smiles as she answers.

"I'm just walking to it now. God, impatient much?" She can picture Santana rolling her eyes as she leaned back into the chair, a steaming cup of coffee in front of her as she sits at their table. They meet up every week or so if Rachel doesn't have any auditions or gigs and Santana can tear herself away from her law books.

And miraculously, they haven't missed a date, not a date date, although Rachel knows that she's skirting close and tries not to think of that because they were friends and she cannot afford to lose another like she had lost Quinn or more precisely, Quinn had lost her.

"Don't try to sound like me." Santana's voice warm in her ear and she can also tell that the Latina is smiling. "You fail every time. Besides why would you want to?"

"It's the most sincerest form of flattery. Come on...You know you love it." Rachel sees the café up ahead and hurries her steps, the light still blinking green as she steps off the sidewalk.

"You're lucky that I lo.."

The motorcycle swerving round the corner so fast that all she hears is the sound of its engine over the sound of Santana's voice and all she feels is the impact as it crashes into her.

She thinks she hears Santana's horrified scream but cannot be sure as her consciousness fades because the pain is too intense.

#$#$#$#$#$#

Santana looks at her watch, trying not to tap her foot in impatience but still somewhat anxious to see Rachel. It's not a feeling that she really wants to examine too closely. They're friends, both living in the same city and sharing a past. It made sense to meet up, have coffee weekly and talk about, well everything.

Santana had rushed through her last class, ignoring the dirty looks sent her way by the bitchy TA that she knows just has it out for her even if Rachel keeps telling her otherwise. She had less than an hour to get to the café and she didn't want to be late, at least not today.

She knows it's kind of stupid to want to acknowledge a one year anniversary where she told Rachel that she didn't hate her. Only, Santana finally understands exactly what she had been trying to convey even if she couldn't say it correctly then. It should never have been about not hating Rachel and today was the day she'd correct that.

Spending the year, telling Rachel about her classes and how she actually likes Corporate Law, not Criminal or Civil Law. How her course is so tough and sometimes she feels like quitting. But then Rachel would give her that patented 'Are you fucking kidding me look' that she knows actually comes from her. And likewise, Rachel would tell her of the auditions she didn't get and more often than not the ones she did.

Texts and calls and this one weekly date make her feel…something. And even if she didn't want to address that early on because they're just friends who don't hate each other, the parameters drawn up a year ago in this very café, she knows that things do change. So instead of just thinking about Rachel, she whips out her phone and calls. Santana just cannot ignore all the signs that say otherwise anymore as she focuses on the voice over the phone and works towards deciphering her true feelings.

There is no need for a 'hello' or 'hey' as she leans back in the chair knowing that Rachel's a minute away and they're already fake bickering over the phone. It's comfortable and she looks out of the glass panels, already making out the diva walking towards her, her head down as she clutches the phone to her ear.

And it hits Santana then, that frisson of longing and love that she's been trying so damn hard to work through. But just looking at Rachel and hearing her voice, it finally pushes through all her damn defenses, scaling over the wall she's built around her heart. And she cannot hold back any longer as she says the words, "You're lucky that I lo.."

She doesn't get to finish the sentence as she sees Rachel get hit, her body sent sprawling even as she screams Rachel's name.

#$#$#$#$#

She calls everyone on her way to the Hospital; Rachel's dads, Mercedes, Kurt, Tina, Brittany, Finn and even Quinn. Her voice hollow and scared such that Brittany does not recognize it or realize it's her until she actually has to say her name.

She cannot give them any news except for the fact that Rachel is hurt and for the life of her, she cannot understand why (apart from Rachel's dads)no one else sounds like their life was maybe over.

The hospital is busy and it takes her more than two hours of going from one counter to the next to find out about Rachel. In the end she's crying and cursing in Spanish and only then does one of the nurses takes pity on her because she shaking so much that she can't get Rachel's full name out.

"I think she's still in the emergency room, dear.." And that's all Santana needs as she rushes down, pushing through the throng of people looking for the one person she desperately needs to see. And when she does, she almost collapses to the ground. The only thing preventing her from doing so was the fact she finally makes contact with deep brown eyes staring back at her. She sees Rachel sitting up in the bed, her arm in a splint and scratches marring her beautiful face. But alive, whole and looking anxiously around until their eyes finally meet.

Rachel was alive and then she sees it too, love reflected back in that one look, pure and simple and so very scary that Santana does the only thing she can think of as she turns and rushes out, finding the nearest bathroom and emptying the contents of her stomach. This feeling of cowardice was also not new and to be honest, everything she felt for Rachel was so damn familiar even if scared the hell out of her.

Santana loved her, completely, absolutely loved her and the second she thought that she had lost Rachel, Santana had felt lost herself. Somehow, Rachel had become not only her love but her life as well. She remembers loving Brittany, how she felt connected to the blonde and a strong impetus to be a part of her life, her love burning like a low flame, constant and always there until it was snuffed out.

With Rachel though, it was different. Her love didn't burn, it scorched, obliterating everything except for the one truth that she belonged to and loved Rachel, body and soul.

#$#$#$#$#$

Rachel comes to in the ambulance and the first word out of her mouth is Santana's name. Her eyes darting about even as she tries to remove the oxygen mask because all she wants is to see is the Latina as she struggles through the pain.

"Hey, you have to relax. You have a broken arm and multiple contusions and a concussion." The paramedic looks at her with kind eyes and she says Santana's name again even as she tries to stop struggling.

"You're talking about that girl, the tall one who knows more Spanish curse words than my sailor uncle?" It's an apt description even as Rachel finally relaxes because he had seen Santana and was telling her about it. "She was crying and demanding to come with you but it's against regulations. She knows which hospital we're taking you to though. Don't worry; she looked determined to see you."

With those words still ringing in her ears, Rachel ignores the pain as she probed and examined, her eyes peeled for that one person she knows she needs to see when she finally arrived at the hospital. And all through the two hours, she does not give up hope because she just knows. So when Santana finally shows up, her clothes disheveled and a shell shocked look on her face, Rachel does not hold back, showing her love and hoping to see acceptance.

What she does see back is a myriad of emotions and over-riding all of it is a palpable sense of fear as Santana's eyes widen, her hands still somewhat shaking as they look at each other. And Rachel finally knows exactly what the Latina is thinking when she turns on her heels and runs away.

Rachel wants to call out, to say that it was ok but she doesn't because it's not her decision to make. She just hopes that Santana does finally make up her mind and Rachel truly wonders if she'd survive if Santana walked away. Surviving Quinn was one thing but Santana was always a bigger force and more a part of her life that she would ever admit.

But, all she knows is that she's stronger for having known the Latina, spending the year being friends, acknowledging their connection, building up this link that evolved into love. And she just needs to maybe believe again even if she knows that she may not have the courage to do so. And even if she didn't believe in herself, deep down, she truly believed in Santana.

So she still hangs on to her faith in Santana as she keeps staring at the door, even if in the back of her mind all she remembers is standing and waiting at the foot of Quinn's building. Only this time, she does not give up even if more than twenty minutes have passed.

Rachel keeps vigil, not focusing on the pain in her arm and the scratches on her body but just on the door because she knows that this time it has to be different. And it's only when she's wheeled to her room, does she think that maybe…maybe she's wrong again.

#$#$#$#$#

Santana uses all her money she has on her and actually goes to draw some more from the ATM machine around the corner. She's somewhat on autopilot as she picks out the flowers and balloons and that one stupid large teddy bear whose tummy states 'I hope you get better beary soon.' Its close enough that she hopes it elicits a smile out of Rachel.

The room is small and filled with all of it as Santana sits in the corner, waiting for Rachel, the bear on her lap. She feels pretty foolish but she does not move because she knows Rachel deserves this and more. All Santana knows is that this day, this one year anniversary for them is only the start and from now onwards, she'll always be there for the brunette. By her side, holding her hand, whatever it took because Rachel was her life.

She's pretty sure that what she's done now though still does not in any way make up for her turning heel and running away but she hopes Rachel understands that she needed that short amount of time to finally (finally) accept that there was someone else out there for her who loved her not in spite of who she was but because of it; someone, who pushed her and who reached out when no one else could.

So when Rachel is finally wheeled into the room and she sees tears shining in those beautiful brown eyes when she takes in the flowers and the get well soon balloons and that stupid bear on her lap, Santana cannot hold back any longer as she goes to her knees, her arms encircling her love and their tears mingling.

She does not get her first words out though as she hears Rachel's wondrous voice saying them instead. "I love you Santana Lopez. I truly do.." But then she sees it too, that arched eyebrow, that unspoken challenge and she herself gets it. She absolutely fucking finally completely gets it, this pull, this need that's always been lurking there, not to forget or to use as a distraction or some cheap diversion; but this need, this constant pressure on her heart to taste and partake and give herself over completely.

Santana unequivocally understands as she leans forward, capturing Rachel's lips, conveying all her love and accepting love in return. Pure unadulterated love, making her feel that she's finally whole as Rachel finally gets kissed by the girl.

The End