A Spoonful of Sugar
‘I’m Sorry’ cookies were a family tradition. Full of abrasive and driven people, Rachel’s family had perfected the art of apologizing. A little something sweet sometimes helped to take the edge off.
Of course, showing up late to a Glee practice that she was going to have to miss with a plate full of them probably wasn’t the best use of them.
“Crap, she’s got cookies,” one of the boys said. She was nearly positive it was Mike.
“I wished to apologize,” Rachel said, and hated to feel unsure of herself. “It’s necessary that I miss both this practice and the next one. Family business.”
“Rachel? Is everything okay?” Mr. Schuester asked, setting a hand on her arm.
“Yes,” she said decisively. “But my cousin is a Sunnydale Survivor. Every year, she and a few others hold a memorial. My fathers and I always attend. This year, unfortunately, it’s just me.”
She only felt a little weird about lying. Oh, there was a memorial and her cousin was the one holding it, but not for Sunnydale victims. It was a Council effort on behalf of the girls. Rachel had known the truth about all things spooky since an ill advised vacation to Sunnydale in fifth grade. She didn’t know how to explain that, though, without sounding like a loon.
“Willow Rosenberg,” Matt said thoughtfully, eyes narrowed, and Rachel startled so hard, she nearly dropped her cookies.
“I…yes, she’s my cousin. How did you…?” Rachel asked, slightly bewildered.
“Rona’s my cousin,” Matt said with a bright grin and a shrug.
Rachel bounced, a little giddy. She’d never realized that someone else might know. “She’s coming with a few others to pick me up. I’ve never seen you at the memorial before.”
His shoulders jerked. “Rona was doing a stint in Africa the first year and England last year. We’ve always been invited but we’ve never gone.”
“Are you coming this year?” Rachel asked, setting the plate of cookies on the piano, ignoring Brad the pianist’s mutterings and everyone else’s staring. So what if she and Matt were holding their first conversation since he joined Glee. “Rona’s obviously home and familial support is very important.”
Noah snorted, inserting himself into a slightly private conversation, and Rachel felt a sudden, irrational surge of irritation overtake her. “Berry, memorials are for dead people. They don’t need any more support that what a wooden box can give them.”
Brad the pianist choked out a laugh, drawing everyone’s eyes to him. “This isn’t a Sunnydale memorial,” he muttered, tugging at his collar a little bit, flashing two very faint, small round scars just over his jugular. “It’s a Council memorial.”
There was shifting, then because rumors of the Council had started almost immediately after the fall of Sunnydale. Most didn’t actually know what the Council did; they just knew they were ‘hardcore badasses’, to borrow Noah’s terminology.
Rachel shot a look at Matt, who was looking like a deer in the headlights. She let out a shaky laugh. “Don’t be silly.”
Her eyes were imploring, so Brad the pianist just shrugged and went back to his muttering.
A knock against the doorfacing had everyone jumping but then Rachel relaxed, a broad grin stretching across her face. “Xander! You came!”
He snorted, shuffling into the room. “Well, yeah
. You didn’t actually think they were going to let one of the other ones drive, did you?”
Rachel straightened. “Dawn and Rona are excellent drivers.
He gave her an amused look. “I noticed that you didn’t include Jordy in there anywhere.”
Matt snorted a startled laugh, causing everyone to look at him. “Did he really hit a camel?”
“One,” Jordy said as he entered, flapping the tie in his hand around. “One camel. They’re much faster than you think they are, you know. And it’s not like I was aiming for it.”
“Where are the others?” Xander asked, shivering a little at the memory. “And you almost started a tribal war.”
,” Jordy stressed, moving to hop up on the piano beside the cookies.
“Osborne,” Brad the pianist said, somewhat flatly.
Jordy narrowed his eyes at the man, then snapped his fingers. “Jazz band. You taught my cousin Oz to play guitar. Sort of.”
Brad the pianist nodded. “I left after the school-,” his hand mimed blowing up.
“Oh, no,” Dawn said, shaking her head as she rounded the door in a well-cut little black dress. “No, that won’t do. You have to change your clothes.”
Rachel tugged on her black skirt. “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”
Rona entered and winced. “Honey, God granted you fabulous legs and nobody wants to look at him covered in yellow tights.”
“But-,” Rachel started.
“Cordelia’s coming,” Rona, Dawn, and Jordy said at once.
Rachel jerked like somebody electrocuted her. “Oh. Oh no
“Don’t worry,” Dawn said, patting the strap of the knapsack over her shoulder. “We’ve got you covered.”
Dawn and Rona started tugging Rachel towards a closet at the side of the room.
Jordy said just as they reached it, “And I don’t see why I’m considered a worse driver than Rona.”
“I only hit what I’m aiming for,” she said, raising an eyebrow at him over her shoulder.
“You hit a sheik
,” he yelled.
,” she said, pushing Rachel into the closet after Dawn. “Philandering, stone-throwing, murdering bastard. Too bad I only broke his damn legs.”
Jordy muttered unpleasant things, which Xander chose to ignore. He focused on the boy that’d brought up the camel to begin with. “How did you even know about that?”
He rubbed the back of his head. “Rona’s my cousin.”
“You must be Matt,” Xander said, nodding. “I’m Xander. I promise I’m less annoying than she’s made me sound.” He noticed the black shirt and asked, “You’ve got a tie, right? I thought we were supposed to pick you up at your house.”
“It’s in my bag,” he said, edging around the other Glee clubbers to the bag in the corner. He pulled out a simple blue tie as he said, “And Rona said she’d meet me here.”
Jordy snapped his fingers, “I knew I forgot something.” He walked over to the closet and started knocking obnoxiously. “Hey, hey do you have my black button down shirt? Come on, lemme in! It’s not like I’ve never seen a naked woman before.”
The door was yanked open and Rona glared out at him. “When
did you see a naked woman?”
“In Marrakesh. The women with the-” he held his hands in front of his chest and simulated jiggling.
Dawn moved up beside Rona and they both glared at Xander.
He lifted his hands, palms out. “Hey, don’t look at me. I didn’t take him anywhere with naked women. My money would be on Faith and Amanda. Or Adam. He’d think that kind of was funny.”
They rolled their eyes and yanked Jordy into the room. Rachel’s shriek came through the door loud and clear.
“Um,” Mr. Schuester said, thinking now would be a good time to try to take control of this situation. “I need permission from their parents for them to go with you.”
Matt pulled a folded sheet out of his pocket and Xander knocked on the closet door. “Rachel? Do you have a permission slip or whatever for your teacher?”
“Under the cookies!” she called, loud and clear, and, God, her voice really carried, didn’t it?
Xander lifted the plate of cookies and passed the folded note to her teacher.
Rachel burst out of the closet, Dawn and Rona following her, and Jordan frowning down at his tie. They were all dressed in black and it should’ve been somber but there were hints of cleavage and class out the wazoo and the combined affect were three very hot girls.
Rachel marched over to Matt, slipping the tie from his hand and looping it around his neck. His hand hovered for a moment, then landed on the gentle swell of her hip. Besides the slight blush in her cheeks, Rachel didn’t react.
Xander leaned into Rona, eye wide, and murmured, “I think we’re gonna hafta do a double shovel speech.”
Her eyebrows pitched high on her forehead, she nodded. “Seems like. Just don’t let Willow give him his and I promise that DVD of drunken naked Snoopy dancing will never see the light of day.”
“Deal,” he said instantly, shaking on it. He didn’t mention that he wasn’t the only one doing some drunken naked dancing on it.
“Right,” Mr. Schuester said kind of desperately. “I guess we’ll see you in a few days.”
Rachel jumped a little and twisted so that Matt’s arm was semi-wrapped around her. “Yes. Right. Of course. We should be going.”
Bags were slung over shoulders and goodbyes waved and then the parade of pretty people in black were gone.
“Council memorial,” Brad the pianist announced, nodding and the room started to buzz with gossip.
Mr. Schuester sighed. They had two weeks until Nationals. They didn’t have time for these kinds of shenanigans. He picked up a cookie and bit into it. At least he’d gotten sweets out of the deal.
Author’s Notes: First, Brad the pianist is featured because he’s always so calm in the middle of Glee shenanigans.
Second, this isn’t really the story I set out to write. That one was a lot more sober. And seriously lacking in camels.