"I HATE HER!"
Santana's features were caught somewhere between what she no doubt intended to be a vicious glare and what in all actuality had become an expression somewhere between a grimace and a pout as she squinted, bleary eyed, at the phone in her hand. She was holding the phone less than seven inches from her face, her pecking out texts with one finger, and her hand was shaking slightly, but she continued to do so determinedly, insistent on getting said whatever needed to be said. Sighing, Quinn watched her from where she stood a few feet away from the bed Santana was lying on, arms crossed over her chest, her lips quirked into something somewhere between a smirk and a slightly exasperated smile.
"San…why are you even answering her back anymore if she's annoying you that much?"
"She's not annoying me, she's PISSING ME OFF!" Santana corrected her at top volume, lifting her head slightly to attempt to look more fully at Quinn.
But this slight movement seemed to be a mistake, because she groaned, dropping her head back to the pillow with a grimace, and the partial pout became a full on twist of misery as she curled herself further into a ball, knees draw in tightly against her chest. Nevertheless her phone remained in her hand even as she continued her run of complaints.
"Owwww I'm dying, I swear, I'm dyingggg!"
"You're not dying, Santana," Quinn explained for the fiftieth time, exhaling audibly and barely restraining herself from rolling her eyes. "You have the stomach flu. You'll probably be totally fine in a day or two, it's the worst part of it now. Now will you please put down the phone, stop letting Mercedes rile you up, and let me help you change your sheets and clothes? You're getting my sheets pretty nasty."
"Dying," Santana insisted, not so much as shifting her eyes in Quinn's direction, her voice having lost all previous aggression and taking on instead a tone that could only be accurately described as a whine. "Dying and no one cares."
It took every bit of self control Quinn had then to restrain herself from throwing her hands in the air and stalking out the room to leave Santana to cope on her own. At the very least she was very tempted to slap her. Did Santana fail to notice that she wasn't exactly having the time of her life either?
Of course she did. The only thing Santana seemed to be capable of noticing right now was her own misery, which, understandable as it was, given the fact that she had been vomiting on a near hourly basis for the past ten hours or so, was no less torturous to deal with. Santana Lopez might be a tough, strong independent young woman not to be messed with on an average day, but give her even a mildly discomforting illness, such as a bad cold, and she turned into a cranky, overly emotional, rather melodramatic and very demanding mess. Give her a fun combination of stomach flu, fever, and dehydration and she was nearly impossible to deal with.
Figures that the first and only time she ever came to visit Quinn at college, and especially after their "incident" after Mr. Shue's failed wedding, would not be marked by partying or going out and having fun together, or even an uncomfortable conversation about what may or may not ever again occur between them sexually after the last time around. No, of course that couldn't be the case; it would have to be instead that within two hours of Santana showing up at her dorm door, she would start almost projectile vomiting into Quinn's entirely too small and formerly adorable coordinating trash can, because the bathroom in Quinn's dorm was inconveniently located six doors down, shared by ten other girls, and requiring a key to enter. All which posed pretty serious barriers to Santana being able to get into the bathroom in time every time another urgent need for it presented itself.
This meant that for the past ten hours, Quinn had been dealing with an ill and increasingly needy Santana from within the all too small and progressively smelly and suffocating quarters of her dorm room. She had been forced to repeatedly change the bags of her trash can and disinfect it each time, try to keep Santana hydrated by getting her to sip at water- and then holding her hair back when Santana almost immediately brought it back up each time-, try to scrounge up Tylenol for Santana's complaints of headaches and clean washcloths to wipe off her face and neck with, when it was her laundry day and clean anything was few and far in between. She was not an overly squeamish person- it was difficult to be, after having given birth at fifteen years old- but she was fast reaching her personal limits of how much ickiness she could take before she needed a 45 minute shower herself, just to shake off the nastiness of the circumstances. Because try as she might be to keep herself and Santana relatively sanitary, it was inevitable that zero sleep and a sick, physically clingy Santana was going to result in sweat, snot, tears and vomit touching her at least slightly.
Santana was her best friend, and occasionally, when especially lonely or horny, Quinn's mind even toyed with the possibility of more. But god was she a pain in the ass when she was sick.
"Santana," Quinn started to argue with her again, but gave up, realizing before she spoke that informing Santana yet again that physical pain did not equate to dying would doubtless do nothing to convince her otherwise. She had already made the mistake earlier, after Santana had whined something about Quinn not understanding her pain, of snapping back at her that she was pretty sure giving birth was a considerably more painful experience than a 24 hour bug. Rather than shutting Santana up, the girl had instead burst into tears and started saying something incoherent about Quinn being mean before sitting up gagging, barely able to hold back in time for Quinn to shove the first thing she could grab hold of in front of her- which just happened to be the bowl Quinn and her roommate generally used for popcorn.
Yep, this had definitely been a disgusting and somewhat disturbing experience so far, and Quinn was certain of one thing above all else .The second Santana was germ free, she owed her a new trash can, new sheets, some new clothes, and definitely, definitely a new popcorn bowl.
"San…come on, phone up," Quinn changed her focus, holding out her hand to Santana and stepping closer so she could take it from her.
Mercedes Jones was the last person on earth to be likely to be even slightly sympathetic rather than amused or just plain annoyed by Santana's rather incoherent "sick posts" to Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, and obviously she had been stoking the fire, responding to every single one with the kind of comments that alternately stirred Santana into greater levels of frustration, anger, and misery. Quinn didn't know if the other girl was doing it on purpose, just to amuse herself, or if she didn't know the extent to which Santana was reacting, but Mercedes wasn't the one dealing with Santana face to face, so she couldn't say that she was too pleased by it, whatever her reasons.
Then again, the problem would be solved if Santana would just put down the phone.
"Phone, San," Quinn repeated, this time actually covering Santana's hand with hers and gently tugging at the phone to take it, but Santana whined again without words, weakly attempting to cover the screen with her hand.
"I gotta get her back, she's making fun of me!"
"Santana, you sound like you're seven years old right now," Quinn pointed out, then regretted it immediately as Santana's mouth dropped open, her voice became shriller, and her maturity level dropped down another approximately two years with her response.
"I do not! She's being mean to me! She started it!"
"Okay, that's it," Quinn reached for the phone, easily taking it from Santana's grasp and walking across the room with it, sticking it inside the top shelf of her closet. "When you're feeling good enough to get up and retrieve that, you can have it back."
"BUT I WASN'T FINISHED YELLING AT HER!" Santana protested, even as she moaned from the simple movement of stretching out one arm towards Quinn, curling herself back into a ball again and half closing her eyes.
"Santana, the last Facebook status you made had eighteen misspellings and six grammatical errors, and made no logical sense at all," Quinn pointed out as she came back to the bed. "I doubt she even knows what you're trying to say. At all."
"She's so mean…you're mean too…meannnn," Santana mumbled, shivering. Even as she appeared to be cold, however, Quinn could see the sweat drying on her temples, slicking back her hair, and with some concern, she came towards her, gently feeling her forehead.
"There there," she said dryly in response to her, somewhat sarcastically patting Santana's arm, and then she took her by the upper shoulders, slowly, carefully trying to pull her up into a sitting position. Santana didn't help her, her body limp and heavy under Quinn's hands, but Quinn persisted, gradually dragging her to her feet and supporting her to sit at the chair at her desk. "Stay here a minute. I'm just changing the sheets…again."
Glancing back at Santana as she detached from her to make sure she was sitting, rather than gradually keeling over to the floor, Quinn watched as Santana slowly slumped forward, letting her head hit the desk with a soft thump as she closed her eyes, groaning again. She didn't seem to have hurt herself, however, so Quinn let her be, moving unhindered now.
Quinn made short work of changing the sheets on her bed, as she already had once before. It was a good thing she had been overly prepared in her packing for college, bringing three sets of sheets and pillow cases instead of only two, because Santana had already made a mess of two pairs and Quinn was now down to the last. She didn't have the time or quarters currently to go wash the other two, nor the towels, washcloths, clothes, and blanket Santana had already dirtied, so the sheets joined the pile of less than pleasant smelling clothing already in her hamper in her closet. When she glanced over at Santana again and saw that the girl was shivering, Quinn paused, taking one of the thin blankets off her suspiciously absent roommate's bed end and draping it over Santana's shoulders, moving her hair so it was over the blanket rather than trapped beneath. Reaching to feel her forehead and noting again how warm it was, she patted Santana's cheek, ignoring the girl's answering groan.
"Wanna sleep….leave me alone," Santana mumbled, her eyes still closed on the desk, and Quinn took her hands away, keeping her voice soft.
"I know you do. I'm almost done, then I'll help you back to bed, okay? But you need to let me help wipe you off a little first. I just got you new sheets, it's not going to help you any if you go straight back to with all your same old sweat."
"No," Santana whined, shutting her eyes even more tightly, so that a crease formed over each lid. "Go way."
Rolling her eyes, Quinn finished making the bed, then went to her shared mini fridge. She had run out of orange juice, trying to force it down Santana earlier, but there were a few water bottles still left, and she took one out, coming to Santana and holding it out to her. When Santana ignored her, eyes still closed, Quinn lightly shook her shoulder, persisting.
"Come on, San. Sit up. I promise you can sleep after."
"Don't want it. Go 'way," Santana repeated, her voice somewhat slurred, but when Quinn reached out to tug her up, she let herself be pulled, though she did bat out a hand at her feebly as though wanting to push her away. She let Quinn hold the water to her lips and took a few sips, then attempted to lie back down on the desk. Realizing then that her trash can was nowhere in sight, Quinn's eyes scanned the room, remembering the results of the last several times she had tried to get Santana to drink, and she finally was forced to take her roommate's. So maybe she was not exactly being roommate of the year right now, but the girl would have to forgive her. It wasn't like she was sticking around to help.
"Come on, San, back up," she told Santana by the shoulders again, making her sit back up and shushing Santana's answering wordless whines. "You want to feel better, don't you? Sit up."
"Want you to leave me alone. Want you to go away…stop getting up on this," Santana muttered back, and Quinn snorted at this, half incredulous.
"Yeah, I'm totally "up" on you, Santana. You're practically unconscious on my desk, making my entire room a health hazard for anyone who might be unfortunate enough to enter it, you smell like a homeless person, and I'm pretty sure everything you've said in the past day has either been at top volume or in the shrillest tone possible. Yes, you are really making my libido go wild. Sexxxy."
She regretted her sarcasm when Santana's face crumpled and she began to sniffle, turning and burying her face fully in her arms. Quinn couldn't make out what she was saying with her head in her arms, but she was pretty sure she picked out the word "mean" somewhere in there pretty accurately. Since that seemed to be Santana's go to adjective of the moment, Quinn was pretty sure that was the gist of it all.
Sighing, Quinn wet another washcloth with some water from the bottle and moved Santana's hair aside, gently wiping the back of her neck with it. She wiped what she could reach of Santana's arms, then tugged at her shoulders gently, though Santana resisted, pulling her back up.
"Sorry, okay? Sorry…come on, San. Let's do this so you can go sleep."
She gently cleaned Santana's face the best she could, then wiped down her neck and upper chest as well. It was hardly the best way to clean her off, but she wasn't about to drag her down the hall to the showers she shared with the other girls on her hall. It was more likely that Santana would pick up new diseases, sitting on the shower floor, then that she would feel better, and Quinn was not at all in the mood to put that much work into it. Instead she helped her to her feet and the short distance to her bed, easing Santana between the sheets and folding the blanket over her. As an afterthought she moved her roommate's trashcan close to the edge of the bed too, pointing it out to Santana.
"Aim there because you're not gonna have any sheets at all if you mess these up too."
But as Quinn started to pull back from her, Santana's arms came up and wrapped around her neck, pulling Quinn in close as though she were trying to drag her down on top of her. A little taken aback, Quinn patted her back awkwardly, trying to step away, but Santana clung, attempting to hide her face in her neck.
"Stay," she mumbled, breathing in deeply, and Quinn's eyebrows rose as she wondered what exactly the girl was doing. "You smell good. Mmmm."
"Well, no offense, but you smell like puke, San," Quinn responded dryly, trying to draw back from her again. "I'm not going anywhere, I'm right here. Now if you'll just let me go and go to sleep-"
"No," Santana shook her head against Quinn's neck, her voice rising slightly. "Stay here. Wanna lay with you. Stay."
"San," Quinn started, again attempting to extract herself from the other girl's grasp, but when Santana breathed out shakily against her neck, then sniffled, seeming to be drawing close to tears again, she gave in. It wasn't like she hadn't already been exposed in every possible way…and as soon as Santana fell asleep and left her be, she could always get back up again. Right now, avoiding all impending explosions seemed the best course of action to go.
And weird as it was, it was sort of, just a little bit cute, when Santana was this needy and seemed to want only her. Annoying, yes, exhausting, totally- but also sort of cute.
Quinn lay down beside her, letting Santana curl into her, and wrapped a loose arm around her waist, leaning her cheek against the top of Santana's head. The girl was very warm against Quinn's own cool skin, and Quinn found herself absently running a hand through her hair, the hand on Santana's back lightly rubbing in a circle as she attempted to settle her to sleep. For her part, Santana seemed to be relaxing into her, her hand taking a fistful of the back of Quinn's shirt as she burrowed her face deeper into Quinn's neck. Generally, Quinn would have found this position to be awkward, even uncomfortable; despite their closeness, and their recent sexual experimentation, she and Santana had never been consistently touchy feely together, certainly not like Santana and Brittany. But she didn't mind it now. It sort of felt nice, in fact, so she let Santana stay, lightly rubbing her back, and relaxed back as well.
"Sing to me," Santana mumbled a few minutes later, to Quinn's protest.
"Come on, San, I don't feel like it. Just close your eyes and relax."
"Sing," Santana demanded, her voice definitely carrying a whining edge now, and Quinn felt her sniffle against her now. "Hurts….can't sleep. Want you to sing."
"Fine," the blonde sighed, exhaling audibly, her hand pausing in its stroking of Santana's hair. "What do you want me to sing?"
She thought she must have misheard her at first, but when she asked Santana to repeat herself, the answer was the same.
"BABY GOT BACK?!"
"Wanna hear it…it's funny," Santana muttered, breathing out loudly against her neck. "Sing."
"Santana….come on, I'm not singing a song about a guy that likes big butts!" Quinn protested, half laughing at the idea, half genuinely horrified. But then she heard Santana start to sniffle again, something almost like a whimper escaping her throat.
"Mean…being mean. Wanna hear it. Sing…wanna hear it, sing…"
She started to cough then, which caused Quinn to flinch, wanting nothing more than to shove her away from her and leap out of the rage of possible bodily fluids. But Santana had wrapped herself tightly around her, and there seemed to possible escape, so instead Quinn started to sing as requested, hurriedly, hoping that this would settle her back down.
"Okay, okay! I…I like big butts and I cannot lie…you other brothers can deny…when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face…"
She struggled through the best she could, knowing she was repeating herself and making up as much as she was remembering, but Santana seemed satisfied. Settling back against her, even giving an occasional faint giggle, Santana relaxed, her hand now twined in Quinn's hair. And in that moment, as ridiculous as it seemed to be cuddling a whiny girl who smelled like puke breath, singing to her about a dude who liked big butts, as very strange as it was, it was somehow comfortable, and she didn't really mind it that much at all.
She'd probably pay for it later, when she herself woke up sick, but there was always the flip side of the coin. Because then it would be Santana's turn.