So the hiatus is over, I did my twenty-one ficlets and all... but I didn't want to stop ;) So I'm not! I want to see how long I can keep this up, one every day, so off we go :)
"Pom Pom Down"
Santana & Brittany
It had not come to light immediately after Quinn's dismissal from the Cheerios, but eventually, they had seen it. The Cheerios were turning on them. It wasn't too overt, more the opposite, really. Neither of them had gone so far as to call them on it, because they knew… they would deny knowing any part of it. That was surely what Santana and Brittany would have done in their position. It only took being put within the situation to realize how it could be hurtful.
The first time they realized it came one day following rehearsals. Returning into the school, Santana could see the others making a forceful effort not to stand too close to them, to the point that there were clusters of Cheerios a few feet ahead, behind, and to the sides of them, but no one within arms' length from either of them. Brittany didn't seem to have noticed, judging from the smile she still had on her face. Hoping to save her from that, Santana hooked her arm with Brittany's and pulled her along, breaking past the other Cheerios.
"Come on, let's get a slushie before class," she told her.
"Okay," Brittany's smile grew. "Cherry?"
"Definitely," Santana gave her a quick side smile.
She was always there to look out for Brittany. She was like the little sister you didn't leave behind, and just the same, she'd be there for you. She didn't want her to get bummed out by the rest of the team, so if she could protect her from that, then she would.
So they'd gotten their cherry slushies, and the crisis was averted.
But days passed, not all of them incident free. The wide berth tactic was only one of the things they experienced. In the locker room, while they were getting ready to head out on the field, Santana could see the girls whose lockers surrounded theirs were 'so patiently' staying back, waiting for them to leave before they went to their lockers. So Santana kept Brittany talking, kept her from noticing.
When on the field, they would do the routines, as they were called on to do, and they kept the big Cheerio smiles on when they would interact with Santana and Brittany, but they were fake… there was nothing in their eyes.
On more than one occasion, she'd used the slushies as escape, to the point the cashier would greet them when they'd come along. Santana was growing more and more frustrated with the girls on the team. She wasn't going to give them the satisfaction of giving in though. They weren't going to get rid of them so easy.
"What's wrong?" Brittany asked, poking her straw along through her slushie. Santana looked up at her, taking a sip from her own cup. "You look upset," she explained, showing concern.
"It's nothing," she shook her head, "I just got a bad grade. It's fine." Brittany looked back around and went to grab a bag of Santana's favorite chips.
"My treat," she nodded. Santana just had to smile, which in turn made Brittany grin. "Better," she took out her wallet.
Santana had to make this thing stop, get the girls to back off. She couldn't just keep this up forever. All she had to do was find the ringleader. There was always one. It used to be that this was Quinn, but the position was always easy on fluctuation, all that was needed was scandal and someone to make their claim for the top. She wasn't against a little retaliation, especially where it was deserved, such as now.
It didn't take too long for her to find her girl. She'd always suspected Jenny to have that hostile takeover streak in her, and now she'd been proven right. She'd already wrangled herself a couple of devoted followers.
She found the trio eating lunch together in the courtyard. She'd sent Brittany off to get them slushies, leaving her time to deal with Jenny. She went up to the table and sat, not leaving her the chance to make an exit. Jenny had a smile tucked away in her lips to hold back a sneer.
"Santana," she spoke.
"Jenny," she gave back as much as she got. "You and I need to have ourselves a talk."
"Do we?" she asked innocently. "I can't see what it'd be about."
"Oh, I'm sure you can figure it out. You two want to scatter and let the grownups talk?" Santana's eyes veered from one minion to the other before looking back to Jenny. The girls turned to their leader. Jenny simply sat up and the girls on either side of her stood and carried their lunches away.
"What's on your mind?" Jenny asked, sugar sweet as she picked up her fork.
Santana didn't have her lunch yet – she'd eat when Brittany returned and she was done with Jenny. At the question, she started to play with the bracelet on her arm, showing herself as carefree as could be.
"Just the start of year Cheerio party, last September." Jenny's fork missed its mark, and one of the plastic prongs snapped off as it hit the plate.
"Is that right," she cleared her throat. Her insecurity only gave Santana more power.
"Yeah. That was one wild night, wasn't it?" she smiled. Jenny's eyes went wide, staring at her plate without a word. "Now I know everything's been… confusing with all that's changed lately. If you want to pretend like you're in charge, I won't stand in your way, I know how important validation is to you. But do yourself a favor: Leave Brittany and me out of your 'coup,' okay?" Jenny worked to look in charge again, but there was no denying Santana had the upper hand here.
"Fine," was the answer Jenny managed.
"It's adorable, really, the way you thought you were the boss," Santana stood. "The lackeys? Just darling," she tilted her head. "Bye, Jenny," she returned the sweetness Jenny had used. The girl gave a shaky wave, though Santana had already turned away.
The victory was made that much sweeter as Brittany returned with two cherry slushies in hand. "My hands are frozen," she announced.
"Here," Santana took the cups from her. Brittany shook out her hands and flexed her fingers. She took back her cup, from which she'd already taken a few sips on the way.
"I'm starving, let's go before there's just meat surprise left," she turned toward the cafeteria. Santana smirked and followed her.
In the following days, she was pleased to see that Jenny had passed on the message. She still kept her distance from Santana, but the order had been restored, and Brittany had never known a thing, which made it all worth it.