Leaning against the flagpole with arms crossed against her chest, Santana waits impatiently, eyes darting up and down the street trying to catch the familiar site of Brittany's mom's Volvo. Two minutes until class starts and it still hasn't pulled up, sighing and shoving the phone into her bag before tossing it over her shoulder, she promises herself five more minutes.
Ignoring the admonishment for her tardiness, she makes a beeline to her desk, dropping her bag and staring forward. As soon as Mrs. Thorn turns her back she whips out her phone, texting where the hell are you? in a flurry of thumbs.
Foot tapping the linoleum, waiting impatiently for a reply, she nearly bites Kristine's head off when she asks to borrow an eraser. Trying to pay attention to the lecture (if only for means of a distraction) and failing due to the fact that she could give a shit how long the Byzantine Empire lasted.
Finally the phone vibrates against her hand, nearly chewing a hole on the inside of her cheek waiting for withered old Thorn to turn around again, she looks down to see don't feel good flash on the screen.
Santana frowns at the message. Guess that means she's flying solo.
Today is totally going to suck.
With the way she and Brittany are seemingly glue to each other's side (matching class schedules and extra curricular activities since middle school) Santana really shouldn't be surprised when she's asked the same question over and over.
Where's Brittany? During second period.
Where's Brittany? During break.
Where's Brittany? During third.
Where's Brittany? During fourth.
Where's Brittany? Where's Brittany? Where's Brittany? At the cheerios table during lunch.
She's been on edge all morning, but getting asked that stupid question a hundred times before noon has her snarling at anyone who dares look her in the eye. Like Santana's her fucking keeper or something. Like Brittany's never been sick before.
Only when Sandy Duncan (stuck up little rich girl constantly relegated to the bottom of the pyramid) mutters something about Santana's panties being in a twist because her girlfriend isn't here, does she actually snap.
The lunch tray flies out of her hand, landing squarely in the bitch's lap, ruining her nice clean uniform for the day. She storms off with a satisfied grin as Sandy's horrified shrieks fill the cafeteria.
(She calms down when Brittany's thanx comes in reply to her feel better okay? five minutes later.)
Coach calls a meeting between fifth and sixth. Sitting in her usual seat, she's forced to wait nearly a full minute while the mighty Sue Sylvester leans back in her chair with fingers tepee'd in front of her face, before the silence breaks.
"I think enough time has passed," she says thoughtfully. "For one Will Schuester to think I've forgotten all about him stealing my Madonna idea and bastardizing it to hell with his silly little club."
Santana nods, having learned long ago all the right moments to show your agreement with her mad scientist ideas. The older woman stands, starts pacing back and forth behind her desk in the Patton step she's perfected, the paranoid gears of her mind cranking out their latest revenge scheme.
"I want you two ready for any-"
It's then she looks to the empty chair, noticing for the first time that Santana is alone, those crazy eyes narrowing in suspicion.
"Where's the other one?"
Santana fights to keep a straight face when Coach places both palms flat on her desk, leans forward and sneers with disapproval.
"I've never been sick a day in my life," she says. "Germs are afraid of me, can't say that I blame them."
She tunes out after Coach starts to prattle on about how amazing she is, nearly forgetting the purpose of the meeting for revenge on Mr. Schuester, but still nods and chimes in at all the opportune moments.
Finally given the okay to vacate, she honestly can't remember the plan, this day already bad enough, having to play double agent saboteur is not high of the list of priorities. And really, as lame as Glee can be these Machiavellian plots of subterfuge are getting old. (It's starting to feel beneath her.)
One foot is out the door when Sylvester calls her back.
"Tell blondie I want a doctor's note," she says in all seriousness. "Missing practice? She better be on her death bed."
At least Glee offers a chance to catch her breath.
Figurative of course, what breath there is to catch is currently being pushed past her lips, as the note carries in chorus across the room. Another eighties power ballad, as if they don't do enough of these, but the song makes her focus and it does help to her feel better.
Back in the third row, half paying attention to Mr. Schuester ramble on about going all out, or revving it up a gear, or whatever motivational cliché he chooses to use. She checks her phone, even though there hasn't been another message since lunch, and shoves it quickly back in the bag.
Rachel is looking back at her when she sits up, causing Santana to inadvertently look behind her because really, the girl knows better by now. She scowls out of reflex, but it doesn't phase the perky attention hog, and if Rachel is even thinking of asking that stupid question she swears to god there will be blood.
She doesn't, merely looks at the empty seat next to Santana and offers a small smile.
Empathy from Rachel Berry.
Worst fucking day ever.
The cup of soup nearly burns her hands through the thin napkins she's using as oven mitts, and is about the curse them to hell when Brittany's mom opens the door. Santana lifts the cup for her to see, smiling smoothly, and the older woman returns the gesture and steps aside allowing access.
She narrowly avoids a flying stuffed pig to the head as she makes her way up the stairs, looking to see Brittany's little sister shake her fist in disappointment before darting back into the living room.
The bedroom door is open a crack, Santana knocks twice in rapid succession before pushing it open and stepping inside. Brittany is curled up in bed with her giant purple pillow that looks like that McDonald's character they hardly use anymore. Alice in Wonderland plays on the TV, the part where she meets the caterpillar, and Brittany's giggles at the smoke shaped letters dissolve into a rack of coughs.
"How many times have you watched this today?" Santana asks, taking the small open spot on the bed and setting the soup on the nightstand.
"Seven," comes the reply.
"…I like it."
Santana is fully aware of just how much her friend loves the little blonde girl's adventures; the blue dress still hangs in Brittany's closet, her default Halloween costume from sixth grade until they joined the cheerios.
"How are you feeling?" She asks, feeling Brittany's forehead with the back of her fingers.
"Like there's a cloud in my head that keeps on raining."
It's warm, but not feverish, and Santana lets her lips replace the hand for just a moment. Brittany grins in kind, snuggling up and resting her head on Santana's shoulder.
"I'm gonna get you sick," she says softly.
Santana doesn't care. After being annoyed at everyone and everything the whole damn day, all she wants to do is sit next to her best friend and forget it ever happened. Besides, she's made of stronger stock than any stupid cold.
Alice is lost in the forest, crying and singing her little song, which Brittany hums along quietly. Reaching out a hand to check the soup, finally cool enough to touch, she asks if Brittany has eaten anything all day and a nod is her only answer.
"Here," Santana says, nudging her friend upright with her shoulder. "I brought something that will make you feel better."
Brittany doesn't move to grab the cup, merely opens her mouth, expectantly waiting for the soup to come. Santana doesn't even blink, dipping the spoon into the broth sure to get a nice chunk of chicken and bit of carrot, blowing on it gently before delivering it into Brittany's waiting lips.
She repeats the act over and over, occasionally using the napkins to wipe any excess broth that dribbles down Brittany's chin, admonishing softly anytime she accidentally bites down on the spoon. Once the cup is empty Santana places it back on the nightstand, while Brittany snuggles up again, resuming their previous position.
Brittany nods vigorously against her arm.
Alice is shouting at herself to wake up, and Santana looks down to see that Brittany has fallen asleep on her shoulder. Moving to press another kiss against the slumbering girl's forehead, she reaches for the remote, and after the credits have rolled presses play.
Stronger stock not withstanding, two days later Santana is sprawled out in her bed, head feeling full of cloud that keep raining. Watching her own favorite Disney comfort flick, she hums along with a congested throat as Aladdin tries to stay ahead of the breadline.
Brittany shows up after school, apologizing profusely for getting her sick, and tells her how everyone wouldn't stop asking where she was. Santana just rolls her eyes as she scoots over so Brittany can sit next to her.
"I brought you something," Brittany says, causing Santana to look over expecting a cup identical to the one she'd brought. Instead she sees a red and white bucket of fried chicken. "It makes you feel better, right?"
Santana pulls her closer, looping their arms together.
"Yeah," she says quietly. "It does."