La Vida Loca

The next few seconds seemed to drag across the floor as Will, Puck, and Sue all remained stock-still, afraid that if they even breathed or blinked, Santana would punch through the window, claws first. Well, Sue just scowled.

"Sue," Will whispered. "Is there another way out of here?"

"Yes, William, you can use the door like a normal human being," Sue said at normal volume, making both Will and Puck jump.

"Dude, she'll kill us!" Puck hissed. "The window's big enough for us, Mr. Schue, let's go."

Will took a hesitant step backwards towards the window, letting out a yelp as Santana leaped at them from behind the glass. But rather than a crash and splintering of glass, the window didn't give way and Santana let out a howl at the resounding crack of her skull against the glass.

"Why didn't that break?" Puck asked, distracted from their escape plan.

"I had it replaced with bullet-proof glass years ago," Sue said. "Good thing, too, otherwise Santana would owe me for a new pane."

Will flinched as Santana abandoned the window and the office door began to shudder in its frame as they heard her massive claws beginning to rip away pieces of the wood.

"Damn it, now she's going to owe me for a new door."

Will spun on his heel and knocked a few of Sue's trophies away from the other window, ignoring her loud protests, and tried to push the pane up. "Sue, why is this locked?" he cried, growing desperate as Santana let out a frustrated shriek, the door splintering.

"You don't expect me to leave it open, do you, William? Otherwise, this place could be swarming with SWAT members at any time."

"Where's the key?"

Another alien shriek from behind the door as it rattled with every blow.

Sue reached into the top drawer of her desk and tossed Will the key in question, commenting dryly that the only reason she was giving it to him was that she didn't want their intestines staining her carpet.

With a shaking hand, Will managed to slide the key into the padlocked bolt at the bottom of the window pane and yank open the lock. He pushed the pane upwards until there was enough room to slide through, then waved Puck over and helped him jump up and somersault onto the ground outside the building. Will quickly followed suit, his blood pounding in his ears along with a thousand questions. A creature like Santana… whatever she was… would never answer to Sue Sylvester, so why was she really attacking him? Was she just hungry? How had he never noticed that she wasn't…normal before? Why had she waited so long to reveal herself? Where had she come from? Were there others? Was she an alien? What the hell was going on?

Will landed clumsily on the ground next to Puck, who pulled himself to his feet with surprising agility and was about to make a run for it. "Wait!" hissed Will, standing up and poking his head back through the open window. "Sue, come with us!"

Sue rolled her eyes and said, "Don't you get it, Will, Santana is my minion! She's not going to attack me."

Will glanced at the door, which was starting to crack on the inside as Santana's claws ripped away large chunks at an alarming pace. "Sue, whatever she is, she doesn't listen to anyone. She's going to rip you to shreds," he said quickly. "Now, come on, or you're going to get yourself killed."

There was another angry screech from the other side of the door, and the wood finally gave way, Santana's clawed hand punching through and snaking around the door handle. Sue groaned and muttered something about her office's privacy measures failing completely, totally ignoring Will's terrified expression as the door rattled and then burst open. Santana leaped through with teeth bared and claws flying.

…And went straight for Sue.

Sue let out an indignant yell as blood sprayed the trophy case behind her, and Will and Puck immediately turned and ran faster than either of them had ever run before. Will was suddenly very, very grateful for all those laps he'd run around the school's track over the years he'd been working there. His ears, now super-sensitive with the adrenaline pumping through his brain, picked up the sounds of a snarl behind them, and he looked over his shoulder for a split second. It was long enough to see that Santana had apparently finished with Sue quickly and was now tearing across the grass after them. Will swore under his breath and sped up as Santana leaped onto the wall of the building and scuttled onto the roof, her claws grating along the shingles.

She was catching up, and fast.

If she kills me, let it be quick, flitted through his mind as he and Puck rounded another corner, Santana screeching behind them.

"Shitshitshitshitshit," he heard Puck panting.

He knew that the both of them were losing stamina. They were slowing down, and Santana seemed only to speed up. When did she ever get tired?

As their shoes hit the concrete leading down to the outdoor lunch area, they made a sharp turn and bolted down the stairs towards the school's back entrance. Santana leaped off the roof and skidded on the pavement behind them, her claws scraping against the concrete. She cleared the stairs in only two jumps and was about three inches away from sinking her teeth into Puck's back when they dove through the double metal doors and slammed them shut, a resounding thunk echoing from the other side as Santana collided with it. His arms shaking with adrenaline and exhaustion, Will left Puck to hold the doors closed and yanked open the janitor's closet ten feet down the hallway.

"Hurry up!" Puck yelled as the doors shook each time Santana attempted to punch through them.

Will grabbed a broomstick and ran back, shoving the rod through the door handles. Puck let out a heavy breath, finally standing back and leaning against the wall.

"We have to kill her."

Puck's head snapped up. "What?"

Will paced a couple of steps, running a sweaty hand through his already-ruffled hair. The door gave another grating shudder. "It's the only way," he said quietly. "Either she dies or we do."

Puck looked like he was about to vomit. "Oh – no way, dude," he said, shaking his head. "No way. I'm not cut out for this crap. Hell, I'm not even sure if I'm badass any more."

"Look, Puck, we know three things," Will said, counting off on his fingers. "One, Santana is hell-bent on killing us, or eating us, or whatever the hell she's trying to do. Whatever it is, it's not good and it won't end up with us alive. Two, she is not human. That is not human." He gestured pointedly to the door, which was groaning under the strain. "And three, she's already killed Sue. If she can take Coach Sylvester down in only a couple of seconds, then you and I don't stand a chance, unless we're able to gain the upper hand."

Puck swore. "You're right. Crap." There were a few moments of silence, cut through only by the repeated thudding against the doors, then Puck spoke again. "This sucks."

"I know."

Will was about to suggest that they see if there was anything in the janitor's closet that they could use as a weapon, but the sharp sound of splintering wood cut him off, and he whipped around to see that the broom handle was only a moment away from splitting in half. His stomach felt like it was trying to climb up through his throat. He was about to tell Puck to run for it, but the broom snapped in two before he could say anything.

The doors fell open, Santana lunged…

…and two explosions roared in their ears.

Santana was caught in the chest and thrown backwards, landing on the concrete outside with an echoing crack, a small trickle of thick greenish liquid oozing onto the ground beneath her.

Will and Puck turned around in shock, to see Sue Sylvester standing fifteen feet behind them, blood staining her pink tracksuit dark red over her chest and left shoulder, and a fairly large gun clutched in her right hand.

"Sue!" Will cried, more relieved than he'd ever thought he'd be to see his (debatably evil) colleague. "You're okay!"

"Not yet, I'm not," she snapped, cradling her injured arm against her side.

"Puck, call 911, will you?" Will asked.

But Sue strode right past them, heading straight for where Santana was hissing as she tried to pull herself up. Sue aimed the nose of the gun directly between Santana's eyes, and pulled the trigger.

Puck turned around and threw up onto the floor after seeing Santana's face dissolve into torn flesh, sticky greenish-black blood, and reptilian scales beneath. Will had to fight the urge to do the same.

"There," Sue said, giving Santana's limp arm a kick. "Now I'm okay."

"Where… where did you get the gun?" Puck coughed, saying the only thing he could manage.

Sue held up her weapon, smiling fondly at it as if it were an old pet. "I've always kept a healthy supply of guns concealed in the ceiling of my office. I don't believe in the zombie apocalypse, but the people who survive are the ones who are prepared. Now, for the love of all that is earthly, get me an ambulance."

Will wiped the sweat from his hands as he rang the doorbell to Santana's house in Lima Heights. The way he figured, even if their daughter had been a flesh-eating creature with dubious origins, the Lopezes had a right to know that she was dead.

However, he was not expecting her mother to answer the door already in tears. "Are you the police? Thank God. She's down in the basement," Mrs. Lopez wept, grabbing his arm and dragging him down the hallway before he had a chance to protest.

Down in the basement, Mrs. Lopez finally let go of his arm, and Will stopped in his tracks, his eyes going wide in the dim light. If he'd only looked at the cellar wall for a second, he might have thought that the large patch of… growth? (he didn't know what else to call it) was only a bad mold problem. But upon closer inspection, it was clearly some sort of web or pod, so thick that he was barely able to make out the fait outline of a body concealed beneath the tightly wound plant-like veins. Up near where (he thought) the body's head was, a few strands of thick black hair were poking out through the tangle.

"Is that…?"

Mrs. Lopez's lip quivered. "I don't know how long she's been there! We-we hardly ever come down here!"

Will took a deep breath to steel his nerves. "I'll get her down," he promised.

"I already tried," said Mrs. Lopez. "It's so hard, I broke a nail!"

Will rummaged in a large tool chest that looked like it hadn't been used in ten years. He pulled out a flathead screwdriver and a large hammer, then closed the chest and pulled it over beneath the pod. Stepping up, Will jabbed the screwdriver into the pod's tendrils where they gripped the wall, attempting to pry them away. The veins flexed but wouldn't break, and after several tries, Will resorted to hacking away at them with the sharp side of the hammer, his mind racing around one thing and one thing only:

If Santana was trapped in her own cellar, then whatever had attacked him at school wasn't her. Maybe she was even alive!

Will chopped faster.

After what felt like an hour of sweaty chopping, hacking, sawing, and chiseling, he was finally able to pull away enough of the veins to see Santana's face. Her eyes were shut and she didn't look like she was in pain, but… she didn't look particularly alive, either. Will felt the side of her neck. "Santana?" he said loudly. "Santana, can you hear me?"

"Is she breathing?" Mrs. Lopez cried behind him.

Will concentrated, and breathed out a huge sigh of relief when he felt a slow, faint pulse beneath her skin. "She's alive," he said, and Mrs. Lopez dissolved into sniffles.

Will went back to work cutting the pod away from his human student, eventually revealing her shoulders, torso, and waist. He recognized her clothes from school the previous week, and was amazed that she'd managed to stay alive for that long. As he started to chisel at the veins gripping her legs, she suddenly thrashed in her bonds, sucking in a huge gulp of air as her eyes flew open, reeling around the room. Mrs. Lopez yelped.

"Santana!" Will said quickly, holding her head gently so that she would focus on him. "Santana, you're okay. You're okay."

"I—" she breathed, her chest heaving. "It attacked me, it— I couldn't—"

Will nodded. "It's okay," he repeated. "You're fine now. The monster's gone."