Memories of Yesterday
Old photo albums laid scattered across the table. They were of a wedding, a beautiful end-of-summer white wedding. Smiling faces were everywhere and it literally looked like the happy couple was glowing.
Santana had a mug of coffee in her hand as she looked at the memories. Her eyes were red from lack of sleep and her hair was a mess. She skimmed the pages with one hand and sipped the burning hot liquid with the other, hissing when it scalded her tongue. She looked down at the reception photos where she and Brittany were dancing together, completely oblivious to the outside world. Her eyes began to water again. The door opened and a slender blond figure entered the apartment. She quietly set the keys down. For a moment, Santana looked up with hopeful eyes but that hope was quickly crushed.
"You're just like I left you." Quinn commented.
"I couldn't sleep." Santana sighed, closing the book and setting down her mug of coffee. With both hands, she ran her fingers through her thick hair, trying to smooth it out a little. When it didn't work, she simply sighed and slouched forward.
"Have you been taking those pills like the doctor told you?" Quinn went over to the fridge and opened it up, getting orange juice and pouring it into a glass. She walked over to the couch and sat down next to Santana, handing her the glass. Her eyes scanned the table of photo albums.
"They give me dreams." Santana replied. "I can't...I can't sleep like that. I can't sleep without seeing her face underwater." Quinn put an arm around her. Santana closed her eyes.
"You've got to sleep, Santana. There's nothing you can do." Santana put the untouched orange juice down right next to her coffee and her chest heaved with a cough. "San, are you getting sick?"
"No, I'm fine." Santana replied, taking up the juice and taking a large gulp as if the vitamin C would ward off any cold she might be catching.
"33 days, Quinn." Santana cut her off. "I've been waiting 33 days. I can't do this anymore." She sighed. "I miss her."
"I know, babe." Quinn said, pulling her close.
Brittany had disappeared a little over a month ago. She and Santana had a fight that night. They hadn't fought like that since they first met each other at age 7. Now, 22 years later, Santana was practically screaming at Brittany. Santana accused her of flirting with her fellow dance instructor at the studio. Brittany admitted that there was some sexual tension between them but it was only one sided. She swore up and down that she would never, ever love anyone else but Santana hated the looks that David gave her, or the way his touch lingered when they danced together. She knew he hated her, she could see that every time Brittany ran over to give Santana a hug. He would always be glaring at the brunette and it wasn't hard to see his jealousy.
But Brittany didn't see it and that's why Santana blew up at her. Brittany didn't understand that sometimes what she did could be misconstrued as flirting. She didn't mean it, but it didn't make things any better for Santana. So when Santana and Brittany got into a fight because Santana wanted Brittany to report him for inappropriate behavior, Brittany wasn't going to stand for it.
"I'm going to Tina's." She said. Santana took a look outside at the howling wind.
"It's fucking dangerous out there!" She yelled.
"It's dangerous in here too." Brittany said coldly and walked out the door. Santana waited for her. She didn't sleep that night. She thought about calling Tina but the storm had managed to knock out any and all service, either cellphone or land line. In the morning, she called Tina to see if Brittany was ready to come home.
"She didn't come here." Tina replied and a sinking feeling filled Santana's chest.
The police found Brittany's car at the bottom of a river half a football field wide. They didn't find a body and the glass was shattered on one side. Still, with the hurricane the previous day, it would've been too hard to swim to shore and the current could've carried her body down for miles. For days they combed the river but to no avail.
When Santana first heard the news, she was convinced that Brittany was going to come home that night, soaked to the bone but otherwise safe. After the first week past, she thought to herself that Brittany was simply lost, or punishing her for the fight. But that week soon passed into more and Santana kept hearing things like "We're doing our best to locate the body" and "we'll contact you if we find anything at all." Santana fell into despair, not knowing if Brittany was alive or dead. Everytime the phone rang, Santana jumped. It got so stressful that Quinn made Santana move into her apartment while Quinn stayed at Santana's in case there was any news. Santana went back to work the fourth week and began operating somewhat normally. But when she came home to her apartment, she'd brew tea and see Brittany's mug, the one that had flowers around her name, or Brittany's toothbrush sitting in her cup, or the book she began that now lay on the nightstand unmoved. These all served as reminders that Santana was missing someone in her life.
It was raining like the night Brittany vanished and Santana curled into a ball at the memory. She hated rain. She let Quinn comfort her while they listened to the rain beating against the roof.
"Do you think she's gone?" Santana asked.
"I don't know." Quinn replied. The phone to Santana's apartment rang and Quinn stood up. "I'll get it." She moved behind the wall separating the kitchen and the living room. Santana gazed at the pictures splayed out in front of her. The ring on her finger weighted more than it should've. She took it and twirled it in place. She wished every day that she hadn't fought with Brittany.
Quinn hung up the phone and slowly inched back into the room. She leaned against the wall next to the couch and stared at the ground with a troubled expression.
"What's wrong?" Santana asked, sitting up straight. Quinn bit her lip. "Quinn?"
"They found her." Quinn said. Santana dropped the glass of orange juice and the glass shattered all over the floor.
"Wh-what?" She stammered.
"They found her." Quinn repeated. "Brittany." Santana's head spun and she put a hand on her chest to steady her breathing. She stared directly at Quinn.
"We need to go verify that it really is her." Santana held her breath. "She's alive."
Quinn broke the speed limit as they drove to a town a few hours away. Brittany must've drifted a long way before someone found her lying face down in the mud. They arrived at the hospital and Santana felt her heart pound against her chest.
"We're here for patient 26." Quinn said to the woman at the front desk. The woman the police suspected to be Brittany wasn't carrying any identification on her. Her purse was in the car so they simply referred to her as patient 26. The woman nodded and presented them with a sign in book which they both signed. Together, they proceeded to room 19 at the end of the hallway. They stood outside for a moment while Santana stared at the number. Quinn had her hand on the doorknob and she glanced back at her.
"Are you ok?" Quinn asked.
"What if it's not her?" Santana asked. "She's been here for...how long? What if..." Quinn put a hand on her shoulder.
"It'll be ok." She quietly opened the door.
The room was dark and the curtains were drawn. Rain pounded against the window and apart from the light streaming in through the door way, the only thing they could see clearly were the blinking lights on the monitors. Santana took a step in and looked at the figure on the bed. The curtain around her was drawn half closed so she could only see the lower half of the woman's body. She took another step closer and could see her arms. One more step and she could see her face.
Santana brought a hand to her mouth as a sob shook her whole body. She fell to her knees and tears streamed down her face. Quinn rushed over to her side and Santana closed her eyes, her hand muffling the sounds coming from her mouth. The blond looked up at the body in the bed.
"Oh god, Quinn, it's her." Relief flooded Santana's mind. Brittany lay in the hospital bed, slumbering soundly.
Santana sat by Brittany's side, taking in everything about her. The blond had gotten thin and her eyes had dark circles under them. Her skin was even paler than before, almost unhealthily so. None of it mattered to Santana. She sighed contently and watched Brittany sleep, breathing in that soft, fluttery way that Santana remembered. Questions floated into her mind, why didn't she contact Santana? Was anything permanently damaged? More importantly, when could she come home?
The door opened again and a nurse walked in with a tray that had two small cups perched on top. She set it down by Brittany's bedside, saying a quick hello to Santana.
"Miss? Miss, it's time for your pills." Santana's pulse quickened as Brittany stirred. The blond opened her eyes sleepily and yawned.
"Already? How long was I sleeping?" The nurse smiled at her and nodded to Santana.
"You have a guest." Brittany rotated her head and their eyes met. Santana saw something strange and frightening glimmer in those familiar blue eyes but she couldn't think of what it was.
Quinn left the room earlier to find the doctor in charge of Brittany's case. She finally got a hold of him and, with Santana's permission since Santana was legally her wife, sat down to hear Brittany's diagnosis. He was an Indian gentleman in his late 40's. His disposition was gentle and patient and he gladly welcomed Quinn into his office.
"So you're here about patient 26? Well that's certainly a relief. Someone brought her in a few weeks ago."
"How is she?" Quinn asked.
"Well, she's sustained major head injuries and the lack of oxygen due to her being in the river affected her as well. It's amazing she didn't drown."
"So what's wrong with her?"
"Physically? Nothing. She's perfectly healthy and I'm glad to say that she's the most fit person I've seen in a while. Mentally? There are a few problems." He took off his glasses and Quinn braced herself. "She's suffering from what we call retrograde amnesia. In most cases, it's mild, the past few hours leading up to the injury are forgotten."
"She's not one of those cases is she?" Quinn asked, her blood running cold.
"I'm not saying it's permanent." The doctor quickly added. "But...she has absolutely no recollection of the past."
Brittany looked at Santana with a smile. Santana's heart strained for her and she leaned closer.
"Hi." She said quietly. Brittany stuck out her hand.
"Hi! Nice to meet you, what's your name?" Santana suddenly realized what the look was in those blue eyes. Her heart plummeted into a dark abyss when she realized that Brittany did not recognize her at all.
Author's note: So this is a semi-sequel to "Old, New, Borrowed, Blue" but it is, by itself, a stand alone fanfic. You don't need to read that one to understand what's going on here at all. But reading that one (and any of my other ones!) is much appreciated!