Did anyone else really not buy the whole Brittany/Artie pairing this week? I had no problem with the storyline, I just couldn't make it work in my brain. But! My first ever Santana p.o.v. story, which I'd been avoiding until now because I didn't think I had a strong enough handle on her thought process. So, for everyone who wanted another Brittany/Santana story, here you are :]

I don't own Glee. My Glee playlist is getting pretty extensive, though.

She was going to die, any second now. She was sure of it.

Her thin cotton t-shirt balled up in her hand—she'd shed it with three miles left to go, when the weight had finally become unbearable—Santana stumbled up the rickety steps to her house and collapsed on the wooden porch, rolling onto her back and closing her eyes. Everything ached, but the complete lack of motion after nearly two hours of running was sheer bliss—not even the rivets of sweat rolling off of her body could spoil the effect.

The light evening breeze that was cooling her skin carried the sounds of a Friday night house party at the end of the block beginning to pick up. Normally it would have been the type of scene that Santana would be all over. After the type of day she'd had, however, having to interact with a houseful of Future Salesmen of America just to score some crappy, off-brand vodka frankly sounded worse than getting hit by a rusty garbage truck. So instead, she had laced up her filthy running shoes, cranked up her iPod, and gone out into the darkening night to run off some of her aggression.

Unfortunately, the grueling Cheerios regime that she had grown used to had prepped her body for sprints, not miles. Trying to sit up, Santana winced a bit as her stomach muscles tightened in protest.

Looking down, though, she had to admit that those stomach muscles were looking pretty damn fly these days, much better than most of her teammates. Not as good as Brittany's quite yet, but starting to close the gap from second place.

Brittany. With a frustrated sigh, Santana let herself drop back on the porch, her ponytail protecting her head from hitting the wooden planks.

Fuck. This. Day.

Caught up in her own aggravating thoughts, Santana almost didn't hear her phone ringing on the other side of the front door. And even when she did, she stared at the door tiredly, debating whether or not to make the effort it would take to answer. There wasn't a single damn person on the planet she felt like talking to, after all. But…her parents were out at a hospital benefit and wouldn't be back for hours, and both of her siblings were out—her brother at a party, their little sister at a birthday sleepover. Both of them would know well enough to call her if there was some sort of emergency. And if she was going to be forced to be responsible, she sure as hell wasn't going to play phone tag in order to do it.

Scowling, Santana pushed herself up and unlocked the door, grabbing her cell phone off the front table where she'd left it as she slammed the door shut behind her. Frowning at the screen—it was a local number, but not one she recognized—she punched a button. "What?" she demanded, rubbing the back of her neck with a still-sweaty hand.

"It's Quinn, don't hang up," the voice on the other line responded. "My phone's dead; I'm calling from the payphone at Breadsticks."

Santana's scowl deepened. "Calling to rub it in?" she heard herself ask bitingly. "Shouldn't you be repopulating the Aryan race with Beach Blanket Bimbo on your not-date right about now?"

"You're a bitch," Quinn replied evenly. Santana smiled. Damn straight.

"Listen, I know you don't want to talk to me—"

"So why are you bothering me?"

"—right now, but Brittany's been sitting by herself in a booth for almost an hour and a half, and the restaurant closes at ten," Quinn finished, her voice hardening slightly at Santana's interruption. Santana checked her watch—9:35. She sighed audibly into the phone, just to irritate Quinn. "And that's my problem, because…?" she asked, semi-sweetly.

It was too bad they weren't having this conversation in person. Santana truly loved that indignant look that Quinn got whenever Santana batted her eyelashes and pretended not to understand what Quinn wanted.

"It's your problem because you're the one who broke up Brittany and Artie," Quinn growled, making Santana smirk slightly with sadistic pleasure. "And because you know what happened the last time we let Brittany wander around by herself after dark."

Santana had to shudder at that one. Brittany didn't have a car or a license, for obvious reasons, and her parents had gotten their wires crossed about who was supposed to pick her up from a Friday night dance workshop several months back. Being Brittany, rather than call one of her parents or Santana, she had tried to walk home.

It had been February, and the workshop was in Columbus.

Still, this wasn't exactly a situation of the same caliber. "Why don't you take her home?" Santana fired back. "You're already there."

She could almost feel Quinn rolling her eyes over the phone. "My curfew is at ten, since I'm out with a boy," she explained, making Santana snort. "I know, like I'm seriously going to make that mistake twice. Just…take care of it, okay? She looks like crap, and you're even bitchier than usual without her. I have to go."

And with that, she hung up without giving Santana time to volley back a nasty retort. Which was just as well, since she hadn't thought of one yet.

Santana checked her watch again. 9:37.

She glared at her phone. So what if Brittany was at the stupid restaurant alone? She got her damn self there just fine, she could just as easily get her ass home. Even if she did have trouble navigating after dark. Or alone. Or any distance greater than two blocks.

Santana hardened. No. She had better things to do with her Friday night, like seethe and be generally acrimonious. Brittany could take care of herself.

She was not going.

Swearing under her breath, Santana swung her car into the Breadsticks parking lot at 10:05, just as the manager was locking the front door. Running a hand through her still-damp hair—rescue mission or not, she needed a fucking shower—she narrowed her eyes, scanning the parking lot. A familiar flash of red at the edge of the parking lot caught her eye, and the swinging blonde ponytail confirmed her suspicions—it was Brittany, clutching a doggie bag and headed in the entirely wrong direction.

Santana drove slowly toward her, rolling down the passenger's side window as she crept closer. When her car was even with Britt, she gave the horn a light tap. Brittany jumped slightly before peering into the car. "Get in," Santana called, "it's cold out."

Brittany's expression was neutral, but she crossed her arms defensively in front of her chest. "I'm mad at you," she informed Santana, who snorted. "Yeah?" she responded. "I'm mad at you, too. Get in the damn car." She twisted her mouth and stared at Brittany, purposely sustaining eye contact. After a few perfunctory seconds, Brittany's gaze dropped to the ground, and she sullenly climbed into the car.

Noticing that Brittany's bare arms were covered in goosebumps, Santana reached over and turned the heat on, then twisted the air vents so that they were pointing toward Brittany. "Here," she said finally. "I have one of your sweaters in the back, if you want it."

Brittany paused, before slowly shaking her head. "I want to go home," she told Santana, twisting the edge of her paper bag with her fingers, "so don't try and talk me into having sex with you." She paused again, biting her lip. "Even if you smell like candy apples and your hair looks like a porn star's."

Santana was used to mining whatever confusing irrelevancies came out of Brittany's mouth for the actual meaning, and tonight was no exception. "Fine, go home," she answered sharply, reaching over to wipe what looked like tomato sauce off of Brittany's nose. "But if you're waiting for me to apologize, you can save your breath. I don't apologize." Without looking at Brittany, she uselessly adjusted the rearview mirror and started to drive.

She hadn't bothered to turn on the radio—and Brittany never touched the controls, afraid to wake up the singing fairies that lived in the dashboard—making the drive both quiet and slightly awkward. Five blocks from the restaurant and stopped at a red light, Brittany finally broke the silence. "Artie's mad at me for taking his virginity," she confessed, staring hazily through the windshield.

Santana shifted in her seat to look at her. "He's…what?" she asked, convinced that she had misheard or that Brittany had left out some critical detail. Brittany shrugged her shoulders haplessly. "He said his virginity was like, a really big deal, and that I used him because I wanted a duet partner," she explained. "But, I mean—I did want a duet partner, but I still wanted to go out with him and stuff."

Santana shook her head disbelievingly. "Hold up," she started, driving through the now-green light before pulling over and throwing the gearshift into park. "He's blaming you for having sex with him?" Brittany nodded sadly. Santana scoffed with disgust. "What is it with these freaking Glee boy crybabies and their virginity?" she asked incredulously. "I thought he'd be mad at you for using him for his voice, but he's seriously mad at you because you let him get in your pants? That's pretty much the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life."

Brittany, who had been twisting her hands in her lap nervously, looked up at Santana hopefully. "But…I was the one who said we should have sex. I didn't know it was so important to him," she said in a small voice. Santana snorted. "Listen, B. Did you force him to have sex with you?" Brittany shook her head. "Did you mean it when you said you wanted to date him as well as be partners for the duet competition?" A nod this time.

Santana threw up her hands. "Then it wasn't your fault," she stressed. "No offense, but you're about as subtle as a fucking freight train. No way Wheels didn't know you wanted his voice as much as the rest of him. And it was his choice to have sex with you; he could have said no. If he got his granny panties in a twist about it later on, that's his fault, not yours."

Brittany nodded slowly. "But—"

"But nothing," Santana interrupted. "Do you remember when he and Yoko Ono were dating? He spent half the time treating her like a Chinese mail order bride, and half the time getting pissed at her because he was in a wheelchair. He clearly gets his kicks from being a sexist asshole who needs to get over himself, and it's not. Your. Fault. Got it?"

Finally, Brittany smiled, and for the first time that whole, shitty day, Santana smiled back. "Do you still want to go home?" she asked, shifting in her seat and pulling back on to the road. Brittany shrugged her shoulders. "Not really," she offered in her usual flat tone. Santana smiled poisonously. "Good," she said, "because we've got a couple of errands to run before we go back to my house. Give me that paper bag and get a lighter out of the glove compartment."

Brittany rushed to obey. "Where are we going?" she asked, carefully putting her leftovers on the floor of the car before placing the bag on Santana's lap, accidently brushing her thigh as they drove over a pothole.

Santana shivered slightly at the sudden contact. Reaching down, she wrapped her pinkie around Brittany's.

"We're paying Puck's dog a visit first. Y'know, since Puck isn't around to feed him or clean up his shit or anything at the moment.

"Then, we're going to Abrams' house. We owe him a little break up present, after all, and I've got just the thing."