Author's Note: I'm starting to regret having bought the first season DVD set, because I now watch the St. Berry interaction and feel my heart break every time (yeah, I'm that much sensible). I can't wait for January – Jesse's return will make up for the lack of Puckleberry fixes (although I have a teeny tiny – not – feeling that RM will screw it up and make me pissed).

In light of Jesse's January return getting closer and closer (less than two months away and counting!), I'd like to hear what you think will happen when he and Rachel meet again. Who knows, maybe I'll pick one of your options to write about.

OH MY GOD! Wasn't it hilarious how reluctant Finn was to undress on "Rocky Horror" in Tuesday's episode? I couldn't help but think that Jesse or Puck would jump to the opportunity of seeing Rachel in her underwear (and seethe with jealousy at the rest of school having the same privilege). I really, really would've loved for Jesse to appear on that episode specifically!

Timeline: After 'Funk' and 'Journey', but it's not exactly set on season two because Finchel makes me sick to my stomach. Heavy on Pezberry and St. Fabray friendships.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, not.

without you when you're gone

One of the first things she told him was that if it turned out that he was playing her, she would die – not literally, but emotionally (she told Santana later how she went to break up with him but ended up deciding to secretly carry on their relationship).

It turns out that she's wrong.

Santana's the only one who sees it, how she puts up this front of cheeriness and normalcy for Finn and everyone else to see, but how slowly his betrayal is killing her inside. She stops eating altogether (when the rest of her teammates ask her out to join us on a celebratory round of pizza after 'Over The Rainbow', she says she has a dinner date with her fathers. At school, she says they stopped serving vegan-friendly options. At home – Santana knows, she's been over quite a lot – she just says she has already eaten).

It pisses her off that Finn, Rachel's so-called boyfriend, doesn't see it. She knows Quinn is picking up on it, because every now and then the Latina sees her frowning at Berry, before grabbing her cell phone and typing away. It usually ends with her huffing in annoyance and muttering angrily, but the Cheerio tunes her out because Berry is more important.

Since it's been three months, once they get back to school Santana believes she'll start to get better. Rachel has had all the summer to mope and cry and what else, but it's a new school year and a brand new chapter in the saga that is Rachel Berry's life (yeah, they've been hanging out too much – she's starting to rub out on Santana). The Latina tries to convince her to try out for the Cheerios, but she rolls her eyes. "San, that's your thing, not mine", she says, and the taller brunette shrugs, but what can she say? She would make a kickass cheerleader, and the Cheerios sure need the talent.

Then Rachel starts 'dating' Finn (Santana uses the term as loosely as possible, because there's no making out, no kissing and definitely no sex). They return to their routine of practicing for Sectionals – with eyes firmly on New York for Nationals – and Rachel allows Mercedes to have the solo on 'Empire State of Mind'. At first, Santana doesn't see anything wrong because it's common knowledge that Wheezy has been campaigning for them to add some R&B to the repertoire, and the song surely fits her tone, so they all agree to the decision of having Puck, Artie and Finn (yeah, Santana doesn't get that either, Finn can't rap) share Jay-Z parts and Mercedes singing Alicia Keys' with the rest of the club serving as backing vocals.

But Santana sees Quinn frowning and picking her cell phone to text away to whomever it is that she has been texting since Regionals, and she wonders if maybe Rachel's starting to fade away. She makes sure to be even more attentive to Berry.

One night she's on the internet when she accidentally logs in Berry's myspace page. A small bell of alarm rings in her head when she notices it hasn't been updated in more than three months, and she picks her cell phone to ring Berry. After she answers, the Latina asks right away, "Why have you stopped posting your myspace videos?"

She hears her groan for a moment, and then the quiet answer, "You woke me up to ask me about my myspace? Santana!"

She frowns because it's eight in the night and Berry's already asleep? "Stop dodging the damn question, Berry. Why have you stopped updating it?"

"I have glee now, why should I? Glee offers sufficient training for my voice. Good night, San". She disconnects the call and Santana frowns, eyes returning to the bright screen of her computer. Something is wrong with Berry, she knows it, but she can't exactly pinpoint what it is.

The next morning, Berry is looking exhausted, and Quinn is scolding her seriously. "Look, RuPaul, you have to keep updating your myspace page. You never know when agents may be prowling at your page ready to whisk you away to California".

Rachel frowns in suspicion and Santana suddenly knows who Quinn is texting all the time. She feels the need to kick Fabray's ass, because Rachel is slowly moving on, fuck! And now it's all shot to hell because Quinn mentioned something related to that asshole. She storms up to where the two of them are standing, and Quinn nods stiffly at her before walking away. Rachel stares at her best friend with glassy eyes and she drags her away to the nearest empty classroom. She sits on one of the unused desks and stares at the whiteboard for a long time before whispering, "Do you think…?"

Santana knows immediately what she's going to ask, and shakes her head very firmly. "Fabray's just fucking up with your head, Rach, c'mon". She's awkward because she never liked that kid, but it's getting clearer and clearer that, out of the three boys Rachel dated, he was the one to make her the happiest. "You're going to be late. C'mon". She takes Rachel to her classroom and she settles into a corner desk, looking extremely distracted. Santana watches her for a moment before storming away to find Fabray.

She finds Quinn in the bathroom near the English class she's supposed to be in right now, and hears snippets of the conversation the blonde's having on her phone. "I don't give a fuck about how California is miles and miles away, St. James! She's fucking dying, she's stopped singing since Regionals if you haven't noticed yet!" She's fuming as she hears St. Jerk's response, and Santana slams in. Quinn is startled before a stony mask slips in place. "I'll talk to you later. I said later, damn it. And you better think of what I just told you". She clicks the phone close and stares at her former best friend. "Yes?"

"You fucking bitch. I can't believe you're in touch with that assface!" Santana growls angrily. Quinn rolls her eyes.

"Back the fuck off, Santana. You know shit about St. James. He loves her. Bite me why, but he does. He asked me to keep an eye on her and that's all I'm doing".

"Berry's fine. She's moving on. Or she was until you mentioned fucking California!"

Quinn looks at Santana skeptically, a perfectly sculpted eyebrow arching up. "She has stopped singing. Do you really think she's fine?"

"She hasn't stopped singing. She's going to every glee practice, Fabray".

Quinn snorts. "Yeah, but she has been giving solos to every other girl. I don't think I'll ever see Mercedes as happy as she is right now".

Santana keep on the mask of being convinced that Rachel's as okay as possible given the circumstances, but the seeds of doubt have been planted on her mind. "I don't believe you", she growls fiercely, and Quinn sighs. Santana walks away and, by the corner of my eyes, she sees Quinn shaking her head negatively.

(Quinn sees in Rachel's eyes the same broken, lost look that Jesse has in his own eyes. It tears at her heart because indirectly, they've all caused it).

Last period is Glee practice and Santana takes a seat next to Rachel, with Brittany sitting next to her. Everyone is animatedly discussing ideas for weekly assignment, and when Finn (the idiot!) insensitively suggests they revisit Queen, Rachel flinches and Santana's the only one who sees it. Quinn's sharp refusal of Finn's suggestion is proof that she noticed it too.

Mr. Schue walks in and says the artist of the week is Lionel Richie. Rachel pales visibly, and her best friend grasps her hand in support. Mr. Schue frowns for a moment, eyes traveling by all of them, and he smiles with a nod. He says he'd like to see Rachel and Finn on a duet of Richie's classic song 'Hello', and Rachel stiffens visibly. Finn walks to the center of the room and turns expectantly to look at Rachel, who is quiet and then says Tina's voice is much more adequate to the song. Mr. Schue frowns and asks her if she's sure of it, and she nods. Tina jumps to the opportunity, and Rachel takes the chance to leave when no one is watching.

Santana follows her with her eyes, and Quinn looks pointedly at her. Are you convinced of it now?

The next morning, Rachel is missing. Santana calls her cell number and it's her father who answers her phone. She identifies herself and asks where Rachel is – and her blood stops cold when she hears the answer in Mr. Berry's tired, anguished voice. She bids him farewell and rush to find Fabray, who is sitting at the bleachers of the basketball court with the other Cheerios waiting for Coach Sylvester. "Call him", she demands harshly.

Quinn widens her eyes and opens her mouth to reply, but Santana cuts her off. "Just make the fucking call, Fabray, you'll know soon enough. Call him", she repeats, and Quinn sighs and dials the number. Santana snatches the phone from her hand and doesn't give him the chance to speak when he answers. "You have to fucking come home", she barks furiously, concern burning in her insides.

Quinn looks alarmed, drags her away from the gossiping other Cheerios and can hear Jesse's curious "Who's this?" But Santana refuses to reply, saying instead, "Rachel was fucking admitted to the hospital this morning, she's fucking sick, it's your own fucking fault, you have to fucking come home, St. Jerk, or else I'll send Puck up there to drag your sorry ass down here. Are we understood?" There's a silence and he replies he'll be in the first flight down here, and then she says, "Good. Someone will pick you up there. If she fucking dies it's in your damn conscience, St. Jerk. Don't fuck up again". She hangs up and run her hand down her face.

Quinn is somber and asks quietly, "Rachel's in the hospital?"

Santana nods. "Her father found her unconscious next to the elliptical, they couldn't wake her up so they called for an ambulance; she's malnourished. Apparently she hasn't eaten in more than three months". Quinn gasps and she nods. "The crazy bitch was fucking dying", she whispers, and Quinn drags me away.

"C'mon, we have to go", the blonde says, and I frown at her.

"Go where, Fabray?"

"To the mall celebrate Berry being sick", she shots sarcastically, and rolls her eyes. "To the hospital, of course". She picks her phone and types away hurriedly. After a nod, she closes it, and they all but march to the parking lot. Her phone beeps loudly and she checks it out. "I've texted Puck telling him what happened to Rachel, he'll warn the glee phone tree". The two cheerleaders jump into the Latina's car, and Santana rushes to the hospital.

Thirty minutes later, Santana barges in and barrels to the waiting room, and Quinn is surprised to see the affection Rachel's fathers receive her with. Her surprise widens when she notices the tears pooled in Santana's eyes, but she doesn't get to comment on it, because seconds later Puck (!) is running towards them, a look of panic on his usually stoic face. The other gleeks follow after him, looking as surprised as she does with Puck and Santana's obvious anxiety at the situation.

The doctor walks out of Rachel's room and looks perplexed at the twelve teens and two adults filling up the waiting room. Quinn and Sam are sitting side by side, with Mike and Tina next to them. Kurt and Mercedes flip through last month's Cosmopolitan. Puck is pacing a hole on the carpet, Artie rolling along with him talking about Jimi Hendrix. Finn has Brittany's head on his shoulder. Matt rubs Santana's back comfortingly, one of Rachel's fathers holding her tight while the other clicks his phone shut after quietly telling his secretary to cancel everything on his schedule. "Excuse me, are you all here for Rachel Berry?"

Everyone reacts immediately, expectant eyes set on the doctor, when Quinn notices from the corner of her eye Jesse slipping in and quietly staring at the doctor. "What's wrong with my daughter, Doug?" One of Rachel's fathers asks, and the doctor turns to him.

"Rachel has worn herself out. She's on the first stages of anorexia nervosa and slight depression. She's exhausted. We'll need to keep her over the next days so she can get her sugar levels normal, but she's in no risk of permanent damage".

Everyone exhales in relief, and the other Berry father (Eli) steps forward, "Can we see her?"

"Actually… She called for Jesse", the doctor's eyes hover the teenagers, noticing the shocked, angry and curious expressions of the teenagers when a tall boy with disheveled hair and looking like he has gone to hell and back crosses the space. "You're Jesse?" He asks when the boy stops in front of him, and he nods. "Come with me".

Once Jesse and the doctor are out of earshot, Santana and Quinn exchange a glance and everyone else snaps out of their stupor. The two Cheerios listen to mostly Puck, Finn, Kurt and Mercedes complain. Tina only looks worried; Mike and Matt look surprised, Sam and Brittany look lost. Artie however smirks slightly.

(He had nothing against St. James, he was a pretty decent guy and it was clear that he adored Rachel).

Santana finally has enough of the yapping about St. James and Rachel and stands on her chair. "Enough!" She says loudly, silencing everyone. "Rachel's fucking sick; she nearly starved herself to death because of heartbreak. She loves him, and if you guys haven't noticed it before today, then you're fucking blind".

"And Jesse loves her", Quinn says before Finn can add his two cents. "Don't even try to say he doesn't, he flew in all the way to California as soon as Santana told him what was happening. He's absolutely crazy about Rachel and I think he was worse than she was with the way things ended between them".

Artie is the next one to speak. "I feel we're partially to blame for this entire situation. We were so focused on how he was a spy that we never noticed how… How happy Rachel was with him. He never had a chance with us. I think the fact that he simply dropped everything to come here and see her when she needs is more than proof that his feelings for her are real and deep".

Artie's calm speech settles everyone down, and we wait for Jesse to return. He does almost an hour after he followed the doctor, and Santana truly sees him for the first time. His usually blue eyes are red rimmed and puffy, no longer shining with superiority and disdain, but with a calm confidence and a serenity that has Quinn (who sat down next to her) sighing with relief. "They got back together", she whispers to Santana, who looks at her in surprise.

"How do you know?"

"Look at him", the blonde makes a hand gesture towards the former Vocal Adrenaline lead, who is now quietly talking to Rachel's fathers. "I've never seen so relaxed and… Jesse-like since he contacted me to ask me to keep an eye on Berry. And he spent close to an hour in her room! If she was to send him to hell, he would've left much sooner. I know what I'm saying, Santana. Rachel Berry is again Jesse St. James' girlfriend".

It turns out Quinn is right. Berry tells Santana later that she and Jesse spent most part of his hour on her bedroom crying and asking for each other's forgiveness. The rest of the time was spent talking about his life in California and how they're going to make their renewed relationship work. She looks like herself again and, for that, Santana lets go of her distaste of Jesse St. James.

The next week, they're back at Glee practice. Mr. Schue says they're doing Aerosmith as this week's assignment. Rachel is the first to step up. She sings I Don't Want to Miss a Thing.

Santana is more relieved than she'll ever admit.