AN: A little pezberry fluff to bring in the new year. Have a safe New Year, everyone.
Disclaimer: My imagination is all I own
Summary: Santana finds herself alone on New Years Eve, but she isn't the only one.
Review it, favourite it, enjoy it.
Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.
Puck's name flashed across Santana's phone and she threw it into the cup coaster in her car. Throwing her car in reverse, she backed out of the parking lot of a liquor store and made her way home grumbling under her breath.
It was New Years Eve and Azimo was throwing a party like he did every year. Santana didn't know why his parents left him alone on the craziest night of every year, but they did so all of McKinley who was anyone flocked to his not so big house on the edge of the county line. And like every party, she was in charge of getting drinks because, as Puck stated, she didn't get the cheap shit.
Pulling into her driveway, Santana got out, leaving the booze in the trunk of her car. All she needed was for one of the neighboring moms to see her lugging twelve packs of beer and brown bags of bottles into her house. She wasn't an idiot.
Her phone buzzed again as soon as she got inside and she flipped it open.
"What?" She hissed annoyed with all the text and phone calls she had gotten that day.
Only one person needed to tell her about the party and only one needed to remind her about the drinks. She had gotten six different people for each one.
It was Puck. "Did you get the stuff?"
"Yes, I got it,"
"Sweet," He groaned like he was lifting something heavy. "Come over and help me set shit up."
"Why do I have to help you?"
"Just get here, Lopez," He hung up before she could protest again.
Sighing, she changed out her outfit then jumped back in the car.
Santana walked into Azimio's house. Aside from a table topped with red Dixie cups and a bag of fireworks, the house was tidy. From her days hanging with the boys in the past, Santana knew that Mrs. Adams loved to keep her house spotless. They always had to use coasters for their drinks and eat at the table instead of in the living room in fear of getting the carpet dirty. One time, Santana accidentally dropped a macaroni noodle on the kitchen floor and she thought she saw Mrs. Adam's skin flash red for a second.
Kicking off her shoes, Santana let them rest where the others were by the door. Going to the kitchen, she found Puck, Azimio and Matt. All three boys turned to look at her and, for a moment, she saw their young, pubescent faces from middle school days of playing video games and eating pizza until their stomachs ached.
"Rutherford," She said to Matt.
"Lopez," He grinned, holding up his fist.
She bumped it with hers. "I promised I'd kick your ass if you came back. Didn't think you'd show your face around here again."
He shrugged, moving a bowl of chips from the counter to the table. "I took a chance." He winked and Santana smirked, swatting him on the back.
Puck looked at her up and down. "Where are the drinks, S?"
She threw a thumb over her shoulder. "Car. I'm not risking getting caught." She saw Azimio nod his head. He could be a total jerk and a Neanderthal, but behind closed doors he was okay to be around. "So why'd you drag me out here already?"
A bottle of coke and a bottle of rum were placed in her hands. "Fill the punch bowl." Ordered Azimio.
She rolled her eyes at the command, but got up to go mix the drink. The coke sloshed into the punch bowl as she poured it in and the smell of the rum was strong in her nose. She couldn't remember how many times they had done this, and she was always in the middle of it. Not a New Years Eve passed that Santana didn't find herself at the Azimio's mixing drinks and keeping the boys from drinking too early and ruin the fun.
As she sat up the beer pong table, a must have at any high school party, a few people started to show up. A couple of Cheerio's came through the door in shorts and skirts too short and tops too tight. Karofsky strung in other football guys and Santana shot him a look of distaste. He would forever remain on her hit list for his torments on Kurt. When the right time came, she would give him a piece of what he deserved.
A couple hours passed, and the party was in full swing. Matt helped her fetch the drinks from her car and they chucked them into an ice cooler in the kitchen. She found Quinn and Sam in the living room, Sam's arm held protectively around Quinn who was staring at the alcohol in front of her. Santana didn't know why she'd torture herself the way she did. But she wanted to play the part of cool, head Cheerio again, didn't she?
"Drink?" Said Matt coming up to her side. She took the wine cooler from him and sipped it. She wasn't in the mood for partying. "Where's Brittany?" He asked, his eyes looking around the room.
She tensed up a bit at how he kept darting between the people of the party to her like the blonde would appear out of thin air on her arm.
She shrugged. "Why should I know?" He raised an eyebrow at her but didn't ask anything more. "How's Aubrey High treating you?"
"Not as horrible as McKinley." He smirked.
"You miss it,"
"It, not you," She smacked him in the shoulder and he just laughed and mussed her hair.
She ducked from his hand, sending jabs into his firm chest and he kept on laughing and putting her hair into a worse state of disarray.
"Brittany!" Someone yelled over the noise and Santana froze.
She looked up from where her head was captured between Matt's arm and body to see Brittany come waltzing in through the door. Her eyes didn't even look for Santana like they used to, and she bounced over to the Cheerio that had beckoned to her.
"Get off," She wrenched herself out of Matt's arm. He frowned when he saw where she was looking and she rolled her eyes.
She watched Brittany get handed from one person to another, each one getting warm hugs and kisses on the cheek. She saw Brittany flit over to Quinn and hug her tightly then peck Sam on the forehead much to Quinn's distaste. Even Puck was given a hug before Brittany even stood up straight and found Santana.
She smiled and started her way over to her. "Here," She shoved the bottle into Matt's chest and split away from him.
"San!" She heard Brittany call after. She turned around for a moment but saw someone else grab Brittany into a hug.
Seething, she stormed through the kitchen and out the back door into the frigid night. Walking through the backyard, she pushed the fence open and dug for her keys in her pocket to leave.
In her car, Santana looked towards the house to see if Brittany had trailed after her. She waited.
A minute passed.
A minute and a half.
The clock switched again and she revved the engine, peeling away from the party and from Brittany's cold shoulder.
She marched into her house. Everything was quiet and still. Her dad had gone to the hospital and would be there all night to be on call when parties got too crazy and people with blown up fingers and teetering on alcohol poisoning came rushing in on stretchers. She was alone.
She was alone on New Years Eve and she was never alone on New Years Eve. She always had someone. She always had the boys and their party and all the people around her, but the one person she did have was Brittany. Not anymore.
Santana rummaged through her fridge and found the bottle of alcohol she had tucked away for her and Brittany to share like they did every New Years. She pushed open her back door not caring if the neighbors saw, and plopped down on her back porch.
Twisting off the top, she threw her head back and drank, the liquid setting her throat on fire as it went down. She coughed at the burning but ignored it and drank again. Music from a nearby house echoed over the rooftops indicating another party. Another party full of people who had each other and would have warm arms around them and soft kisses when the clock hit midnight.
The music played on teasing her, mocking her, because she would be bringing in the New Year by herself.
A light blinked on in front of her and Santana snapped her eyes up to the house across the alley from her. A silhouette formed in the window and Santana watched as Rachel Berry pulled her window shut and drew the curtains tight.
She wasn't the only one alone. Rachel was alone.
Santana leered as she took another drink. Someone else would be sharing her pain and her emptiness. Someone else was being mocked by all the parties and all the music that hummed in the distance. She knew Rachel hadn't even been asked to join in any of the things the McKinley students were doing. She was trapped in her house, with her dads, watching the ball drop in a city she dreamed to go to one day.
With a groan, Santana pushed herself up, screwing the top back on the bottle. She walked back through her house and picked up her keys and started her car once again.
She rounded the corner, the houses on Rachel's street becoming bigger and nicer. She pulled up on the Berry's curb and climbed out not minding to turn her car off.
Punching the doorbell, she stepped back and waited, her hands tucked deep in the pockets of her jeans. The locks on the door popped and the door opened to show Rachel already dressed in her pajamas.
"Santana?" She said baffled.
"Berry," She said, eyes narrowing. "Go put some big girl pants on." She commanded.
Rachel looked at her like she had lost her mind. "Excuse me?"
"Get out of your PJ's, Berry, and put on some real clothes." She said almost condescendingly. "Not even the biggest losers need to be stuck in their house on New Years Eve. Go, go, go. I'll wait in the car."
"Okay," Rachel watched Santana until the door was closed.
She raced back to her car, turning the heat on full blast to warm her freezing fingers. Rachel soon came skipping down the walkway to Santana's car and got in.
She didn't even wait for Rachel to buckle her seatbelt before she took off down the road. She turned the radio on loud to compensate for their lack of conversation and kept her eyes forward, looking out for the cops she knew would be lurking in the dark for drunken partiers.
McKinley High came into view, big and dark and foreboding from lack of use during the holiday break. She rounded to the back where the teachers parked and turned the car off getting out.
"What are we doing at school?" Asked Rachel. Santana ignored her and tucked the bottle beneath her coat. "Santana?"
Popping open the trunk, she pulled out a blanket and tossed it over her shoulder. "Don't ask questions," She hissed softly examining her surroundings.
She waited a beat before walking towards the building. Making sure the bottle was secure between the waist of her pants and her skin, she grabbed hold of the ladder on the side of the school and started up it.
"What're you doing? We can't do this!" Rachel whispered harshly in panic. "Santana, this is trespassing and if we get caught, especially with you possessing alcohol, we could be suspended from school."
Santana stopped midway up to peer over her shoulder at Rachel who was still on solid ground. She rolled her eyes. "Berry, would you shut up and live a little? Now start climbing."
She saw the silent argument go across Rachel's face before she sighed and started to follow up the latter.
The bars left Santana's hands cold and stiff. She rubbed them against her thighs to put feeling back in them. Over the wall came Rachel. She trotted across the gravel on the roof up to Santana, the look in her face confused and scared and upset.
Santana walked over across the gravel until her feet hit solid concrete. Shrugging off the blanket, she laid it out on the ground then sat on it. She craned her neck back to look at Rachel and patted the spot next to her for her to sit.
Slowly, Rachel made her way over and sat down, her legs crossed tight and her arms pulled around her. Santana unscrewed the bottle and took a swig.
"Relax. I'm not going to, like, attack you and push you over the side or something."
"What else should I expect?"
"I might not like you very much but I don't want to kill you." She held out the bottle. Rachel shook her head and Santana shrugged. More for her.
"Excuse me for asking, but why are you out here with me?" Asked Rachel slowly, loosening her tense muscles. "I would've expected you to have been invited to tons of parties and you'd be out getting wasted and flirting and not caring about all the lesser people who only dream of getting at least one invite to something like that."
Santana snorted as she swallowed. "Not your kind of scene."
"Doesn't mean I can't hope."
Santana raised a curious eyebrow. "Would you really go?"
Rachel shook her head, her head angled out to the schoolyard that stretched over the edge of the building. "To be asked to go would be enough."
"I asked you here,"
"And you still haven't answered me why,"
Santana sat the bottle down between them. She could feel it already starting to course through her veins. It was a pleasant feeling, one she felt many times before. One she felt each New Years Eve up on the roof of McKinley, or the roof of her house or the roof of her middle school.
It had become a tradition for her and Brittany. The first time was sixth grade. They had climbed many trees to look up at the sky, but one day Puck had dared her to get on her roof and she did and liked it much better than the scratchy branches and the itchy leaves. She dragged Brittany up on her roof with her and they watched the sunset and the stars begin to sparkle.
Fireworks were always shot on New Years at a stadium far off in the distance, and the only way to see them was to get high. So, Brittany suggested they go up on her roof. Santana took them to their middle school where they waited until midnight and watched fireworks pop on the horizon as sparks erupted in Santana as they kissed.
Every year since then, they made it to a roof. Going into high school, they switched it to McKinley. Freshmen year she snatched Brittany away from the party they were at fifteen minutes before midnight and drove them to the roof. The same thing sophomore year. When junior year started, all Santana could think about was the freezing night in Brittany's arms as they brought in the new year together.
The tradition was broken.
Santana blinked away from Rachel's gaze to lean back on the blanket, her arms behind her head. She looked up at the sky. "Does it matter?" She said after a moment. "Just be happy you're not alone."
She watched Rachel bit eher lip and turn away from her. She grabbed the bottle and took a drink, her face making all sorts of disgusted faces. Santana bit back her laugh.
Time ticked on and they sat in silence. Nothing but the wind could be heard from where they were. There were no sirens ghosting through the night and no party music to taunt them. Just the silence and the wispy sounds of their breathing against the chilly breeze floated on the air.
"Oh!" Rachel squeaked.
Santana sat up to follow where she was looking. Her eyes caught the sparkles of purple and orange fireworks being shot far off, too far away for their booming sounds to reach their ears.
"It must be midnight," Said Santana.
"They're pretty," Said Rachel standing up. She walked to the edge of the roof, hands grasping the short wall that held her from falling doom
Getting up, Santana joined her. With each firework, she thought of each year with Brittany, each year that was now broken for them.
Rachel turned to look up at her. "Happy New Year, Santana," She said with a small smile.
Santana lifted her hand to tilt Rachel's head back. Leaning down, she brushed a soft kiss to her cold lips. Red spilled into Rachel's cheeks and she let her chin go, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Happy New Year, Rachel," She looked back at the fireworks.
Another year gone.