Disclaimer: I totally own Glee and all the characters associated with it. In my dreams.
Author's Note(s): This is a response to a prompt. Characters include Brittany and Kurt, with mentions of Santana.
Where the Wild Things Are
Kurt wandered despondently up and down the aisles of dusty volumes. Obviously, the population of Lima, Ohio, were just not fans of biology textbooks, he thought idly, because the ones he was looking at seemed to have been untouched for about a century. It was tragic, really. The musty smell of ancient paper was making the back of his throat feel scratchy and dry and he sighed dramatically to himself before deciding to investigate elsewhere for a while. Maybe he'd try Dalton Academy's own library instead. He was sure Blaine would be willing to help him look.
Not really paying attention to where he was going, Kurt looked up to find himself in a much more colourful and brightly lit section of the library. He glanced around with amusement. He distantly remembered when his mom used to bring him here as a child to read Astrix and Obelix to him. That was a long time ago though.
At the moment, only one other person seemed to be there, and Kurt was surprised when he realised who it was.
"Hi, Brittany," he said, as he drew level with the Cheerio. She was sat on the questionable looking floor, her back leaning, in what appeared to be a most uncomfortable way, against a box of sticky children's books half her height.
Her nose was wrinkled in a way that Kurt usually associated with Brittany's 'intense thinking' look as she glanced up from the colourful book in her hand.
"Hey, Kurt!" she replied brightly. "I'm so glad you're here."
"Oh?" asked Kurt with bemusement. "Why is that?"
Brittany looked around nervously and when she spoke, it was in a hushed whisper. "I only came in here because it's raining; I saw someone do that in a film once and they got sucked into another world. I don't want to have to battle monsters and pirates and dragons with only books for friends."
Kurt felt his eyebrows rise of their own volition, but he strived to keep his face neutral and nodded solemnly. "Don't worry. I'll keep you safe."
"I knew you would," said Brittany with a gentle smile. Kurt felt his heart melt a little; he'd always had something of a soft spot for the blonde cheerleader. She had a peculiar childlike innocence that contradicted wildly with her reputation; he couldn't help but find her endearing.
"So, what are you reading?" asked Kurt, gesturing to the book she had in her hands.
"It's 'Where the Wild Things Are'," said Brittany, holding it up proudly. "It's my favourite."
"I used to like that one too," said Kurt in agreement. He really shouldn't be surprised that it would still be Brittany's favourite book. "I always wished I could be like Max and escape real life. Maybe to somewhere with a bit less…nature though. All that running around would have ruined my clothes."
"Really?" said Brittany, excitement colouring her voice. "You should talk to Santana about it. I bet she could help you."
"Why is that?" replied Kurt. The idea of talking to Santana about anything was not an appealing one. That girl had it in for him. Well…she kind of did for everyone, but that was hardly the point. He wasn't going to open himself up to potentially weeks of being mocked by asking Santana to discuss children's literature with him.
"She goes on adventures at night all the time," said Brittany conspiratorially. "Sometimes she tells me about them."
"She goes on adventures at night?" Kurt repeated faintly.
"Yeah," said Brittany with a nod. Then she stopped and looked thoughtful. "I suppose Santana is different to Max though."
Bemused didn't quite cover what Kurt felt at that particular moment. Learning about Santana's apparently active fantasy life was not what Kurt had been expecting when he had entered the public library half an hour earlier. Though, with Brittany it was pretty much guaranteed that the conversation would arrive at somewhere peculiar.
"How is Santana different?" asked Kurt, partially out of curiosity and partially to avoid any an awkward silence between the two.
"Well," said Brittany; she bit her lip and paused. "Max goes away to find the monsters. Santana says that she goes away to escape the monsters."
A few seconds passed as Kurt processed this new piece of information. Definitely not what he had been expecting. "What monsters does Santana need to escape from?" he asked, his brows furrowing together. Brittany didn't seem to notice his confusion and shrugged blankly.
"I don't really know. She says that sometimes the monster comes into her bedroom at night," said Brittany, her expression momentarily unchanging. Then she smiled. "So she sails away on fun adventures."
Kurt felt as though someone had poured a bucket of cold water over his head. He seriously hoped he was completely misunderstanding what Brittany was suggesting.
"When you say 'monsters'…" he began, unsure of how to finish the sentence.
Brittany shrugged again. "I've never seen them. I'm not allowed to sleep over at Santana's house."
"Why not?" asked Kurt, his throat becoming dry.
"I think Santana is protecting me," said Brittany with a confident smile. "She's keeping me safe so the monsters don't eat me."
"Oh," is all Kurt can think to say.
"Don't worry," said Brittany. "We just have lots sleepovers at my house instead," she continued happily, completely misinterpreting why Kurt suddenly looked like he was about to vomit. "Santana says that sleepovers at my house are even better than her adventures."
"I'll bet," Kurt muttered. Though Kurt and Santana had never been what one might call 'friends', he couldn't help but feel a surge of protectiveness over his once fellow-Cheerio. But anyway, he was probably wrong in his thoughts. His father had always said he tended to see the worst in situations. "And does Santana erm…go on these adventures often?"
The look of concentration was back as Brittany thought about this. "Sometimes. More often now, I think, than the beginning of the year. Maybe it's because we've had less sleepovers now that I'm with Artie."
Kurt's heart sank. "Right."
"I can always tell when she's been away because she always looks super tired the next day. She's kinda grumpier too," said Brittany knowledgably. "I think it's because she has so much fun there that she's sad to get back to reality."
Kurt wondered if Brittany had any idea what her words sounded like to him. She seemed so pleased with the idea that she couldn't possibly…Maybe he was completely wrong and Santana really did just like to live in a fantasy world sometimes. Yes. That was it. Santana probably just told Brittany these stories to keep the blonde girl entertained.
But then, would his heart really be beating so rapidly if he actually believed that?
"Sometimes the adventures are bad though," said Brittany unexpectedly. "Once she had a big bruise on her arm that she said she got from pirates. Sue made her do ten laps around the track as punishment for 'being an eyesore'."
Suddenly, the bright lights and colours were too much for him. Kurt's breath caught in his throat and he bit down hard on his bottom lip.
"Kurt?" said Brittany, her voice displaying worry. "Are you okay? You've gone really pale."
"Yeah," Kurt choked out. "I just…I need to go, Brittany."
"Oh…okay," she said with a sad frown. "See you later then…"
"Yeah," said Kurt, jumping to his feet. "I'll call you."
He fled the library, almost tripping over a copy of 'The Hungry Caterpillar' that had been discarded haphazardly in the middle of the floor and leaving an even more confused than usual Brittany behind him.
As he stepped out into the street, rain pounded down on his perfectly styled hair and immaculately clothed body, but for possibly the first time in his life, he didn't even notice what the water was doing to his appearance.
He knew he should do something with this information. Anything.
He knew he should tell someone.
But what if he was wrong?
What if he made things worse?
His heart clenched painfully and he swallowed hard against a lump in his throat.
He knew that logically, there really wasn't anything he could do.