A/N: Originally posted as a ficlet on Tumblr, but someone suggested I put it here as well. Call it a present for Glee day. Based on this prompt: "The first time Santana gets mono so does Britt and people get suspicious."
Short, fluffy. Enjoy.
Her mother calls her a harlot in front of the pediatrician when he gives her the diagnosis. She clutches the rosary around her wrist and begins to say a Hail Mary out loud in the middle of the exam room. The doctor, with a nearly imperceptible roll of his eyes, explains to Santana what the illness means, as though she's an adult and not just twelve years old.
Mononucleosis. The Kissing Disease.
She could have gotten it anywhere, he states. Drinking from someone else's glass. Sharing lip gloss. But Santana knows exactly where it came from.
Puckerman. She's going to kill him.
The whole drive home, while she lays in the back seat and wallows in her achy muscles and cold sweats, her mother is praying. Ranting and praying.
"No daughter of mine!" she spews, speaking in angry fragments. "How could you! A daughter of mine!"
She assumes – rightly so, but that's beside the point – that Santana got this the old fashioned way. Santana is a little hurt that she isn't being given the benefit of the doubt. But she shouldn't be surprised. With a religious Catholic mother like hers, everything is borne from sin in one way or another. She listens to the ravings and bears it in silence, waiting until she gets home and back into bed before pulling out her cell phone to call the one person who will listen while she whines.
"Beeeeeee," she moans when her best friend picks up. "B, it hurts."
"What does, San?" The blonde, as usual, is cheery. Santana doesn't want to hear it. She wants sympathy. And chocolate. And another blanket. When did it get so cold? It's the middle of May.
"Everything," she heaves, pressing her face into her pillow and curling into a tight ball. "Come over. I need you to make me tea and watch Degrassi marathons with me and warm me up because it's so cold. B, when it get this cold?"
"San, it's like… t-shirt weather," Brittany says slowly. She's worried. Santana sounds awful. She wants to help, she really does. But her first ever motocross tournament is that weekend, and she can't risk getting sick.
"Brittany," Santana keens, using her full name. "Please. I need you."
And Brittany can't resist Santana when she's like this. Vulnerable and sad and, honestly, pathetic. Because it's so rare that her best friend shows this side. Brittany likes taking care of people. She likes nursing and mothering and making sure everyone is happy and healthy. It's why, when they were younger, she was the mommy and Santana was the daddy when they were playing house. Santana went to work (wearing her father's ties and stethoscopes) while Brittany stayed at home with the babies (Brittany's cats, Charity and Mr. Zachary Morris). Brittany was a good mother then, and she can be better now, since she's older and has started babysitting for her little sister all by herself. She can make Santana feel better in no time at all.
God, is she wrong.
Mrs. Lopez tries to get her to leave after her mother drops her off, but Brittany isn't having it, and Santana is literally crying down the stairs for her friend. The older woman lets her narrow shoulders sag and she shakes her head.
"Don't say I didn't warn you," she calls as Brittany runs past her, darting up the steps to Santana's room.
She's brought a care package with her: a thermos of herbal tea, Degrassi on DVD, and her favorite blanket from home. It has ducks all over it, and she even brushed the cat fur off of it before bringing over. Now, as she spreads it over Santana's shoulders and curls up next to her friend in her massive bed, Brittany is content to press play and rub Santana's back.
Santana, though, isn't.
"B, I'm still cold," she whines. "Get under the blankets, too."
Brittany, who isn't feverish and really doesn't need to be under three quilts, sighs and obliges. Because Santana would do the same for her. Santana practically curls herself around every available inch of her, and settles her head below Brittany's chin.
"Better?" Brittany gives her friend a squeeze and Santana nods.
"You're the best, B," she murmurs. Her body is clammy and she's slurring, probably the result of the fever. She sounds the same way she did when they broke into Dr. Lopez's liquor cabinet and drank a bottle of peppermint schnapps. She's equally handsy, too.
"San, maybe you should get some sleep," Brittany prompts. "You'll feel better after, I promise. I'll still be here."
"Yeah?" Santana lifts her head and smiles lazily, her eyes half shut and her hair askew.
"Yeah," she confirms, smoothing a stray lock of hair down and off Santana's forehead.
The sickly girl in her arms cuddles closer, their faces inches apart on a shared pillow. "I love you, you know," Santana mumbles, her eyes fully closed now. "You're the best friend I'll ever have."
She leans in, just their foreheads touching at first. And then, with the television playing softly in the background, Santana closes the gap between their lips and presses her mouth to Brittany's.
Neither of them moves for a good five seconds, frozen with their lips together and unsure of the procedure for pulling away, or pressing onward. Brittany is the one that breaks first, her hand finding Santana's cheek and inching backward. It's not as though she didn't enjoy it. She's just afraid. She's never been kissed before. By anyone, let alone her best friend.
Her contagious best friend.
"I love you too, San," she sighs, and she realizes that the other girl has fallen asleep. "But I'm probably going to regret that."
Monday morning, neither of them are in their classes. Puck has returned, looking pale and still sickly, but given the go-ahead from his doctor so he's no longer contagious.
"Where's Lopez?" he asks, sitting down in his seat and looking at the empty chair next to him.
"Heard she got mono," Finn smirks, waggling his eyebrows at Puck. "That's what you had, isn't it? The Kissing Disease?"
Puck brushes his shoulder off dramatically and lounges with his fingers clasped behind his head. "What can I say, the ladies can't resist me."
"Brittany's out sick this week too," Quinn chimes in from the next table. "Her mom asked me to get her homework for her. I guess she has mono as well."
Finn claps Puck hard on the shoulder with a small whoop of congratulations. "Dude, you're a stud! You made out with Santana and Brittany?"
The mohawked boy's forehead wrinkles in confusion. "Brittany's hot and all, but I never made out with her. How could she have…"
Finn and Puck exchange a look, their eyes growing wide. There's a sudden spark of recognition and together they exclaim.