Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan. No money is being produced from this page.

Timeline: Takes place after "Theatricality", but before "Funk".

Rating: T, for minor profanity and references to "adult situations".

The halls of William McKinley High School bustled with students, the laughter, chatter, and shouts blending together to form an almost incomprehensive babble. Teens of various cliques filed down the corridors to their classrooms. Some stood in the middle of the hallways, clogging the flow of traffic and thus irking the students attempting to avoid reprimands from grouchy teachers and detentions for tardiness. Still others hovered in front of their lockers, shoving unnecessary books inside and removing the ones they needed for their next class.

Mercedes Jones leaned on the frame of the doorway of her classroom, dark eyes scanning the students walking down the hall. She continued her search until she found the person she was looking for standing at a locker across the corridor. Narrowing her eyes and preparing herself for a confrontation, Mercedes merged with the horde of students traveling down the hall, focusing all of her attention on her target. All too soon, Mercedes found herself standing directly before the person was most likely to the conversation more difficult than it had to be.

"Hey," Mercedes greeted.

From the expression on Santana Lopez's face, she didn't desire this conversion any more than Mercedes and clearly didn't understand why Mercedes was talking to her in the first place.

Rolling her eyes in her signature scornful fashion, Santana merely scoffed at her and returned to carefully freshening her makeup.

Her hands clenched and Mercedes felt herself rapidly losing patience. Before she could reconsider, she spun the dial on Santana's locker and slammed the metal door shut.

Aware that she had just done something dangerous, Mercedes hip-checked the other girl away from the locker, preventing access, and matched Santana's glare, unwilling to back down.

"What's your problem?" Santana crossed her lean, muscled arms over her chest in a classic defensive technique.

"What's yours?" Mercedes returned, doing her best to keep her cool.

"And that is supposed to mean . . .?" Santana motioned with her hand, obviously indicating that Mercedes should make her point and move along.

Mercedes took a deep breath, her heart pounding. "Look, Santana, I know you're probably upset with me for dragging you away from your mirror, but I figured that maybe if I imitated your behavior, I could get your attention."

"Get on with it," Santana ordered her. "I could be doing something interesting right now."

Mercedes tried her best not to show her rising anger. "Santana, that's what I wanted to talk to you about. Sometimes when you say stuff to other people, it comes across as really offensive and hurtful. I'm not sure if that's always your intention-"

"Oh, trust me, it is," Santana clarified.

For a moment, Mercedes merely silently contemplated the other girl. "So basically, you try to hurt other people?"

"That's pretty much it," Santana agreed. She looked at Mercedes distastefully, as if she were dirt on her otherwise immaculate white Cheerios sneakers. "If you're finished-"

"No, I'm not finished, and I would appreciate it if you would shut the hell up and listen to me," Mercedes cut her off, too exasperated to make any more effort to hide her frustration. "Look, Santana, there's a difference between having attitude, like me, or copping an attitude, like you."

"Copping an attitude?" Santana scoffed. "Dear God, you sound like a writer from Seventeen when they try to be cool and give advice about what not to do at college."

"So not the point and you know it," Mercedes said flatly. "I know that we've had our ups and downs, especially where Puck is concerned. But I want to talk to you as a friend, because I don't think Brittany would step in like this."

"'Step in'?" Santana repeated. "Oh dear God, this is an intervention, isn't it?"

"You have to admit that your behavior is out of control," Mercedes continued, as if she had not heard Santana's comment. "Sleeping with Puck and all those other guys, and drinking that nasty master-cleanse stuff that Ms. Sylvester gives you."

"You forgot to list Brittany as one of my numerous partners," Santana informed her in a bored tone.

"Brittany's harmless," Mercedes objected.

"Exactly. That's why she makes such a great best friend," Santana said cavalierly. "Can you say the same thing about your bosom buddy?"

"Hey, Kurt can be a bitch sometimes, but he's sweet," Mercedes defended her friend.

"I wasn't talking about Kurt." Santana locked eyes with Mercedes.

Mercedes tore her gaze away from the cheerleader's penetrating dark stare. "You mean Quinn."

"Exactly." Santana's tone remained careless. "Since I'm a bitch myself, I can recognize the bitch in Quinn. And I'll tell you this: once Quinn is no longer preggo, she's going to ditch you. Trust me, she's just using you because she's pregnant and no one else wants to be nice to her."

"No." Mercedes shook her head. "Quinn's my girl. She would never do that to me."

"Oh really?" Santana folded her arms across her chest. "Take my word for it, Mercedes, when Quinn comes back to school after the summer next year, she's going to do everything she can to claw her way back up to the top, and that includes dropping you faster than last season's cardigans. I've known Quinn for years. We go to the same church, where we met at Bible camp in the second grade. And she was my best friend, until our favorite screechy-voiced, annoying, little hobbit revealed that the father of her bastard child was, in fact, my ex-boyfriend. Who would've been my boyfriend at the time they slept together."

"Rachel may be annoying, but her voice isn't screechy," Mercedes said flatly. "And just because you have issues with Quinn does not mean she is going to ditch me."

Santana smirked. "You just wait and see about that."

"And yes, I understand that you're upset that she slept with Puck when you two were a couple, but haven't you played the role of homewrecker in a couple of relationships?"

"That's totally different," Santana snapped.

Mercedes rolled her eyes. "Of course it is."

"She was supposed to be my best friend." Santana's fists clenched. "No matter how many guys I've been with, I never slept with any of her boyfriends. I didn't sleep with Finn." She paused. "Well, not while they were together." She glared at Mercedes. "How would you feel if you found out that your boyfriend was cheating on you with Kurt?"

"Kurt would never do that to me," Mercedes protested.

"You said the same thing about Quinn ditching you, and that's basically the writing on the wall," Santana shrugged, studying her perfectly manicured nails.

"And I don't even have a boyfriend." Then Mercedes shook her head. "You know what? This isn't supposed to be about me. This is about you."

"Finally, someone has their priorities straight. Good for you," Santana congratulated her.

At that moment, Mercedes would've given anything to slap the other girl. "Santana, I don't really know anything about your life. I don't know if you're having a tough time at home, if your parents and you have problems, or what-"

"My parents and I get along great," Santana told her smugly. "So great that they're letting me undergo breast enhancement surgery this summer."

Mercedes's jaw dropped. "Your parents are letting you get a boob job?"

"That's right," Santana replied casually.

"Girl, your parents are crazy."

"Word up."

The warning bell shrilled through halls, urging students to quit their dawdling and hurry to class.

"I've got to go, and so do you," Santana shrugged. "I really enjoyed this conversation with you, Mercedes. We should totally do this again sometime."

With those parting words, the cheerleader turned and sauntered down the hall.

Mercedes sighed, and watched her go.

A/N: In "The Rocky Horror Glee Show", when Carl said, "At least if I play Eddie, I won't have to grind up against the students," Santana raised her hand as if to volunteer. Mercedes kind of rolled her eyes and pushed her hand back down. Judging from that, Mercedes does care about Santana (Somewhat), and I think that she would make an effort to call out Santana on her behavior, but still try to be friendly about it.

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