Part 1 of 2 (possibly 3?). Sort of a spiritual successor to Rhythm and Attitude, but it's not a required prerequisite :) Rated for some serious language.
So, everyone else has been writing their BrItTaNa Angst!stories lately. And I decided that I want me one too. But first, an apology for being so flaky lately; I sprained my arm a few weeks ago, and typing has been somewhat difficult since then. It's actually taken about five minutes just to type this paragraph, so you can imagine how slow the actual story is going…
As usual, I own nothing. Brittana can totally sign my bandaged arm like a cast, though.
How was it that every time she was pissed at Brittany, she ended up topless and drenched in sweat?
And not even in the fun way.
She'd learned the hard way last time (waking up with killer leg cramps was a bitch) that running for two hours was a stupid way to burn off her anger. But punching things for two hours? That she was built for. As soon as she had gotten home from school—shaving five minutes off her commute; who knew she wasted so much freaking time at stop signs?—she had tossed her backpack on the floor and gone straight to the basement: down to her workout clothes, two toned boxing gloves, and a heavy bag chained to the ceiling. She'd even had one of those annoying clocks that buzzed every three minutes, but she'd smashed it ages ago.
What, like she was supposed to press the fucking off switch with giant leather gloves strapped to her hands?
Puck had told her once that Berry had an elliptical at her house, and would tape her goals and dreams to the wall in front of it. Santana didn't know how looking at "Finn Hudson's Dick" written on fancy stationary would inspire fuck all, but she had to admit that Berry might be onto something there. Boxing was so much more cathartic when she pretended she was hitting people who pissed her off instead of seventy pounds of vinyl and filler.
And her creative writing teacher was totally full of shit when she said that Santana was too lazy to fully develop her sensory imagination—she had practically felt Artie's stupid glasses shattering under the weight of her right cross. Over and over and over.
Yanking off a glove, she took an impatient swipe at her forehead with her hand wrap. It came back damper than it already was, and she muttered a string of curses under her breath. Facial sweat was practically an invitation for acne, and there was no freaking way she was letting a single zit mar her complexion.
Especially now that her body was even more smokin' than before. It had been tough, trying to maintain her awesome bod' without the hellacious pre-dawn torture sessions Coach Sylvester put them through, not to mention the probably-poisonous but no doubt effective Master Cleanse. Still, working out every day and throwing up a couple times a week (which was so not a big deal, since she was pretty sure her body was rejecting solid food after a couple of years of bypassing the whole 'digestion' thing) had kept the whole thing from blowing up. And anyway, the two pounds she'd gained had gone straight to her ass, which actually made her look even hotter.
Another drop of sweat dripped from her hairline. It was kind of a bitter silver lining that if she and Britt kept having fights the way they did, she was going to be hot enough to land herself on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Grabbing her towel off of its hook on the wall and mopping herself up, she tilted her head from side to side, listening with a twisted sort of enjoyment as her joints cracked. Yeah, she was a goddamn smoking hot badass. Who the hell wanted a relationship anyway? She was young, and awesome, and had an entire weekend to drink herself into oblivion before she had to see anyone she didn't want to see again.
So fucking there, Britt Britt.
She paused, hearing footsteps upstairs. Her little sister was the only other one home, and she was supposed to be in her room, doing her homework—the only truly well behaved one of the three Lopez children. Also, the smartest of the three of them. Far too smart to barge in on Santana when she was getting her violent fury on. And yet, someone with a death wish was opening the door and coming down.
Santana whipped around in time to see Quinn walking gingerly down the stairs, heels clacking with every step. A distinct contrast to Santana's disheveled sexiness, Quinn had changed out of the blouse she'd worn to school and into a dress.
Always a dress. Q was one strand of pearls away from a role in Pleasantville, or maybe a future career as a Betty Crocker spokeswoman or the Avon lady. Seriously—girl was such a throwback to the 1950's, Santana could even detect a faint chicken smell.
She didn't say anything, choosing instead to stare coldly at Quinn. She had kind of figured that Quinn would show up at some point, but she had been hoping her friend/rival would wait until tomorrow. She had a way of pushing Santana's buttons, and a round of passive aggressive banter was so not what she needed right now.
She sighed inwardly. She was hitting the shower and the liquor cabinet in half an hour, whether Queen Bee was there or not. And hopefully she wouldn't be—Santana didn't feel like giving her a free show.
"Consuela let me in," Quinn volunteered—and while not accounting for her sister's judgment, at least put to rest any worries Santana may have had about having to spend the weekend changing the locks or something. "Good for her," she deadpanned back, "she can let you right back out again." In a show of ignoring the other girl—something she knew Quinn desperately hated—Santana turned away and began unwrapping her hands. And yeah, she wasn't looking, but she just knew that Quinn was raising an eyebrow behind her back.
"You weren't in Glee today," she accused, making Santana scoff. "Skipped," she explained offhandedly. "So?"
Quinn sputtered, making Santana smile darkly. The faster Quinn got worked up, the faster she'd flounce out and leave her the hell alone.
"So, everyone was worried! It's a week before Regionals, and Rachel—"
"Rachel," Santana cut her off, spinning around to glare nastily, "can suck it. Maybe it'll loosen her up a bit." She looked Quinn's printed dress up and down. "And if you keep taking fashion tips from her, we can't be friends," she added.
Quinn snorted. "Yeah, keep up the insults," she shot back. "This is a really great bonding experience for me." This time Santana's smile was almost real—the snark was starting to come out, which meant that the conversation could potentially get interesting. Quinn was staring around the basement like she'd never seen it before. "What happened to Tony's band equipment?" she asked, and Santana remembered that it had been almost a year since she, Quinn and Brittany had hung out in the basement, messing with her brother's drum set and giving each other makeovers.
She scowled, covering up the sudden twinge that memory gave her. "Dad set it up for me a few months ago," she answered, putting in effort to sound nonchalant (and well aware of the irony). "He said I needed something to get my aggro out, because he was really tired of having to do pro-bono facial reconstruction on all the bitches I've beaten down this year."
Quinn's mouth quirked slightly, and Santana could tell she was trying not to smile.
But of course, Quinn had to ruin the moment like the fun-spoiler she was. "Why don't you join the wrestling team?" she asked dryly. "Maybe Lauren can give you a few pointers on beating people down."
Ok. She was so done. Bitch had officially outstayed her welcome. Putting on her sweetest smile, she batted her eyelashes at Quinn. "Well gee, princess," she said, syrupy tone dazzling, "this has been great. But I'm sure you have plans with Finn. Or Puck. Or is it Sam this week? Sorry, it's just so hard keeping track of who you're cockteasing at any given moment."
Quinn pursed her lips, a stunt she only pulled when she was feeling especially prudish. So only every three hours or so, really. "You say that like you haven't had sex with all of them," she scowled. "Not to mention half the school."
Santana felt her eyes narrowing. Frenemy or not, some days she seriously wanted to rip that self-righteous smirk right off of Quinn's face. It wasn't quite as annoying as Berry's, but it was a damn close second. "Oh, get off your high horse, Tonto," she sneered. "Yeah, I've hooked up with them, and plenty more. Maybe that makes me a slut, but at least I'm upfront about it. Curling iron, my Puerto Rican ass." She inhaled again, wrinkling her nose. "And for God's sake, Fabray, why do you smell like chicken?"
Glaring, Quinn reached into her purse and pulled out a Wendy's bag. "Spicy chicken, no mayo," she sniffed. "No fries either, I don't like you that much."
Still annoyed, Santana didn't respond. Quinn must have seen her fingers twitch reflexively, though, because she rolled her eyes and tossed her the sandwich. She caught it easily, unwrapping it and pulling the chicken and lettuce out of the bun.
Just because she had feelings now didn't mean she was about to start eating carbs.
Tearing into the meat with her teeth—she was freakin' hungry, ok?—she slid down the wall until she was sitting on the floor, bag discarded on the ground beside her. Quinn raised an eyebrow, crossing her arms in front of her chest. "I hope you know how disgusting it is to watch you eat," she complained in a long suffering tone. Santana gave her the finger and kept eating. Quinn scoffed. "You could at least put a shirt on."
Santana chewed, adopting a thoughtful expression as she pretended to consider it. Finally, she swallowed. "Nope," she decided, and took another bite.
Ok, so maybe what she'd said to Brittany about feelings and anger and shit was true. But sometimes, being a bitch just because felt kinda good.
Quinn made a face, but let it go. And Santana would have chalked it up as a win, except for what happened next:
"We need to talk about Brittany," Quinn declared. Santana immediately lost her appetite. "We really don't," she replied, voice steely. "I have nothing to say about her, and if you know what's good for you, you'll leave right now before my fist slips."
If Quinn was intimidated by her, honestly kinda empty, threat, she didn't show it. "Brittany told me what happened today," she explained, "and that really, really sucks for you. I just want to make sure you're okay."
Santana glowered at Quinn. "I'm fine," she growled, "I'm a fucking peach. Drop it." Falling off the top of the Cheerio's pyramid so many times must have killed some vital brain cells, though, because Quinn clearly couldn't take a hint. "For what it's worth, I think she was wrong," she continued, seemingly impervious to the death rays Santana was mentally shooting her in the face with. "You finally did what she's always wanted you to do, and she chooses Artie? I mean, he's nice and all, but he's—"
"A jackass who gets off on demeaning women, and dresses like a senile grandpa, and treats Brittany like she's four and doesn't even try to understand her, and who will never realize that he's a dorky white suburban boy whose mommy ties his shoes for him, not Kanye, and who's gonna grow up and work in a cubicle sucking up to a boss who hates him, and is even more painful to watch 'rapping' than Mr. Schue?"
Quinn paused, clearly surprised by Santana's outburst. Luckily for her, she was smart enough to keep her mouth shut about it. "I was going to say, he's not you," she finally answered.
"Fuck you, Fabray," Santana replied without venom, slightly mollified. She dropped the rest of her pulverized chicken into the wrapper. "And too right, he's not," she added, voice suddenly acidic.
As if. Maybe he'd be sort of okay looking if he dressed better and got some contacts and did something with his hair besides that stupid pudding-bowl haircut, but she was still a million times hotter than he was. And she loved Brittany, way more than he ever could. Loved her enough to talk about her feelings the way Britt had wanted her to. Santana Lopez did not Talk About Feelings. Ever. Unless those feelings were anger, annoyance, or general misanthropy.
Lost in her moody thoughts, she hadn't realized that Quinn was still staring at her until she looked up. "Stop being creepy," she snapped automatically.
Quinn didn't flinch. "Stop being pathetic," she fired back. "Brittany chose Artie over you. So why is he still breathing? Why aren't you doing anything about it?"
"What am I supposed to do about it?" Santana asked, getting angry again. "Beg her to break up with him? I don't beg. If she wants me, she can dump his ass, but I'm Santana fucking Lopez, and I'm not anybody's freaking second choice, and I'm not waiting around for Mr Roboto's sloppy seconds, okay?"
"Seriously?" Quinn looked at her, exasperated. "She's the best thing that's ever happened to you, and you're going to let Artie have her because of your stupid pride?" She shook her head, looking away. "I always thought that out of the two of you, Brittany was the stupid one."
"Shut up! Just shut up about her." If Santana was angry before, she was pissed now. And standing up, when did that happen? "Brittany's not stupid. Yeah, she does a lot of stupid things, and gets confused a lot, and maybe Mensa's not going to try and recruit her anytime soon. But she's not stupid."
Santana ran a hand through her hair, exhaling sharply. Wow, that whole deep breathing and counting to ten thing her anger management counselor preached was really not helping. "She's not stupid, and she's a better friend than you," she said coolly, glowering venomously across the room at Quinn. "She'd never call you names, and she's always had my back no matter what, even when everyone else thinks I'm a bitch or a whore or whatever."
"Except for now," Quinn said quietly. "You poured your heart out, and she chose someone else. It's the first time she's ever chosen anyone over you, right after you admit that you care. And you can't help but feel like it's your fault, that if you kept pretending you were invincible, maybe she would have picked you."
She paused. "Or maybe, you feel that if the only person who gets you in every way can abandon you like that, you really must be as terrible as everyone thinks."
Santana wasn't sure when the tears had started, but they had: wet, salty trails down her face. A sudden flash of Brittany—"Maybe try rocking back and forth? People do that in movies"—and suddenly she was sobbing. And Quinn was looking at her with huge sympathetic eyes and Fuck her, why did she have come into her house and throw it all in her face right when she'd convinced herself that she was fine and Fuck Artie for getting in between her and Britt and for his stupid white boy gangster pretention and Fuck Brittany for making her fall in love with her and turning her into this weepy blubbering mess.
Quinn was reaching for her, trying to pull her into a hug, and Santana shoved blindly and scampered back until her spine hit the wall, not wanting anyone or anything to touch her. Finally showing some semblance of a brain, Quinn backed off, holding her hands up in the air defensively. Face in her hands, Santana heard rather than saw Quinn punch a few buttons on her cell phone. Breathing deeply, she tried to get her crying under control as Quinn talked on the phone:
"It's me, I'm at Santana's. We need you to come over, and bring some alcohol."
"In what way was that an invitation for a threesome? And don't you have a girlfriend now?"
"Because she's upset and she's our friend, and maybe I don't approve, but she really needs to get drunk right now and you have a tendency to use alcohol to show people you care."
"No she won't."
"You'll be fine, wear a jock strap if you're so concerned."
"You are such a—fine, I'll ask her. Santana, do you promise not to punch him in the groin in a blinding fit of Chick Rage if he comes over? No? Good. That's settled. Half an hour, Puck."
This time when Quinn came over, Santana let her put an arm around her shoulders.
Feeling sucked. God, she couldn't wait to get drunk.