It had shocked them all- the news of Kurt's return. Truthfully, when Finn had first told them, it was initially dismissed as pure fallacy and was met with choruses of:

'Yeah, right!'

'Sit down, Frankenteen.'

'Aren't he and Blaine official now, anyway? Why would he transfer back to McKinley?'

'He didn't tell me anything about that!'

Even so, there was one member of the Glee club that was damn near grasping for straws. Santana Lopez, though vocally resistant, took so fiercely to the idea mentally that she was all but begging the cosmos for it to be sincere.

She was lonely. God, had she been feeling wretched recently. The distance that she had purposefully carved between Brittany and herself since her best friend's soft-spoken rejection was steadily killing what was left of her heart. Just the thought of having another person- someone who understood, who she could confide in, gave her hope (and 'hope' was something that she was extraordinarily short on, as of late).

So, she waited. She knew precisely where he would go first, and she knew also that she had to be the first one to intercept him there. With her back resting against the frame of the door leading to the choir room, she hovered in anxious silence.

"San...tana?"

Her brown eyes widened faintly as they darted up and over to where the voice came from. Hell, had her attention honestly been that compromised? She clutched at her own arms.

"Long time no see, Hummel," she crooned effortlessly as she stood upright.

"Er, yeah," Kurt knitted his eyebrows as he stopped short of the brunette by a few feet. There was a moment's hesitation as he appeared to look Santana over once. "Is this some kind of intervention, or...? Because I'd really rather change out of this outfit before facing the wrath of-"

Santana held up her left hand, signaling for him to stop before he inevitably wasted both of their time.

"Look, just let me get this out, okay? This isn't easy for me."

Confusion clouded the boy's eyes as he tried to comprehend what he was hearing.

"What are you..." he stopped himself and shrugged, "all right, go ahead."

The former Cheerio visibly swallowed as she glanced around, wordlessly scanning the relatively undisturbed hallway for any signs of stragglers. Once satisfied with the decidedly low population of students around, she stepped almost timidly toward Kurt, who cowered ever so slightly.

"I-" Santana's temples wrinkled vaguely as she thumbed through her mind for the right words to say. "I'm glad... glad that you're back. I, while you were... gone, there were some- some things that happened, and-"

Santana watched fleetingly as something akin to unease and comprehension flashed across Kurt's face. This only made her heart thump even more deafeningly in her ears.

"Kurt, I..." her voice shook, and she apprehensively wet her lips. Santana couldn't help but even step, anything to keep her revelation tight-lipped. "I sang to her, to Brittany. I told her... I told her everything. I'm- I-" Frustration overwhelmed her. "Kurt, I just... I think," she sighed. "I know that I'm gay, and I've... god, I've never felt so damned miserable."

There came a broad quiet as Kurt appeared to be processing this information. His eyes were somewhat wide, yet entirely void of judgment. Santana's pulse shuddered, and she pressed her lips tightly together. She just wanted him to say something, anything.

Needless to say, she was more than a little taken aback when she, instead (a moment later), found the boy's arms wrapped securely around her. He didn't seem as though he ever intended to release her from his expressive hold.

"Santana."

In that one utterance of her name was packaged together: understanding, sorrow, and camaraderie. Santana knew not how to react and, consequently, simply stood there, feeling uncomfortable and uncertain of this sudden display of affection. Still, not even she could combat the tears that subsequently stung her eyes.

"It's okay," his ethereal voice was shockingly firm. "You're okay."

It was becoming increasingly difficult to bite back those impending tears. His words hit home- and hard. Nevertheless, Santana still couldn't shake the feelings of loneliness that enveloped and threatened to drown her.

"Sh- Brittany won't leave him for me," came her sullen whisper. "She said she loved me but not enough," she choked out the words, still managing to evade her tears. "but that's not enough. I'm not e-"

"Stop it," Kurt's embrace tightened as he moved back to grasp the girl's arms enthusiastically. "Stop right there, Santana. That's not true, and you damn well know it."

Santana looked away from him, unable to believe or accept his words as true.

"Give it some time. Versace only knows how long it took me to win Blaine over," Kurt rolled his eyes good-naturedly. The dark-haired girl wanted to smile; however, in the end, she could only manage a tortured, upward twitch of her lips. Her newfound mentor exhaled and moved his hands to hold onto Santana's.

"You are worth it, Santana," he assured her as his thumbs traced lightly over the backs of her hands. "and I won't let you think anything less of yourself- ever. I'm here. I'm here for you, okay?"

Santana released the tense breath that she had been holding for so long now and traced her tongue anxiously over her dry lips. It pained her, but she couldn't help but offer him a meager smile.

"Thanks, Humm-" it was soft at first. "Kurt. Thank you, Kurt."

He smiled and released her hands. For a moment, Kurt seemed to play coy as he began to lead them inside the choir room.

"So, you sang to her?"

Santana sniffed but gave him a sheepish sort of grin.

"Yep. Fleetwood Mac's-"

Kurt guffawed.

"Oh, Santana," and he bumped his hip playfully into hers. "Gay. So, so gay."

That was her breaking point. Santana had to give up a hearty laugh for Kurt for that.