Disclaimer: Not mine.

Author's Note(s): So, this was actually written as a flashback scene in my other story, 'Put on a Happy Face', but it got a little out of hand and didn't fit so much so I decided to use it for the beginning of something I've been thinking of doing for a while.

This will be a set of single stories/one-shots that live in the world of 'Put on a Happy Face'. Some will be set pre-story and some will be set after. You probably don't need to read Put on a Happy Face, but I imagine it would help! Almost done with the next chapter of that, by the way. Just in case anybody was wondering.

Anyway - Just because I'm sick, I'm miserable, and there just isn't anywhere near enough new fluffy Brittana fic (read: none) to make me feel better.

When the Bees Sting

As she walks down the street to Santana's house, Brittany taps her hand against the bag of supplies swinging at her side to make sure it still feels as full as it did when she left her house. Confident she hasn't lost anything on her journey, Brittany smiles brightly to herself. She's on a mission and she's prepared. If her mom knew, she'd be so proud. As it is though, Brittany is actually skipping school at the moment, so it's probably best she keeps this all on the down low. Last time she'd missed school (so she could search for fairies at the park), her mother had been utterly furious. Sometimes, Brittany seriously doubts that her mother's priorities are in order.

Brittany turns a corner and Santana's house springs into view. Without thinking, her pace picks up. She's very conscious of the fact that Santana's probably been home alone for quite a while by now. Her mom and new step-dad tend to work long hours at the hospital. It makes Brittany sad. Not as sad as it makes Santana though.

When she reaches the door, rather than knock like a normal person, Brittany pulls out a spare copy of the house key from her pocket and slides it into the lock. After a rather embarrassing incident involving a pair of ballet shoes, a large bag of Doritos and the drainpipe next to Santana's bedroom window, Santana had slipped Brittany a copy of her house key to save any further trips to the Emergency Room. Though their parents had never found out the real cause of Brittany's injuries, Doctor Lopez had been most displeased by the disruption to his usual string of surgeries.

She closes the door quietly behind her and makes her way up the stairs to Santana's bedroom. She's made this journey literally a trillion times, despite the fact that Santana has only lived here for a few months, so she can do it with her eyes closed by this point. Not that she will…mostly because of another incident involving the Emergency Room which Santana has promised she will never mention again. Without much difficulty, she banishes the memory from her mind.

Before going in, she presses her ear against the closed door. She hears a loud sniffing sound and bites down on her bottom lip.

To make sure she doesn't scare her, Brittany knocks lightly before entering the danger zone. A thick scent of misery hangs heavily in the air. It goes rather well with the somewhat gloomy décor chosen by Santana to dress her new bedroom. Black is not Brittany's favourite colour.

Despite the curtains being drawn, casting only a faint glow around the room, Brittany can make out Santana curled in the foetal position under her covers. She whimpers pathetically and Brittany suppresses a smile; Santana has always been a bit of a drama queen when she's sick.

"Hey, San," says Brittany softly.

Santana sniffs disgustingly and without rolling over to face her, replies with a muffled, "Hi, Britt."

Dropping her bag of surprises on the floor, Brittany kicks her shoes off (the shoelaces are already undone) and sits herself down on Santana's bed. From her new vantage point, she can see a wicker bin practically overflowing with tissues and grimaces.

"What are you doing here?" asks Santana after a moment of silence. Her voice is thick as she struggles to pronounce her words properly. "Did you get your days mixed up again? It's Tuesday, you know."

Brittany smiles and rests her hand on where she imagines Santana's shoulder is underneath the piled up blankets. "I know what day it is," she says simply. Jeez…she gets her weekends and school days mixed up twice and nobody ever lets her forget it. "How are you feeling?"

Santana lets out a high pitched noise of disapproval. "I feel just peachy, Brittany. Can't you tell?"

"Santana," Brittany chides.

With a sigh, Santana rolls onto her onto her back and gazes at Brittany through watery, bloodshot eyes. "Okay, I feel terrible. My everything aches, I can't breathe through my nose, and before, when I was on my way to the bathroom, my legs gave way and I hit my arm on the doorframe. Now there's a big bruise there and Coach is gonna kill me! This is pretty much the worst day of my life."

"Bad times," says Brittany sympathetically. She reaches out and brushes a few stray hairs from Santana's rather clammy face.

Santana lets out a weak chuckle. "Bad times," she repeats in agreement.

Before Brittany can explain her presence, Santana's body seizes up as she's caught by series of rapid sneezes. Brittany helps her into a sitting position and Santana moans wretchedly. "I hate hate hate this!" she cries. "Make it stop."

Brittany ponders this for a minute. "I don't think I can," she says honestly. "I did bring you some chicken soup though. Maybe it'll help? My mom says it has magical healing powers."

Santana's ears seem to prick up at this. "Really?" she asks hopefully.

"I think so," replies Brittany with a nod. "She said that it has special feel better juju in it."

"No, I mean…" she trails off and clears her throat with a grimace. "I mean, did you really bring me soup?"

"Oh!" says Brittany. "Yeah! It's in my bag."

Santana's face lights up and Brittany feels a thrill of achievement. "A-plus for planning, Brittz." Or at least, she tries to say 'Brittz'; it sounds more like 'Britth' with the cold induced speech impediment.

"Thanks," says Brittany with a grin. It's not often she gets an A in something. In fact, she ponders, this might be the first time. She rolls off the bed and begins to root around in her bag. She pulls out a warm 'Bananas in Pyjamas' flask and scrambles back over to her friend.

Santana looks rather astonished as she takes the proffered object. She unscrews the lid and the smell of chicken soup wafts into the air. Santana peers in cautiously and then raises an eyebrow at Brittany.

"I followed the instructions word for word on the tin," Brittany says with confidence.

There's a small smile on her face as Santana pours out some of the creamy liquid into the lid. "You're the best, Brittany," she says idly before taking a sip. Her smile widens a little further at the taste and Brittany can't help but match it. Making Santana happy is one of her favourite things to do.

They sit in relative silence while Santana eats her soup that's only broken by a few sniffles and sneezes. There's no awkwardness and Brittany is content to just sit back and relax in Santana's presence. She'd missed her yesterday when she hadn't turned up to school. Not to mention the way she'd end up sat in a French class with some older students. She doesn't even take French.

When half of the soup is gone, Santana puts the lid back on and places it delicately on her bedside cabinet. "Thanks, Britt," she says softly. "I hadn't eaten yet."

Brittany can't help the frown that appears on her face. "Why not?"

Santana hangs her head with embarrassment. "I'm worried I'll fall down the stairs if I try to get to the kitchen."

There's a pause. "When did your mom and Doctor Lopez go to work?" Brittany asks before she can stop herself.

With a shrug, Santana tells her that they left some time last night. "It's really busy at the hospital so they had to go," Santana adds defensively. Brittany nods but doesn't say anything. She knows it will only upset Santana and that's like…the opposite of what she came here to do.

"Okay then," says Brittany. "I brought some other stuff with me too."

Santana visibly brightens up again. "Oh?" she prompts impatiently.

Leaning over, Brittany grabs her bag off the floor and easily swings herself back up. Santana holds her hand out. "Gimmie," she says with a cheeky smile that Brittany instantly returns.

"Nuh uh," says Brittany, pulling the bag close to her chest. Santana pouts and folds her arms across her chest. It would have been cute if it weren't for the fact that her nose is running and her breathing is so loud that it reminds Brittany of the giant black robot man from that film about space and lightswords.

"Show me then?" says Santana meekly. She sounds so unhappy that Brittany immediately relents.

The first thing she pulls out is two Gameboy Colours, both already equipped with matching games. Santana's eyes widen.

"Is that–"

"Pokemon," Brittany interrupts. "Yes."

"Don't you think we're a bit old for Pokemon?" Santana says weakly.

Brittany furrows her brow in confusion. "No? You're the best at this game! It's your favourite."

There's an almost imperceptible smile on Santana's face and she nods a little. "I am kind of awesome at it."

It's an understatement, Brittany thinks happily. She still remembers that day in school a few years ago when Santana made Puck cry because she made all of his Pokemon faint. He was in such a mood with her, and Brittany by proxy, for about a week afterwards. It probably hadn't helped that Santana had gloated about it in the playground whenever she saw him.

She hands the red one to Santana, because that's her favourite colour, and puts the purple one on the bed next to her.

The next thing Brittany retrieves is a copy of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. "My mom used to read this to me when I was sick," Brittany informs her friend. "I thought maybe now I'm better at reading and stuff, I could read it to you?" Brittany can feel heat rise to her cheeks. Okay, so maybe this idea is a little lame. Santana doesn't really like books all that much.

Instead of laughing, like Brittany expects her to, Santana smiles a little and nods. "That would be nice," she says. There's a small hint of sadness to her voice that Brittany doesn't hear very often.

Brittany delves back into the bad and grins as she brings out a large rectangular bar of chocolate. She sees Santana's hands twitch a little as she looks at it dubiously.

"We can't put on any weight…" she says despondently. "We only just made the squad and I don't want Coach Sylvester to kick us off already."

"I saw Melanie eating a bag of Sour Patch Kids yesterday," says Brittany firmly. "We'll be fine."

"Head cheerleader Melanie?" asks Santana thoughtfully.

Brittany nods and Santana grins. "Well in that case…"

"Yep," replies Brittany, cheerfully handing over the chocolate to a drooling Santana.

The last thing Brittany has is a DVD. She pulls it out and tosses the empty bag onto the floor. Santana is eyeing the cover carefully.

"That film is stupid, Britt," she says quietly. Brittany can't quite suppress the hurt that wells up with those words.

"It's your favourite," Brittany replies. She knows that Santana has some stupid ideas about what it's okay and own and what isn't. Apparently 'The Princess Bride' is one of those things that she deems not cool enough to buy, even though it's obvious she loves it. Brittany can tell by the way Santana often suggests they watch it when they're at her house and tries to make it sound like she's doing Brittany some kind of favour

"It's not," Santana says unconvincingly.

"You mouth all the words when we watch it," Brittany points out.

Santana shoots her a surprised look. "Do I?"

Brittany nods in confirmation. She doesn't tell Santana that she knows this because recently, she's discovered that watching Santana over watching the film they have on is actually more enjoyable. There's something fascinating about Santana's face, and sometimes Brittany just can't tear her eyes away. The best part is when Santana notices she's looking and gives her that smile. The one that Brittany only ever sees when they're alone together.

"Okay, so maybe it is my favourite film," Santana concedes. She looks at Brittany rather critically. "You know me worryingly well."

"I know you the perfect amount," Brittany chirps in reply.

Santana seems to consider this for a moment. "Yeah," she replies softly.

Something heavy descends upon the room that Brittany doesn't quite understand. Her brows contract in confusion and she shakes her head in order to dispel it. Santana clears her throat and then flinches.

"Ow," she says weakly. She picks up the Gameboy at her side and holds it up to Brittany with a wicked gleam in her eye. "Pokemon?"

Brittany laughs and picks up her own.

"It's on," says Santana. She straightens up and puts on her game face.

"It was always on," Brittany replies slyly.

They play for a couple of hours; more than Brittany wants really. But she isn't here for herself. After a while, Santana convinces her to battle their Pokemon, and of course Brittany loses spectacularly. It comes as no surprise to her that Santana 'wins like a boss'. Brittany isn't so great at computer games.

Thankfully, Santana finally stops because she says her head is starting to hurt. Brittany conceals her relief with a blank stare. There's only so many times she can walk her little man back and forth from the Pokemon hospital before it gets boring.

"What do you want to do now?" Brittany asks, stretching her arms into the air.

There's no response and Brittany's eyes flicker over to her friend. Santana is staring at the little pile of treasures on her bed with a strange look on her face. She drags her eyes from the objects and fixes her gaze on Brittany, her expression unchanging. Brittany feels her breath inexplicably hitch.

"You okay?" Brittany asks, her voice almost as croaky as Santana's.

Santana nods, but as she blinks, a couple of tears run down her face. She hastily wipes them away and hangs her head. "Stupid flu making my eyes water," she says unconvincingly.

Brittany cocks her head to one side and regards Santana cautiously. She's supposed to be here to cheer Santana up; not make her cry.

"Film?" says Santana after a moment.

"Yeah," replies Brittany casually. She picks up the DVD and sets it up in Santana's TV; while she's doing it, she's very aware that Santana is watching her every move. It's curious.

When she finally gets it playing, she makes her way back over to the bed and slides under the covers. She wraps an arm around Santana and pulls gently so Santana sluggishly shuffles over and rests her head on Brittany's shoulder. She's clammy, she's trembling and she's probably highly contagious, but Brittany doesn't mind all that much. Her free hand finds its way across her own body and Santana reaches out to lace their fingers together.

"Thanks for this, Britt," says Santana after a few minutes. Brittany smiles happily. "You're the best friend ever."

Brittany's heart flutters. "I know."

They fall into silence once more, and it quickly becomes clear to Brittany that Santana is drifting off to sleep.

Santana shifts a little and buries her face in Brittany's neck. She begins to mumble something under her breath. "–ve you, Brittany," she mutters.

A weak chuckle escapes her lips; Santana always becomes incomprehensible when she's tired. Brittany presses a kiss to the top of Santana's head and focuses her attention back on the movie.

All in all, things definitely could be worse.


Author's Note(s): I know, I know. That old chestnut. And yes, I basically just gave Santana all the things that make me feel better. I may or may not be living vicariously through a fictional character right now…Thank you for reading, anyway :-)