Just Be A Queen

Santana is still sitting in the auditorium a half hour after everyone else left when Puck comes back in to get the black hoodie he'd left behind after their performance. She watches him move across the stage, holding her breath and hoping beyond hope that he doesn't see her there. She's not that lucky though; just a few feet from the exit, he must catch a glimpse of her in the mostly dark auditorium because he stops, looks down at the hoodie in his hands, and starts heading in her direction.

She rolls her eyes a little bit then watches him approach, bracing herself for whatever conversation is about to happen. If he so much as makes one comparison between her and Lauren Zizes, she has no problem repeatedly punching him in the junk.

"Everyone's been looking for you," he says casually, stopping in the row just before her and resting down on one knee on the fold-down seat.

"Not that hard, obviously," she replies snippily.

She's not exactly feeling conversational. She has way too damned much on her mind right now.

"Whoa, retract the talons, girl. I come in peace." He holds up his hands in mock surrender and Santana lets out a deep breath she didn't even realize she'd been holding.

"No, you came in search of sweatshirt, and now that you have it . . ." she trails off and raises her eyebrows expectantly, glancing behind him towards the door he'd been heading for a minute before.

Puck chuckles a little bit at her obvious manner and then takes another look at the sweatshirt in his hands before tossing it over so that it lands on Santana's lap. She looks down at the offending article and then back up at Puck, her mood somewhere between pissed off and a bit grossed out. Knowing him, that thing hasn't been washed in a week.

"I think you probably need it more than I do," he explains, or rather, completely doesn't explain. When Santana continues to glare at him, he finally elaborates. "To cover up your shirt. I might not be the smartest guy around but I'm pretty sure that 'Lebanese' means you like to mack on other girls. Which, by the way? Totally hot."

Santana rolls her eyes and crosses her arms a little bit tighter over her chest, hoping to hide the big black letters from view as much as she can.

"You're right. Your arrow should probably be pointing both ways," she replies. She nods to his 'I'm With Stupid' shirt, then up towards his head.

And Puck being Puck, he doesn't take offense. Instead he smiles a little bit because hey, he kind of knows it's true. Like he admitted a moment before, he's not the smartest guy around. In fact, he's quite the opposite.

"Both ways," Puck repeats thoughtfully. "Kind of like you, huh."

He's goading her now, Santana knows that much, but she can't help but rise to take the bait. She raises her eyebrows challengingly.

"What makes you think you know anything about anything, Puckerman?"

Puck simply shrugs in response. "I don't know. Maybe I'm right. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe your arrow just points in one direction."

"There you go," she says, relaxing back just a little bit, satisfied that maybe she's thrown him off her scent - her lesbian scent – at least for the time being.

But then he has to go and continue, because Puck can never just let things lie.

"But I think both you and I know that your arrow? Points right at Brittany. It always has, Santana."

Santana stiffens again and her lips form a tight line as she tries to think of ways to squash the conversation. She could junk-punch him and run out, or maybe try to silence him with sex, but even just the thought of that right now makes her feel a bit queasy in the stomach. God, she really is gay!

"You know, you sure are lucky you're a pretty color because you're definitely not the brightest crayon in the box," she says snidely. She instantly regrets it because, judging by the smirk that appears on his face, she's given Puck an opening to be an ass.

"True, but that didn't stop you from coloring with me a whole heck of a lot." Santana sends him a glare that she saves for special occasions and Puck's smirk wavers. He takes a deep breath and leans closer to her, risking a severe talon-slashing in the process. "Santana, listen. I can't pretend to know what's going on in your head. It's a dark and scary place even on your best days. But what I do know is that Brittany made that shirt for you and the fact that you didn't wear it - at least not with us? That hurt her."

Santana frowns. "How do you know she made it for me?"

"Because I helped her make it," Puck explains proudly.

Santana can't help but chuckle quietly at that. It explains so much. She opens her mouth to speak but Puck cuts her off.

"You've always been one of the hottest girls at school, Santana." When she raises one eyebrow at him, he corrects, "Okay, fine. The hottest girl. And hey, I was lucky enough to have caught your attention for a while. A nice, hot, sexy while. But the fact remains that you've always been out of reach. You never let anyone get close. Anyone except Brittany. I always thought it was some kind of summer camp girly bonding kind of thing, but . . . it's not. It's something more."

"Puck," she begins but he cuts her off again, holding his hands up again in surrender.

"Not judging here. Britt's hot. I totally get it. Wave your freak flag, babe. But just remember that every time you lie about or hide how you feel, even just by not wearing a stupid shirt she made you? It's gonna make her feel like whatever you feel isn't real."

"But it is real," Santana interrupts and then winces at the fact that she actually said it aloud. She really needs to work on that internal censor of hers.

"Whatever. Not my business," he says, then quickly adds, "unless you're gonna let me watch. Then I'm all over that business."

Santana scoffs and Puck smiles. He stands up from the seat and moves out into the aisle.

Santana watches him slowly back away and her breath gets caught in her throat. She quickly sits forward, panic seizing her.

"You're not gonna tell anyone, are you?"

Puck shakes his head. "That's your bombshell to drop. But for what it's worth? I don't really think there's gonna be the fall out that you expect. You're Queen Bitch. Who cares if the royal wedding will be to another queen?"

He shrugs a little and then winks at her before turning around and making his way back to the front and out the stage exit. Santana watches him go, then looks down at the sweatshirt on her lap.

For the first time in as long as she's known him . . . Puck is right. She is Queen Bitch, and if she wants Brittany to reign with her in the royal court, she's going to have to prove to her that her feelings are real.

That what she feels isn't some kind of dark, dirty secret.

Taking a deep breath, Santana stands up and heads for the back of the auditorium, turning out the lights before walking out to find Brittany and the rest of the Glee Club. She's got a secret to tell and, well, it's as good a place to start as any.

In the darkened auditorium Puck's black hoodie stays crumpled up in a small pile on the seat she's just left behind.