Title: The Sting of the Razorblade

Rating: M

Word count: 1,183

Summary: "It starts after Brittany denies Santana." Future-fic

Warnings: Trigger warning, self harm. Strong language.

Authors notes: After drinking three coffees, not being able to sleep and listening to Make It Stop (September's Children) by Rise Against I came up with this.

It starts after Brittany denies Santana. She goes home and locks herself in her bathroom, tears flowing hot and fast down her face. She needs an escape, she needs an exit, fuck, she just needs something. She pulls out one of her Dad's razor blades that somehow made its way into her bathroom and never returned. She slow brings the razor down the inside of her left wrist, watching with a morbid curiosity as crimson red blood slowly pricks to the surface. She slowly makes another cut, and then another. By the end of it she has five small incisions on the inside of her wrist and there is blood all over the razorblade, her wrist and a few drops on the floor. Santana slowly washes the blood of her wrist, cleans the razorblade and mops up the blood from the bathroom floor, all the while feeling numb. She collapses into bed, suddenly feeling exhausted.

When her Mum calls her up for dinner, she makes some excuse about being too swamped with school work and she'll eat later. But in reality she just doesn't want to have to deal with people. After her Mum leaves the room Santana admires the cuts on her arm, running her fingers up and down them. After that she falls into a restless, dreamless sleep.

When Santana wakes up the next morning her wrist stings slightly, it brings a smile to face. She pulls on an outfit, slowly selecting a jacket to go with it. She's out of the house before her Mum or Dad can ask her any questions. At school she keeps tugging the sleeves of her jacket down. And when she sees Brittany with Artie it simultaneously wants to make her cry and make the inside of her wrist itch, wanting to feel the safety of the blade running down it again.

It continues this way for a month, her wrist slowly getting covered in scars. Santana gradually starts to eat less and less; she sleeps little and is extremely irritable. It's a month before anyone notices. She's working in the lab one day and rolls up her sleeves, forgetting about the cuts. She hears her lab partner gasp. "What are those from?" Her lab partner's face is set in a frown.

"It's nothing. It's my cat. He scratches me when I play with him." Santana's heart is slamming against her ribcage but she just rolls down her sleeves, her face blank. And just like that, it's forgotten about.

It's three months before anyone substantial notices. And that substantial person just happens to be Brittany. She pulls Santana aside during lunch one day, pulling her into a currently empty classroom. Brittany's delicate features are set into a frown and she worries her bottom lip between her teeth. "Santana. Something's wrong with you." She holds up a hand to stop Santana from rebutting. "Don't even try and come up with an excuse. I know something' wrong with you." Santana can feel her hears pounding against her chest and the rise of a blush in her cheeks. For once she's glad for her olive tone and the amount of makeup she wears so Brittany can't see it.

"What are you talking about? There's nothing wrong with me. Why would you even care? You've got Artie to care about." And that's true, isn't it? The only person to care about Santana was Brittany, and now she's with Artie. Now Santana's all by herself. Now she just feels an ache in her chest when she's with the Glee club and she can hear them planning stuff without her. Now she feels the sting of her wrist every time she feels sad or upset or alone.

"That's not true San, and you know it. You're my best friend. I care about you." Brittany's starting to get mad. But she also seems sad at the same time.

"That's not true. All you care about is Artie. Now I'm just some big lesbian who no one cares about." Tears forming in Santana's eyes but she refuses to let them fall.

"Don't you dare even say that. I love you. You know that Santana. I've known you since we were 6 so I know when something is up. I was there for you when your sister left, I was there for you when you got plastic surgery, I was there for you when you developed anorexia and I'm here for you now." Brittany's tone was harsh, but tears were sliding down her cheeks. She truly cared about Santana. "You think I don't notice how tired you are? Or how thin you are? Or how many jackets you wear? I know something is up San, so just tell me." Santana's heart is pounding even harder, if possible.

"No." She just stares at Brittany. She refuses to tell her, why should she? Brittany wouldn't care. Santana is just some big lesbian freak who has to cut to attempt to feel anything. She starts to walk off but Brittany's deceptively strong grip is on her arm before she can get far, Santana hisses in pain.

"I am not letting you walk away Santana! Just tell me what's wrong!" She's pleading now, almost begging.

"No. You won't care. You have Artie. Everyone has someone. You don't need me Brit! So just go live some big fucking happy life with Artie and make your perfect fucking babies in your perfect fucking house." She spits it out before she can stop it. She struggles out of Brittany's grip, but not before her jacket rides up the slightest amount. She hears Brittany's gasp before she realises what happened.

"Oh, Santana." Brittany whispers. And that's all it takes for Santana to break down. In the middle of an empty classroom Santana completely breaks down in front of Brittany. Brittany just pulls her into a hug, stroking her hair and making comforting noises. "Shh, sweetie, shh. It's OK. I'm here." That just makes Santana cry even harder. "I'm sorry I wasn't here for you. I'm sorry I didn't notice sooner. I'm so sorry Santana." It takes the whole lunch hour for Santana to eventually calm down, but she gets there. When they part for their classes Brittany promises to come over that afternoon, and that she does. And almost every afternoon after that.

Brittany is the only person who could ever have made the situation better. And she does. She slowly, slowly over time gets Santana to stop self harming; she gets her to eat again and gets her to sleep more. She eventually breaks up with Artie, saying she was sorry but she cared more for Santana. Almost every night from then on Brittany just spends the night in Santana's bed, gently kissing away the tears that Santana still cries, or calming her after a bad day or a terrifying nightmare. From then on, Santana is never alone any more, it isn't just Santana, it's Santana and Brittany. They're a unit, two parts of a whole.