Ff [.] net is fucking up, so apologies for the re-uploading and all that crap!
At the beginning of this chapter you might be a bit like.. Whut? But keep reading and it'll make sense.
It's short, only because this is the final and I didn't want to ruin it by writing something that didn't make sense.
Thank you so much guys! This is the last chapter so I'd just like to say how grateful I am for you guys sticking with me for so long. Seriously, I love you so much and I'm so happy for all your reviews and comments! You're truly amazing and you are why I write! You inspire me!
Hope you enjoy! And thank you again!
Title: The Bodyguard [Chapter Eighteen/Epilogue]
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Word Count: 4.2k
A month later...
It's raining. It's overcast. It's grey. Like all the goodness in the world has just been sucked out of it.
Everything that's suitable for a funeral, really.
If there were sunshine, rainbows and bright colours illuminating the greenness of the grass... Well, frankly? It just wouldn't fit. There's nothing cheerful about this day at all. There's nothing cheerful about walking through dirt and mud; freshly damp from the recent overnight rain to linger over a gravestone of someone you used too know. There's nothing cheerful about zigging and zagging through hundreds of gravestones, trying to find the one you know because you just know that they're in here.
There's absolutely nothing cheerful about that.
Especially when it's Brittany.
She steps out of the black car; which holds Quinn and Rachel inside and ducks out into the rain. Droplets create a small pitter-patter noise onto her face, but it's quickly removed when she takes out her umbrella and opens it up above her. Glancing up, she notices just how dark and gloomy the sky is. How it's like there's a strange melancholy to the atmosphere that just makes her want to throw her head back and laugh bitterly.
"Where are you going, Britt?" Quinn asks from inside the car; the passenger seat to be exact. She's still having difficulties with her lung after that damn bullet went straight through a tube thingy in her right one, and it's been advised that until it's one hundred percent healed... She doesn't operate any heavy machinery or whatever. Including a car because a cough could send her careering straight into a brick wall. But Brittany doesn't want to think about that; she doesn't want to think about losing someone else.
She turns slightly, only enough to show Quinn her profile before responding. "I just need a minute up there."
Rachel lifts her hand from the gear shift when Quinn opens her mouth again, and Brittany silently thanks the brunette with a weak smile. Breathing in deeply, she begins to walk through the mud; listening to the squelch her boots make as they sink into the mucky soil beneath each step. It's not far away, so by the time she's stopped paying attention to the moist noise beneath her feet, she sees it up ahead. And for some reason, it looks so much bigger than it did about twenty minutes ago when she and about thirty other people were gathered around it.
Maybe it's because now she's alone, just staring at the smooth edges of the carved stone.
Maybe it's because now it's finally all sinking in, and even though she shouldn't; she feels a tear creep behind her eyelids and slowly drip down her cold-to-the-touch cheek.
Or maybe it's because when she gets close enough to trace her finger over the engraved letters, smiling weakly at the small 'a' and 'n' that she knew came with a way-too-girly swirl, she remembers all the times they had together. Even though some of them weren't great.
"Hey," she whispers; knowing nothing's going to respond but feeling like she has to say something now that they're alone. "I don't really know why I'm doing this..." She licks her lips, tasting the staleness of the rain and flinching slightly. "I just feel like I needed to say a few things, because I never really had time when you were..." she finishes off the sentence by saying the world 'alive' inside her mind.
"I just..." Brittany sucks in a deep breath. "I don't really know how to say this," she shakes her head at her own stupidity. She knows that like, forever, certain people have been saying that she's not stupid. But she knows there's a naïve part inside of her; one that can't seem to see past the unicorns and rainbows. However at heart she knows the differences between the good and the bad... And that she shouldn't be standing here because, well... She shouldn't have to be. It wasn't supposed to be like this.
"Just say what's in your heart, Britt."
Brittany feels her shoulders tense for a split second when the voice echoes through her mind, but then hands slide around her midsection, tightening on her abs and she sinks into the embrace. It's like the weight of the world was just lifted off her shoulders and she can breathe again.
"I'm here," a voice whispers gently, finishing by pressing soft kisses to the piece of skin showing on her shoulder. "Just say what you want."
Clenching her eyes shut, Brittany breathes in deeply again, feeling oxygen sink into every crevice of her heart and readies herself.
"I know what you did was wrong," she says to the gravestone. "And I hate that you did what you did... But there was a time when we were close; and even though it may not have been what you wanted, I was so grateful for it."
She feels heat prick at her eyelids, and instinctively wipes her cheek just in case.
"So thank you, Noah," she whispers, shuffling forward; out of the embrace and crouches down to come face to face with the gravestone. "Thank you for being there when Santana couldn't."
Santana reaches down from behind her, pressing her palm to Brittany's shoulder in a comforting manner. It causes a sob to rip from the pit of Brittany's stomach because yes, Puck shouldn't have done what he did. He shouldn't have done anything... But she can't help but feel like it was her fault. He was there for her during her hardest times, being a shoulder to cry on because Santana couldn't; and whilst there's a part of her that hates him for the recent events... It's still no reason to disrespect the dead. Once upon a time Puck was sweet... And kind – contrary to popular belief.
"And I'm sorry things had to work out this way," Brittany says, quietly, stretching out to run her finger along the 'N' in his engraved name. "But now things will be easier;" she sucks in a shaky breath. "For everyone, and you won't be able to hurt anyone anymore."
When she finishes tracing his name, she smooths her palm along the top ridge and stands. Instantly, Santana's there behind her; hair drenched from the rain and coat moist, wrapping her into a tight embrace. She buries her nose into the crook of Santana's neck, looping her free arm around it and pulling until the black of their clothing moulds and it's hard to define where they begin.
Because yes, she does hate Puck for what he did to her. To Santana. To Quinn and Rachel. He hates them for it; but there was a time when he wasn't psychotic and out of control. And she remembers him like that – despite all the bad things that happened.
Santana breathes in deeply, running her hand through Brittany's hair as she holds her close. She doesn't get why her girlfriend feels the need to talk to Puck, or to even give him an ounce of respect; but she gets Brittany. And so there must be a reason – whether she understands it or not – that Brittany would choose to stand at his grave, running her slender fingers along the ridge of his engraved name, and talk to him like he never tried to kill Santana, or stalk Brittany, or do anything of those insane things he did.
"It's okay," she whispers into Brittany's hair, pressing her lips to the moist locks. "It's okay."
Brittany nods, as much as she can in the position and Santana feels lips graze on her pulse point. "I hate him for what he did to you," she hears muffled into her skin. "But he wasn't always like that, San."
Santana knows why Brittany's doing this. She can tell by the blonde's tone that these words are only being spoken because Brittany feels like she needs to explain why she's doing this: standing in the pouring rain, talking to the grave of someone who harmed so many people that both of them love; including themselves. But it doesn't matter. Not to her anyway.
"I know, baby," Santana's voice is wavering from uncertainty. Anger still pulses through her every time she hears his name. But she does remember how they used to laugh together; she remembers how he used to hug her when she needed it or make a crude joke. It will never replace her recent memories of him... But they're still there. Still lingering in the back of her mind and making her stomach drop a little because there once was a time where she could call Puck her friend. And now he's gone... She can't help but feel a little nostalgia for it.
A single gunshot rang through the vacant space of the warehouse. Santana's eyes were clenched tightly together, expecting the burst of hot pain singeing through her skin at any moment; but it never came. It took about a minute of waiting to realise that nothing came because nothing was going to come. The gunshot didn't come from Puckerman; or herself; or Brittany.
Shit, Brittany, she thought; eyes snapping open as she scanned every inch of the other girl's body. Brittany was in a similar position, eyes squeezed shut and face expectant. Santana brought her hand up to a creamy cheek, brushing the back of it over the skin and waiting until they were staring into each other's eyes for reassurance that neither were hurt. A small half-relieved smile tugged at pink lips, and Santana breathed out until her face contorted similarly.
It was only then that they realised the gunshot had happened, and snapped their head rounds just in time to watch Puck's face drop, head waver and legs wobble as he slowly glanced down to the blood seeping through his shirt, on the left side; right where his heart was.
They both watched as an apologetic smirk crossed his face when he realised he'd been shot.
They both watched as he fell to his knees, clutching at his chest and tugging the fabric away to see if the blood would stop. But it didn't.
They both watched as he sucked in his last breath and fell to the floor, face first; lifeless.
Santana's mouth dropped open and she felt Brittany's arms wrap around her as a loud sob escaped the blonde's lips. She instinctively held her back, tightening the grip around her waist as she kept her eyes trained on the lifeless body of the once great Noah Puckerman. It was so surreal; to know that there was no way Puck could ever come back from that...
"No need to say thank you," a croaky voice came from behind the body. Brown eyes flickered up, meeting a smiling Sam who's face was etched with intense pain. "Last time I save your ass."
She couldn't stop the smile that crawled onto her lips as Sam sunk back to the floor; the shotgun making a loud clang as it hit the ground next to him. She didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. All she knew that was from now on, they were safe.
Actually safe. Because Puck was dead and now nothing could come between them.
And for once she actually felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel; instead of another set of stupid train lights.
"San!" Brittany practically threw herself onto Santana's bed, half-lying on top of her as she peppered thousands of kisses over a tanned face. "Oh my God! I've missed you so much!"
Santana squirmed, scrunching up her face. It'd only been twelve hours since they'd left the warehouse. Shortly after Puck took his last breath, they both lumbered their way over to Sam, managed to haul him onto his feet – and simultaneously realizing that sound of bone snapping she'd heard was his leg – and supported him as they headed out the warehouse.
It only took about 45 minutes after Santana called Karofsky for the police to turn up; take their statements and then watched as the coroners took Puck away in a black body bag. Brittany sobbed the entire time, whilst the paramedic's dabbed at Santana's face and tried to stitch up whatever they could. Apparently most of it was physical damage; apart from the four broken ribs down her left side and a possibly fractured cheekbone; so it would only be a matter of time before she was in working order again.
(The female paramedic joked that she wasn't too chase after anymore psycho's – but Santana just glared until the woman scuttled off. Way too soon to be making cracks at the situation.)
The entire time Brittany never spoke; just held onto their tangled fingers tighter than ever before and watched with blank blue eyes as the police stood with their notebooks, scribbling down details and trying to figure out the amount of blood and where it came from. After Santana heard one of them say 'we need to interview the victims'; she hopped off the back of the Ambulance, marched over and pointed to her face – muttering "does it look like I want a fucking interview?" in which Brittany dragged her away.
They made their way back to the hospital, quickly discussing with the doctor Quinn's release date. They had two days until the blonde could get out, and so they rang the airline, and booked a few seats; still clutching onto each other like their life depended on it. Rachel sent them to a hotel that night, and they barely made in into the room before their lips were pressed together and they were ripping each other's clothes off – careful of Santana's injuries obviously.
They made love with intense emotion that night; holding onto each other and dragging out each stroke of their fingers and tongues because they knew how close they'd gotten to losing each other.
Brittany's lips tasted like fear and worry, but there was also an underlying tang of hope for the future. Santana made sure to kiss away all the uncertainties; whispering 'I love you's' into pale skin as she made her way down an unbelievably perfect body, worshipping every inch and groaning at a taste she thought would never be able to have again. Her fingers mapped out each piece of skin, engraining it into her brain because if it wasn't for Sam, they would never be able to touch each other with love and tenderness. They'd never be able to kiss each other like their lives depended on it if everything had gone wrong.
And both of them knew that.
It was only in the early hours of the morning, when they were cuddled up, facing each other and trading slow, lazy kisses that they whispered how much they needed each other. And how they'd never let anything get in the way of them ever again.
Santana walked into the hospital the next morning, greeting Sam with an awkward hug that he could barely give back because he was propped up, eating the hospital Jell-O and laughing at a supposed comedic reality show.
"How's the leg?" She asked, jutting her chin towards the enormous cast covering his left leg from top of his thigh to the bend in his ankle.
Sam winced as he pushed himself up. "Puckerman really did a number on me," he whined, pulling on the cord holding his leg up to adjust the height. Apparently a 90 degree angle isn't comfortable. Santana had to restrain the laughter at how much difficulty he was having to do such a simple task. "You too, by the looks of it."
Santana managed a smile; ignoring the ache in her face form her stitched eyebrow. Turns out that Puck punched her in the same place so many times that it actually tore the skin above her eyebrow, and would probably need plastic surgery if she ever wanted to get it back to its original state. However Brittany ran her finger over it the night before and whispered how sexy scars were... So Santana reasoned to herself that maybe one little scar wouldn't be too bad.
"Yeah," she agreed. "But it's pretty bad ass."
Sam let out a small chuckle, nodding his head. "Yeah. Shame broken bones don't do anything though."
She settled down in the chair beside him, deciding that maybe she needed to spend a little time with him. "What's the deal with that?"
"Well," Sam ran his hand over the cast. "Apparently my femur is fractured, which is pretty hard to do considering it's stronger than concrete, and there's a straight break on my tibia."
Santana narrowed her eyes. All the medical talk was lost and she could tell that Sam had memorised that. There's no way in hell he could've just known that. "Have you got a hot doctor or something, Evans?" She joked, trying to lighten the situation. Ever since they'd said goodbye at the warehouse, everywhere they went was just dragging down with melancholy and darkness. Sure, in the past she was all for it, but it just got tedious. She wanted to be happy, and now with... things out the way... She could try.
"She's alright," Sam shrugged, placing down his Jell-O cup after taking the last bite. "But I was just interested. Puck knew his shit."
And there it was again. The sadness hanging in the air and over their heads. Santana's head ducked almost instinctively, and she reached out to place her hand over his... Which felt weird because they weren't exactly best of friends. But they were the closest each other had (after Brittany for Santana of course).
"You had to do it," Santana said, resolutely. Because she could only imagine the guilt Sam felt. Ever since Sam came to Brittany's house and was offered the job, him and Puck were basically inseparable. "He was going to kill all of us if he had the chance."
Sam's bottom lip quivered. "I know," he agreed. "But he was..."
She could hear 'good friend' without it being spoken... And even though, sure, he was a complete psycho, there was still a part of him that remained the mohawked douchebag from McKinley High. People change, sometimes drastically; but there's always a little something inside of them that remains the same. Brittany once said it was their soul. That's why she and Brittany never strayed to the point of no return; because their souls needed each other, and would never be wholly completely without each other.
"I know, Sam." Santana replied, quietly. "Thank you by the way." Her face fell into a serious expression; not that it wasn't before. It's just that Brittany was in her mind and she had to bite down the urge to smile. God, she's such a sap. "For saving us."
Sam looked up through watery eyes. "Getting all soft on me?"
Taking her hand away, Santana rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. "Shut up. I'm trying here."
"I know. And I meant what I said; that we were in it together. I wasn't going to leave you."
Santana sucked in her bottom lip, nodding. She could feel heat pricking at the back of her eyelids. "Yeah, I know."
It was in that moment that they went silent. She could almost hear Sam's brain mulling over the memories and 'lad jokes' he had between him and Puck; back when things weren't so...Complicated. Sensing where it was going, she sat up and clapped her hands together; breaking him from his thoughts before someone started crying. That would just be uncomfortable.
"You know, I did actually think it was you for a while," she admitted.
Sam let out a throaty chuckle. "I know," he pursed his lips. "I could tell. I would've been suspicious too."
"It was just you turned up out of nowhere and reacted the way you did about Britt and I..." she trailed off; her eyes widening at the awkwardness she thought she was to bring into the conversation.
"I know," he exhaled loudly. "And I know I've apologised for that, but I am sorry. It just came as a bit of a shock."
"I can imagine."
The sound of the door opening broke their lacking conversation, and they turned to see the doctor walk in. She was tall. A blonde and had legs for days. But nothing in comparison to Brittany, Santana thought as her girlfriend popped into her mind. Looking back to Sam, she watched the grin spread across his face and sensed her leave. She tapped his hand, winked at him quickly as the blonde doctor grabbed the file from the end of his bed and flicked through it, and then headed towards the door. But not before his voice pulled her back for one last sentence.
"When you marry that girl I shotgun the best man position."
Santana chuckled and shook her head. "Whatever, Evans. You'll have to fight Fabray for it."
Sam lifted his arm, flexing it and revealing a rippling muscle underneath his hospital gown. "I think I got it."
"Sure, Sam," she smiled. "Sure."
And then she left, making sure to bypass a nearby jewellery shop on her way back to the hotel. Just because.
Brittany lifts her head until their eyes connect. Santana brings a hand away from the other girl's waist, up to her cheek where she rubs away a lone tear and whispers; "Let's go home."
"Let's go home," Brittany repeats, flashing a smile that could light up the entire town.
Santana sighs, smiling a little as she drops her hands, threads their fingers together and pulls them towards the car.
Their journey may not have been easy. There may have been more than a few obstacles that got in the way of their relationship, and tried to tear them apart; but it didn't matter. It will never matter, because together they're indestructible, and whether it's a bomb on a boat... Or a psychotic stalker that was once an old friend, there's no way in hell anything can ever tear them apart.
Because she's Santana, and Brittany's... Well, Brittany. And they're meant to be.
The end! God I've loved writing this fic so I've hoped you've enjoyed reading it!
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