I do not own Glee or any of the original characters, It all belongs to RIB and Fox. Any characters you don't recognise are my own creations.

So, yeah, this is off of hiatus. I'm hoping to update it regularly and I hope you guys are still interested in this story.

Thank you for all of the reviews for the previous chapters, I really appreciate the feedback.

Thank you to N.

R&R please.

Chapter 23

Santana carefully lowers herself into one of the overstuffed armchairs in the library, forcing herself not to wince as her sensitive behind meets the firm cushion. It's been two days since her punishment ended, but she's still feeling extremely tender and sore. It's definitely leaving a lasting impression on her and she learned a very valuable lesson; when Quinn promises or threatens her...take her word for it. At least it's now over. It's one less thing they have to worry about. Of course, everything else in their lives is still a source of concern. They're still staying at the beach house, and Brittany is still staying with them, which means emotions are running very high inside the house. Santana never thought she'd ever feel relieved to go to school, and she'd never thought it would be an escape for her. She wiggles a little, attempting to get comforting, before realizing it's futile. She's only going to be comfortable if she isn't sitting on her ass.

"Hey, honey." Santana looks up from her book when she hears Rachel's voice, a smile spreading across her face.

"Well if it isn't my favorite tiny person," Santana grins, dramatically puckering her lips and waiting for Rachel to kiss her, a victorious smirk tugging at the corner of her mouth when Rachel complies.

"How are you feeling?" Rachel asks, sitting down on the chair next to Santana.

"A little better, I guess," Santana shrugs. "It still sucks to sit down, though." Rachel pouts sympathetically and gently squeezes Santana's knee. "It could be worse, plastic is easier to handle than wood," Santana murmurs, glancing around them to make sure that no one is listening. "Have you seen Brittany today?"

"No, I was actually going to ask you the same thing. I'm a little worried about her," Rachel states softly. "When I saw that she was gone this morning I just assumed she had came to school a little early, but nobody has seen her," Rachel shrugs. "It's strange, it's not like her at all," she adds with a frown. "She usually tells us if she's going somewhere."

"Well, she probably feels like she doesn't have to anymore," Santana tells her gently. "After all, she's not our girlfriend. She's just kinda..well, our roommate, I guess," Santana sighs. "Ugh, everything is just so fucking messed up!" Rachel nods and rubs Santana's knee reassuringly. "Maybe we should call Quinn, see if she has seen Brittany anywhere?"

"Quinn will be here soon, she's just talking to her professor about an assignment and then she's coming to meet us," Rachel tells us. "I didn't think to ask her about Brittany, she seemed a little stressed out about the assignment. And I already tried calling Brittany, but she didn't answer."

"You don't think she's with Nathan, do you?" Santana questions warily, worrying her bottom lip between her teeth.

"No, he's over there." Rachel jerks her head in the direction of one of the back corners of the library. Santana follows her gaze, and her expression darkens.

"Asshole." Santana glares darkly across the library at the man she views as the devil. The man who had beaten Brittany and made her believe she was worthless. He's evil, and he doesn't deserve to even have good memories with Brittany.

"Don't do anything," Rachel tells her lowly, a hint of warning in her tone. "Just stay where you are, or we can leave, but don't do anything. He's not worth you getting yourself into trouble, either with us or with the police," she adds gently, watching her girlfriend carefully. Santana meets her gaze, and the glare softens..Santana's whole body relaxing as she does everything in her power to calm down.

"You're right," Santana murmurs, sinking backwards in the chair and grimacing when the movement causes her jeans and underwear to chafe against her sensitive behind. A perfectly timed reminder of why it isn't a good idea to lash out at Nathan. "At least we know where he is, which is a good thing considering Britt seems to have gone AWOL." Rachel nods, sighing softly as she watches Nathan out of the corner of her eyes. It gives her a great deal of satisfaction to see that his friends are sitting nowhere near him, they obviously don't want to have anything to do with him after finding out about what he did. Good. He doesn't deserve to have friends who'll have his back.

"Although, I wouldn't mind if karma decided to push him into the path of a speeding truck," Rachel mutters darkly.

"You and me both, baby girl." Santana reaches out and takes a hold of Rachel's hand, their joined hands swinging in between their chairs. Santana stifles a yawn as they wait for Quinn to join them. She wants nothing more than to go back to the beach house and crawl into bed for the next few hours, but she just knows she won't get to do that. Her gut is telling her that something is going on. Something not good. Rachel's cell phone chirps and Santana pulls herself away from her thoughts to look across at her girlfriend. "Quinn?"

"Yeah, she's waiting for us in the car," Rachel tells her, standing up and holding out her hand for Santana to take. Santana allows Rachel to pull her to her feet, and she shoots Nathan another dark look as she is led out of the library. "Promise me you won't go near him," Rachel murmurs as they walk hand in hand down the hallways. "Please don't let your temper get the best of you again, he could really hurt you," Rachel pleads softly.

"Don't worry, baby girl," Santana states gently, leaning across to kiss Rachel's temple. "I've learned my lesson about expressing my anger in the wrong way," she adds, playfully bumping hips with Rachel and causing the shorter woman to stumble slightly. "Oh, sorry, short stuff."

"Yeah, I bet you are."

0-00-0

Quinn sighs softly as she peeks into the guest room, not at all surprised to see that Brittany isn't in there. She's beginning to get really worried now. Brittany has changed, but it is still very strange for her to just disappear without telling anyone. Brittany usually answers her cell phone, or at least texts to say that she can't talk at the moment, but they've been trying to get a hold of her for almost two hours now and...nothing. If she wasn't so worried, Quinn would be pissed about it. She understands that Brittany is no longer their girlfriend, and that means they've lost some rights, but they still deserve to know that she's okay. Stepping into the bedroom, Quinn checks the closet just to ensure that Brittany's clothes are still there, and she is relieved to see that they are. At least she hasn't done something silly and run away.

"Rach is checking the beach." Quinn turns around to see Santana leaning against the door frame, her arms folded across her chest. "I'm worried, Q."

"I know, babe. I am too," Quinn murmurs, sitting down on the edge of the guest bed. "Brittany just seems so..."

"Sad, broken, so unlike herself?" Santana supplies. "Yeah, I noticed," she remarks. "He broke her, and the one thing she needs is the one thing we no longer have the right to give her," Santana mutters. Quinn raises her brow, a silent questions. "Rules, stability..discipline," Santana clarifies. "She's at war with herself, and she's clearly very lost. I think she's struggling without our arrangement...without us."

"You're probably right, San, but it's not our place to say that," Quinn chastises gently.

"Then whose place is it?" Santana retorts. "What, we're just going to watch as she continues on this downward spiral? Keeping our mouths shut because it might feel a little awkward?" she asks gruffly.

"We could make her feel worse," Quinn counters. "Her head has gotta be all over the place, do we really want to pile this onto her as well? And not to mention what it could do us to drag up the past," she comments. "Do you really think we could all just sit around and talk about this over some coffee and then feel perfectly okay?" Quinn questions incredulously. "Our relationship was almost destroyed when she left us, it took us a long time to get back on track. If we have this conversation with her it could hurt us, and it could hurt Brittany," Quinn explains, her voice much softer this time. She studies Santana's features, watching as the stubborn gaze in her dark eyes slowly dissipates. Sighing softly, Quinn stands up and walks across the bedroom to take her girlfriend into her arms, hugging her tightly. "We will look out for her, and we will take care of her as best we can, but it's too soon to bring all of that up, sweetheart," Quinn whispers to her. "Don't get me wrong, baby, I love that you are still so protective of Brittany. I am as well, but give it some time. Give Brittany some time. She may surprise us."

"Yeah," Santana sighs, leaning into Quinn's embrace and laying her head on her shoulder. "You're right, I just...I'm scared, I guess."

"I know you are. We all are," Quinn murmurs. "Let's just see how things go." Quinn pulls away from Santana when her cell phone blares into the almost silent room. "It's Rachel," Quinn says as she glances down at the screen. Santana watches, and listens, as Quinn accepts the call, a frown appearing on Quinn's features. Santana begins to feel nervous when Quinn's frown deepens, her brow furrowing as she silently stares at Quinn. "We'll be right there, Rach."

"What is it? Is it Brittany? Is she okay?!" Santana bombards Quinn with questions as soon as she ends the call, her pulse quickening.

"Brittany's on the beach. Rachel says she's okay, but she's drunk and she's bleeding."

To be continued...

This is just a small chapter to get me back into the swing of writing this fic. Who knew spending 10 months away from a story could make it so hard to pick up again! ;-)

Please review, and please let me know if you guys are still interested in this story. Future chapters will be longer.