Santana loved running. She would never admit it to anyone but sometimes she would pretend that she was Pocahontas from that Disney movie and she would run everywhere she could just to feel the wind in her hair. She did kind of look like her- well a lot more than all those other girly girls in the cartoons she pretended not to like because her older brother would make fun of her for it. Her favourite place to run was the park because it was such a wide open space and she could run around for what felt like hours on end, feeling absolutely free like nothing in the world could ever catch up to her.
But then again the park always proved more distracting than other places because she could constantly hear the sounds of all the other children laughing together on the big climbing frame in the centre of the playground.
The thing was that Santana didn't have any friends- not ones who weren't family members anyway; the real kind who she'd had a chance to choose for herself. It wasn't that she was lonely or anything, but her efforts of finding her very own Meeko was just not turning out for her- she didn't even know what kind of animal he was and the closest she'd come to finding one was stumbling across a few neighbourhood cats which kind of resembled him. But cats and Santana did not get along at all; no matter how hard she tried to entice a cat to let her pat them, all the hair on the back of their neck would always rise and then it would start hissing at her until Santana was forced to back away. It was a little weird since dogs seemed to love Santana and often started following her wherever she went. She often wondered why dogs liked her so much when cats didn't but her parents would always brush her concerns aside with a statement like , 'It's in your blood dear, you can't help it,' and she'd be forced to accept it. She figured she could always find a willing dog to be her friend- they liked to run a lot like her too. But she really wanted to be more like Pocahontas, whose best friend was Meeko- and Meeko definitely wasn't a dog…
So really, finding her John Smith was her only other option.
Santana stopped running abruptly and turned her attention on the playground nearby. She needed to make a friend- one who was preferably a boy and with blonde hair, just like John Smith.
She scanned the playing children quickly, a frown beginning to take over her face as she realised there was absolutely no blondes to be seen anywhere. She was about to completely give up on finding John Smith when a flash of bright blonde hair darted across her vision as a small girl slid out from the bottom of the slippery dip to land gracefully on her feet and immediately took off in the direction of the monkey bars.
"Hey wait!" Santana called as she ran after the bouncing blonde head of curls.
The girl was fast and by the time Santana caught up to her she was already hanging from the monkey bars, expertly swinging from one bar to the next.
Santana froze as she took in the sight of the girl swinging her way across the play equipment up above her. She realised her heart was beating super fast- way faster than it should have been after such a short sprint and it wasn't until she felt the stinging in her kneecaps that she noticed she'd fallen to her knees in the bark meant to soften the ground below the play structure. She couldn't tear her eyes away from the blonde however and her vision actually began to blur around the edges so that only the blonde remained vividly in focus.
"What…?" Santana tried to voice the indescribable feeling taking over her body.
It was like she couldn't breathe properly - or rather like she hadn't been breathing properly all her life until just this very moment and her lungs were extremely grateful that she was finally getting it right.
She felt like how she feels when she's running around wildly without a care in the world, except this time instead of running for the sake of running, for the first time ever she felt like she knew where she was running to; like her running had a purpose.
Her staring must have caught the blonde's attention because the girl stopped swinging and hung perfectly still halfway across the monkey bars to look down at Santana with interest.
The moment blue eyes locked onto hers, Santana gasped as everything she was experiencing increased by the tenfold. Her small body could barely contain it all. She felt like fainting but couldn't allow for that to happen because it would mean taking her eyes off the blonde.
Her face was burning like she'd spent far too long out in the sun and for a moment or two Santana was certain this girl was the true sun and that the big ball in the sky was only posing; she was so bright it hurt to look at her but she couldn't bear to tear her eyes away.
But then a concerned look took over the blonde's face and Santana could only watch in slow motion as the blonde glanced up at her hands in time to see one hand slip from its hold on the bar overhead. The blonde bit her lip worriedly as her body swung precariously back and forth from the loss of balance and she stared up at her other hand which was only just still managing to hold on.
Both girls watched as the blonde's grip slowly failed and she began to slip…
And Santana could only watch in horror as she fell.
It wasn't like it was that far down really, but the girl was only halfway across the monkey bars so it wasn't like she was simply jumping down onto one of the platforms on either end- there was a considerable drop involved in the middle that would surely look scary when you're way up there and holding on with all your might because you don't really want to fall.
Santana really didn't want the girl to hurt herself and before she even realised she'd moved Santana was standing directly below the falling blonde ready to catch her. She was sure she'd never moved so fast before even though she'd only moved a couple of steps.
The blonde landed directly on top of Santana, who being smaller in stature fell backwards breaking the blonde's fall rather than successfully catching her as she planned.
Her tailbone hurt a lot where she'd jarred it as she fell but the sensation was dull compared to the concern she felt for the girl on top of her.
The blonde seemed to share her concern as soon as she recovered from the surprise of landing on someone and she quickly rolled off Santana to hover over her where she lay in the dirt and bark.
"Are you okay?" The blonde asked with wide eyes.
Santana nodded feeling mute all of a sudden as her eyes raked over the blonde's face up close like she was trying to memorise it.
She was bombarded with the feeling that she knew this girl even though she'd never met her before in her life.
"Why'd you run under me?" The blonde asked in confusion since it seemed like an odd thing for someone- especially a stranger- to do.
"I didn't want you to get hurt," Santana admitted shyly.
"You're silly," The blonde announced as her nose scrunched up in amusement. "But I like you. Thanks for saving me."
The blonde scrambled to her feet and then pulled Santana up as well.
Santana wanted to tell the blonde that she liked her too but the words got caught in her throat. She felt normal again; her body wasn't freaking out any more since she'd been knocked over but her undivided attention remained focused on the blonde. She noticed the blonde was still holding her hand from when she'd helped her stand up and she grinned happily because surely this meant they were now friends.
"I'm Santana," Santana introduced herself enthusiastically as she shook the hand she already held just the way she'd seen her parents do.
This seemed to make the blonde giggle and Santana grinned even wider at the sound. Seeing the blonde happy made her feel even happier.
"I'm Brittany," The blonde replied returning the handshake.
Santana was about to ask Brittany if she wanted to play Pocahontas and John Smith with her when she heard her mother calling out to her.
"Santana! It's time to go now!" Santana's mother called as she walked closer, hand in hand with Santana's father.
Santana frowned as she looked from her approaching parents back to Brittany.
"I have to go," Santana announced solemnly.
She dropped Brittany's hand and frowned even deeper when an overwhelming sadness filled her body.
"Bye," Brittany squeaked looking disappointed.
Santana felt like crying at the look on Brittany's face and she quickly turned her back on the girl not wanting to look silly. She took a few quick steps towards her parents away from Brittany and cried out in pain as the hurt in her bottom returned as well as a deep clenching in her stomach. Santana didn't know what was happening but she felt like she was being pulled apart and immediately stopped moving to clutch at her tummy. In fact the more she thought about it she hurt all over but it wasn't like a painful hurt… it was more of a hollow, aching kind of hurt. She felt empty like all her insides were missing even though that was impossible because she could feel her heart racing again.
Santana closed her eyes trying to will the pain away and when it was suddenly gone just as soon as it appeared she opened them again to see Brittany standing in front of her with a panicked look on her face. Her closeness was warm and reassuring so Santana stepped even closer to her, clinging to the happiness that flooded her body.
"Santana, are you okay?" Brittany asked, seeming far more serious this time than when she asked the same question of her only minutes earlier.
But Santana felt fine now so she answered the same way she did then, with a nod.
Her mother called out to her again, insistently grabbing Santana's attention once more so she shrugged apologetically and took a hesitant step around Brittany only to squeak when her body began to tremble signalling that the pain would return if she moved any further. She immediately jumped back in Brittany's direction and unabashedly threw her arms around Brittany's neck understanding immediately that Brittany had the power to make her feel better.
Brittany wanted to laugh at Santana's antics but she could tell the smaller girl was scared so she instinctively curled her arms around her and held on tight.
By now Santana's parents were only a few steps away looking impatient.
"Come on now Santana, say good bye to your little friend. It's time to go home now," Santana's mother instructed.
Santana shook her head not wanting to move a muscle. She felt so safe in Brittany's arms.
"Now, now Santana…" Santana's father chastised in his stern, authority-filled voice, "You can play together another day."
Santana began to cry; she didn't want her parents to be cranky at her but she didn't want to risk moving either. She was so torn about what to do.
"I can't," Santana sobbed, taking security in the way Brittany gently rubbed her back. "It hurts."
Santana's parents looked at the two girls clinging desperately to one another, noting of course that they'd never seen the little blonde girl before, making her a practical stranger to their daughter. For the independent Santana they knew so well to strike up such an intense bond with a complete stranger so quickly, it could only really mean one thing, as unlikely and unexpected as that seemed…
Santana's parents shared a worried frown.
A.N: Something a little different! So i'm not really a fan of the Twilight books but I do watch the movies and the whole idea of "imprinting" intrigued me quite a bit. I don't think you need to be a fan of Twilight to understand what I'm getting at with this story and I do intend to delve deeper into more of an explanation of how it all works in later chapters as I've taken a few liberties with the concept of "imprinting" as it is used in Stephenie Meyer's books to better suit my story. So i'm not in any way trying to offend Twilight fans, just borrowing a cool idea and tweaking it to my needs a bit. Santana won't be appearing as a physical werewolf in this story so it's not going to be too out there in a fantasy sort of way- her ability to imprint has merely been passed on through her genes from her ancestors who perhaps were able to shape shift as the werewolves do in Twilight.