Title: In Which Santana Does Not Do Worried

Rating: PG – mentions of homophobia and a physical assault but it's not graphic.

Summary: When Rory is attacked by the Hockey team, someone unexpected steps up to the plate. A fill for the Glee Angst Meme on LJ.


Kurt and Rachel are still arguing as they walk out the door and Blaine and Finn follow after them with fond, if bemused, expressions. Rory is gathering his things and when he looks up Tina and Mike are the only ones left, waiting for him patiently. Glee lasted a bit long, so it's only the Glee kids left in the school and some spare teachers so they're all in a particular hurry to get out of the school finally.

"Did either one of you follow anything Kurt and Rachel were saying?" Rory asks. Tina laughs and threads their arms together as they walk towards their lockers, which are grouped fairly close together.

"I got something about icons and knowledge and musicals, but beyond that? No, not really." Mike says good-naturedly from Tina's other side. Quinn flashes the group a small smile as she rushes by them and Rory waves at Sam, whom he sees down the hall. Sam grins and offers him a brief wave before rushing off after Mercedes, who's almost out of the building.

Rory's smiling as he opens his locker and grabs some books he'll need for his homework that night and briefly touches a picture of his Ma before swinging the door shut. Tina is hunting in her locker for something while Mike holds first her bag, then some books, then some...candles? American girls are weird. Then again, Tina doesn't seem to be the norm... maybe she's just odd? Why would you have candles in your locker? What would you need them for? Maybe she's Wiccan. Does that mean she's a witch, because Ma would probably not be happy with me being friends with a witch...

"Hey, Rory, sorry I think I left something in the choir room; feel free to start heading home without us, I'm sure you have things to do." Tina says as she accepts all her things back from her boyfriend, stuffing some papers and books into her bag before she closes her locker. Rory adjusts the strap on his bag before giving her a smile.

"I'll wait by the doors, if you take too long, I'll go on ahead." He says and Tina grins at him before her and Mike head back to the choir room while Rory starts walking towards the doors.

He's sitting on the steps for all of a minute when the hockey team turns the corner and spots him. He groans and stands, remembering that Kurt says it's better to be standing when in confrontations – "That way you can be aware of everything around you and run if need be. Never think that you're somehow a coward for tactfully getting yourself out of harms way."

"Hey, fairy-boy. Where's your boyfriend?" One of them jeers. A few of the guys behind him cheer and snicker. Rory sighs and starts to make his way down, to just walk home. If he ignores them, he gives them no power; that's what Mr. Schue says. Bullying is just ignorance and a show of low intellect, that's what Kurt says.

"Hey, I'm talking to you. What's the matter, fag?" The jeering one continues, swaggering forward and towards Rory. The other jocks smirk and walk forward behind him, presenting a united front. One of them cracks his knuckles. Rory stops, fear turning his stomach into ice, and suddenly he feels so helpless. He can take name-calling in the locker room, usually he has Artie or Finn to tell Rory that whomever insulted him is a jerk; he can take slushies because Kurt or Blaine are usually there to steer him into a bathroom and let him vent; but he's alone now. And there's no one around to help him if he needs it. And his parents are an ocean away and he just wants his Ma.

"Never think that you're somehow a coward for tactfully getting yourself out of harms way. But always remember: in someways, the McKinley Jock is like a wild animal. Do not make it into a game of cat and mouse."

Rory runs.

XXX

Tina and Mike finally manage to make it out of McKinley and the elderly janitor smiles at them before closing the doors and they can hear a lock slide into place.

"I can't believe you brought that to school and then left it in the choir room." Mike says, arm around Tina as he looks around for Rory.

"Yes, yes, I heard you the first time, sweets." Tina says, her voice teasing. "Rory must have left without us." She comments. Mike snorts.

"He might not have if you hadn't taken so long to find it." Mike says, fingers dancing down Tina's side. Tina squawks and Mike engages in a short game of Tickle-Tina, before she manages to wiggle away from him.

"Oh, this means war, Mike Chang. I hope you're prepared to run!"

Mike leaps down the remaining steps and takes off in the direction of their houses, heart fluttering when he hears Tina give a battle cry and dash after him.

It's a pity they happened to live in the opposite direction than the football field – if not, they would have seen Rory's discarded bag and known that he did not simply start home without them.

XXX

His Ma is sitting near the fireplace in her rocker, knitting. Seamus is sitting on the couch, frantically writing and checking books every so often. Their dog is sleeping near Ma's rocker and the room is warm and homey.

"Come here, Rory, I need to check my measurements, you grow so quickly." His Ma says quietly, not even looking up from her knitting. Rory moves forward and only when he's centimeters away does she look up and smile at him. She holds the knitting up to him, clicking her tongue.

"You're getting so big in America. So handsome, I bet you get all the girls and boys a flutter." She says, reaching up and pinching his check. He ducks away, whining.

"Ma!"

But she's gone. And so are Seamus and their dog. He looks around frantically for them, but the room stays empty. And as he rushes to the other room the floor falls out from under him and he goes falling, utterly terrified and suddenly lands.

Hard. And with a crunch that makes him scream and he's pretty sure he's crying and he's never hurt so –

Rory blinks his eyes open and it feels like his head is about to rip itself apart. His right eye hurts and his arms feel…weird, tingly and achy, like he fell asleep with them at a strange angles.

Eventually he realizes that he's on his side and rolls over onto his back. He recognizes the underside of the McKinley bleachers and sits up, intending on walking back to the Pierces and trying to piece together what had happened. Pain shoots through his left leg as he tries to move it and his back hurts and

He remembers running and hearing them chasing him and thinking himself an idiot because he just turned this into a game of cat and mouse, just like Kurt warned him never to do. He remembers one of them grabbing his bag, so he shrugged it off and continued to run but then there was a hand around the back of his shirt and he gagged and…

They hit him. Threw him down like he was nothing and hit him, calling him names and shouting and he raised his arms to cover his face

He looks at his arms now and finds bruises, black and blue and purple, and no wonder his arms feel strange.

They kicked at him too and shouted and "fag! Go back to your own country! No one wants you here! Bet you only came for American cock, huh fag? Fucking pussy! Always looking at us when we shower. Give you something to think about!"

He remembered one or two of them stomping down on his leg, like it was some sick kind of game, and then he heard something snap and fire and sheer agony ripped through him and he screamed and screamed and cried and cried and

He was crying now and he hurt and he just wanted his Ma to kiss it better. His finger dug at his pants, hoping that they didn't take his cell phone and he feels something in his pocket. He digs it out and the screen is cracked and please don't be broken, please God don't let it be broken, I can't move.

He holds it to his ear and merciful heavens it rings.

And rings.

And rings.

"What do you want, Babyface Gay?" Santana's biting voice cuts into his ear and Rory can't help it. The worse day of his life is just getting better! Of course she had to answer whomever it was he called – probably Brittany, since he knew for a fact he didn't have Santana's number programmed into his phone.

And he just loses it. He can feel himself just sobbing and his chest hurts from the way he's breathing all panicky and fast and his arms hurt and his leg is broken somehow and America sucks. He gets picked on all the time and the only ones that do anything about it are Kurt, Blaine, and Finn when they're there. And Finn only does stuff when it's physical, if it's verbal he just shrugs and walks away and Kurt and Blaine are awesome and they don't deserve to be afraid to hold hands and be adorable all the time, because they are – adorable he means. And America sucks and he has some friends but he misses his Ma and Santana is always mean and the majority of the school is mean to him and his friends and his teachers ignore the bullying that happens right in front of their noses and sometimes smile when it happens and America sucks.

"Hey…are you, like…okay?" Santana's voice comes out of the phone and it sounds so unlike her – gentle and hesitant – that he actually stops sobbing hysterically in shock.

"No, I'm not okay! Your country sucks and I want to go home and I hurt and I want my Ma!" He half screams at her.

"Yeah, our country sucks, tell me something I don't know – I live here, you think I don't know that? And what do you mean you hurt?" Santana says sounding, dare he say it, normal. More like she does when talking to Quinn or Tina. Like she's not about to say something mean or insulting.

"I hurt. My arms hurt and my leg hurts and is broken and my eye hurts! I hurt! It's not fair!" And he's off crying again, because his leg is throbbing and his head is throbbing and he's in so much pain.

"Hush, hush, Rory, hush. It's gonna be okay, you're going to be, just – " There's a scuffing sound and Rory is so beyond caring. He just cries for what seems like a long time. Santana hums and sings in his ear – first a lullaby, then a few songs Rory doesn't know the name to but sound nice even though they're in Spanish.

"Sweetie, I need you to tell me where you are." Santana says eventually, voice still soothing and soft.

"I'm under the bleachers." Rory mumbles out, sniffing and trying to ignore the throbbing pain in his leg.

"At McKinley?"

"Yeah. Sing to me again." He knows he sounds petulant, like a child, but he's starting to get drowsy and his leg hurts and he wants his Ma.

"What would you like to hear, Sweetie? I'll sing anything." Santana's voice is so gentle right now; it's really pretty when it isn't covered with viciousness and hostility.

"Do you know He's a Tramp, from Lady and the Tramp? I love that movie, it's so good, the puppies are so cute and so in love and ever since I heard you sing I've wondered how you'd sound singing it – you'd probably make it really fun. Brittany totally rocks singing as cats from the Aristocrats." He was going to continue but Santana started singing.

He's a tramp
But I love him
Breaks a new heart
Ev'ry day
He's a tramp
They adore him
And I only hope
He'll stay that way

He wondered if Santana would look good in bangs, like the ones the dog had that sang this song in the movie had.

He's a tramp
He's a scoundrel
He's a rounder
He's a cad
He's a tramp
But I love him
Yes, and even I
Have got it pretty bad

She was clearly having fun with this song, singing it as if she were on stage. He thought she'd probably sing this song in that red dress she wore for West Side Story – she had rocked that dress.

You can never tell
When he'll show up
He gives you
Plenty of trouble
I guess he's just a
No 'count pup
But I wish that he
Were double

When he was better, he was so watching this movie because he remembered this song being shorter. Oh, but considering the dog was blond maybe Santana should be in a yellow dress? Or a...hair-color-blond dress, whatever color that was.

He's a tramp
He's a rover
And there's nothing
More to say

Her voice sounds fairly closer now, which is odd but so is how dark it suddenly got. Santana pops out from nowhere and she is moving towards him and she looks so bright, mouth still moving as she finishes the song.

If he's a tramp
He's a good one
And I wish that I
Could travel his way

She kneels next to him and looks…worried? Her hand cards through his hair and it feels good and hurts at the same time and things go a little white at the edges but he thinks he sees Mrs. Pierce nearby before everything goes white.

XXX

He wakes up to the smell of cinnamon cookies and the feeling of softness beneath him. The colors swirl together briefly before focusing and he recognizes the ceiling of the Pierce's living room – the ceiling is recognizable because of the paintings of unicorns and flowers. He remembered Mr. Pierce telling him that Brittany and her little sister used to paint something on the ceiling every summer as a bonding experience, but they ran out of room.

As seconds pass, he realizes that there's something matting his hair down and his left leg feels heavy. Sitting up a bit, he sees that he's wearing a cast. It's bulky and makes his other leg look like a twig in comparison and the cast already has drawings on it. Little hearts and music notes in pink and glittery blue greet his eyes and make him smile.

Which twinges a bit on the right side of his face and when he reaches up to feel it, the skin feels swollen and aches just a bit at the touch. Right, they hit my face a few times. He feels way more lucid then he did under the bleachers and his fingers brush against gauze on his head and at least that explains why his hair feels matted down.

"Oh, you're awake." Taylor, Brittany's little sister, says from the doorway to the kitchen. Rory looks over at her and for a moment everything is still. Then she takes a step, then another, before stopping. "Santana says to be careful around you because you might be hurt more." She says. Rory blinks.

Guess I wasn't hallucinating her singing to me. That's...odd.

He's about to tell her he's fine but…well, that would be a blatant lie, wouldn't it?

"My mommy and daddy went to get your mommy and daddy at the airport. They thought they'd get back before you woke up, but they'll be here soon." Taylor says and she sounds so young he wants to hug her. Normally she sounds a little older, complaining about how her classmates are stupid and should grow up, but now she sounds exactly the way he imagined she would when he first met her – she's only ten after all.

"Tay, I told you to get me if he woke up; honestly, can't you follow simple instructions?" Santana's voice comes from the stairs, which are behind the couch, so Rory has to turn his head to look at her. Santana is walking down the stairs and she looks somewhat annoyed.

"And you, Babyface, lay down! You were just brought home this morning; you're supposed to be resting!" She snaps and the tone of her voice makes him flop back onto the couch. He goes to look at Taylor and finds that in the few seconds he was looking away she had teleported right next to the couch.

"When did you get there?" He says, startled. Taylor giggles at him.

"Oi, short-stuff, go grab him a blanket. We don't want him to freeze." Santana snaps at the girl, who rushes off immediately, and then he's left alone with Santana.

"Listen up, Babyface, you and I are going to have some words. Your parents are going to be here soon and they're gonna want to know what happened and shit. And you're going to tell them the truth, none of this martyr shit. And then you're going to tell them the names of the assholes that did this to you – and if you don't know then you're going to describe them and I'll name them – and hopefully they're gonna go to the police. And, if they aren't complete douchebags, the police are going to arrest those assholes for the crime of trying to break one of my toys. Are we clear?" Santana said, perching on the arm of the couch and leaning over him.

He wants to object. He wants to say he's not her toy and to tell her to stop calling him names but…he remembers her voice, singing to him and calming him down. And, oddly enough, he thinks she's actually trying to be nice. She told Taylor to go get him a blanket, didn't she? That meant she was worried he was cold. She told him to lie down, because she was worried about him, right? So…therefore…she was worried. About him. Meaning, she liked him, as a friend, and this was just her way of showing it, right?

Taylor came back in the room then with one of Brittany's many, many blankets and Santana grabbed it from her to throw over Rory. Taylor tugged the end so it covered his feet and then Santana arranged it so it wasn't too loose over him while Rory held very still because this was a little strange.

"Munchkin, either sit or go to your room, don't just hover there like a specter." Santana said to Taylor, moving to sit in a chair facing Rory. Taylor huffed before she left the room and once again Rory was left alone with Santana.

"Your phone's screen was majorly wrecked so I swapped your SIM card into an old phone of mine. Mrs. Pierce called your phone company and they're going to mail you a new phone. When it gets here, just swap the SIM card again. They don't charge you, so don't freak out about it. You'll still have all your contacts and shit – Puck and I used to have to get new phones every six months because our sexts would be too hot for the circuits. Or, you know, he'd drop his in a pool and I'd run mine over accidentally. Same thing." Santana finished with a wave of her hand.

Rory just looks at her dumbly for a few seconds, not sure how to deal with a Santana that is joking with him. He's about to respond when he hears the front door open.

"Rory!" His Ma exclaims upon turning the corner and seeing him. She shoves her bag into his Pa's stomach and rushes forward to engulf him in a hug. She still smells like wind and home and he's so glad she's there he could cry.

"My poor baby, Mummy's here, it's all okay, it's going to be okay. My poor baby boy, never should have let you do this, this is all your father's fault, he talked me into it, my poor baby!" She wailed, clutching him to her and crying.

"Ma, Ma, I'm not dead! And, yeah, this sucked but it hasn't all been bad." He says into her neck as she doesn't let go of him.

"Alana, let the boy breathe." His Pa says from a chair next to the one Santana – who had Brittany on her lap – was sitting on. His Ma quieted down, smoothing his hair to the side and out of his eyes, looking ready to burst into tears again.

"What happened, luv?" His Ma asks, looking at him with the eyes he inherited from her, and he wants to cry. Instead, he tells her what happened.

XXX

The Police came by the next day. They had taken pictures when he was in the hospital, but since he had either been unconscious or so doped up on pain medication that he doesn't even remember the hospital, they couldn't ask him any questions. They asked him things like "did you see your attackers?" and "did you do anything to provoke them?" and "do you know why they did this?" Santana, true to her word, filled in the individual names to the faces of the hockey players he described and eventually the police left.

His first visitors, besides Santana, were Kurt and Blaine. They had skipped their last classes to come see him, which made Rory feel very special. They talked about how Sam and Mercedes were still dancing around each other – "Honestly, it's like watching a less annoying version of the Finchel 'will they or won't they?' And by less annoying I mean it's not happening constantly and loudly wherever we look." – and how much the Glee club missed him and wished him a speedy recovery.

The strangest thing, however, was the texting. From Santana. Who put herself into his new phone (he totally liked this one better; it was green and smooth and had a touch screen!) as "Spicy Peggy Lee". Their first conversation, over a time when Rory knew she was supposed to be in class, was spent arguing over whether Santana was hotter than Peggy Lee. Like, actually arguing because when he tried to say she was "just as beautiful" as Peggy was back in her days Santana said that if he didn't give her "his real opinion" she's cut his manhood off! Which lead to their second conversation which was if it was even fair to compare Santana to Peggy Lee just based on what he had wanted her to sing when he was heavily concussed.

Kurt and Blaine left in time to make it back to school as glee started, which probably spoke volumes about the standards of education McKinley had considering that both Blaine and Kurt were straight A students. And they weren't even concerned about missing any material, but were more concerned about missing glee club.

and once again tike start making out in practice and all that happens is schue pulls them apart. klaine leans and schue splits us into groups for practice...conincidence? Santana's most recent text read.

Probably, the world isn't always a conspirancy, Spicy.

hah, shows what you know. imma bring cookies w me when I come over 2day u can only have 7, anymore and I cut u.

And life went on. His Ma and Pa pressed charges against the hockey team, who were then rounded up and charged with assault. McKinley went on being it's usual charming self, which pissed off every member of New Directions because of course there was no reform of the so called "bully policy" that existed at the high school, and Santana and Rory continued to have an odd, almost cutting, almost fond friendship and eventually Rory's leg healed, along with his swollen eye and cut up head. By the end of the year, Rory finally understood what a few of the members meant about New Directions being a family – they were all like siblings. They argued, they said stupid stuff to each other, they hurt each other's feelings, they loved one another, and they were always there for each other when bad things happened.

And when the time would come for him to leave America and go back home, he knew he'd miss his substitute family.


A/N: I know, abrupt ending, but since the prompt was just for Rory and Santana being friends in Rory's time of need, I ended it there.