A/N: I know you're probably waiting for CYFTG, and I promise that there's another chapter in the works. But this... I couldn't let it go. People kept commenting on sexual chemistry and tension and just... why? Why, when the song and just the video in general is so obviously not? The song is about violence against women. The video when she keeps pushing and running away but he never stops. I didn't know how to really explain what it was about, what I saw, but I tried.
I need to stop caring about what fandom thinks, but sometimes I just can't. Warning for triggers of rape.
From the moment she shouldered into the bathroom, hair tainted red and body shivering, she knew it was a bad idea.
Santana angrily wiped the stinging syrup from her eyes, jaw chattering as she fumbled with the buttons of her suit to free herself from the worst of it. The aftermaths of the performance turned her skin numb, unease crawling up her spine as she licked her frozen lips and remembered his eyes on her body.
There was something wrong about it. It wasn't sexual, no - it was something else. Something that spoke of secret violence, a lifetime of no advantages, pacing in circles without having the power to leave the convoluted dance she'd been trapped in. Of living in a place where it wasn't okay to win.
She stripped out of the ruined black fabric (two hundred bucks down the drain, that fucker) and tossed it into one of the sinks, smacking the tap with her other hand and letting it heat to scalding. She ignored the way the water seared her skin, fought through the burn as it hit her chilled body. Instead, the white noise from the rushing water soothed her lingering discomfort in a way that was almost therapeutic, and the sink turned distinctly red as she spat the remnants of her bittersweet victory down the drain.
Over her career of manipulation, she had been privy to many of the things that the world had to offer. She'd probably made up a few of them in her haste to get to the top - all sultry eyes and a vicious grin camouflaged as sincere; trailing fingers and stares in all the right places. But even the memory of his glare on her skin made her jaw clench with an invisible tension along the defined curls of her muscles, dunking her face back into the spray in an effort to wipe it all away. How the harder she pushed to keep up her walls, the more aggravated he got in his quest to strip them all away. Though the air between them was thick and so strong she could have reached out to touch the tendrils, there was nothing seductive about it.
In a futile attempt to forget she slammed the faucet to unbearable, dug her nails into the cheap countertop as she tried to resist baring her teeth. Everything about this was wrong. She was supposed to be gone now, safe with her evidence and smug satisfaction, not this growing shudder of somebody watching her from places she couldn't see-
A squeak of a shoe against the flooring and she jerked back from the stream, hair dripping and face crimson. From the mirror all she could see is a silhouette in the quiet shadows, and the twinkle of two icy eyes peering out from the gloom. Something uncomfortably scared settled in the curl of her throat, but she pushed it down with practised patience and a mask only Brittany could see through.
"The fuck do you want?" Her voice was raw from the burn of frozen corn syrup, lips still tinged in an awkward bid between brown and red. He didn't answer, and from the dark she saw his gaze flicker quite obviously like it did back then.
Only now, she didn't have two angry musicians to rely on.
(Suddenly in her soaked top and lack of pants, Santana felt exposed in a way that was something so much worse than ever before.)
The silence let the terrified thing bloom from the clutches of her throat outwards, touching the depths of her stomach and starting its way through her bloodstream. Her eyebrows raised of their own accord as he took a step forward - everything from the hands behind his back to the sharp angles of his face was so very predatory that her feet shuffled back of their own volition. "You gonna just stand there like a creep or tell me what the hell you're doing? You might like the men, but this is the women's washroom, twink."
His body surged before she had time to blink and she forgot to move as her body impacted the cold walls. Despite her heels he was everywhere, around her and on top of her and beneath her, one leg spreading hers even as her nails fought to find purchase in his skin. She breathed in the smell of his cologne and it stung her tender throat, a budding scream in her lungs dampened down into a snarl as her foot slammed into his shin. But he didn't waver - the curl of his mouth was dark and angry as agile fingers wound their way into her dripping hair and tugged, the impact of her skull against the plaster stunning her into silence.
Sebastian's lips smashed against hers and she tasted the tang of blood, hot and sticky against her tongue. Somewhere inside she was screaming to fight back but it was erased away by the swirling in her head and how he eclipsed the fragile light of the room. Everything was too much at once - the fingers yanking at his pants, his breath a whirlwind against her wet face, the dull pain as his thigh rammed high between her legs until her pelvis jarred from the contact.
Before figuring out what really mattered, before Brittany, Santana had never said no. Not because she always wanted it, but because the illusion that she did gave her control over the other. Every stolen moment with a meaningless face let her feel the power thrum through her veins, washing away the shame and the doubt and the thought that always whispered quietly in the back of her head; nothing but a brush of air, the soft exhale of Brittany's breath by her ear.
But as it first passed her lips she found she couldn't stop, screaming it even when his fingers found their way over her mouth. She screamed like she was coming apart at the seams, thrashing and fighting the tears that viciously crept over her vision. His lips curled over the fragile shell of her ear, teeth sinking down as his sickeningly sweet breath swept across her damp skin and left horrified goosebumps in its wake.
"Nobody's going to hear you," he growled, low and rumbling with a lilt of amusement tainted by irritation. She could feel it trembling in his body, deep in his chest despite the steadiness of his hands. "you're never going to win."
A flash of pain and her body locked, fingers curling painfully tight against the walls as he thrust himself between her and spread her apart. He could see the bunching muscles in her jaw, working soundlessly to articulate something he didn't want to hear. The fact she couldn't touch the ground, how she was so small and fragile curled under him, the fear scrawled so blatantly across her caramel skin fueled his fire, fighting to right the injustice of her denial. He'd never been so offended by somebody who thought they could get away with it - somebody who didn't know that they are never safe.
"You're worthless. I'm taking this from you because you deserve it, pushing me and thinking I'll let it go."
She retreated into herself, resisted the urge to claw along her skin and trace away all traces of him. (There'd be time for that later.) Somewhere in her mind Santana turned to Saint Anne to Annie, patron saint of Brittany and why did being a saint mean being a martyr, why just another statistic, why her, why not?
(Little girls need to learn to keep calm, keep quiet, and never think they're better than they are.)
Even as his pounding shook her frame, Santana closed her eyes from the intrusion and found a flash of blonde hair in her memory. Brittany's smiling eyes filled her head, whispering to stay safe and that she was so, so, proud. She spoke in I love yous and calm, gentle murmurs that took her away from the searing pain and the humiliation.
A shuddering sigh, and her mind was nothing but blessed white.
She roused to the feel of a sticky warmth exploding under her navel, a fetid flower that wasn't ever meant to live. His teeth sunk into the starkness of her collarbone but she didn't twitch, caught in the haze where you forget who you're supposed to be. Sebastian held her gaze for a moment, eyes blank but so very dark. "Do you understand?" He said simply, zipping himself up. She stared but declined to comment, feeling him slip down her thighs.
His hand reached her neck and his face was angry again, seeking and unsatisfied. "Do you?" Santana closed her eyes before nodding brokenly, not needing to see the smirk that burned its way across her skin. As he disappeared from the bathroom, the only thing she could think of was that he didn't see her cry.
The first sob ripped from her throat when her fingers stuttered over the phone's buttons. It was quiet but raw, powerful as all the worst things are. As the ring sounded by her ear, it escalated until she couldn't tell her own voice from the echoes around her.
"Santana? Where are you?" A moment's delay through the phone before Brittany heard the noises. Santana's tears seared tracks into her face and her lungs wouldn't expand, caught in panic as the imaginary (and not) filth on her skin seemed to seep into her bones. "San? Baby, what's going on?"
"H-he-" Another cry, choked this time. Bile churned in her gut but uncurling herself felt like knives to her belly, a phantom motion bruising the delicate flesh of her thighs. Brittany became increasingly scared, cooing soft noises through the line to get a location. There was a mumbled notion of bathroom - incoherent, but the blonde always knew what Santana was trying to say. Her feet flew across the pavement as the cries in her ear sounded louder, terrified, almost howling down the line like she could dislodge the pain and throw it from her chest. She thought there were footsteps fading into the distance but she slammed her way through the halls, following now the frenzied beat of her own heart and her lover's cries for her arms.
Santana only knew it was her when her perfume overpowered his lingering stench, flinching away at first at the hands that mapped their way along her skin. Brittany took in the slushy still clinging to her hair, the little recorder sticking from the ruined jacket in the sink and the crumpled position - legs curled to her chest, shirt ripped, heliotrope necklace blooming like rotting roses - and tried to make sense of a world spinning out of control.
"Sweetheart, what did he-" She saw the trail seeping from Santana's thighs and stopped herself abruptly, tears swathing her own skin as she gathered the girl into her arms and rocked her back and forth until Santana was forced to surrender herself to exhaustion even as her whimpers rumble through her and break her apart for the world to see.
(Later on, she will wake to Brittany's horrified sobs as she clutches a little box in her hands that screams and cries in her stolen voice. Blonde will mix with black as she climbs over and presses desperate apologies to skin rubbed raw, lips seeking and sorry with the words she'll never know how to say. Santana trembles and understands that with Brittany, she's powerless for all the right reasons.)
She watched the fight simply drain out of them with badly repressed disbelief, standing crooked on the floor from the attempt of holding up her shields. Everything hurt - from her hair down the the ache of her bones, made impossible to walk without a limp. There were stares of accusation but she brushed them away, taking comfort in the firm anchor of Brittany's hand and the soft brush of their skin melding into one.
Everything about her touches were gentle and careful, apologetic in ways she didn't have to be. But Santana understood her guilt as she kissed the angry bruises along her collar and soothed the pain, even as she tried to rip the disgust from the flat expanse of her abdomen and the soft flesh of her inner thighs with nothing but bloodshed and tears.
Give up? They can't give up!
Maybe it was the painkillers she'd taken but she couldn't do anything but stare as they carefully deconstructed all the work she did for them, for him with words that should mean something but sound so hollow. Whatever lesson Kurt tried to instill in his rant disappeared the moment he declined her perfectly sound plot, mirroring Artie's mystification with a darker undertone.
"But I taped it to my underboob!"
And this way she can pass off fury for snark, hopelessness for irritation, that everybody in this fucking club preaches about being heard and speaking out, but constantly being silenced when she tries to do just that. That she was used, humiliated, violated with the possibility of sending him away, and now all that pain doesn't even have a horizon.
Anything to avoid Brittany's terrified eyes, cringing at the sharp click of the recorder before it speaks secrets it isn't allowed to tell.
(But they keep a copy, just in case. And when Sebastian is taken off stage in the middle of his performance for the rape of Santana Lopez to the gasps of the audience - well, she remembers the bittersweet taste of victory on her tongue and wonders whether his fingerprints will ever completely disappear.)