Disclaimer: Glee belogns to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.
Santana saw it first.
She saw Sebastian and his little prep school twits pull out the paper bag, clustering around cup as Sebastian lifted it out carefully, keeping his fingers away from the liquids inside. She saw Sebastian stride towards Kurt, the cup angled just so so Hummel wouldn't see it until it was too late.
Kurt smirked at Sebastian, lifting his chin like the stupid sassy rebel he was. She just gaped, close enough to grab at Sebastian's arm but not aware enough to do anything.
Sometimes she wondered how things would have turned out if she had just been smart enough to grab Sebastian's arm, rip his little blazer and spill the slushie over their own shoes instead. Ruined shoes were easier to replace.
But Blaine moved fast, faster than she would have expected. He planted his hand on Kurt's ribs and shoved, actually shoved him out the way. Kurt stumbled back with a startled little noise, skidding on the floor, and the slushie smashed into Blaine's face.
She cringed, waiting for the initial shocked cry of disgust. Poor little hobbit. His first slushie. It was never a pleasant experience.
And then Blaine screamed.
She'd never heard a scream like that before. She stared in frozen horror as Blaine slammed into the slushie-slick concrete, hands over his eyes, bellowing in pain. Sebastian just smiled, crooked and slimy, and turned to walk away, his pack of obedient blue-blazered puppies trotting at his heels.
"Oh my god," she heard Kurt whimper.
She turned to see Kurt falling on his knees beside his boyfriend, hands hovering anxiously just above Blaine's back, as if he was afraid to touch him. Blaine screamed, curling into the fetal position, his hands over his eyes.
"Oh god," Blaine sobbed. Kurt touched him gingerly, one hand on Blaine's arm and the other on his side, trying to coax him into rolling onto his back. "Oh god, oh god…"
Puck shifted his weight anxiously. "It was…it was just a slushie, right?" he said hesitantly.
"No one ever reacts like this," Kurt said, his voice breathless. He ran a shaking hand along Blaine's jawline. "Blaine? Blaine, honey, look at me. Please, just look at me."
Santana crouched down and touched the tip of her finger to the orange splatter on the ground. "Holy shit," she said, jerking her finger away. "Holy shit, that's not a slushie."
"Well, what is it?" Rachel demanded, her voice rising.
"I don't know, but if that was in my eyes, I'd be screaming too," Santana said.
Kurt rubbed Blaine's back. "We have to take him to the hospital," he said. He sounded like he was about to cry.
"I'll go too," Rachel said.
Finn took her by the arm and tugged her a little ways away, whispering loudly in her ear. Santana rolled her eyes. Kurt wrapped his arm around Blaine's shoulders and tried to lift him into a sitting position. "Someone help me get him to my car," he said, his voice trembling.
Santana touched his shoulder lightly. "Calm down, babyface, you don't have to do this by yourself," she said gently. Kurt was practically vibrating under her hand. "Puck, c'mere, give him a hand."
Kurt wrapped his arms around Blaine's stomach as Puck helped him heft Blaine to his feet. Blaine was crying in earnest, his eyes covered. "I can't see!" he sobbed hysterically. "I can't see!"
The others parted, giving them a wide berth. Puck bore most of Blaine's weight; Kurt seemed more concerned with calming his terrified boyfriend. "You're okay, you're going to be okay," Kurt kept saying, his quiet voice overamplified in the empty parking garage. "You're going to be okay, please don't cry…"
"What should we do?" Mike asked.
"The rest of you go on home," Santana said. "We've got this."
"I'm going with Kurt," Finn said, rejoining them with a sulking Rachel at his heels. "I'm going to keep in contact with Rachel, and she'll keep everyone else in the loop."
"I don't know why you won't let me go," Rachel muttered.
Finn squeezed her shoulders. "You're not good with crisis stuff like this," he whispered. "We got it, okay."
"I'm going too," Santana said. "Trust me, you guys need me." Blaine let out a piercing shriek as Puck and Kurt tried to lift him into the car; Santana shooed the others away. "Go on."
She caught Rory's arm as he passed by. "You make sure Brittany's okay, or I'll kill you. Understand?" Rory nodded dumbly. Santana patted him on the head and sent him on his way.
"You'll keep us updated," Rachel told Finn. It clearly wasn't a question.
"I will, I promise," Finn said.
Santana whistled. "Quinn, get over here," she said.
Quinn frowned. "Why me?" she asked.
Santana nodded towards Kurt, pale and trembling as he leaned against the side of the car. Quinn raised an eyebrow and walked towards the car. Santana smiled in satisfaction. Better put Quinn's annoying mama bear instincts to good use.
"Please, can't we hurry?" Kurt snapped, his nerves clearly frayed. "We have to go. Either you get in the car or I'm leaving you behind, because Blaine is in pain and I can't-"
"You're not driving," Finn said. "I'll drive."
"I'll copilot," Santana said, climbing into the passenger seat before anyone could argue. "Kurt, get in the back. Quinn, keep an eye on Kurt."
"I don't need a babysitter," Kurt spat, but he climbed into the backseat with Blaine, who was curled up tightly, still pressing his fists to his eyes.
Santana glanced back as the others buckled in and Finn pulled out in a squeal of tires. Kurt had gathered Blaine into his arms, pressing his head to his chest and dropping soft little kisses in his sticky hair as he idly rubbed his back. "You're okay, you're okay," he kept singsonging over the sound of Blaine's sobs. His soft soothing voice sounded loud in the silence.
Santana leaned back and pulled her phone out of her hoodie pocket. "Nobody pay attention to this," she said as she hit the speed dial. "Finn, turn right."
"Aren't we going to-"
"Go to Centennial," she said.
"But it's not the closest, shouldn't we-"
"Go to Centennial," she said flatly. The phone chimed in her ear before reverting to voicemail. She hung up, tried again. Same results.
"Fine, if that's the way you want to play," she mumbled under her breath. She punched in a number and waited.
"Hello, Centennial Hospital emergency."
"Hi, yes," she said. "Is Dr. DelMonico on staff this evening?"
"He is, why?"
Santana shifted towards the window. "Can you let him know that his daughter's on the phone, and that it's an emergency?" she said.
"But he doesn't-"
"I don't think you understand," she said. "It's an emergency. I need to talk to him now."
The receptionist let out a barely disguised huff. "I'll page him," she said.
Santana glanced in the rearview mirror. Kurt bent his head over Blaine's, still murmuring to him. Blaine cried into Kurt's knees, the sound rough and hoarse. Quinn stroked Blaine's hip, but she watched Kurt out of the corner of her eyes.
"Santana, I don't have time for this. If you need more money, you can always email me."
Santana rolled her eyes. "Hi, Daddy, yeah, I'm fine, how are you?" she said sharply.
Her father sighed. "Santana, I'm very busy," he said. "Can't this wait?"
"No, Daddy," she said. "I'm on my way to the emergency room."
"Why?" he asked. "Did you overdo it on wine coolers again? God, I've told Maria to stop leaving the key to the liquor cabinet around. She's going to kill you one of these days."
"First of all, Dad, Mom isn't doing anything to me, and second, if she did keep it locked, I could have it picked in a minute flat," Santana said. "It's not me. My friend…one of my friends from school, he got hurt. It's pretty bad."
"What kind of pretty bad?" her dad asked warily.
"Some prep school douchebag threw a slushie in his face," she said. "But it's not…it's not a normal slushie. It was tampered with. He's in a lot of pain, so we're bringing him into the ER."
Her dad sighed. "I'll get ready for him, then," he said. "What's his name?"
"Blaine Anderson. Thanks, Dad," she said stiffly. "We'll be there in ten minutes."
He hung up without the courtesy of a goodbye. Santana pressed her lips together and stowed her phone back in her hoodie pocket. "Good news," she said. "My dad's getting ready for Blaine. We probably won't have to wait at all."
"I didn't know your dad was a doctor," Finn remarked, both hands keeping a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel. "I thought you were from Lima Heights."
"I am, and he is," Santana said. "We're done. Capiche?"
"Sorry," Finn mumbled.
"Turn left there," she said, leaning back in her seat.
The last few minutes of the drive were tense. Too tense. She shifted position awkwardly, crossing one leg over the other. Blaine whined steadily, raw and painful. It was uncomfortable.
Finn pulled the Navigator into a spot at the front. Kurt kissed Blaine's cheek. "We're here, baby, we're here," he said. "Can you sit up? Can you try?"
Blaine struggled to obey. "I can't see," he gasped. "I can't see. Am I blind?"
Santana twisted in her seat, catching the anguished, terrified expression on Kurt's face. "Finn, get back there and help him," she ordered.
Finn pulled the backseat door open and forcibly lifted Blaine out of the car, his hands tucked under Blaine's arms. Kurt climbed out in a flash, his arms around Blaine's waist again. "I can't see," Blaine kept repeating, loud and terrified. "I can't see, I'm blind, it hurts."
Santana pulled the keys that Finn had left behind in the ignition and locked the doors, side by side with Quinn as they walked into the emergency room. She strode up to the front desk, Finn and Kurt straggling behind as they tried to support Blaine's limp weight. "I need to see Dr. DelMonico," she said. "I called ahead, he's expecting me."
The nurse at the desk frowned, then nodded. "I'll let him know you're here," she said. "Take a seat in the waiting room, he'll be up in a second."
She offered a barely polite smile in lieu of a thank you and sat down across from the boys, crossing one leg over the other. Blaine hunched over Kurt's knees, still covering his eyes and keening softly in pain. Kurt stroked his dark curls, his face stark white. "Shouldn't take too much longer," she said. "My dad's an ass, but he doesn't mess around when there's an actual patient."
Kurt bent over Blaine, fingers tangled in his hair. "Sh, don't cry," he crooned. "Crying's going to make it worse. Sh, sh, you're going to be all right."
"Hurts," Blaine whimpered. "My eye's on fire."
"Just don't cry," Kurt entreated, smoothing his thumb against his temple.
A nurse walked over to them. "Blaine Anderson?" she said.
"That's him," Finn said.
The nurse helped Blaine up, prying Kurt's arms away. "We're going to take him to triage," she said, shifting Blaine's dead weight from Kurt's lap to a nearby wheelchair.
"I'm going with him," Kurt said as he ran his hand soothingly up and down Blaine's arm.
The nurse frowned. "Honey, you eighteen?" she asked.
Kurt froze. "N-no, not till…not till April, but-"
"Sorry, hon. You have to be eighteen to go back into triage."
The color drained from Kurt's face. "But I…no, no, no, I have to go back with him," he cried. He twisted his fingers together. "I have to. Please, I'm almost eighteen, I'm very mature for my age, please, make an exception, just this once…"
"No can do."
Blaine reached out blindly, fumbling for Kurt's hand. "I need him," he said, his voice hoarse. "I need him."
"He's my boyfriend."
The nurse shot him a dirty look so pointed that it could have cut glass. Kurt's air caught in his throat. Santana flinched; it sounded painful. Finn placed his hand on Kurt's shoulder and squeezed gently. "I'll go," he said. "I turned eighteen last month. It'll be fine." Kurt nodded wordlessly, reaching up to tangle his fingers briefly in his brother's. Finn bent down and gripped Blaine's knee. "Blaine? I'm gonna go with you, okay? Kurt has to stay here, but I'll go."
Blaine nodded slightly. Finn straightened, leaned over to whisper something in Kurt's ear, and followed the nurse down the hall to triage. Kurt fell back into a seat, his whole body drooping, shoulders slumped. Quinn sat down beside him, running her hand up and down his arm.
"And now we wait," Santana said breezily. She slid her hands in the pockets of her jacket.
Kurt wrapped his arms tightly around his chest. "I need to be with him," he said in a small voice.
"Chill, porcelain, it's not like you can do anything," she said.
"I just don't want to leave him alone," Kurt snapped. "He doesn't even have his parents to-" His eyes widened. "His parents. Oh, god, I need to call his parents."
"Well, then call them," Santana shrugged.
"I can't, they're at a conference in Cincinnati," Kurt said, digging his fingers into the sleeves of his coat. "Oh, god…"
"Is there anyone else we can call?" Quinn asked, her voice low and soothing as she rubbed his leg.
"His sister," Kurt said. "His sister's in town, I can call her…oh, god, what am I going to say?"
"Give me your phone. I'll call," Quinn said.
Kurt fumbled to get his phone out of his pocket. "She's in my contacts," he said. "Francey Anderson. She might not answer, but she always answers texts, so…"
Quinn took the phone and walked towards the hall, already dialing. Kurt leaned over, dropping his head in his hands. Santana cleared her throat. "He's going to be fine," she said. "My dad might be an ass who disagrees about everything and doesn't remember my birthday, but he's a damn good doctor."
"They're his friends," Kurt whispered.
"The Garglers?" Santana scoffed. "If those are his friends, I'd hate to see his enemies."
"The Warblers have been his support system for the past three years," Kurt snapped. "He trusted them. He relied on them." He pushed himself to his feet and began to pace up and down like an anxious panther. "But it's not them. It's…it's Sebastian."
"What did you ever do to him?" Santana asked.
Kurt laughed, short and bitter. "I exist," he said. "He…he wants Blaine. He's pissed that he's my boyfriend. He's pissed that I took his talent away from the Warblers. He's pissed that I…I don't even know. He just hates me."
Enough to throw a tainted slushie in your face, Santana's mind supplied helpfully. She shifted her weight uncomfortably in her seat. That slushie wasn't angled for Blaine, it was angled for Kurt. Sebastian wanted to make him suffer. To make him hurt. To make Blaine watch.
Vicious little bastard, she thought.
Quinn walked back towards them and handed Kurt his phone. "I think she's on her way," she said. "I'm not quite sure. She was pretty calm until I told her Blaine was in the emergency room…and then…well, I didn't know you could conjugate obscenities like that."
"She's a little overprotective," Kurt said, sliding his phone in his back pocket as he continued to pace. "The whole family is. Of Blaine." He heaved a frustrated sigh. "God, how long as we supposed to wait?"
"Until they're done," Quinn said. "Sit down."
"Are they going to make him stay overnight?" Kurt worried.
"I don't know. Sit down."
"Will he need surgery?"
"I don't know, but for the love of God, Kurt, sit down," Quinn ordered, grabbing him by the wrist and yanking him down to the seat beside her.
"I don't need to sit, I need to do something," Kurt seethed.
Santana sat up. "Revenge?" she said. "That's my specialty."
The angry blaze in Kurt's eyes dimmed. "I shouldn't stoop to Sebastian's level," he said. "I mean…if I retaliate, things are only going to get worse."
"Like when Vocal Adrenaline trashed our choir room and we didn't do anything," Quinn mused.
"Yeah, and look what good that did us," Santana retorted. "They still beat us. If we had busted Jesse St. James's perfect little nose, he wouldn't have been able to perform, Vocal Adrenaline would have tanked like Titanic on fast forward, and we would have creamed their perky little asses at regionals that year."
"Why am I even in glee club?" Kurt mumbled, rubbing his face. "It's too much drama. I should have stayed with something sensible. Like…mathletes. Or art club."
"You stay with us because otherwise you'd be miserable," Quinn reminded him, rubbing his back. "I learned that the hard way. We're dysfunctional, but at least we're a family."
"Then I vote we recast the role of 'dad,' because if Mr. Schue actually got off his ass and did something, we wouldn't have gotten in this mess in the first place," Santana said.
Kurt covered his eyes. "Can we stop fighting, please?" he said. "I'm stressed enough without this conversation adding to it."
"Fine," Santana sighed, propping her feet up on the chair across from her. "What should we talk about?"
"How about nothing?" Quinn said. "There's nothing wrong with silence."
So they did.
Quinn flipped idly through a magazine, one hand languidly turning the pages while the other patted Kurt's back. Kurt hunched over his knees, hands covering his eyes. Santana pulled a nail file out of an inner pocket of her coat and polished her nails. The TV still played in the corner, mostly infomercials interspersing an old sitcom rerun, and the other occupants of the waiting room kept their distance, lost in their own issues.
They had been sitting there for nearly twenty minutes when the doors burst open and a tall girl with dark curly hair strode in. Kurt scrambled to his feet. "Francey!" he called.
Santana sat up. Blaine's sister- had to be his sister, she looked just like him- met Kurt halfway and seized him in a hug. "Oh my god," Francey said, hugging Kurt tightly. She took a step back and cupped his face in her hands. "Are you all right? Are you hurt? Did the bastards get you too?"
"No, no, I'm fine, it's just Blaine," Kurt said. His lips were beginning to tremble. "It's his eyes. He kept saying that his eyes hurt, and he couldn't see…"
"Is there anyone with him?" Francey asked.
Kurt nodded. "Finn stayed," he said. "He's not by himself. He's back there."
He pointed to the triage hallway. Francey kissed him on the cheek, gripped his arm tightly in a wordless gesture of scared comfort, and ran down the hall.
"I didn't know Blaine had a sister," Santana remarked.
Kurt sank into his seat. "She's three years older," he said. "They're close."
"Do you think his parents will come home?" Quinn asked.
"Probably," Kurt said. "They're going to be worried. After what happened last time-"
He stopped talking abruptly and crossed his arms over his chest, his lips thinning to a white line. "What happened last-" Santana started to ask, but Quinn shook her head sharply.
Finn emerged from the depth of the triage hall and wandered towards them. "Hey, guys," he said heavily, sinking into a chair. "Francey kicked me out."
"How is he? Is he okay?" Kurt demanded.
Finn blew out a slow lungful of air. "I don't know," he confessed. "He's in a lot of pain. They were trying to wash out his eyes…he couldn't keep them open. His right eye's all bloody."
Kurt curled in on himself, hands over his face. "You think he'll be okay?" Quinn asked softly.
"I don't know," Finn said again. He ran his hand over his face. Kurt made a soft little choking noise in the back of his throat. "God, it looked so bad. He just…shoved Kurt out of the way and got it right in the face. And that slushie…it made it look like they'd split his head open, like he was bleeding all over the ground…"
Kurt bolted out of his seat, stumbled into a trashcan, and started to throw up.
"Gross," Santana complained.
Quinn shot her a dirty look as she got up. Finn groaned. "Crap," he said. "Crap, I shouldn't have said anything." Santana winced as Kurt continued to heave. "Why not?" she asked.
"They don't like to talk about it," Finn said quietly.
Santana watched surreptitiously out of the corner of her eye. Kurt had finished vomiting, but he was shaking and crying softly. Quinn hugged him tightly, her hand smoothing the back of his neck. She took him by the hand and led him down the hall to the bathroom.
"I can't believe he pushed Kurt out of the way," Finn said softly. "Kurt didn't even see it coming, and Blaine just…"
"People do crazy things when they're in love," Santana said without thinking. She shook her head. "I'm just tired of people always ragging on them. Just because they're two boys who like liplocking…it doesn't make them bad people."
Finn nodded. "I'm so tired of failing Kurt," he said. He sounded young and forlorn, staring sadly at the carpet. "I just keep messing things up. I never help him when he needs it. I sang him a song at our parents' wedding and I voted for him to be president. That's it. I've never stopped someone from throwing him in a dumpster, or kept Karofsky from pushing him around, or…or saved him from a slushie."
"Well, Frankenteen, I hope you're feeling good and sorry for yourself, because you're right," Santana said sharply. "You don't do anything to help him."
"Gee, thanks, Santana," Finn said sarcastically. "I feel a lot better now."
Santana threw her hands up in the air. "You know what? We need to stop talking," she said. "Every time we get around each other, we fight. I'm sick of it. I don't like you, you don't like me…it needs to stop."
"Fine with me," Finn grumbled.
Quinn emerged from the bathroom with Kurt's hand clutched in hers. He was so pale he was nearly gray, his lips scarlet and his eyes shadowed. His hair was helplessly mussed, his jacket was draped over Quinn's arm, and his untucked shirt was unbuttoned at the neck. "Wow, Hummel, you look like shit," Santana blurted out.
"Ignore her and sit down," Quinn said, easing Kurt into a chair. "Do you want me to get you a bottle of water?"
He shook his head, leaning down against the armrest. Quinn stroked his hair and he closed his eyes. "No, really, Kurt, what was with the Linda Blair act?" Santana pressed.
Kurt swallowed slowly and pushed himself up. "Remember last spring…how Blaine didn't want to go to prom at first?" he said. His voice sounded husky. Santana nodded. "When Blaine was in the ninth grade…he went to the Sadie Hawkins dance at his school. With a boy."
"At Dalton?" Quinn frowned.
"No…his old public school," Kurt said. He stared at the floor, eyes soft and unfocused. "A couple of seniors beat the living daylights out of them. Blaine transferred to Dalton…he still had to repeat ninth grade. Post traumatic stress disorder. Anger issues. He failed all his classes."
"Are you serious?" Santana said.
Kurt rubbed his eyes. "God, tonight must've been just…just one giant flashback," he said.
"And he didn't even have to do it," Santana marveled. "He did it for you."
Kurt sucked in a shallow, panicky breath. "Put your head down," Quinn urged. "You're going to hyperventilate again."
Kurt obeyed sluggishly. Finn reached a hand towards him hesitantly, then drew it back.
"Hey, you guys," Blaine's sister approached them, hands in the pockets of her jacket, her mouth drawn down. "Everything okay?"
"How's Blaine?" Finn asked.
"He's stable," Francey said softly. "They had to sedate him so they could irrigate his eyes. He's way out of it. I called my parents, they're already on their way."
"Is he gonna stay here overnight?" Finn asked.
"I'm not sure yet," she said. "They've already made him an appointment to see an eye specialist tomorrow morning, so yeah, maybe."
"Is he going to be okay?" Kurt pressed.
Francey cupped his chin in her hand. "He's not going to die," she said firmly. "He's a fucking hot mess and he's in a lot of pain, but he's not going to die." She turned around. "Finn, you need to take him home."
"You're scared and shaking and white as a ghost and you kind of smell like puke," Francey said. "Go home. You got him here, and now you need to go home and take care of yourself." Kurt looked like he was about to cry. "No waterworks, Ducky. You can't help Blaine if you're not firing on all cylinders yourself." She kissed him on the forehead. "I'll keep you updated. I promise."
"But I-" Kurt started to protest again.
"Kurt, you had a panic attack in the hospital bathroom," Quinn murmured. "Go home."
"I'll take him," Finn said, wrapping an arm around Kurt's shoulders. "Dad's probably worried anyway. It's past curfew." He pulled Kurt against his side. "You girls need a ride home?"
"I'll go with you," Quinn said.
"I'll stay," Santana said, waving her hand dismissively. "My dad'll give me a ride home. Or call me a cab or something. Go on. I'll see you later."
They left, Finn's arms around Kurt's shoulders and Quinn's around his waist. Santana leaned back thoughtfully, propping her feet up in a vacated seat.
If she knew one thing about herself, it was that Santana Lopez knew how to get revenge. And after tonight, after hearing Blaine screaming in pain and seeing the once-proud Kurt Hummel reduced to a sobbing wreck…revenge was most certainly in order.
sweet mother look at all the angst.
I started writing this like...in the middle of the Michael episode. I started from Kurt's POV...no go. I started from Blaine's POV...no go. Started from Santana's POV...oh. Perfect. Kurt and Blaine were just very poor narrators. Kurt was too hysterical and Blaine was just like "ow...ow...ow..." so as you can imagine, those attempts weren't very good.
I think this is also the first time I've busted out my Santana headcanon. I've had it milling about it for a while, but never got a chance to write it. I just never understood why she said her dad was a doctor in 2x02, and then in 2x12 said that she was from Lima Heights Adjacent. So...that's what I'm going with.
Also, I like to write angst about Kurt. It's so easy to torture him. I'm a terrible person.
But next on the agenda: a oneshot about the Warblers' descent into Poor Choice Land and a oneshot about what would have happened if Blaine hadn't pushed Kurt out of the way in time. YAY MORE ANGST.