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Chapter 16: Defend The Silver Lining

"Eat, Santana. You have to eat."

Santana drew her head up off of her arms as her hand was nudged by a tray. Rachel was smiling encouragingly on the other side of the table.

"Finn got you a burger, look."

"I'm not hungry," Santana said, pushing the tray to the side slightly. "Thanks, though," she added to Finn.

Beside Santana, Sam reached over and plucked the burger from its wrappings, taking a giant bite. Santana watched as Rachel's face dropped in disgust.

"Saaam," she scolded, "that was Santana's!"

"What? She didn't want…" Sam's overstuffed mouth struggled around the words. He drew the back of his hand against it to get the sauce off his face.

"It's fine," Santana said to Rachel, "really, I'm not hungry."

"You have to pay me back," Finn said, his eyes narrowed at Sam.

"You owe me anyway," Sam retorted, swallowing his mouthful and zeroing in for another. Rachel sent another dark look in his direction before putting her hand up against the side of her face to block him from sight. Then she leant forward to get Santana's attention.

"You have to eat something," She hissed. "It's been days."

"It has not been days," Santana scoffed, "I ate a wrap at lunch today. You should know because you made me pick the wrapper out of the normal trash can to put it in recycling."

Rachel looked defeated. "I just think that a full stomach helps put everything a little better in perspective," she muttered.

"So it's possible to get a better perspective on the fact that Brittany could be getting taken out of school and moving to another state?"

"Yes!" Rachel countered. "You only know that she's having a meeting with Mrs Cowley and the dean. You don't know anything about her moving away or even her leaving the boarding house, do you?"

Santana, reluctant to admit that she was wrong, answered in a sullen voice, "Britt said in her phone call yesterday that she didn't know what was going to happen…"

"Exactly," Rachel exclaimed, banging the table for emphasis. Finn, midway through a sip of coke, jumped in fright and promptly started spluttering into his straw. Rachel shushed him, and continued, "she doesn't know what's going to happen, and neither do you!"

"Not knowing makes you crazy," Sam said with a shrug, still fixated on the burger, "It's natural to jump to conclusions. It doesn't necessarily mean you're hungry."

Santana snorted with laughter and patted him on the arm.

"Finally, a voice of reason," she laughed.

"Finn!" Rachel exclaimed suddenly, batting his hand away as he reached towards the fries that lay on Santana's abandoned tray.

"What?" He exclaimed, "I bought them, and if she isn't going to eat them…" He paused suddenly, his eyes flickering over Santana's shoulder. She watched as his expression changed from incredulous to awkward. Rachel turned to where he was looking as well, and her face did the same thing- her expression hardened. Confused, Santana looked over her shoulder as well and turned back almost immediately, feeling her stomach twist around itself.

In her brief glance she'd managed to lock eyes with Puck, who was approaching their table.

"Oh, great," Santana muttered, wishing she could sink into herself and disappear. She hadn't seen or spoken to Puck since they'd broken up. And she had no desire to, especially now that he was dating Quinn- who Santana had to physically avoid to stop herself from doing or saying anything stupid.

"He's not coming over is he?" She muttered.

Sam, catching onto the conversation, glanced up and looked around. "Hey it's Puck! Puck!"

"You idiot!" Rachel exclaimed, reaching across the table to unsubtly slap his arm, "Santana doesn't want to see him."

"It's okay…" Santana was halfway through speaking when Puck appeared on Sam's other side.

"Sup," he said, passing a smile around them.

"Hey," Sam and Finn chorused in an attempt to sound cheerful.

"You're here to see Quinn, I presume?" Rachel asked stiffly. Santana could have kicked her for making the awkwardness any more palpable.

"Erm…yeah…" Puck said after a pause.

"We're just eating burgers," Finn said in that same cheerful tone with which he'd greeted Puck.

"Nice," Puck said.

There seemed nothing else left to say. Santana fixed her eyes on the zipper of Finn's sweater in front of her, hoping like hell that Puck would take the strained silence as a hint and leave. Instead, Santana heard him say her name.

She looked up to find him giving her a hesitant half smile.

"Long time, no see," he said, his voice soft.

She nodded shortly, not trusting herself to speak.

"There's Quinn," Rachel said, nodding behind Puck. "You better go."

Puck turned and Santana was able to see Quinn hovering by the escalators, her chin notched and her eyes drifting appraisingly over them.

"Alright," Puck said, facing them again and passing a hand over the back of his Mohawk. Santana recognized the gesture- he'd always done it when he was nervous. "I guess I'll see you round."

"See you at dinner," Sam said cheerfully. He was the only one that waved as Puck walked away.

"Urgh. Gross." Sugar arrived at their table watching Puck walk away with her nose wrinkled. She'd left them 15 minutes earlier to get a smoothie and returned carrying two shopping bags.

"What did he want?" She asked, sitting in her seat at the head of the table.

"To be annoying," Rachel said, rolling her eyes.

"He seemed like he wanted to say something to Santana," Finn added, chewing thoughtfully on another mouthful of fries.

"You think he wants you back?" Rachel asked, whipping her head back around to Santana.

"God, no," Santana snorted, watching over Finn's shoulder as Puck and Quinn disappeared together down the escalator. "He probably just wanted to know if it was all true."

"He knows," Finn corrected. "Quinn told him, and some guys from the football team and they came back to our boarding house giving him crap about it."

"Why were they giving him crap?" Rachel asked.

Finn shifted in his chair uncomfortably. "It doesn't matter really, it wasn't really…"

"Let me guess," Santana interrupted, a realization sweeping over her like a chill. "They teased him for turning his ex-girlfriend gay."

Finn grimaced and looked apologetically at her. "T-that's the gist of it," he nodded.

"It makes sense," Sugar said suddenly.

"What?" Santana blanched, looking sharply around at her.

"It's just…" Sugar shuddered, "he's so…he's so gross and dirty! Britt is waaay hotter."

There was a warped moment of stunned silence following Sugar's comment. And then, one by one, they all began to laugh.

"I agree," Sam called over the noise, nudging Santana and winking. This only made Santana laugh harder, clutching her stomach as it began to ache.

Santana was still not used to her new room. She woke up for the third morning in a row blinking in mounting confusion and panic at the unfamiliar roof above her head. The sun was streaming in the gap in her curtains in a bright, burning way it had never been able to in her old room because they faced opposite sides of the sky. Her mouth was dry, her nose was blocked and she felt hot and flustered.

She sat up and kicked off her blankets, which felt like they were suffocating her. Looking down, she realized that she was only wearing her underwear and a tank top. She'd been sure that gone to sleep wearing her pyjama bottoms but when she got out of bed she found them crumpled on the floor at the foot of it. She must have kicked them off in her sleep because of the heat she guessed.

Blearily, she dressed in her uniform to head over to breakfast and was on her way out the door when she remembered her phone. She'd sent Brittany a goodnight text the night before but had fallen asleep before she'd gotten a reply.

Sure enough, when she picked her phone and turned the screen on she saw an unread message from Brittany.

Night, San. Sweet dreams. I miss you and I can't wait to hopefully see you tomorrow. I get my phone back for good tomorrow so I won't have to keep on sneaking it just to send goodnight texts xoxo

Santana felt her stomach constrict as she read the words. The day had sprung up on her quickly- reunion with Brittany after nearly two weeks and also a meeting that would decide Brittany's fate at the boarding house.

Santana had been too afraid to ask if Brittany knew whether or not her parents were going to withdraw her from the school, but she figured Brittany would tell her if she knew. That's what she had tried to convince herself, but now she was entirely unsure. If it wasn't for the prospect of the annoying breakfast lady telling Mrs Cowley that Santana had skipped breakfast she would have laid back down on her bed and tried to shut out the prospect of the upcoming day. But instead, she stood up again and headed to her door, joining the line of eleventh graders that were walking past from their dorm towards the dining room. As always, Santana got several side long looks from them- especially the ones she knew for a fact were pissed that a tenth grader had gotten a prefect sized room when all she'd been doing was making out with another girl.

By the time lunch rolled around, Santana had typed and deleted about ten text messages to Brittany. She wanted to wish her luck and tell her she loved her. She wanted to say so many things that she couldn't bring herself to say anything. She wound her way to the tennis courts, where she, Lauren, Sugar, Rachel and Mercedes had taken to sitting during lunch to get away from Quinn, Emma and Amy. Tina, intent on trying to keep the peace, had been going back and forth between the two groups, but lately she'd taken to sitting with her friends that she'd made during Asian summer camp.

Santana's nerves abated briefly when she spotted the familiar formation of her friends sitting in a circle beside a part of the tall, wire meshed fences. Santana made her way over and sat down between Lauren and Sugar, who squealed when she noticed that Santana had arrived and drew her into a tight hug around her shoulders.

"Hi hi hi hi," Sugar said in a singsong voice, letting a relieved Santana free and picking up a carrot stick which she then took a cheerful munch out of.

"Why so…bright and shiny?" Santana asked.

Sugar gave a coy shrug, but Lauren answered for her in a deadpan voice.

"She's pretty sure that she is dating the new quarterback at Alexandra. I mean, she's not entirely sure because he hasn't asked her but when he texted her good night last night there were three x's at the end instead of one."

"They practically made out," Mercedes added. Santana snorted and looked sideways at Sugar.

"And I suppose if he texts you 'xoxoxo' that's code for a marriage proposal?"

Sugar rolled her eyes and looked pointedly in the opposite direction.

"I refuse to talk about th- hey! Brittany!" Her voice shot so high in tone and pitch that Santana and the others jumped in unison and looked around.

And then, it felt to Santana like someone had punched her right up and under her ribcage.

It took a few seconds for her to actually register the fact that Brittany was walking towards them, and by the time she had, everyone else had gotten to their feet and were waving to her. Sugar had even run up ahead to hug her.

Santana stood up shakily, like she'd just been knocked down. She was just in time to see Brittany disengage from Sugar's hug, laughing. Then she turned towards the others and caught Santana's eye.

She hadn't changed, Santana realized. But that was a strange thought, because it felt like everything should have shifted to accommodate what had happened over the past week and a half. Brittany's smile still lit her face in the same way that made Santana's head spin. The end of her ponytail wisped around the side of her head as she swayed on those same long legs towards them. Her eyes were so bright Santana could see them shining half way across the courts. She wasn't in uniform, but instead was wearing the same turquoise jean she'd been wearing at the formal and a white clinging top.

The others crowded around her, and she hugged them all, squeezing them and murmuring good naturedly in reply to their excitement. Santana hovered in the back, willing silently for everyone to get out of the way so that she could take Brittany in fully. She was equal parts terrified and desperate to have Brittany look at her and say hello.

But Santana shouldn't have worried, because without any real effort Brittany stepped up and was in her arms and they were clinging tightly together. Santana squeezed her eyes closed so that she couldn't see anything over Brittany's shoulder and could concentrate more fully on the smell of Brittany and the feel of her pushing her face into the side of Santana's face. They stayed in the hug for a long time, not saying anything and when they finally pulled away, Santana had to hide the watery edges of her eyes in a laugh.

"Hi," Brittany said, her voice all high and shy.

"Hey," Santana said. They smiled at one another until Sugar made a noise that sounded like a wounded animal. They both jumped and looked around. She had her hands against her cheeks, drawing them downwards. She looked in pain.

"You guys are just so fucking adorable," she groaned, "I can't take it."

Santana felt her cheeks light up in embarrassment, and Brittany looked sideways at her, giggling.

"It's true, you guys," Mercedes nodded, "you are."

"Shut up," Santana managed, trying to brush it off. But she felt giddy. She wanted to hug Brittany again. She wanted to kiss her. She wanted to kiss her so badly. But then, out of nowhere, Brittany's mom appeared on the edge of the group and smiled in a strained kind of way around them all. Santana nearly jumped away from Brittany in fright, and the others looked quickly back and forth between Santana and Brittany's mom like they were watching a tennis match. Santana would have bet that Lauren was wishing she had a bowl of popcorn.

"Hi, Mrs Peirce," Rachel said, composing herself.

"Hi, girls," Brittany's mom said, inclining her head slightly and redistributing the plastic looking smile around them once again. "Britt, we should get going if we want to get to the meeting."

Brittany gave her mom a short nod and then turned to Santana.

"I…" Santana started, but Brittany pulled her into a hug so tight the words rushed away from her.

"I'll see you soon okay?" Brittany murmured in Santana's ear. "I'll let you know as soon as I know, alright?"

"Please," Santana murmured back, her voice hoarse, "please do."

"I will."

They all stood and watched as Brittany and her mom made their way back across the courts. Santana had to fight the urge to run after her or to yell her name. Instead she just stood still, numb and scared.

At the very edge of the courts, just as they were about to disappear around the side of a nearby classroom, Brittany stopped and looked back, giving a small wave, and a smile directed straight at Santana.

"It'll all be okay," Rachel said bracingly, once they'd all sat down. "I swear if she gets kicked out or taken out or…or…I swear… I can talk to my dads' lawyer and we can…"

"My dad knows Bill Gates," Sugar said nonchalantly, snapping a carrot stick in half, "Bill Gates could fix this."

"Your dad saw Bill Gates once," Lauren said scathingly, "and it involved him holding the door open for Bill Gates. They might have said two words to one another."

Sugar gave her a scathing look and took a particularly vicious bite of her carrot but didn't answer.

"It will be fine. It will," Mercedes said. She sounded to Santana as though she was trying to convince herself as much as anyone else.

Concentrating in her next class was such a lost cause that Santana didn't even bother pretending. She had P.E- but it was a 'health' lesson, with a lady from the local police force coming in to give them the drugs talk. Santana chose the desk furthest from the front and put her head on her arms, closed her eyes and tried to fight the panic.

She couldn't help herself from timing how long it was taking, and mentally calculating where Brittany was and what she was doing. Had she finished the meeting? Was she packing her bags? Santana checked her phone obsessively, not even bothering to hide it from Mrs Hawkins, who was sitting at the front of the class interviewing the police lady with such theatricality that Santana would have bet that she was fulfilling some weird Oprah fetish.

It got to half way through the lesson when the class was instructed to split into pairs and list the things they considered 'gateway drugs'. Automatically the class turned to the person sitting beside them and paired up effortlessly. Santana merely dropped her head back onto her desk and prayed that Mrs Hawkins wouldn't notice her.

A moment later, her hopes were dashed where she heard Mrs Hawkins mention her name to someone, telling them to pair up with her. Santana raised her head up from the desk and blinked at the person walking towards the empty desk beside her.

Brittany had changed into her uniform and was wearing a 600-watt smile. Santana couldn't keep her jaw from slackening in disbelief. She half stood to hug Brittany, and then, realizing that the whole class had turned to watch them, she dropped hurriedly back in her seat and settled for smiling as wide as she could as Brittany unslung her backpack from her arm and sat down next to her.

"Hey," she said brightly.

Santana stared.

"You're back?"

"Yup," Brittany nodded. "It's all okay."

"What happened?"

"They just explained that you'd be moved- your room I mean and then they said that there was nothing they could really do but to make sure that it didn't affect our studies or anything."

"And that's it?"

Brittany beamed, "and then I got into my uniform and said goodbye to mom, and now I'm here."

Santana ran her eyes over Brittany, still half suspended by disbelief.

"I can't believe that after all this… all this crap… It's all fine now! No one's getting kicked out or…"

Brittany shook her head, her smile widening.


Santana was halfway through leaning forward to hug Brittany, no longer caring who was looking, when Mrs Hawkins appeared at the front of their desks with a sheet of paper that she placed in front of them.

"Reunions can be done on your own time, thank you, girls. List of gateway drugs, please, now."

Santana rolled her eyes, but Brittany gave a brisk nod and pulled the paper towards her with one hand. The other snaked under the desk and came to rest on Santana's thigh.

The touch felt like a zap of electricity. Santana sat up a little in her chair and leant closer to Brittany as though she was looking at the paper on Brittany's desk.

"What are you doing?" She murmured.

Brittany didn't take her eyes off the paper, but a smile twitched at the corners of her lips.

"I'm thing about gateways and drugs," she said, "do you have a pen?"

Santana smirked and slid her pen across the desk towards Brittany, who picked it up and wrote 'Gateway Drugs' in curly writing at the top of the page. At the same time, she twitched her other hand on Santana's leg higher, and tensed her fingers so they dug in slightly. Santana shivered. Brittany was grinning at the desk now, running her pen over the title to darken it.

Santana took it from her and flipped the paper over. In the very bottom corner she wrote in miniscule writing:

"What are you doing?"

"Nothing :)"

"It doesn't feel like nothing :P"

"I heart you"

"I missed you"

"You missed your girlfriend?"

When Santana read the bit Brittany had added, she looked up. Brittany was looking to the front of the class, with a perfectly composed face of boredom.

Santana picked up the pen and bent over the page.

"I missed her more than she'll ever know."

They fell backwards onto Santana's bed with simultaneous squeals, but quickly dissolved back into the mess of lips and hands and tangled hair that they had been as soon as they got the door to Santana's room closed and locked.

Santana lay below Brittany, gripping the curve of her butt and pulling their hips harder against one another.

Brittany tasted better than Santana remembered. The soft pull and pluck of Brittany's lips caught her own hungrily, while the hot slip of her tongue stole her breath. Brittany's hands moved over Santana's body efficiently; pulling open the buttons on her uniform shirt and raking the lip of her stockings down off of her hips. Santana let her. She lay beneath Brittany and let their kiss soak into her while the undressing happened. And then Brittany's skin was on Santana's, and her palms were on her hips, on her ribcage, on her breasts.

It all felt rushed to Santana, yet strangely hazy. She was dizzy from the contact that she'd been fixated on for weeks and she wanted everything as quickly as she could get it. But she also wanted to savour every detail- like what it sounded like when Brittany dragged a breath into their kiss, or how Brittany slipped her thigh between Santana's legs and pushed it hard up against her center.

Somehow, during the heated moments, Brittany had managed to take off her own uniform and Santana reacted to the swelling heat of Brittany's breasts against her own with a moan the vibrated into their kiss. Brittany deepened the kiss and surged forwards, slipping her hand up to skate across the outside of Santana's underwear. She could feel it clinging to her- damp and hot- and felt the familiar flush of embarrassment. Brittany caught her expression and smiled down into her face.

"I never knew you could blush," she murmured.

"I can't… I mean I don't…" Santana stuttered.

"Then what's…this?" Santana bit her lip to stifle a groan as Brittany bent her head and drew her lips- open in a kiss- up the side of Santana's neck.

"The skin here goes a little pink," Brittany whispered, kissing the skin just below her ear. Santana squirmed as the feather touch of Brittany's lips began to tickle her. Brittany pulled back, sat up on her knees and pulled the sweep of her blonde hair off of her face so that she could grin down at Santana.

"You're the one that blushes," Santana laughed when she caught sight of Brittany's bright pink cheeks and red tipped ears. The flush even extended across her chest and up the sides of her neck.

Brittany looked down at herself and laughed, but stopped abruptly when Santana lifted her hands and swept them up Brittany's sides until she reached around and fitted her palms against the juts of Brittany's shoulder blades. She pulled her back down, kissed her, and surged her hips upwards as Brittany's fingers found her, finally.

Santana tipped her head back and tried to contain her moans as Brittany's fingers edged inside her. She gripped Brittany's shoulders as hard as she could, but she wasn't able to still her hips. They jarred upwards into Brittany's hand as her fingers began to pick up their rhythm.

It was different from the other times in the darkened quiet of Brittany's room. The curtains only slightly muffled the light from outside, and the bed was big enough for them to lie side by side. And that's what they did once Brittany had rocked Santana back down to earth. They lay facing one another, so close that Santana could only looked at sections of Brittany's face Santana fixed her gaze on one of Brittany's eyes and mapped how the grey and blue coiled together in her iris, and how her eye lashes were surprisingly dark, and fanned out across the freckled tops of her cheeks when she blinked.

"I missed you," Brittany said, sweeping her hand over Santana's cheek, "have I mentioned that?"

"You haven't, actually!" Santana laughed. "But I kinda guessed."

"Good," Brittany nodded, satisfied.

Santana leaned towards her, extending her head for another kiss when, faintly, the sound of the dinner bell clanged its way into the room.

Santana dropped back on the bed with a huff and threw her arm over her eyes.

"I didn't want this afternoon to end," she muttered.

There was a pause and then she felt the bed rock as Brittany shifted over closer to her. Santana drew her arm away from her eyes in time for Brittany to drape herself over Santana, kissing the skin over her collarbone.

"I didn't either, but…"

"But what?" Santana said, half trying to sit up.

Brittany grinned and pressed her lips so hard up against Santana's cheek that it smooshed sideways. "I'm really hungry," she mumbled against it.

She and Brittany were late enough to dinner that they missed the daily notices and were just able to sneak into line with Brittany's ninth grade friends while the rest of the tenth graders were already sitting down. Brittany's ninth grade friends greeted her with ear splitting excitement and a barrage of questions about where she'd been. Brittany just smiled airily and gestured towards her throat, saying something about an infection.

As they held their trays out for their burger buns and patties, Santana scanned the crowded tables to see who was still left eating dinner from the tenth graders. To her discomfort, she saw Quinn, Amy and Emma sitting at a table with Sugar and Mercedes. The others had all left.

Santana decided that she and Brittany would take the longest they could to assemble the rest of their burger contents in the hopes that Quinn, Emma and Amy would have finished theirs and left. She turned with her tray, about to get Brittany's attention, but saw that Brittany had already finished making her burger and was on her way over to the tenth grade table. Santana paused and cursed under her breath, hovering awkwardly over the salad table. She hurriedly piled cheese, lettuce and tomato on her burger and followed after Brittany, gripping the edges of her tray for dear life.

The atmosphere when she arrived at table seemed relatively normal. Sugar and Mercedes had engaged Brittany in a conversation about their English homework and Emma, Amy and Quinn were laughing about something Santana hadn't quite caught.

Santana's arrival was barely acknowledged by Quinn, Emma or Amy, which was actually a sort of relief. Santana took the seat opposite Brittany, beside Mercedes, and shot Brittany a grin when she looked up.

"I can give you the worksheets you missed," Sugar was saying, "and all you have to do is read 8 chapters and fill them in."

"Easy enough," Brittany nodded.

"Yeah. Too bad the book is written in like…a completely different version of English," Mercedes pointed out. "Thou shalt not…blah blah blah…"

Santana swallowed a bite of her burger. "What the hell is your class studying? The bible?" She asked.

"Nah-uh," Sugar shook her head, "Jane Eyre."

"They don't speak like that," Santana scoffed, "you're several centuries out, Mercedes."

"Woah," Mercedes put up her hands, "since when were you an English geek?"

"It's called common sense," Santana shot back, trying to hide her grin. It all felt normal- hanging out and eating dinner with everyone and with Brittany opposite her, shooting her looks full of everything that made Santana's insides feel spun out and jumpy.

She and Brittany were half way through dinner when the others finished. Quinn, Amy and Emma all stood up, but Mercedes and Sugar stayed sitting.

"We'll wait with you two," Mercedes said.

"Yeah," Sugar agreed, "partly because we like you and partly because Rachel wanted us to help her with her drama homework after dinner. And neither of us want to run lines with her as her love interest."

"Fair enough," Brittany said wisely, "being Rachel's love interest must be tiring. I don't know how Finn remembers all his lines."

Santana tried to hold back her laughter, but as Mercedes and Sugar snorted behind their hands, Santana let herself go along with them.

"That was funny, Brittany," Emma said with a wide, fake smile. She, Amy and Quinn were filing past them with their empty dinner plates.

"Oh," Brittany looked up with her usual innocent nonchalance and returned the smile, "Thanks, Em."

"Brittany!" Quinn said, doing a double take as though she had only just noticed her. Immediately, Santana tensed, watching Quinn turn to face Brittany. "I forgot to ask, have you had the chance to check your email lately?"

Brittany finished her bite of burger and shook her head, poking her bottom lip out slightly. "No. I haven't because my parents had my laptop. I'll check it tonight, though."

"Okay, cool," Quinn said, fixing her bright smile at Brittany before turning and striding away. Emma and Amy followed after her, their faces both straining against suppressed giggles.

"What was that all about?" Mercedes frowned, following Quinn's progress with her eyes.

Brittany shrugged and took another bite of her burger. "We have geography together, so it's probably just homework sheets or something."

"Check here," Sugar said, sliding her iPhone across the table towards Brittany.

"Oh," Brittany grinned, dusting her hands off on her uniform and picking up the phone.

While they waited, Sugar turned to Santana. "Are you going home this weekend?" She asked.

"No," Santana shook her head.

"Good!" Sugar said, clapping her hands in excitement. "You and Britt and me and Rory are going on a double date then. Okay?"

"Uh…" Santana looked over awkwardly at Brittany to gauge her reaction but realized Brittany wasn't even paying attention. She was cradling Sugar's phone, frowning at the screen and pinching her bottom lip between her fingers.

"What's wrong?" Santana asked, leaning forwards and tapping the table near Brittany to make her look up. Brittany didn't shift her eyes from the screen. With a sickening drop in her stomach, Santana realized they were shining with tears.

"Britt?" Santana murmured, tapping the table again.

"Are you okay, B?" Sugar asked.

"I have an email from Coach Sylvester saying I'm off the Cheerios," Brittany said in a deadpanned voice. "Quinn is taking my place as choreographer as well."