"What?"

Blaine Anderson pretends not to hear the slightly strong feminine sound that he knows belongs to none other than Santana Lopez, as he turns his head towards her and his eyes locks with hers. Blaine flusters again, as if he'd just told Kurt his biggest kink and Santana's there and the strawberry pink blush doesn't make Santana deter away from her question as she is handed a mocha by the girl over the counter.

"Er…" Blaine's now fumbling and flustering again. "Yes." Now, his voice's clear, "in Dalton, during the weekends, we usually do just go home."

Kurt rolls his eyes, and sips his non-fat mocha. "…why do you care, Santana?"

"Because he excluded important information!" Santana exclaims, and now her eyes are flaming in that kind of why didn't you tell me? sort of way and Kurt doesn't understand why for the moment as Santana rolls her eyes rather lucidly as if the point is obvious and she doesn't have to illustrate it. She sighs, and then says. "Don't you get it? I can follow that little bichlet to his house and scoop up valuable information!"

"…you're gonna stalk Sebastian?" Blaine rephrases her argument.

"It's called getting ahead of the game," to which Blaine just rolls his eyes and drowns down the rest of his medium drip. Kurt gives her a look that says if you go, tell me what happens before he leaves hand-in-hand with his too-many-morals boyfriend. Santana Lopez takes another sip of her mocha and just smiles to herself, thinking of how big the mansion is going to be and then she's sick.

Those kinds of people don't know how it's like to live the low life. She sympathetically looks at the girl behind the counter, vibrant brown curls, as she answers her phone when it rings. She turns to the other side, and lets another man take over as Santana faintly hears the sound of "I think we can pay for food for the rest of the week…next door's having a sale. We should find a few things we can live off until my wage comes along." Santana feels sick, because that's the low life, not knowing when food's gonna be available next, striving for rights that a person should have all along and living without constantly knowing what'll happen next.

Sebastian brushes past her and walks towards the counter to talk to the girl. He's confident and she wants to throw the scolding mocha over his face.

"Are you always here?" Santana coldly snaps, and he just gives her a rather smug smile, almost as if he's telling her he's too good to answer to her question.

With a sigh, she steps out of the doorway and doesn't notice that the girl over the counter stops talking to the phone, turns to Sebastian and smiles, and her name tag reads Gabriella Smythe.


She watches as Sebastian Smythe steps out of the Dalton doorway, and waits for him to enter into one of those cars and drive off. Instead, he doesn't. She wonders if he's vaguely just screwing with her and knows that she's there because he doesn't even look for his car. He looks down at his uniform, straightens the hem of his blazer, looks right and left, and then proceeds to walk. She follows him. His steps become more rushed, as if he doesn't want to be recognized all of a sudden.

He stops again and looks around suspiciously. She follows him. They walk for a good half an hour before she tells herself she wants to shoot him for wherever he's leading her because she's ninety percent sure that he knows that she's there, but it's the ten percent that drives her not to leave. Then she notices the road before her and some sort of stinking feeling's in her stomach.

Now, they're hitting the barrier and walking towards the bad side of Lima, the one with all the crooks, sluts, and prostitutes. Nobody there knows what's it like to have a dime more than they do, and that's what makes Santana sick, because she's never been here before. She's tough and ferocious though so she strives forward, but then she hears the sound of footsteps behind here.

"Hiya there, sugar." A cold voice says, and it's dripping with honey. She turns around and stares at the man before her, cigarette in his forefinger, and then Santana finds herself scoffing. Greasy t-shirt, with pit stains, a thin body from whatever crap he can find on the streets, smelling a lot like beer, and a raging hard-on, causing her to want to throw up all over his shirt. "What's a girl like you doing here? Waiting for someone?"

"Shucks, Tom! She's totally looking for a guy like me," a blonde responds, and Santana's eyes is locked with a guy with some sort of soot over his knuckles, a bruise on his cheek, eyes blue and bright and if he's clean, she knows he could look something out of a magazine but now, he just looks horrible. He smiles and she can see his rotten teeth, and that's what sets her off, because he's appreciating her with dark intent.

"Brad! Tom! You better step back down or I'll break the very few teeth that's left in your mouths," a familiar voice states.

Santana turns to face Sebastian Smythe standing there with strong, hard eyes, and Tom then pulls out a 45, pauses and stares at Sebastian with dark eyes and a disgusting smile that makes Sebastian want to punch him. "Come on, Bas. What the hell happened to you? Ever since you got that scholarship to Dalton, you're starting to act more like them prissy bitches."

Santana looks back at Sebastian, whose face is full of recognition. "…scholarship?"

"Yeah, some gay teens scholarship," Brad's voice chirps in and Santana now feels like throwing up, because Brad looks serious. "Bastian's never been the same ever since he found out about it. Bitch starts taking extra tutoring sessions and gets that boy which I'm sure he's screwing to come and help him. What's his name, Bassie? Leslie? James?"

"Jesse," Sebastian says through a hard expression.

"From Carmel High, that guy…he was your lover, right?"

"Was," Sebastian mutters inaudibly and doesn't even look at Santana's facial expression, because he knows he won't be able to handle it.

"Aw, I really thought they were still together," now, Brad's pouting. "You know, he used to bring you flowers. Seb doesn't even know what flowers are. He's so adorable. Bet he still has every single card the guy writes to him, don't you, Seb? Ella says you still keep them letters like they're nobody's business. It's kind of cute, but really, Bassie, it's desperate."

"Come on. Leave him alone," Tom shoots back to his brother, and then flicks the cigarette, so that it ignites orange before he puts it between his lips. "First love's always the hardest."

"—I don't understand," Santana suddenly says. "I thought you were all rich and it's all about Paris and—"

"Paris?" Tom laughs, and it's making Sebastian look like he's gonna throw up. "He's lived here all his life, sweetheart. Sebastian's just a stupid idiot for coming back, calls this dump home, but you're kidding me. Paris? Where'd you get that idea? The only Paris I've seen is from the postcards that his ex-boyfriend…James? Jesse?... sends to him. They've got these really cool pictures of the Eiffel tower and shit. Come on, Bassie, you didn't go around telling people you were from France or something like that, right?"

"He lied," Santana realises when Sebastian doesn't say anything to Tom's accusation. "You…you really live in this dump."

"Course he did," Brad says.

"That's enough, Brad," a warm, womanly voice says, and Santana looks back and is faced with the curly-haired girl from the Lima Bean and now, her eyes are on that tag, Gabriella Smythe. Gabriella smoothly glares at Tom and Brad, and then sighs softly. "Honey, come on. Come home….is this your friend? She from Dalton?"

"McKinley," Santana suddenly says. "…Sebastian invited me over."

Sebastian doesn't say otherwise, and as he walks away, Santana hears Tom say: "oh and happy birthday, Bassie! Congrats. You lived to seventeen." And Santana doesn't even want to think what that implies, as she walks into their apartment, which is so small that she feels like throwing up. The first thing Sebastian does is looking at the floor where a few insects manifested the place. Sebastian turns to the kitchen, and brings out a disinfectant, stomping onto the ground as if to kill the few ants that were there. Sebastian turns away, and sweeps them away. There are still a few pieces of rotten cheese there on the floor that Sebastian picks with his own hands.

"Did you get Joe to kill the roaches?" Sebastian asks normally, and Santana feels the need to throw up.

Gabriella nods. "I finally got him to it yesterday."

Sebastian disappears into his room to take off his Dalton uniform before it gets manifested by insects or something and Santana looks at Gabriella, locking eyes with her.

"Well, I'm gonna leave now…" Santana says, but when she turns around, Gabriella grabs her hand.

"Please, stay," she's begging with those wide green eyes. "Please?"

Santana wants to tell the lady to fuck off, but her eyes are near tears so she nods her head, and watches Sebastian step out of the room, wearing short pants, and she realises that it might not be short. It's probably one's he's had since he'd been ten or eleven, and his shirt's wide and drowns him. It's probably his Father's and not his own. "This is nice," Gabriella tries to assure them. "Come on. You both must be starving."

Santana walks into the kitchen at their lead. They sit down at the three-person table that's so discoloured that Santana can't say a word. She pretends not to notice the dead cockroach at the end of the kitchen, as Gabriella pulls out a loaf of bread, and snaps it in three pieces. "Here," Gabriella gives Sebastian his share, and then gives it to Santana. "It's not much…but…you want me to get you a can of soup, darling?"

Santana shakes her head. "No, no, this is okay."

She notices how slowly Sebastian eats his piece of bread, and notes that this probably constitutes as lunch at normal days. "I…I brought some of the stuff from Dalton," Sebastian suddenly says, rubbing the back of his head. "Got a few cans and things that don't spoil too quick. Alright?"

"Honey, that's not fair. You can't stow away your food for me and your—"

"And let you starve to death?" Sebastian chuckles. "Mother, you must be joking."

Gabriella shakes her head. "I bought you a cupcake from the café," she says softly. "Employee's discount and all. It's not much but it's something."

Santana feels sick. "—is it like this every year?"

"No," Sebastian states.

"Last year, we did have Joe get an actual cake…?" Gabriella offers and Santana just feels worse right then, locking eyes with Sebastian. She knows why Gabriella doesn't want her to leave right then. This is the best kind of birthday her son's ever had, and it's over sharing a loaf of bread and throwing around small talk. She doesn't think she can stand it anymore.

"Mother, I want to talk to Santana alone."

Gabriella nods and then leaves, shutting the door behind her. Santana's eyes are on that dead cockroach again as Sebastian sighs. "You tell anyone and I will hurt you," Sebastian suddenly threatens, as he puts down the lone piece of bread onto the plate.

"You're living Hell in here."

Sebastian just shrugs, "don't know anything but." He now shows her a smirk, and it's cocky and arrogant but it's so wrong coming from the boy with the stained t-shirt and pants that used to fit him seven years ago. "You can't tell anyone." He repeats.

"Why not?"

"I don't want people thinking I'm walking around for attention. Dalton has a no bullying policy—right, but it doesn't have a 'don't judge anyone' policy. All of them…they don't know anything but how to live good. They don't know anything about the low life," Santana's head rings with the accusation she'd had his morning. "They don't know what it's like."

Santana looks at him for a second. "Only under one condition."

"Name it."

Santana's eyes look away from the cockroach and onto Sebastian's face. "Can I see those letters and postcards? The ones that your stuck-up ex sent you?"

Sebastian raises his eyes at her request and nods. Santana's led to Sebastian's room, which is a small room that knows nothing of hygiene. His bed's sturdy and empty, and he opens up a dresser. His Dalton uniform looks out of place with the rest of the clothes there, all of them look like they only fit him in his childhood, all tattered or stained. There's a box and he opens it, pretending that the dust doesn't exist as he pulls the box. Santana looks through them all. She opens them letter by letter, all of them include just one line. 'You're mine forever.' 'Do the best you can, alright? You're getting that scholarship.' 'Gonna miss you like Hellfire.' 'I'm sorry—we got to break up.' 'You're gonna find better than me in Dalton. I know you will.'

She bites down her lower lip, and Sebastian doesn't seem too fazed by the break-up ones. She stares at the postcards. All with scenes from Paris on the back, a few drawings, badly drawn from Jesse. She doesn't know how long she stays there, nods her head, and is then faced by Gabriella, as she tells him to walk with her. "Listen to me, Santana," Gabriella's voice is soft, "I need you to do me a favour later. Okay? Give him this at Regionals. It's really important to him."

Santana watches as Gabriella gives him a postcard. She notices it's signed by Jesse and everything. She knows the handwriting – it's the one on every singular cup of mocha she gets. It's Gabriella's handwriting, signing in Jesse's name. She doesn't know what prompts her to nod towards Gabriella, making her smile. Santana Lopez will never forget the look of happiness on Sebastian's face when he opens that postcard after he loses in Regionals and her eyes catch I love you signed onto the postcard, just above Jesse's signature.