A/N: I do not own Glee, Sebastian or Santana.
Oh wow... Here I am again. Bringing you more Sebtana than ever before. This is a new little something I've been penning for some time and I am so, SO keen to hear everybody's thoughts. You all know where the review button is, so let me know!
The title comes from the Queen song of the same name and each chapter is named after a lyric in that song.
I hope you enjoy as that is the most important thing, as always.
Chapter 1 - empty spaces, what are we living for
If there were anywhere in the world that Santana could be right now, it would not be here. But somehow she had found herself in this odd, twisted situation that she could not escape from. She perched in a tight, prim position at one end of the couch whilst Sebastian sat as far from her as possible at the other end.
The empty space between them echoed the cold, vacancy they felt for one another; and yet they had been thrown together in a way neither of them had wanted or imagined. In the half-decade since they met as their high school careers had come to a close, they had frequented many a family barbeque or cocktail party where their families had intermingled but this idea was a bizarre concept for the pair of them.
Sebastian's father had been friends with Dr Lopez since their college days – a fact unknown to either of their children until at least a year after they met – and after a plethora of garden parties at the Smythe mansion had decided that there was no better idea than a Smythe-Lopez wedding.
Santana had felt sick to her core when her father had told her that he was arranging her marriage to Sebastian – after all, how was she expected to spend the rest of her life with the person she hated most in the world. But Dr Lopez had reminded her that Mr Smythe had been good to him over the years and thereby, the whole Lopez family.
In his words it would 'strengthen family ties' and ensure 'financial security' for both them and the Smythes and he was deaf to any protestations she had.
The Smythes were the wealthiest family in Ohio and for that reason they had somewhat celebrity status. Because of this a photographer and a reporter from 'Westerville Magazine' were coming to take photographs of the betrothed couple at the Smythe mansion.
As if she had been reading Santana's thoughts, Mrs Smythe appeared in the parlour to see her son and future daughter-in-law as far from each other as possible in mute, empty silence.
She clapped her hands harshly breaking the stillness and echoing coldly around the room. The pearl bracelets on her dainty wrists jangled and Santana's attention was brought to her. Mrs Smythe wore a twin set pastel cardigan and a neat pencil skirt, with perfectly blown hair and delicate make-up. She would not look out of place in 'Desperate Housewives', Santana thought wryly, and it was evident where Sebastian's sense of perfection came from.
"Come on," said the tall thin woman rousingly, "I know this isn't what either of you really wanted, but it means a lot to your fathers so it's important that we pretend at least for them. Once you're married it doesn't really have to mean anything and you can annul the marriage within a year and they'll say at least you gave it a try."
Santana sighed heavily but saw what her point was. Sebastian rolled his eyes and ran a hand through his bronze, wavy hair.
"Alright, now scoot a little closer and hold hands or something, the photographer's on his way and so are your fathers!"
She pushed the pair together and smiled broadly as they seemed to take their places in her made up fantasy. Santana threw her long dark hair over her shoulder, smoothed her red, flared skater-skirt down and inclined her body towards Sebastian. He narrowed his eyes and swallowed thickly, debating with himself whether to copy her posture.
"Let's just do it," she murmured dryly, "I don't want to…" She trailed off but composed herself quickly, "Just put on the show."
Sebastian curled his lip disdainfully but nodded slightly, and put his arm around her back. She tensed slightly at his touch, but allowed herself to soften into a convincing pose. In a mirroring way, she placed her left hand on his left thigh, showing off the large diamond ring that felt heavy and uncomfortable on her finger.
The photographer came bursting in and held a hand out to Sebastian who shook it graciously and smiled.
"Nigel! So good to see you, how've you been?"
As he and Nigel engaged in a warm conversation, Santana could see Sebastian was no stranger to having his photograph taken and was obviously familiar with the various journalists in Ohio.
Nigel turned to Santana and said,
"You must be the lovely bride,"
She smiled and said "That's me," letting out a small, forced laugh.
"You've picked a good one Sebastian, she's a stunner."
"She certainly is," Sebastian conceded automatically and he squeezed her tightly to him.
Santana tried not to wince at the uncomfortable way he held her and pushed a smile over her strong features.
"I'm just going to take a couple of warm up shots, then Judy'll come in to do the full report."
"Alright," Sebastian agreed and grinned broadly for the camera.
Santana glanced at him nervously for confirmation; there was a moment, as Nigel was sorting the camera, where his vivid green eyes met her dark ones and just for a second, something rose between them. They were in this together, even if it wasn't what either of them wanted, they were on the same level and the only way they could get through it was with each other.
"It's going to be okay," Sebastian muttered under his breath, "Just try to relax."
"Alright!" Nigel said and he pulled the camera up to face her.
Suddenly, it was so much more than a piece of machinery, it was focusing in on her and she felt pressure and weight bearing down on her. Sebastian felt her tense in his hold and squeezed her once more.
The same action, that had once pained her, was now encouraging and could she call it… friendly? She nodded slightly, just slightly so that only he could notice it. She flipped her long dark hair over her shoulder again and beamed towards the camera lens, flashing her straight white teeth.
"Show me the ring!" Nigel called and obligingly, Santana held out her left hand for him to capture the rock that rested there.
"Fabulous! Now look at each other." He instructed demandingly.
Sebastian turned to face his fiancée and locked his jade eyes to her dark ovals. He tried desperately to make a connection between them, but all he saw was emptiness and vacancy. She wanted to be there as much as he did and she was only ruefully placing a hand to his cheek and smiling bashfully at him.
She was a great actress, playing the part she was required to well. He only hoped that their fathers and the general public couldn't read her as well as he could. He found it slightly odd and even more unnerving the way he could read the every thought and movement of a person he held such disdain for. Maybe it was because of the way that every thought and movement she made seemed to echo the ones he had been making for so long.
"Right that's great, I've got everything I need." Nigel grinned and the pair snapped out of their positions. "Judy will be right in."
Nigel left the room and Santana immediately dropped from Sebastian's grip and returned to her position at the other end of the austere couch.
"Yeah, don't come near me for too long," Sebastian spat sarcastically, "You might catch something,"
"Like an STD." Santana shot back spitefully, crossing her arms protectively.
"I can't help it if I'm wanted by everyone, warts and all." Sebastian smirked, sliding lecherously over to her.
"Not by me." Santana replied, pushing him away from her.
"Fortunately I'm not interested in you, unfortunately for my father really." Sebastian snapped, sourly turning his back on her.
"Right, where are my lovebirds?"
A shrill voice rang out in the hallowed hallway outside the parlour followed by the clicking of stiletto heels on pearly tiles. The reporter, Judy, made her way into the room to find Sebastian back next to Santana, smiling goofily up at her.
The sight made Santana want to vomit and slap him but she stopped herself, reminding herself just why she was in this situation. Gathering all her efforts and pushing the bile down her throat, she slid her hand into Sebastian's and beamed up at the curly haired reporter who was grinning blissfully at them.
"That's my favourite sight to see. A couple in love." Judy sighed happily, blind to the falsity of the show before her.
"Let me get you a chair Judy," Sebastian offered, standing to pull her one over.
"Such a gentleman," Judy trilled, sinking into the plush seat, "You're so lucky Santana."
"Indeed, I am," Santana agreed, nodding obediently as Sebastian re-joined her on the luxurious sofa and wrapped his hand in hers.
"So tell me, how did you two meet?" Judy asked, whipping out a small notebook and a fluffy pen.
Sebastian swallowed, rehearsing the story quickly in his head. His father had told him exactly what to say and he wanted to make sure he didn't slip up. Someone's head would roll if he did – most likely his.
"Santana and I met in high school through our Show Choir competitions."
This much was true.
"I was instantly captivated by her striking voice."
He would never admit this to her, but this was truth as well.
"We continued to interact at various events that my father had invited Dr Lopez – and thereby Santana – to and eventually I could stare at her no longer without asking her out on a date."
Sebastian reeled off the pre-prepared story and finished with a glowing smile at Judy.
"So sweet!" She commented, "Tell me Santana, how was that date?"
Santana flicked her eyes to Sebastian's, who showed no sign of fear. She embodied the same confidence that he had portrayed and continued in the agreed story.
"It was as perfect as you'd expect from the Smythe family."
She had been told to treat the Smythes as Ohio royalty showing respect and admiration for them.
"He took me for a lovely dinner and we had a walk in the park together."
She smiled neatly and primly at Judy.
"And was there a little kiss?" pushed the older woman, winking ostentatiously.
Santana tittered coquettishly; a noise Sebastian didn't think could come out of her tough, fierce form.
"Of course not! There was a peck yes, but Sebastian's a gentleman. He did everything properly and perfectly."
She was beginning to get into the story and the role, playing the ideal bride well.
"And I hear you'll be moving into the Smythe mansion until the wedding Santana?" Judy grinned, taking a few notes happily.
Santana's face fell and she looked at Sebastian, narrowing her eyes inquisitively. She faltered slightly, unable to comprehend what she had heard. This had never been part of the deal; Judy must've made some mistake. Looking at Sebastian, she saw that he was equally confused and disheartened, his features arranging themselves gradually into a more and more angry look.
"Er- I" Santana stammered, trying to make sense of what had just been thrown at her.
"Yes exactly Judy!" boomed the voice of Stefan Smythe striding into the parlour, "Santana will be joining us here from this evening onwards. Isn't that brilliant Seb?"
There you have it, your introduction into 'The Show'... you know what to do now ;)