A/N: So, two years ago, my English teacher showed us a form of flash fiction, which I like to call 'before that'. It's essentially telling a story backwards… well, you'll see. Bear in mind that this is flash fiction, and meant to be short. OK? OK. Cool.

My mind just started wondering if there was a reason Santana was so bitchy all of the time, and it wouldn't let this go. I'm quite pleased with it, actually. :) It's another little ficlet I wrote while in Lake Garda. Well, not actually in the lake. In the area. Shutting up now.

Disclaimer: If you recognise it, I don't own it.

Santana Lopez looked around her new school. She'd heard so many stories about how high school was vicious and only the coldest rose to the top. Well, she thought, no trouble there.

Before that, Santana walked away from her middle school, not looking back at it. It didn't do to dwell on what she couldn't change. Her father had taught her that.

Before that, Santana snapped at the boys trying to beat up that ditzy blonde in her homeroom. Even if she hated the girl – Brittany, that was her name – she was still going to defend her. The boys came from Lima Heights Adjacent, and Santana (unfortunately) knew them well. Brittany had had no chance, so Santana had stepped in.

Before that, Santana had endured most of junior school alone, fighting anyone and everyone who tried to cross her. She didn't care. She'd grown up like this, because her mother had been too weak to. A particular knucklehead who stood out in her memory of the place was Noah Puckerman.

Before that, Santana was five years old and she punched a boy for the first time. He'd made a passing remark that insulted her mother, but she refused to stand for it. So she'd punched him. It had felt right, and it had worked- he'd gone away. She hadn't been punished for it, either, so Santana just assumed that was how you dealt with people you didn't like.

Before that, the heavily pregnant woman moved into Lima Heights Adjacent, trying desperately – but failing – to ignore the laughs and jeers of the rough, violent residents.

Before that, Martina Lopez had her first and last one-night stand, an event which gave her nothing – apart from a child.

And now, Santana, 14, looks around her new school. She'd heard so many stories about how high school was vicious and only the coldest rose to the top. Well, she thinks, no trouble there.

A/N: Said it was short. 428 words, to be precise. Anyway. Review, please!

G-B-C xx