LbN: Written for Fapezberry Week on Tumblr. Full disclosure: I researched as much as I felt was necessary for the purposes of this story. If there are any glaring inaccuracies, I welcome constructive criticism, but please don't flame. Happy reading, peeps!
And I Don't Want the World to See Me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand….
Santana walked right into Dr. Young's office. She'd called the woman just before dumping her phone, and the 40 year old therapist was waiting for her.
She wrapped Santana in a hug for a moment, then stood back. "Before we talk, do your parents know where you are?"
Santana shook her head.
She shook her head again.
"Okay. I'm going to call them and tell them you're safe. I won't tell them anything else, just that it was an emergency and you're at my office. Is that okay?"
Once Young was finished making the phone calls, she sat down next to Santana. "How did everyone find out?" she asked gently.
Santana started shaking. She'd used up every tear she had, crying constantly on the forty-five minute drive over, but the hollow pained feeling in her chest was still there. "I…I was arguing with one of my teammates."
She nodded. "We were in the hallway, and…." She broke off with a hollow chuckle. "It's so stupid really…."
"You really have to stop being such a bitch, Santana," Finn said.
"Excuse me? I'm having a discussion with my girlfriends about something private. I'm not being a bitch. I'm not insulting them, or yelling even. So why don't you go be nosy somewhere else?"
"You'll never change," he told her, shaking his head.
"Finn, I would appreciate it if you left," Rachel said. "You have no context for what we were discussing, and it's wrong of you to call Santana names anyway."
"I don't know how you two put up with her."
"They put up with me because they know I love them. And they love me back—even when I fuck up. I know that concept is foreign to you, since you break up with your girlfriends if they sneeze at an inconvenient time for you. I know I was an asshole in the past, but Grilled Cheesus, move on already!"
"You're such a dick…oh wait."
"Finn!" Quinn snapped.
"Maybe that's the problem. You're so uptight pretending to be a girl—"
"She is a girl, and you need to shut up before I rip your balls off!" Quinn said, taking a step toward the football player. People were starting to stare….
Finn took a step back from Quinn, but didn't lower his voice. "Maybe if you just 'fessed up to that penis you're sporting, you wouldn't be so fucked in the head."
Dead silence overtook the hall.
Santana turned and ran.
She finally looked up at Dr. Young. "He…it's like words mean nothing to him. Not things other people say or anything he says."
"What do you mean?"
"If it's in his head, he says it. If you tell him something, the only way he actually registers what you've said is if it benefits, shocks, or irritates him in some way. He dated Rachel for the better part of a year and we still have to remind him that she's a vegan. But this he stores away, of course."
"How did he know?"
"Last month, I went over to Rachel's house during that really bad thunderstorm. She was home alone, and I know she really can't stand them. Well, we…we were taking advantage of the empty house, shall we say? And Finn decided to check in on her as well. He kind of caught us with our pants down, literally."
"And what was his immediate reaction?"
Santana could feel herself calming down. Dr. Young's method, with her at least, was to approach everything with scientific precision—dissecting the problem from the start, as she explained it. It took you out of the moment…gave you a chance to breathe. "He started yelling. And kicking chairs. He said Rachel was better off with him, and that I was a freak and…you know…all the things the rest of the school will be saying now that he shouted it to all and sundry."
"We'll get to that in a moment. The night he found out, was there anything that stuck out in your mind from what he said? Try to ignore the hurtful things and focus on things relating to him."
"Just that he wanted Rachel back. And that once people found out she'd be crawling back to him so she didn't get bullied the way I would."
Dr. Young was quiet for a moment. "You've described this boy to me before, Santana. He's the one who gave you a hard time when you told your club that you were doing anger counseling, right?"
"He sounds like another one of these emotionally stunted boys who keep mental tallies of everything. He's not calculating—that is, he didn't wait for the opportunity to out you. I believe he said it out of anger, because he knew it would hurt you. Is that acceptable, no. But it does mean that you don't have to wait for another 'gotcha' moment, as it were. Now, as to how many people know…it could be all over school by the morning, or your super scary girlfriend Quinn may have taken care of it. You won't know until you talk to your girlfriends. In any case, if you give me permission to talk to your parents and Dr. Berry about what happened, I promise to do my best to make sure any bullying is short-lived."
"I don't want an assembly about my naughty parts," Santana grumbled.
"There won't be. I've grown tired of hearing horror stories from students at McKinley about the abuse they have to endure. I plan on helping put a stop to it."
"Please no national media."
"Trust me when I say that it won't have even a glimmer of a chance to get that far. Do I have your permission?"
Santana thought. Not only about what she was going to have to endure, but what she put others through. "Yeah…sure, I guess."
"I want you to go home, and call Rachel and Quinn. I want them to help you journal tonight."
"Because I know you, Santana," Young said with a smile. "If I don't make you let them in, you'll push them away."
"And here I thought I was making emotional progress."
"You are, Santana. You most definitely are."
"Don't you ever. Do. That. Again," Quinn said, punctuating each word with a kiss. "Where the fuck was your phone?"
"Somewhere in the back of my Hummer." She'd been accosted by her girlfriends the moment she stepped through the door.
"How are you?" Rachel asked hesitantly.
Santana pulled her into her lap and leaned slightly against Quinn. "I've been better."
"I threatened everyone in the hall within an inch of their lives, but…."
"Jacob got to it," Santana finished.
"I'm sorry," Quinn said. "He'd already posted it to his blog when Puck and I found him."
"You're both awesome for trying," Santana said, kissing each of them. "But I don't want to talk about it anymore."
"Then how about we talk about this?" Rachel suggested, handing Santana a large envelope.
Santana smiled for the first time that afternoon.
There had been uncomfortably tense meetings in Santana's life, but this one topped them all. She took Rachel and Quinn's hands and braced herself for whatever horror was about to take place.
The superintendent of Lima ISD and Principal Figgins sat sweating at one table. Well, Figgins was sweating—the super just looked upset with the entire situation. The girls and their parents sat at another, and Dr. Young sat with the Hudson-Hummel family at a third.
"I'm here as an advocate for the girls," Dr. Young explained. "Things can get…heated, when parents start defending their kids, so I'm going to relay only the necessary."
"We've talked to Finn about what happened," was how Burt chose to start the conversation.
"Oh, I'm sure you have, Mr. Hummel. Unfortunately, we're past the point of talking. You see, your step-son revealed classified medical information about another student. And this school, which fosters an atmosphere for bullying, is no longer safe for Santana, Rachel or Quinn."
"What?" Finn asked. "Why—"
Dr. Young held up a hand. "Whatever bullying Santana receives will be shared by the other two."
"I didn't know it was class—"
"You knew about a rare medical condition that Santana was attempting to keep a secret. You shouted this in a crowded hallway, in a moment of bullying."
"Save it, sir," Dr. Young snapped. "I've worked with high school students all my life. I know bullying when I encounter it."
"You don't even know my side of it!" he yelled.
"Oh please, do share. One of the best things about Santana is that she owns up to her bad behavior, so I can't wait to hear what you have to tell me."
Finn sat there looking disgruntled.
"The slushie machine has been moved from the cafeteria," Figgins said. "And working with Superintendent Clarke and Dr. Young, we have moved to a stricter policy on violence and bullying at this school. The students will be notified of this today. All reported incidents of bullying will be investigated seriously. We also have another counselor starting next week—one who is trained in dealing with teens and behavioral issues."
"What does all of that mean for Finn?" Carole asked quietly.
"What it means is that your son is going to have to learn how to think before he speaks," Dr. Young said. "You got mad, Finn. I get it. And you wanted to say something mean to hurt her. But you didn't pick something mean. You could have called her a bitch…again. You could have called her a slut, or a cunt, or any of the many demeaning names you young boys seem to like calling girls. But you didn't."
"I'm sorry," he mumbled.
"No you're not. I know boys like you. You're upset that you're getting called out on this. If this meeting hadn't taken place…you would've gone about your day like you did nothing wrong. And maybe there would have been a second of remorse when Santana got slushied, or shoved into a locker, or worse…but you would've rationalized it. You would have said to yourself 'If she hadn't been fighting with me, I wouldn't have said those things.' Nothing you did was okay. And I'm sure they don't want some cover-my-ass apology right now. May I ask you a question, Finn?"
"Are you calm enough right now to listen to Santana? It isn't an attack—she wants to explain something."
The boy shrugged.
"The night you found out, you were freaked out and pissed off," Santana said. "Understandable. But I need you to actually get it. Fair?"
Finn nodded. "I won't interrupt."
"Gracias. Okay…the easiest way to do this is to ask: what do I look like to you?"
"And that's what I identify as. A girl. There's a whole lot of stuff that goes on with people's genetics that I won't go into, but the gist of it is, my junk doesn't look like anyone else's. That's the highly simplified, I-don't-feel-like-talking-about-this-but-now-I-have-to version. Understand?"
"Not…not exactly. I mean, I get it. I just don't get how…."
"Science. Biology. God was in a particularly creative mood after getting drunk of Satan's moonshine…. Doesn't matter. The point is, I'm different. And we all know how much this school celebrates differences."
Superintendent Clarke cleared his throat. "We should let the kids get to class. I will be happy to answer any questions you parents have."
Not a one of them had believed, even for a second, that the new "policies" would make things okay. The second day, when a shower of condoms fell out of Santana's locker, they were proven right.
The third day there was a penis spray painted onto Santana's locker. Rachel's was stuffed with pamphlets on "How to tell if your date's a tranny." Quinn's phone didn't stop buzzing because of all the anonymous texts.
Fourth day, one of the Neanderthals from the hockey team pushed Santana into a locker, declaring that he could hit her now since she was a dude. She nearly punched Blaine in the face when he had the audacity to whisper "Courage."
The fifth day, the girls' parents kept them home from school. Judy made them a big breakfast, and they sat in the living room to talk.
"I can pay for bodyguards, or you guys can transfer. Take your pick," Cristobal Lopez said.
"Transfer." It was immediate and unanimous.
The parents stared. Santana and Quinn looked at Rachel to explain.
"We all got early acceptance letters in the mail the other day. Even if I don't get into NYADA, I've got a scholarship to NYU. So does Santana. Quinn got into Yale."
The parents all started talking at once. Quinn held up a hand.
"We found out the other day, but with everything that happened…it kind of took the wind out of our sails. Anyway, we just want to finish the year low key. We don't need glee anymore, or the Cheerios. So the sooner we get out of McKinley, the better."
"We could hang in for the next six months," Santana admitted. "But it would feel like torture. And I don't want them to have to go through that for me."
The parents all shared a glance. Hiram finally spoke up. "Lima is a…small community. It wouldn't make much sense for you to transfer to Lima High, or even to Carmel."
"There's either something awful or awesome coming; wait for it," Quinn muttered.
Judy smiled. "There's a school in Cinncinatti. It's one of the schools for LGBT youth. We found them because a lot of public schools don't accept transfers after Thanksgiving—it messes with the rosters for the new term. They do. And they are holding three spots for you."
"Since Hiram and I work down there, we'd be able to check in on you regularly," Maribel told them.
"We can rent you an apartment. After setting up some ground rules, of course…. We think you'll be happy there."
"The only catch is that you won't be able to participate in extracurricular competition. You can join glee or whatever you want, but you'll be a non-competing member."
"I can live with that."
"Small price to pay."
"Is this where we get the ink out and sign on the dotted line?"
"This," Leroy said. "Is where you finish your breakfast, and where we go talk to that inept bureaucrat, Figgins."
The FaPezBerry House Rules (as amended and ratified by the parents of the trio here stated):
No alcohol at all. Ever.
No more than two friends over at a time.
Curfew is at 9 on weekdays and 10 on weekends. No exceptions unless discussed with all five parents.
Text each set of parents once the alarm is set for the night.
Random visits will happen. Often.
Any sickness or injury (no matter how tiny) is to be reported immediately.
Do your homework.
Wash behind your ears.
Don't let Rachel near the coffee.
Snow swirled around their feet as they looked toward the main entrance of the school. A boy with bright green hair, and a fashion sense to rival Kurt's, waved at them. A tall woman with bright blue eyes and dark hair smiled as they walked up.
"You must be our new trio. I'm Principal Wilde, and this is Toby," the woman said. "He's a senior too. He'll be showing you around today."
"Nice to meet you," the boy said, waving. "And, as I say on every tour, I don't know why you've picked us, but it'll be the best decision you've ever made."
Somehow, as they followed him around the school, the girls didn't doubt it.