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"Ow... ow – Santana!"
"I told you it might sting," Santana prodded. "Just stay still, okay?"
"Fine," Brittany grumbled.
It had rained throughout the night and even though it had stopped long before the sun had risen, the world was still wet and murky. Perhaps it was Brittany's fault for not paying attention or maybe she was just unlucky enough to have it happen to her, but as she made her way towards the school entrance, she had stepped in a puddle on the sidewalk and immediately slipped backwards onto the pavement. She had caught herself with her hand which, of course, resulted in quite a bit of the skin there being scraped off.
When she made it into school and met up with Santana, her friend had noticed her hand almost immediately. She told her that she should go get some band aids from the nurse, but not before she had dragged Brittany off into the nearest restroom to clean off some of the blood, mixed with specs of dirt and gravel.
"Ow, Santana, seriously," Brittany whined and hissed from the sting.
"Look, I'm being as gentle as I can," Santana said as she continued to dab the wet paper towel across Brittany's hand, "but if it's not cleaned, then it'll just get infected and then you'll have even more problems to deal with."
Santana said the words almost robotically as if she had heard them a million times before.
Ignoring the sting in her hand, Brittany looked up at Santana and said, "You seem to be quite familiar with this."
Santana gave a light scoff as if to say duh. "My parents were doctors and I wasn't exactly one to care much for my safety as a child. Believe me, I heard all of the lectures."
"Seriously?" Brittany questioned.
"Yeah," Santana chuckled. "I was pretty reckless back then. Everyday, I would go outside and play and I'd come back with a new scar every time. It drove my mom insane. She said that I would go through a pack of band aids so fast, she considered just taking the hospital's entire stock of them home with her."
Brittany laughed. "Little daredevil Santana? That's cute."
"Yeah, well I'm not going back to behaving that way anytime soon," Santana stated. "I still have half the scars I got from back then, I'm not looking for any more."
Santana dabbed for a second longer, then brought Brittany's hand up to her face.
Brittany watched as she inspected it and was relieved when Santana said, "Okay, this looks good enough. The bell's about to ring so we should hurry and go to the nurse so we won't be late to class."
"No, it's fine, you don't have to come with me," Brittany said as she dropped her hand to her side. "Go to class, I'll meet you there, okay?"
Santana was quiet for a second before agreeing. "Yeah, okay. Hurry, alright?"
Together they walked out of the restroom. Santana went in one direction towards Ms. Lawrence's room and Brittany went the other towards the nurse's office. Brittany knew why Santana had told her to hurry. She didn't want Brittany to be late and have to deal with Ms. Lawrence chastising her. Brittany didn't want to deal with that either so she walked as quickly as she could.
The second she reached the nurse's office, the bell rang so she hurried inside and asked the nurse for a band aid. Seeing the many scrapes on her hand, the nurse gave her multiple to ensure that all the spots could be covered. Brittany thanked her before she left and then sped to class, hastily putting the band aids on in the process.
When she reached Ms. Lawrence's class just a few moments later, she saw Santana standing outside the door, looking around the hall. When her eyes fell on Brittany coming towards her, she smiled and pushed herself off the wall she was leaning against.
"Hey," Brittany greeted when she reached her. "You didn't have to wait out here."
Santana shrugged and simply said, "I wanted to. Come on." She ushered Brittany inside the room and followed in after her.
They headed to their seats and once they were both seated, Santana looked over her shoulder and flashed Brittany a smile before turning back around. Shortly after, the bell rang and the class settled down as they got ready for the lesson.
As usual, Ms. Lawrence had them take notes the whole time, which was especially difficult for Brittany with her hand covered in bandages and how it would sting every time she gripped her pencil. She just had to injure her dominant hand.
It got to the point where she became so frustrated with the pain writing was causing her hand that she just set her pencil down, no longer caring about what Ms. Lawrence was saying or how important it may have been. Brittany sat back in her seat and looked down at her hand as she flexed her fingers back and forth, trying to relieve some of the tension she felt.
However, that didn't seem to be the right time to stop paying attention, because as always, the only times Ms. Lawrence seemed to notice Brittany were when she did one thing out of place.
So, it wasn't exactly surprising when Brittany heard a sharp, "Ms. Pierce."
Brittany didn't even flinch. She exhaled through her nose and slowly raised her eyes up so they met Ms. Lawrence's.
"Yes?" Brittany grumbled, not bothering to hide the annoyance in her voice.
"It would do you well to actually pay attention in my class and take notes instead of dozing off," Ms. Lawrence berated her. "Maybe then your grades would actually improve."
Brittany ignored the snickers she heard coming from some of her classmates and scowled at her teacher. She was seconds away from replying with something that, without a doubt, would've gotten her into a lot more trouble when her eyes flickered to the side and met Santana's.
She gave Brittany a pointed look that said whatever you're thinking of doing, don't. Almost instantly, Brittany could feel whatever words she was going to say die in her throat as she looked at her friend. Brittany watched Santana's eyes flash towards Ms. Lawrence. Her face hardened and she stared at her for a second before turning back to Brittany with a softer expression. She gave Brittany a sympathetic smile and mouthed the word later before turning back around.
Brittany sighed to herself and picked up her pencil once more, begging for the bell to hurry and ring.
When class finally ended, Brittany shot out of her chair, not wanting to be there any longer than she needed to be. She was aware that Santana was waiting at her desk for her so she slowed down long enough to let Santana fall in step beside her.
When they walked out into the hallway, Santana turned to her and asked, "How's your hand?"
Brittany shrugged, "Could be better," she mumbled.
Santana pursed her lips. "It was bothering you, wasn't it? That's why you weren't taking notes before?"
Brittany nodded her head. "Yep."
"And Ms. Lawrence got mad at you," Santana recalled slowly, "because she thought you just didn't want to pay attention."
Brittany snorted. "Are you surprised? Ms. Lawrence always finds a reason to be mad at me. I could sneeze and she'd yell at me for interrupting her lesson or something stupid like that." Brittany let out an exasperated breath. "I don't know what her deal is. I know I'm not a favorite among any of my teachers, but none of them constantly bug me the way she does. It's like she's made it her life mission to pick on me."
"You know, I've never bothered to realize it before, but the way she acts when she speaks to you is just... really unprofessional and, well, childish," Santana stated. "She's like a kid with a silly grudge."
"Ugh, tell me about it," Brittany rolled her eyes. To say that she was overall sick and tired of dealing with Ms. Lawrence was an understatement.
Brittany turned her head towards Santana and saw that her face was hard, just like it had been before in class after Ms. Lawrence had called her out. Her brow was furrowed and she was biting down on her bottom lip, hard. Brittany looked at her for a second, then nudged her with her elbow.
"Hey," she said, "you okay?"
Santana's eyes shot up towards hers. "Yeah, I just... I don't like the way she treats you, that's it."
"Well... you don't have to get all mad on my behalf, y'know," Brittany said.
"But I am mad, Brittany," Santana sighed. "Not just because you're my friend, but because she's a grown woman. A teacher. She's supposed to encourage you to do your best, not bring you down all the time. I mean, if it's not you, it's probably some other kid she picks on in her other classes."
Brittany had never thought of that. Santana had a point. What if there was another student who got treated the same way she did by Ms. Lawrence? What if Ms. Lawrence just liked to single people out every period to unleash all her frustration onto? Maybe this went further than Ms. Lawrence just not liking Brittany, maybe she was just an unfair person in general.
"That... that may be true," Brittany concluded. "But there's no getting through to Ms. Lawrence, so what do you expect us to do about it?"
Santana was quiet for a moment. "I don't know," she finally said with a sigh. "I just... don't know."
They continued walking in silence before they reached the hallway that Brittany had to turn in to get to her second period class.
"I'll see you later, okay?" She told Santana.
"Yeah," Santana nodded. "Oh, and I know I probably shouldn't be telling you to do this since it's basically ditching class, but if you could come see me for a bit in the library during third period, I'd love to have your company," she grinned.
Brittany smiled and playfully rolled her eyes. "Like I wasn't going to, already."
Santana giggled and said, "Okay, I'll see you then," and pulled Brittany into a quick hug before they went their separate ways to class.
Second period dragged on longer than Brittany had wished, thanks to her English teacher giving them a rather lengthy lecture on Shakespearian sonnets or something of the sort. Brittany found it hard to stay awake and pay attention. When the class had finally ended, Brittany had to shake herself to get some of the energy that had been drained back in her body before making her way to third period.
As Brittany headed to her science class, she thought about what had last happened when she was there. She remembered the sadness and the anger and the humiliation she had felt because of how Eliza, Zack, and Tony had treated her. And she remembered how she did the thing that she hated most and burst into tears and cried and cried, all in front of Santana.
Brittany felt her jaw clench. There was no way she was going to let that happen again. She wasn't going to let those guys make her feel stupid, especially when the three of them didn't even do any work, so who were they to make fun of her level of intelligence when all they did was slack off?
Brittany grimaced at the thought of those three. Now that she had had a bunch of time to get over her sadness due to what they said, she just felt annoyed. She was annoyed that Eliza, Zack, and Tony thought that they could just make fun of her for sport like that, but mostly, Brittany was annoyed that she let them get to her.
How could the three of them call her stupid when they hadn't even bothered to get their work done? That was a contradiction if Brittany ever heard of one. She should've realized it immediately but those guys were just so full of it. No matter how much they tore her down, Brittany doubted they were any better.
A sly smile grew on Brittany's face at the conclusion she had come to. Anyways, those guys weren't worth the time to think about so she pushed them from her mind and continued on to class where she wasn't even going to bother dignifying them with her thoughts.
When she made it to the classroom, she strolled in, determined to not let anything or anyone get to her.
Brittany took her seat next to her lab partner who was, thankfully, here today. Brittany was glad that eliminated the possibility of her getting moved by someone else who couldn't stand her. She sat back in her chair and waited for the bell to ring, and when it did, she stared forward at Mr. Connelly, waiting to hear the lesson.
It was pretty simple. Mr. Connelly gave them a short lecture, then passed out a worksheet for them to do. He told them that if they understood the lab they did yesterday, then the worksheet should be fairly easy.
Brittany couldn't help but grin to herself. Despite what certain others may have thought, she had understood the lab yesterday. It relieved her to know that the worksheet wasn't going to be difficult for her.
She waited until Mr. Connelly passed out the papers, then picked up her pencil and got to work.
Ten or so minutes later, Brittany had already finished most of the worksheet, with only a few questions left to answer. She paused to take a short break and flexed the muscles in her hand. She figured it was starting to heal because she had gone this long without it bothering her.
As she sat there relaxing her hand, she remembered that she had told Santana that she was going to go see her in the library. Now was as good a time as any to do that.
She got up and did her usual routine of asking Mr. Connelly to go to the restroom. He gave her permission with a nod of his head and she headed out. Brittany walked the familiar path to the library and before she knew it, she was walking through the doors and towards the back where she knew Santana would be.
When she turned around the same bookshelf she always did, Santana immediately looked up from her work and smiled.
"There she is," Santana greeted.
"Here I am," Brittany chuckled, "just like I said I'd be."
"Yeah, I can always count on you, you little class skipper," Santana cracked as Brittany sat down next to her.
"Okay, it's not skipping if I'm gonna go back, which I always do," She replied with an eye roll. "And besides, you asked me to come here, so even if I was skipping, you would be, like, my accomplice and I could take you down with me," she said with a way too serious tone.
Santana burst into a fit of laughter and she covered her face with a hand. "God, you're such a goof," she giggled out.
Brittany lifted her shoulders in a light shrug and grinned as she watched Santana try to settle herself.
When her laughter had died down, Santana looked Brittany over and asked, "So, uh, how's your hand?"
"Fine," Brittany answered. "You know, you don't have to keep worrying about it. I just scraped it, it's not like I broke all the bones or anything."
Santana looked to the side, sheepish. "Yeah, you're right. But, uh, you should change the band aids, though, if you haven't."
"I'll do that then," Brittany nodded. She appreciated Santana looking out for her, it was nice to know that she had a friend who would do that.
A noise behind them got Brittany's attention and she looked back to see the librarian placing some books back on the shelves. When she was done, her gaze lifted and met Brittany's who blinked and sent her a quick smile. The librarian gave her a small nod in acknowledgement and then walked off.
Brittany continued looking in the direction where she once was, then turned back to Santana.
"Hey, you think she's suspicious that I come in here, like, every day now?" Brittany asked.
Santana quirked an eyebrow. "Who, Mrs. Peters?"
"Is that her name?" Brittany questioned. She hadn't known that.
"Yeah," Santana replied and with a small laugh she said, "and why would she be suspicious? It's not a crime to come into the library."
"I dunno," Brittany mumbled, "maybe she just likes to get people in trouble."
"Stop, she's super nice," Santana told her, giving her shoulder a little shove. "Not everyone is out to get you."
"Hey, you don't know, she could have secret meetings with people like Ms. Lawrence where they talk about the many ways to make student's lives miserable," Brittany said pointedly. "It's a possibility."
"Please tell me you're joking," Santana said with a shake of the head.
Brittany looked at her with a serious expression for a solid five seconds before she cracked a smile and said, "Of course, I'm joking."
Santana rolled her eyes. "You're silly."
"I've heard," Brittany chuckled.
The two of them spent a few more minutes just talking, which mostly just consisted of Brittany saying something that would make Santana laugh.
It was strange, Brittany never thought of herself as a funny person (mainly because she never had anyone to talk to and joke around with) but as she watched Santana laugh at all the things she said, she couldn't help but feel like she reached some sort of accomplishment.
Finally, it came to the point where Santana told Brittany that she should head back to class. Brittany grimaced and groaned, saying that she would rather stay, and it wasn't until Santana quite literally pushed her out of her seat that she agreed to go. They exchanged their goodbyes and Brittany began to leave the library.
On her way to the door, Brittany saw the librarian sitting behind her desk. Unsurprisingly, she was looking down at a book and when she heard Brittany's footsteps she glanced up and met Brittany's eye yet again.
Figuring Santana was probably right about her being a nice lady and seeing as she felt it was just the polite thing to do, Brittany gave her a small wave and a smile and said, "Have a nice day, Mrs. Peters," before walking out.
She made it back to class and slipped in without making a scene and went back to her desk to finish her worksheet. She had picked up her pencil and was about to get back to work when she looked to the side and noticed her lab partner, Marcus was staring at his paper with his brow furrowed, confusion etched into his face.
Remembering how he had been absent the previous day, it was obvious that he most likely didn't know a lot of the answers since the worksheet was based off of the lab he had missed. Looking at his paper, Brittany saw that he only had just a few of the questions answered.
"Hey," Brittany found herself saying before she could stop herself. She blinked in surprise at the sound of her voice and found Marcus staring her questionably.
"Um," Brittany tried to figure out what it was she wanted to say so she wouldn't look weird. "Do... do you want any help?" She hesitantly offered. "I mean, since I know you weren't here yesterday for the lab, so... "
She trailed off, hoping she didn't look as awkward as she felt. She didn't think she had ever talked to Marcus before, so this was a first. Besides, what if Marcus denied her help? What if he thought she was stupid just like everyone else and would rather take his chances than get help from her?
With these thoughts swimming through Brittany's mind, it surprised her – really, really surpised her – when she heard Marcus let out a relieved sigh and say, "Yeah, thanks."
It took Brittany a second to realize that he had actually accepted her offer for help instead of harshly turning her down. When it finally dawned on her, she mentally shook herself back into reality.
"Right, okay," she said, leaning forward to look at what problem he was on. "So, it's kinda simple if you know what you're doing... "
The rest of the period was spent with Brittany explaining to Marcus what to do and doing the best she could to help him. After a while, he told her that he understood it for the most part, thanked her for her help, and continued on by himself.
Brittany left him to his own and went to finish her own worksheet.
As she finished her work, she thought about how it still surprised her that Marcus had readily accepted her help and hadn't cared about the fact that she was Brittany Pierce, who was widely known by everyone as being stupid. Then, Brittany thought about how Marcus was always quiet and kept to himself and other than that, she really didn't know a thing about him.
So, maybe Marcus didn't think of her the same way everyone else did because he didn't bother to hang around a lot of other people who would probably talk bad about her... or maybe, he had heard what other people said, but he just simply wasn't a judgemental person so he didn't take it upon himself to treat her the same way.
Brittany held back a smile at the thought. Besides Santana, she didn't believe that there was anyone at McKinley who would treat her kindly. She had never felt so relieved to possibly be wrong about something.
Maybe Santana was right, maybe not everyone was out to get her.
"Brittany, if you try to scare me, I swear I will make you walk home," Santana said, not even bothering to look back at the girl.
School had ended just a few short minutes ago and, as usual, Brittany had been looking for Santana and when she made it outside, she spotted her just a few meters ahead. She thought she would play around and sneak up on her, but clearly, that didn't go as planned.
Brittany froze her body and looked at the back of Santana's head in disbelief. "How did you know I was behind you?"
"Because I could feel you towering over me," Santana explained, turning around to look at Brittany through narrowed eyes.
"Oh, well, better luck next time," Brittany shrugged.
"No," Santana warned. "No next time."
"Joking," Brittany said in a sing-song voice. She grabbed Santana's arm and announced, "Come on, let's get out of here now. We're overextending our stay."
Brittany led Santana through the parking lot towards her car while, of course, making sure she avoided stepping in any puddles so she wouldn't slip again. When they got to Santana's car, they tossed their stuff into the backseat and took their places in front.
They pulled on their seatbelts and got themselves comfortable. Santana stuck her key into the ignition and started the car up and Brittany couldn't help but gaze at her as she did all this.
Brittany leaned back into her headrest. "Hey," she said, getting Santana's attention.
Santana glanced at her. "Yeah?"
"Today was kind of a good day, y'know?" Brittany innocently stated. "I mean, despite the fact that it started off with me slipping and hurting my hand and then dealing with Ms. Lawrence bugging me, things turned out alright. I had a good time."
Santana looked at her in silence for a moment, then grinned. "I'm glad you had a good time. It kinda sucks when you're feeling all sad."
"Yeah," Brittany nodded. "Well, I'm not sad or anything like that right now. Are you?"
Santana shook her head. "Nope. I had a good time today, too, even if it may not have exactly started off the best."
"Well," Brittany held up her good hand, "yay for that."
Santana's smile widened and she brought up a hand to high-five Brittany. Brittany let out a soft laugh and relaxed back into her seat as Santana put her hand back on the steering wheel so she could begin driving.
Soon, they were out on the road, making the journey to first the apartment building for Brittany and then to Ms. Chase's house for Santana.
As Santana drove, Brittany looked out the window. She saw that the once completely cloud filled sky had now opened up and she could see rays of sunlight shining through various cracks from above. Brittany smiled to herself, happy that the world was clearing up and getting brighter.
It was times like this that Brittany loved. Being content and happy, knowing that things were going well. She didn't get a lot of that normally, so whenever it happened she was sure to not take it for granted. Brittany looked back over to Santana, who noticed her out of the corner of her eye, and glanced back at her. They shared a smile before Santana looked back in front of her to focus on the road. Brittany did the same and let out a peaceful sigh.
No, the day wasn't over yet and there was still a lot of time left... but they had made it this far, and Brittany was positive that the two of them would be just fine.
Last chapter had sadness, so this one got happiness, yay! I tried to make it longer to make up for the long time it's been since I updated, but I realized if I did, it would just be a bunch of useless stuff so I kept it at it's original length.
Anyway, thanks to anyone who's still reading, you guys are the best and you mean a lot to me. Hope you enjoyed the chapter, and as always, tell me what you thought!