Santana swallowed hard, back pressed to the wall as Rachel's words rang in her ears yet again:
"Maybe you're right, maybe I am destined to play the title role in Broadway musical version of Willow, but the only job you're going to have is working on a pole!"
Why did Berry's words matter? The girl was nutzo, an overemotional psychopath. So why should Santana care about what she had said?
Because no one disagreed with her. Even Brittany just stared; jaw on the floor as you stormed out, that damned voice in her head told her. Now she was hidden away, tucked away in a corner of the Cheerios locker room. No one was meant to see the tears streaking her tanned face, not even Brittany.
What the hell was wrong with her? Berry was nothing more than some loser freak. Santana was the HBIC of McKinley High. People literally cowered at the site of her stalking through the halls most days. But RuPaul finally stands up against her and she can't hold it together? Shit, Lopez, you're losing it, piped the voice once more. Santana scrubbed at her face almost violently. She needed to get over it.
"Damn, Lopez. Berry got you good."
"G-get out of here Quinn. Coach'll flip if she finds out."
Quinn sighed and sat down next to Santana, sliding back against the wall, "Santana…"
"Save it. I know, I deserved what she said. I'm a total bitch and a slut and-"
"And Rachel doesn't know you," Quinn interrupted, looking the Latina directly in the eyes, willing her to trust her. "They don't get you. I used to not… but… I get it. It's how you protect yourself." She sighed and wrapped an arm around Santana's shoulders before continuing, almost at a whisper, "I don't know what you're so scared of, Santana. But I am sorry. I'm here for you now, you know?"
Santana nodded, sliding closer to Quinn and laying her head on the blonde's shoulder, allowing her tears to flow once again. She had missed Quinn. She'd missed their rivalry, their dynamic as head cheerleaders. But mostly, she had missed this; Quinn was so understanding and so ridiculously supportive, even if she didn't know what exactly she was supporting.
The brunette's mind wandered back to Brittany; the way she had just watched Santana leave, speechless. She always got on to Santana for being mean to the Glee kids, but she understood. She understood what Quinn did now, that it was all for show. That deep down…
"You know, after you left Brittany yelled at everyone. She stood up for you, even when Artie tried to… Never mind."
Artie. His name sent another flame through her blood stream. Oh, how she wished she could knock him out of that wheelchair. He treated her like a fucking child; he didn't deserve Brittany, hell no. She did – she would treat her right, treat her like she deserved.
"San? Santana honey, where are you?" Her voice echoed through the locker room, sweet but still sad – no, not sad –worried.
"B-back here, Britt," Santana's voice cracked as she sat up, rubbing her eyes. Quinn smiled at her sadly, pulling her arm back to her own side as Brittany rounded the corner. The taller blonde didn't hesitate to drop to her knees and pull Santana into a tight embrace, sending a grateful smile to Quinn.
"Sanny, don't listen to them. You're amazing," Brittany whispered into her hair, feeling Santana beginning to tremble in her arms.
"N-n-no. They're right, they all are," her words were nearly inaudible, Brittany just barely hearing them. She pulled back immediately and held the small, vulnerable Latina at arms' length, brow furrowed, blue eyes intently focused on brown.
"No, Santana. They are absolutely wrong. You are wonderful and sweet and magical and they're just too blinded by their own egos to see that. I don't think that you see it either, but it's true," her words were firm but gentle, slipping their way past Santana's defenses and into her heart. Brittany's voice soothed her, and she nodded gently before melting back into Brittany's arms.
The two stayed on the floor, lost in each other's arms; not noticing as Quinn silently scooted away and got to her feet. She let her two friends have their moment as she slipped out of the room undetected.
Quinn could not believe Rachel – how fucking thick that little diva was. Not to mention Artie, how he said "Satan" had deserved such words. And maybe Santana had deserved a bit of back-talk… But that was just low, knowing Satana's history. Quinn sighed to herself – she knew this was far from over.