Santana stood up from her desk under dozens of students' stare. She readjusted her tight skirt and put her glasses on, squinting slightly out of habit. She leaned in front of the desk and opened her book. She was now more than ready to start her weekly torture.
"So on another note... I asked you to read a masterpiece for the test, Pride and Prejudice, for those of you-" her eyes roamed with sharp intention. "- who forgot. And when I meant reading it, I did not mean watching that Knightley's anorexic ass movie or that dumb Bollywood flick which almost left me blind. Now I'm going to ask once, and once only… who actually read it? Who wants to explain it?"
A couple of students scribbled seriously on their notepads, heads bent low in the hope Professor Lopez would not call on them. Others remained stoic and unflinching. Each and everyone of them had their own ways and tricks to hide the fact that no, they did had not read it. Yale had so much more to offer than Jane Austen's books. Or in other words, the sorority girls late party which had happened the evening before had taken precedence over Jane Austen and her literature.
"No candidates? It's your chance to raise the insanely low grades you got in your last test," Santana bent slightly over her desk, grabbed a bundle of sheets which she had corrected the previous night. "If no one wants to take a chance, I won't have any other choice but start by the lowest grades and check one by one who read the book..."
Flies were resonating through the heavy silence. Nobody dared to cough or even clear their throats, fearing their professor's wrath.
Santana sniffed, waiting for the first victim to squeak out a hapless, half-assed answer. "The lowest grade in this class is an F. That, ladies and gentlemen, means that if my red pen grazes that sheet again, it will be enough ink to rewrite Wuthering Heights." Her eyebrow arched. Nobody moved. 'For shame, Heathcliff!" she crowed, sighing when no one caught the reference
A student kicked Quinn's chair. The blonde looked back, seeing her friend insisting with big eyes for her to save their lazy asses. Quinn sighed. "Not again..." she whispered.
"She's gonna lower our grades! Again!" her friend pleaded. Quinn shrugged and raised her hand.
"Miss Fabray," Santana let out somewhat gratefully, holding her smirk. This particular name always burned her lips. She slowly walked to her, checking through the bundle in her arms pile for Quinn's specific paper. "On charity duty again?"
"Pardon?" Quinn faux-frowned, trying to pull back the smile that threatened to emerge.
Santana put her best student's test on her desk. "With an A+, I doubt you're in need to raise your grades with an oral examination."
"You know how much I love them," Quinn muttered, barely audible to anyone else.
The professor snorted softly. "Why are you saving your classmates today? Pool party like last week?" she said a bit louder than needed, erasing with her natural bossy tone Quinn's comment and her own reddening blush.
"Alpha Beta Sigma annual gala," Quinn laughed. A couple of students were already crumpling over their desks, pre-empting the torture session their teacher would start in consequence.
Quinn was willing to help the class, yet she could never lie to her teacher. And the latter very well knew this. Sometimes, Santana let it go when she was having a bad day. There were days when she craved for those long well structured speeches that were so relieving when she was hearing students stammering google researches all day long.
"Oh I see... Well done, well done... Then I guess such a glorious occasion needs glorious celebration," she walked back to her desk, taking her time.
Her heels drummed on the tiled floor, like gunshots piercing through the students' guilt. She sat back, sniffling once in a while to emphasize the seriousness of the situation. She slowly checked every single paper, making two piles. She classed dozens of papers, some immaculate, some bleeding in red inked corrections. She hated doing this, yet she had no choice. She had to classify her students in two sections, the ones who were good enough to pass but had encountered little bumps in the road, and the ones who were doomed to an obvious fail. Once she was done, she leaned back against her desk and crossed her arms.
"You know the rules. On my left are the ones who will face serious consequences. I'll prepare a three hours long test and no absence is allowed, pass it on for those currently curing their hangovers. On my right, respite: I'll check your reading next time since you all will have read the book by then."
She let her back fall against the chair. She looked almost defeated. "I don't know what to do anymore to get you interested in Literature," she growled. "I tried underground pieces, masterpieces, best sellers... What do I have to do to get you to read a book for the Literature class you signed up for? I never asked you to be here, you chose so take charge of your responsibilities. This is Yale, not high school. I'm not lecturing on Fifty shades of Grey so you can get a boner and actually find some kind of interest in what is happening in this class. Pull yourselves together, I am not going to repeat this until the end of the year," she sighed, beyond done. "Dismissed."
The students rushed to the desk to see in which pile their paper was. The crowd stormed out, escaping before their teacher could have second thoughts and give detention to the whole class. As usual, Quinn was the last to leave. The smiling blonde grabbed her paper with sure fingers, the last to stand by the desk.
"A+, lucky me," she teased.
"You described the issues of Darcy and Elizabeth's confrontation on power and equality with striking smartness. I have nothing to add to what you wrote," Santana answered calmly, relaxed. This was nothing compared to the beast her students witnessed everyday.
"I just understand Elizabeth very well, I suppose," Quinn replied, smirking.
"Does someone fit in your Darcy's shoes, then?" Santana said after a quick check to the open door. She tried to hide her conniving, somewhat smug, smile.
Quinn raised a playful eyebrow. She turned on her heels, sure that they would pursue this conversation some other time. She skipped through the hallways to join her group of friends.
"Seriously guys, we're fucked. How are we supposed to read that damn book with the History essay and the English test coming up?" Tina complained.
"Come on, it's not that long!" Quinn tried to ease them.
Mercedes scowled. "Oh you have no say, girl! You're a bookworm, so your opinion is not relevant to our conversation." Quinn giggled and shrugged. "And don't you dare make fun of us! You know, we have lives, unlike you."
"I have a very fulfilling social life, thank you."
Tina snorted, "No, you don't! You're always at your aunt's."
"Girls, that's not the point. We can study together, I can help you if you need but I can't read the book for you!"
Her friends stopped walking and clenched Quinn by the elbows, malicious in their intent. "You're gonna help us, Quinn. Oh yeah, you will..." Mercedes sang. Tina poked her playfully.
Quinn laughed, "alright, alright... I'm gonna explain everything but you'll have to bribe me with free beers."
"Oh my god, yes! Anything if you can help us to not fail that damn' class," Tina cheered. "She's so hard on us..."
Quinn listened to her friends debating the firmness of their teacher. She said nothing, didn't defended either the teacher or her friends. Mercedes and Tina believed that it was the blonde's temper. She was just a very good student, the best in the class. She didn't seem into gossip, that was all. Despite her obvious lack of interest in bitchy opinions over teachers, Mercedes and Tina never suspected anything. Her inner seriousness explained her behavior just fine. That was nothing to feel weird about.
That night, Quinn was the teacher. She detailed everything her friends might need not to fail Professor Lopez's class. They were emptying beer after beer, their drunk minds traveling through English poetry giddily. Hours later, Quinn had explained everything she possibly could and relaxed on the sofa of her friends' dorm room.
"I think I might just go now. If I manage to find my way back home," Quinn giggled.
"Dead serious Quinn, I know you love your aunt and stuff, but why don't you just get a room in the dorm like last year? We miss you around, you always have to leave so early..."
"But I love living with her," Quinn stared at her shoes.
"We just miss you, we miss our late nights," Mercedes tapped on her friend's shoulder.
"Let's just compromise, I'll stay for the night more often," she smiled, reassuring. They beamed back at her.
"Why not tonight? It's Friday night, we can give you spare clothes for tomorrow morning!" Tina offered, thrilled. "Stay tonight!"
Quinn's eyes went wide. "No, not like that... My... my aunt, she'll worry if she doesn't see me coming home."
"Come on, it's just sad," Mercedes pouted. "Give her a call and stay!"
"Next Friday, promise. As long as she knows before, it's on for the night," she said already putting her stuff back in her bag.
"You're no fun, Quinn..."
"We're gonna get wasted next Friday and you can put the pictures on Facebook if you want," Quinn winked.
Considering how serious and calm Quinn was, that proposition was simply gold. "You better get wasted girl! You only have two options to make it up for your lame and boring-ness: Either you drink until you throw up, or you find a girl to sleep with! That's what I call fun!" Mercedes laughed.
Quinn forced a chuckle. Ready to leave, she hugged her friends. "We'll see, but the most important is to spend time together, right?"
"You bet it is..." Tina cooed through the tight hug.
"Have a nice week-end cleaning your aunt's stockings!" Mercedes shouted when Quinn passed the door, giggling.
Quinn walked slowly so as not to get any attention, which was her main goal, always. Be the most discreet possible, do not get any attention either from the teachers or the students. She wanted to be invisible, not to have anybody care about her, excluding her best friends who fulfilled her social life at school just fine. Crawling along the dorms' hallways walls like a cat, nobody could have heard her.
As always, her silent dance drastically changed when she exited the campus area, heading to the bus station. She ran, drumming on the cold pavement as fast as she could to reach the bus that would bring her to her own dreamland. As always, she took the same seat on the last row, shrinking low and smiling at the fact that the driver and other students were oblivious to her presence as the bus headed downtown. Checking twice that nobody had seen her, she took a second bus that would stop right in front of her destination, a place where she shouldn't be ever seen going to by any students or professors. That was the deal. She couldn't and shouldn't take any risk to let anyone figure out where she was heading every night. She, they, couldn't afford any suspicion.
When her key unlocked the house's front door, her heart felt heavy. It was so late, the street and the house were dark and silent. She took her shoes off softly by the entrance so as not to make any sound. She took her coat and scarf off on her path to the bedroom, leaving her items here and there. She turned the handle with a gentleness only love could provide. The room was in the dark just like the rest of the house, the closed blinds making it even dimmer, but Quinn knew the way to the bed by heart. Her bed. She got rid of her skirt and all that would be uncomfortable to sleep in and left everything on a chair close to the door. She followed the calm breathing escaping the sheets to guide her through the black night, and softly, she slid into the bed.
She cuddled against the body sleeping with their face smushed into the pillows. "I'm home..." she whispered lovingly.
At the warm and reassuring contact, Santana was slowly pulled out from her dreaming. "I missed you tonight," she croaked turning around to face her girlfriend.
"Sorry, I had to make sure my two dumbass illiterate friends don't fail your class," Quinn whispered with a joking smile, her eyes already drifting closed now that her body began to warm in the presence of Santana's body heat.
Santana chuckled tiredly. "Come here..." she opened her arms to welcome her sweetheart and lazily kissed her, fighting her heavy sleepiness.
"I missed you too," Quinn cooed, obviously having craved to be in those arms all night.
Santana's smile spoke volumes about how in love she was, how dear it was to her to be pulled from sleep by sweet words and this pretty face. She snuggled in the crook of her neck, taken away by Quinn's sweet perfume. Yes, dating her student might have been against the school's rules and perhaps even against consensus, yet Quinn was her drug. When she was snuggling against her neck, when she felt that warm body cuddling against her and a loving hand stroking her back, Santana had no other choice than admit that Quinn was not only her drug, but that it would kill her if she had to kiss that paradise goodbye.