Summary: Driving home one night, Santana dies in a car crash. Brittany doesn't take the news well, and it's up to the Glee Club to help her. A fill for the Glee Angst Meme. One-shot.
A.N. Massive thanks to my beta Veiledgreyskies!
She closes her eyes and shakes her head, trying to get the images and thoughts out of her mind. She's sat at a red light, desperately trying to pull herself together before she gets home.
She hadn't thought it would be this hard – to walk away from Brittany. She thought she had convinced herself that it's better without feelings, but she was wrong. Sure, it was hurting now – after walking away – but feeling what she had in that moment, the one hundred percent true love, was better than she had ever imagined. Better than she ever thought she'd be capable of experiencing.
A horn blares and Santana jumps, startling back into the real world to realise that the light has turned green. She pulls away carefully, wiping at her eyes so she can see more clearly. She drives on autopilot now, following the familiar streets and passing the broken lamppost, thinking of nothing other than what she has just done.
She's ruined it; there's no way their relationship will be the same again. If there's any kind of relationship, that is; she'd be surprised if their friendship still remained intact from this.
She loves her. She loves her, and there's nothing she can do about it, because she's managed to fuck it up in epic proportions.
She's always been selfish; her relationship with Brittany was based on lies. After all, if Brittany knew that sleeping with Santana was considered cheating there's no way she'd ever talk to her again, and everything she did was for her own gain, but this isn't even her being selfish. This is her being a coward. This is her protecting herself from Brittany – the girl who would never do anything to hurt anyone, least of all Santana.
No, she won't do it. Sure, she's a bitch, but how is it possible to be a bitch to Brittany?
She lets out a laugh at her own stupidity, wondering when she forgot how there's no Santana without Brittany and no Brittany without Santana. Without anymore thought she swings her car around, ignoring the horns blaring at her, and heads back to Brittany's house, planning what she will say to her.
'I'm sorry's and 'please forgive me's are being thrown around in her head, but nothing seems to convey just how desperate she's feeling. She doesn't even see the lights turn red or the lorry that's driving across the road, right in front of her, too consumed in her thoughts of Brittany and their reunion.
They collide. The last thing she sees is Brittany's blue eyes, sparkling with the tears that threatened to fall after she had confessed her love to Santana. After Santana told her that she was only experimenting; that she has never or will ever have feelings for her, let alone love her.
The call comes in at two a.m, waking Brittany's parents. They scramble to leave, not even getting dressed properly; instead, pulling on sweats and a coat, figuring people will be too preoccupied to look at their clothes. Besides, they need to get there as soon as possible, and getting a few weird stares will be worth it if they get there in time.
They look to each other, talking with their eyes, debating on who will wake Brittany.
Her mom loses, and she enters the room quickly, pausing at the sight of her daughter. She isn't even sleeping peacefully; her eyes are squeezed shut, but tears still manage to leak from them, trailing all over her face as she thrashes in place. Susan sighs and sits on the side of the bed, shaking her shoulder gently.
"Brittany? Britt, honey, we need to go."
Her eyes open groggily and she looks up at her mom, frowning slightly with confusion, still crying from her dream. "What's going on?"
She speaks gently, mindful of how sensitive her only daughter is. "We need to go to the hospital, Britt. Get ready quickly, please."
She's more alert now, sitting up and looking around the room as if it holds the answers. "Why? Who's at the hospital? What's happened?" the answers leave her mouth rapidly and she sounds panicked, like she knows the answer, merely from her mother's eyes and the absence of the girl from her room.
Susan purses her lips and shakes her head, refusing to speak the name, but Brittany pleads to know the truth, to be put out of this torture.
She opens her mouth to utter the name. Brittany stops moving and breathing, straining to hear the name she knows will be spoken.
"Santana," is whispered into the still air and Brittany cries out again, as if wounded, and suddenly springs up from the bed. She doesn't even change her clothes, tearing out of her bedroom door and downstairs, stepping into the first pair of shoes she finds and ripping the front door open.
"Brittany, wait!" her father runs down the stairs after her, picking up his keys as he tells her "we're driving."
She doesn't respond, running to the car and jumping in the back. Her dad sits in the driver's side a second later, but her mom is still in the house.
How does her mom not realise that every second she has to wait is like another knife is being plunged into her heart? Her hands are gripping onto her knees tightly, leaving crescent shaped marks when she pulls away, but she can't even feel it. She can't feel anything other than the knives in her heart and the memories rushing through her head like a slideshow.
Finally, her mom exits the house with a bag in her arms and rushes to the car, slamming the door and throwing the bag into the back with Brittany as she does so, barely sparing her a glance.
Brittany looks at the bag and sees some of her clothes lying in there. With a hard glance from her mom she changes in the backseat, putting on some joggers and a hoodie.
They drive in silence, staring out of the windows, too caught up in their own thoughts just thinking about the place that they are headed to.
Brittany wants to ask what is wrong with Santana. She wants to ask so bad, but she can't. She's terrified of the answer, and would rather put off hearing it for as long as she can.
They're a couple of minutes away from the hospital when her mom shifts in her seat and speaks to Brittany. "You need to know what-"
"No!" Brittany shakes her head vigorously, "no, I don't. I don't need to know, I don't."
She turns to face her, and sees the tears steaming down her daughter's face once again. "It's bad, Britt. I'm sorry-"
"Stop! Stop it!" explodes from Brittany in a sob, the sound gurgling in her throat as it struggles to escape.
Susan continues to talk over Brittany's protests, her volume increasing as Brittany's does. "Her mother is away on business at the moment and her father is in a surgery. No one is with her. Her dad asked for them to phone you; he knows that she'd want you by her side."
Brittany slams her fists against the window and kicks the back of her mom's seat. "Shut up! I don't want to know. I want to wait until we get there."
"That could be too long! She's dying, Britt. She's dying." The last sentence comes out into a whisper, cutting through the air in the silent car.
Brittany's head shakes back and forth in denial. "No, she can't be. I saw her like…two hours ago. She's not dying. She can't be." Her words descend into sobs, and she clutches and scratches at her chest, the thin fabric of her duck covered tank top doing nothing to protect her from her nails.
"I'm sorry. So sorry. They told us to get here so that," she takes a deep breath and closes her eyes as she says the words that break Brittany's heart "so you can say goodbye."
Brittany lets a bitter laugh escape her; hadn't they already done that once today? Saying goodbye once was bad enough, she didn't want to have to do it again. Not this time when there was practically no chance of her coming back.
They pull in to the hospital car park and Brittany jumps out the car before it's even stopped moving, hurtling through the doors. People turn to look at her, but she doesn't care; ignoring the calls from her parents who are still in the car, ignoring the murmurs of people still awake in the waiting room.
She heads straight to the reception desk and shouts "Santana Lopez," at the woman, watching as her face transforms from shock to understanding. She doesn't like that.
"I'll call a doctor down to see you. If you just wait in the seats over there," she motions to the seats behind Brittany, but she makes no motions to move.
"No, I want to see her now." Brittany demands.
Her parents step up behind her and her mom puts her hand gently on Brittany's back. "Honey," her dad says, "we should do as she says. The doctor will be down to talk to us soon."
"I don't want the doctor to be down soon; I want to see Santana now."
They don't listen to what she is saying and lead her to the seats. It's only when she sits down that she realises she was shaking violently; they have lessened, but are still noticeable to other people, who eye her with concern.
She sits on her hands and looks up to the ceiling, taking deep breaths in and out, trying not to think that while she's just sitting there, Santana is in a room by herself, dying.
A doctor walks into the room, heading over to them after the receptionist nods in their direction. Brittany's parents stand up as they see him approach, but Brittany closes her eyes and fiddles with her hands on her lap, barely listening to what he says.
That is, until the words 'nothing we could do' and 'passed away' filter into her mind. It's all she can do to stay sitting upright and not move. She shuts off, staring straight ahead of her, not looking at anyone or registering anything.
There's movement around her as the doctor walks away, offering a sympathetic smile to Brittany as he turns to leave, but she doesn't catch it.
Her parents kneel down and grab her tightly, but she doesn't respond. Not until one of them – she's not sure which – holds her chin and moves her head, so she's looking into their eyes. It's now that she realises what she's just been told and snaps upright, knowing exactly where Santana will be at the moment.
Brittany doesn't hear or see any more as she runs in the direction of the room, knowing the layout of the hospital from the many times she and Santana had visited her dad when he was on a long shift. She ignores the calls behind her, focussing on the path she's taking, even though she knows exactly where it is she's going.
She barely hesitates at the doors, pushing through them roughly, relieved there's no one else in the room for the moment. She knows that there will be soon, but all she wants is an uninterrupted moment to apologise. To say sorry for everything she did. To say goodbye.
Her feet walk to the table without her command. A white sheet is covering her. Brittany pulls it away from her face gently, resting it on Santana's chest as she stares at the face reverently. She's glad Santana's eyes are closed; now she can pretend she is sleeping, her features looking identical to the times that Brittany would study her face when she slept.
She drags a chair up next to the bed and sits on it, pulling Santana's hand from under the sheet and gripping it tightly in both of hers. Brittany studies the fingers, kissing the tip of each one gently, then the knuckles, being careful to layer each spot with attention.
"I'm sorry," she murmurs over the hand she holds, pretending that Santana is just sleeping and will be able to hear her. "I'm so sorry…you'll never know how much."
Movement catches her eye, and she turns her head a fraction to see her parents lingering at the door. She turns back to Santana, leaning in and resting their foreheads against each other. "I love you, Santana. So, so much. I always will. And," a sob catches in her throat, and she brings a hand up to her mouth to muffle her cries. She takes a few deep breaths in before continuing "and, I know-I know you loved me too. No matter what you said. I just know it. Because we're Brittany and Santana. Nothing will ever break us apart. Not words," she shakes her head and pauses as another sob escapes "not actions…not even death."
She leans in and kisses her lips, trying to ignore the cold and stillness. She just wants to remember.
Her parents walk in and she grips Santana's hand tighter, resting her forehead on Santana's again, not looking at anyone other than her best friend. Her soulmate.
Brittany's father rests his hand on her shoulder as he says "we need to go now, baby. We've been here long enough."
She doesn't respond, just simply gazes at Santana's serene features.
"They need to get her ready, Britt. We can't be here for that."
Her father sighs when she stays still and she hears them talking behind her, but doesn't pay attention to what they are saying. Santana is more important than them.
She feels fingers pry her hand from Santana's, and arms grab her around her waist. "No!" she cries out, clutching desperately for Santana's body, but she's dragged out of reach.
She twists and turns in the arms holding her and slams her head back, trying to catch them in the face, but they're prepared for her movements, as she doesn't manage to injure them.
Brittany sees Dr. Lopez watching them with an expressionless face, and that just makes her angrier. She shouts at him, unaware of what she's saying, but knowing that she wants to hurt him as much as she can.
Hurt him as much as he's hurting her, by making her leave Santana.
She doesn't want to go yet. She's not ready.
She fights even harder, kicking and screaming, but she can't get free. She hears voices around her and feels her arm being held still, but doesn't know what is happening. She is too focussed on getting back to Santana.
She continues fighting, but her movements get slower and heavier until she is asleep in her fathers arms, cheeks wet with tears and despair still etched across her face.
Her eyelids flutter and she groans softly, still partially stuck in her dreams. The curtains are open, and a beam of sunlight is shining on Brittany's face, casting her in an ethereal glow.
Her eyes open slowly and she looks up at the sun, smiling softly. She's never woken up like this before, and she wonders why it's happening now. Then she remembers, it all comes back to her. Her face twists and a raw sound of pain leaves her throat. She lunges towards the curtains and yanks them closed. She can't see the sunlight, not when her ray of light has suddenly and horrifically been taken away from her.
Her hands are clasped into the material of the curtains and she's grasping at the material, relying on them to hold her up. She doesn't even realise that her bedroom door is open until her mom pokes her head through, face falling when she sees the position Brittany is in.
She rushes over to her and supports her around the waist leading her back to bed, placing her down on it slowly. Brittany's mumbling incoherently to herself.
It takes her a while to realise that she's saying something, but as she leans closer to her daughter she can just make out the "hows?" and "whys?" being repeated over and over, Susan gently shushes her.
She quiets down, and her mom tells her "they don't know why she was driving so late, but she wasn't driving home. She was facing in the opposite direction, towards our house more than anything really. She ran a red light and hit a lorry."
Brittany's eyes widen and a "no," escapes her lips in a whimper. She knows why Santana is dead. She died because of her. "She was coming here?" she cries loudly, not caring about anything other than somehow expressing her grief.
"No, why would she? She left not long before, right? She would have no reason to come back."
Her hands come up to grip her hair and she tugs roughly, getting harder the more frustrated she gets. "I killed her. I killed her. I killed her." Her head is shaking back and forth and she doesn't see her mother staring at her with worry, or her father come into the room and grab her hands.
They lay her back onto the bed and soothe her, running their hands through her hair and humming songs under their breath. Brittany is laying in the middle, with her mom and dad either side of her, holding her tightly and willing her to stay with them, even as she continues to chant those three words.
She enters the school and sees everyone turn to look at her. It may be because of how she looks; her usually perfect hair is in a messy ponytail, she isn't wearing any makeup and her clothes consist of jeans and a hoodie – no Cheerios uniform in sight. She won't be part of the Cheerios without Santana. But then again, everyone has heard about Santana by now; they heard yesterday when Brittany was still sleeping after that night.
It is quiet, and she can hear her feet dragging along the floor as she walks, barely lifting them. Her eyes are fixed on the ground, and she can feel the absence of Santana more than she had yesterday.
A shadow falls over her and feet step into line beside her. She turns her head slightly and sees Quinn, who places a hand gently on her arm and squeezes softly before removing it. They walk to her locker in silence, with Quinn acting as a bodyguard to all, warning off all the stares she's receiving.
Quinn stays with Brittany throughout the day, but when she can't other Glee Club members accompany her. Rory in Math, Blaine in Geography, even Finn in Gym. They don't leave her alone for a moment, and she can't decide on whether or not to be grateful.
They are mothering her, but at this moment she thinks that without that, she would have collapsed as soon as she walked through the doors. Mercedes walks her to Glee Club and when they enter the room everyone turns to look at her, the room engulfed in a dramatic silence.
She sits in her usual seat, staring longingly at the space next to her where Santana would sit, ignoring everyone else in the room. She is well aware of who is there and how they are acting, but refuses to play up to their expectations. Of course she is upset; devastated; feels like the world cannot possibly go on, but why should they experience any of that with her?
No one loved Santana like she did. No one liked Santana like she did, hell, most of them didn't like her at all. So why would she want their pity and condolences now, when they did nothing when Santana was alive to show that they supported her?
The room is silent until Mr. Schuester enters and exclaims "Brittany! We didn't think you'd be here, but I am honoured that you've come to us in this hard time, and accepted the help we are willing to offer."
"I don't want your help," she mutters, but everybody hears. "I don't need your help. You always offer it when it's too late. You never even offered it to Santana, and she needed it."
"You should all know that you can come to me for anything you need. If Santana wanted help, all she had to do was ask."
She scoffs and looks away, refusing to reply to such an idiotic statement.
"I understand that you feel like you're the only one to ever lose a friend, but I want you to know that you're not. I'd love to talk to you after, and give you some advice on how to cope with it."
"I'm not going to cope with it," she mumbles, closing her eyes.
There's something in her tone that causes everyone to stiffen, but Mr. Schuester continues, oblivious "you may feel like that now, but in time you will find a way to cope with this."
He starts to say something else, but before he can Brittany cuts in "may I be excused?" she says picking up her bag and leaving the room without waiting for an answer.
The class looks at each other as Quinn follows her out the room and Mr. Schuester looks on, clueless.
Quinn catches up to her easily, she is leant against the lockers not far from the door, violent tremors wracking her body. She gathers Brittany into her arms and rocks her from side to side, pushing her head into the crook of her neck as she hums a simple tune, trying to comfort her.
They sit there for a while, with Quinn muttering encouragements under her breath, they sank to the floor at some point. The rest of the Glee Club slowly filter out of the room and surround them, saying nothing as they watch Brittany fall apart.
The girl who was perpetually happy and carefree is breaking apart, and there is nothing any of them can do but offer words of kindness – which they refuse to do, as they will be lying if they say it is all okay.
It won't be okay, and they all know that, but no one wants to voice that either. So they just stand there and watch as their friend loses herself to the grief encompassing her.
Brittany struggles to her feet, accepting the hand Quinn offers her, she glances up and sees the Glee Club standing by her.
"I-uh.. What are you all doing here?" she asks, looking into all of their faces.
Rachel takes a step forward and says softly "we want to help you, and will do anything to do so. Mr. Schue was wrong in what he said, but his intentions weren't."
"You can't help me."
"We can if you accept-"
"I'll never accept it. And there's nothing you can do to help."
"You'll never what…why?"
"Santana was-she," her voice catches and she leans her back against the lockers, resigned. Her voice is soft, but also hard as she continues "I know that she is dead – I know that, but I won't accept it. She won't-she won't leave me like this. I wouldn't have even let her leave like she tried to before – I would've chased her. And I still will."
She takes in ragged breaths when she finishes talking and that's the only thing that can be heard, with everyone else seemingly stunned to silence.
"What do you mean?" Finn's voice penetrates the tense air surrounding them, but it isn't confused like usual; instead it is scared.
She laughs nervously but replies, not wanting to lie to her friends now. Not when this is probably the last time she'll see them. "I belong with Santana. Wherever she goes, I'll follow."
"You can't say that, Brittany," Quinn cries out, setting off a chain reaction. Everyone starts talking, voices overlapping and complete sentences unintelligible, but the sentiments are the same and Brittany recognises that.
"Guys," her voice is soft at first, but grows in strength as everyone continues talking. "Stop!" They silence and look at her with wide eyes, so she continues "I really appreciate your concern, but I don't need it. Thank you though."
Brittany stands straighter and starts walking away, but Quinn grabs her arm and spins her around, ignoring the cry of pain from Brittany, desperation etched across her face.
One hand is on Brittany's wrist, the other on her shoulder, and their faces are inches apart. "Stay at my house tonight. Sleep on it."
She shakes her head almost sadly, disentangling herself from her friend and taking a step back "I've already slept on it. I've slept on it too much." She looks away from Quinn's face, and the tears that trail down it.
"Don't be stupid, Brittany!" Puck's voice bursts out, startling everyone and making Brittany's face harden. "Your best friend died, yeah, but so what? Okay, it hurts; hell, it probably kills," he pauses slightly and frowns, but continues before anyone can comment on it "but you don't need to be selfish and kill yourself because of it. She wouldn't want you to do that."
Brittany shakes her head, tears falling once again as she replies "don't tell me what is selfish, or what she would want. You didn't know her; no one knew her like I did. You all think that you know how I feel, or can imagine what it would feel like yourselves, but you don't. I love Santana more than Rachel loves Broadway, more than Mike loves Tina, more than Quinn loves Beth. You don't know how I'm feeling, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell me what to do or how Santana would feel. Because Santana loved me as much, if not more, than I love her."
Brittany doesn't give them a chance to respond as she turns and swiftly walks away, not looking back.
The Glee Club look at each other, stunned at just how oblivious they all were. Quinn is the only one who thought that Santana and Brittany may have been more than friends, but had never imagined that they were lovers. She regrets not delving into her friends' lives more and not being able to be supportive, but swears that she will from now on. She won't make another mistake as catastrophic as this one.
The moonlight catches her hair as she walks, the air is visible as it leaves her body, highlighting her as the only person moving through the woods at this time of the night.
She is wrapped in her favourite sweatshirt of Santana's and a pair of jeans, not anticipating being able to feel the cold long enough for it to bother her. She carries nothing other than a helium tank and mask; things that she had managed to find at home after a little bit of searching.
She reaches the spot and sets it down on the floor, laying on the grass next to it and looking up at the sky.
She had chose this spot because of the importance it held to her. It was her and Santana's area; the place they would go to escape from the world and be themselves. This is the places she feels has the strongest connection to them as a couple, she chose it to be close to Santana when they finally reunite.
It is just a bonus that neither her parents nor friends will find her here, she doesn't want them to be burdened with that for the rest of their lives. This is something she has to do, and she doesn't want them feeling guilty that they didn't get there in time to stop her.
She had left a note at home for her parents to find, placed in the middle of her bed. Her bedroom door is locked, and she had said goodnight to her parents when they had gone to bed, ensuring that they wouldn't check on her in the night and find her note too early. In the note she had told them why she was doing this, and to phone the police and tell them to collect her body – she knew her parents would want it safe as soon as possible, even though she will no longer be in it.
She looks up at the sky as she turns on the valve of the helium, raising the mask to her face and slipping it over her head, holding it inches away from her mouth. "Soon, Santana," she whispers with her last breath of air, letting the mask snap into place over her smile. Her eyes close as she takes in slow, deep breaths, picturing Santana's smiling face as she drifts off.
A fill for the Glee Angst Meme: Driving home one night, Santana dies in a car crash. Brittany doesn't take the news well and tries to kill herself but fails. It's up to the glee clubbers to help her. Up to anon if the Glee Club actually helps or if she ends up killing herself properly.
A.N. Please review and let me know what you thought - it's my first angst one-shot and I don't know how well I succeeded in my aims :)