When Brittany wakes again it's to be checked over by the nurse and to be informed that it's not much longer now until her surgery. Brittany's a little groggy, but she nods in understanding. On the little table next to her is a red Jell-o cup and a plastic spoon; she looks around wondering where it came from but she's alone. She picks it up and turns it in her fingers, looking it over before she decides it's now hers.
She's two scoops in when she sees Quinn walk pass the window. She watches as she stops and starts talking to someone sitting down, Brittany thinks maybe Beth, but then Quinn glances at the window and finds Brittany staring back. She blinks and says one last thing to whoever she's talking to before entering the room.
"Well, look who's finally awake." Quinn says through a smile that doesn't quite reach her cheeks. She settles in next to Brittany on the stool at her bedside and nods to the Jell-o cup, "That was supposed to be after your surgery."
Brittany stops mid bite and looks down at the nearly empty cup, "I got hungry."
Quinn nods and leans on the bed on her elbows, "You really fucking scared me, Britt."
"Yeah.." Brittany sighs as she sets down the empty cup on the side table. She looks to her leg wrapped in bandages then back to Quinn, "I really did it this time."
"You'll be okay." Quinn assures her, "You're tough."
"I guess." Brittany mumbles. She doesn't think she's so tough. She tripped over her own two feet and almost broke her knee, what's tough about that? Brittany swallows the lump in her throat and lies back against her pillows, "I think I'm tired again."
"Okay." Quinn says and stands up, fluffing Brittany's pillows before taking the trash from the table, "You nap. I'm just outside if you need me."
"Okay." Brittany replies and turns her head away from the window as Quinn closes the door behind her.
Brittany finds herself thinking about Santana. She wonders where she is and if she's worried or if this is a perfect time to run off and never see her again. It really would be the perfect time, it's not like Brittany can chase after her. She wouldn't really blame her if Santana did take off though, who wouldn't?
She falls asleep again to the thoughts of Santana and what could've been.
She doesn't think she's been asleep for long, maybe she still is, but she stirs to the touch of cold fingers brushing hair from her face. She thinks it could be Quinn since she just spoke to her what felt like a few minutes ago, but for some reason she has a feeling it isn't Quinn. It must be the medication she's on because she blinks, trying to wake herself up, but she's so tired, it doesn't really do much.
When she hears melodic humming, she knows it's definitely not Quinn. She tries hard to make out the words, but it's a song she's never heard before. She wishes the drugs weren't so strong just so she could get a clear view.
Then again, she must be dreaming, because even with her eyes closed she can tell that voice from anyone else's and there's no way she could actually be there. It's comforting and she finds herself relaxing further in her pillows. If she is dreaming, she hopes she never wakes up. So she lays still and lets the cold fingers graze her hairline and move to her cheeks. She drifts back to sleep as the humming lulls her deeper and deeper into her slumber.
An hour or so later, she's being transported to the operation room. She's being guided through the hall and the bright florescent lights make her squint.
Her parents are walking along next to her bed and they ask her if she's okay and they remind her everything is going to be okay. In all honesty, Brittany's scared and the nerves make her feel a little nauseous. She keeps on her brave face for them though, even if a single tear escapes. Several others flank her bed along with her parents, but none look familiar. Quinn is nowhere in sight and neither is Santana, but Brittany thinks the latter might've never come.
It doesn't really surprise her if Santana hasn't because why would she? She doesn't owe her anything; she doesn't need to wait by her hospital bed. It's not like they're dating, it's not like Santana cares.
At a certain point closer to the operating rooms, Whitney and Pierce are no longer able to be with Brittany. Brittany can see the worry in their eyes as they kiss her and tell her she'll be fine. They have to be quick as the nurses tell them that they don't have much time so they rush in a few more words of wisdom before turning away.
In their fleeting goodbyes, Brittany tilts her head up to watch them leave but as the nurses begin to wheel her away, she swears she can see a familiar Latina waiting in the wings.
Then again, it could just be hallucinations. Whatever medication they have her on is potent.
She thought she was nervous before but when it's just her alone with the nurses and they begin to prep her for surgery she becomes acutely aware of how scared she really is. She's never undergone a major surgery like this where she has to be put to sleep and she's so freaked out about the possibility of going under and never waking up. She takes deep breaths in hopes of steadying her nerves and surprisingly it helps a little.
It's not long before she begins to feel drowsy after they've administered the anesthetic and she thinks she won't ever need to sleep again after this because she's been napping so much since she's been there.
A couple hours must pass when Brittany awakes, because she's back in her original room. She's still groggy as she blinks a little and looks around the room. It feels almost like Déjà vu and when Brittany's parents spot her coming to through the window, they quickly burst in.
"Hey sweetie, how you feeling?" Whitney asks softly, brushing hair from Brittany's eyes, as she sits down on the bed and Pierce takes the spot opposite her.
Brittany looks down and sees a neon green cast wrapped around her leg, starting from just above her ankle to mid thigh. Her leg is lifted by some pulley system and it sways as she tries to wiggle. Suddenly the memory of what happened comes flooding back and Brittany begins fighting to sit up but Pierce has his hands on her shoulders keeping her back.
"Britt, please, don't fight." Whitney begs as Brittany begins to push back. Whitney begins to tear up at the sight and pleads, "Honey, just relax."
Brittany tires herself out quickly and softens under her dad's strength. She stares at her leg and her heart breaks in two, "How long am I in this thing?"
"Eight weeks." Whitney answers and Brittany squeezes her eyes tight to keep the tears back, "You'll have to take more PT sessions after."
She was supposed to be close to recovery by then, back to dancing, back to her old life, but no. After all her progress, she's back at square one. She feels so helpless.
"You're going to be just fine, Brittany." Pierce tells her sternly, "You'll come back from this so much stronger."
Brittany can't find it in her to believe him though and she lays back further in the pillows, and let's the exhaustion take her.
The next time she awakes the room is empty. It's much darker than before and the only light that streams in is from the window. Brittany looks around, her vision still a little blurry, but she blinks and settles on the window. She sees Quinn first and it looks like she's talking to someone who is sitting down. Another feeling of Déjà vu, Brittany notes. She thinks maybe it's Beth Quinn is talking to, but then Quinn looks in through the window and finds Brittany staring back.
Her lips move but Brittany obviously can't hear what she's saying. Brittany tilts her head as Quinn looks down again, wondering who she's talking to.
Brittany soon gets her answer as Santana stands up.
Santana's eyes finds Brittany's easily, like second nature, drawn to one another.
Brittany's breath quickens at the sight, and she remembers she's meant to be mad at her but there's a tiny part of her that's happy to see Santana is still around. She doesn't know what she's supposed to feel, but when she sees that there's a small smile on Santana's lips as she stares at Brittany through the window, Brittany finds herself smiling back.
Brittany can tell Santana feels guilty just by looking at her but when Quinn turns to the Latina, her face falls again. Quinn says something and Santana nods, eyes never leaving Brittany's, before she looks to Quinn and nods again. Brittany watches as Santana turns to leave and Brittany feels the urge to go after her, but remembers her leg is strung up and she's so medicated she probably wouldn't make it that far. Her eyes follow Santana until she's out of sight.
"Hey Britt, how you doing?" Quinn greets as she enters the room, closing the door behind her.
"I'm okay." Brittany answers then nods to the window, "What was going on out there?"
"Just some girl talk." Quinn shrugs as she comes up to Brittany's beside.
Brittany eyes her curiously, "About what?"
"You're not in any pain, right? Mama Pierce wants me to make sure," Quinn asks, ignoring Brittany's question, "Your parents went to pick Beth up for her ballet practice. She's super excited."
"Did you make her leave?" Brittany asks, growing impatient.
Quinn eyes her cautiously and crosses her arms over her chest, "You think I'd do that?"
"I don't know. You guys looked like you were talking about serious stuff.."
Quinn shakes her head and stands, "You shouldn't worry."
Brittany stares at her, trying to read her, but nothing.
Quinn takes a seat on the stool next to Brittany's bed and sighs, "We were just talking. Really, you don't have to worry."
Brittany just nods, "Okay."
"You know she's been here all day.." Quinn mentions and Brittany instantly looks to her to explain.
"All day?" Brittany's eyes widen, "How long have I been here?"
"Awhile." Quinn answers, "I had to leave to close up shop and make sure the girls were okay and your parents picked Bella up from school, but Santana's been here the whole time."
Brittany's heart races at the fact and it makes it so much harder to still be angry with Santana when she hears that she's wasted her day in a hospital. She has a hard time convincing herself Santana doesn't care about her because if she didn't, why did she hang around? But if she waited around for so long, why did she leave? Why didn't she come in and see her?
But then there's a knock on the door and Santana's poking her head through as she slowly pushes the door open, "Can I come in?"
"Yeah." Quinn says and Brittany watches quietly as she slides in.
Santana enters carrying a drink holder with three cups and a muffin balancing on top as another sits in the empty space in the holder. She's still dressed in the same outfit as before when they were at Lucy Q's, but she looks exhausted.
"Finally." Quinn groans as Santana hands her a cup.
"Long line." Is all Santana says, handing her a muffin too.
Quinn nods, meeting Brittany's eyes for a moment before looking back to Santana, "Thanks."
Santana keeps her distance, lingering in the shadows near the back counter. Quinn has a certain mischievous glint in her eyes and when she nods to Santana still shuffling around behind her, Brittany finally gets it, something is going on.
"What did you do?" Brittany mouths but Quinn just winks back.
"Well, I'll leave you to it." Quinn says aloud as she balances her muffin on the lid of her coffee cup. She comes around to kiss the top of Brittany's head, "See you in a bit."
Brittany's confused and wants to say she needs to tell her what's going on but Quinn's too quick. She watches as Quinn gives Santana a stern look before leaving.
Santana sighs and pulls a cup from the tray and picks up the other muffin with a couple paper towels.
"I got these for you," Santana says as she sets them down on the little bedside table next to Brittany, "Hot chocolate and a blueberry muffin."
Brittany feels her stomach grumble and she's glad for the offering because she hadn't even realized she was hungry. She can't remember the last time she ate other than the jell-o cup but who knows how long ago that was. Then she thinks of how sweet Santana is for thinking to bring her something too.
"Thanks." Brittany mumbles and starts to pick at the muffin while Santana sits the furthest away in the chair at the corner of the room. There's so much to be said, but they sit in silence as Brittany nibbles at her muffin and Santana sips on her coffee, neither knowing where to begin. Brittany remembers how angry she was earlier, but she doesn't feel like doing that all over again. She's tired in more ways than one.
"So bright green, huh?" Santana points out, nodding to Brittany's cast.
"Apparently I picked the color." Brittany tells her after taking a bite of her muffin, "You'd think my parents would know better than to let me make decisions while I'm high as a kite. At least it's not glow in the dark."
Santana chuckles, "That could've been fun."
Brittany laughs too but then they lull into another silence. Neither make eye contact and the tension is so thick it can be cut in half.
"So you feeling okay?" Santana asks tentatively, "I'm sure you're tired of everyone asking, but I haven't been able to ask you yet."
Brittany nods, "Yeah, I'm okay. Maybe just a little tired. Not sure how, I feel like I've been doing nothing but sleeping here."
"Oh, I can go if you'd like?" Santana asks and sits up like she's ready to make a run for if Brittany wanted her to.
But Brittany just shakes her head, "You don't have to. I don't mind the company."
"Okay," Santana smiles and rests back in the chair, "I'll stay then."
There's a comfortable silence that settles in the room as a nurse brings Brittany a dinner tray. None of the food looks appetizing but Brittany compliments it anyway as the nurse checks her vitals. As soon as she leaves, Santana's the first to offer to get something better from the café downstairs. Brittany denies the offer though, not wanting to burden Santana any further, and begins picking at the food. Surprisingly, it doesn't taste too bad.
They watch talk shows together on the little tv in Brittany's room, laughing at each other's jokes, but the unspoken still looms over them like storm clouds. Brittany can feel it and she guesses Santana can too, but it's been a long day already and she needs a break from thinking.
But that doesn't last long as Brittany has to be helped to the bathroom by her nurse. She feels embarrassed asking Santana so she pressed her call button instead. She winces as she swings her leg off the side of her bed and is urged to a standing position. She catches a glimpse of Santana's expression as the nurse leads her to the en suite and it's like the cracks of thunder rumble above their heads, the storm clouds threatening to downpour at any moment.
When the nurse helps Brittany back in her bed, Santana's eyes stayed glued to her twiddling fingers. It's not until the nurse leaves that she finally looks up.
"I'm so sorry, Brittany." Santana exhales and the quiver in her voice makes Brittany look up. She looks so small, so fragile, but she repeats, "I'm so sorry."
Brittany stares because she's not sure why she's sorry, it's not like she was the one that tripped her.
"I'm sorry for being distant this week and I know it's not the best explanation, but I just had a lot going on and I couldn't handle that while also processing what's going on here." Santana motions between her and Brittany, "Whatever this is. I've worked my ass off and I couldn't handle the distraction."
Brittany burns at the word, "Distraction?" It hurts and she takes a breath because she feels like she's been kicked in the gut, "I wasn't trying to distract you from anything."
"I know," Santana urges and she straightens up, "That's not what I meant. I don't know what I meant. It's just.." Santana pauses and runs her fingers through her hair, "I came back to Lima to focus on myself and really perfect my music and figure out who I wanted to be, to figure out the person I wanted the world to see. I didn't come back to.." She pauses as she looks at Brittany, "To be apart of whatever is going on here."
Another kick, Brittany's lips part and her brows furrow, "What is going on here, Santana, because I have no idea. You're hot, you're cold, you're here, you're not." Brittany can't believe Santana had the audacity to make such an accusation and once again, she feels anger rise, "I came back to Lima to rest, not to be lead on."
"It wasn't my intention to lead you on." Santana replies, "There is a lot more going on here than you realize."
"Then tell me!" Brittany implores, "I can't read your mind, Santana, and I'm so over trying to figure you out on my own. I'm tired of filling in the blanks and I'm tired of giving you the benefit of the doubt. What's the big secret? Why is it so hard for you to just say how you feel because the guessing game is getting so old and I have my own feelings to worry about."
Santana pauses and her shoulder slump in defeat as she looks at Brittany. The blonde can tell she struck a nerve, but she doesn't care. If that's what it takes to get her point across then she'll keep at it.
"Okay." Santana nods, licking her lips before taking a deep breath, "I didn't leave my father's label for creative differences. I was kicked off because he found out I had been seeing one of our artists. I can admit that it wasn't right of me, but we knew each other way before I came to work for him and…it doesn't matter. He was too caught up in the fact that the artist was a woman." Santana drifted off, wiping a tear from her cheek, "When he found out his pride and joy was a lesbian, he wanted nothing to do with me."
Brittany was speechless. Her heart broke for Santana; she couldn't imagine anyone's parents being so harsh. She was lucky with her folks, but she honestly couldn't believe someone would treat Santana like that let alone her own father.
"The thing was, he already knew. There were so many signs, and so many times I had dropped the hint but it wasn't until he saw it with his own eyes that he really believed me. He was furious; he fired her instantly and pushed me to create music that just wasn't me. He tried turning me into someone else, to hide who I am and I couldn't do it. When I confronted him, giving him the ultimatum that it's either me as is or nothing, he chose the latter. He cut me off from everything; I had to sell my things and my apartment. If I hadn't come back to Lima, I don't know where I'd be now."
Brittany stares at Santana as her voice cracks even more, but Santana wipes her eyes again and takes a calming breath. She looks like she could burst into tears again at any moment, but she continues, "You want to know where I've been this past week? I was in New York. My father had sent for me and made me believe he just wanted to spend time with me, to make amends, but it was all a joke. I believed him too, I thought he was being genuine. Well, the fucking joke's on me! He didn't want me there because he missed his daughter. He wanted me there because he missed the money I brought in; he missed my talent and what it did for the label. He bribed me with all the money and cars and swanky apartments just for me to come back. Isn't that funny? My own flesh and blood."
"Santana.." Brittany whimpers but Santana just shakes her head, tears begin to fall again.
"I just wanted to make music and feel accepted, but it's so hard." Santana continued, her voice cracking as she clenched her teeth, "What's so wrong about me being me? Who gives a fuck who I love and what the fuck does it matter when it comes to my music? It's stupid and I hate that even now I still want his approval. I've been working so hard since I've left and I find myself thinking Oh this is going to impress him, he's going to be so proud. Why should I care? He's a fucking asshole of a father!"
Brittany found herself tearing up as well as Santana began to rant. She could see how hard she was on herself, and she wished she knew what to say to make her stop, but Brittany could be hard on herself sometimes too and there's not much you can say.
"I came to Lima because I wanted to better myself, you know? I didn't want to be anything like my father. And my mom? I'm sure she's just as bad! I didn't want to be anything like them, but instead I've followed right in their footsteps. I'm just like them, Brittany, and I hate it. I'm guarded and I close myself off to people that care about me and I push them away until I'm left with no one. On top of that, I can't communicate for shit and I'm angry. I'm so fucking angry and I don't know what to do with it all."
"He's your family, of course you'd want to make him proud but he doesn't sound like a good person. You don't have to prove anything to anyone, especially him," Brittany said and instantly wished she had something wiser to say. Brittany wishes she could get up and give the girl a hug. Her heart breaks even more because if she thought she had problems, they're nothing compared to Santana's, "Just be yourself and everything will work out."
"How do you know?" Santana asks, but Brittany doesn't have an answer right away.
After a moment, Brittany replies, "I just know that nothing good ever comes from not being true to yourself."
Santana's lips part as if to argue but she presses her lips together again frowns. She looks deep in thought before looking back to Brittany, "I'm sorry I've been an ass and I'm sorry that I don't know how to talk about my feelings, but as you can see I have my reasons and it's not the easiest thing in the world for me."
"You could've just said that, Santana." Brittany replies simply, "I would've understood."
"Really?" Santana looks surprised, "You would have?"
"Of course, but you didn't even give me a chance to show you that." Brittany argues, confused as to why it's so hard for Santana to believe her, "You have to tell me things, what's going on with you, because I don't know. If you wanted space because you had a lot going on then I would've understood, but you'd have to tell me first so I'd know. It would've made things so much easier but instead you go with ignoring me for a week. "
"I-I didn't ignore you," Santana defends then stops, "I didn't mean to ignore you. I was just…embarrassed."
"Yeah." Santana lets out a sigh as she rolls her head back against the chair. She can't even make eye contact as she speaks, "I…I like spending time with you. It's all I wanted while I was in New York."
"Then why didn't you just call me?" Brittany asks, "Even a text?"
"I don't know, okay? I guess I didn't want to drag you into my mess. It's all too much and I didn't want to burden you with it." Santana answers and Brittany fights the urge to roll her eyes because how can Santana be so stubborn. "You know why I ran off so fast that night we kissed?" Santana asks but Brittany doesn't think she can handle the answer. She doesn't have a chance to guess because Santana's giving it to her anyway, "Because you scare the hell out of me."
Brittany's taken aback but she continues to listen, waiting for an explanation.
"I've never felt like this about anyone before and it scares that shit out of me. I'm sorry that I've made you feel..I don't know, unwanted? It wasn't my intention. I know that feeling and I don't ever want to make someone feel that way. I just, I didn't know what to do. I know, that's lame to say but it's true. I'm not good at this and you're just," Santana begins to smile, "You're amazing. You're so kind and carefree and just a good person and I got scared because there's no way I could ever be good enough for you."
"Santana..don't say that." Brittany admonishes softly.
Santana doesn't think twice and continues, "I'm sorry, but it's true. You're unlike anyone I've ever met, but I have…I have all these feelings," Santana pauses and takes a shaky inhale before looking back up at Brittany, "Feelings for you, that I'm afraid of dealing with because I'm afraid of dealing with the consequences."
Brittany is stunned and she blinks, too shocked for words.
"I don't know how to do these things properly. All the relationships in my life have ended with me pushing the other away or vice versa, I'm just tired of being hurt," Santana says with a shrug, "But you're different, I can feel it, and I want to try really hard to make sure that this plays out differently...even though I'm kind of off to a bad start already." Then Santana looks to her expectantly, almost pleading, "Please say something."
"Come here." Brittany tells her and Santana slowly closes the distance and sits on the stool next to her bed. She looks like a child that's about to be scolded but Brittany just cradles her chin in her hand and guides her ever so slowly until their lips can collide once again.
It's better than before, because this time it's with feelings and it's always better with feelings.
And Brittany feels so much for Santana and Santana has just confirmed that she feels so much for Brittany too. It makes her so overcome with joy and it's not even because the drugs make her feel so good. She's genuinely happy because Santana's here and she likes her just as much as Brittany does and she's kissing her back and it's soft and gentle and everything she's wanted since they kissed the first time. And she's finally let Brittany in on her life, although it's not the best information, she's happy Santana's finally told her something and she's barely scratched the surface. There's so much she doesn't know, but now Santana's giving her the chance to find out.
When Santana pulls away, a dazed look in her eyes, Brittany smiles and runs her thumb along Santana's jaw. She loves the newfound closeness and revels in the softness of her skin.
"You don't need to be afraid," Brittany says honestly, "I won't hurt you."
She watches Santana gulp which makes her continue, "I'll show you if you let me."
"Okay." Santana says timidly.
"You are an awesome person, Santana, and your dad is a complete idiot if he doesn't see that." Brittany watches as Santana frowns at his mention but she instantly kisses it away, "Thank you for telling me everything, it really means a lot. I'm sorry I didn't know that's what you were going through, I wouldn't have snapped on you earlier."
"Don't be sorry, Britt, you had no idea." Santana replied, nuzzling into Brittany's touch, "I shouldn't have shown up at Lucy Q's like that. I don't know why I did, I knew you were upset with me. It wasn't fair and then all this happened." Santana waved to Brittany's cast and shook her head, "If I hadn't been there, maybe you wouldn't have-"
"Stop." Brittany hushed, "It was an accident. There's no way you caused this. Okay? Don't put that on yourself."
"Okay." Santana nodded and let Brittany nudge her into another kiss.
"Okay," Brittany grinned; loving the fact that Santana was still there, "I'm really happy you're here."
"Me too," Santana pulled away slightly but she was still close enough that their lips brushed as she spoke, "So, what does that mean for us? What happens now?"
Brittany paused for a moment too and thought about the question. What did it mean for them? They have feelings for each other, it was clear now, but Santana was also clear about being afraid. She has a lot going on in her personal life revolving around her father and her career and it all seems so much bigger than them and their feelings. Brittany didn't have a clear answer; she didn't want to push Santana if she wasn't ready especially if labels weren't her thing.
Instead, Brittany took a calming breath and shrugged, "Anything is possible."
Thank you all for being so patient while my mom was in town! This marks the 'end' of this story since I previously said that this was going to be a short one. However, you can see that I've left the ending quite vague so I may continue but we'll see where my creativity takes me. Thanks for sticking around!