Hi guys. I've been a little busy but I took the time today to finish chapter 25, sooo... it's Santana's because I didn't want you to die of suspense lol. Please let me know what you're thinking as I'm not entirely sure what I'm thinking of this...
On Monday, school's starting again, though I'm not sure for how long we're actually gonna be able to go to school normally. Yesterday, we had something around 14.000 new cases and the government says once we've reached more than 20.000, the school's are going back into lockdown.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter. Leave a review please and stay safe and healthy!

(chapter title is the same-titled song from the musical The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa and Brian D'Arcy James)

Started writing: 20.10.2020

Finished writing: 24.10.2020

Chapter 25
Let Me Drown


It's this kind of feeling that she's always detested -and with great passion too. It's this floating in the air between decisions and waiting for something to happen that will show you which way to turn. This constant tugging in her inside, demanding her to decide—whom to tell, what to say, what to do. But she doesn't want to make a decision just yet because- well, because she's terrified. (And reluctant to admit so.)

She doesn't want to tell anyone, speak to anyone about it because it would make all of this irreversible and she wants to keep this luxury of pretending, of not being sure and not having to be, for as long as she can. But she knows she has to tell someone. Eventually, she'll have to. Because her mom's getting more and more impatient with every day passing -and who can blame her, really? Santana made a huge scene in the middle of Nana's hallway, only to leave the woman high and dry and without any answers to millions of questions she must've had. And also, pretending won't do her any good. The past few months have taught her at least that.

But still, her fingers hover for what seems to be hours over the display of her phone, typing the exact same message thousands of times before deleting it again.

Can u come over? I wanna talk 2 u.

Always typing, never sending. With a tired (watery) sigh, Santana draws her knees close to her chest and flings her phone onto her blanket, watching it slide closer to the edge of the bed than she'd intended to. She stares across the room at the red-painted wall and tries to just not think about anything at all. Not the homework waiting in her bag, not the chaos in her head, not the low grumbling of her stomach. She knows she should go downstairs to eat something, but she just can't bring herself to stand up. She can already hear her mother's inquiry of concern the next morning or perhaps the worried questions asked right before saying goodnight or sleep tight or whatever. She knows this won't make her mom even the slightest bit less worried -in fact, it will only lead to worry her more- but Santana just can't imagine facing her right now. Facing anyone. Facing school.

She feels sick. Her hands fold over her stomach as if to hold her emotions down but nothing ever works. She continues feeling lost and scared and trapped and pressured. Pressured to decide what she never wants to decide.

She needs to talk to someone. But who? And when? And what will she say? Who might be able to give her the best advice -without her mother finding out about it in an instant? Because she needs this time to sort through her head without her mother looming at the edge of her mind, always there, never gone. Always such a good help. Until she's not.

Telling her mother is what scares her the most. And she knows -hopes, wishes, longs- that her fear is unjustified -she knows her mother won't be angry, she knows she will get her support, her love, her care, no matter what. But telling your mother something like this requires another kind of courage -one that Santana has never had to face until now.

It's strange, how she has suddenly become a prisoner in her own home. And without really wanting to leave either. It's like the walls are keeping her emotions in, yet forcing her to face them at the same time. Perhaps, Santana muses, if she were to let them out, she wouldn't have to think about them anymore. But then, letting them out would mean bringing them out into the world -and that's a thing she doesn't want to happen. Not for a long time. Not until she can be absolutely sure, without a single doubt, without fear, without tears.

"What's going on with you?"
Santana shoots upright, hitting her head hard against the post of her bed.


"Oh, shoot!" says Rachel at the exact same time. "Sorry, I thought you'd heard me approach."
With a half-hearted glare at her sister, Santana rubs her head. "Why didn't you knock?"
"Well… because I thought you'd heard me."
She looks ready to cross her arms in front of her like a five-year-old asking for candy and getting none. But then, she takes a step toward Santana, worry etched onto her face. "Are you okay?"
Santana almost snorts. "I'll live."
Rachel stands in the doorway for a second, seemingly contemplating what to do—approach? Stay?

Stay. She tilts her head to one side. "Mom's made dinner."
Santana averts her eyes. "I'm not hungry."
"You didn't eat all day."
"Yes, I did, I-"

"Crackers and grapes do—not—count."
Santana closes her eyes, trying to calm herself. "Rachel, I'm just not hungry, okay?"

Her sister lets out what could be both a snort and a sob. "Yeah, Mom's not gonna accept that."
"No!" she cuts her off. "You can't not be hungry, Santana, that's just not possible."

Santana shakes her head. "But that's how it is. I'm not hungry."

"You said that the last time too," snaps Rachel.

"Yeah, but back then, I said it and didn't mean it- right now, I-"
"So, now, you're lying to yourself as well?" Rachel crosses her arms in front of her chest. "Come over and have dinner with us."
Santana dips her head low, pressing the heels of her hands against her eyes. "I don't want to."
"I don't freaking care," Santana can hear the frustration rise in her sister's voice and she really wants to do something against it—if only she wouldn't have to go into the kitchen for that.

For a moment, it's quiet in the room. Eerily quiet. Then, Rachel huffs and turns. "Okay, I'll tell Mom you don't want to eat, then."

She hears Rachel's steps, hesitating in the door as if she were waiting for a reaction. But Santana simply sinks back into her pillows, staring at the ceiling above her. She knows exactly what's gonna come next. In fact, she can already hear her mother's (slightly earlier) inquiry resounding in her head. What's going on? Why don't you come eat with us? Should I call in an emergency session with Ms. Jackson?

There will be frustration in her voice, barely contained, fear in her eyes, concern on her face. She'll take a look at Santana, perhaps do a double take, and know. Or guess—and guess right. She always does.

Santana's mother never ever half-asses anything—she starts a crossword -rest assured that once she's finished, not a single space will be left blank; she takes on a bet -she never loses; she takes a guess -she's always right. Perhaps it's the ambitious part of her that just always pushes her to her absolute best. Or perhaps she's just extremely lucky and a natural winner.

Despite Santana's expectations, her mother doesn't storm into her room to drag her out of her bed and tie her to the kitchen hair, forcing the food down her throat. There's no hurried footsteps, no shouted questions or demands. There's only silence -and the sound of her own thoughts resounding in her head.

Perhaps, she thinks for a second, the conversation with Rachel wasn't even real. Perhaps she, in her self-inflicted isolation, has gone positively crazy. She once heard, loneliness does that to people.

Her teeth are digging into her lips as Santana tilts her head further back, glaring at the white ceiling above her as if it were the sole cause of her misery. What exactly it is, though, she can't say. And if 'misery' is the right term for all of this might be up for debate in the future too. For now, she can say for sure, it's not exactly helpful. Not at all, actually. And-

A quiet thump makes her start and, for the second time today, Santana shoots upright, this time missing the post of her bed, though.

Her mother is just now retreating back into the doorway, stepping away from Santana's desk where she's put a plate with lasagna and salad. Her face remains impassive, but her eyes are clouded with worry and perhaps even a little bit of sadness. She takes a deep breath.

"You'll have to talk to me someday, sweetheart," she says quietly. "Avoiding me just won't do."

Santana's mouth is suddenly completely dry, her eyes flitting else- else- elsewhere, away from her mom who looks so pained beneath this mask of neutrality.

"Please eat," she says after a long pause, inhaling softly and entirely too harshly at the same time. "And then perhaps you want to come and watch a movie with us?"
Santana looks away, neither agreeing nor denying. Her heart suddenly feels heavy in her chest and she thinks: where did this darkness come from?

Her mother says a soft, "I love you." And then leaves, steps falling quietly, hesitantly as if reluctant to leave her behind.

This tensed feeling in her stomach, this heaviness in her chest, doesn't go away for hours. She sits up eventually to eat the cold lasagna her mother brought her when still steaming. She gets through half of it and feels sick afterwards. This is not what she thought to happen after the big revelation. Confusion, yes. Fear, yes. Depression, no.

Because Santana Corcoran doesn't do depressed. She doesn't do fragile and she doesn't do sentimental.

But it seems she does do anxious. Anxious with a proclivity for dark.

In the end, Cassie is the one she goes to. Or well, actually, Cassie comes to her because Santana can't get across the entire city without her mom finding out about it but she can get Cassie to come while her mom's still at work -and Mom doesn't interrogate Cassie as she does Santana.

"What's up Satan," Cassie quips when Santana opens the door, though the worry is clear in her eyes. "That was one hell of a cryptic text you sent me."

Santana steps back to let her in. "Yeah… sorry, I guess."
"No, no, it's alright. I loves me a good riddle, you know," Cassie kicks her shoes off in the hallway and turns to head into the kitchen. "Although I'd absolutely love to know what drugs you're taking that Shelby doesn't know about."

She grins. "D'you have coffee ready?"

"No, sorry," Santana wrings her hands awkwardly. "But I can make some."

"Yeah, do that."
Cassie watches as Santana fiddles with the coffee machine, happy to get that sort of distraction. But when she puts the pot and two cups on the table and lowers herself onto the opposite chair, it can't be delayed anymore. She would chicken out if she could, but Cassie is here now and there's no way she could convince her that she just wanted to talk about school stuff after that text. Cassie's already smelled the blood.

"You can't tell Mom about this, okay?" Santana says, lips pressed into a tight line.

Cassie frowns. "Okaaaay?"

She raises her coffee to her lips, sniffing, and then closes her fingers around the cup. "Spill."
And Santana takes a deep breath and, well, spills. And once she's started, she can't stop anymore. It just flows out of her, as if she planned what she was going to say, as if every word was chosen carefully and with great measure for the sole purpose of talking nineteen to the dozen. There's no chance for Cassie to interrupt, to ask questions, and it's what makes Santana go on and on. She talks and talks and talks about everything she's been feeling and everything she's been thinking and everything that's been happening. She talks about school and Glee and about the realization it's brought along. She talks about Noah and Puck and Puck and Noah and about Quinn and Brittany—at length. She omits food and diet and weigh-ins, and she omits sobbing into her mother's blouse. She omits how she started lying in her bed for hours, staring at the ceiling and drowning in her own thought until her head is spinning. But she doesn't omit confusion and fear. She doesn't omit lost.

And Cassie doesn't interrupt. She just sits there, sipping her coffee and tucking a stray strand of blonde hair behind her ear from time to time. Her eyes never avert, her shoulders never slump. Perhaps it's the dancer in her that has her sit as straight as she does—perhaps it's the tension.

At least that's what makes Santana sit straight as a post, wringing her hands in her lap and her eyes wandering through the room, desperate not to meet Cassie's eyes. When they do, she's relieved to see that Cassie has yet to look—appalled? Disgusted? Pitiful? She has yet to jump to her feet and declare her crazy and profane.

By the end of her little speech, Santana's sure that it will never come. She pauses for a second, finally reaching for her cup—and is surprised that it's still warm. Then she looks up at Cassie. "What do you say?"
Cassie purses her lips. "Let me think for a second. That was some detailed information right there. And lots of it."
They lapse into silence, Santana anxiously, Cassie thoughtfully.
Santana wrings her hands, fiddles with her cup. She can't stand this silence. She needs answers, arguments, advice.

"Okay," Cassie sighs.

Santana shoots up. "Okay, what?"
"So, I think you're young," the blonde tilts her cup to look into it, then reaches for the coffee pot. "And I think confusion and fear is normal in this kinda situation. I mean, who wouldn't be? Society and shit pushes everyone into this perfect tiny little box and there're these standards and those standards and don't you dare leave that fricking box. So, you're young and you're confused, and you're scared. That's okay. But you can't leave it at that. I mean, obviously you'll have to talk to Shelby. And you know, she's not gonna be angry, or anything, right? Because, Santana, she—won't. And she won't go all rich-family-dad-asshole on you and kick you out or something. I mean, it's your mom, Satan. It's Shelby fucking Corcoran."

Cassie leans back in her seat. "I think you need all the support you can get. Start small, start with family. And with that guy- what's name again? Puck? No, Noah."

"Puck is Noah," Santana says with a smirk.

"Even better," Cassie grins for a second but her face quickly molds into seriousness again. "You obviously have to talk to him. And then perhaps your friends? I mean, perhaps you shouldn't go off telling the whole school -that'd probably make things extremely complicated. But the ones you can trust."

Santana looks down into her lap for a second. Usually, she doesn't do shy. Today's an exception.

"What if someone, like, says something against it?" She feels a spark inside her -and not the good kind. "What if I'll lose my position as co-captain of the Cheerios?"
Cassie crosses her arms in front of her. "Then you'll call me, and I'll pay a short visit to that sweety of a person and give them a little foretaste of my own personal understanding of 'making somebody's life a living hell'."
Santana grins into her coffee cup. "Thanks, Cassie."

"No worries," Cassie waves a hand. "That's what godmothers are for, right?"
She tucks a strand of blonde hair behind her ear and smiles. "I have to say, Satan, I feel a little honored that you came to me for advice."
Santana's just opening her mouth to answer when the front door opens and the sound of keys jingling echoes through the house. She pales. "Shit, that's Mom."

"Cassie?" sounds her mother's voice before she's even entered the house. "What are you doing here?"
Santana buries her face in her hands. This is it. Her undoing. She needs more time, damn it. She can't explain all of this to her mother now.

"Was on my way back from Janis's and thought I'd stop by," says Cassie, turning in her seat to greet Mom with a smile. Santana is shocked by the blonde's lying abilities. She's even more shocked by her mom's cluelessness. "But then I had to learn that you're rehearsing with those robots of yours again."
Mom cocks her head. "For the nth time, Cassie, my students are not robots."
"I wouldn't sound so sure about that if I were you."

"Luckily, I'm me," says Santana's mother. She bends down to hug her best friend. "Hi, Cassie."

"Hi, Patti," Cassie pats her shoulder with a smile. "Your daughter makes better coffee than you, just thought I'd let you know."

Mom straightens up, her eyes finding Santana's. "Well, she's full of surprises, isn't she?"

And Cassie looks at Santana and says, her voice heavy with secrets, "That she is."

It takes her another day to work up the courage to talk to Noah. When she texts him, her fingers dance rapidly across the keyboard, almost afraid that if she doesn't send this right now, she'll get too scared and call this entire thing off, blow the idea of talking to him into the wind.

But then it's too late and they're in her room and Rachel is upstairs in her room, listening to some music and her mom's in her office, probably marking some assignments and getting frustrated by the stupidity of today's high school kids.

Somehow, they ended up on the floor with Santana's head resting in Noah's lap, staring at his English assignment that he asked her to look over once more, not reading even just a single word. Her breath is shallow, the fingers of her empty hand curling into a fist. Her heart is beating so damn fast—it can't be healthy. It just can't be.

"Noah, can we talk?"
She puts down his assignment and stares into curious brown eyes. "Sure."

Santana swallows hard. Telling him is much harder than telling Cassie, it turns out. It comes out offhand, stuttered and stammered and the words feel strange in her mouth, like she can't bring herself to say them. Everything sounds forced, no plan, no measure, no care. A single sentence and her heart starts beating again, even faster than before.

She can't even look him in the eyes. She's staring down at her lap and- today's another exception, it seems, because she does scared and shy and anxious. And she doesn't want to. She wants to look at him and be full of confidence, be sure that what she's saying is the right thing to say, the truth and without a single doubt.

Instead, it's chaos. And Noah stares at her, speechless for a second.

"I- you- is this a joke?"
Santana recoils. "What? No. No, do I seem like someone who'd be joking about something like this?"
But Noah doesn't seem to listen to her. He's up on his feet in a matter of seconds.

"You've got to be kidding me."
Santana's heart constricts. God, what was she thinking? Why did she think telling him—her boyfriend, would be smart? Well, not that telling him wouldn't have been inevitable anyway, but-

"You've got to be kidding me!" Noah says. Noah shouts.

And for a second, Santana thinks he's going to hit against her wall. A very Puck thing to do.

He turns, fists clenched. "This is just bullshit. Bull—shit, Santana! Fuck!"
Santana shrinks a little under his angry (sad?) look. "I-I'm sorry, Noah, I just-"
"How long have you known?" He cuts her off.

"I- you don't wake up one day knowing these kinds of things. I just- I had a feeling and then it just- it all came together, you know," she scrambles to her feet. "Over winter break, though, Noah, I wasn't there, I couldn't have talked to you earlier. I didn't want to do this over the phone."

(She didn't want to do this at all.)

Noah stares for a second. Then he turns. "Fuck this, I'm leaving."

And Santana feels her heart sink. Or perhaps stop. It takes her a second to really understand what's happening and that's just the second Noah needs to open the door of her bedroom and step out into the hallway. Then, she jumps into action.

"Noah, wait-"
"Why, though?"

Santana's steps falter. "'Why'? Noah, you're my boyfriend."
He lets out an unamused laugh. "Your boyfriend? Nah, I don't think so."
Oh God. Oh God, oh God, oh God.

"What?" She hurries after him, down, down, down the hallway and toward the front door. She can't let him go. She can't let him step out that door. "No, Noah, you- I mean, I-"

He jerks to a halt and Santana almost runs into his back. He turns. "Santana, come on, how the hell is this supposed to work? It doesn't, okay? It just doesn't work."

They sting. His words sting.

Tears are welling up in her eyes.

"So…what?" she says, her voice cracking. "You're… breaking up with me?"
Noah shakes his head -there's hope in Santana's eyes.

"San, technically, you just broke up with me."
And just like that, hope's gone again. Santana hurries after him, reaches out to take hold of his arm and never let go. "No, wait. Noah, that's not what I wanted."
"It's not working anymore, okay?" Somehow, his fingers have found a way to wrap around her arms, gentle but hard at the same time. "I can't do stuff like that. It's crap, it's total bullshit."

He looks down into her eyes and she sees so much pain in his that it hurts. It was never supposed to happen like this. She didn't mean to hurt him.

Slowly, Noah steps back. His lips are pressed into a thin line as he reaches for his jacket and shoes.

"Noah, I- I'm so sorry, I-" she buries her face in her hands for a second, afraid that if she'll look away for just a second longer, he'll be gone. "Can we talk about this? Please?"
But Noah shakes his head. "San, this is pointless."
Santana takes his arm, holding him back again. "No, it's not. I- you- you're my boyfriend. You're supposed to support me. I came to you for support, Noah, I-"
He steps back, freeing himself from her grip. "But that's not how it works. I support everything you do, San, you know that. Even if I think it's total bullshit, I always support you. You get crazy fucking ideas sometimes, but I never say a thing. Because I love you. I fucking love you, Santana, and I won't do this."

He turns to head out the door and Santana- Santana doesn't hold him back.

The door clicks shut and then there's only silence and- is this what a déjà vu feels like?

Santana stares at the empty space in front of her and listens to her heart breaking. She broke his first, though, so she shouldn't feel so awful and hurt about him leaving. But there's nothing she can do.

Tears are flowing down her cheeks as she turns and sees her mother standing at the bottom landing. How long she's been standing there, she doesn't know.

They stare for a second and Santana watches hundreds of different emotions flicker across her mother's face.
"Mom, I-"
"Oh, Santana."
And the déjà vu feeling goes on because Santana crashes into her mother's body and buries her face in the crook of her neck and sobs.

She feels her mother's fingers ghosting over her back, her shoulders, her hair. "Oh, sweetheart. Shh. I know, I know."

There's pain in her voice and pain in her body and for a moment, Santana's almost sure her mother's crying too. But then she slowly steps back and there's no sign of tears on her face as she tucks Santana into her side and leads her into the living room, sitting her down onto the couch and drawing her into her arms again, pulling her onto her lap.

"Mom, I- Noah, he-"

"I know," Mom coos into Santana's ear. "I know, sweetheart, I'm so sorry."

But the tears still fall. And they continue to fall even when her mother hums quietly into her hair like she used to do when eight-year-old-Santana had a nightmare and was too scared to fall asleep.

So, Santana inches even closer to her mom and buries her face in her blouse and waits for the tears to stop. And they will stop, she knows. Because her mother smells like home and like safety and like I will never let anything bad happen to you.

"Talk to me," whispers her mother after a while and cups her cheeks and kisses her forehead.

Santana doesn't raise her head. She rests her forehead against her mother's shoulder and breathes in big gulps of home and safety and mom.

"What's going on, sweetie?"

She takes in a deep breath -her mother stiffens beside her and- this is it.

"Mom, I- I think I'm in love with Brittany."

Silence. Again.

And then-

"Oh, thank God!"
Santana sits up, confused. "W-what?"

Her mother is grinning, actually, eyes wide and face showing nothing but relief. "Thank God. I thought you were pregnant!"
Santana recoils. "What? No."

Mom laughs. "Gosh, you can't imagine how relieved I am, Santana. I thought I'd have to be a grandma at 43."

"No, thanks," Santana wrings her hands, smiling. She doesn't really know what to do. She doesn't know what to say. Is her mother ignoring the actual meaning of her confession? Or is she just shocked and-

"So, Brittany, huh?" says Mom and nudges Santana's side. "Well, she's a sweet girl."

Santana leans back a bit, looking at her mother.

"So…" she starts, carefully. "You're okay with this?"

Mom frowns. "Of course, Santana. Of course, I am okay with this. There's nothing not to be okay. You don't need my permission for whom you love. You don't need anyone's permission or anyone's okay. You're the same person as seconds ago and I love you very much, no matter what."
She pauses for a second, then leans forward to kiss Santana's forehead again. "Gosh, you're not pregnant. Let's have a party."
And Santana laughs.

"I love you, Mom."

Perhaps now she can go back to be the Santana that doesn't do dark and fear and anxious. Perhaps she can go back to just being Santana. Santana who just so happens to be in love with Brittany S. Pierce. Santana whose mother loves her no matter what.

Me again:) As you've probably noticed, I tried to keep the reason for Santana's behavior a secret until the very end... hope I did a good job? Let me know.
Bye for now;)