"I'm letting you in on this secret only because I feel bad for leaving you out of it in the first place."
When the blonde's body had gone limp in her arms, Songbird instantly stopped singing. Her heart plummeted as dark eyes searched the girl's eerily still features.
"No. No. No," She chanted as she began to jostle the girl softly.
Bombshell didn't budge.
"B. Hey," Songbird urged, searching for any twitch of movement. There was no fucking way this was happening, not after everything they'd been through.
They weren't done yet, so this couldn't be it.
Songbird felt tears welling again and the lump in her throat was impossibly hard to swallow the longer the blonde remained unmoving. She gave the girl another firm shake, hoping it would be enough to bring her back, "B, wake up, please."
Bombshell was slow to react, but she stirred much to Songbird's relief.
Songbird let out a sigh, "Thank God."
Bombshell frowned, "Why'd you stop singing?"
"Because someone had gone unconscious."
"Yeah, you," Songbird chuckled at her innocence, "Who else?"
Bombshell let her bottom lip jut out, "I didn't even notice. You can continue, I'm awake now."
Songbird brushed her fingertips along her hairline while the blonde starred up at her dreamily, "Don't look at me like that."
"Like what?" Bombshell mumbled, eyelids heavy.
Songbird hated the weakness in her tone, it was a stark comparison to the tone not even 30 minutes ago. Bombshell blinked again, an almost dopey smile playing at her lips. It reminded Songbird of late nights where she'd find the blonde lounging on their couch, fighting to stay awake. She always thought it was adorable.
Songbird bit her lip at the thought, but focused on their current situation, "You need to stay awake."
"But I'm so tired," Bombshell pouted again.
"I know, but you can't sleep," Songbird pleaded but Bombshell's eyes were already closing again. She looked to Fabray in panic, "Where are they?"
Fabray was just as concerned as she lingered behind the pair, "On the way."
"Well they're not moving fast enough! Don't they know this is an emergency?" Songbird growled and if she wasn't cradling Bombshell in her lap she probably would've lashed out on the Detective.
But she knew Bombshell wouldn't like that, so she dialed back the anger. Instead, she bit her tongue and tried to keep the insults at bay.
"I'm sorry," Fabray said, her voice shaky, "I'm doing the best I can. I don't know what else I can do."
Songbird continued glaring at her then let out a huff before looking back down at Bombshell.
Fabray was right, there really wasn't much else she could do now. She informed LPD of what happened with Anderson and requested back up, but what more did Songbird want from her? They would have to wait for the LPD and paramedics to arrive and pray to all things holy that Bombshell could hang on that long.
Songbird wasn't so sure that was an option though. She had to do something to speed up the process.
One thing came to mind.
It was a longshot and she was sure she'd owe everyone huge favors if they agreed, but she had to at least try. Afterall, a few favors in exchange for saving Bombshell's life was something she could handle.
She looked over at the Detective again and masked her concern over the other Super with a scowl.
"I have to do everything myself, don't I?"
"What does that mean?" Fabray frowned.
Songbird grumbled then tapped at her earpiece, hoping that she hadn't short circuited it with her Snixxjuice.
"Holliday?" She called out, watching Fabray eye her curiously. She let out a groan and focused elsewhere. She swallowed her pride and said, "I need an assist here."
First it was just silence then static and then relief.
"Twice in one night? And here I was thinking you'd retired."
"You and me both," Songbird replied trying to sound light hearted, "But something's come up."
"Where have I heard that before…What's up, chica?"
Songbird shifted her gaze to Bombshell, gently brushing away the fallen hair from her face again, surprised to find sad blue eyes staring back. She gave Bombshell a weak smile and watched as her eyelids slowly closed again.
Songbird tried to keep her voice steady, "I need a ride."
"That all? You know there's an app for that, right? There are several apps actually."
"You know what I mean," Songbird answered then watched Bombshell's face suddenly twist in pain. She palmed the blonde's cheek, wanting nothing more than to absorb her pain. Blue eyes blinked slowly, "And I need it to take me to 'Cedes…fast."
"Oh okay, now you're just being greedy."
"Holly," Songbird sighed, sounding way more vulnerable than she'd like. Bombshell looked up at her worriedly, but she was too weak to speak.
"What? You know how hard it is to get in touch with her? She's a very busy woman."
Songbird knew this, but she was going to take no for an answer. She swallowed back the lump in her throat as Bombshell's eyes closed again. She was going in and out of consciousness now, Songbird noted. They needed to get her out of there soon before it was too late.
"Please, I'll do anything," Songbird urged, "I-I think I'm losing her."
Fabray perked up at that and moved closer to the two, "She..she can't die. She's a Super, she-"
"We're not invincible," Songbird snapped as she turned to the Detective with narrowed eyes, "We're people; we still live and breathe and feel and…" Her gaze drifted down to Bombshell again, she couldn't finish her sentence. She inhaled steadily and looked towards the adjacent brick wall, "Do we have a deal, Holliday?"
"You're gonna owe me big time. Extraction is in 5 minutes. Be ready."
There was a deep sigh on Holliday's end, "Yes, I've got her. She'll be waiting for your arrival."
"Yeah, yeah. Just don't forget me when the wedding rolls around. You know how much I like to party."
Songbird's eyes grew at her words, but Bombshell trying to roll onto her side pulled her attention back and they were long forgotten. She looked to Fabray as she ended the call, "I've got someone coming. Help me carry her to the curb."
Fabray nodded and the two moved to lift Bombshell as carefully as they could without injuring her further. It was tricky, but it was only a short walk and by the time they reached the street, help had arrived.
"Let me help you," The driver announced and quickly rounded the car to lift the Super easily in his arms. The sleeves of his black t-shirt tightened around his biceps as he adjusted his grip.
Songbird didn't miss the way Fabray's eyes darted to the tension and let loose a small smirk.
"And here I thought you were a raging lesbian," Songbird teased once Bombshell was safely in the man's hold.
"What?" The driver looked up confused.
"No. Not you, Mike," Songbird dismissed with a chuckle.
Fabray gaped silently but before she could respond, the sound of cops car sirens filled the streets.
"Better late than never," Songbird hardened and turned to Fabray, "We need to go before they arrive. Are you coming with us?"
Fabray looked over her shoulder to where Anderson's body laid, suddenly unsure of what to do. She had an obligation to stay behind, but how the hell was she meant to explain why she was there in the first place? She was tasked with bringing in Bombshell, not Anderson, yet here she was. The Captain was sure to have her ass for this.
"Still trying to soak up all that glory for yourself, huh?" Songbird quipped upon seeing the hesitance, "I see some things never change."
"Is that why you think I need to stay back?" Fabray scoffed, "This is an active crime scene, Lopez-"
"Watch yourself, Detective," Songbird gritted her teeth at the sound of Fabray uttering her name, "Just because I'm here, doesn't mean we're friends."
Fabray let out a long frustrated sigh, "Someone should explain what happened here."
"Didn't you do that already? I think it's pretty self explanatory," Songbird waved off, "The fucker fell from a window, end of story."
"Do you remember what happened the last time someone died at the hands of a Super?" Songbird questioned, daring Fabray to match her steely gaze.
Fabray faltered, "Of course, you and I both know I was there."
"Then you of all people should know why it doesn't fucking matter what you have to say," Songbird replied, "Supers work outside of the law and your Captain can't stand it. She'll twist this story just like she twisted mine years ago."
Fabray knew exactly what Songbird was hinting at, she remembered the news articles and the sudden shift away from the Super after that fateful day, the last time Songbird had ever intervened. It was also the day with the highest number of casualties.
So many people had died, including the men that committed the crime, but everyone seemed to focus on Songbird's inability to control herself. She slowly became a menace to society. It wasn't an entire consensus but news outlets' – the ones backed by Anderson – painted her in such a light that she couldn't bounce back.
And with so many people against her, why would she even try? Since then, she avoided the public's eye.
Fabray had been one of the few on the force that still supported Songbird, no matter their differences. A small part of her knew Songbird was right though and there was nothing she could do to change that. She couldn't help Songbird, what makes her think she could handle defending two Supers?
"Hey S!" Mike called from the other side of the car, "Can you give me a hand?"
"Yeah!" Songbird called out then looked to Fabray, "Look, just because you've got a shiny badge doesn't mean you're on the right side of all this."
Then Songbird trailed after the driver without another word.
"Here, you get in first and I'll pass her to you," Mike instructed and stood aside to let Songbird go ahead.
Songbird slid into the backseat and let Mike guide the blonde through until her head was propped up on Songbird's thigh. She pushed away the loose strands of hair from the girl's face while Mike gingerly wrapped the Super's thigh with a bandage.
"She's lost a lot of blood," He noted as worked to fasten the edge of the bandage but then looked to Songbird and gave her a encouraging smile, "She'll pull through though."
Songbird returned the smile, "Thanks Mike."
"Of course," He nodded then pulled away to close the door.
Bombshell's eyes remained closed and Songbird would've thought she was peacefully asleep if it weren't for the tension in her brow that seemed to deepen every so often. Her surface injuries had already begun to heal slightly, but whatever was going on internally hadn't.
All Songbird could do for now was pain management.
She began to hum. It was something small, something she'd gotten into the habit of doing while tending to the blonde's wounds in their apartment, but it helped. At least, she hoped so. It always seemed to ease the blonde's nerves when she would stitch her up, so she could only hope it would do the same now.
Outside, Mike looked to Fabray and smiled politely, "Guess you're riding up front with me, Detective."
Fabray hesitated, casting a glance to the alleyway they'd come from to the flicker of blue and red lights slowly approaching from the other end of the street. Songbird's words had cut her deeply and she felt conflicted now. She had been with the LPD for years, but it was no secret that it was corrupt.
Who knows how they'd spin this story now that the man who had funded them was dead.
Could she honestly stay back just to find out?
She wasn't one to stand by and let the city go to shit. That wasn't the reason she joined the force, but her views didn't seem to match theirs anymore. She still believed in righteousness. She still believed in the Supers. She still believed in the betterment of society.
The LPD didn't.
She looked to the back window where the Supers were.
If she were to get into that car it would mean leaving behind a lot more than a crime scene, but with all things considered, making up her mind was surprisingly easy.
Fabray nodded to the driver, finding his smile somewhat infectious.
"Yeah, I guess am," She said and went for the passenger side door, surprised that Mike had jumped to open it for her.
Songbird's head shot up as the door opened, a mix of disbelief and pride.
"After you," Mike gestured.
"Thanks," Fabray ducked her head as she hopped in, "It's Quinn. Quinn Fabray, by the way."
"That rhymed," Mike grinned again and Quinn blushed, "Nice to meet you."
Songbird watched the whole thing and rolled her eyes. She could totally see the appeal, Mike Chang was a honey for sure and a total gentleman at that which was why he was always her favorite driver but now was not the time for a love connection.
"You guys are grossing me out," Songbird groaned from the backseat causing Mike to snap back into professionalism.
"Sorry!" Mike said and quickly closed the door after the blonde.
"Chang your mind?" Songbird asked, catching Quinn's eye in the mirror, "Didn't think you had it in you."
The blonde just looked out the window as cop cars screeched to a stop down the other end of the alley. She looked away and met Songbird's gaze in the mirror, "It's time for a change."
Then with Mike back in the driver's seat they were off, leaving behind Quinn's abandoned badge in the gutter.
Brittany felt herself gaining consciousness again and attempted to fight off the exhaustion to figure out what was happening. She managed to lift her eyelids a touch although they felt impossibly heavy, but nothing looked familiar. She couldn't get a grasp on anything distinct about her surrounding, it was nothing but blinding white light and buzzing in her ears.
She felt light-headed and weak, barely able to lift her limbs, like her body wasn't hers anymore.
Maybe she was floating?
Was this heaven?
Her head rolled to the side and there was a flash of what looked like double doors.
Maybe this wasn't heaven?
She was too out of it to focus though and faded back to black.
"Two of the three went clean through but this last one…I don't see an exit wound, 'Cedes," Santana explained as she trailed after Brittany. She was trying to remember all of the injuries Brittany sustained in the fight and reel them off to the Doctor who was hurriedly taking note.
"Damn, it's still in there then. I can't believe she fought through it. Must've hurt like hell." 'Cedes said, a mix of disbelief and empathy laced her words.
"She's strong," Santana commented, speeding up her steps to keep up with Mike as he carried the blonde.
Brittany cringed as a particular step jostled her injured side and she let out a weak groan, but didn't stir awake.
"Careful, Chang!" Santana snapped upon seeing the discomfort on Brittany's face.
"I'm trying, this would be easier if there was a gurney," Mike replied sympathetically.
"Well if someone didn't take it for a joy ride then maybe I'd have one still," 'Cedes reproached, glancing over to the shaggy blonde trailing after Mike with a drip bag in his hands, "Do you have money for a new gurney yet, Sam?"
"No," Sam grumbled like a scolded child, "They're expensive."
"Then no one complain," 'Cedes waved off and directed them down another hall, "We don't get special funding like the other facilities."
"Of course not," Santana added, "Doing actual good in this city? Please. It's no surprise the government won't help you."
'Cedes frowned, Santana had a point.
"I could arrange one?" Quinn offered timidly.
Santana raised a questioning brow; the Detective – former Detective – was apparently full of surprises tonight. She didn't comment though, too concerned with the deepening pained expressions on Brittany's face.
"That would…actually be really helpful," 'Cedes replied, "The boys clearly don't mind the work out but for patients that need a little more delicacy it might help."
"I'll get it on," Quinn said as 'Cedes led them into a vacant room.
"In here. Abrams should be on his way to do a full work up," 'Cedes said while Mike carefully laid Brittany down on the mattress and Sam hung up the drip bag, "It's been awhile since we've tended to a Super."
Santana was quick to reply with a bit more bite to her tone, "Well she's not here for experimenting on so don't even think about it."
Santana glared at everyone in the room, griping the railing of the hospital bed like she was one tug away from pulling it off and using it like a bat.
"You know that's not what we do here," 'Cedes replied, not even wavering under Santana's stare, "You must since you brought her here."
'Cedes just gave her a stern, almost tired, look that caused Santana to ease up just slightly. It was like a silent conversation had taken place and Santana reluctantly backed away from the railing.
"Whatever," She rolled her eyes and tapped at her hip, phasing out of her suit and mask and into regular street clothes.
There was no use for Songbird here when everyone in the room knew her true identity, even Quinn. Still, Santana slumped against the wall next to the monitors and waved for 'Cedes to continue barking orders. 'Cedes just shook her head and turned back to her employees.
"Sam, why don't you go check on Abrams?" 'Cedes instructed as she began to tend to Brittany.
"Awh, he still works here?" Santana grumbled and pushed off the wall, "Isn't there anyone-"
"Do you want our help or not?" 'Cedes snapped with authority, "Because I distinctly remember your ass begging us for help, so we don't have to-"
"Okay, okay," Santana interrupted with her hands held up in defense so 'Cedes could continue.
"That's what I thought," 'Cedes smirked.
Santana slumped back against the wall in a huff, "Also I didn't beg."
"Sure," 'Cedes replied and turned back to Sam, "I don't know how long the lullaby is gonna last so be quick."
"Of course," Sam answered and left the room in a flash.
"And Mike, maybe show Quinn to the room next door?" 'Cedes suggested as she turned her gaze to Quinn, "Should probably work you up too."
"Oh believe me, she's been worked up since Mike got us," Santana teased while mindlessly picking at her nails. A pleased smirk graced her lips, but it quickly fell upon hearing the Doctor's words.
"Girl hush, you have no room to talk," 'Cedes said and for the first time her tone was more playful than serious, "Don't think I don't know who's laid up in this bed right now."
Santana gaped at 'Cedes, fingers stilling. She tried to come up with a witty come back, but for once she was at a loss. What could 'Cedes possibly know? Santana didn't even know what was going on yet.
'Cedes just smirked and motioned for the door, "Go on Mike."
Mike nodded and led Quinn out of the room without another word, leaving just Santana and 'Cedes and an unconscious Brittany alone. Santana watched curiously as 'Cedes moved to the other side of the hospital bed to continue tending to Brittany's surface injuries although they already looked way better than before.
"After all this time," 'Cedes began with the shake of her head although her tone was still playful, "You are still a pain in my ass. You know that?"
"You love me," Santana said confidently.
"I guess," 'Cedes responded unconvinced but then her tone grew softer as she eyed the brunette wearily, "You really went head first in all this, didn't you?"
Santana shrugged, "Didn't really have a choice now, did I?"
'Cedes gave her an all-knowing look that made Santana feel completely see-through. She hated that look. It always made her feel on edge.
Thankfully, she didn't pry and went back to cleaning dried blood off Brittany's cheek.
"You hurt or anything too?" She asked without looking up.
Santana had been so concerned with Brittany, she hadn't really thought about herself. Her side was a little tender and she was sure there would be some bruising on her cheek, but it wasn't anything she couldn't handle. Upon her silence, 'Cedes looked up with a brow arched in question.
"I'm fine," Santana avoided the gaze and turned to rummage through the countertop drawers, "Just need some pain killers and I'll be set."
"If you ask instead rooting through my things, you shall receive," 'Cedes lifted a bottle from her lab coat and tossed it to the Super, "Here."
Santana caught the pill bottle smoothly, "Thanks."
She then turned to the counter and grabbed a paper cup from the holder, filling it from the tap. Santana kept her back turned to 'Cedes while she swallowed back the pills and chased it with water. She could feel the woman's eyes drilling holes into the back of her head, but she really wasn't up for a conversation right now.
She knew it was unavoidable though, nothing got past 'Cedes.
"Just say whatever you so badly want to say, 'Cedes," Santana suddenly complained, accompanied by an eye roll.
"What makes you think I've got something to say?" 'Cedes replied, feigning offense.
"Because you always do," Santana said, plopping down in the arm chair next to Brittany's bed with a huff.
"Retirement has made you soft," The woman teased with a warm smile.
"Fuck off," Santana defended as she crossed her legs at the knee, "I'd do this for anyone."
"I've known you for years, Santana, and I've never seen you sitting bedside to anyone," 'Cedes told her like it was fact.
Santana looked everywhere else but the Doctor, "That's not true."
"Please, I bet you can't even name one person," 'Cedes said, giving her a knowing grin.
She was right, Santana couldn't, but there was no way she was going to admit to that. Give the Doctor the satisfaction? No thank you.
'Cedes softened at the silence and pulled away from Brittany. Her eyes shifted from the blonde to Santana, "She has to be important if you're coming out of the woodworks and calling in favors left and right."
Santana sputtered out a bitter laugh, "I don't even know, 'Cedes. It's hard to think straight around her."
"Isn't that a good thing?"
'Cedes nodded slowly like she was trying to understand, "Tell me about her."
Santana let out a groan but didn't say anything for a long while again.
It was a big ask after the day she had, she didn't know where to begin. How could she explain whatever was going on between her and Brittany if she didn't even know? There was still so much left to figure out and really she hadn't had any time to process the conversation with Brittany from earlier.
All she knew was that Brittany made her feel things, things she hadn't felt in a long time, but she had sworn she'd never go there. She couldn't be who Brittany needed her to be; she wasn't a hero, but she just couldn't turn her back on her. Not fully, anyway. When she got word about Brittany's situation at the warehouse, she broke every rule she ever made for herself.
Because it was Brittany and despite all her limitations and reservations, she couldn't just leave her there.
Santana looked to the blonde next her, banged up and bruised. She let out a sigh and shook her head. If she would've just listened to Brittany outside of the lounge then maybe this wouldn't have happened? If she would've just agreed to join her little team or whatever then maybe she wouldn't be this hurt and Santana wouldn't have had to involve so many people from her past and maybe Brittany wouldn't have to live with the guilt killing a man – no matter how shitty of a person he was.
Santana swallowed hard, keeping her eyes steady on the blonde's profile.
She felt guilty, but really what was new?
Santana frowned and pushed away to rest back against the chair, "She took a bullet for me, 'Cedes."
"She took several bullets for you," 'Cedes clarified.
The guilt intensified.
Santana stayed silent as she continued to stare, her eyes traveling down to the dried patch of blood on Brittany's shoulder and the laceration at the blonde's side. The bullet had stripped away some of Brittany's suit to reveal a sliver of raw skin and tattered edges of pixel-like material. Santana inhaled shakily and reached for Brittany's hand without thinking. Her hands were soft and warm despite the faint bruising across her knuckles. Santana ran her thumb over the ridges, tracing the bones delicately.
"I don't know why she did that," Santana mumbled, throat tightening, "We had a plan and she just…"
The rest of her words died off and she pressed her lips tight together to keep from sobbing, because since seeing Brittany fall to her knees in front of her that's all she wanted to do. She couldn't break though, she had to be strong for Brittany's sake.
Even if she wasn't awake to see it.
"Some people are worth saving," 'Cedes said earnestly.
"Yeah well," Santana chuckled dryly, pushing down any sign of weakness that begged to surface, "I'm not one of those people."
She knew the minute the words left her lips, she shouldn't have said that. Not because it wasn't true, she fully believed it, but because Brittany wouldn't like her saying something like that. She would be so quick to correct her, to assure her that she was wrong.
"Seriously?" 'Cedes raised a questioning brow.
Santana just shrugged and averted her gaze.
'Cedes let out sigh, "Santana…girl, you're most definitely worth saving."
Santana moved to argue it but 'Cedes just held up her hand to stop her.
"Don't even. You know where I stand on this. You're selfless as hell and you've done so much for the people of Lima, whether they realize it or not. You couldn't have done the things you did or suffer the losses you have and not be worthy. That's just not how it works."
Santana felt momentarily winded by the Doctor's words but kept her eyes on Brittany. She imagined Brittany giving her that tired eye-roll or shaking her head with her softest of smiles playing at her lips.
The thought made Santana smile and she found herself admitting aloud, "I think she would agree with you if she were awake."
"Good!" 'Cedes told her then shifted her gaze to Brittany, "I'm glad there's someone else now that can convince your stubborn ass. It really is hard work."
Santana just gave the Doctor a small smile that slowly faded, "I'm worried about her. She can't…not because of me."
"She won't. She'll be fine," 'Cedes assured, "You saved her, Santana. Whatever song you sang to her, it helped speed up the healing process. She would be a lot worse if you hadn't done that."
"She was the one who asked me to. I wasn't – I didn't heal her on purpose. I didn't even know I could do that. I mean, I knew I could alter emotions but not heal. I was just doing what she asked of me. I figured I could at least do that after everything," There was another long pause then Santana's voice came out soft and small once again, "'Cedes, I think I'm-"
Suddenly the door pushed open as Abrams joined the room, "Sorry I'm late. What do we got?"
When Brittany finally stirred, she felt way more alert than before. Her body was still sluggish and there was a slight ache all over, but nothing like it felt before. Still, she was slow to sit up and look around at her surroundings in confusion. It was a standard, stark white hospital room complete with monitors beeping at her and wires and IVs dangling off her arm.
None of this looked familiar to the blonde.
Minus, the Detective sitting in the far corner of the room.
Brittany's brow furrowed; what was she doing here? Had she taken her to a hospital? Did she even think that through?
She avoided hospitals like the plague because no one usually knew how to treat a Super. Also, there was the secret identity thing at stake. Without her suit and mask, nothing separated her from being found out.
Brittany stiffened at the thought and whipped off the flimsy blanket to find she was no longer dressed in her suit. It had been replaced with a papery hospital gown.
"Shit." Brittany gasped and began ripping off the wires from skin. She needed to get out of there before anyone else knew her true identity. She couldn't believe Santana would let this happen.
Brittany froze at that thought too; Where's Santana?
She didn't have time to think, she had to move. She needed to find some real clothes and get the hell out of there before-
"Going somewhere?" A familiar voice said and Brittany spun to find Santana in the doorway holding two coffees in her hands. Her perfectly sculpted brow was arched as she kicked the door closed behind her.
Brittany had one leg dangling off the side of the bed but she froze upon Santana's entrance. She grew more confused as she took in the Super without her suit.
Quinn woke to the sound and groggily looked around, "What's happened?"
"You're a terrible guard. That's what happened," Santana joked and passed Quinn one of the coffees she was holding.
Brittany's brows rose further at the sudden friendliness between the two. She had so many questions. How long had she been out?
"Sorry. I haven't slept in days," Quinn grumbled but accepted the coffee gladly.
Brittany eyed Santana curiously as she neared her beside. The brunette brought the cup up for a sip, eyes never leaving Brittany's. The blonde felt like she was under a scope and watched as Santana pulled away from the cup, licking the froth away from her top lip.
"How are you feeling?" Santana asked with the tilt of her head, "You took a nasty fall."
Brittany's eyes cut across to Quinn in the corner, busy with downing the coffee like it was water. She had no idea how to answer Santana, not with Quinn there and not while she was without her suit.
"I'm fine," Brittany answered thinking it was the only safe response she could come up with.
"You can thank Santana, she kept you alive until help came," Quinn said as she pulled away from the cup, "Well actually that was Songbird saving Bombshell but you know what I mean."
Brittany's eyes widened at Quinn's statement and looked to Santana wordlessly, but the brunette just busied herself with staring at her coffee cup. Brittany's heart was racing and all the alarms in her head were going off because Quinn knew Songbird's true identity? When did that happen? Apparently, she knew Bombshell's as well. Could she trust her?
"It's a new thing," Santana smiled bashfully, not even bothered by Quinn's words, then looked to Brittany, "But you're welcome."
Brittany could only blink blankly at the conversation wondering what exactly had she missed.
"I don't understand," Brittany muttered aloud. Her brows were bunched together as she tried her hardest to connect the dots on her own. She felt like running but she knew her body wasn't fully healed just yet so she wouldn't get very far.
Santana seemed to catch on to Brittany's confusion and walked around the bed. She set down her cup on the stand off to the side and helped guide Brittany's leg back under the covers. Warm hands grazed Brittany's calf, gingerly lifting it like it was made of fine china. Brittany gulped at the delicate touch, watching Santana's profile like a hawk.
"Sorry, I should explain. This is probably a lot to take in."
"Little bit," Brittany mumbled. Santana just gave her an apologetic smile in response.
"Q and I go way back," Santana said to her as she continued to tuck the blonde in, "She's known who I was for years. I saved her life once and in return she owes me. She has to keep her trap shut or the next time I find her dangling off a roof will be her last."
"Oh," Was all Brittany managed to say as she rested back against the pillows. Her gaze drifted down to Santana's hands, delicately tucking the blankets under Brittany's uninjured thigh. She let her hand rest there a moment as their eyes met.
"That deal extends to you now," Santana added as she pulled away, "She is basically sworn to secrecy and can't say anything or I'll kill her. Isn't that right, Q?"
"I don't know about the killing part," Quinn commented as she rose to her feat and neared the opposite side of the bed, "But yes, you saved my life. I owe you, Brittany, your secret is safe with me."
Brittany was slow to react; some had been close to uncovering her secret, but Santana was the first one who ever knew of her true identity. Now Quinn was included in that too as well as whoever treated her? Brittany wasn't used to so many people knowing something she had kept hidden for so long.
But Santana was looking at her in a way she had never did before, Brittany didn't know what it was there. Whatever it was, it eased Brittany's nerves.
Brittany smiled at the sincerity in Quinn's words, "Thank you."
"Maybe now you'll learn to mind your own business," Santana teased as Quinn returned to the armchair, "Leave the crime fighting to people who aren't so…fragile."
Quinn scoffed playfully, "Like you?"
"Like us," Santana clarified proudly.
"Us?" Brittany parroted, lips parted in surprise, "You mean…like a team?"
The hopeful grin that began to spread across Brittany's face had Santana shying away, struggling to downplay her words.
"Okay, so I've been thinking about what you've said. Joining forces and all that," Santana began dismissively. She was still hovering at Brittany's bedside, fingers picking at the fabric of the hospital-grade blankets, "I could be down with it."
"Really?" Brittany beamed, "You know how awesome that would be?"
"Look, I'm not going to get matching suits with you or anything dorky like that…" Santana waved off, but it only made Brittany's smile grow. The sudden urge to pull her down in a great big bear hug was strong, but she didn't know how Santana would react to that.
"Please, have you two seen what you wear? You're basically matching already!" Quinn interrupted, earning her a glare from Santana.
"No one asked you," Santana quipped with her brow raised high, "Besides, have you seen what you wear? I'm surprised Mike didn't also think you were a raging lesbian."
"Wait, you're not?" Brittany looked to Quinn confused.
"What? No," Quinn huffed and pulled on the lapels of her blazer, "Just because I wear loafers and button-down shirts doesn't mean anything. It's business casual."
"It's also very gay," Santana deadpanned.
Brittany tried keeping a straight face, but she couldn't help but sputter out a laugh. Santana looked so proud of herself and Quinn was about ready to slap her if she wasn't so far away. It warmed something in Brittany. She never really got to be around people like this for the fear of getting too attached, but that was out the window now.
"Also who's Mike?" Brittany asked after their laughs had dissipated
"A boy," Santana supplied, and Brittany looked to her with a brow arched.
Santana nodded with a smug smile, "Quinn totally has the hots for him."
"I do not!"
Santana just smirked and gave Brittany a wink as she picked up her coffee and took a sip. Watching how easy it was for Santana to wind up the other blonde was great, it was only a matter of time though before the girl retaliated.
"I can't believe you two have lived together all this time and had no idea you were both Supers. Oh, to be a fly on that wall," Quinn pointed out, trying to divert the conversation away from her love life. Her smile turned devious, "On second thought, with all the sexual tension surrounding you guys, I rather not. Don't want to have to scratch out my eyeballs afterwards."
Brittany blushed at Quinn's comment and looked to Santana just in time to see an eye roll.
"Don't you have somewhere better to be?" Santana replied tiredly, "Where's Mike? Maybe you should go find him. You haven't stared dreamily into his eyes for some time now."
Brittany watched the two interact curiously, it was still taking some getting use to having them both in the same room without Santana being in her suit and Quinn being so relaxed.
"I get it. You want some alone time," Quinn smirked as she rose from the chair and turned to the door, "I'll come back later."
"Please don't," Santana grumbled as Quinn left the room. The blonde sent her one last wink before the door closed behind her. Santana let out an annoyed huff although she looked to be…blushing?
Brittany quirked a brow and began to grin, "What's that face?"
"What face?" Santana asked, deliberately looking anywhere but Brittany. It was hard to hide from her though, not when she continued to hover near Brittany's bedside.
It only made the blonde chuckle, grateful that the movement didn't cause her side that much pain. It was now only a slight twinge compared to the debilitating agony from the alleyway.
"That one," Brittany pointed out, ducking her head a little to catch Santana's eye. She smirked when she did and let out another giggle, "You're totally blushing. Why are you blushing? Don't you want alone time with me?"
Santana's cheeks were fully flushed now, but her ability to regain the upper hand was impressive. She perched herself on the edge of the bed and twisted so that her hand landed just next to Brittany's side, halfway hovering above her.
Brittany instantly stopped grinning at the new closeness and gulped as Santana's eyes flickered between hers. A smug grin pulled at Santana's lips.
"You really want me to answer that?" Santana questioned, voice deliciously raspy. She held Brittany's gaze for a moment before she softened and pushed away with a chuckle, "I'm joking. You're not nearly healed enough for all that."
Brittany shook her head although she couldn't help but smile as Santana settled in the armchair closest to Brittany's side. She might've survived the night, but Santana and all her sexy glory was sure out to get her next.
She wasn't really mad about that though, but she still had questions, and nothing could distract her from them. Not even Santana.
Brittany rolled her head to the side and found Santana watching her with a gentle smile.
"Where am I, Santana?" Brittany finally asked in a more serious tone, "What is this place?"
Santana let out a long sigh as she rested back against the armchair, "It's kind of like a research facility. It's safe for people like us which is why we're not in our suits. Our true identities don't leave this building."
Brittany nodded slowly, somewhat unsure of how trusting she should be. It was Santana and she knew she could trust her. It was everyone else she was weary of.
"How did you know of this place?" Brittany asked, "And how can you be so sure our identities are secure here?"
Santana looked to her to side, deep in thought, then downed the rest of her coffee and tossed it in the bin, "I'm friends with the person who runs this place, 'Cedes. I used to help out here sometimes when she was shorthanded. I have a little experience when it comes to medical facilities, I guess you could say it runs in the family."
Brittany titled her head to the side at the new information, specifically noting the reference to Santana's family which was a rarity. She wanted to ask more about it, but instead focused on her current situation. If they were going to work as a team now, then there would be more chances to talk about family history.
"And you trust these people?" Brittany asked gravely.
Santana gave her a resolute nod, "I do. They're good people. I wouldn't bring you here if there was a chance you wouldn't be safe."
Brittany softened at Santana's sincerity, "Thank you."
Santana lifted her shoulder in a shrug but stayed quiet.
"So how long have I been here anyway?" Brittany asked next, noticing Santana's sudden bashfulness, "Please don't tell me it's been like a week or something. I'd be so fired if I missed work that many times."
Santana chuckled, "It's only been a day. You were in and out for a couple hours on but after the surgery to remove the bullet in your thigh, you slept hard for about eight."
"I had surgery?" Brittany gasped and went to lift the blanket to reveal the bandage wrapped around her thigh, "Holy crap. I haven't had surgery since I was a kid." She gulped at the childhood memory, it seemed like such a lifetime ago now and it made something in her fall to the pit of her stomach.
She rarely thought about her life before the car accident; what was the point? She didn't have anyone in her life who she could trust with any of that information. At least, not until Santana.
She traced her fingers over the area on her thigh, but she couldn't feel a thing, "Wow. It's like the injury never happened."
"You probably don't need that on anymore," Santana pointed to the bandage, "You started healing before they could even stitch you back up. It was incredible."
It was Brittany's turn to blush, but she did her best to fight it, "See? Told you I'd be fine. Just needed to nap. No need to cry over lil ole me."
Brittany was trying to come off playful, but Santana's face hardened into something that looked like sadness. She worried her lip as her brows knitted. It was like she was trying so hard to keep it together, put on a brave face, but Brittany didn't understand why.
It made Brittany pause and ask, "What's wrong?"
"You were…just in a really bad way, Britt. You weren't healing fast enough, and I didn't know what else to do. You had suffered so many injuries and we were running out of time," Santana explained as her brows furrowed, "You were dying."
Brittany's jaw tightened at the brokenness.
Bombshell had been involved in countless fights and suffered all kinds of injuries, but she had never experienced anything like this before. It was the closest she had ever been to death since being turned. It was terrifying to think that someone could create such a weapon that could render her so powerless, that could inflict so much pain.
And Santana had seen it happen, had seen her at her absolute weakest. Brittany could faintly remember the echoes of Santana's pleas as she slipped further into unconsciousness, but fighting it was hard and ultimately, she lost. Santana had seen that happen too.
"Hey, look at me," Brittany whispered as she watched the dark clouds roll in in dark eyes. She reached out to Santana, upturning her palm in hopes that Santana would meet her halfway.
Thankfully, she did. Santana's warm hand slid into Brittany's as she scooted to the edge of the armchair. Brittany overlapped their hands, holding on tightly.
"You weren't waking up," Santana said with a trembling bottom lip. She clung to Brittany's hand like it was the only thing keeping her there. Santana watched as their fingers threaded, "And after everything we talked about outside the lounge…you had so much faith in me and I just…let you down."
"You didn't," Brittany responded earnestly, "This wasn't your fault."
"How is it not?" Santana replied, the mood suddenly shifting. She dropped Brittany's hand and pushed away, "You could've died, Britt, and that's on me. You asked for my help and I turned my back on you and this is what happened," She gulped as her eyes dragged up Brittany's body, "Just…look at you."
"I said I'm fine," Brittany tried and moved to pull the shoulder of her gown down to reveal flawless skin. She reached for Santana's hand again and gently laid it over her previously injured shoulder, not even flinching at the pressure applied, "See? I'm practically good as new."
Santana spread her fingers over the soft skin, caressing the spot that was once a puncture wound. You couldn't even tell now, not even a scar was left behind.
"And you came around eventually," Brittany added, smiling to Santana encouragingly, "That counts for something."
"Not soon enough," She said with the shake of her head and pulled away, "You suffered so much, and I could've prevented that if I just listened to you in the first place. I feel like such an idiot, I put you in so much unnecessary danger."
Brittany frowned at how hard Santana was being on herself. She only caught a glimpse of this from the night she stumbled in drunk, but it was nowhere near like this. She wanted nothing more than to dispel all those negative thoughts pushing her to say such things, but she knew that wouldn't be so easy for Santana.
Still, Brittany tried.
"Hey, I put myself in that situation, so this isn't on you. It's sweet of you to want to protect me, but it's a lost cause. I'm a Super, danger is like my middle name. Actually, it's Susan but you get what I mean," Brittany explained, "I don't need a guardian, I need a partner."
Santana softened slightly at Brittany's words, "Britt…don't you understand what you mean to me?"
Brittany stiffened but honestly, she didn't know the answer to that. Things moved fast and nothing was ever really talked about. There was something clearly there, but what?
"I-I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if-"
"Well it didn't," Brittany swiftly cut her off, "And unless you also have the power of Sight too and didn't tell me, we don't know what could've happened if we showed up together so you can't beat yourself up about it. Maybe this is exactly what needed to happen in order to get us here?"
Santana bit down on her lip, rolling around the thought.
Brittany shrugged, lost in thought, "I don't know. But what I do know is that you were great tonight…today? I'm not exactly sure. Whatever time of day it is, you were great. I'm proud of you and you should be too."
Santana peeked up at her, deciding whether or not to believe her words. It had been such a long time since anyone had ever praised her efforts let alone say they were proud of her. She hadn't done anything in a long time to warrant that, so this? It was different and with hopeful blue eyes looking back at her like she was the best thing since sliced bread, her hard exterior began to crack.
It makes Santana hurt even more so thinking that she could've lost her. The words leave her mouth before she can think to catch them.
"I have something to tell you, Britt," Santana began shyly, "I'm letting you in on this secret only because I feel bad for leaving you out of it in the first place."
Brittany's stomach lurched, but she tried her hardest to keep her face neutral, "What is it?"
Santana licked her lips and inhaled slowly before looking to Brittany with a soft smile playing at her lips. Dark brown eyes softened and stared back warmly.
"I'm in love with you," Santana admitted.
Brittany's lips parted to respond, but she was speechless.
"I have been for awhile, "Santana added quietly, "It happened the night you came to my show."
"That…that was years ago," Brittany managed to say, "You…for years?"
Santana nodded, "It's ridiculous, isn't it? How much we sacrifice in order to protect this city? To protect ourselves? It's like we have no chance of leading normal lives or being happy. It puts everyone at risk. Being in love with you is a risk."
"Santana…" Brittany gasped, her words cutting too deeply.
"Then I almost lost you," Santana whispered brokenly.
"Well you didn't," Brittany assured her. She reached forward as best as she could until she was somewhat on her side and pulled Santana closer, "I'm still here. You can't get rid of me that easily."
Santana was slow to meet Brittany's gaze, but once she did the storminess quickly dissipated. Her shoulders eased upon hearing Brittany's words and a small smile began to spread. She slid into the curve of Brittany's hips and rested her hand on Brittany's cheek.
"Thank God," Santana replied sounding more like herself again, "You know how hard it was for me to find a roommate before you?"
Brittany chuckled and bobbed her head from side to side smugly, "I know. I can't be topped."
"Wanky," Santana smirked which caused Brittany to roll her eyes.
"You're such a dork," Brittany teased, "But while we're being honest, I have something to tell you too."
"I've kind of been in love with you this whole time too," Brittany admitted through a smile before pulling Santana in for a long-awaited kiss.
Thus far their kisses had been either drunkenly stolen in a dark hallway, guiltily pressed to a cheek under the glow of streetlights or hurried through in the middle of a battlefield like it would be the last.
This wasn't anything like those, it was so much more. This kiss signified something new, a fresh start, a glimpse into a life where neither girl would ever feel alone again. This kiss meant a life shared with someone, it meant happiness, it meant love.
Sure, it was dangerous – two Supers claiming a city could only lure in stronger enemies – but there wasn't really anything they couldn't handle together. They proved that tonight and they would continue to do so.
With Songbird and Bombshell fighting side by side?
No one stood a chance.
A/N - There you have it guys! The final installment of this little prompt challenge. Thanks for sticking around for this ride & big love to everyone that leaves a review. I so very much appreciate it! See ya around 3