Firstly I just want to say, I hope everyone has been doing okay over the last few days. This past year has been extremely difficult on me as Naya was literally my idol. I looked up to her in so many ways and her passing broke my heart. She's helped me so much over the years and I owe her the biggest thank you in the world. I hope you and Cory are having a blast up there.
Love and miss you Nay Nay, rest easy.
Fly high Cory.
I'm hesitant about posting today but I've just decided to go ahead and do it.
Warnings: This chapter contains child abuse, minor hints of suicidal behaviours and hints of drug use.
Breakfast turned out okay. Much like Luis, Santana was hesitant about ordering food. It's not like she had much of an appetite anyway with all the drug use.
But Brittany insisted that they order whatever they wanted. Luis had a huge stack of pancakes and syrup; the smile on his face was amazing. Santana ordered a kids portion of eggs and bacon, as she wasn't really hungry. Finally, Brittany ordered some French toast and forced Santana to share it with her whilst trying not to show her worry.
When Santana could feel herself floating away again, she decided enough was enough and excused herself to the bathroom to uh…play with some snow. Although now she was technically more hazy and out of it, but because her thinking was impaired, she felt completely normal. I guess being high all the time was the norm for her.
Brittany tried her hardest during their outing to make sure her Tana was okay. She was constantly giving her longing glances and squeezing her hand when she could see her drifting away. Santana of course, wasn't able to actually register the little things Britt did for her. It's part of the reason why she doesn't think she's good enough. She doesn't deserve Brittany.
They finished their breakfast pretty quickly because Santana didn't want to be out for long, and because Luis was just so hungry he ate it all in one bite. Unlike before though, Santana did in fact notice this. She wasn't in the right state of mind to express the correct emotion. She just packed it up and stored it in the back of her mind, like she does most things, keeping it there for when she will eventually come down from her high and everything will hit her ten times worse.
Brittany held both of their hands tightly when walking back to the car. She held even tighter to the older Lopez though when the amount of cars whizzing past increased. She could see Santana watching the roads from the corner of her eyes and it made her nervous. She even ended up putting her arm around Santana's waist, pulling her in tightly to try and keep her as safe as possible.
On the way home Brittany decided to stop at Adjacent Eats so that the Lopez siblings could see their father. Antonio wanted the best for his children, but unfortunately this means that he spends most of his days at work and away from the light's of his life. He's just doing his best to make sure they have a roof over their heads and something to feed them.
"Papi!" Luis shouts excitedly when they enter the small restaurant in the main 'square' of Lima Heights Adjacent.
If he hadn't of heard the little bell dinging, he definitely would've known someone had entered by the sound of his little boy calling for him. He turns around quickly, abandoning his current task of taking an order to the kitchen to go to his son.
"Luis!" He opens his arms for his boy to jump into. He can still pick his not-so-little boy up, sadly due to the fact that he's on the skinnier side from the lack of consistent meals. Luis runs into his father's arms, squeezing his arms tightly around his neck.
"Britt took us out for breakfast and I got pancakes and a milkshake!" He smiles brightly, showing off his teeth.
Antonio grimaces but turns it into a grin, hoping his son doesn't notice. His child shouldn't have to get so excited for doing something as simple as eating breakfast. "That sounds awesome mijo." He scruffles the younger boy's curly brown hair. "I hope you said thank you."
"I did papa, I promise!" At this moment Brittany and Santana catch up to where the younger boy had ran ahead to. "Right Britt? Tell him I was polite!"
Brittany giggles along with the eldest Lopez. "Yes he was very polite. The ladies will love it!" She says, making Luis turn bright red.
"Nope there will be no ladies until you're at least 35!" Santana says defensively, partially joking. She's very protective about her brother. It's something she's done ever since they were younger.
She always tried her hardest to protect little Luis from the monster that is Maribel Lopez.
"YOU'RE SUCH A WHORE!"
"HOW ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO PAY THE BILLS?"
"WHAT FUCKING BILLS? I'M THE ONE PAYING THEM FOR YOU AND YOUR SHITTY KIDS!"
A six-year-old Santana pressed her hands harder against her ears. She was trying to block the sound of her mom's and her newest boyfriend's screaming match. She didn't really like Darrell that much, and she was sure the feeling was reciprocated. They'd been at it for over an hour. Shouting horrible things back and forth to each other. She tried as hard as she could to muffle the noise, but she would catch snippets at what they were saying. Luckily she couldn't understand much. This is what lead to her locking herself and two-year-old Luis in their shared bedroom closet. She'd given him her earmuffs to wear and told him to close his eyes and try to sleep.
It was past bedtime, she knew that. They had a clock on the floor by the bed, and her mom said when it had the numbers 20:00, that meant they had to stay in their room. She'd asked her friend Brittany once about this. Apparently Brittany didn't have a bedtime clock. Her mom would take her to bed and give her a kiss. It made Santana think about the last time her mom had given her a kiss, but she couldn't remember.
She couldn't sleep though. Not just with the noise, but because Darrell was here.
He really scared Santana. She wasn't sure if it was because of the weird smiles he gave her, or the way he would shout through the house. Whatever it was, it was frightening and even as a six-year-old, Santana could see it.
A loud smashing sound caused her to jump and squeeze her eyes shut in fear. Everything went silent. The only thing she could hear was the thumping of her heartbeat, rapidly beating, and her short breaths. She slowly opened the closet door, peering out hesitantly. She turned back to Luis and placed a finger to her lips to gesture for him to be quiet.
"Stay here okay Lulu?" He gave a small nod and shuffled further into the closet, trying not to be seen. Santana picked up one of the blankets from the floor and gently placed it over him, not only to cover him but to keep him warm.
Santana slowly stepped outside of the closet and shivered as the cool air hit her bare arms and legs. An icy feeling hit her foot as it met the hardwood flooring. She never did know why the house was so cold, but she knew it was something her mom and Darrell liked to argue about.
A noise startled her. The previous silence that ran through the house came to a halt when the quiet sound of her door handle penetrated the air. With wide eyes, she looked at the bedroom door as it slowly opened. The shivering her body was doing was no longer from the cold as she let out a small whimper.
"Santana? Luis?" A breath she didn't know she was holding let out as she realised that it was in fact her mother at the door and not Darrell. She was still scared of her mom and the panic started to creep back in.
"Yes?" She said with a shaky voice, not wanting to irritate her mother further.
The door opened all the way and the light from the hallway illuminated the dark room. Maribel's figure cast a dooming shadow over her little daughter as she stepped into the room.
"Why are you still awake? What does it say on the clock?" Santana was too focused on the bruised skin around her mother's eyes and the way her lip bled slowly, to pay attention to what she said. Bad idea. "Huh? Sorry I couldn't hear you. Have you gone mute?" Santana shook her head. "I said, have you gone mute?" She repeated with an evil glint in her eyes.
"No ma'am." Santana looked down, wanting to avoid the darkness of her eyes.
"Look at me when I'm speaking to you. I didn't raise you like this." She spat angrily. Santana slowly looked up and stood up straight, knowing her mom likes it when she did this. Maribel stayed silent, staring right into Santana's soul. The older woman's eyes narrowed before she hissed. "This is your fault. It's all your fault!"
She pulled her hand back before releasing all her power and slapping Santana across the face. She knew she had to be quiet when this happened, but it hurt so bad. She couldn't help the yelp she let out. She tried to prepare herself for the next blow, but it never came. Instead she got pushed straight off her feet, slamming her head into the hard flooring underneath her.
"Where's the other little shit? WHERE IS HE?" She screamed crazily, looking manically under the bed.
"No mami, por favor." Santana pleaded with tears streaming down her face. She didn't want her Lulu to feel this pain.
She couldn't remember the rest of what happened. Well, except for the look in her brother's eyes when she glanced at the closet for the last time, just before the darkness crept into her vision. She knew then she would do whatever it took to save him.
"Mija? ¿Estás bien?" He frowns seeing the blank look in his daughters eyes,
He knows its pointless asking her if she's okay. The answer is always no. She hasn't been okay in years and it was all his evil ex wife's fault. He holds so much guilt about what happened to them both, but he just never knew it was happening. He doesn't know if that should make him feel better or worse. Probably worse.
The life begins to fill her eyes again. "I'm fine Papi. I've just had a bad few days."
"Do you want to come in the back for a second and we can talk?" Antonio suggests, knowing Santana doesn't like speaking about her issues in front of her brother, and well, just people in general.
"No it's okay. You're busy. We can speak at home later." She says tiredly, not wanting to get into it right now.
"I don't think I'll be home tonight mija." He says regretfully, a grimace forming on his face. "I've got to work the late shift. Luis is staying over at Mrs Wheeler's." He explained.
"Mrs Wheeler?" Luis asks excitedly. Antonio nods causing Luis to pump his fist in the air. "She promised that we would get to make cookies next time I came over!"
Mrs Wheeler was an elderly woman that lived down the road. She used to be friends with Alma Lopez, Santana and Luis' abuela, and was considered a family friend. Before Alma passed, Gladys Wheeler used to watch over the children sometimes when Antonio was stuck at work and Alma was busy. Even after Alma had passed away, she continued to watch over them. Santana considered her to be a part of her family. After all, she takes what she can get.
Brittany and both other Lopez's all chuckle at the younger boy's excitement. "I'm sure you'll get to make your cookies mijo." Antonio then turns to Santana. "Are you going to be okay?"
"Oh yeah." Santana says, trying not to sound disappointed. Her eyebrows perked back up though when she remembered what she had been texting Puck last night in her inebriated state.
"Are you sure Tana?" The black haired man replies, not particularly wanting Santana to be by herself. He knows that this week has been a bad week for her depression.
It never goes away. Even when she thinks she's okay, it's always there looming in the back of her mind. She feels it, but refuses to give in, just until it reaches a point where it's too much to handle. It blows over and she finds herself feeling low and in the clutches of her darkness. She always expects it. It's a horrible vicious cycle. No matter how dangerous of a dose she takes of her anti-depressants, it doesn't stop it from seeping through her brain and around her being.
"Yeah, there was a party tonight anyways." She assures. She can feel the stare of her blonde best friend next to her. She looks down trying to avoid it, but then Brittany speaks up.
"She can sleep over at mine afterwards?" Brittany suggests, much to Antonio's liking.
He lets out a sigh of relief. "Perfect." He claps his hands together, much like Mr Schuester would, making Santana grimace. He reaches into his back pocket, pulling out his brown leather wallet. He turns away slightly, trying not to let any onlookers witness how little funds he has. He breathes out a little when he finds a few ten dollar bills before pulling them out and giving them to Santana. "I'm sorry I can't be home tonight."
"Papi it's okay." She tries to give him the money back, feeling slightly guilty, but she know he won't budge. He just shakes his head at her.
"Take it Nita." He covers her small hand, which had the bills clutched inside, with his own. "Have fun tonight. My treat." He brings their hands up and kisses her hand lovingly.
"Thanks Papi." Her stomach feels funny and starts to churn, not liking the idea that her father's 'treat' will most likely be something on the illegal side.
"Now, you little ones run along on home." He kisses them each on the head, including Brittany, but holding on a little extra longer to his little Nita. "Make sure Luis is ready before you go tonight por favor." She nods into his chest, sinking into his fatherly embrace. "Te quiero Santanita. Stay with Brittany, sí?"
"Sí papi." She pulls away when she notices Brittany leading Luis out of the restaurant. "Yo también te quiero."
They mutter their goodbyes, before leaving their father at his workplace. Lord knows how long he's going to be there.
Brittany had gone home to get ready for this party at Miller's house after Santana had told her more about it. He was some guy from the hockey team, which confused Brittany even more.
William McKinley was a very cliquey school. Everyone stuck to their own groups and that's why it caused such an uproar when glee club came around. It did the one thing that no one at Lima had ever done before: mixing social groups. Not even the different jocks mixed unless a party was involved. In fact, the biggest rivalry was between the footballers and the hockey players. They were considered to be enemies.
At parties they stayed on opposite sides of the rooms. There was even an unspoken rule that neither team were invited to the other's party, unless they'd been asked to by someone else, then it was perfectly okay.
So Puck being invited to Miller's party was definitely strange. She was about to shrug it off when she remembered where Puck received his nickname.
Yes, it was a shortened version of his last name, but that was just a clever coincidence. Puck used to play for the hockey team in middle school and wasn't very good. He used to fall all of the time and therefore dubbed the name "Puck" as he glided around the floor of the rink more times than the actual hockey puck did. He quit shortly after, but the nickname stayed. He was teased for awhile before he stood up and owned the name, turning what used to be a name of jest into a name of fear.
"All packed up Lu?" Santana shouts up the stairs to her little brother.
"Yes!" He shouts excitedly before he comes bounding down the stairs. Santana nudges him playfully as he glides past her into the kitchen.
"What are you doing?" She wonders, glancing briefly at herself in the mirror on the wall.
"Looking for chocolate chips to bake the cookies with." He says with a 'duh' attitude. He strolls back into the living room a few minutes later. "What are you doing?" He raises his eyebrow when he sees his sister twisting slightly to look at her own behind.
"Shut up!" She sighs. "I'm just making sure I look smoking." She smirks and blows a kiss to herself in the mirror, watching how tightly her short red dress clings to her fragile body.
"Girls are weird." Luis states with a roll of his eyes. "I can't find any chocolate chips though." He pouts slightly making Santana's previous playful mood turn sour.
"Sorry Lulu." She kisses him on the head lovingly. "We could stop at the store on the way to Mrs Wheeler's?"
"Nah, it's okay." He denies her suggestion. "She probably has some anyways."
They're conversation is cut off when there's a knock at the door. Santana turns to Luis and motions him to get out of sight.
"It's probably Britt but..." She trails off. She doesn't need to finish her sentence as Luis moves to behind the couch, as if on auto-pilot.
She slowly opens the front door, revealing her taller blonde friend and smiles with happiness and relief.
"Hi! Are you guys ready?" Brittany asks, stepping inside to give Santana a welcome hug, subconsciously closing the front door in the process.
"Hi Britt!" Luis greets.
The brunette breathes Brittany in and pulls away. "Yep we're all ready to go. Are you sure you're okay to drop him off?"
"Of course San!" Brittany giggles. "I'd do anything for you guys. You know this." She says the second part in a hushed whisper, feeling like that statement was a private thought.
"Thanks Britt." Santana bites her lip, trying not to blush at Brittany.
"We best be going then." Brittany says, picking up Luis' overnight bag on the couch, not noticing the state she left Santana in. "We don't want to miss out on the fun. Although, whenever I'm with you, it's all I need." She doesn't even give Santana a chance to respond, instead helping Luis out to her car.
Santana stays behind watching her best friend and little brother walk away, heart fluttering, knees weakening and breath shortening.
The things you do to me Brittany S. Pierce.
You don't even know.