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[personal profile] olaf47
Title: now there's nothing but time that's wasting
Fandom: Glee
Characters/Pairing: Santana Lopez, Quinn Fabray, Brittany Pierce, Rachel Berry, Brittany/Santana
Rating: PG-13 for character death and language
Warnings: CHARACTER DEATH
Summary: She never asks God why.
Author's Note: My first, and hopefully last, fic involving character death. I may have cried a lot while writing this. Title is from Paramore's "In the Mourning." Go listen to their performance of "In the Mourning/Landslide."





She never asks God why.

She’s never doubted God so much in her entire life, actually. Not when her parents wouldn’t stop yelling until her mami packed a bag and slept somewhere else for four nights. Not when she realized some people’s Gods considered her love a sin.

She just doesn’t know where God could be, now, where any so-called benevolent God could be in all of this. How can she believe in a God whose plan for her apparently doesn’t involve Brittany?

So she doesn’t ask why; why Brittany turned left; why Santana didn’t kiss her, just for a few more minutes; why hadn’t the salt truck come yet that morning? There can’t be a God to plead to that it isn’t fair, that she’d rather it were her, because there can’t be a God that would do this.

But Quinn does seem something like an angel when she stands tall, shoulders squared, and holds her up when she almost certainly can’t walk past that open casket.

And she sees some kind of divinity in Mrs. Pierce as the woman hugs her and sobs, “It’s okay to cry, ’Tana.”

Santana chokes around a scream.

--

Mr. Schue tries to talk to her at school, and she doesn’t even have the emotion left to roll her eyes. At least the kids know better than to bother trying. Figgins makes her go see Miss Pillsbury, and the woman just stares at her with those enormous eyes, and Santana would give anything to care enough to at least think up a mean comment, even if she doesn’t say it, because that would mean her life was different, that Brittany wasn’t dead, because how else could Santana ever think about anything else?

She sees God again, though, in Coach Sylvester. (There’s an unexpected sentence.) Coach doesn’t cancel practice. But she doesn’t say anything either, doesn’t make them do anything. They just sit on the couches in the team room. There are boxes of Kleenex everywhere. No one has forgotten the speech Sue gave on eating your feelings back in sophomore year, but there are bowls of Muddy Buddies the first day. (After that, it goes back to celery and carrots.)

Santana for once doesn’t have a problem with Sue’s diet; she hasn’t eaten in four days.

Quinn tries to make her. Quinn’s the only person who’s been able to get her to do much of anything. She’s at least got her going to class, even if paying attention is beyond her capacity. Quinn pays attention enough for the both of them, though, like she has to take extra good notes, the way Santana did in the classes she had with Brittany. The day Quinn tries to get her to eat, it’s only successful until third hour, when Brittany doesn’t slip into the seat beside her, lacing their pinkies together, or maybe dropping a pencil and brushing a hand down Santana’s leg and back up again when she reaches down to get it. Santana bolts for the bathroom and throws up until she’s just dry heaving bile.

--

Quinn waits until the whole squad is in the team room the next Monday before saying, “All right, let’s head to the gym and stretch out.”

Everyone just does what she says.

Normally they’d be working outside, no matter how cold it gets in Lima in early February. Normally they’d be running full routines, not just executing basic maneuvers. Normally there’d be another blonde girl in the mix, flipping harder and faster than anyone. No one is ready to change the choreography.

Sue calls them sloppy, her voice almost as vitriolic as usual, and Santana feels close to normal.

--

Quinn was the one who told her. Santana was writing an essay, her music so loud she didn’t hear the knock on her bedroom door. She figures now that first knock was probably quiet, tentative, shaking. When Santana finally did realize someone was at her door, she turned down her music and yelled at them to come in.

Quinn’s eyes were rimmed red and her face just completely blank, ashen. Santana remembers knowing, immediately, that someone was dead. She wondered for a minute why Brittany wasn’t the one telling her.

She should have realized it then.

“There was a car accident this morning,” Quinn said, right away, without a hello. Her voice was flat, didn’t even shake. The breath she took, though, it was this deep, shuddering breath, before she said, “Brittany died.”

Santana can’t really remember how she felt. Ruined, maybe. She remembers her hand coming up to cover her eyes, which were already more than filled with tears. She didn’t think of Quinn, of how Quinn might be feeling. She didn’t think of anything except no, nononononono.

Quinn didn’t try to touch her, at least. Santana had never been much for physical contact (except with Brittany). Instead, Quinn sunk to the floor. Santana at her desk, Quinn in the middle of the room, silent tears tracking down their cheeks. Neither moved until “Valerie” came on Santana’s iPod. She grabbed it, dock, speakers and all, and hurled it across the room.

She didn’t notice the dent it left in the dry wall until a week later when she almost tripped over the cracked speakers.

--

Quinn copes by throwing herself into school. She takes copious notes, color-coding them with different color pens. She reads every word assigned for every class, generally more than once. She re-choreographs the entire Cheerios routine and takes it upon herself to make sure they’re perfect. (They’re not, if for no other reason than Santana has to stop at least twice a practice to throw up.) Quinn even helps Rachel with song selections for Regionals.

Santana doesn’t care. She doesn’t even care that Quinn’s hanging out with Rachel or the hobbit or whatever. Santana doesn’t care much about Rachel at all, except she gets in her way one day during history.

It’s been two weeks and three days since that morning, since Brittany untangled her limbs from Santana’s in the gentle light, kissed her twice, and headed home. Most of the school has gone back to normal. Santana still forgets to eat unless someone makes her. Quinn usually does homework at the brunette’s house after practice until dinner, and she picks her up in the mornings with a yogurt and a piece of fruit. Most of the school has gone back to normal and Santana still can’t remember how to feed herself.

In history, two weeks and three days after the accident, three boys laugh boisterously over something while they’re supposed to be working. Santana’s about to knee them all in the balls. She could give a fuck about the classwork, but their laughter sets something off in her. Something about fairness and how laughter makes her think of joy.

She starts toward the guys, ready to break faces, but she almost trips over Rachel Berry. Before she can tell the hobbit off for getting in her way, Rachel is yelling.

“Can you please, for one fucking minute, just shut the fuck up?” She’s screaming at the boys who were laughing. “Some of us don’t have that much to laugh about right now so maybe you could just shut your goddamn mouths.”

She bursts into tears, then. Santana is at her side, holds her by the elbow and leads her into the hall, Quinn close behind. Rachel slides down the lockers as soon as they’re against her back. Santana and Quinn follow, and the three of them sit in the hallway and cry, Rachel’s legs drawn into her chest, her head on Quinn’s shoulder and Santana draped over Rachel’s lap, face pressed to the other girl’s knee, one hand wrapped around Quinn’s calf, until the bell rings.

--

Cheerios has almost completely gone back to normal. They run the new routine outside, regardless of sometimes sub-freezing temperatures, and every time they finish, Sue either berates them or just sighs and says, “Again.”

You have to look closer to see the ways they’ve changed: how the smiles are all just a little less bright, how Sue’s eyes linger over Santana, and how when she yells, she’s never on the same side of the field as the brunette.

It’s almost spring, now, and the air is a tiny bit warmer when they line up for Coach Sylvester to take attendance. It’s still cold enough for warm up pants and long sleeves, but the sky actually looks blue instead of grey. Quinn says, “Here.” in response to her last name, and Santana thinks about Brittany’s eyes.

“Lopez.”

“Here.”

“Matthews.”

“Here.”

“Meyer.”

“Here.”

“Pierce.”

Santana isn’t sure if everyone goes completely silent, or if she just can’t hear anything over the thunder of her heartbeat. She swallows hard. Quinn is looking at her, and when they make eye contact, she lets out a breath.

“Here,” they say together.



Date: 2011-09-17 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rockinrye.livejournal.com
I think I'm legit upset with you. Like, really. This made me so sad. I'm fundamentally against the fictional death of Brittany S. Pierce but this shit really hurt. It was beautiful tho. Your words were very pretty but I'm sad.

Date: 2011-09-18 02:43 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-09-17 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nicalyse.livejournal.com
Sad. Sad sad sad.

Date: 2011-09-18 02:33 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-09-17 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devilduckieee.livejournal.com
OH GODS MY HEART! I HATE YOU! *sniffle*

Okay. I don't actually hate you, but dammit! This was payback for giving you accidental angsty brittana wasn't it? I just can't. You killed Britt.

You killed Brittany and, you know what, that's okay with me. You did such a wonderful job with this. You expressed the love of/for Brittany in such a wonderful and subtle way. Instead of saying '___is sad and can't get over it' you showed it via actions. I love that Santana can no longer function, but only in the way of how it's how I view her and Brittany -- like they physically need each other in order to function properly. I love that Quinn is there, taking over and forcing Santana through the motions of life and how that is helping Quinn to cope with Brittany's loss. I love how you show how much Brittany means to so many people, but you did it with broad strokes 'cause Brittany loved everyone.

Sue? I love when we see Sue's heart and the woman might've wanted to launch Brittany out of a cannon of death, but that doesn't mean that she didn't love Brittany too. I just love that it affected the team -- especially that end bit and Quinn & Santana saying that Brittany was there with them. I love that Sue said Brittany's name. Guh, Mer, I can't with you right now.

I was fine though. Like, I was going through and reading and thinking 'gosh, i'm so proud of you right now 'cause this is damn well done'. I was fine 'cause you were so lovingly handling Brittany's death and the shock that comes with it. I was fine.

I was fine until History class and Rachel yelling. (Gods, I'm tearing up again just thinking of that moment.) Rachel's always the wild card, you know, and it was so unexpected (except, like, thinking of it now it's totally expected 'cause that's Rachel. it's just that reading through, you don't expect it) and just guh and beautiful. Such a brilliant decision you made there and so, yeah, I totally teared up (which does not happen often).

So, thank you for killing Brittany. I hate you. I love you more though. Never do it again 'cause, fuck, everything always happens to Brittany. Now...shh shh just let me love you.

Date: 2011-09-18 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likebrightness.livejournal.com
Can we talk for a minute about how maybe this freakin' comment made me tear up? I just--I had to take multiple breaks from writing this fic because it was hard, and to have you respond having gotten like, everything makes it so worth it.

You are an absolute doll. And don't worry, I have a love/hate relationship with myself, too.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Date: 2011-09-18 04:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devilduckieee.livejournal.com
Aww. I know you were having issues w/ it and I teased you about it.

Sometimes I feel the need to get wordy. It doesn't happen, but then I'm not usually emotionally moved by the things I read. You accomplished something great and I felt it needed more than a 'well done, write more!' comment. ♥

Date: 2011-09-20 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blueashke.livejournal.com
I loved this. I sobbed my eyes out, but I loved it. It also inspired me to write a death fic myself today (because my last one wasn't enough). So thanks for that too.

Date: 2011-09-20 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likebrightness.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you loved it, but warning about writing death fic: you will still sob your eyes out!

Date: 2011-09-20 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blueashke.livejournal.com
Oh yeah. My first one was super short and I bawled. This one was over 2500 words and I made three people cry when I read it out loud to them.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7396503/1/Rain
(deleted comment)

Date: 2011-09-18 02:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likebrightness.livejournal.com
I'M SORRY! It was my muse. She couldn't be stopped.

It may sound mean, but I'm super glad I made you cry. :P Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Date: 2011-09-18 06:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shinigami-x07.livejournal.com
omg ;______;

It's so well written but ;___________;

whyyyyy?

Date: 2011-09-19 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likebrightness.livejournal.com
It's my muse's fault, I swear!

Thanks for reviewing!
(deleted comment)

Date: 2011-09-19 04:21 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-09-20 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gilligankane.livejournal.com
Goddamn you. Goddamn you. I was fine until the last line. And then you just... you just punched me in the gut. So, it was fucking brilliant, but Goddamn you.

Date: 2011-09-20 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likebrightness.livejournal.com
I feel a little bad celebrating when I make people swear at me or say I 'punched them in the gut', but it's maybe the best compliment I think I could get on a fic like this. Thanks so much!

Date: 2011-09-20 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mixtape218.livejournal.com
umm... i wish i could tell you how incredibly written this was, but i cant. i cant say anything except that my heart hurts so fucking bad. i cant believe you! GAWD i hate you.


but i also love you. i'm so glad i have feelings. because with feelings it's better

Date: 2011-09-20 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likebrightness.livejournal.com
I'm sorry you hate me but glad you love me and very thankful that you took the time to comment. :)

Date: 2011-09-22 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sari-m.livejournal.com
Oh, God. Beautiful and meaningful, made me choke up. Best character death I have ever read.

Date: 2011-10-16 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likebrightness.livejournal.com
Oop I just saw this! Sorry for the late response.

Thank you sooo much. Glad you liked it!

Date: 2011-12-11 05:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] patmik.livejournal.com
Why Brittany??? Creys... but so well written, though.

Date: 2011-12-11 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likebrightness.livejournal.com
Thanks, bb! ♥
(deleted comment)

Date: 2011-12-12 07:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likebrightness.livejournal.com
Thanks so much. ♥

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