Santana is under the impression that Quinn hasn’t talked all week long. It feels like forever, and when she realizes it’s only Monday, she has to close her eyes and breathe.
She shouldn’t miss Quinn this much. She shouldn’t be able to smell her scent when there is no one around, when she is alone in her room, but she does.
She shouldn’t do those things, they’re wrong. But she does.
It’s still Monday when Quinn slams her into her locker, one-handed, while passing and smirks at her from a distance. Her steps echo quickly through the hallway and then away, and Santana doesn’t go after her.
She stays there, pressed onto the cold metal of her locker. Her back and shoulder ache from when the lock collided with her skin and she’s going to be bruised.
She can still feel the press of Quinn’s hand on her skin, her fingers splayed across the bare skin of her forearm. There is no mark, but she can feel it, hot and tingling, burning deeper than her skin, deeper than her flesh.
She shouldn’t, but she does. And when she gets home, she locks her room and stuffs her head on the pillow to scream, so that no one hears. And then, when she does it again, and she moans, louder and louder, no one hears. She shouldn’t do it, shouldn’t do those things, they’re wrong and they’re dirty and she feels like crying afterwards. She shouldn’t, but she does.
It’s Tuesday when Quinn speaks to her again, a cruel smirk playing on her lips, and Santana wonders if she didn’t prefer when they didn’t speak. This time, when Quinn insults her, when her lips form the words she doesn’t want to hear, ever again, ever again, because they’re true and they hurt and they cut and they bruise—this time she doesn’t let Quinn get away with it. She grabs her, twists her, she tries to hurt, on purpose. And she does: Quinn will be bruised, will be hurt.
But she won’t be as much as Santana, and when the marks fade from her skin, the pain will go along and leave her unmarked and free.
When Santana comes home that night, she looks at her unmarked body in the mirror—the thighs and the toned skin, the breasts, the pretty lips—and she thinks about how much she’d trade that for Quinn’s body, with the stretch marks and the bruises—the ones Santana inflicted.
She thinks about Quinn’s body when she marks her own body, bruises along the hipbones and scratches her nails on the inside of her thighs—and when she does those things again (they’re wrong and dirty and it’s bad bad bad it’s forbidden and you’ll burn—) her fingers spell Quinn’s name.
With Wednesday comes the pain, liberating and excruciating: her thighs pressed on the cloth of her pants, and they bleed against the fabric when they rub together. But the pain isn’t bad, and she learns to enjoy it. She enjoys what it means, the way it feels of Quinn’s hand burning her skin. She enjoys the ever-there reminder of the wrong and bad things she did, and the way she thinks about Quinn.
It’s not the suffering she likes, in fact. It’s the feeling of Quinn’s hand, burning on her flesh, even in places it never was.
And she keeps burning.
With Wednesday also come more problems, more pain, but of a different kind. It isn’t a good kind of pain when Quinn kisses that guy in the hallway. It isn’t a good kind of pain when Quinn misses Cheerio practice and at lunch she’s wearing a scarf and a goddamn smirk like they belong on her skin, like they are part of her. Like he is part of her.
Santana feels like a part of her is missing. It shouldn’t, but it does, and it doesn’t stop.
It doesn’t stop when she is at home, alone. She knows she shouldn’t do it, but she wants the pain to stop.
But even those things don’t satisfy her, anymore, and maybe she needs a guy to help (to make it normal Santana you should like guys and their abs not that not that not that you’ll burn burn burn—) to help and make her complete again. To make her stop doing those things.
But with the guy comes no pleasure, and she has to close her eyes and think about forbidden things. With the guy comes no relief, and when she is spread out the pain is ungodly. With the guy comes no help and when he leaves she feels lonely on top of alone.
It doesn’t get better.
The pain is ungodly and Thursday doesn’t make things better. Thursday passes slowly, like a boat when there is no wind, stirring and heaving on her lungs like they forgot how to be lungs. The air crawls in and out, wheezing, and then it just stops when she walks by and glances at her.
It burns in her eyes, behind her eyeballs, and she is close to crying. It burns her brain, makes it think about forbidden things (love love love love—) things that Santana doesn’t do, never, ever.
She shouldn’t, but she does. And she doesn’t want to, but she still does.
And while her lungs progressively forget how to be lungs, her heart learns how to be a heart again.
And like most things we learn, it hurts.
The pain heaves on her muscles when she gets home, lies down on her bed. She doesn’t do anything, just breathe, force the air in and out of her lungs, force open doors that were too long close, rusty and squeaky doors that need to learn how to be doors again.
Her chest hurts and her heart is trying to be a heart, trying too hard, or rather not hard enough and she hurts all over.The pain doesn’t stop when she tries to think about other things. It doesn’t stop when she tries to do other things. It refuses to change directions and let her hurt about anything else. It feels like the pain is barking at her, sneering: this is what you signed up for, and there is no getting out. You’re wrong, you’re dirty rude rude disgusting wrong you’ll burn—
Friday is slightly better and her lungs stop heaving with pain when Quinn crosses the school alone, her hand empty. The man candy has been ditched and Quinn looks happier without the scarf. The smirk she wore stays, though, and she doesn’t look at Santana, even though Santana knows she saw her.
With Cheerio practice the pain eases away when Quinn’s hand grips her wrist, her ankle. They don’t look at each other but the touch is burning, and this time Santana knows it isn’t just in her mind. Their hands flow and glide, touch and caress where they shouldn’t, and even Quinn seems to breathe better.
She doesn’t feel so bad that night about lying in bed and smoothing her hands across the curves and the folds, and maybe she needs soft instead of hard and solid, maybe she has enough hard and solid inside of her. Maybe what she needs is honest and quiet and thin. Her curves slide smoothly under her hand and if she closes her eyes she can think about another body, another soul under her palm, another heart to soothe her pain.
Maybe she doesn’t have to feel wrong about wanting the forbidden, her curves and her smile like the birth of a song.
Friday feels like flying.