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They Say Bad Things Happen For A Reason

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Santana Lopez loves her city. She loves the smell, the sounds, the skyline, the people. Especially the people. The people keep her employed. Well, their stupidity anyway.

But most of all, Santana loves her bar. Rick's. Named after Humphrey Bogart's place in Casablanca and hidden halfway between the police station and her apartment. It isn't anything like its namesake, it's small and smoky and dark. There's no piano player in the corner, casino in the back or Ingrid Bergman in the doorway, but it's a good bar. A cop's bar. Which is why Santana loves it.

She'd been a cop for nearly ten years. Straight out of high school and never looked back. It started as a something to do that wasn't college. Then it became something to do that allowed her to hit people and get paid for it. Now, it was her life. She got her shield three months back. Detective. Youngest one on the force.

It's raining. Which is just hilariously cliche and Santana's standing outside the station, shifting her feet side to side under a small awning to keep dry and flicking a lighter back and forth in her left hand. Fucking Puck. Always late. She pulls the collar of her trench coat up.

Her eyes drift upward, blinking against the rain that isn't being blocked but awning. It's dark. Nearly 10PM and the block is quiet, unusual but not unwelcome. But she knows better. She knows better because out there, in the darkness and the quiet, a young girl got stabbed fifteen times tonight. A drug deal gone bad. Santana clacks her teeth together as she wishes for a cigarette. Where the hell is Puck?

A door slams open behind her and she turns to see her partner come strolling out of the station, a self-satisfied grin wide across his face. He folds a small white piece of paper in his hand and tucks it inside his jacket before coming to a stop beside her and wagging his eyebrows up and down.

"She has a boyfriend you know," she says, in lieu of a greeting, tucking her lighter back into her pocket.

"That's not a problem for me, Lopez. You know that." It's an old argument, one they have nearly every time Puck is late, scamming some number off a poor woman. Tonight it was that rookie cop Jennifer or Jessica. She can't remember.

She rolls her eyes and walks out in the rain, heading for Puck's car down the street. "Let's go."

Her partner shrugs and follows her. "You know, she has a friend," Puck offers as they get to the car and slide in.

"Good for her."

He turns the ignition and warm air blasts out of the vents. "I'm just saying you need to get out more."

"I get out just fine."

"Going to Rick's and getting plastered every Thursday is not fine." The car pulls off the street and heads west, cutting through the rain as they make their way to the crime scene.

"It's fine for me."

"Lopez, it's been six months since Britt-"

"Shut up," her eyes flash to him in a glare. Yeah, they're partners. The closest thing Santana really has to family, but there are just some things she doesn't talk about. To anyone.

"Santana." She hates the way his voice softens and the way he keeps looking at her sideways. The last word anyone would use to describe Puck is sensitive. When he starts acting that way it makes her want to punch something. Preferably Puck, actually.

She keeps her eyes straight ahead, watching the headlights illuminate the dark street. "I'm serious, Puckerman."

"I'm just saying maybe you should get out more," his hands squeeze the steering wheel and then release it. "Or talk about it. Or something."

"You want to paint each other's nails too?"

"Fuck you," he responds, but there's a chuckle on the words and it's said with affection. She smiles in response, burrows back farther into her seat.

They don't talk for the rest of the ride.

--

It's 1AM when Puck drops her back off at her apartment. Two hours at the scene and another one canvasing the neighborhood. The backs of her eyes ache and she rubs a hand over her face as the car pulls up in front of her building. She's going to dream about blood and rain and empty syringes for weeks.

Puck turns in his seat as the car idles. "You sure you don't want to go out?"

"Yeah, I'm just gonna crash," she says, opening the door and stepping back out into the rain. She knows he's going to go straight home and call that rookie cop anyway. Santana's a lot of things. Cockblocker she is not.

"Aight, peace out," he says, shrugging. "See you in a few." He waves at her before peeling off the curb and she watches his taillights disappear around the corner.

Back to work in five hours. Not bad. She's had worse nights. Way worse.

Her apartment is old, one of those pre-war buildings that's way above her pay grade but she has her hefty inheritance to thank for that. Her parents gave her a lot more dead than they ever did alive. She winces at the thought. She's such a bastard.

The lobby is quiet and warm and for a second she considers turning back outside and making her way to Rick's. An 18 year aged scotch and a pack of cigarettes from the corner market sounds really good right now. Something to get the image of the dead girl out of her brain sounds awesome, but her feet move to the elevator instead. Her fingers press the buttons to call the car down and she steps inside when it finally arrives.

On the ride up to her floor she starts to consider calling Quinn. Quinn Fabray, her best friend after Puck, and one of the best criminal lawyers in the city. Also, a fantastic connoisseur of aged scotch. Another cliche.

She takes her phone out and flips it open, then closed, open, then closed, the same way she flipped her lighter back and forth earlier. Quinn would be awake for sure. That girl never sleeps, and it's kind of freaky really, but if Quinn was still awake chances are Rachel would be too. Rachel, the bane of Santana's existence and the love of Quinn's life. Funny how stuff like that worked out.

The back of her head hits the elevator wall as the doors ding open and the words Seventh Floor appear on the wall opposite. She should just go to bed. Try to at least. She heads down the hall to her door, fishing her keys out of her pocket and fitting it into the lock.

The apartment is dark when she steps into it and she has to take a deep breath as the scent of the place hits her. Six fucking months and the place still fucking smells like her. It's so unfair. The scent fills her nostrils and settles at the back of her throat making her ache for a cigarette. She slides the locks into place on the door and rests her forehead against the wood for a long moment.

Six months ago, after a long night on the job, after seeing the worst in people, she'd come home to a tall blonde with a smile like sunshine and all that shit would just wash off of her. Brittany. Her high school sweetheart, her better half, everything Santana ever wanted and now can't have. Can't have because Brittany walked out. Walked out and took their damn dog with her. Six long months ago. Seriously. She is a walking cliche. How the hell did that happen?

So now she comes home to an empty, dark apartment and spends the night lying in bed fighting a nicotine addiction and trying to resist the urge to down that bottle of Irish whiskey she keeps under the sink. She'd rather not add alcoholic to her list of cliches.

The apartment isn't huge, but it isn't small. Brittany left most of the furniture and stuff when she left, so it's well-furnished for the most part. But it still feels stale and boring. Everything remains untouched and unmoved. She should probably cancel her cable service for how often she turns the TV on.

Santana doesn't spend a ton of time here. She's either working or at the bar and if she's not there she's crashing at Quinn's or Puck's. She hasn't touched anything after Brittany left, she can't bring herself to do it. Instead she just keeps telling herself that Brittany would want it the same way when she came back. The thought is stupid and dumb and a bitter chuckle rises up in her throat as she thinks it again, walking further into the apartment and passing that ridiculous statue Brittany bought when they first moved to the city. She remembers with clarity seeing it in a store window one afternoon.

"But San it's so cute!" Brittany exclaimed.

Santana surveyed the small stone figure. "It's a cement duck."

"Exactly." And that had been that.

For the third time that night she considers going out again. To some bar, to pick up some nameless blonde floozy and fuck the memories of Brittany out of her head. She wants to do it, wants to be able to, but even the thought of it burns her with guilt. Loyal to a woman that doesn't want her anymore. Her life is so fucked up.

She doesn't go to the bedroom because she's still so hung up on her ex-girlfriend that she can't sleep in their damn bed. So she heads to the couch instead, pulls out the pillow and sheet she keeps underneath it. She throws her coat on the chair next to the couch, her gun and her badge following. Her eyes start to ache again and she sends a short prayer to whoever's paying attention that she falls quickly into a dreamless sleep. She strips down to her underwear and tank top and settles onto her back, glad that her pillow smells like laundry detergent and not sweat pea and vanilla.

Five hours. Five hours and she can be back at the station. On the job and away from here.

--

"Morning, sunshine," Puck greets her, leaning against his car in front of her building. He has two cups of coffee in his hand and she grabs one eagerly as she approaches. She slept last night, and for that she's grateful, but it was fitful and unsatisfying. Coffee is good.

"Morning, loser," she says, opening the passenger door and sliding in. Steam rushes out of her cup as she takes the top off and she blows it away before taking a sip, glancing to her left as Puck slides into the driver's seat beside her.

"Well?"

He sets his coffee in the holder and turns the car on. "Well what?"

Santana rolls her eyes. "How was she?" She's known Puck for nearly a decade. The guy is never satisfied with a sexual conquest if he can't share all the juicy details with her in the morning. It's weird and a little perverted but she kind of loves it about him, it's like their special thing. The first time he spilled all the gory details, all Santana remembers feeling is that she had finally been accepted as an equal in a way her boobs had prevented her from being before.

Puck grins and his eyebrows go up and down predictably as he pulls off her curb. She spends the fifteen minute car ride hearing way too much about Puck's sex life. She loves it.

--

The station is already busy when they get there and as they pull up she shifts her brain from hot rookie cops to dead drug addicts and puts her mind back on her job. She feels Puck do the same next to her in the way his face goes blank and his body goes straighter. They're both back in detective mode.

They make their way through the building to their floor and she throws her empty coffee cup in the trash as she strolls to her desk. Of course, her desk is currently occupied. Occupied by one fresh, clean looking Quinn Fabray. It's 6:30 in the morning. There's something unnatural about looking put together at 6:30 in the morning.

The blonde woman is perched on Santana's desk, power suit intact, and bare legs crossed over each other primly. Sometimes Santana has to put effort into not finding her best friend hot. Like, supreme effort. Girl has legs. Girl also has a crazy pyscho midget sidekick named Rachel, so that helps.

"Counselor," she greets, smiling as she throws her coat on a hanger and takes a seat in her desk chair.

"Detective. Puck," she responds, getting an answering nod and a smirk from Puck.

"What brings you down to the boondocks?" Santana asks, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Adelaide Link," Quinn answers, all business.

"Ah, the hooker," she says, uncrossing her arms and moving her gaze from the attorney on her desk to the massive pile of paperwork next to her.

Quinn chuckles. "Yeah, the hooker. Her lawyer is crying diminished capacity."

Santana shakes her head. "Complete bullshit, are you kidding me?"

"That's what I thought." The prosecutor inspects her nails as she talks, avoiding looking at Santana in a practiced fashion. "I need your report. Like yesterday."

"Yeah, sure, sure." Santana waves her off, shuffling through papers on her desk and trying to find the right file. Her desk is a fucking mess. She should probably clean it sometime soon.

"You coming to the party tonight?"

Santana stops rummaging through the papers and lifts an eyebrow in Quinn's direction. She gets an answering eyebrow raise in return. "Is Rachel going to be there?"

"You understand we're married right?"

"So?"

Quinn uncrosses her legs and stands up, looking down at Santana disapprovingly. "So that means she kind of is like, around."

"That's unfortunate."

A sharp smack is delivered to the back of her head and her face slams forward, nearly hitting her desk. "Jesus, Q! Shit," she hisses, glaring up at her friend and rubbing the back of her head. She looks around the bullpen to see who else saw the hit, but it's just Puck laughing silently from the desk across from her. Jerk.

"You're coming to the party," Quinn demands.

"If I have time I'll stop by."

"Santana," her voice is softer now, her friend hunches over closer to her chair. "You need to stop drowning in work and wallowing in that apartment. It's been six months."

"I'm busy," Santana responds, jaw clenched and refusing to look at Quinn. "I said I'd stop by didn't I?"

Quinn straightens up and stares at her for a long moment. "You don't show, I'll send Rach to come collect you."

Santana starts in surprise at the threat and whips her head around to look at Quinn, eyes wide.

Her friend smiles, evilly, before turning on her heel. "Have a nice day guys. See you later."

Puck waves goodbye but all Santana can do is stare.

--

Santana rolls her head back and her chair creaks as she leans back into it. The clock on the far wall reads 5:52, eight minutes before she's officially off for the day. She looks at the mountain of paperwork on her desk and thinks about the party she's supposed to go to in a few hours. Then she thinks about her empty apartment. No dog, no girlfriend.

The chair creaks again as she sits forward and picks up the next file on her desk. She could use the overtime and Quinn would forgive her eventually. Across from her Puck stands up and stretches his hands above his head. She watches as he shrugs his coat on and looks at her expectantly.

"What?"

"You coming?" Puck asks, palms on his own desk as he leans forward to stare at her.

"Too much work."

"Dude, your work is my work and I'm not working so you're not working." He straightens up and comes around to her side. "Let's go."

"No."

"Lopez, you know I will stand here and harass you until you fucking get up and come with me."

It's true. She's pretty sure Quinn and Puck have some weird conspiracy going on to get her off to various social events.

She actually does have a decent amount of paperwork, especially processing those interviews from the stabbing last night, but she knows Puck will either annoy her until she leaves or sit back down at his desk and keep her company the rest of the night. She'd get pissed with the first option and feel guilty with the second so she stands up and gets her coat.

"Fine, but I'm not staying long and we're going to Rick's after."

"Whatever, babe. Fine by me."

--

They grab dinner first at this diner down the street from the station. Santana's grateful for it, knowing she could use the food to coat her stomach, and the hour of relative normalcy before getting to the party. She almost orders another cup of coffee but she figures the twelve cups she's already had is probably enough.

It's around 8:30 when they get to Quinn and Rachel's and the place is already packed.

"God, who starts a party at 8:30? Only Berry, I tell you," she says to Puck as they walk in the door.

"She has a very busy schedule," her partner retorts in a high whiny voice, a funny mimicry of Quinn's wife.

Santana's laughing when Rachel just appears out of nowhere in front of them. "Jesus, Berry!"

"Santana, Noah. Welcome," the shorter girl greets, smiling up at them, a slight glaze in her eyes that Santana knows is from whatever highbrow wine Rachel opened earlier that evening.

"Hey, Rach, where's the keg?" Puck asks, a teasing smile on his face as he leans down to hug the shorter girl.

"A keg? This isn't a college party, Noah," she responds, her face scrunched up in an offended fashion.

"No shit, Sherlock," Santana deadpans. "Where's Q?"

Rachel rolls her eyes and points back through the apartment, looking wholly unimpressed with Santana's attitude, but there's something else there too. Something Santana thinks might be worry. Ugh, she so does not need Rachel Berry concerned about her.

"She needs to talk to you anyway," Rachel says, softly.

Santana's brow furrows at that, but she shrugs and follows Rachel's finger towards where she knows Quinn's study is, leaving Puck to mingle in the entryway.

The Berry-Fabray household is pretty impressive, built half on Rachel's Broadway career and half on Quinn's money from her early days as a private practice attorney. Young successful power lesbians. Even her damn friends are a cliche.

"Yo, Fabray," she says as she cracks open the door to the study and walks in. Quinn's behind her desk, an open file in front of her and glasses perched on her nose. There's a tumbler full of what Santana knows is good scotch sitting next to her so she picks it up when she gets to the desk and takes a sip. Quinn seriously has the best liquor.

"That's expensive, S." Quinn slips her glasses off and leans back in the chair, smiling at her friend.

"Worth every penny, Q," Santana replies with a smile in return, enjoying the burn of the liquid down her throat. She clears her throat. "Your woman said you needed to see me?"

Quinn rolls her eyes at "your woman" but the smile drops off her face. "Yeah, I picked up a case the other day."

"Yeah? So did I." She takes another sip of the scotch. "You want to tell me what the weather was like too?"

"Burglary," the other girl continues, ignoring the sarcasm. "Looks like organized crime. Rutherford picked it up."

Santana narrows her eyes at Quinn trying to figure out why the hell this is important. Yeah, organized crime cases are interesting as hell, and Santana spends a moment being peeved it didn't slide across her desk, but it's surely not something Quinn normally pulls her aside to talk about. Especially not at a party. Quinn is the consummate professional. Work is work. It stays there.

"And?"

Quinn slides the file she had open across her desk and points at it. Santana leans forward to pick it up, her eyes scanning the pages. Then she feels her heart drop straight into her stomach, her chest seize suddenly and her vision start to waver.

"I debated whether or not to tell you. Rachel thought you deserved to know."

She hears the words but she doesn't really process them, too distracted by the pictures staring up at her, one of Brittany, the other of her dance studio and one of Roger Pike included as a suspect and wanted for dozens of mob related criminal activities.

There's a long moment of silence before she speaks again. "Is she," her throat catches as she tries to get the words out. "Is she okay?"

Quinn nods, rapidly. "Yeah, she's fine. A little shaken up, but she wasn't there when it happened or anything."

"That's good," Santana gets out, her hand shaking. She throws the file back on the desk and blinks her eyes open and closed slowly, trying to steady herself. The urge to bolt out of the office and find Brittany burns through her legs, the instinct so hardwired in her that it turns her stomach over when she resists it. It's not her business anymore, it's someone else's. Brittany walked out. Brittany walked out. "What do you need me for?"

The other girl stands up from her desk and walks to one of the shelves on the wall, pulling out the stopper on a stout bottle sitting there and pouring the liquid into a short glass. Quinn's bullshit-dar has always been spot on, especially when it comes to Santana. She walks back over and takes the glass Santana picked up off the desk out of her hand and replaces it with the newly poured one.

"I talked to her today," Quinn says. "She was staying with a friend, but I think she's back in her place by now." The blonde girl leans back against her desk and crosses her arms, looking down at Santana concerned.

Santana fingers the tumbler and watches the amber liquid slosh side to side in the glass. "Good for her. That's really not my problem anymore," she says, eyes locked on the glass in her hand, studiously avoiding her friend's gaze.

"Santana," Quinn intones, leaning forward and putting a hand on the top of the glass to stop its movement. It forces Santana to look up at her. "You were together since you were thirteen. She will always be your problem."

She swallows, pulls the glass out from under Quinn's palm and takes a long sip, closing her eyes as the scotch warms her stomach. The words sting, make her head hurt and her chest feel like it's cracking because Quinn's right and there's nothing she can do about it. Even now, after six months, the only thing she wants to do is call Brittany. Make sure she's okay, hear her voice, see her face, feel the blood pumping through her veins. She wants all those things and she's stuck hearing about it from Quinn.

"Thanks," she breathes out after a minute, throwing back the rest of the liquor and setting the tumbler back on Quinn's desk. The file is still open, the picture of Brittany smiling up at her mockingly but her eyes rest on Roger Pike. She'd arrested the guy numerous times before, tried unsuccessfully to connect him to various mob related crimes. She nods a little before standing up and turning to walk out of the room.

"Where are you going?"

"I gotta get out of here."

"Santana," Quinn tries, knowing Santana's self-destructive tendencies better than anyone.

She turns back to look at her friend, still leaning on the corner of her desk. "I'm just tired, Q. Really. I'm fine."

"Don't do anything stupid."

"Like what?"

Quinn gives her a look. "You know what."

"Whatever."

--

Puck's in the kitchen, chatting up two women but Santana doesn't have the mindset to pay attention to them, she just walks up to him and grabs him by the collar, pulling him away from the two girls.

"We're leaving," she demands.

"Say what?"

"We need to go."

"Dude, we just got here," he whines, pulling out of her grasp.

"Yeah, and now we need to go."

"Lopez, look behind you," he says, gesturing over her shoulder. "See those two women? Twins. Fucking, twins," he repeats in a deep, serious voice like this is of the utmost importance.

"Fine," she says, rolling her eyes. "Whatever, stay here then."

"Whoa, whoa," he retorts, grabbing her arm as she tries to make her way past him. "What happened?"

"Nothing," she denies.

"What did Fabray want?"

"Puck, I need to go. Either you're coming or you're staying. Which is it?"

"I'm coming, I'm coming, chill out," he says, holding his hands up defensively.

--

Rick's is moderately full, day-shift cops shuffling in for an after work drink and Santana and Puck settled into their usual booth in the back corner. The smell of beer and the sound of darts thwacking against a board settle around them and Santana feels herself start to calm at the familiar senses. She picks at the label of her beer bottle.

"How well do you know Matt Rutherford?"

Puck gives her a weird look but shrugs and answers, "Pretty well. We've met up for drinks once or twice. He's a good guy, good cop. Still a little green though. Why?" He brings his bottle of beer up to his lips and tips it back.

"Know him well enough to ask a favor?"

"What kind of favor?" Puck sets his bottle on the table and leans his forearms next to it, studying Santana curiously.

"He picked up a case yesterday," she explains.

Puck blinks. "And?"

"And I want it."

"You want it," he repeats.

"Yeah."

"What was the case?"

"Roger Pike. Another robbery." She hoped it would be a good enough reason for her partner. She had worked organized crime for a while, especially in narcotics, and she had a history with Roger Pike. It wasn't totally out of the norm for her to want to work a case involving him. But they'd been partners for years. Puck's as skilled as Quinn in cutting through her bullshit.

"What aren't you telling me?"

Santana sighs and throws back the rest of her beer. "Just," she breathes. "Can you do it?"

"Yeah, we can go talk to him tomorrow."

"Okay, thanks," she says, getting up from the table and shrugging her coat on.

"Where are you going now?"

"Back to my place."

"What? I'll drive you," Puck responds, moving to get up with her.

"No, I'm going to walk," she states, firmly.

"Lopez."

"I could use the air," she replies, turning around swiftly and heading for the door.

--

She steps outside the bar and it's raining, of course, so she pulls her coat tighter around herself and flips the collar up, stuffing her hands in her pockets before turning in the direction of her building. The fingers of her left hand play with the lighter stored in her pocket, the cold familiar metal feeling comforting against her hand.

A block later she stops into a small corner market and buys a soft pack of cigarettes, hitting it hard into the palm of her hand repeatedly as she walks back out into the rain. She huddles into the brick wall of the building, her hand covering the cigarette she pulls out as she tries to light it against the rain. A few clicks later and she's breathing the harsh taste of nicotine into her lungs.

A cough escapes her at the first puff, it's been three months since she last smoked. Brittany hated it. When she left, Santana chain smoked like it was her job, bitter and angry and grasping at any form of rebellion against her ex. Months after that, when the anger subsided but the pain remained, she quit cold turkey, foolishly clinging to the idea that if she stopped Brittany would come back - like it was her smoking habit that pushed the blond away.

The smell of tobacco mixes with the scent of night rain as she walks towards her apartment and a memory flushes through her, unwanted but unstoppable.

"Hey, babe," she whispered as she crawled into bed next to Brittany, her front pressing up against the taller girl's back.

Her girlfriend turned over to face her, smiling sleepily up at her and kissing her in greeting. "Hi," Brittany croaked out, nuzzling her face into Santana's neck and keeping her eyes closed. "You smell like rain, is it raining?"

Santana felt warm breath on her neck as she turned to her back and let Brittany drape haphazardly over her, "Yeah, never fucking stops raining in this city."

Brittany didn't answer for a bit, just breathed in and out against Santana's skin so she kissed her forehead thinking the blonde girl had already fallen back into sleep.

"You were smoking," Brittany accused, her voice low, nose pressed to the underside of Santana's jaw.

"I was at Rick's," Santana said, avoiding answering. She knew how much Brittany hated the habit.

"Smoking," Brittany continued.

"Just one, baby, I swear."

She felt Brittany's nose move against her skin and could imagine the way her girlfriend's face was scrunching up disapprovingly but undeniably adorable.

"You shouldn't smoke, S."

"I know, B. I'll quit soon, promise," she said. It was a promise she made nearly once a month. She'd quit for a few days but like clockwork she'd pick up some terrible case and she and Puck would spend the night at the bar where they would get good drunk and she'd end up bumming cigarettes off of whoever she could. Drinking always led to smoking.

"Smoking is bad for you."

"I know, B. I said I'd quit," she repeated, getting exasperated now. She was tired, and Brittany's body was warm and the bed was comfortable and she wanted to sink into the hazy buzz she still had in her head, not get a smoking lecture.

"I just love you," Brittany whispered, opening her eyes and bringing her head up so they were facing each other.

Santana smiled, like she always did when her girlfriend said that. "Yeah, me too," she said, kissing the blonde girl for a long moment. Her tongue stroked into Brittany's mouth as the kiss grew more heated and she rolled them over, settling in between Brittany's legs and pressing down, enjoying the low aroused noise that came out of the other girl as she did it.

Brittany's fingers tangled in her hair and Santana felt a giggle bubbling out of her girlfriend as she trailed her left hand up Brittany's side. She grinned into the kiss and didn't fight the overwhelming sense of happiness that flowed over her as she spent the rest of the night intertwined with Brittany.

She shakes her head, flicking her cigarette onto the ground, as she realizes she's arrived at her apartment and tries to wipe the memories away, hating the way the feelings mingle in her stomach, happiness, regret, arousal, pain. Her boots squeak on the tile floor of the lobby as she makes her way to the wall of mailboxes and opens the one with her number on it.

The tiny box is stuffed with envelopes and she makes a mental note to start actually picking her mail up more often. She grabs it all, throwing away the big coupon pamphlets on top and shuffling through the rest as she makes her way to the elevator and enters the car, hitting the button for the seventh floor.

Bills, bills, a wedding invitation from a distant cousin, bills. She's still shuffling through the envelopes when she steps into her apartment and her heart stops when she sees the name on next one. Brittany is scrawled across the front in block letters. She thought she was done with still getting her mail at the apartment. That had been the worst part of Brittany moving out, the constant reminders that she was gone like questions from their neighbors, the leftover popsicles in their freezer, Brittany's favorite vodka in their cabinet and her mail, still showing up in their mailbox.

She throws the envelope onto her kitchen table and stares at it. It's not that she's superstitious or anything (though she kind of is), but it's weird. First, the robbery involving both Brittany and a guy Santana is notorious for arresting, then Brittany's mail showing up in her box for the first time in months. It has to be a sign or something.

Santana vows to get that case from Rutherford in the morning. She just needs to make sure Brittany's okay and put the unsettling feeling in the pit of her stomach to rest.