A/N: Oooh, last chapter got mixed reviews... I love it! If you're at all curious about my motivation behind writing Quinn and Brittany the way I have the past couple chapters, I've included a little footnote about where my thought process lies ;) (It does address some specific concerns that were raised in the comments, but I'm not trying to attack anyone's opinions, just to tell you the way I saw things as I was writing them.)

Beyond that, I guess all that's really left to say is: PARTY PARTY PARTY.

When Santana wakes, it's already Saturday morning. She rolls onto her back and stretches out with a yawn, feeling surprisingly refreshed. She turns her head to glance at the clock but notices there's a folded piece of paper blocking her view. She sits up and shuffles over to sit on the edge of the bed, removing the piece of paper to look at the time. 7:55 am. She does the mental math and figures she probably slept close to 10 hours―by far the longest she's slept in the recent past.

After she reaches her arms up in another stretch, she finally brings them back down to read the paper she's holding in her hand:


'I didn't want to risk waking you up so I went home to sleep. I'd like to think your falling asleep doesn't reflect on the quality of my company, or that of our "date" for that matter. (On that note, I will be planning our next outing.)' Santana chuckles lightly. 'Give me a call today if you still want to go to the party. As I said, if you're in, so am I. :)

'(heart) Rachel *'

Santana smiles at the little heart that the diva drew, and stifles a laugh at the star drawn following her name. She's taken aback by how adorable she finds the gesture of leaving a note on the nightstand rather than just sending a text. She folds the note back up and places it on its original spot on the nightstand before standing up and heading towards the shower.

It's gonna be a good day, she smiles to herself.

Santana spends a good portion of the day running errands: grocery shopping, going on a booze run with Puck, and doing laundry. It's close to 5pm when she gets around to calling Rachel, considering inviting her over for dinner and to get ready for the night's party. She scrolls through her contacts and hits the number before placing the phone to her ear. It rings 4 unsuccessful times before it goes to voicemail, making the Latina frown slightly.

'Hello, you've reached Rachel Barbra Berry. I'm unable to take your call right now, so please leave a detailed message―including your name, number, and the time of your call―and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you and have a wonderful day!'

Santana smiles and shakes her head slightly at the wordy message, finding it to be so typically Rachel. "Hey Rach, it's me. Uh, yeah, I was calling about the party. Give me a call if you want to come over earlier to get ready or whatever... if not, then I'll probably be getting there around 9, so... I'll see you then? Um, yeah... ok... that's it. Bye." She hits end as quick as humanly possible, raising a hand to her forehead, feeling completely lame about the voicemail. Way to be smooth, Lopez.

She sighs and heads to the kitchen to make some dinner.

After spending almost an hour fretting over what to wear and spending an unusually long amount of time primping in front of the mirror, Santana finally heads downstairs shortly after 9. She opted to wear the tightest pair of dark-washed skinny jeans she owns, knowing how well they shape her legs and ass, as well as a tighter-fitting band tee―a Led Zeppelin one with a faded black wash. As far as hair and makeup are concerned, she decided to leave her hair down in soft curls, since Rachel seemed to like that, and apply a soft smoky eye and simple lipgloss.

As she heads for the door, she finds herself staring into the shoe closet for an extended period of time as well. This really shouldn't be that hard. She tries on a few pairs, checking herself out in the full-length hallway mirror, before finally just settling on a pair of black high-top Chuck Taylors. She throws on a fitted black leather jacket before finally exiting the house and making the short walk over to the Puckerman house.

She looks down at her watch as she approaches the house, noticing that it's already 9:30. Oh well, she sighs. Fashionably late, right?

She climbs up the dark front steps and walks in through the unlocked door, immediately hit by the pounding bass of the music filling the house. Luckily, the houses in the area were quite well insulated in terms of noise, so there wasn't much concern about complaints or, by extension, cops. As soon as she enters, she can see that the house is already quite crowded, noting a few familiar faces down the hall in the kitchen. Puck peeks his head into the hallway and waves at the Latina before disappearing back into the kitchen for a moment. He emerges with an open bottle of vodka and a shot glass in one of his hands and paces over.

"San!" he exclaims as he reaches the girl and wraps her up in a firm hug. When he pulls away, Santana starts to unzip her jacket but Puck uses a hand to stop her, shaking his head. "First things first," he starts, pausing to fill the glass with vodka. He looks back up with a smile, holding the shot out to the Latina. "Entry fee."

Santana scoffs lightly, but takes the drink offered and shoots it back before handing the empty glass back to the boy. "Good?" she asks, looking up to him.

"For now, yes," he smirks. Santana resumes taking off her jacket and hands it to Puck, who hands her the bottle and glass in exchange. "You can take those back to the kitchen, beer's in the fridge," he explains as he heads down the hall to put the jacket in his room with the others.

Santana does as instructed and heads down the main hall and into the kitchen. She can see Matt and Mike milling around in the far corner, talking shop with some other football players. They shoot a wave in her direction and she smiles and nods in return as she places the bottle and glass down on the countertop. She looks around, noting there aren't really any other people she knows in the kitchen. She grabs a beer from the fridge and hops up to take a seat on the counter with her feet dangling down towards the floor.

She only takes a couple sips of her beer before she sees a smiling blonde enter the room. Quinn walks over to the counter and hops up to take a seat next to the Latina. "Hey S," she greets kindly.

Santana takes another sip before turning to the blonde, "Hey Q. Good night so far?"

"Sure, why not," the blonde says flippantly, taking a swig from the bottle in her own hand. "So, interesting thing happened today," she trails off enthusiastically.

Santana raises a questioning eyebrow, "Oh yeah?"

"Yup," the blonde chuckles. "I got a phone call from Rachel-fucking-Berry."

Santana swallows her mouthful and turns her head to face the blonde, her eyebrow now threatening to escape her face by way of her forehead. "What?"

"Yeah, she was freaking out that she had nothing to wear," Quinn replies nonchalantly, as if it would explain everything.

Santana finds herself feeling like she's in the twilight zone as she speaks. "...so she called you?" she draws out, lazily pointing a finger towards the blonde.

Quinn turns her head to face the Latina, looking at her pointedly. "S, I don't exactly think she has a rolodex of friends to flip through..." she trails off, kicking her dangling feet.

Santana rolls her eyes, but also slightly nods. Though she's not thrilled that the blonde said it aloud, she knows there's some truth to her words. "Ok," she says warily, still trying to make it make sense in her head. "So... did you help her?"

"Yeah," Quinn chuckles slightly as she responds and shakes her head in disbelief. "Surprisingly enough, I spent my Saturday at the mall with the hobbit."

"Wow," Santana voices, her brow still raised. As she processes the rest of the blonde's sentence her brow drops. "Don't call her that," she pleads softly, turning to stare into hazel eyes.

Quinn just smirks and shakes her head, seeing Santana's feelings for the diva coming out. "Alright, I'll try..." she says playfully.

Santana nods lightly with a slight smile. "Thanks, Q. You know, for helping her out or whatever."

Quinn pushes herself off of the counter and back to her feet, turning to face the Latina. "Oh, don't thank me now... thank me when you see her," the blonde winks before turning around and walking away, lifting her beer up above her head in silent cheers.

Santana just shakes her head, her eyebrow having returned to the top of her face.

Shortly after the blonde leaves, Puck ambles into the kitchen, grabbing a beer from the fridge before hopping up and occupying Quinn's previous spot.

He takes a healthy swig from his bottle before speaking. "So, just so you know, both your ladies are here already." Santana just turns to him with a questioning look. "Rachel and B," he elaborates.

Santana sighs heavily, a plethora of potentially awkward situations running through her mind. She shakes them away. "Oh yeah?" she replies disinterestedly.

"You know," the boy drawls. "If I were in your situation, I'd just get the two to jello-wrestle this shit out." He winks at the Latina, earning himself a light punch in the kidney. "Hey! I'm just saying, rather than let things get awkward you could totally take advantage of this. Not to mention, with the way Rachel's dressed tonight... holy shit."

Santana rolls her eyes and pushes Puck's shoulder with her own, but her mind starts to wander. Between Quinn and Puck's comments about Rachel's attire, she finds herself actually growing nervous about seeing the diva. She drains the rest of her beer before hopping off the counter and grabbing another bottle from the fridge. She starts to exit the kitchen with a wave to the boy, setting off to find the songstress.

She only makes it to the doorway between the kitchen and the living room before she does catch sight of the girl in question, in the middle of the living room, dancing up a storm with Mercedes and Kurt to the Lady Gaga song playing on the stereo. Santana stops dead in her tracks and her jaw drops as she ogles the brunette from behind―dressed in dark jeans that are tight as sin―having trouble tearing her stare away from the girl's ass. Her surprise and feeling of heat only intensify when the diva spins around, wearing a skin-tight and incredibly revealing black top that shows off her ample cleavage as she bounces to the beat, her hair down in curls and bouncing around her shoulders, her skin glistening with a light sheen of sweat. Santana mentally steels herself and clamps her mouth shut, if only to keep from drooling.

She feels an arm come to rest around her shoulders, but doesn't shift her focus. "You're welcome," a soft voice says from beside her with a chuckle before slapping her shoulder lightly and walking away.

At the moment Santana is seriously considering proposing to Quinn.

A hand comes to rest on her opposite shoulder. "Right?" she hears Puck's voice say. "So," he gets a little quieter. "Are you tapping that yet? 'Cause if not, I'm seriously considering trying to run up in it..." he trails off with a smirk and a shake of his head, staring intently at the dancing diva himself.

Santana finally turns away from the diva to look at Puck, punching him square in the other kidney. He wails and grimaces slightly and Santana just smirks―at least now he'd have matching bruises. She stalks across the living room, placing her beer down on a bookshelf before grabbing Rachel's hand and dragging her along down the side hallway to Puck's room. She pushes the door open and tugs Rachel in by the hand before closing the door behind them.

"Santana, wha―?" is all Rachel can get out before Santana's lips are on hers in a crushing kiss, her hands roaming up the diva's sides, along her collarbones, and to the back of her neck in an attempt to pull the girl impossibly closer.

Rachel moans and Santana deepens the kiss, letting their tongues wrestle until she literally has to break the embrace due to lack of oxygen. As she pulls away slightly, resting her forehead on the diva's, she's sure that her eyes must be as dark as the night sky. Santana lets her hands drift back down Rachel's sides to her belt loops, hooking her index fingers through them, but keeps her stare focused on the diva's face until the girl's eyes finally open and their eyes meet.

"I'm sorry," Santana says huskily, still fighting to catch her breath. "I just had to do that... you look so fucking hot right now," she explains, licking her lips as she shoots a glance down the brunette's body, catching a heart-stopping angle on the girl's cleavage.

Rachel colours like a tomato at the Latina's words, looking down with a shy smile. Santana just lifts her forehead from the diva's and leans forward to kiss the top of her head before swooping back down to capture her lips again in a much more tender gesture this time around.

When she pulls back, Rachel is wearing a smile the width of her face. "Well, 'hello' to you too," the diva says with a smirk and a raise of her eyebrows when she finally speaks.

Santana smiles, leaning back in to brush her lips against the diva's once more. "Hi," she breathes out against the full lips. She takes a step back, relinquishing her hold on the diva, but trails a hand down one of Rachel's forearms to link their hands. "So, I heard there's some sort of party going on out there..." she gestures with her head. "You at all interested in going?"

Rachel lifts her free hand to her chin, looking up in mock-consideration. She looks back down into the Latina's eyes, "Honestly? Now I'm not so sure," she says softly with a shy smile.

Santana's smile spreads and she pulls the diva back in for a tight hug. She wraps her arms possessively around the small brunette's shoulders, resting her chin on top of Rachel's head. Rachel's arms snake around Santana's waist, her wrists linked at the cheerleader's back. They remain in the embrace for a long while before Santana speaks again, without moving.

"We should probably go out there, there's a pretty good chance that people might start wondering where we are..." she pulls her head slightly back, looking down at the diva uncertainly.

Rachel smiles against the Latina's neck before lifting her head, "Yes, I suppose so."

"Ok then, drink?" Santana smiles.

The diva smiles and nods as she steps back, separating their bodies but taking the Latina's hands in her own. "What should we do about us?" she asks simply, drawing a questioning look from the cheerleader. She laughs slightly. "I mean out there," she gestures with her eyes towards the door. "I mean, do we want the whole school knowing that we're... whatever we are?"

"Dating," Santana responds reflexively before giving thought to Rachel's question. She honestly hadn't thought about it. On the one hand she doesn't ever want to have to let go of the diva. On the other hand, there are others that factor into the equation. For one, there's Brittany, who is somewhere in the house and already visibly pissed at the situation―if the previous day was any indication. Similarly there's Quinn, who would probably be equally pissed if the Latina were to blatantly disregard the blonde cheerleader's feelings. Santana sighs. On the flipside, there's Puck to consider, who would definitely ensure that everyone in the house knew what was going on through his gawking and inappropriate comments.

Santana clears her throat slightly before speaking again. "I guess it's better if we keep it under wraps for now..." Rachel nods, having expected as much, but her face still drops a bit. "But, we have all night," the Latina smiles. "We can always find ways to sneak off for a couple minutes, right?" she adds reassuringly. The diva smiles.

"Ok," she says bashfully as she rolls up onto her toes to kiss the Latina once more, only relinquishing the girl's hands as she settles back down.

The two make their way back out into the hall, through the crowded living room, and into the kitchen. Santana decides to abandon her previous beer, assuming it'd probably been pilfered by some underclassman without their own booze anyway. She leans into the fridge as Rachel takes a spot leaning on the counter next to her. "So, what do you drink?" she asks without looking up as she grabs herself a beer.

"Um, I don't really..." Rachel trails off, blushing as the Latina looks up at her with a raised eyebrow.

Santana chuckles lightly, "Ok then." She grabs a carton of orange juice before closing the fridge. The diva shoots her a questioning glare, but she proceeds to grab a rocks glass from the cupboard and the bottle of vodka from the far side of the counter. She pours a conservative amount of liquor into the glass and fills the remainder with juice before turning and holding it out to the diva. "Screwdriver," she smiles. "Should go down easy enough," she winks.

Rachel rolls her eyes but takes the glass, shooting a discerning look at the Latina who pops open her beer.

"What?" Santana asks, thoroughly confused, as she takes a sip from her bottle.

"I'm not an animal," she says flatly, causing Santana's brow to furrow. "A straw, perhaps?" she smiles innocently.

This time it's Santana who rolls her eyes before leaning past the diva into a different cupboard to grab a package of straws. "Take your pick, Miss Fancy-pants," she chuckles.

Rachel shoots the cheerleader an unimpressed look as she takes a straw from the package and places in her drink, stirring the liquid absently. She looks at the drink suspiciously for a moment before finally taking a sip, then she raises the drink in front of her face to look at it again.

"You would've seen if I roofied it." Santana says flatly.

The diva rolls her eyes once more. "It's not that bad," she says with a bit of surprise in her voice and a smile, taking another sip.

Santana smiles as she turns her head to survey their surroundings, taking in who's milling around in the kitchen. She suddenly sees and locks eyes with Brittany at the far end of the room, standing with the football guys. The blonde turns her attention towards Mike and starts very heavily flirting with him, shooting occasional glances back to the Latina, who is still watching.

"Hello?" Rachel breaks her daze.

She looks down with a blush, taking a much needed swig from her bottle. "Uh, sorry, what?"

Rachel shakes her head, "I was just asking, what―"

"SHOTS!" Puck cuts the girl off as he enters the kitchen with Quinn in tow, earning a series of cheers from throughout the room. He pours a series of shots from the bottle of Jägermeister he's holding and hands them out to most of the football players, Brittany, Quinn, Santana, and Rachel, making sure to pour one for himself as well. "Alright, ready?" Nods happen around the room before everyone, save Rachel, lifts their glasses into the air, launching into a familiar refrain:

"Here's to you and here's to me, and best of friends we'll always be, but if by chance we disagree, then FUCK YOU and here's to me!"

The group cheers once more before downing their shots in unison. Rachel follows suit, grimacing heavily and slightly coughing at her first taste of pure, unadulterated hard liquor. Santana laughs slightly at the small brunette before leaning close to her ear. "Don't worry, it's supposed to taste like shit," she smiles before gesturing for the girl to take a sip of her less-alcoholic beverage. The diva does as instructed, taking long sips, clearly trying to kill the burning in her mouth and throat.

Santana looks up to see both Quinn and Brittany laughing at the brunette's reaction too. "Oh my god, Berry, you should've seen your face," Quinn says through a laugh, pointing at the diva.

Puck throws an arm around the girl, "Ignore them Berry, you're one of us now!" He looks down with a friendly smile as he squeezes her shoulder in reassurance.

Rachel just blushes and smiles softly as she looks over at Santana, who is mirroring her smile.

About an hour later the girls have settled into the sitting room, sitting on the couch and chatting with some of the other gleeks. Surrounding the coffee table are Rachel, Santana, and Mercedes on the couch; Kurt sitting on the arm of the couch next to Mercedes; Matt and Mike, both seated on the ground opposite the couch; as well as Artie and Tina, Artie having parked his chair at one end of the table with Tina sitting on his lap.

"You are such a liar," Matt says sceptically.

"Seriously, I can do magic!" Santana replies, causing the other gleeks to continue to stare at her questioningly―Rachel shooting a particularly discriminating glance at the Latina from just behind her right shoulder. "Puck!" she yells out to the kitchen. "Bring the vodka and a shot glass!"

Puck walks over with the requested items and a raised brow.

Santana hands her beer to a confused Rachel and takes the bottle and glass from the boy before she speaks again. "Ok, this is how this is gonna work," she starts as she pours a shot. "First, Kurt, I need to borrow your hat," she explains with a point, drawing a wary look from the small boy.

Kurt hesitates slightly before removing the houndstooth fedora from his head. He has an eyebrow raised as he hands the hat to the Latina, "I hope you don't plan on ruining it, it probably costs more than your car."

Santana rolls her eyes as she takes possession of the hat. "Calm down, powder puff; I'm not gonna hurt it." She slides the shot glass to the centre of the table and proceeds to place the hat on top of it, hiding the shot from view. She rubs her hands together thoughtfully, realizing she's forgetting something. She turns right and grabs the straw from Rachel's drink, smiling and winking her silent thanks.

She licks the excess drink from the straw before she clears her throat. "Ok, so basically what I'm going to do here is I'm going to drink that shot―" she points at the hat to clarify. "―without touching the hat."

Matt looks between the Latina and the hat a few times before scoffing, "You're insane. There is no possible way you could do it." He leans back from the table and crosses his arms in disbelief.

"I'm dead serious." Santana deadpans. The boy's expression doesn't change. "I'll tell you what, we'll make it interesting. If I do it, you owe me a beer; if I can't do it, I'll give you an entire 6-pack. How's that for a deal?" Matt just nods in agreement and Puck smirks in the background, knowing the Latina is about to win her bet.

Santana waves her arms out a little to loosen her muscles before leaning down towards the table. She raises the straw to her lips, and reaches it out towards the bottom of the hat, trying to get as close as she can without actually touching the hat with the straw. Once she's in the right position, she starts sucking through the straw for a few long moments before sitting back upright with a smug look across her features. "I told you," she says simply.

Everyone around the table is looking at the Latina like she's positively insane, but it's Matt who speaks once again. "There's no fucking way..." he says incredulously.

Santana just arches an eyebrow, "Seriously. Take a look for yourself," she gestures a hand towards the hat.

Matt looks at the Latina discerningly before picking up the hat, as instructed.

As soon as the hat is off of the table, Santana lunges forward―grabbing the still-full shot and drinking it back before placing the glass back down. "Didn't touch the hat, did I?" the Latina winks.

Matt groans and looks up at the ceiling in defeat as the other gleeks cheer and laugh. Puck just shakes his head with a chuckle as he grabs the bottle from the table and takes off. Santana follows Puck's movement to the doorway and catches sight of Brittany, leaning against the doorframe with a sad smile on her face. Santana sighs and sinks back into the couch, dropping the straw back into Rachel's drink before grabbing her beer and taking a healthy swig.

She sits silently, lost in thought, as a series of animated conversations covering everything from the latest fashion trends to WMHS football to popular music take place around her. There's only one part of the conversation she actually pays attention to―the part where Mike mentions that Finn is M.I.A. because he's at his grandparents', which makes her smile internally. Otherwise, all she can think about is the sad smile that was gracing a certain blonde's lips just minutes prior. When she finishes her beer she finally stands up, glancing down at Rachel and shaking her empty bottle. "Gonna go for a refill," she says simply before leaving the room.

She does head into the kitchen, but only to toss out her empty before starting her search for a certain blonde cheerleader. She's sure she's already searched the entire house before she heads back into the kitchen and chances a glance out to the backyard, noticing someone lying in the hammock strung between two large hickory trees. She heads back to Puck's room to grab her jacket before heading out through the sliding glass door and into the backyard.

The blonde gazes over at the sound of the door and sees the Latina coming. "The stars are really pretty tonight," she says plainly as she looks back up at the sky.

As the brunette approaches, Brittany shifts so that she's sitting up with her feet on the ground and Santana can sit beside her. She does, and they both recline back onto the woven material. Santana shoves her hands into her pockets in a weak attempt to fight off at least some of the cold night air. Fucking hell, it's cold.

"Wow," the Latina remarks when she finally looks up at the stars herself. The sky is completely clear―perhaps explaining how incredibly cold the night is―and the stars are really shining bright. Santana loses herself in the sight―she has no idea for how long―until Brittany speaks.

"Why Rachel?" she asks softly.

Santana looks over to the blonde, who is still looking up at the sky, and sighs. "I don't know," she answers without elaboration, though if she's honest with herself, she's starting to figure it out. The fact is that Rachel can challenge her intellectually in a way that the blonde just never could, and the Latina is slowly learning that that is a trait she needs in a partner. Unfortunately, dynamite sex could never completely replace the need for mental stimulation.

"I like when you do magic." She speaks softly again, making Santana slightly smile.

"I could always do magic for you, B," she replies softly, reaching an arm around the blonde's shoulders. They sit still for a couple minutes before she speaks again. "I want us to be ok, B," she speaks in an incredibly soft voice, pausing as a plane passes overhead. "How can I make this ok?"

Brittany sighs and turns her head to face the Latina, but when their eyes meet she quickly turns away again. "I don't know," she says with a sigh.

"We'll figure it out. Me and you, together," Santana promises softly.

The blonde turns to face her again, and this time she smiles. She looks back up at the sky before speaking. "I think I'm gonna go home."

Santana arches an eyebrow but doesn't speak, a shiver passing through her body as a particularly cold wind sweeps over the backyard.

Brittany shifts her momentum forward to ground her feet again. "You're freezing. You should go inside. Rachel's probably wondering where you are," she explains with a sad smile.

The Latina sits up as well, taking a hand out of her pocket to brush some hair from the blonde's face. "We'll be ok," she promises as she slides her hand down the girl's jacket and links her pinkie with one of the blonde's, looking deeply into her eyes. "Trust me. I'm a fucking genius, after all," she adds with a smirk.

Brittany smiles once more before moving to stand, Santana following suit. Once the pair are both up on their feet, Santana tugs on the girl's pinkie, pulling her into a solid hug. Brittany leans on her shoulder, relaxing into the tight embrace.

Santana turns her head slightly to speak into the girl's ear. "Don't know what I'd ever do without you, from the beginning to the end, you've always been here right beside me, so I'll call you my best friend." She says, echoing the song she had sung for Brittany less than a week prior. She can feel the blonde smile against her neck. "Through the good times and the bad ones, whether I lose or if I win, I know one thing that never changes, and that's you as my best friend." She leans back from the embrace and smiles at the blonde, "Always, B."

The slight redness across Brittany's cheeks from the cold deepens considerably at the Latina's words. She lifts her head to look at the brunette, "Always, S."

Santana ushers Brittany back into the house by the hand, following closely behind and feeling instantly better as the warmth of the house washes over her body. The blonde turns back towards her and gives her another quick hug and a kiss on the cheek before heading to the front of the house to leave. Santana sighs and shakes her head as she starts to pull off her jacket, but as she looks across the kitchen, she sees both Quinn and Rachel looking at her, sporting matching crossed arms and raised eyebrows. She groans in frustration, looking up at the ceiling. Of fucking course they're right there.

She drapes her coat over her arm and cautiously walks towards the obviously angry duo. Quinn just scoffs and walks away. "Hey," Santana greets softly, stopping a few feet short of where the diva is standing.

Rachel uncrosses her arms to pick up her drink from the countertop and take a long sip before speaking. "So, that was a really long 'refill'," she says antagonistically.

Santana looks down for a moment to collect her thoughts. "Rachel, there are just some things you need to understand..." she trails off, looking up at the diva who still looks entirely unimpressed with the situation.

She's about to speak again when a happily inebriated Puck appears at her side, throwing an arm over her shoulders. "Shots!" he says simply, raising the bottle of vodka in his other hand. Santana's surprised to see Rachel nodding emphatically at the prospect of another shot. She mentally shrugs and decides to also partake. Puck pours three shots, handing one to each of the ladies before picking up his own and raising it in cheers. "Here's to Berry, a fucking amazingly sexy representative of the Jew community!" he exclaims, raking his eyes over the diva's body.

Santana raises a disapproving eyebrow at the boy. Rachel just smirks at the praise, clinking her small glass with Puck's before the pair take their shots, Santana following shortly thereafter.

"Seriously though," Puck continues, throwing his arm around Rachel's shoulders. "Who the fuck knew that this..." he gestures down the diva's body. "Was what was hiding under all those skirts and sweaters, am I right?" he asks, looking up at the Latina for confirmation.

Santana shoots Puck a murderous glare, wholly considering giving the boy another bruise―one where the sun doesn't shine.

"Well thank you, Noah," Rachel breaks the silence. "It's nice to feel appreciated sometimes." She says pointedly, her eyes burning holes through Santana's.

Santana just sighs in frustration, putting her glass down on the counter pronouncedly before heading to Puck's bedroom to put her coat away again. As she's placing her jacket down on the bed, she hears the door behind her click shut. She spins around to see Rachel standing there with the same stern expression on her face.

"So what exactly is it that I 'need to understand'?" the diva asks mockingly, her weight leaned to one side and a hand on her hip.

Santana just drops to sit on the floor with her back leaning against the bed, running her hands over her face, wondering how she managed to fuck things up again. Santana looks up at Rachel with a sad expression and the diva's face falters―a flash of concern crossing her features. She shakes her head, seemingly upset at her own inability to stay mad, as she walks over to take a seat beside the Latina.

They sit there for a couple minutes in silence, Rachel taking occasional sips from her drink, before Santana finally speaks. "I have to talk to Brittany, Rachel," she says exhaustedly, bringing her knees up to rest her arms on them. "She's been my best friend almost my entire life, I can't just cut her off completely because she wants me in a way she can't have me. I can't just not have her in my life 'cause you don't like it." She looks up at the diva with pure emotion playing across her eyes.

Rachel sighs and looks down at her hands, fiddling with the straw in her now empty glass, a betraying feeling of guilt infiltrating her heart. "I know," she says softly as she looks back up at the Latina. "But," she pauses, looking down again. "I can't just ignore the fact that she does want something with you, and I can't ignore the possibility that she'll try something and I won't be there to stop it."

Santana raises her brow in disbelief, her anger instinctively rising. "Do you really give me that little credit? Do you seriously think I'd let something happen now when I've been breaking my fucking back to make this work with you?" she asks incredulously, moving to stand.

Rachel grabs her by the wrist and pulls her back down, causing the Latina to reluctantly settle back into her seat, refusing to look at the diva. They sit there in silence for a short while again before Rachel sighs.

"No," she says plainly, causing the Latina to finally look back up at her with a questioning expression. She sighs once more before speaking. "No, I don't expect you to stop being friends with her. No, I don't think that you'd actually do anything with her." She pauses, wondering if she should truly voice her concerns. "But, that being said, it's not like we've established any sort of ground rules with respect to our burgeoning relationship. As far as I know, you could go off and sleep with whoever you want and not consider it cheating at all since, as you said yourself, we're just 'dating'..." she concludes softly.

Santana's expression falls. "Seriously?" she asks, all the anger having vacated her voice. "That's what you're worried about?" She leans over and takes Rachel's hand in her own, raising it to her mouth to place a kiss on it before relinquishing it. When the diva simply looks away, she shifts, raising herself to her knees and moving to straddle the girl's outstretched legs, causing the diva to look up at her in surprise. She leans back onto her heels and rests her hands on her knees before taking a deep breath and looking deeply into Rachel's chocolate eyes. "Rachel Berry," she pauses, more so for dramatic effect than anything else. "Will you be my official, exclusive, awesomely sexy girlfriend?" she asks with a shy smile.

Rachel chuckles slightly at the Latina's actual words, but her face lights up at the sentiment. She reaches her hands out and grabs Santana by the shirt roughly, pulling her in for a kiss. Santana braces her arms on the bed on either side of the diva's head as she melts into the contact. The kiss heats up quickly, tongues entering the fray and battling for dominance. They only break apart when the need for air becomes too great.

Santana leans back onto her heels once more with a raised eyebrow, her breath still slightly ragged. "So," she breathes out. "Just so we're clear..."

"That's a 'yes'," Rachel cuts her off with a smirk before pulling her back in for another kiss. They both melt into the embrace and lightly explore each other's mouths, taking their time this time around, knowing that any doubts have quite literally gone out of the bedroom window.

"Oh. My. God." A voice breaks the moment. Santana immediately rolls right off of Rachel, resuming her previous seat, and looks up to see both Kurt and Mercedes standing in the doorway, staring in complete shock. Kurt raises a hand over his eyes and Santana does the same. "Ok, this is definitely the right time to be going home since I am clearly having alcohol-induced hallucinations," he trails off, keeping his hand over his eyes.

Mercedes tries to speak, but ends up just opening and closing her mouth a few times before allowing it to settle back into a gape.

Both Santana and Rachel look to opposite sides of the room in absolute embarrassment.

Kurt lifts his hand slightly, to look over at Mercedes and shove her shoulder lightly.

"Right," Mercedes starts, slightly shaky in her speech. "Um, yes, so, we just came in here to get our jackets..." she trails off.

Santana keeps one hand covering her face as she looks down and gestures blindly with her other at the bed. "They're somewhere there," she says, trying to keep the embarrassment from seeping into her voice. She hears some rustling behind her on the bed for a few minutes before silence spreads over the room again. She looks over to Rachel, who still has her hands over her own face, and then up to the door to see the pair retreating through the doorway.

"Seriously, though," Kurt says, spinning in the doorway to face the girls again. Rachel looks up as well. "I feel like I need a mental cleanse now, because this―" he punctuates by pointing between the two girls, "―is making the kind of sense that is not." He shakes his head once again in shock before exiting the room and closing the door behind him.

Both girls release a long sigh in tandem, turning to face each other with uncertain expressions and chuckling awkwardly at the flustered feeling that they seem to be sharing.

"Um," Rachel starts lamely, looking down.

"Yeah," Santana adds turning to stare at the door once more.

"I think we just came out," Rachel ventures, replacing her hands on her face.

"Seems so," Santana replies absently, still half in her own head at the moment.

Rachel starts laughing uncontrollably, pulling Santana from her thoughts to turn and stare at the girl with a raised brow. The diva struggles to speak through her laughter, "Well, at least we don't have to hide it anymore."

Santana slightly laughs herself, shaking her head. "Well, I suppose that is a bright side," she says, looking at Rachel with a kind smile.

The two settle into a comfortable silence again, just staring at one another.

"You wore your hair down," Rachel says after a while, reaching out a hand and running it absently through the Latina's dark locks.

"You like?" she asks with a smirk, one of her hands drifting around the diva's lower back.

"Very much," Rachel smiles, moving to straddle Santana, whose hands instinctively move to rest on her thighs before drifting up to her hips. She leans in to kiss the cheerleader softly once more, her hands wrapping around the Latina's neck loosely. When she leans back, she has a concerned expression across her face. "I just realized something very disturbing."

Santana's face drops. "What is it?" she asks, a very palpable sense of apprehension lacing her voice.

Rachel can't fight the smile that spreads across her features as she speaks. "Well, I was so flustered by your appreciation of my beauty earlier that I failed to return the sentiment." Santana rolls her eyes, but Rachel just leans down to her ear. "It would be remiss of me not to mention how fucking sexy you look tonight, and how I spent half the night staring at your ass," she coos huskily.

Santana senses a familiar feeling migrating between her legs, and feels a flush spread across her face at the diva's surprisingly off-colour speech. When Rachel leans back again, her eyes are the blackest of black, and Santana finds herself simply unable to form words.

Rachel grins, and speaks with a southern drawl. "Oh my," she starts, bringing a hand to her heart. "Not only have I made Santana Lopez blush, but I do believe I have rendered her speechless." Her grin spreads into a full-on smile.

Santana, still finding no words, trails one of her hands to Rachel's stomach, dipping her index finger beneath the waistband of the diva's jeans and pulling her in for a more passionate kiss. This is what it's supposed to be like, she thinks to herself as she falls into Rachel once again, wondering if she's found what has always been lacking in her life.

Rachel pulls away too soon and Santana pouts, causing the diva to laugh slightly. "For such a hard ass, you can be so incredibly adorable sometimes," she says lightly, causing the Latina to frown but also blush, giving herself away. Rachel grows slightly serious, "But, we should probably go back out there, lest we get caught in a compromising position again."

Santana smirks, "I thought we agreed we didn't have to hide it anymore..." She raises her eyebrows a few times suggestively.

Rachel chuckles slightly again, running her hands along the Latina's neck and shoulders. "Well, that doesn't mean I want everyone to see what we do. I think it's enough that they know," she smiles kindly.

Santana rolls her eyes and groans, but she can't argue Rachel's point. She's not particularly fond of the idea of putting on a show for everyone either. She nods, and the diva takes the intiative and stands, offering her hand to Santana.

Once they're both standing, Rachel starts towards the door but Santana reaches out and grabs a belt loop, pulling her back. The diva's back comes to rest against her front, and she runs her hands around Rachel's body as she starts placing kisses along her neck.

"I do believe this would be a particularly compromising situation to be caught in," Rachel trails off, her voice slightly shaky with the sensations running through her body from the Latina's touch.

Santana runs her hands back around the diva and down to massage her ass. "Just for the record, I spent the entire night staring at yours," she says gruffly, delivering a healthy squeeze to the girl's rear, causing Rachel to lightly squeak and jump forward. Santana just smirks at the reaction and steps around the diva to open the door. She turns back to look at the flustered girl, "Well? Shall we?" she gestures an arm towards the hallway.

Rachel shoots her a cold glare, but it's easily betrayed by her lust-filled eyes. She shakes her head incredulously, leaning down to grab her empty glass before heading out.

As the party starts to wind down, the night starting to stretch into the not-so-wee hours of the morning, there are only five people left in the house―and all on the couch. Santana is squished next to Matt, Puck, and Quinn, with Rachel sitting on her lap. She has an arm hooked around the front of the diva's waist and a hand running along her back on the exposed skin between her top and her jeans. Rachel's arm is hooked around the Latina's neck, her hand absently playing with the girl's hair while her other supports her current drink. Puck, on the opposite side of the couch, has an arm draped around Quinn, who is leaning onto his shoulder, close to the point of passing out. Matt finds himself sitting between the two pairs and feeling entirely awkward.

Suddenly Matt stands and releases a deep sigh. "Alright guys, I'm gonna get going. No one needs a fifth wheel hanging around," he smiles, turning around to face the group on the couch.

"Aww, little Matty's upset he's not getting any nookie tonight, huh?" Puck jibes with a smirk, earning a slap on the chest from the sleepy blonde on his shoulder.

"No worries dude, just go home and rub one out in the shower." Santana joins in with a chuckle, earning a hearty laugh from Puck and two girls glaring at her.

"Gross." Rachel says lightly.

"Yeah yeah, whatever. Take it easy guys," Matt says with a laugh, fist-bumping with both Puck and Santana before taking off.

Quinn and Puck start to banter a little bit amongst themselves, and as Santana fully registers the exchange that just took place, she turns her attention back to the diva on her lap. She shoots a questioning stare and speaks in a volume she's sure only the diva can hear. "Wait, what's gross?" Rachel just looks away with a blush. Santana's brow drops along with her voice, "Rachel, have you never masturbated?"

"Santana!" Rachel chides at a volume that draws the attention of the other two couch occupants temporarily. "Don't be inappropriate," she adds softly with a glare.

Santana's eyes widen as she processes this new information. She doesn't speak until she's sure the couple across the couch have gone back to their own conversation. "So, wait a minute," she starts softly, lifting her hands up in confusion. "Weren't you the one who came to celibacy club all like 'women want sex too'?"

Rachel's blush spreads further as she shifts uncomfortably in the Latina's lap. "Well, yeah..." she trails off.

Santana just stares blankly at the girl until Puck draws her attention.

"Santana, you can vouch for me on this shit," he starts, nudging her shoulder with his beer bottle. "As tragic as Matt's situation is, it's never been my situation." He ends, pointing at his own chest with the bottle.

Santana's eyes widen as she wonders how drunk the boy must be to actually be having this conversation, and with Quinn no less. She wraps her arms back around Rachel's waist before speaking. "Um, what?" she asks, trying to shoot Puck a look that would let him know it's time to stop talking.

Puck has a slight slur in his voice as he elaborates, "Going home alone! If there's one thing everyone knows without a doubt, it's that the Puckster always brings home the prize." Quinn stiffens noticeably as the boy continues to speak.

Santana pleads with her eyes for the boy to stop, but he doesn't seem to notice at all.

"Like, come on. I've probably banged 90% of the female population at McKinley..." he brags proudly. "Including two thirds of the chicks in this room!" he adds with a laugh at his sudden realization.

Quinn finally can't take anymore. She stands up abruptly and turns to face the dwindling couch population. "So, that's my cue to leave." Puck reaches a hand out towards the blonde, but Quinn steps back out of his reach. "Hope you two have a good night," she says pointedly to Rachel and Santana before simply leaving the room without giving a second thought to the boy.

The Latina and diva exchange worrisome glances as the blonde departs.

Puck stares after the blonde for a moment, taking a swig from his bottle before shifting to face the two remaining couch occupants. "Man, bitches are fucking crazy sometimes, right?" he scoffs, looking at Santana for support. The Latina just shakes her head slowly, eyes wide, once again trying to get the boy to just shut up.

"Maybe it's time for bed, Noah," Rachel suggests gently, leaning her head on top of Santana's and taking another sip of her drink.

Puck pastes a smug look on his face and raises an eyebrow. "You two are coming with me, right?" he asks with dead seriousness. Rachel's eyes bulge and Santana just scoffs. "Seriously though, I'm just trying to make a point, alright? I mean, come on, I'm a total fucking baller and everyone knows it. I get more ass than toilet seats."

Santana rolls her eyes, growing more than a little tired of The Puck Show. "Oh please," she sighs.

Puck just smirks. "I got yours earlier this week, didn't I?" he states proudly, pursing his lips in a kiss then winking cockily.

Santana's face drops and Rachel lifts her head as she shifts uncomfortably on the Latina's lap. She starts to stand, causing Santana to break the temporary silence. "Rach," she pleads, but the diva just removes her hands from around her waist.

"Don't bother," the diva replies softly, standing fully. She puts her drink down on the table before turning towards Puck, "Thank you, Noah, for having me over. It was an enlightening experience." With that she spins on her heel and exits the room.

Santana shoots a death glare to the boy on the opposite end of the couch. "Thanks a fucking lot Puckwad. Couldn't just kill the night for yourself, could you?" she groans as she stands from the couch herself.

Puck just scoffs and turns his attention back to his beer.

Santana heads out into the hallway, searching for the diva. She grabs her jacket from Puck's bedroom before going to check outside―the girl certainly couldn't have gotten very far. She shivers as she steps into the cool morning air, walking to the front of the deck and leaning against the wooden railing as she gazes up and down the street, trying to find the diva. She sighs deeply, realizing the girl is nowhere in sight. It's only as she spins to go back in that she catches sight of a petite figure sitting in the dark on the far end of the deck.

She takes a few hesitant steps, managing to kick a table as she squints to see in the dark. "Rachel?"

The figure doesn't respond, but Santana can tell as she continues to approach that it is, in fact, the diva.

"What are you doing out here? You're gonna freeze," she says with concern as she sits on the bench-swing next to the girl, placing a hesitant hand on the shoulder of her jacket.

Rachel just sighs, "I'm waiting for a cab." It's said simply and Santana nods.

She takes a deep breath and slides her hand across the girl's shoulders so that her arm is over her. The diva instinctively relaxes into her embrace. "Rach..." Santana starts, but trails off, not knowing what to say.

"Santana, I'm far too tired and impatient to have this conversation right now," the diva responds exhaustedly.

Santana just sighs, reaching her other hand around the diva's front and pulling her into a tight sideways hug. She'd never forgive herself if the girl got sick because of something she did. The pair sits in silence for about 5 minutes before a car with a light on its roof finally pulls into the driveway.

Rachel stands up and out of Santana's embrace, but the Latina grabs hold of her hand before she can completely retreat. "We'll talk tomorrow?" she ventures with a soft expression on her face that she's not even sure the diva can see in the darkness.

Rachel doesn't turn back, but doesn't pull away either. She simply drops her head and sighs. "We'll talk on Monday," she says firmly, and Santana takes it as a cue to relinquish her hold on the diva's hand. She just watches as the brunette walks down the front steps and climbs into the cab, her heart dropping further with each step the girl takes away from her.


General high school party formula = (booze x emotions)^teenage hormones
Super revealing chapter: you guys learn the cheers I do with my friends and my fav bar trick. ;)
And again, the lyrics referenced by Santana are from the song 'Best Friend' by Brandy.

Motivation behind Q&B (feel free to skip if you don't care...)

What I see when I look at the Quintana relationship (on Glee, specifically) is a strained friendship at best. What I've tried to do in this fic is find a proper way for them to reconnect―it's quite clear that they have had some sort of friendship in the past―but, that being said, something like this doesn't just happen overnight. Specifically in regards to the Brittany/Santana/Rachel triangle, I don't think Quinn's actions or reactions are at all unreasonable, even from the standpoint of being a friend. Santana clearly has feelings for Rachel, and Quinn knows this, but Santana hasn't been entirely considerate of Brittany's feelings in the situation (in my, therefore Quinn's, opinion). While yes, both Brittany and Quinn should respect the fact that Santana has these feelings, who's to say they don't? Respecting someone's feelings does not imply that you give them blind acceptance and support regardless of their actions. Arguably Quinn is respecting the way that Santana feels by being a shoulder to lean/cry on throughout this whole situation. Keep in mind, while Quinn's general distaste for Rachel may colour her opinions on the topic of Rachel, what we're talking about here (specifically in regards to last chapter) is the topic of Brittany. Practically eye-fucking Rachel in front of Brittany―and the rest of New Directions, no less―is inconsiderate with respect to the hurt that B is feeling. Santana having feelings for Rachel does not justify her ignorance of Brittany's feelings, and Quinn's gonna let her know that.
Bottom line: Quinn isn't a bad friend, Quinn is the friend who calls you out on your shit. Everyone has one of those.

With regards to Brittany, I think her slushie-ing (sp?) Rachel only seems out of character because we've never seen Brittany hurt or angry on the show. She's been written in such an infantalized manner (Christmas ep, anyone?) that we've been programmed to believe she doesn't experience any emotions beyond unicorns and rainbows. I don't buy it. Teenagers are raging hormone bombs; they have feelings and sometimes they don't know how to deal with them. In the case of this fic, Brittany has fallen in love with Santana―flat out, head-over-heels, first-love in love. This is (in my mind) the first time she's had to deal with such overwhelming emotions, and as such, she has no idea how to reconcile these feelings when they're not reciprocated. Furthermore, when the object of your affections is showering someone else with their affections, it's actually quite likely you will project your anger/hurt onto that someone else rather than the person you're in love with. (If you want to think about this in a different context, think about how 'the other woman' is often demonized in the case of cheating while the cheater is forgiven.) I think it's wholly reasonable to assume that Brittany would take her newfound feelings of anger/hurt out on Rachel, however irrational it may seem... and, given that this is WMHS, a girl that has no idea how to be mean to someone really only has one point of reference ;) Brittany's act was not a malicious attack on Rachel, but a simple misallocation of her feelings.
Bottom line: Brittany has grown-up emotions, even if she doesn't know how to appropriately deal with them. While her actions may not be justifiable, they are certainly understandable.

I think a lot of the potentially confusing actions of secondary characters may stem from the fact that I have tried to keep this fic almost entirely Santana-centric. As such, we don't really see anyone else's thought process―with occasional exceptions. I actually thought this would make the story more interesting, more like a first person experience. When you see someone acting a certain way and you can't figure out why they would act like that, well, neither can Santana. In that sense, I think it makes the reader relate more to the way our protagonist is thinking and feeling―though I could be entirely off-base and not even know it lol. In any case, I hope you still decide to stick around for the ride. :)


Of course any feedback/difference of opinion/disagreement is entirely welcome :)