This will be in a few chapters all about this length. Just something that was bopping around in my head. It'll all be posted relatively quickly. It's all in my head already.
We were thirteen the first time Santana told me we weren't dating. She said,
Linking pinkies isn't dating.
Now at that point, I had never thought of Santana as more than my very best friend. We were thirteen and we had been best friends since we were in pre-school and I never really thought about it. We were always together. To me, that was all that mattered. I guess I've never really been the fastest of the two of us now that I think about it. Santana does things first, always, even when it isn't something she particularly wants to happen. Sometimes I think it's kind of funny, but mostly it's really sad to me that she does these things and then fights them. It must be painful, wanting something and not wanting it at the same time. The funny thing about her is that she seems really strong and tough. I guess it is true most of the time, but most people don't see beyond that so they miss the fact that she's all soft and warm inside (which is really sad because that's the best part of her). She was like that even at thirteen – really, she'd been like that since kindergarten – but I had known her since pre-school so I knew better than everyone else what she had in her.
So I knew when we were thirteen, about to get out of middle school, that something was bothering Santana. We were having one of our weekly sleepovers (something that was happening more and more frequently as Santana got older because she liked to get away from her empty house) when I first noticed it. There was one of our favorite movies playing on the TV, but Santana was sitting stiffly beside me and didn't seem to be enjoying it at all. I kept looking over at her at the funny parts we normally laughed at, hoping to see a smile, but her mouth didn't so much as twitch. "What's wrong?" I asked at last, shifting closer to her with a tiny frown. She flinched and scowled. I'm pretty sure she was upset I'd noticed anything.
"Nothing, I'm fine," she told me with a shrug, never looking at me. It was a lie and I knew it. And she knew I knew it. Her arms folded tightly across her chest and she looked the way she sometimes did at school when she didn't want anyone to know she was bothered- blank. I didn't like seeing her look like that with me. I hardly ever got that look and it always made me feel edgy when she directed it at me. I continued to stare at her, hoping the ice would melt, and her dark eyes eventually swung in my direction. "Don't worry about it, Britt," was what she said this time before looking away again, but I knew I was going to worry about it. She was upset and she didn't want to talk about it, which was fine, but I wished that look would go away. So I moved even closer and poked at her shoulder, my eyes still locked on her face. Her jaw clenched and she dropped her fisted hands to her sides, staring at me with those blank eyes. "What?" She snapped the word impatiently, but that didn't bother me. Santana only got mad with me when she didn't want to talk about it.
I wrapped the hand I had poked her with around one of her fisted hands, my eyes still on hers as I silently pleaded for her to open up to me. It was a long moment before she began to relax, and I took advantage by slipping my fingers through hers with a little smile of success. We'd been holding hands since the day we met so really it wasn't that big a deal, but it must have made Santana feel better because she relaxed and sighed. Her hand squeezed mine gently and I smiled again, my head dropping against her shoulder. It was all so simple and familiar, but somehow it must have been different to her. She was playing with my fingers and I was watching, curious. She had something to say, I could tell. See, a lot of people would tell you that I don't know a whole lot. I guess that's true. I'm not stupid enough to think I'm smart, which sort of means that I have to know something I guess, but that's not the point. I'm not a good student and I don't know a lot about books or math or outer space. I do, however, know a lot about Santana. I always have. If Santana 101 was a class, I'd have the best grade of anyone. It had been true since we were four. "You can tell me, San," I whispered quietly.
"Britt… We're starting high school next year," she said slowly, and I nodded eagerly to show I understood. High school had been the Big Dream since we were about eight and I knew Santana was both excited and nervous about it. It was another one of those things that didn't matter to me much personally – I didn't do well in school and it really didn't make a difference to me which grade we were in – but it mattered to Santana so I was enthusiastic too. She knew that (because really, if Brittany 101 was a class, she'd have the best grade of anyone too) and she smiled, I guess because she knew I was only excited since she was. Again her fingers squeezed mine and she turned her head to look at me. I could see she was actually smiling now because her eyes smiled, too. Still, there was an edge of worry to it all, and I wanted it gone. "Well… I think we need to be careful."
I nodded again, though I didn't understand the comment really. Be careful? What did that even mean? "Alright, San," I said slowly, trying to puzzle it out without sounding stupid. I gave up after a minute and added, "What do you mean?"
"We're going to have to be super popular. We'll have to work hard. I think we should be on the Cheerios." She looked nervously towards me for a reaction, but I was excited by the idea. Dancing and stuff? I was totally all for that idea. Plus, the uniforms were so cute. Seeing I was in absolute agreement, she grinned and used the hand wrapped around mine to pull me in for a tight hug. "I'm going to get us through high school on top," she promised. "But if we're going to do this, Britt, we need to change some stuff. Because I want us to be able to do this, but we can't if we… you know, hold hands and stuff."
I was confused. We'd always done that. "Why?"
"Because we'll look like giant lesbos, that's why!"
I didn't get it, and I didn't like this idea. I could feel a pout forming, mixing with confusion and a sudden fear. I didn't want high school to be different. I liked us how we were. Changes were scary, and it was bad enough we'd be in a new, much bigger school. No way I wanted to lose the comfort of my best friend. Like I said, though, Santana knew me as well as I knew her. Seeing my reaction, she loosened her grip on my hand and hooked our pinkies together. "How's this?" she whispered hurriedly. "We can do this, okay? This isn't holding hands. No one will think we're dykes if we only do this." I looked at our linked fingers and considered. That's when she said it. "Linking pinkies isn't dating."
Dating? I looked up slowly, staring at Santana with wide eyes. Is that what this was about? She didn't want people to think we were dating? I giggled because at first the idea sounded silly. Dating? With kissing and stuff? Santana was my best friend, of course we weren't dating! Why would anyone believe that? So I nodded and Santana looked relieved and we relaxed again to watch the movie. This time, Santana laughed and made comments and sang along with some of the numbers (I loved when she sang along).
I, however, thought about it for the rest of the night- even when we curled up in my bed to sleep, I kept thinking about it. Linking pinkies isn't dating. So… What would be dating to Santana?
Chapter one: check.