Santana loved evenings alone. It was rare for her entire family to be out at the same time, but when they were, Santana always celebrated in the same way. On Friday night, Christian went to a party and Marco went to spend the night at a friend's house, leaving her parents free to go on their date night and Santana free to eat junk food in front of the T.V. for several hours. She was just settling into the cushions, remote in hand, when she heard a soft knock coming from the front door.
At first, she thought she might be imagining it, or that it was coming from the television. But when she turned down the volume, the knock persisted, and with a sigh, she pulled herself up and padded over to the door. She raised herself onto her toes and glanced through the peephole. When she saw who it was, her heart rate quickened, and she opened the door tentatively. "Uh, hey," she said.
"Hi," Brittany replied. She looked uncomfortable. Santana saw car keys twisted around her finger and noticed that she was holding a purse over one arm. "Um, what are you up to?"
"Not...not much," Santana replied. There was an awkward silence. "Do you want to come in?"
"Just for a minute," Brittany said. Santana looked at her curiously but opened the door the rest of the way to allow Brittany to come inside. The T.V. was still on in the living room, and Santana saw Brittany's eyes flicker over to the liter of soda and family size bag of Doritos on the coffee table.
"So, what's up?" Santana asked.
"I'm so sorry," Brittany said suddenly. "Are you having friends over?"
"What? No." Santana shook her head. "No, it's just me."
"Oh." Brittany looked at the food again, one eyebrow slightly raised. Santana blushed but didn't say anything. "Okay well I guess I was wondering if you wanted to...like...go out."
"Go out?" Santana's heart skipped a beat.
Brittany nodded. "Yeah, like, go somewhere. It's Friday and everyone's busy and I just thought..." She trailed off and shrugged.
"Right," Santana said, momentarily shocked by what she thought Brittany had meant. "I...um...okay..."
"Santana, I miss you," Brittany blurted out. "I miss you so much and I thought we were going to be best friends. I'm sorry for everything I did and I just want to hang out with you. Can we please be friends again?" She chewed her lip between her teeth and looked at Santana in nervous anticipation.
Santana took a deep breath. Truthfully, she missed spending time with Brittany, too. She was just scared of what it all meant. "I'm sorry too," she said finally.
Brittany sighed in relief and smiled. "Good," she said. "We've just been so sad all week and I hate being sad. I want to do something fun."
Santana looked at the T.V. and her snacks and shrugged. "Well, we have an empty house and some junk food," she offered.
Brittany shook her head. "No offense, but I want to do something more fun than that." She looked at Santana hopefully and Santana couldn't help but smile.
"Alright, boss," she conceded. "You make the plans."
"I already have an idea," Brittany said slyly.
"Oh, do you?"
"Yup." Santana looked at Brittany expectantly, but Brittany shook her head. "It's a surprise."
Santana looked at Brittany for a long time. This girl, she thought to herself. I should just send her home before this gets dangerous. Doesn't she know I hate surprises? Santana was ready to demand an explanation, but Brittany looked so eager that the words died on her lips. "Fine," she said instead. "Let me get my shoes."
"I hear this movie is supposed to be really good," Rachel said as Quinn handed her credit card through the ticket window. "The critics gave it mixed reviews, but Rotten Tomatoes users had a generally high opinion of it. They seemed to think the plot was somewhat weak, but the female lead is very attractive. The guy is pretty good looking as well, though I don't know how much that will influence your opinion." She looked at Quinn. "What do you think?"
"I'm thinking I don't care so much about the movie," Quinn said with a smirk, looking once again at Rachel's tantalizingly short skirt. "And I can tell by your rambling that you're nervous."
Rachel blushed deeply. "Oh no. Am I rambling?"
"A little," Quinn admitted. Rachel pouted and Quinn reached over, running a hand through her soft brown hair. "But it's adorable. Don't stop."
"Hmph," Rachel said, crossing her arms across her chest. "Well, I can't think of anything else to say."
Quinn looked at Rachel in mock outrage. "What? You didn't prepare first-date conversation cards?" She wagged a finger. "Having a few prepared statements in your pocket can be invaluable, you know."
"Oh, stop it," Rachel said, shoving Quinn lightly on the shoulder. "Okay, so maybe I did a little bit of research beforehand, so what? Scoring a date with the most popular girl in the school is not an honor I take lightly. Not that it matters that you're popular," she said quickly. "I would date you if you were one of those losers that got thrown in the dumpster. Well, maybe after you took a shower, but I would still date you."
"If you don't shut up, I'm going to have to find another way to keep you quiet," Quinn warned. She looked at Rachel suggestively and Rachel gulped.
"I—well, I actually have to perform a monologue in acting class, and I think I'll practice it now, if you don't mind," Rachel said quietly. Quinn laughed.
"I meant I'll shut you up with popcorn, you perv," Quinn said, walking towards the concession stand. "You want some?"
"Of course," Rachel replied, reaching for her purse. "Let me pay for it, though."
"Nope," Quinn shook her head, already several steps ahead of Rachel as she placed some bills on the counter. "This is all on me. I'm the one who asked you out, remember?"
Rachel sighed in defeat. "Fine," she said. Quinn got their popcorn and they walked towards the theater. When they reached the door, Quinn made a big show of holding it open for her girlfriend. "You're such a show-off, you know that?" Rachel said. "You love attention just as much as I do."
"Maybe," Quinn smirked. "I just want to make sure this is good enough. You know, so you'll want an encore."
"Well, save it," Rachel said, taking Quinn's hand and leading her up the rows of seats, all the way to the back row. "I already know I'm gonna see the next performance." They sat down, Quinn balancing the popcorn on one of her knees. Nobody was looking at them in the darkened theater, so Rachel leaned over and placed a kiss on Quinn's cheek. When Quinn turned towards in her surprise, Rachel kissed her again on the lips.
"Wow," Quinn breathed. "Eager, much?"
"I know it's romantic to wait until the end of the date and all that," Rachel said, "but we've kissed already before and...I don't want to wait." She blushed but there was lust in her eyes, and Quinn shivered in anticipation. She reached her hands around Rachel's head and tangled her fingers in Rachel's hair, leaning forward to kiss her once more.
"We're definitely not going to be watching the movie," Quinn said when she pulled away for air.
Rachel just shrugged. "Like I said, it got mixed reviews from the critics." Then their lips met once more and they didn't talk for the rest of the night.
"We're at, like, the edge of town," Santana said, leaning her head against the window. "Are you sure you know where you're going?"
"Of course!" Brittany said. Santana looked at her doubtfully. "What?"
"It's just that haven't lived here for very long. And..."
Brittany looked at Santana out of the corner of her eye. "And?"
"And I had to remind you like ten times how to get to all your classes!" Santana said teasingly.
Brittany rolled her eyes, but a small smile crept across her face. "Don't worry. I know exactly how to get there. I won't get us lost."
"Alright," Santana said. "I trust you."
"Hey, you never said anything about my car!"
Santana sat up straight, looking around. "This is yours?" she asked. It was a used Honda Civic, a couple of years old but still in good shape. Santana had assumed that it belonged to Brittany's mother. "That's so cool. Congratulations!"
"Thanks," Brittany said. "My parents just got it for me yesterday."
"To be honest, I wasn't sure that you knew how to drive."
"Wow," Brittany said. "First you accuse me of not knowing how to read a map, and now I can't drive? What else can't I do?"
Santana bit her lip. "I'm sorry," she said. "That came out wrong."
"It's alright, I'm just teasing," Brittany said. "A lot of people think I'm dumb."
"I don't think you're dumb," Santana said quickly. "I didn't mean it that way."
"I know." They stopped at a red light and Brittany took the opportunity to look over at Santana. "I can do more than you think," she said, a slightly suggestive look in her eye. Santana shivered. "And I know you weren't being mean, so it's okay," she said, her tone becoming light again. "I know you aren't gonna throw slushies at me or anything."
Santana felt a sharp pain her her stomach. "People threw slushies at you?"
"Once or twice. They were kind of yummy." Brittany shrugged, still staring straight at the road. "It wasn't that bad. I mean, it was kind of cold, but then a few nice girls saw and helped me clean it off."
"That's awful," Santana said quietly. "I'm so sorry." She couldn't help but feel that the slushies were somehow her fault. She had never been the victim of an attack—in fact, she had helped Quinn initiate more than a few—and she felt that her rejection of Brittany had somehow made her an easier target. And the way Brittany told the entire story with a cute little smile on her face only made Santana feel worse. Especially since she knew that she had been the person who once made that smile go away.
"We're here!" Brittany said suddenly, and Santana tore her eyes away from the girl and looked out of the window. Brittany was pulling into a parking lot next to a large field that was full of lights. Santana could see lots of people walking around and could hear the dull echo of talking and laughter through the walls of the car. "I drove by this on my way back from Dalton and I knew I wanted to come back."
Santana continued to examine the field, and her eyes lingered on the sign over the entrance. "A pumpkin patch?" She raised her eyebrows at Brittany. "In September?"
"It's never too early for pumpkins," Brittany said, killing the engine and grabbing her purse from the backseat. "Come on, let's go!"
Santana looked at Brittany incredulously. What kind of person would take someone to a pumpkin patch at the edge of Lima? But Brittany wasn't like other people, Santana had come to realize. Shaking her head, she unfastened her seatbelt and got out of the car. As soon as she had emerged, Brittany made a beeline for the entrance, and Santana followed her. There was a man at the gate selling tickets. Brittany pulled out her wallet and Santana reached for her own.
"Nope," Brittany said, smacking her hand away. "I'm paying. Since I basically dragged you here against your will."
Santana was taken aback by Brittany's forcefulness. "Alright," she said as Brittany handed over some bills. "If you let me buy you something inside."
They walked in, Brittany clutching two paper wristbands in her hand. "I'll let you know if I see anything," she said with a wink. Then her eyes trailed over to a large structure in front of her. "Oh my God! They have a Ferris wheel, come on Santana, let's go!"
Santana laughed at her enthusiasm. "Alright, alright, chill. We have to put on our wristbands." She grabbed hers from Brittany and began to awkwardly fasten it around her wrist. Next to her, Brittany struggled with her own.
"I can't get it fastened," she said, moving her hand and frowning as the wristband fell to the ground. She picked it up and looked over at Santana. "How did you do that?'
"Here." Santana took Brittany's hand in her own and began to gently put on the wristband, not oblivious to the way that her fingers brushed the delicate skin on the inside of Brittany's wrist. She looked up at Brittany to gauge her reaction to the contact, but Brittany was looking excitedly at the rides. As soon as Santana got the band on, she sprang to life again.
"Let's go!" Santana followed her over to the line, where they stood behind a few other people. "I'm so excited," Brittany said. "I love going on rides."
"I used to love it, too," Santana said.
"Why don't you love it anymore?"
Santana shrugged. "I don't know. I got older, I guess."
Brittany shook her head. "You're never too old for the Ferris wheel, silly!"
"Yeah, yeah, I know," Santana said. "It's still okay to act like a kid sometimes. I guess I never really took advantage of that. I always just wanted to grow up."
"No, I mean, you're never too old because the Ferris wheel has no height limit," Brittany said. "Like, see that ride over there?" She pointed to a ride with cars going around a small track. "If you go on that one and you're too tall, you'll get your head chopped off."
Santana pretended to gasp. "Oh no!" she said. "I like my head."
Brittany giggled. "I like your head, too," she said. They made eye contact and Santana felt the familiar feelings of attraction that she'd been trying to ignore since they'd first met. She felt her phone vibrate in her pocket and she looked at Brittany apologetically.
"I'm sorry," she said as she pulled it out. "It could be my parents. I forgot to leave a note."
"No problem," Brittany said as Santana scanned the text message. It wasn't from her parents, it was from Puck. She opened the text and read it.
Puck: you with britt?
Yeah, she typed back. Then she put the phone back into her pocket. Maybe it was time to stop ignoring the feelings, she thought. After all, she was single. Recently single, sure, but Quinn had already moved on. And her mother had said that she should try to meet an another amazing girl. Maybe Santana had already found her. Slipping her hands into her pockets, she looked up at the cloudless night sky. "You know," she said carefully, "this is a really cute idea for a date." Then she looked over at Brittany.
"Yeah, it is," Brittany agreed. "I wish I could meet the kind of guy who would take me here, you know? Instead of to the usual places."
Santana bit her lip. "Yeah, I know what you mean," she said.
"And then we could kiss on top of the Ferris wheel!" she said, clapping her hands together. She glanced over at Santana. "Most guys just want to go to dinner or go to the movies, over and over. Is it the same with girls?"
"It was with Quinn," Santana said, trying to ignore the sinking feeling in her stomach. "But you would have to add shopping and mani-pedis to that list."
Brittany laughed. "That's fun, though, that you get to do girly stuff with your girlfriends. Most guys are, like, scared to do anything girly for some reason."
"Yeah, I've noticed that, too," Santana replied, feeling confused. Was this not the same girl who had been questioning her sexuality only a week and a half ago? Why was she acting like she was completely straight? Santana was sad but not unsurprised. Brittany was just an incredibly friendly person. It made sense that she would confuse her feelings of friendship for feelings of lust, but clearly, she had done some soul-searching that had put her on the right track. Santana stared down at the ground, fighting back her emotions. Her phone buzzed once again.
Puck: she's into my boy mike
Brittany was mesmerized by watching the people around her, so Santana kept her phone out and waited for the response. Puck certainly didn't mean what Santana thought he meant, did he?
Puck: she wants to get a piece of m-chang! Q told me.
Santana closed her eyes, trying to center herself. When she opened them, there was another message.
Puck: she's smoking, but he's in love with tina. he doesn't want there to be any trouble.
I'll keep an eye on her, Santana typed back, silencing her phone and sliding it miserably back into her pocket. Brittany was looking at her curiously. "What's wrong?" she asked.
Santana forced a smile. "Nothing," she said breezily. "I'm fine."
"Cool," Brittany said. They got to the front of the line and Brittany bounced on the balls of her feet. "Yay! We're close. Thank you so much for coming her with me, Santana."
Santana watched her and her heart lifted. "Thanks for pulling me out of the house," she said.
"I'm just so glad we're best friends again," Brittany said, unexpectedly throwing herself into Santana's arms. Santana held Brittany's waist and breathed in the scent of her shampoo, feeling dangerously smitten.
"Me too," she said softly.