Santana and Quinn stand a foot apart, just watching as the counsellors load bags into the backs of the school buses, and it finally starts to sink in―the realization that the summer's really over. From this point on, everything that's happened over the past two months is just going to be a piece of nostalgia, boxed and shelved somewhere within a lifetime of memories. It's a strange feeling, knowing that it's all over, and Santana can feel it as a dull burn at the bottom of her stomach.
Fact is, she's gonna miss Sam. Fuck, the boy's become like a surrogate brother to her and she can hardly imagine the idea of being so close to another guy without any awkward sexual tension. And, of course, then there's Quinn. She smiles as she looks over at the girl at her left―the girl who maybe isn't quite her 'girlfriend' or whatever yet, but is certainly the most important thing to her right now; the girl who she probably shouldn't have feelings for but most definitely does; and, the girl who probably shouldn't love her, but absolutely does.
And that fact makes Santana's heart flutter more than anything else.
It's a few long, thoughtful moments before Sam walks up behind them, wedging himself between the pair as he slings an arm over either of their shoulders, effectively pulling Santana from her thoughts.
"I missed this," he smiles, looking pointedly at each girl in turn and squeezing their shoulders. "We're like the Three Amigos. We just shouldn't be apart."
"Three Musketeers," Santana corrects automatically.
A slight smirk pulls at Quinn's lips. "More like the Powerpuff Girls."
Santana can't quite suppress a laugh, though she does clamp a hand over her mouth, and Sam just raises an unimpressed eyebrow.
"Yeah, right. Who would I even be?"
"Bubbles," the girls answer flatly in unison, and they link hands as they both fall into a fit of laughter.
Sam rolls his eyes heavily, sighing in mock-annoyance. "Well, I'm glad you two are getting along again... and that you're just as ridiculous as ever."
Santana raises a hand to wipe a tear from her eye as she looks up at the boy. "But you still love us," she says matter-of-factly.
Sam tightens his arms around both of their shoulders, a bit of a sad smile playing across his ridiculously large lips as he nods. "Yeah. I kinda do."
Both girls shoot him a smile in return before Quinn slightly clears her throat, looking over at Santana.
Santana's brow furrows and she raises a finger. "Wait a minute, why the fuck am I Buttercup?" she questions indignantly. "Just because I'm not all Children of the Corn―fair-haired and pale as fuck―like the two of you?"
Quinn just stares at her, unimpressed, and Santana grins as she slightly shakes her head.
Both Quinn and Sam laugh before Quinn looks over at her with an adoring smile, and Santana feels that flutter that she missed so much; that flutter she thought she would never feel again.
"Might have something to do with the fact you're a bit of a badass, too," Quinn footnotes, her smile only dropping as Santana's spreads. She scoffs. "Oh, don't let it go to your enormous head. We wouldn't want you to float off into the clouds."
Santana just shrugs. "Well, I think as a Powerpuff Girl it's pretty well established that I can fly, so..."
Quinn rolls her eyes, and Santana smiles.
"Besides, you just wanna be Blossom so you can be top dog."
Quinn nods firmly, "That's right."
Sam just watches as the pair interact, smiling and shaking his head at the ridiculousness of it all, and Quinn grins.
"Just wait until we're Cheerios... you'll see just how fast I'm on top."
Santana purses her lips and arches an eyebrow. "Oh, I'm pretty sure I already proved last night who's on top," she winks, a terribly smug smile pulling at her lips.
Quinn's cheeks instantly redden, though a look of lust flashes across her eyes at the memory, and Sam lifts his hands from the girls' shoulders and claps them over his ears.
"Ok, you two are going to have to learn what's appropriate to talk about in public and what isn't, because my ears were not ready for that."
Both girls laugh and Sam just shakes his head as he drops his hands back down to shove the girls' shoulders playfully. He breathes out a sigh as he turns his gaze forward, though.
"Looks like this is it," he says with a slight tip of his chin.
The girls follow Sam's stare to see the counsellors sealing the back door of their bus. Lines of campers are starting to form at the fronts of the buses, some of them hugging, some crying, as they say their final goodbyes. Santana considers it a stroke of luck that the three of them are all getting dropped off at the church rather than downtown so that at least they're on the same bus; so that at least they don't have to say their goodbyes quite yet.
Santana sighs as well. "Yeah, sure does."
The three share sad eye contact, and Quinn sniffs hard, looking once again like she's going to cry. Santana steps forward and takes small, pale hands into her own, squeezing them reassuringly, and Quinn shoots her a soft, thankful smile. Santana pulls her in for a hug, wrapping her arms protectively around slight shoulders as Quinn's head settles onto hers and pale arms wrap tightly around her torso.
"Aww," Sam lets out sweetly, and it's not long before his arms are wrapped around both girls, squeezing tightly.
Sam's hold lingers a little too long for Santana's taste, though, and she arches an eyebrow.
"Don't get too excited, Aquaman. A threesome's not in the cards."
Sam pulls away with a roll of his eyes, and Quinn slaps Santana's side, though she also chuckles and places a sly kiss on her neck before she pulls away. Santana just smiles.
It's not much longer before they board their bus. Santana slides into a window seat near the back with Quinn following after her and Sam takes the seat in front of them, stretching his legs out across it to keep it to himself. They spend the first hour of the trip just chatting about random things, an alarming sense of normalcy to their interaction in spite of the knowledge that it's one of their last.
By the time they start to enter civilization, though, Sam has passed out with his head leaned back against the window, his giant, fishy lips hanging open as a soft snore intermittently slips out. The girls laugh lightly and Quinn settles against Santana's shoulder, releasing a bit of a yawn herself. Santana reaches down and takes one of Quinn's hands into her own, placing a soft kiss on it before settling it onto her lap.
It's not much longer before Santana hears the soft, characteristic murmur she's grown to love come from the girl on her shoulder, and it makes her smile. She releases Quinn's hand and rather throws her arm around the blonde's shoulders, wrapping her up tight. She places a soft kiss on Quinn's head, earning another murmur that makes her heart flutter.
When she lifts her head again, she can see one of the Lima Middle girls shooting a particularly discriminating glance in her direction. Santana just smiles and nods smugly as she flips her the bird.
"Santana!" Colleen chides from a few seats ahead, causing her to raise her hand slightly in not-so-genuine apology, though she reflexively rolls her eyes when Colleen turns away.
At the commotion, Quinn shifts, wrapping her arms around Santana's torso and leaning further against her. Santana looks down and, yeah, though this is nothing near anything she expected coming into this, she's pretty sure this is where she always wants to be. She tightens her grip around Quinn as she leans her head against the window, looking out at the city as they start to pass through it and letting her mind drift.
If she had to look back on it all, she'd probably say that it started with a stolen cigarette and ended with questioning one's faith, but―with the comfortable weight of Quinn's body settled against hers, the feel of blonde hair tickling against her collarbone, the way her senses are clouded by the faintly sweet smell that never fails to fire her heart, the painfully wide smile she seems to be unable to fight whenever Quinn's near―she can hardly imagine where it'll lead.
Endnote: In before I'm asked, yes. I am considering a sequel to follow the girls through freshman year and right up through canon Glee. However, I've had very little time to devote to writing lately, so it's hard to say at the moment whether I'll actually be able to follow through. :(
In any case, I hope you enjoyed my little story and thank you for reading :)