Summary: They never let Brittany have a boyfriend sleep over in her bed, and this wasn't any different. Right?

Spoilers: None.

Word Count: 1,519

Note: I posted this on tumblr and LJ but I realized I hadn't posted it here. I wrote this for my Roadtrip fic, but it didn't really fit there. And its also related to Sleepovers: A Secret History - I guess it's part of a bridge I'm building between the two for my own reference. Anyway, it's kind of interesting on it's own, so I thought I'd share.


Brittany had been such a delightful little girl. She was a little stubborn around bedtime, and a lot distracted when it came to schoolwork, but overall, she was adorable, prone to spontaneous bouts of hugging and lispy renditions of popular songs with the lyrics completely, charmingly wrong.

Her parents could rarely bring themselves to discipline her. And since Brittany was such a loving, healthy minded child, after a few years, they stopped bothering to try. Anna and Tom decided that as long as Brittany was physically safe, they'd let her be herself and be as fascinated as anyone else with the results. They let her climb on the furniture and color on her bedroom walls and run shirtless through the sprinklers and eat ice cream for dinner and dinner for breakfast.

The neighbors had often clicked their tongues and remarked on how European everything was over at the Pierces.

But then Brittany got to high school and suddenly the blue-eyed imp was all long legs and short cheerleading skirts and Anna and Tom were startled by the number of boys that appeared out of thin air, littering the front stoop, spilling over onto the back porch, coming in clusters in cars that lingered at the curb.

It took a while for Tom to understand the magnitude of the situation. When a date came to Brittany up in a modded out Volswagon Microbus, Tom thought the car was pretty cool and the kid's goatee was amusing. But as he watched them head toward the car, he saw the guy's hand land possessively on something that was most definitely not Brittany's hip and it occurred to him too late that that his fourteen year old daughter would be spending the evening in a bedroom on wheels with a practically grown man who was fully capable of growing facial hair.

Anna saw the panic in his eyes and suggested gently that maybe it was time for a few new rules.

Then she got him a big, big glass of scotch.

The problem was though, Anna and Tom didn't have a lot of practice setting rules, and Brittany didn't have much practice following them. So they never quite seemed to stick.

No dates past 10 on school nights. Ok. 10:30. Ok,11.

No boys allowed upstairs. Oh, Brittany, not on the couch, your sister is right…Fine. Fine. Boys allowed upstairs, but only with the door open. No, Brittany, open.

No sleepovers on school nights. Anyway, no sleepovers three nights in a row. Well, if she's gonna sleep over again, at least have her help you with your Spanish…Hi, Santana.

No drinking. No drinking that much again. At least no coming home reeking of peach schnapps with someone else's underwear on, Brittany, your grandmother is visiting.

Brittany wasn't rebellious – she didn't yell or cry or fight with her parents. She just skipped, smiling, right on past every rule they set. By the summer before senior year, the only rule left for

Brittany was "Just…try not to get the cat high again? Please?"

So when Anna came into Brittany's room one night to turn off the TV and woke Brittany to tell her that Santana had to go home, Brittany just rolled over, smiled up at her mother and mumbled,

"Silly. She's already asleep."

Anna watched Brittany curl back around Santana's body, her arm sliding over the curve of Santana's waist, Santana, in her sleep, pulling Brittany's hand to her heart. They were beautiful.

But she still reached out and shook Brittany's shoulder again.

"Brittany, really. We talked about this…"

It had been a hard decision for Anna and Tom to make. But in the end, it had come down to two things. As parents, they were all about love and freedom, but even they never let Brittany have a boyfriend sleep over in her bed, and this wasn't any different. Right?

And even if they granted that Santana might be a special case, that still left them with Christina to think about. She was only 10 now, but already showing signs of being both boy crazy and far more argumentative than Brittany ever was. Guaranteed, she'd use "You let Brittany and Santana do it!" against them one day. They couldn't set a precedent of significant other sleepovers. Allowing it was like condoning their under-aged daughters' sexual activity and they couldn't in good conscience do that.

Right?

Anna had been far less sure about it than Tom has been. She knew what he meant about precedents and sexual activity under their roof. But if she were honest with herself, nothing about Brittany and Santana in each other's arms worried her too much. There was no one she trusted more with Brittany's mind, and body, and heart. And Chrissy? Chrissy was going to be her own set of problems anyway, no matter what rules they tried to set now.

But she had agreed in the end, because she knew it was hard for Tom to see Brittany in such a mature relationship all of a sudden (well, he thought it was all of a sudden), and because she knew that rules had the habit of sliding off Brittany like water off a duck's back. They could try it for a while, and it might not make much difference in the end anyway.

So the day after Brittany tripped down to breakfast with two massive hickeys on her neck and a radiant smile on her face and shouted "Hell yeah!" in answer to her sister's "So is she your girlfriend now?" Tom and Anna had sat their daughter down and told her how happy they were that she and Santana were dating and how much they loved Santana and how great they were as a couple, and…because of all those things, Santana wasn't allowed to sleep over in Brittany's bed anymore.

Brittany hadn't seemed surprised, and Anna correctly guessed that Santana had anticipated something like this and was already thinking of workarounds to the new rule. But still, Anna hadn't felt quite right with the words coming out of her mouth.

Tom had just nodded, ruffled Brittany's hair, and gone off to see if the grill was hot enough for the steaks yet.

So, as the one who was far more sensitive to noise and much more likely to roam the halls of the house at 2 AM on any given night, Anna found herself in the position of enforcing this rule she was only half sure made sense.

She missed those old coloring-on-the-wall days. She really knew where she stood on issues like that.

"But, Mom…"

Brittany sat up in bed, an incredulous look on her face. But Santana was awake by then too, and she had tapped Brittany on the knee and shook her head. She slid out from under the covers and blushed a little when she realized that she had her shirt on but her bra was lying in full view on Brittany's bedside table. She picked it up and tried to shove it in her back pocket, but it didn't fit, she had to ball it in her fist.

"Sorry, Anna. We just fell asleep watching a movie."

Santana had found that she didn't actually mind the no sleepovers rule as much as she thought

she would. It was fun trying to find ways to sneak around. And it meant that things were really different between her and Brittany, different in a way that even other people recognized.

Plus, anyway, no one was ever home at Santana's house.

And at Santana's house, they had the added benefit of a bigger bed, central air, and no possibility of Chrissy spying at the keyhole. They could have sex all day, as loud as they wanted, without having to worry about the strange, half baffled-half shocked looks Brittany's dad would give them whenever they emerged from behind a closed door together.

"'Night Britt-Britt." Santana picked up her keys and leaned in for a goodnight kiss.

"Told you." Santana whispered to Brittany, but Anna heard it anyway. She watched a scowl flit across Brittany's face, but it didn't last long. Brittany smiled as she met Santana's lips in a soft kiss, then nuzzled into her, stroking the tip of her nose across Santana's cheek.

Yep, Anna decided. This was a pretty stupid rule.

But in this instance, at least, she'd see it through,

"Goodnight Santana. Get home safe."

"Thanks Anna. Dream of me, Britts."

"Always."

Santana headed down the stairs. Anna turned back to Brittany, cringed at the look on her face.

She wasn't angry. She was wounded.

"Why are you being so mean?"

Anna opened her mouth, but no good explanation came out.

Brittany lay down, cuddled up to the pillow Santana had been using and closed her eyes.

Anna walked down to the kitchen, poured herself a glass of water and drank it, slowly, in the dark.

On the way back to her bedroom, she opened Brittany's door again. She walked to Brittany's bedside, watched her daughter breathe slow, even breaths. Even in sleep, she looked like a woman, and nothing like a little girl.