NA: It has been a long and fun ride, and FA is coming to an end. This will be the last chapter, and it is twice the length of my normal chapter as a treat to all of you. Stay tuned for a sequel.

Once again, thank everyone for your support and kind reviews and messages. A special thank you goes to iheartbrittana at Tumblr, who has patience and excitement and is always pushing me to write better. And, of course, to BrSoccerChic at this website, a recent yet flawless addition with her talks and her perfectionist eye for grammar (and, in her own words, with her ability to poke me to write things, as an animal in a zoo).

On with the story.


12

Santana calls Sugar instead of Brittany the following week, and before she knows it she has endured Quinn's stern look and Rachel's puppy eyes, and what kind of world is this in which she has to put up with any of Man Hands' shit but for the sake of her own sanity she lets it go and makes a mental note she should stop hanging out at Berry's so often. Sugar is there, available, proud and wanting her. Santana is not one to be forgotten, and it feels flattering somehow to have Sugar's interest even if she doesn't have Brittany's sweetness, or her voice, or her perfume. Still, she takes her on a few dates, holds her hand and lets her play with her hair.

Blaine comes up to her and tells her she needs to start working again. She is too young to stop working whenever she feels like it, and if he actually manages to close a deal and get her a spot in an upcoming exhibit, she better have something worthwhile to show or whatever. She's no child; she knows that, and she knows that she can't live off her savings forever, but she tells him to mind his own business anyway. He looks at her with a strange look over his beer and she is tired of people taking ownership of her pain and bossing her around, so she meets Sugar again that night, because Sugar is too busy with her own personal madness to bother telling Santana what to do and how to feel.

She says she wants to take it slow, but Sugar doesn't take it too seriously because she takes her to her ridiculously expensive apartment and gives her so much wine her head begins to feel dizzy and out of control. Santana tries to think straight, tries to remind herself she's just passing time, she's just waiting for Blonde to come over, and her head feels heavy and light and she throws it back. The couch is big and comfortable, Santana thinks, as Sugar turns on her fancy stereo that can be heard all over the apartment and some soft electronic music plays as Santana's glass is refilled once more with delicious, expensive, red wine and they kiss, slow and languid and Santana wants Sugar, she wants her body beneath hers, she wants her surrender and her obsession.

Sugar begins to dance, and she does have a sweet ass that begs to be touched and Santana is a lizard, she needs a warm body beneath her, but she holds her hands still. She holds her entire body still when an equally drunk Sugar climbs her lap and hovers her lips over Santana's and hums with the beat. Santana hums too, breaking her own spell to place a hand on Sugar's back and she pictures for a second Sugar's hair is blonde, her legs are longer and she smiles like a child on Christmas morning when she's happy. So she kisses Sugar with drive and intent, nipping at her lower lip, sinking her nails into Sugar's waist and pulling her closer. She bites, Sugar moans and places a hand on Santana's breasts. Santana hasn't had sex in weeks, and she needs some release, her body is begging for it, and Sugar is opening her blouse buttons when it sinks in.

This is not right. Someone that is not Brittany is undressing in front of her and displaying a bright pink bra that makes her breasts very appealing, and she knows she is going a step too far. Sugar is not enough, and it is not fair to sleep with her imagining Brittany is there. She wants Brittany, she wants her relationship back, she wants Brittany to break through so they can continue on firmer ground, she wants to tell her abuela all about Brittany and invite her over to meet her favorite family member. She wants to work on their relationship because she can see them together in the long run, settling down and making plans and she can see herself growing old with Blonde, even if the mere thought of it terrifies her, even if she doesn't think she's ready to be making these kinds of plans, even if she has always thought she should not make this type of prediction. She wants Blonde's little sigh when they kiss and she wants to hear her moan Santana's name, she wants everything related to Blonde. Her hands are trembling, and she feels equally awful for feeling anything towards Sugar and for waiting for Blonde like a fool. Stop, stop, stop, stop, she thinks out loud before she can stop herself. "What is it?" Sugar asks, blouse wide open and lips parted. "I'm not-I'm not feeling well, we should call it a night." Santana says, setting her glass aside and retreating the hand previously traveling through Sugar's back. "I'll give you a call." She mumbles, untangling herself from the other woman until she's on her feet and out the door.

Her abuela notices, because she always notices, and Santana doesn't know what to answer. She doesn't know how to tell her abuela about cheating and disappointment and broken hearts, even if the woman is the most understanding, kindred spirit Santana has ever encountered. She tells Santana her voice is lower, and her drive is unfocused like it once was. Santana agrees, but says she's working on that even though she is doing nothing to feel better but the same old things she used to do before Brittany entered her life.

When she stops by at Rachel's that weekend, Jewish RuPaul is in a frenzy. Quinn just stares at her and at Santana and smirks her signature Quinn smirk, like she knows something Santana knows not and Santana stops to ask what on Earth is wrong with Tiny Dwarf. "I have the most thrilling news!" Rachel says with a huge smile on her face that makes Santana question why her teeth are so impossibly white and if it was true that she flossed between classes in high school, and shows her the cover of the latest The Advocate issue: Brittany and Kurt. Santana's mind spins around as she holds the magazine, dumbstruck. "How perfect is this, and how romantic!" Tiny goes back to babbling, but Santana tunes it out as she's already learned to, and looks at Quinn, who looks at her with an arched eyebrow.

Quinn is pushing Santana, silently daring her to say something, do something, like she always does, because Quinn is the thinker and Santana goes with her gut. Santana opens the magazine and there is the happiest, cutest photoshoot in the history of photoshoots, and Kurt and Brittany hug each other, smile at each other and say they were best friends who decided to pretend to be together. But we were tired of fearing and hiding, Kurt says in his interview, and we thought we should come out in style. Quinn's voice behind her is almost a purr. "The Advocate is surely a good beginning, isn't it?" She says, finger running over the photo in which Kurt and Brittany share an ice cream.

Santana looks at her and at the picture alternately, still silent, because she doesn't even know what she is feeling. This is huge, and absurd, and outrageous, and exciting, and she's thinking about so many things she can barely pay any attention to her surroundings besides Quinn's hand on her shoulder. This could mean so much for Blonde's career, and life choices, and Santana knows this is The Grand Gesture Berry keeps talking about, this is The Grand Gesture Santana has been fighting for, and now that it's on her lap she doesn't know what to do with it.

Rachel squeaks again, holding her hands together as if she just earned the Nobel Prize of Lesbian Drama, "Now you girls can be out and proud together! We should call her about this fantastic issue this very moment! Oh, the things I've heard already. The internet is going positively crazy with this information! Apparently there is a poll going on to decide whether Brittany or Amber Heard should be considered the hottest lesbian in the entertainment industry." Rachel turns to Quinn, hands on her hips as if she just noticed something, "which is, I must stress, slightly offensive, considering that you and I have been seen in public for months now. Well, a girl can't compete with a blonde vampire and a blonde pop singer!"

No, of course there is nothing between me and Mike, Brittany says in her interview. He is a very good friend, but we both play for the same team. I have my eyes set on someone else, but that is all I'm saying for the moment.

Yes, we thought about the consequences. Kurt says on the next page. But is it worth it? What kind of message were we giving? Lie about who you are to be accepted? We have an established career, and we decided to embrace the consequences, because the advantages are so much bigger.

Santana goes home in shock and takes out her supplies and materials. She doesn't leave her painting room for 10 hours straight, until she's sweating and exhausted and wants to die or punch someone in the face or eat a whole cow. Quinn shows up with Mexican food and cheap wine and lets Santana sleep with her head on her lap without asking questions, so Santana decides she should give Quinn a gift. And maybe Midget too, if she promises not to hug her in return. She dreams Brittany shows up and straddles her lap and laughs deliciously, and blonde hair cascades over Santana as pale hands trace her features. The advantages are so much bigger, Blonde says over and over again, and Santana feels that feeling of being the only one in the world, of being unique in a way.

Santana turns on her cellphone the next day, but makes no calls. Not to Sugar, not to Brittany. Blaine passes by and he is pleased with what he sees, and that does make Santana smirk. She still has it, and honestly there is enough material for the exhibit, for a few buyers, and for a few gifts and a few fucking awards for brilliance and technique and all that jazz. She's proud of herself when she sees the canvas all over the room, marked in strong, aggressive colors, sending some kind of message even if no one else understood it.

One of them goes to Brittany, with a note on it that says Congratulations on the cover. Santana isn't one to make grand love declarations, and she is also not one to make heartfelt apologies. But it feels wrong not to acknowledge such a big moment, and so she calls Kurt for him to deliver it to her. He drops by to pick it up, and they exchange a meaningful look before he leaves because Blaine is waiting for him in the car, which is kind of ridiculous because he was supposed to be the enemy, not play on Team Santana as hard as she knows he does.

She does call Sugar after that to say things are complicated and they should stop seeing each other for a little while. She doesn't take it well and throws eggs at Santana's door, but it is a fair price to pay. If her rich father doesn't show up to ruin her life and her career and eat her soul, things will have ended for the better.

Santana has another gig coming up that Saturday at that same club, because apparently she is hot stuff and Puck is hot stuff and even Finn is talented enough as a drummer to make himself desirable. It's fun and there's a feeling of déjà vu when she steps onto that stage to sing and instantly has the audience wrapped around her finger. She feels like herself again, and she does love to perform even if her past experiences working in a group have failed miserably. But she and Mohawk are made of the same mold in many ways, and they get along.

They have reached the rock'n'roll version of Aguilera's Candyman when she spots Brittany in the crowd, in high heels and a black dress so indecent it should be forbidden. Santana almost stutters, and she even wonders for a second what Berry would think of a performance with a mistake like that before continuing with her husky Sweet, sugar, candy man line. "Brittany Pierce, everyone!" Puck says as the crowd goes crazy at the realization that someone as famous as Blonde is there, and Santana would say something if Blonde's smothering look wasn't so demanding as she actually goes up on stage and begins to dance.

Santana never knew one could dance to rock like that, and the next song is so ironically appropriate she smirks. Garbage's The World Is Not Enough is one of her favorite songs; when she sings I know how to hurt and I know how to heal, she looks at Brittany, who stops fake flirting with Mohawk to do the sexiest walk Santana has ever seen in Santana's direction. I know what to show and I know what to conceal is the inevitable next verse andBrittany gets to her, going to the floor so close to Santana that their bodies are almost touching, and the crowd goes especially crazy with the sexual tension.

She almost smiles at the thrill of being on a stage and at their silent dialogue. The world is not enough, she sings as if answering, and Brittany dances behind her when she sings but it is such a perfect place to start, my love. Puck looks in their interaction like he's watching lesbian porn, and that would be disturbing if she wasn't too distracted by Blonde's legs and the fact her hand is going from Santana's left shoulder to her right as Blonde circles her and together we can take the world apart, my love.

Brittany has that mischievous look when she grabs the back of Santana's neck and kisses her, open mouthed and shameless, in front of hundreds of people, as the music ends in the background. Santana feels the flashes against her closed eyelids, but she couldn't care less as she pulls Handsome Devil closer and smiles into the kiss at the crowd's cheering and Puck's voice singing I can get no satisfaction.

After Santana leaves the stage, Blonde doesn't hesitate to take her to the back of the club. "I want you back." She says, looking fierce and determined like never before. Santana doesn't answer. She is not one to be impressed with love declarations that don't solve their problems, and she doesn't like to be pressured into things. "I want you back." Cherry Bomb repeats, slowly, cornering Santana until the wall hits her back and Blonde is pressed against her, for the first time since forever. It feels suffocating to have Blonde's eyes on hers, her full and unrestricted attention like that, and her breath catches.

"What are you doing?" Santana asks in a defense mechanism, but Blonde is ignoring her and joining their lips, and this time is wonderful and the way her tongue slides against Santana's gets her to moan in no time, hands gripping blonde hair because she missed this, she missed them, she missed Blonde sucking her lower lip. Santana takes the initiative the second time, standing on her toes to reach Blonde's mouth, listening to the comforting sigh she makes and being securely held when her arm encircles Santana's waist and her free hand goes to the back of Santana's neck. "Let's go to my place." Santana says, because they aren't getting anywhere in that deserted alley and she needs her privacy.

She can swear the ride is the longest she has ever taken her entire life, with Blonde's driving with ruffled hair and swollen lips, a growing urgency between them. When they finally arrive Santana fumbles with her keys as Brittany presses against her, mouth on her neck, until she finally opens the door and is thrown against it the very second it closes, moaning at the feeling of Blonde's body and the utter freedom of being alone and willing. She envelops her legs around Blonde, being held by strong hands as Blonde Temptress presses her hips against Santana's and it has been way too long since they were last like this, way too long. There's an unusual, but not unwelcome, dominance in her girlfriend, in how she handles Santana like she owns her, like she's not submitting, like she's claiming Santana, that makes Santana's blood rush south like crazy.

Santana is then being carried, but she doesn't mind because she's busy kissing Blonde like there's no tomorrow, tongue against tongue, biting and moaning and hanging tight onto Brittany for dear life. Blonde bumps her against a few walls just for the sake of pressing against her and regaining balance, teeth against Santana's skin. It ends with her being thrown on her own thankfully king sized bed and she would smile, but Brittany has that look on her face like she's going to devour her whole and is laying on top of her, sucking her neck and moving her body like a wave, so she just closes her eyes and surrenders.

"You're my girlfriend, do you understand?" Blonde says before biting and sucking Santana neck, earning a deep moan. "Mine." She growls and rips Santana's shirt apart in a matter of seconds, licking her lips at the sight of a black bra and thank God for front clasps, because Blonde's hands are touching and caressing and Santana can't breathe, not at all, especially when Blonde's mouth replaces her hands and who cares if she just lost a shirt, a purposefully provocative shirt, she can buy shirts every day but this, Jesus Christ, this is amazing. Santana whimpers, because how can she not love that thirst and that hunger Brittany seems to be feeling, and if absence makes the heart grow fonder, jealousy should also have a line like that, for the love of God.

"And you are not kissing, or touching, or flirting with anyone but me, understand?" She asks, using each pause to press her thigh harder and harder between Santana's legs and Santana nods, helpless. "I don't care who her gazillionaire dad is, this Sugar chick will not see the light of day if she ever even looks at you again." It shouldn't be this hot, but it is. Brittany takes off her dress and throws it on the ground, letting Santana stare at her like it's the first time. Had the woman become even more perfect during those weeks? Santana lifts her body, pulling Blonde close with one arm and kissing the valley of her breasts. Brittany takes advantage to throw the remains of Santana's shirt and her bra aside, grabbing a handful of black hair to control Santana's ministrations, head thrown back and eyes half closed.

Santana stops to take her jeans off, looking forward to the sensation of being skin against skin and it's as glorious as she thought it would be, as overwhelming as it usually is, and she moans Brittany's name out of sheer contact when they kiss and she's being straddled by her girlfriend. "God, I missed you." She whispers into Blonde's skin, kissing her again and again until she has her breathless and trembling.

"I'm not done." Brittany says, and before Santana knows it she's lying on her stomach with Blonde settled between her open legs. "You and I will have a photo shoot next week." She says, soft but commanding, one hand pressing against Santana's back to hold her in place as the other caresses her folds, too gently, too smoothly, making Santana whine for more. "It will be for a lesbian website and we will be introduced as a couple." Santana agrees, because she's saying yes to anything if Brittany just, just and just there, dear God, yes there, and Santana grasps the sheets for dear life. "Ellen DeGeneres will interview us too, this month, live, on her show. And we, Santana, will be the hottest thing the world has ever seen." They already are, no need to put an effort into that because Brittany is already hotter than the sun and every fucking star combined. Santana begs and whimpers until Blonde finally lets her have her way and enters two fingers, then three, and Santana can't tell right from left, up from down and north from south, she can just groan Brittany's name and raise her hips for better access and hold onto the sheets because it's close, she's close, it's building and Brittany is doing that thing she does, Jesus Christ, and she's so amazingly good at it, and it feels so good and perfect and Santana can't even breathe, she can just grab the sheets and arch her back as the most delicious orgasm runs through her entire body in waves and waves, until she can take no more and collapses on the bed.

She turns around, still breathless and taken aback, and Brittany lies on top of her, kissing her tenderly. "Hey." Santana manages to say after a few moments, arms lazily wrapped around Blonde's waist. "Hi." Handsome Devil answers, with a smile so big Santana can't help but smile as well. "I missed you." Santana gives in, drawing slow circles on Blonde's back. "Yeah, me too," It's the answer, followed by a kiss on her nose. Santana flips them around, as she's not one to be selfish. "You know, it's not fair, making demands when I clearly am not thinking." She smirks at Blonde's delighted face before hovering her lips over that neck and making her shiver and gasp before answering, "it was the easiest argument ever."

Santana's mouth goes south, until Blonde's legs are open and willing and her breathing is shallow in expectation. She loves seeing Brittany like this, with eyes close and mouth half open. "What were you saying, love?" She asks, licking her lips in anticipation and smiling at Blonde's groan before giving in, spreading Blonde's legs and keeping them in place and taking a long, slow lick. Brittany's hips buckle, beyond ready, and Santana has been anxious for this, and so she goes deeper and stronger, greedily wanting to taste Blonde all over and to listen to the noises that woman makes as she grabs Santana's hair and makes her go wherever she wants her to. It is so unbelievably sexy and she loves the taste and the smell of Blonde, so she continues relentlessly until Blonde is begging for release and the only thing she needs to do is to focus on Brittany's center to get her trembling and moaning, muscles tensing and head being thrown back. It's breathtaking to look at her like that, and in a way Santana realizes she doesn't feel like running away, she doesn't imagine herself leaving, she's not going anywhere.

Blonde pulls her in for a kiss, exploring Santana's mouth. When they break there are tears in her eyes threatening to fall. "Don't leave me again, okay? Please." Blonde says, and Santana hates the way her voice trembles and she's almost crying. Santana nods, kissing her face tenderly as she holds her close. "I won't." She whispers in Blonde's ear, because she has no intention of going through those weeks again, unsure and lonely and lost. "I won't." She repeats and pulls the covers over them, kissing Brittany to prove her point. "We will work everything out." She promises, running a hand through Blonde's hair until she's soothed and her breathing is even. The things they are saying are too intense, too raw, but she takes it in like she takes it all in, even though her heart is racing and she's nervous. "I love you." Brittany says, looking into Santana's eyes. "I love you too," she answers. A long silence follows, but none of them are bothered by it.

Santana is almost falling asleep, spooned by Blonde, when the woman whispers, "You know what would be awesome? You in a blue sailor suit." Santana can't help but agree.