"Hey! No cheating!" Holding her palm firmly against the cards, Santana pushed Quinn's wandering hand away as it tried to slip under Santana's.
Quinn giggled and retracted her hand. "Fine, but I'm dying over here." Reluctantly, Quinn took the bigger pile of cards and added it to her growing stack.
"Who's the Queen of Spit now?" Santana singsonged.
Quinn glared at her, and Santana stuck her tongue out. Quinn had almost forgotten about how much fun they had together and that, beyond being lovers or anything else, they were friends.
"Ready for the next round?" Santana said.
"Do you even have to ask?"
Santana rolled her eyes, about to flip over a new card when Brittany approached them with a tray of glasses in her hands. Immediately, the goofy grin on her face transformed into a sincere smile—that smile that only the mere sight of Brittany seemed to draw from her. "Hey, Britt," she said softly.
Brittany tilted her head in confusion, noticing the game of Spit in process and the smiles on Santana's and Quinn's faces. "Hi. Um, water or juice?"
"Please." Santana took a glass of orange juice for herself and looked over at Quinn. "You want anything, Quinn?"
Santana reached for another glass of water and handed it to Quinn. Then she looked up at Brittany and grinned. "Thanks, Brittany."
"Yeah, of course. Well, I guess I should go…"
"Um…" Santana reached out for Brittany's arm but hesitated. She glanced at Quinn and slinked back into her seat. "Yeah, I'll see you later."
Brittany looked down at her arm—the arm that Santana didn't touch—and nodded. "Okay."
Santana cringed at the look of disappointment on Brittany's face. She just wanted to get up from her seat and kiss the crap out of Brittany, but she had just gotten things smoothed over with Quinn, and, ugh, life is hard. So, with a little awkward hand wave, Santana turned back to Quinn and forced a smile onto her face. "Where were we?" she asked.
Quinn rolled her eyes because she wasn't stupid, and these two years with Santana have taught Quinn a lot of things about the girl. "We were gonna start a new round."
They counted to three and flipped their cards. Quinn beat Santana way too easily.
"Damn it, Fabray." Santana grabbed the bigger pile of cards and straightened them out. "Again."
"Look, Santana, I know you want to talk to her."
"Who?" Santana started lining up her cards.
Santana paused. "No, I don't."
Quinn raised her eyebrows dubiously.
"I mean, I do, but I don't have to talk to her right now."
"I see the way you look at her, you know. And I've never seen you like that before, not with me or anyone else."
"Quinn, I'm sorry."
"Me, too." Quinn pulled the cards from Santana's hands and slid them back in the case. "Now go get 'em, tiger," she urged her with a bittersweet smile.
Santana bit her lip. That was why she loved Quinn so damn much. She wrapped her arms around Quinn and held on tight. "Thank you."
The smile on Quinn's face faltered for a moment. Then she closed her eyes and hugged Santana back. "Anytime," she whispered.
"Brittany Susan Pierce." Santana approached Brittany slowly, with her arms linked shyly behind her back.
"Santana," Brittany replied with a jokingly polite nod.
"I've been meaning to talk to you."
"Yeah, are you busy?"
"Well, when am I ever?"
Santana grinned and followed Brittany to a secluded area of the plane.
"So, what's up?" Brittany asked.
"Quinn and I sorted things out…more or less."
"That's great, Santana."
"You know, us?"
Santana reached for Brittany's hand and brushed it with her thumb. "I like you, Britt. A lot."
"I like you a lot, too."
"And I want to be with you."
"Why? Is that funny?" Santana asked with a smirk.
"No, I'm just happy."
"Okay, good. Well, I want to be with you," Santana repeated. "Do you…want to be with me, too?"
Brittany grabbed Santana's other hand and brought it to her lips. "Of course I do. I just think…we should, maybe, take things slow?"
"I mean, what with everything that's happened, I think it'll be better, for the both of us, if we didn't jump into things."
"Yeah." Santana nodded despite the twinge in her heart. "You're right."
Brittany smiled gently at her. "Are you sure you're okay with this?"
"I'm perfect." Santana smiled back at Brittany, running her fingers along Brittany's knuckles. Then, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a pen. "But…I can still do this, right?" She placed the pen in Brittany's hands and offered Brittany her palm.
"You…want my autograph?"
Santana grinned. "Yes. That and your number."
Brittany smirked to herself as she scribbled down her number on Santana's hand.
Then Santana lifted up her other hand. "Just in case."
Chuckling, Brittany wrote her number again. "There you go."
Santana looked back and forth between her palms and grinned. "Great. Now I'll have always you here no matter where you're flying to."
Brittany gazed back at Santana and nodded.
Santana brought her hand to Brittany's face and brushed the pad of her thumb over Brittany's chin. A few seconds of silence passed between them before Santana tilted Brittany's face toward herself and placed a small, soft kiss on her lips. Afterward, she settled back in her seat and furrowed her eyebrows. "Was that too fast?" she asked with concern.
"No, that was perfect."
"I've waited a long time to do that," Santana admitted.
"I've waited a long time for you to do that, too," Brittany said back to her.
Santana glanced at her with a glint in her eyes. "Thanks for not giving up on me."
"I'm not sure fate gave me a choice."
Santana laughed. "Either way, we're here now. That's all that matters."
"That's all that matters," Brittany agreed.
When Brittany strolled by Quinn and Santana's row this time, Santana glanced up from her movie and sent Brittany a wink.
Brittany smiled back at her. Noticing that Quinn was asleep, Brittany prepared to shuffle off only to have Santana grab her by the wrist. "Where are you going?" she whispered.
"To work," Brittany answered with a knowing smile.
Santana took her headphones off. "Take me with you," she said with a smirk.
Brittany shook her head disbelievingly. "I can't."
"Oh, c'mon." Santana poked at her ribs gently, a sly grin still on her face. "No one will notice if you disappear for an hour. Or two."
Brittany narrowed her eyes. "I think you have distracted me enough, Miss."
"Oh, so we're back to calling me 'Miss' now, are we?" Santana teased.
"Well, maybe we are," Brittany retorted, turning her nose up for effect.
Santana snorted. "Alright, then, Miss Hot Flight Attendant."
Brittany smiled at the memory. It was hard to believe that was two years ago. Keeping with the game, Brittany clicked her tongue disapprovingly at Santana and turned away. "I'm sorry, but I have to get back to work."
As Brittany walked away, Santana slipped out of her seat and trailed behind. "Give me a few minutes, will you?"
"Sorry. No can do." A hint of a smile was on Brittany's lips.
"Well, you're not giving me much of a choice here…"
"What do you mean?" Brittany asked, as they continued walking down the aisle into the secluded end of the plane.
"I mean," Santana husked, "you're not giving me much of a choice here." She slammed Brittany against the wall of the plane, her front pressed tightly against Brittany's back.
"Oh," Brittany breathed.
Santana smirked. "Yeah." Her breath tingled against Brittany's neck. She felt Brittany shudder underneath her, and it just excited her all the more. Her lips grazed along Brittany's shoulder as her hand snuck its way to Brittany's front. She splayed her fingers along Brittany's stomach, then trailed her hand back and forth. Slowly, her tongue slipped out of her mouth and dragged along Brittany's neck. "Sweet," she murmured.
Brittany grunted. "As much as I enjoyed this the last time it happened," Brittany whispered, "I have something else in mind."
"And what would that be?"
Brittany reached behind her and ran her hands down Santana's thighs. "Guess."
As Santana threw her head back to enjoy the strength of Brittany's hands, Brittany suddenly turned and pressed her lips into Santana's.
Santana gasped in surprise but loved the way Brittany towered over her, loved the way Brittany held her waist like it was the most delicate thing in the world. "Britt," she panted.
"Can you just—"
And then Brittany lifted her up and slipped them both into a vacant bathroom. She locked the door swiftly behind them and turned back to look at Santana. "What?"
Santana's eyes were wide, shocked and ridiculously turned on from the speed of Brittany's actions. She shook her head once to clear her mind and then she flung her arms around Brittany's neck and kissed her. Hard.
Brittany smiled slightly into the kiss before her hand worked on the zipper of Santana's skirt. "I've been wanting to do this for way too long," she whispered.
Santana chuckled. "Have you?" she asked sultrily.
"Mmhmm." Brittany broke from the kiss and settled her lips at Santana's neck. She bit down lightly. "I want to touch you."
Santana's breath caught in her throat. "O-okay."
"Okay?" Brittany pulled away from Santana, her cheeks flushed and the cutest sparkle in her eyes.
"Please," she corrected herself.
Brittany snickered. "Well, if you're begging…"
Santana stole a peek at Brittany as she wiggled into her skirt.
Brittany was washing her hands but noticed away. "What, Santana?" she asked.
Santana quickly averted her gaze. She thought she was being sneaky. "Nothing."
Brittany squinted her eyes. "You were definitely thinking about something."
"You're just…really good with your hands."
Brittany turned away from the sink to properly look at Santana. "I'm glad you enjoyed yourself," she said with a crooked smile.
Santana grinned. "I more than enjoyed myself."
Brittany tossed the paper towel into the trash, then pulled Santana over to her. "Good." She kissed her again, just a peck this time. As she ran her fingers through Santana's bangs, she sighed quietly. "Why do things always have to be so complicated?"
"I don't know. But I think they don't have to be as complicated as we make them."
"You're right. As always."
Santana laughed lightly at this. She was about to say something witty back, but a soft knock at the door made her jump in place.
"Brittany?" said a muted voice through the door.
Brittany looked curiously at Santana. "Rachel?" she said warily.
"People have been looking for you."
"Oh. Okay. Just give me a second." Brittany frowned guiltily at Santana and quickly straightened out of her uniform. "I should go," she whispered.
Santana nodded. "Okay."
Brittany sent her a fleeting smile and quickly slipped out of the bathroom.
"What, Rachel?" Santana heard through the door.
"Go look for Mike," Rachel hissed back.
"Okay, okay!" came Brittany's voice.
Santana waited another minute before she quietly exited the bathroom herself. Rachel was right there with her arms crossed and eyes narrowed. Santana lifted her head high, like she wasn't just caught sneaking around. "What?" she snapped.
Rachel frowned at her. "I don't know what you think you're doing, but nothing good came of this last time it happened."
"Mind your own business, Manhands." Santana turned away from Rachel and began to walk back to her seat.
"If you think calling me names is going to scare me away, you're wrong. Brittany's my best friend, whom I care deeply about, and I'm going to do whatever it takes to protect her."
Santana paused. Slowly, she turned back to Rachel. "I care about Brittany very much, too, so if you're implying otherwise, stop." She made sure to narrow her eyes down at Rachel; it made her feel more powerful that way.
"You care about Brittany?" Rachel asked incredulously. "Oh, please. I know people like you. And I don't trust you one bit. You'll go running the moment anything turns serious."
While normally Santana would have simply walked away from such ridiculousness, she knew there was some truth to Rachel's words, and that's what hit her right in the gut. "You don't know anything," she seethed. "And I'm capable of a committed relationship, thank you very much."
Rachel raised her eyebrows. "Yeah? And how did that turn out?"
At first she was furious. She was ready to physically pounce on Rachel, but then she reminded herself that she was a mature adult who dealt with things maturely. So she gritted her teeth, sent Rachel one last death glare, and stormed away. And then the anger deflated out of her, and Rachel's words echoed in her mind. Was that what happened with Quinn? Was she actually incapable of commitment? Was that what made her leave Quinn for Brittany? She had thought Brittany was the one. But she didn't know anymore. Was she going to do the same thing to Brittany that she did to Quinn? She didn't think she could handle a repeat of that.