THANK YOU ALL for taking your time and commenting What Boys Can't Provide! You're so great. Getting e-mails with the subject 'review alert' got me all giddy everytime ;)
Here's the last chapter – enjoy!
As soon as we enter through the front door of my house and walk into the living room, my mother approaches us with a warm smile on her face. Brittany is standing close to me and still holding on to my hand. I never thought I'd get to see shy Brittany. She's really cute though, that version of her.
"Mama, this is Brittany. She's gonna stay here tonight." I introduce her and my mother's smile even gets bigger. Brittany lets go off my hand so she can reach it to my mother.
"It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Lopez." Brittany says softly and her eyes widen when my mother pulls her in for a hug. She rubs her bag and even kisses Brittany's forehead.
"It's my pleasure to meet you in person, Brittany. Last time you stayed over we didn't even get to see you! And those short glimpses back in high school whenever I came home early don't count. Call me Isabel." My mother answers when she has her hands on Brittany's shoulders and beholds her face and blonde hair. "Qué bonita! Now I understand why Santana is so crazy about you."
"Mom…" I mumble and throw an embarrassed look at Brittany. She grins sheepishly and thanks my mom for the compliment. Then my mother's facial expression becomes bit more serious.
"Now I know you probably don't want to talk about what is happening right now and I will leave you girls alone. But just so you know, you can talk to me if you should feel like it, Brittany. I'm glad to have you here." Brittany seems touched and nods her head with a grateful smile.
My father who just came out of the living room, steps next to my mother and offers Brittany a friendly handshake.
"Welcome. I'm Fernando." He says in his deep voice and Brittany smiles back at him.
"I'm Brittany. Thank you for letting me stay here."
"No problem. There are leftovers in the kitchen if you girls want to eat. I'm going to bed now…" He kisses my mother on the cheek and with another warm smile towards me and Brittany he disappears upstairs.
My mother insists on preparing us two plates with pasta to take upstairs to my room and while Brittany and I sit down on the couch to wait, my younger brother Cam comes through the front door.
His eyes widen when he enters the living room and sees me sitting there.
"San! Why are you here?" he says stunned when I get up to hug him.
"It's great to see you, too Cam! Can't I just come home and visit my little brother? Did you have soccer practice?" I ask and punch his shoulder. He nods and grimaces in fake pain. Then his glance lands on Brittany who is still sitting on the couch.
"That Andy?" He asks and wiggles his eyebrows.
"No, that's Brittany. Brittany, this is my little brother Cam."
"Oh right... I think I remember you." Cam mumbles. "Stop saying little, San. I'm gonna be taller then you within the next two months." I roll my eyes and Brittany gets up to stand next to me.
"Hi Cam. What position do you play? Forward?" Brittany asks with a golden smile which leaves Cam goggling.
"Y-yes. How do you know?" he stammers.
"Just thought so. It's nice to meet you."
Cam stares at her for another two seconds and then my mother calls from the kitchen that dinner is ready. Cam practically storms off upstairs and I lead Brittany into the kitchen where two plates and glasses are already set on a tray. My mother picks it up from the table and puts it into my hands.
"There you go, sweethearts." She reaches Brittany a bottle of water and pads her shoulder. "Let me know if you need anything else."
"Thanks, mama." I say and then balance the tray out of the kitchen and upstairs into my room.
When I put the tray down on my desk and Brittany closes the door behind her back, I turn around and we bot let out a sigh. Brittany looks tired but relieved. She leans against the door and looks at me.
"Come here" I say and reach out my hand in the air. Brittany makes her way over and I take the bottle out of her hand to put it on the floor. I drag her in for a hug and the scent of her hair gets to my nose immediately. "Bonita…" I mumble and Brittany chuckles.
"Your mom is so nice."
"Yeah… she really likes you. I can tell." Brittany's hand rest on my back and her head leans against mine.
"Which is not to be taken for granted. I wish my parents were that open and nice to you. I'm really sorry…"
"Stop apologizing, Britt. It's not your fault that your mother has this opinion about gay people." I whisper into her ear and loosen the embrace. I look into her sad eyes and then take her hand to guide her to my bed. We sit down on it and I tuck a strand of hair behind Brittany's ear. "What happened after I left? Your dad didn't seem so upset. What did he say?" I'm being careful with the questions because I don't want to see Brittany crying any more but I also want to know so badly what happened.
She shrugs her shoulders and lets out a sigh.
"My dad was very surprised. He said that he never suspected anything because I seemed so happy with Jordan… we sat together in the living room while my mother was upstairs and doing God knows what. Probably vacuuming her ridiculous expensive carpet in the bedroom for the seventh time that week." She's staring at her hands and shakes her head softly. "She wasn't even ready to come down and talk to me after you were gone. My dad said that he would try and talk to her later."
"But did your father understand? Is he angry?"
"No, he's not angry. He said he feels bad for Jordan because you know… he likes him a lot. He said that is was not a very noble thing of me to do, no matter if it was with another man or a woman." Her voice is becoming weaker.
"What did he say about that? That… that I'm a woman." Brittany looks up and our eyes meet.
"He says it is my decision to be with whoever I want. And that he still loves me." Her chin trembles and I take her hand into mine. Although she's close to tears I feel relieved.
"But that's a good thing, Britt, right? He's not pushing you away because of this."
"Yeah… I'm really glad about that. I feared that my father would be cruel, too but it looks like he's gonna support me. I'm just… I'm so sad about my mother. I knew that she was not going to be happy about it but… why didn't she ever say something?" Brittany asks in great disbelief. "All this time she had a suspicion about it but never dared to open her mouth to address the topic? What mother is that?" Brittany holds back a sob but her eyes are teary. "She could have helped me. Everything could have been so much easier. Why are some parents homophobic and others do not give a damn shit about their child's sexuality? What is different in their minds, making them think that it's not good enough if I want to be with another woman – even if I'm happy?" I hear it all in Brittany's voice. Pain, anger, desperation and mostly bitterness. She's right… and I can't give her a right answer. I have no idea.
"I don't know, Britt." I say softly and squeeze her hand. "As you said, your mother probably has it all figured out in her head. She wants you to live a similar life she has because she has been successful. I mean she has a family, she's rich… things worked out for her and now that she knows that there is something that would cross all those plans for you – she freaks out."
"But I don't want her to make all those plans for me. I want her to accept what I want and what makes me happy."
"I know… but here's the catch. In her mind being gay is something abnormal. It would be easy to convince homophobic people that you're happy if it wasn't in their heads."
Brittany grimaces as if she's in pain and rests her head against my shoulder.
"This is so unfair." She mumbles softly while I caress her back.
"You're right. But one day… one day your mother will see that you and I are just as normal as everyone else. One day she'll accept that there is nothing she can do about it and that the only way for her to be at ease, is to tolerate. I mean it's really her who makes this thing hard on herself. If she loves you then she'll come around. And she does love you… she's your mom."
I can feel hot tears on my shoulder and then Brittany turns her body so she can wrap her arms around my neck and hold me tight. Desperate kisses find my neck and she cries for me and I cry for her. My hands run over her back and her hair and when our mouths find each other, we kiss until lips are bruised and sorrows become a little less painful.
I soon find myself lying on top of Brittany, covering her cheeks with my hands and planting butterfly-kisses all over her skin. The tears stop rolling down her cheeks and her face is no longer contorted with pain. Her eyes are closed and I take her hand into mine to guide it to my lips where I kiss her fingers. She touches my chin and when she opens her eyes, my heart sure skips a beat.
"You're so good to me…" she whispers and I get lost in her. A year ago this would have been another one of my hopeless daydreams, thinking that Brittany would never let her guards down and allow me to enter her life like that.
Now she looks vulnerable and devoted and it makes me think she's so beautiful.
"You have no idea how fast my heart is beating right now." I say and my cheeks get hotter when her hand touches my chest with slight pressure. A sweet smile forms on her lips after a few seconds of checking my heart rate.
"I do actually… it's really fast."
The food on my desk is long forgotten but the hunger for each other's kisses and closeness won't still that night. Because I don't think I'll ever stop wanting Brittany…
I wake up many hours later and find no Brittany lying next to me. I sit up in bed and rub my eyes, the morning sun shining into my room and the smell of coffee tickling my nose. When I look around I see Brittany's jacket and shoes next to my bed. She is somewhere… I still have to get used to the feeling that I won't wake up with an aching heart because Brittany left my room in the middle of the night.
I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and put on fresh clothes before I go downstairs and find Brittany, Cam and my mother sitting at the kitchen table. Wow. Just – wow. Brittany, Cam and my mother at a table? Eating breakfast? Together? Wow.
"Good morning, sleepyhead." My mother greets me and points to the free chair next to Brittany.
"Mornin'…" I mumble and drag my feet across the floor. Brittany is stirring her cup of coffee and smiles up to me when I step next to her. "Hi" I greet her with a grin and put my hand on her shoulder.
"Hey" she reaches me a small basket with croissants when I sit down and my mother pours me coffee.
Cam is sitting next to my mom and munches his probably fifth bowl of cereals. My mother starts reading in a newspaper and Brittany's leg brushes against mine under the table.
"So are you girls driving back today?" My mother asks without looking up.
"Yes, we have to." Brittany replies and throws a glance at me. "Maybe we can stop by my house before we leave? I want to say goodbye to my dad."
I nod and take a look at my watch.
"Of course. I guess we should leave soon then. I still got an assignment to work on anyways."
Brittany agrees and when we're finished with breakfast we go upstairs to get our stuff together.
"Take good care of yourselves, alright? And write me a short message when you arrive at college so I can sleep at night." My mother pulls me in for a hug when we say our goodbyes at the front door. Then she whispers something into my ear. "I'm proud of you, sweetie. Brittany will always be welcome here." I give my mother a squeeze and then let her go so I can perform a cool handshake with Cam.
"Thank you for everything, Isabel." Brittany says goodbye to my mom and earns a warm hug in return.
"Anytime, love. Make sure you come along next time Santana decides to pay a visit, ok?"
"I will. Thank you." My mother reaches me my bag and kisses me on the cheek.
"Now get out of here before I get weepy. Have a safe trip, girls!"
I grab my car key out of my pocket and as soon as we're both set, I drive off to our next destination.
Five minutes later I pull into Brittany's driveway and turn off the engine. When I look to my right I see Brittany's sad expression.
"My mom's probably not even home." She says and unfastens her seatbelt.
"Do you want to go alone and say goodbye to your dad?" I ask and watch how she glances to the front door.
"Uh… yeah, sure. I won't be long, ok?"
"Ok" Tentatively she opens the door and steps out of the car. I follow her with my eyes and wonder why she stands still after only three steps. She turns around and looks at me irritated. The window is down so I can hear her speak. "Actually… can you-"
I don't need to hear more and jump out of the car. I give her an assuring smile when I walk around the car and reach her. I put my hand on her waist and together we walk the few steps to her house.
Just when Brittany wants to grip the doorknob, the door gets opened from inside and Mr. Pierce is standing in front of us. He looks worried but as soon as he recognizes Brittany, his face goes soft.
"I just saw the car from the window. I'm so glad to see you before you go back, sweetheart." He says and puts his hand on Brittany's shoulder. "Hello, Santana. Are you doing alright?"
"Yes, thank you, Daniel."
"That's great. Listen… I talked to your mother last night." He states and focuses on Brittany again. "We actually had a very long discussion and she… well, do you want to come inside for a minute before you go? I think she wants to say goodbye, too."
Brittany nods and takes a deep breath.
"Okay, dad." She takes the step into the house and reaches for my wrist. "Come on, San."
Suddenly I feel a little sick to my stomach because I realize that I'll be standing face to face with the dragon again.
"Maybe I should just wait here? I don't want to upset her."
"No. It's you and me, remember?" Brittany says and I smile when I recognize my own words. I let her take my hand and then we make our way inside to the living room.
Preparing myself to look into Mrs. Pierce's eyes, I get surprised when I get to see a younger version of Brittany instead of the older, sitting on the couch.
"Brittany!" The girl who gets up from the couch and storms towards us must be about sixteen years old and she reminds me sooo much of cheerleader Brittany.
"Hey Mandy! It's so good to see you, come give me a hug." Brittany greets her sister and they fall into each other's arms. It's really like Brittany's hugging herself – they look like freakin twins.
"Dad said that you were here last night. Why didn't you text me!" Mandy whines with a reproachful look.
"I'm sorry… I uh – wasn't here that long." Mandy's scrutinizing glance wanders on me. "This is Santana, she-"
"Yeah, I remember you. You were on the Cheerios, too." I swallow hard when I observe how Mandy doesn't show any sign of sympathy. "Whenever dad and I picked Brittany up from practice, we showed up early so I could watch you guys perform."
Brittany frowns and bites her lips while I look back and forth between the sisters.
"Did dad tell you why I left yester-"
"Oh yeah, he did." Mandy interrupts and takes a step closer to me. Now I can see one big difference between her and Brittany. Her eyes are green. "He told me that you broke up with Jordan…" Mandy crosses her arms in front of her chest. "To be with her"
Why am I so intimidated by her? She's a girl! Brittany sighs and runs her hands through her hair.
"Please Mandy, don't make a scene now. It's already hard enough if mom-"
"You better make my sister happy, Lopez." I'm pretty much caught off guard at Mandy's words and I open my moth to respond but nothing comes out. "I already gave Jordan quite a hard time when he and Brittany got together." I throw a glance at Brittany who confirms by tilting her head to the side. "So don't think that just because you're a girl means that I'm gonna go easy on you." Even though I'm pretty sure she's kind of threatening me, her facial expression turns softer.
Brittany seems surprised and eyes her sister suspiciously.
"So… you don't mind that she's a girl?" she asks carefully. Mandy looks at me and then back at Brittany.
"What year do you live in, Britt?" She states matter-of-factly and I can't help but grin. Relief is written over Brittany's face and she pulls Mandy in for a hug.
"Tell mom about that…" Brittany mumbles and smiles bravely. Mandy shrugs her shoulders and hisses.
"Mom will have to deal with it. She's old enough, right?" Can I just say that I already love Brittany's little sister?
"Where is she by the way?" Britt asks and Mandy motions to the patio door.
"She's in the garden. Good luck, big sis. I'm out of here." Mandy mutters and kisses her sister on the cheek. We exchange a glance and I'm pretty sure to detect a small grin.
When she's gone, I follow Brittany the few steps across the living room and we step outside into the big garden where the party after the funeral took place. It looks even bigger by daylight. We stroll over the grass and then we spot her mother sitting on a bench under a small plum tree. She looks pretty and is wearing bit more comfortable clothes than usual. There are garden gloves and big scissors next to her, implying that she has been working in the garden. She looks up when we step closer and her eyes immediately scan both of us.
"Brittany…" She says in a low voice and straightens her back. Brittany clears her throat and puts her hands into her pockets. It's something she does whenever she feels uneasy or nervous.
"Hi mom" There is an awkward silence between the three of us and I wish I was better at handling those situations. If I only knew what was appropriate to say.
"Where were you last night?" Mrs. Pierce's voice is still somewhat cruel.
"At Santana's. Their parents didn't throw me out when she introduced me to them." Mrs. Pierce frowns and nods once. She remains silent and I sense how Brittany is getting impatient.
"Is there anything you wanted to say to me? Because Santana and I are on our way back home." The fact that she puts empathize on the word home makes Mrs. Pierce cross her arms in front of her chest, hurt. She clears her throat and looks at me.
"Could my daughter and I have a minute?" I try not to look crushed but Brittany puts her hand on my lower back to make me stay.
"Mom I don't want to hear something about how I'm making a big mistake and that I should be with Jordan. If you have anything else to say… I'm sure Santana can hear it, too."
Mrs. Pierce gets up from the bench and is now just an inch taller than Brittany. She throws her hands in the air but doesn't seem to have the energy to become loud.
"But I do think you're making a mistake." She throws a meaningful glance at me and then back at her daughter. "This is not who you are, Brittany. I know exactly that you will regret it sooner or later."
"What?" Brittany gasps. "Not who I am? How can you say this? You have no idea who I am because I have been living a lie when I was with Jordan!"
"But Brittany! Think about all the consequences of that behavior. Think about what will happen when you decide to become a person like-"
My heart almost jumps out of my chest when I interrupt Mrs. Pierce. The two blondes look at me with a puzzled expression as they were both not expecting me to interrupt. Now I can't back out. Words. Words! "I'm sorry to interrupt but I'm not going to let you finish that sentence because I know I'll be insulted by it."
Mrs. Pierce closes her mouth and seems somehow offended and impressed at the same time at my sudden courage. Still sensing Brittany's hand on my back I'm reassured to continue. I take a deep breath and start talking with a determined but respectful voice.
"Mrs. Pierce, I'm sorry that I am not what you wish for. I'm sorry that I won't be able to legally marry your daughter and give you grandbabies one day. I really am." Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself right now but what the hell. "It's obvious that you want those things for your daughter. But I am not sorry that I'm not a man and I'm not sorry that I adore Brittany with all my heart. Your daughter is so, so wonderful and – no wonder I've been in love with her for four years already." I reach behind my back and Brittany's hand grabs mine immediately. This doesn't remain unseen by Brittany's mother but I don't let it distract me.
"I'm not going to beg you to accept me; you either will or you won't... But I'm asking you to give me a chance." I look her straight in the eyes and she sustains my glance. "That's all I'm asking for." And then my speech is over. I look to my left and see how Brittany is staring at me admiringly.
"Well…" Mrs. Pierce clears her throat. "We'll see." That's it. She doesn't say anything else.
Brittany lets go off my hand so she can give her mother a brief embrace and then steps back.
"Goodbye, mom. We'll see each other next time I come for a visit." Mrs. Pierce nods and I swear she's close to tears but she contains herself. I can feel her eyes on us when Brittany and I turn around and walk through the garden, leaving her behind.
We only took one short break on the drive and reached college at five o'clock in the afternoon. Brittany wanted to take a shower and so we agreed to meet up in the college yard afterwards to grab something to eat.
That was an hour ago and we're now walking next to each other on the sidewalk on our way back to my room, a plastic bag in my hand and Brittany's warm grip around my other.
"Suggesting Chinese was brilliant. I'm starving…" she says dreamily and I chuckle when she rubs her belly. It's still warm and comfy outside and Brittany asks if we can eat our dinner on a bench in the college yard.
I let her guide me to one of the benches and when we sit down she stops me from opening the plastic bag. I look at her hand around my wrist and how she takes it into her lap. Then she reaches into her pocket with her other hand and pulls out her mobile.
"Let's text Quinn." She says with a grin on her lips. I raise my eyebrows because I really want to eat.
"Now? Can't we eat first? And then make out in my room and then text Quinn?" Brittany laughs at my words and shows me her white teeth.
"It'll take two minutes, Santana. Then we can eat."
"And make out?"
"Can't promise that." She mumbles and starts typing on her mobile.
"You can't promise? Why not?" Brittany doesn't look up but smiles impishly.
"I can't promise if we'll be just making out…"
I let out a laugh and suddenly I'm not so hungry anymore. When she types eagerly I start to wonder.
"What are you texting her, Britt?" I move closer so I can read over her shoulder.
- Q. make sure you get your sweet ass here again as soon as possible. We got something to celebrate.
I grin into Brittany's neck and blow a kiss there. It takes only thirty seconds until a reply pops up.
- Britt, I was just in Lima, remember? I won't have another vacation in quite a while. What's to celebrate? Xx
Brittany shudders when I kiss the spot right where her pulse beats and says 'don't stop' when I pull away.
- She's mine now…
When I read those words my heartbeat picks up a notch. I know that Brittany and Quinn stayed in touch after the funeral but I never knew if Brittany talked to her former best friend about everything.
I nudge Brittany's shoulder to get her attention. "Did you tell her?" Brittany nods and pokes my cheek.
"She wasn't that surprised though…" I bite my lip and feel guilty instantly.
"I'm sorry, Britt. I had to talk to her that night where Jordan showed up at your place or I would have exploded." Brittany replaces the spot she just poked with a peck of her lips.
"Relax, Santana. She's your friend, too." I smile when she grins and rolls her eyes.
- What? Omg! I'm so happy for you! Still can't come over though…
Brittany puts her phone back into her pocket and then reaches across me to get the plastic bag. She gives me one of the boxes and a pair of chopsticks and we start eating happily.
"Guess what…" Brittany says between two big bites and I throw a glance to my right. Brittany is still staring into her box with a funny smirk on her face. "I've never been to New York..."
An hour later...
Brittany and I are standing in the middle of my room, our bodies close and our arms wrapped around each other. My iTunes library is on shuffle and we've been standing like this, making slow moves for the past three songs.
"You've kind of turned into a softey, you know?" I mumble against Brittany's neck and she chuckles.
"That's so not true... but you would love it even if I had."
Brittany pulls back so she can look into my eyes.
"You know, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. You always believed in me. In us… I can't thank you enough." My heart warms up when she says that and I bite back a comment about being super softy right now.
"You're really… really welcome."
Brittany smiles contently. "You look tired. Wanna go to bed?"
"Yeah…" I yawn and peck Brittany on the lips.
"Alright. Let's do that, babe." I hold her back when she starts walking towards my bed.
"Babe? You've never called me babe. That sounds… so hot." It's true - she never has. I can't help but grab her ass and make her squirm with giggles.
"I thought you were tired, San." She mumbles but doesn't show great effort in trying to stop me. Not at all actually.
"Tired? When did I say that?" Brittany then grabs my wrists and looks me deep in the eyes.
"Shut up and let me kiss you… babe."
I just loved writing 'What Boys Can't Provide' for you all so much.
I'll start working on the sequel soon (I sort of have already been a little bit), so don't forget me!
It's called 'What Women Can Do' but put me on author alert should I change the title and you don't wanna miss it. Or find me on twitter under bobbie_young4 to make sure ;)
I'll be back soon!