Title: Perfect Stranger (There's Something in Your Heart)

Pairing: Brittany/Santana with some random increments of Santana/Terri Schuester, Santana/Sam, Santana/Bryan Ryan, Santana/Holly Holiday. Slight (like, really only a little bit) Quinn/Rachel (Faberry). Mentions a few canon couples also and a lot of Santana/other glee clubbers friendships.

Rating: NC-17

Warning: Sex, both het and femslash, mentions of drug use, spanking, tiny bit of fisting, lots of bad language, lots of college kids being college kids.

Spoilers: AU but to be safe, it uses quite a bit of canon, so anything that has been aired is fair game.

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or the characters of Glee or any likeness to the characters. Not making any money writing this and all that jazz! The title is from Magnetic Man's Perfect Stranger, featuring the awesome Katy B.

Word Count: A bit over 30,000—it's a long one.

Summary: Based on a prompt from the glee_kink_meme. College AU. Santana's Spring Break is shaken up when has a drunken one night stand with a random blonde on a cruise ship. In the morning, all she remembers is blonde hair and amazing sex but on her quest to find this blonde, she gets far more than she bargained for.

"Santana," Rachel says sternly, casting Santana a glance that Santana is sure is supposed to be just as stern, except it's Rachel Berry so it really just ends up looking like a cross between her trying to nail a particularly high note and constipation.

"Berry!" Santana responds, hands on her hips in a gesture that would silence most, but not Rachel Berry; nothing short of actually tying her up and duct-taping her mouth closed would keep Rachel Berry silent.

That's an idea…

"You asked for my opinion, Santana," Berry says, mirroring Santana's stance although with her height and the pout gracing her lips, it just makes her look like a petulant child.

"I asked for the groups' collective opinion," Santana corrects.

"Well, I think you should drop it," Rachel continues anyway. "I mean, if you can't even remember if this person who you engaged in completely unsafe, might I mention, sexual intercourse with was a male or a female, you were pretty inebriated. Also, with that being said Santana, I must tell you that with your penchant for intoxicated heterosexual hook-ups, you're seeming more like a four on the Kinsey Scale rather than the five I originally assumed you were. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being a four; homoromantic bisexuality is—"

"Berry!" Santana cuts her off, growling deep in her throat in a way that makes Rachel recoil just enough without Santana having to feel bad for frightening the pint-sized brunette whose opinion she did technically seek since Rachel is very well an integrated part of her group of friends, no matter how many times Santana sometimes wishes it weren't so.

"I'm simply saying that I don't think it's a good idea for you to pursue this, Santana!" Rachel argues, crossing her arms beneath her chest in a way that Santana knows means that she has said her piece and she'll thankfully say no more on the subject, unless of course she thinks of more to say at a later time; hopefully she won't though, because Santana's not sure she'll be able to suppress the urge to really rattle her if she starts up again.

"Right," Santana glances at the rest of her group of friends. If she had known last year when she had declared herself a minor in music that from that would spring this group of misfits as friends/roommates, she might have thought twice and minored in something like psychology instead, except not really because her one music class this semester is perhaps the only school-related thing making her sophomore year in college bearable—well that and counting down to this trip right here, the epic Spring Break cruise that they've been planning since the Fall—and her friends, well, as much as they bicker and fight all the time, she kind of seriously loves them; not that she'd tell any of them this but they kind of keep her sane as well even though most of them are serious levels of batshit insane, starting and ending with Musical Theatre major Rachel Berry who will be absolutely insufferable if Santana is forced to go on her advice alone.

"Anyone else?" Santana asks, willing any of her other friends to say something; anything really,just to avoid the smug posture that Rachel has adopted, all of a sudden all high shoulders and pointed gaze.

She gets no response.

The other Musical Theatre major and one of her other apartment mates, Kurt, who is all prim and proper with so much overt gay that Santana is sure that him and her living in the same apartment should be a fire hazard, sits, legs crossed and eyes skyward, looking completely and utterly disinterested in Santana's antics, like he usually is, especially when said antics have to do with her sex life. His best friend, Mercedes, their resident music performance and theory major, who Santana had expected to like even less than Rachel Berry when they first met but has sincemanaged to forge a sincere friendship with— bonding over similar taste in music and a shared penchant for keeping it real—is looking at her like she's positive she has truly lost her mind this time. Her last roommate, Tina, the music education major is looking every bit like the teacher she hopes to be; in fact, she looks so mortified that Santana's sure she might have shocked that stutter she had when they first met, right back into her.

It's Puckerman,—Puck for short; Noah if it's something real serious—, her fellow music minor, who finally speaks up. They had all originally met Puck simply because he lives in the same apartment as Tina's lanky-limbed dance major boyfriend, Mike—who couldn't get the time off work to make this trip—but with his mad guitar skills and a few well timed jokes, Puck quickly integrated himself into their group along with his other two roommates, the undecided in every aspect of his life Finn Hudson and music technology major Artie, neither of who could make it— Finn because he couldn't get out of tutoring for the week or knew he really wouldn't be able to have any fun with Rachel (his girlfriend) looming around (Santana suspects it's the second even though he swears it's the first) and Artie because he was convinced a cruise wouldn't be wheelchair friendly or he's afraid to be around Tina without Mike present (no one will fill Santana in on what's going on between those three but she's perceptive enough to know it's something and Santana enough to be past the point of actually fucking caring what it is). Funnily enough, it's Puck that Santana is used to jumping to her defense when she's done or said something deemed particularly horrifying or offensive—it's usually the latter—by the rest of the group, so when he shrugs his broad shoulders, Santana can't help but frown.

"Sorry Lopez," He purses his lips. "I gotta agree with Rachel on this one,"

Santana's sure she's never glared at anyone so hard in her life!

"Not about the kinky scale or whatever," He amends, although it doesn't help, not in Santana's mind at least, not when Rachel looks so damned proud of herself. "Look, if you can't remember anything about this chick but blonde hair, and yeah, I'm gonna go with it being a chick because I've slept with you, remember, Lopez? And if the Puckster can't make you feel good then no guy ever will, but seriously, if you can't remember what she looks like, she might just look like a pterodactyl,"

He has a point, a good point even; Santana had begun her Spring Break the very moment she woke up with a bottle of overproof Puerto Rican rum that she kept under her bed for emergencies so by the time she was on board the ship, ready for her real Spring Break to start, she was already kind of tipsy which really didn't stop her from spending most of her day hanging around the bar with a halter top so low-cut that her age was very easily forgotten amidst the rapt attention paid to her cleavage and the cash paid towards a dangerously looming hangover and by the time she crashed against a bed she wasn't even sure was hers with trembling thighs and her fingers threaded through silky blonde hair, she was beyond the point of social drunkenness; fuck it, she was beyond the point of normal vision-ness, in fact, all she really remembers is staring down between her thighs at hair so blonde it felt like she was grasping for the sun and then being rocked with an orgasm so powerful that she must have landed on Planet Fucking Earthquake.

She awoke the next morning—or more appropriate hours of the morning, she's not even sure— to a splitting headache and Mercedes nudging her in her side to make sure she hadn't died of alcohol poisoning in her sleep. Apparently, none of her friends had been around to see her leave with this mystery blonde person, so all she has is this faint memory of bright hair and the dull ache of exertion to confirm that she hadn't just blacked out and had the most intense dream of her lifetime.

It's not much to go on. It's not anything to go on, really. It could be anyone and anyone is far from easy to find especially since her inhibitions were… well, they were nonexistent at that level of intoxication so she can't even boast that this person fell into her usual high standards.

Fuck it.

She sighs her resignation, glaring at Berry like she's cost her the lottery or something.

"I'll drop it," she mutters, rolling her eyes when Rachel practically squeals her delight. It's not like she's actually taking Berry's advice or anything, she just figures it's just better she drop it now lest she discover that she did something inconceivable like slept with a fucking yeti or something. Puck would never let her live that down. Fuck, she'd probably never drink again if that happened.


"Consider it dropped," she repeats with more conviction which seems to appease even the most skeptical of them all, Kurt, who nods and suggests they head to the spa and spend some therapeutic time in the Jacuzzi.

She guesses that the spa is a best place as any to get her mind off of last night.

Except that it's not.

She had been sincerely honest in her intent to drop the issue but every head of blonde hair that passes her brings with it flashes of a semi-lit room, sunshine blonde hair and an orgasm that felt like it had spun her world off its axis so she really can't help but let her attention wander to every blonde that crosses her line of vision and it's this immersed focus on every blonde in the vicinity that makes Santana notice her.

It takes well practiced composure for Santana not to freak out.

At least, it takes well practiced composure for Santana not to freak out right away.

"Tina!" Santana hisses, grabbing the first of her friends that she sees walking nearby and pulling her behind a wall that she has procured as her hiding spot.

"S-S-Santana?" Tina stutters, and fuck, Santana always knew she'd be able to frighten the stutter back into this girl; too bad nobody else is around to see it. "W-what's going on?"

"Schuester's ex-wife is here," Santana explains, peeking around the wall at a perky blonde folding towels near the masseuse table; if she's right, which she usually is, then that is definitely their vocal professor's ex-wife, Terri Schuester.

"What?" Tina asks, trying to peek for herself even though her view is completely obstructed by Santana.

"Yep, that is definitely Professor Schue's crazy ex-wife!" Santana concludes, watching as the woman huffily grabs more towels whilst managing to maintain an eerie smile.

"Whoa!" Tina shrugs. "Small world,"

"No kidding," Santana mutters, her eyes trained on the older woman as she stacks towels, her movement creating a flurry of bright blonde hair that clouds Santana's vision. "Tina?"


"You know she's blonde, right?"

"Ye—," Tina stops abruptly, her eyes widening in realization. "Santana, no!"

"What?" Santana shrugs, probably a bit too defensive for someone who doesn't really know what she did or who she did it with. "She's attractive for a—"

"For a psychopath?" Tina interjects and Santana really can't disagree with that, not after all the stories Professor Schue, who has a fondness for sharing his personal life with his students, had told them about how his high school sweetheart turned wife turned ex-wife had manipulated him into staying with her for years, even going as far as to fake a pregnancy which is totally crazy but Santana doesn't entirely blame her, not with the way Schue is always making eyes at that doe-eyed, redhead general psych professor. Seriously though, if Santana had to guess the type of women that Schue goes for—not that she has to do much guessing because that man seriously has a thing about keeping his personal life to himself— she'd probably list psychopath as the number one characteristic; just because the new psych professor has managed to add a helping of cutesy to her crazy doesn't make her any less crazy than some of the people she teaches about. At least she's hot though. As is Mrs. Ex-Schuester. Santana can't say that she'd be disappointed if she had managed to drunkenly acquire the boasting rights of having slept with a professor's ex-spouse. In fact, Santana can practically see it happening.

It makes perfect sense.

"You go to Ohio State, right?"

Santana sips at the drink placed before her on the bar top, enjoying the way the alcohol still burns up the back of her throat even though the room is already spinning and her chest is inexplicably warm from the alcohol she's already consumed.

She blinks up at the woman hovering above her but her eyes are unfocused, hazy with intoxication and all she can really make out is a blur of features which doesn't stop her from taking another sip of the unusually strong drink this blur of features has purchased her.

She registers the sound of a question being asked to her but it takes her alcohol laden brain eons to translate the sound into actual language and even then, it takes a few more seconds for her to realize what she's being asked.

It clicks and she nods, the motion feeling like it might send her orbiting off of her bar stool. She steels herself and takes another sip, watching closely as the blur of features slips onto the bar stool next to her. From this range, she can make out cascading waves of blonde hair and a face that looks almost familiar, or as familiar as anything but the burn of alcohol is to her right now.

"You're in the music program, aren't you?"

Santana nods again and she's usually more discerning with these things, she swears, but it takes her a couple of moments before she realizes that that isn't quite common knowledge.

"How'd you know that?" she asks, narrowing her eyes in suspicion which only serves to blur her vision further.

The woman shrugs, her lips curling into as smile so insidious that if Santana were sober, she'd probably be wary, but she's far from sober so when she feels fingernails graze under her skirt and up her thigh, she makes no effort to remove the roving hand.

"I've been to some of Ohio State's art exhibitions," the woman says, but her voice is sounding farther and farther away the more her fingertips edge their way up Santana's thigh. "You're really good," Well, she clearly knows how to stroke more than Santana's skin. "I mean," A fingernail scrapes against Santana's inner thigh. "You're all really good," she's leaning closer, so close that Santana can feel her breath wisp against her cheek. "But you're clearly the best,"

Well, fuck.

Her ego, that's her weak spot, and that totally does it.

Santana's not sure how she makes it to the room in one piece but she's hardly concerned with the physics of drinking and walking, what she is concerned with is getting the mouth that is hovering just above the waistband of her underwear lower— to where her body feels like it has caught aflame.

She lets a strangled sound erupt from the back of her throat, from where the liquor of far too many shots still burns; it's a please with far less pleading but it gets the job done because her underwear is being hauled down to her ankles and a quick exhale of breath hits her right there, right where a slow ache has decided to develop.

She shudders when she finally gets the satisfaction of a tongue curling wetly against her. Her eyelids fall heavily closed but that's ok because the world spins less when she's only facing the darkness behind her eyelids and not having to concentrate on keeping the world balanced lets her focus on her knees not buckling when that tongue forges hot paths along her slick folds.

She scrapes her fingernails against the wall behind her, trying to keep herself upright as lips wrap around her clit and draw the bundle of nerves into a vacuum of slick heat. Her whole body shudders at the sensation, the arch of her hips bringing her closer to the tantalizing friction of a tongue tracing a myriad of intricate patterns into her most sensitive flesh.

Her release builds quickly, creeping alongside the measured flow of alcohol-tainted blood until her whole body feels alight like every capillary, every vein, every artery, every muscle and joint might just erupt from the rush of pleasure that courses through her and threatens to spill out of her with each and every flick against her swollen clit.

She bucks harder against the pressure, her fingers tangling in silky hair, grasping onto the sensation as it morphs into something invigorating and overwhelming at the same time.

She's so close.

Her hips twitch in anticipation, her head tipping harshly against the wall behind her—that'll probably hurt when she's sober—as she skirts along the line of pleasure and oblivion.

And she's there.

She blinks her eyes open as she climaxes, taking in the blur of blonde hair her fingers are skating through as her orgasm crashes against her writhing body, stealing her coordination and her breath in one swoop. It hits her in waves, her body absorbing the first one with reckless abandon, fighting against the second one as she thrusts against the potent stirring in the pits of her stomach, and riding the rest until her breath finally evens out and her knees don't feel like they might collapse beneath her.

Her skin is still tingling as this woman slides up her body, licks a trails up her neck, to her ear and whispers hotly,

"Do you think Will can get fired for sleeping with someone who has slept with one of his students?"

OK, ewww, no! It makes no sense at all actually. There's just not enough alcohol in the world for her to unintentionally by proxy have sex with Professor Schue. Just, no way. …

"You're right," she says, ignoring Tina's look of astonishment at the statement. "Gross!"

Tina nods her head.

"Which is why—"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll drop it," Santana mutters with an eye roll before stalking off to go find the Jacuzzi.

Ok, so maybe she's not dropping it, but that's only because she's at the breakfast buffet with the group and she's never quite been a breakfast person so there's not much to do but scan the crowd for something or someone interesting.

It just so happens that the only person who attracts her attention is one of the ships' crew, a blondie by the fruit bar with a mouth that is absolutely sinful in its size—which is saying something because she knows Rachel Berry.

It's possible; highly possible; Berry already touched on the subject but Santana isn't above admitting that she is an insatiable horny fuck when drunk which means this blonde she is not actively searching for could be anything vaguely human, including this blonder, more muscled incarnation of Shaggy with lips like the Frog Prince before he kisses his princess.

It would make sense though, those lips bringing her to such an intense orgasm except she has this tiny suspicion that his restocking the fruit bar when she spots him might just be too much of a coincidence.

There's only one way to find out.

"Kurt!" she finds the impeccably dressed boy at the breakfast grains counter contemplating between the cinnamon dusted quinoa and the apple flavored oats. She clasps a hand on his shoulder, smiling in a manner that clearly dictates her wanting something.

He eyes her wearily.

"Yes Santana?" He asks, distrust clearly coloring his tone.

"I need your assessment on a matter," she says, moving easily with him as he makes his way over to the juices.

He sighs.

"I was there when you were packing, Santana. If I saw something awful go in, I probably took it out behind your back,"

"Not a fashion—Wait," she narrows her eyes at him. "You what?"

"Nothing!" he smiles impishly. "What's the issue?"

"Three o'clock," she nods towards the fruit bar. "Blondie with the fish lips,"

"Santana," he groans, "Your gaydar is probably better than mi—" he glances to his right anyway, his sentence dying off. "Definitely a bottle blonde," he assesses.

"So?" Santana urges on.

He shrugs.

"On a scale of one to ten, I'd give him a pre-pubescent Bieber,"

Well, that's no help.

Pre-pubescent Bieber is vaguer than Finn Hudson's purpose on the Earth. Fuck, pre-pubescent Bieber can range anywhere from virgin to lesbian.

"You're really no help at all, Kurt," she complains. "But…"

"No," Kurt says right away. He doesn't even need to see the mischievous smirk gracing her lips to know what she's thinking. "No, Santana. I'm not going in. Blaine wouldn't like that,"

"Blaine's not here!" Santana argues; Blaine's another one of their friends who couldn't get the time off of work to come on this trip and man is Santana's glad about that; there is no one who bursts into song quite as often and quite as annoyingly as Kurt's boyfriend, no one, Rachel Berry included. Well, that's one of the reasons she's glad he's not here, that and Kurt's a bit more pliable when he's not around and that's something that Santana will absolutely use to her advantage. "It's not like he'll find out," she coaxes but there's a look of resolve displayed in the arch of Kurt's eyebrows that lets Santana know he's not going to budge on this one. "Fine! I'll do it by myself,"

She's probably better at it anyway; if there is one skill that Santana has honed to a tee—besides snark, sarcasm, being hot, and sexting, of course—it's flirting.

There are very few people that Santana's can't lure into her bed with her smoldering gaze and some choice words.

This guy—Sam, she thinks he said his name was; she's not entirely sure because she started tuning him out almost the moment he started talking—isn't one of those lucky few.

So, not gay then; he's putty in her hands by the time she suggests they go back to her room but what Santana isn't known for is her patience so instead, she ushers them into the nearest empty room, which just so happens to be a supply closet.

It's kinda cramped and smells like citrus scented sterilizer but Santana's had sex in worst places.

"So?" Sam's smiling at her, a big broad smile that makes his mouth look impossibly wider. "Today will be a day long remembered," he says it with an exaggerated deepness, his lips curling around the words to make way for the boisterous sound. She thinks it's supposed to be a reference to something, she really doesn't care what but her indifference seems to encourage him. "James Earl Jones," he explains, but no, nope, Santana still doesn't give a fuck; in fact he's only serving to remind her why she started tuning him out back at the buffet.

"Darth Vader!"

"Right," She rolls her eyes, her hands finding his chest and pushing until he's backed against one of the musky gray walls. "This will go smoother if you don't talk,"

"Sorry," he mumbles, suddenly sheepish as he tugs his hands from his pockets.

She huffs impatiently, grabbing his idle hands and placing them on her waist and seriously, boys; he cups her waist like she's breakable, like if he presses too hard, she'll shatter under his strength. She resists the urge to roll her eyes.

"Just kiss me,"

He does.

It's wet and sloppy and really sticky—Chapstick, he probably has a lifetime supply— and unsurprisingly, he doesn't turn into Princess Charming though something occurs to Santana as she takes in his unpracticed movements.

"You don't do this often, do you?"

He shrugs, his cheeks flushing a bright red. Ok, so maybe he's not gay, but he's definitely socially awkward around the female species and thus clearly not the blonde she's looking for. Still, there's something about this guy. Maybe it's because there's something in his demeanor that just screams eager to please, she doesn't know, but it's kinda pathetic and whilst she's far from the nicest person in the world, she feels kind of compelled to help him.

She sighs.

"Just do what I tell you, ok?"

He nods eagerly and she kisses him again, reigning in his sloppy enthusiasm with her calculated controlled actions.

This sex with guys thing is so high school denial/sex might very well be her best weapon/drunken party hook-up that she almost wants to tell him to wait right here while she finds some alcohol to steel herself but that would just delay this and she has shit to do and the rest of her Spring Break to be had, so she just kisses him harder, letting her fingernails graze his skin as she tugs his shirt off.

"Impressive," she murmurs, letting her palms stroke across the ridges of his exposed six-pack. She's not above giving credit where credit is due but the smile her gives her, one that seems to light up his whole face, is almost enough to make her roll her eyes again.

At least he's taking to this kissing thing well. He flicks his tongue across her bottom lip and she parts her lips to him, letting him trace the seams of her mouth with all of his boyish enthusiasm but less of the sloppiness. When he fingers the hem of her shirt, she lets him take it off but as soon as the material soundlessly hits the ground, he seems to revert to stage one, all sheepish, boyish wonder.

She huffs—seriously, she's never met an eighteen year old boy this pathetic—and tugs on his hands again, bringing them to cover the intricate lace cups of her bra.


He cups her through the bra and she rewards him by pressing her body closer to his, so close that her breath ghosts across his neck and she can feel his hard-on straining against the seam of his shorts.

"Take the bra off,"

He awkwardly fumbles with the clasp in his haste but she's probably partly to blame for that too because she's found a patch of skin on his neck that makes his hips twitch every time she brushes her lips against it and Santana can never really resist an opportunity to tease, so she brushes her lips over the sensitive skin again and again and then with her tongue and finally, she sinks her teeth into it and he grunts, unhooking the clasp of her bra like his life depends on it.

She slides the straps down her shoulders and lets the garment slide off of her and to the ground until she's on full display. He doesn't hesitate to touch them this time but she guides him still, sliding her hands over his until he's flicking the pads of his thumbs over her hardening nipples.

"Slow," she husks, "Just tease,"

He leans further into her, pressing his lips to her neck and she tips her head back, giving him more access to her flesh.

He moves to take the lead and she lets him, arching into him as he presses her against the wall. His lips are warm against her collarbone and she indulges him with a small whimper that makes a smile bloom against her skin. She definitely rolls her eyes at that.

He kisses his way down her chest and when his lips wrap around a puckered nipple, she sighs her contentment. The warmth of his slick mouth sends a shudder straight through her and she urges him on, her fingernails scratching lightly at his muscled back.

"Flick your tongue against it," she instructs and he darts his tongue across her flesh, swirling circles until her nipple is completely hard and slick. He does the same to the other one, leaving a lingering kiss before placing his next kiss lower, high against her ribcage, and then lower again and again until his breath puffs delicately across her hip.

"Take them off," she murmurs as his fingertips graze the waistband of her lace panties. He nods and slides them to her ankles; she steps out of them, kicks them aside and spreads her legs just enough to fall prey to the quick change in temperature. She trembles.

"Ok," she relaxes under the pressure of his fingertips bearing gently into her thighs. He's staring up at her, nerves and inexperience biting into his features. "Go slow at first," she murmurs. "Just tease," He swipes his tongue across her slick flesh, his strokes long and broad.

"Good," she tangles her fingers in shaggy, blonde, definitely dyed—she'll tell Kurt—hair.

He keeps his stokes teasing, flicking her clit lightly with every upward lick until she can feel a familiar yearning stirring deep within her.

"Use a finger,"

He makes a move to penetrate her, but she stops him, grabbing his wrist daintily. He looks up, surprised.

"Please," she rolls her eyes, bringing his middle finger to her lips. "I'm not that wet," she takes the digit between her lips, flicking her tongue across his finger before releasing it with a wet smack of her lips.

He prods a bit before he enters her, but when he finally does, it's hard and deep and she can't suppress the moan that tumbles from her lips. He starts a rhythm that is jagged and unpracticed but combined with the long stokes of his tongue, the fullness is almost enough.

"You can use two,"

He makes sure to wet his finger before he enters her again, his two fingers filling her deep. She rides the wave of his rhythm, feeling her muscles clench in longing of a climax she just can't seem to reach.

She exhales a shuddering breath, squeezing her eyes tightly closed.

"Curl your fingers,"

He twists his fingers inside her, brushing them against a spot that makes her thighs quiver.

She's so fucking close.

"Just," she rocks her hips against him, trying to get the friction that will tip her over the edge. "Suck on my clit,"

And of course that would render him clueless.

She groans in frustration.

"Just keep—," He flicks his tongue across her clit again and she keens. "Right there," she sighs. "Suck right there,"

At least he's fucking good at following orders.

He sucks hard and she slips over the edge, her body trembling through the pleasure that washes over her. It's not the best orgasm of her life—fuck, she can't even really remember the best orgasm of her life—but it gets the job done.

When he makes his way back up her body and kisses her again, it's anything but the wet, enthusiastic mess that was his technique before. At least now he's armed with the knowledge of how to really please a woman.

Still, as Santana sinks to her knees before him and easily wraps her lips around the head of his erect cock when it springs free from his boxer briefs, she makes sure to give him tips on a good blowjob too, just in case he really is kinda gay.


She finds Kurt sitting with the rest of her friends at a table in the very corner of the breakfast buffet. He's whispering so she takes it that he didn't tell the rest of their friends exactly what she was up to, and even if he did, none of them bat an eyelash at her upon her return.

She swipes a box of soy milk from his tray and shimmies in next to him, shrugging her shoulders.

"A lady doesn't kiss and tell,"

He purses his lips.

"A lady doesn't sleep with every blonde on a cruise just to find the one she had a drunken one night stand with either,"

She rolls her eyes.

"My limit's a hundred," she jokes.

He nudges her with his shoulder.

"Scandalous," he smirks, but his face suddenly turns serious and she knows she's gonna get the stern talking to that he has surprisingly held off on giving her thus far. "Seriously though, Santana, if you're going to purse this, which I know you will because you are by far the most stubborn girl I've ever met, then at least go about it wisely,"

Well, that was light as far as Kurt talks go.

"Alright, Kurt," she agrees. She downs his milk in a couple of gulps before getting up to excuse herself. "I think I'm in need of a second shower," she explains.

"Why do I feel as if that may be too much information?" Kurt calls after her.

She grins, heading off to the direction of her room.

It's Berry's turn to pick their group activity tonight and absolutely no one is surprised when she chooses the show with the promise of glitter, glam and lots of show tunes.

And absolutely no one is surprised when Santana objects wholeheartedly to the idea but turns up anyway in a dress that is probably far too short for such an occasion but she has to retaliate against Berry somehow and the look that Rachel shoots her when she takes her seat in the hazy fog filled room is almost enough to make this worth it.

It's not that Santana doesn't like glitter, glam and lots of show tunes—ok, it's also kind of that—but this guy, the show's lead, show tunes extraordinaire Bryan Ryan, reeks of bitter resentment for a career that obviously didn't work out for him and every time he opens his mouth, Santana is completely filled with his sense of just not fucking wanting to be here. Fuck, if he wasn't drinking before this show then she knows he'll definitely be doing it after.

Seriously, she knows guys like this; he's the type of guy that Schue would probably be if he didn't enjoy living vicariously through his students so much. Mid-thirties, single, unhappy with his life, trying to plug up the glaring holes with anything that'll fit for the time being, like alcohol and women. Fuck, he probably gets wasted after each and every one of his shows and then uses his pretty boy smile and boyish blonde hair to pick up a girl equally as drun—fuck!

No. There's no way she'd fall for that, except, yes, yes, there is; she was so drunk she'd probably fall for lines plucked for from her own brain, stored away to use on the easiest of girls.

She sighs, directing her attention back to the stage as Bryan Ryan belts out the closing notes of some song from Jesus Christ Superstar.

He's not hideous or anything. In fact, she guesses that he could be kind of cute, if you're into that pervy, older man type of thing, which, well, she's obviously not, but a lot of chicks are. He probably has lots of experience with the female persuasion which means it is conceivable that he could be her mystery blonde.

There's only one real way to find out though… Except, no, she's really not that desperate.

Ok, so it's more curiosity that desperation. Seriously, it is! Plus, it'd be a shame if she didn't put the dress she's wearing to good use, and damn, this dress seriously never fails. She's sitting at the bar for maybe fifteen minutes before Bryan Ryan saunters over to her, smiling charmingly as he approaches her. She can smell the alcohol—whiskey, the expensive stuff—on his breath as he leans over her, propositions rolling easily off of his tongue. She plays coy for a little while, refusing his offered drinks—she wants to be sober for this—and mulling over his intentions like they aren't the reason she's sitting here in the first place.

He's amused by her coyness, intrigued by her feigned intrigue and when she knows that she has him hooked, that she's more than just tonight's easy hoe—she's a challenge to him— then she lets him throw his hook again and this time, she bites until he's leading her across the ship and to his quarters.

His room is large and lavish, adorned heavily with golden certificates, banners and trophies from a past that he obviously clings to.

There's an elegant white grand piano near the doorway and Santana taps on a few keys as he takes his blazer off and drapes it over the arm of a cozy chair.

"You play?" he asks, and there's something in the gruffness of his voice, something that he tries to bite back by clearing his throat, something almost like hope.

"Just a little," Santana admits. She has always been most dependent on her voice when it comes to music but she has picked up bits and pieces of the workings of instruments along the way so while she can bang out a scale or two, or even a song if she really concentrates, she really wouldn't count that as playing.

He nods stiffly.

"Wouldn't do you any good anyway," he murmurs, drawing his curtains open and lifting the window slightly so the bright glow of the moon disrupts the darkness and the fresh scent of the ocean filters in. Job done, he sits on his bed and scoots back, eyeing her carefully. "Come here,"

She moves closer to him until he's grasping her hips heavily, spinning her around until he can unzip her dress. The smooth cotton slinks down her shoulders and down the curve of her hips until it's pooling delicately around her stilettos. He murmurs his approval of her choice of underwear— red, lace, barely-there—as he runs his fingers across her recently exposed skin and pulls her backwards by the hips until she's sitting on his lap.

She gets it; even she sometimes likes to play with her food before she eats it.

He reaches across her, retrieving something she can't quite see from his bedside table. When he comes back up, his fingers briefly dashing across her thighs, she can clearly identify the object as a cigar. He v-cuts the cap and she reaches for his lighter for him, bending so she rocks against him and the muscles in her back ripple delicately from the pull of her stretch. The lighter is heavy, silver plated with music notes etched into it. She squints to read the notes, quietly humming the melody of a rock song that sounds suspiciously familiar—maybe Journey or Aerosmith or something.

"You definitely read music," he notes, leaning forward for her to light the cigar.

"That I do," she says as she flicks her thumb against the lighter and leans further into him until her back is pressed against his chest—if there's one thing she's not getting out of this encounter, it's a burn. She holds the flame close to the foot of the cigar until it catches evenly and she watches as he brings the cigar to his lips and breathes in before releasing a quick billow of smoke.


He offers her the cigar and she takes it, fitting her body closer to his as his freed hands find bared skin.

She hasn't smoked in a long while but it's obviously like riding a bike because she manages to hold the smoke until it tingles the back of her throat and when she lets it go, it creates a long stream of smoke that flutters before it dissipates. She can tell by the dark, flaky wrapper and the flavorful tinge to its afterburn—her daddy is kind of a connoisseur—that it's a good one—"Nicaraguan or Brazilian," he'd say—but it hardly surprises her; Bryan Ryan doesn't seem to half-ass things.

"So," he's running his fingertips up her thighs. "Are you going to tell me how you acquired that talent?"

She shrugs her shoulders, bending to flick a bit of ash off of the cigar into the silver ashtray at his bedside.

"Reading music or the cigar thing?" she asks, holding the cigar to his lips so he can draw in another mouthful of smoke. He draws out almost as quickly as he draws in, quite obviously more interesting in her than the cigar at the moment.


She laughs, low and husky, the vibration of the sound rolling off of her and into him.

"No," she answers his initial question, smiling as she brings the cigar back to her lips.

"Fine," he splays his hands across her abdomen, every now and then letting them dip to tease the waistband of her thong. "Tell me something else about you. Anything,"

Santana hates small talk, especially before random hookups, but she supposes she can sort of appreciate Bryan Ryan's approach. She rolls her eyes at the thought of just how many girls have fallen prey to his 'tell-me-about-yourself-because-I-care' act.

"You first," she counters.

He shrugs.

"There's nothing to tell,"

"Doesn't look like nothing," she says, referring to his extensive collection of awards.

He seems to get what she's referring to right away and she feels as he clams up behind her, his fingers stilling against her skin.

"It's nothing," he assures her, even though his body language says completely otherwise. He's still tense and even though he begins touching her again, it's cold and unfocused. "Hey, I have an idea,"

Distraction, obviously, but Santana lets him shift from beneath her until he's standing and she's leaning on her elbows against his plush mattress.

She watches him curiously as he moves across the room and pulls something from his blazer pocket.

It's a small zip-lock bag but she can't quite see its contents until he holds it up to the light of the moon.

Of course. She should have guessed really. Cocaine. Why wouldn't it be?

There are very few things that Santana isn't down with. Weed? She's probably the first name down on all college house parties, so totally down with that. E? There's nothing better than bright lights, loud music and a warm body. Adderall? Well, she got stuck with Professor Castle's Astronomy class as a gen ed elective, so adderall is a must. Alcohol? That's her choice destruction. Sex? That's a close second. Anything harder than that? The daughter of the good doctor in her won't allow for such full body destruction.

Still, she gets it though. She does.

Santana knows all about fixing long-term problems with short-term solutions. Growing up with Dr. Daddy who spent more time trying to patch up a neighborhood of gang associated hoodlums than trying to patch up the steadily growing tears he was creating in his only daughter taught her about long-term problems early and growing up in Lima Heights Adjacent taught her that there are far more short-term solutions than there are problems especially when those solutions quickly become problems, like coke. That's a serious problem. That's having so many holes that need filling that even cement still leaves cracks.

Other quick fixes are probably nothing to him by now. The alcohol is probably nothing more than a bitter taste and the sex is probably nothing but a distraction. It's sad really that he'd let his life come to this. He's talented, scarily so. She knows that if Professor Schue knew him, Schue would probably say something about never giving up on his dreams. Santana doesn't have soothing words like that, in fact, she's not even sure she believes in those words; what she does have though is what Bryan Ryan is seeking the most at this moment; she has a distraction.

"How about—" she outs the cigar and places it on the astray, moving her hands sensually along her body until the clasp of her bra snaps open easily beneath her practiced fingertips. She slides the straps slowly down her shoulders, one by one, bit by bit. "You do that—" she continues, referring to the lines of coke he's setting up on a small table. "after—" she stretches herself out on the large bed, letting her bra slip from her fingertips and onto the floor. "You do me,"

And distracted he is.

It's definitely not the best sex of her life. He slips the condom on and thrusts into her before she's even worked up and even then, the rhythm he starts is erratic and the pleasure elusive. Still, he obviously enjoys a show and Santana's more than capable of giving one so she arches into him with her hips and flits her fingernails down his back and gasps right next to his ear until he comes undone with a shuddering gasp and falls asleep only minutes later.

Well, he's clearly not her mystery blonde but at least her walk of shame is a memorable one. She's pretty sure she's never going to get a chance to empty two bags of stolen coke into an ocean again so she ignores the chill of the night air as it whips at her hair and watches as the ocean engulfs the white powder in one huge swallow like it's nothing, like the grasp it keeps on Bryan Ryan and thousands of others is inconsequential compared to the wrath of its waves. She throws the bags in as well for good measures and watches as the water carries them away until the waves hold them under.

She's pretty sure she's going to make it to back to her room uninterrupted except, no, not really, because as soon as she hits the deck, she can hear the soft perfectly harmonized drone of two very familiar voices singing something about almost being in love.

She thinks about sneaking right on by but Kurt catches her eye before she can put the plan into action.

She probably looks so guilty right now, what with her hair mused and the strong aroma of sex and cigars clinging to her but the ambiance seems docile so she doesn't see the harm in sinking down into one of the lounge chairs next to Kurt and Rachel.

"What are you guys doing up?" she asks, her voice soft against the resonance of the wind.

"Just looking at the stars," Rachel answers and even her voice sounds tranquil among the large open space and the crash of the ocean.

"Oh," She looks up.

It really is kind of beautiful, the litter of stars speckling the deep blue of the night sky. They'd never be able to see something like this amongst the bustle of life back home; they'd probably never be able to find the time to just relax like this back home either. Just sitting here, staring up at something so much bigger than herself is calming in a way Santana never would have imagined.

"You guys didn't have to stop singing, you know?" she says suddenly, afraid she has interrupted some grand moment between her two friends.

"I thought you had an aversion to show tunes," Rachel says, only part joking.

Santana shrugs.

"I do," she replies, a sickening image of Kurt and Rachel with linked hands and matching grins skipping through fields of marigolds singing songs in octaves way too high for her brain to process flies into her mind but then she thinks of Bryan Ryan with dreams so heavy that the moment they shattered they crumbled right onto his chest and weighed him right down to the lowest of lows and her heart sinks just a little bit. She can't imagine that being Rachel or Kurt because that won't be Rachel or Kurt. Santana just can't imagine either of them doing anything but lighting up a grand stage just the way the stars are lighting up the sky right now. They're going to make it huge on Broadway one day, both of them; they have to.

Emotion seems to claw its way through Santana's throat and she has to blink back the sting of tears at the corner of her eyes and swallow back a heavy intrusion trying to seize control of her vocal cords.

"But, ermm," she clears her throat, battling against the graininess of tears unshed. "I figured I might as well get used to them from now so I won't fall asleep when I go to see your shows when you two are hits on Broadway,"

Despite the nonchalance she tries to adopt, her words seep into the air between them, the praise, the worry, the acknowledgement, all settling like dust among the unstirred serenity.

Kurt sighs softly and for a moment Santana thinks he's going to comment on her sudden bout of sappiness but instead he starts humming and humming gives way to singing and soon he and Rachel are harmonizing like a music showcase solo is on the line.

It's kind of nice actually; it's not almost like being in love or any of the other silly sentimental things they sing about—not that Santana would know what those things feel like—but it's calm and amicable and for a moment she's not thinking about this mystery blonde or how some people are broken beyond repair or how she's always been on the precipice of becoming that broken; she's just being.

It's kinda perfect.


And then it's not so perfect.

Rachel is suddenly all up in her personal space and Santana has to seriously bite back the urge to go all Lima Heights Adjacent on her ass.

"What Hobbit?" She grits out, closing her eyes against the sudden intrusion of Rachel Berry in her peripheral vision.

"Are you—" She pokes at her like a worried mother would their child. "Are you high?"

Santana rolls her eyes beneath tightly closed eyelids. Of course Rachel would take in the ashy scent still clinging to her and automatically think weed. If she only knew…

Santana sighs.

"Yeah Berry," she lies. That's probably easier to explain, anyway. "I'm high,"

She's fully expecting a lecture about the perils of drug use especially regarding the vocal cords, so when Rachel just sighs, Santana actually has to open her eyes and look at her to make sure it's really just a sigh and not a death rattle or something.

"So Bryan Ryan wasn't your blonde then," Rachel broaches, revealing that she clearly knows a lot more than she's been letting on.

Santana shoots Kurt a glare for that but he just shrugs.

"She would have found out anyway," he murmurs.

Santana rolls her eyes.

"No, Bryan Ryan wasn't the blonde," She admits. There's no use denying what she was up to now, even if Rachel has some of the finer details skewed.

Rachel nods and for a moment Santana foolishly believes the conversation is over, but of course it isn't, not with Rachel Berry.

"Santana?" Rachel's biting her lip like she's actually contemplating something she has to say. That's a first.

"Spit it out, Berry,"

"I just—" she's obviously picking her words very carefully; another first! "I know you're a sex fiend or a lizard or whatever new euphemism you and Noah have come up with this time, but isn't this— I mean, this seems excessive even for you,"

There's more, there's obviously more, Santana can see it in the restlessness of her hands.

"What are you trying to say, Berry?"

"Don't you think that maybe there's something about this blonde, something more than just sex that is drawing you to him or her?" her voice is soft, genuine. "Maybe you've by chance run into someone special, Santana,"

Santana arches her eyebrows.

"That's—" She shakes her head, not quite able to suppress the burst of laughter that comes bubbling from her throat. "The most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!"

Rachel affronted huff only makes Santana laugh harder which makes Rachel fume even more hilariously and suddenly even Kurt is chuckling and Rachel is rolling her eyes and, well, this is kind of perfect too.

Hell, it really is a nice break from not searching for this blonde with whom she has a purely sexual connection.

So, maybe this not actively searching for this mystery blonde thing is actually the key to finding her (or him) because Santana is really honest to God minding her own business this time, just filing her nails and kinda sorta listening as her friends talk when she looks up and finds herself staring right at a blondie with so much repressed gay that Santana's not entirely sure how she's not exploding rainbows.

Unfortunately, repressed: definitely, subtle: not at all, because Santana validates her hypothesis when she follows the blonde's gaze and almost loses her lunch when she realizes that the object of the blonde's shameless stare happens to be none other than Rachel Berry or more specifically, Rachel Berry's berry which, well, gross—and Rachel has the nerve to criticize her clothing choices when she wears skirts like that.

Seriously though, bad taste in women aside, Santana is totally down with repressed lesbo being her mystery blonde. She doesn't have a virgin kink or anything but blondie is totally cute in that virginal, Santana could do really dirty things to her kind of way. That and well, Santana knows all about repression. She's been there, done that, fucked the first chick she got her hands on so hard that the chick almost blacked out from pleasure.

Yeah, she knows all about enthusiasm too.

She really has a good feeling about this one though. Unlike with the others, there is actually some logic here. Repressed lesbian gets a little tipsy, gets tired of denying herself something she wants so badly, sees an opportunity to fulfill one of her deepest desires, fucks Santana into the next day, realizes she's been like fifteen levels of homo and flees before Santana wakes up. Perfectly logical. Except for the part where she's like ogling Rachel Berry right now instead of her—which, once again, gross—but Santana won't let that dissuade her.

As she approaches the blonde, she can see the cruise ship's insignia etched into her shirt and below that there's a shiny golden nametag with neatly sprawled writing plastered across the middle.

Quinn. Her name is Quinn and Santana sincerely hopes that this Quinnisn't working at this particular moment because unless her job is professional creeper—which Santana doubts because she's not even good at it— then whatever it is, she's doing an awful job at it.

Santana manages to sink down into the chair right next to her without her even noticing and seriously, there is just no fucking way that Berry could be that fucking captivating to anyone. Fuck, she's not even that interesting to Finn and he's her boyfriend.

"You know, she's pretty annoying if you know her in person,"

Quinn jumps at the sound of her voice, her shoulders tensing as she lets out a quick shuddering breath. Panic and guilt flit across her features very briefly before the good liar repression has taught her to be kicks in and she adopts the face of confusion effortlessly.

"I'm sorry. What?"

"My friend," Santana clarifies, even if only to watch the brief flash of panic flicker across this girl's face one more time. "The one you're so blatantly leering at,"

"Oh," There's a brief spark of guilt in the lines that accompanies her deep frown. "I wasn't—I'm not—"

"Not what?" Santana asks, arching an eyebrow in a way that would be threatening to most but this Quinn girl clearly has some bite to her because she crosses her arms across her chest and purses her lips like this is an actual challenge, like she's really going to come out of this conversation with her denial still intact. Seriously, that's laughable. "Not what?" Santana asks again. "Not thinking about fucking my dubiously female friend six ways from Sunday?" To her credit, the girl doesn't waver, not even at the fact that Santana's blatantly insulting someone she had just moments ago called her friend. "Or not gayer than a pride parade's worth of rainbows?"

"Both," Her jaw clenches, her arms crossing so tightly into her chest that it's almost plausible she could break herself. "Neither," She hisses and there's actual anger there, hot, scathing anger, but Santana recognizes it for what it really is, she recognizes it from her own long, bitter battle with denial. It's sadness. Loneliness. It's nipping at this girl like it ate away at Santana before she found people—friends—like Rachel Berry and Kurt and Mercedes and Tina and fuck it, even Puck; before she found people that accepted her so much that she had no choice but to accept herself.

Quinn clearly doesn't have that; what she does have is the saddest eyes Santana has ever seen and the harsh purse of her lips to distract anyone else from seeing it.

"Even if I were, it wouldn't be any of your business," her words are cold, brimming with a confidence that might have been convincing if the subject were anything but this lie that Santana knows so well. "I don't even know you,"

"You don't," Santana agrees. There's no arguing that, but there's also no arguing that this chick is so far in the closet that she's having daily rendezvous with the Lion and the Witch. Santana's sure now that this can't be her mystery blonde; she's too constructed, too far gone in her lie to let alcohol wreck the weave she's tangled herself in. Sex with women, while the thought is there,—it's definitely there, Santana can see it in the way she's unable to keep her eyes off of Rachel, even now whilst she's still adamantly claiming heterosexuality — it's not what she needs; she needs acknowledgement, acceptance, anything else will just drive her further into her lie.


And the sex part is what Santana's good at.

She guesses she could try her hand at the other part though. She supposes it couldn't hurt.

"You don't know me," she repeats, her tone careful, just treading against the surface of a volatile subject. "But I know you,"

"You don't know anything about me,"

"I know that you're hiding something and I know that it's exhausting. You're exhausted,"

"I'm—" The words seem to get stuck in Quinn's throat, like she's choking on an admission that's been years in the making.

"You're what?" Santana coaxes but Quinn shakes her head, shaking away any forthcoming vulnerability. Santana almost laughs at her stubbornness. "Let me guess. You're little miss beauty queen or a prom queen from Bumfuck Mid-USA or even worse, the South," she studies the blonde closely, watching the lines that crinkle against almost flawless skin as Santana hits probably far too close to home. "All-American. Christian," the way the cross dangles close to Quinn's neck is suffocating, even for Santana and she's not the one wearing it. "Stringent father would never approve, so you land this job where you're never home. You call once in a while to sate him," Santana knows this story; it's why she's at Ohio State—close enough to home that her daddy doesn't call too often and far enough that he doesn't visit at all. "But the damage is done. You're never gonna shake who you've become for him so you're always gonna be afraid of who you really are,"

Quinn's face is hard, distant.

"And one day you're gonna meet the wrong guy with all the right words and he'll tell you that you're beautiful," Santana doesn't miss the way Quinn's gaze penetrates Rachel and lands right on Puck and fuck, Santana wants to be mad at Puck for that, but he's Puck and she'd probably have done the same thing anyway, although she was really hoping that maybe it was Bryan Ryan; Bryan Ryan is self-destructive, Puck can't help it—Santana knows he can't—but he drags everyone around him down before he falls the hardest. Santana's afraid of what this means for him. "And," Santana's throat feels heavy, dry, because this is the part where everything fell into place for her; this is the part where she failed over and over again until words like slut and easy clung to her and haven't managed to come unstuck since. "You'll mistake his words for acceptance, for love even, because you've never let anyone accept you before; you've never let anyone lo—"

"You don't know anything about me," Quinn repeats, her tone softer—hushed— but decisively more angry.

Santana can practically see the walls rising around her, threatening to seal her in this vacuum of denial.

She has to work quickly.

"Maybe not the specifics, no," She concedes. "But I know you,"


"I know you because I was you," Santana blurts out and that seems to render Quinn speechless. "Maybe a lot less wholesome because a girl's gotta eat," She jokes. "But I was just as scared, terrified even. I was terrified of what everyone would say and I figured if they didn't say it, they were thinking it and that terrified me too. I don't think there was anything I wasn't afraid of. I was afraid of what my father would think because I wanted so badly to be who he wanted me to be and then I wanted so badly to be who everyone else wanted me to be too and because of that I was miserable. I shifted between angry, sad, lonely, depressed like a boss. And you know what?" Quinn's face is stoic but she's listening, Santana can tell because there's softness at the corner of her eyes. "It wasn't worth it," she grazes her palm across the blonde's shoulder and she twitches, but she doesn't pull away. "You'll realize that it just isn't worth it,"

It's obvious that this girl isn't going to be draping herself in rainbows and shouting her sexuality from rooftops anytime soon but as Santana glances back at her, catching the hint of ease that softens her features, she knows that a seed has been planted and she didn't even have to sleep with anyone to do it.

Fuck, she actually feels pretty good about herself now.

She vows to take a couple extra cheap shots at Berry to assuage the feeling.

She's at the bar again, sipping her zombie and pondering the possibility of this trip actually pushing her into the depths of alcoholism when she feels a hand graze her shoulder.

Two drinks prior and she may have freaked at being touched so unexpectedly but the hand is soft and soothing so she doesn't mind when she feels a presence invade the space to the right of her.

That presence just so happens to be another one of the ship's entertainers, Holly Holiday. Puck had dragged her along to see her show because he was positive that with a name like Holly Holiday, she had to be a stripper—although it sounds more porn star-esque to Santana than stripper-esque but whatever. There was no stripping during the show but she sang some of Santana's favorite oldies and then some of her favorite current hits as well and she was pretty fucking funny between songs so even though there were no tits, even Puck had had a good time.

She's got this stage presence about her too. Even now with no stage and nothing but concern etched into her feature, she's still smiling, the kind of soft smile Santana would expect to see from someone like Schue if he ever saw her now lounging around the bar before noon.

"Don't you think it's a bit early to be drinking, sweet cheeks?"

Five drinks into her morning and there's a maybe on the tip of Santana's tongue and a probably on the forefront of her mind but she's saved from having to answer the question when the bartender, an older blonde lady with enough quirk to fuel nine of her, leans over the bar, smiling impishly.

"S'never too early to start drinking, Miss Holiday,"

She's joking, but only a little bit; Santana knows this because she's already used deductive reasoning or process of elimination or some shit to rule her out as her mystery blonde.

It's simple really; Santana's been at the bar for around an hour during which she's had four drinks and for every drink she's had, the bartender has expertly downed two shots. Judging by her expertise, it's obviously a common occurrence and if she keeps going at the rate that she is now then by the time evening rolls around, the only thing she'll be doing is having a good ol' romp with unconsciousness.

If she gets this drunk this early on a regular basis—which Santana strongly believes that she does—then at the time of Santana's tryst, she had to have been either puking her brains out or sleeping.


Holly laughs at the maybe kinda sorta joke anyway, rolling her eyes good naturedly.

"And that's exactly why you don't work the night shift anymore, April," she jibes, even though truth is looming precariously over that one.

See? Motherfucking genius logic.

"I'll have an orange juice," Holly orders anyway, all smiles and statuesque presence. "And a coke for Miss Melancholy over here,"

Santana wants to object to that; she wants to argue that she's an adult, maybe not a 21 year old adult, but an adult nevertheless so she can drink what she wants. The words don't leave her but they don't have to because she sees the bartender—April—drizzle a shot's worth of spiced rum into that coke before she slides it to her with a wink.

God bless that woman.

"So?" April hands Holly her alcohol free orange juice and leans her elbows on the bar between them. "Are you gonna tell us what's wrong, honey? Preferably before Holly uses her backwards psychology mambo jambo to pry it outta ya,"

Holly raises a teasing eyebrow, a sure sign that she most definitely will use that "backwards psychology mambo jambo" if she has to.

Santana sighs.


"Anything more specific than that?" Holly asks and Santana has to wonder if the sad sympathetic eyes is part of her reverse psychology thing because the way she's looking at her really makes Santana want to spill everything.

Then again, it could just be the rum and coke.

"I did something kinda stupid," Santana finally admits, starting small. She thinks it's kind of appropriate to work her way up to the she's-really-fucking-considering-fucking-every-blonde-on-this-ship-until-she-finds-her-mystery-blonde part.

April laughs, a long, shrill howl of honest to God amusement.

"Girlie, if I had a dime for every time I've said that…"

She trails off like she's been struck by a deep thought but Santana figures if she had a dime for every time she had said it, she'd have probably spent it all on alcohol and ended right back up here anyway.

"Stupider than the usual college spring break stupid?" Holly asks.

Santana shrugs.

"Not necessarily," She hasn't gotten arrested or kidnapped or anything. "Not even really stupider than my usual college student stupid,"

"Then what's the problem?"

"I hooked up with someone,"

"Alright," Holly draws the word out, clearly searching for some hidden detail in Santana's explanation. "I'm gonna go out on a limb here, sweet cheeks and guess that "hooking up with someone" isn't really that out of the ordinary for you,"

"Let me guess," April interjects. "Best friend's boyfriend?" On Santana's affronted look, she guesses again. "Best friend's dad?"

"No. Nothing like that. I—" she doesn't even know why she's explaining this to two people she doesn't even know. "I was kind of drunk, I guess, and I don't really remember who I hooked up with,"

"Well, that happens to the best of us," Holly soothes, running a comforting palm down Santana's arm.

"Happens to me every day," April agrees, scampering off to go make herself a new drink—something crazy by the looks of the many alcohol bottles she's lining up.

"I guess I wouldn't usually be so bothered by it except there was just—" Santana doesn't know how to explain it really. Sex is nothing new to her. She's got a rack that pretty much ensures she gets laid often, the art of manipulation that pretty much ensures she gets laid by anyone she wants often and the intelligence to keep it that way by never lingering too long on one person lest she get tied down to someone else's schedule. So it really isn't a surprise that she's had a lot of sex and of all the sex she has had, some of it has been really fucking amazing yet she can't recall a time where sex with anyone—not even that time with Puck where it was all drunken giggles and barely thought out insults—has thrown her this off-kilter. There was something about the way this blonde had worked her body, had teased and tasted her until her orgasm rushed through her like a freight train. She can't put her finger on it but there was just something about it. It was— "It was just different," she concludes.

"Well, maybe you did something different? Something you haven't tried before maybe?" Holly suggests and Santana shakes her head instantly.

The amount of sex she has had also means that there is very little she hasn't tried. She's been bent and contorted into sex positions she can't even name, she's bent and contorted other girls into positions that she's pretty sure can't even be found on the internet, her sex toy collection is so expansive that Kurt had paled when he had accidently stumbled upon them in the back of her closet; fuck it, she's probably got Puck beat when it's come to the stuff that she's done; there is just no way that anyone had schooled her in the art of sex; no way.

Holly laughs, clearly amused by Santana's quick disagreement.

"You know I was your age once. Just like you actually. I drank a lot, partied a lot, had lots of crazy sex. I thought I was pretty experienced then too,"

"And now?"

"And now I have enough experience to make your head spin,"

Her voice is low and sultry and the rasping quality to it sends a shiver right down Santana's spine. It's only then that everything clicks; Holly is blonde, absolutely gorgeous, experienced, and flirting with her.

Santana wouldn't be Santana if she didn't explore this option.

She smirks, feral and shameless, bringing her fingertips to rest against Holly's knee.

"Show me,"

Holly smiles, bright and relaxed.

"I thought you'd never ask,"

Holly's room is bright, decorated with shades of vivid yellows and intense oranges that remind Santana of summer.

Holly, herself, kinda reminds Santana of summer too, the way her kisses burn hot and her hands soothe across Santana's skin like a gentle wisp of wind. She supposes that there really is something to be said about experience here because Holly moves easily with her, eradicating all of the chase but smoothly approaching the finish line regardless.

If there was any doubt in Santana's mind whether or not Holly has done this before, it's gone by the time Holly strips her of all her clothes. When she begins removing her own clothes though, Santana has to wonder if Puck really did hit the nail on the head with the stripper comment.

Holly moves slowly—deliberately—revealing small expanses of creamy skin at a time and then teasingly eluding Santana's touch until she gently shoves Santana back onto the bed and fits their bodies together.

Santana bucks up into warm skin instantly and the moan that slips from Holly's lips is enough to make Santana kind of have to wonder about that porn star theory as well.

Holly's lips skate across her throat, forging a warm, wet path until her breath tickles Santana's ear.

"Are you gonna be open-minded here?"

Santana swallows hard, reigning in a shiver that overtakes her at the sudden proximity.

There's warning in Holly's voice; a subtle threat in the way her tone drops to a growl and Santana can't help but test that.

"Maybe," she breaths out but the word edges into a gasp when Holly raises her hips just enough to bring a palm hard against the flesh of her ass.

It stings in a way that is not entirely unpleasant and the way she's arched, so her hips are raised and her thighs are wrapped around Holly's waist, is creating a delicious friction that just barely quells the ache slowly building in the pit of her stomach.

"Now," Holly's voice drops to a dangerously low whisper, her breath curling hot against Santana's skin. "I asked if you were going to be open-minded here?"

Santana's breath catches in her throat, her chest collapsing with effort to get the stunted exhalation out.

"It depends," she hisses out, ever defiant.

She anticipates the next hard meeting of hand and bare skin, but that does nothing to alleviate the sting or stop her from bucking her hips hard into taunt muscle and smooth skin.

"Wrong answer,"

Holly strikes exposed skin again, harder this time and Santana's body lurches at the contact, crashing her hips more firmly against a solid body.

"Fuck," Santana murmurs as she's spanked again and again and— "Yes," she husks, before she's struck a sixth time. "Yes," her breath is sporadic and her skin tingles from the sting of Holly's hand but she's wet, practically dripping, and it feels good having her sensitive flesh pressed so tightly against Holly's hips, but she needs more and she'll say whatever she has to get it. "Yes, I'll be open-minded,"

"Good girl," Holly soothes her fingers across reddened skin, her tongue darting out to brush against Santana's collarbone. "Now," her breath teases across slickened skin. "Get on your hands and knees,"

Santana almost wants to object to that, she has half a mind to, but she's already experienced what defiance gets her and if compliances gets her any closer to orgasm, then she'll all for it.

"Good," Holly murmurs again as Santana scrambles to turn over, pushing herself onto her hand and knees.

Holly molds herself against her back, lips pressing delicately against Santana's shoulder. Her hands roam over Santana's abs, fingers sinking into the dips and ridges of curves as her hands skirt lower and lower until Santana has to concentrate more and more on not collapsing onto her elbows.

When Holly's fingers brush against her clit, she gives up that battle.

Holly is teasing her, working her fingers across sensitive flesh hard and then pulling back and just barely grazing when it's obvious Santana wants to be touched so badly.

She slips even lower, tongue working against skin until she's lapping at Santana's clit with long broad strokes and Santana has to bury her face into the sweet scented pillow below her to muffle the contented moans that slip past her lips.

Fuck, she needs this so badly.

She hasn't really had a good orgasm since—well, since that night.

She almost fears that her mystery blonde has ruined her somehow, for good too, because since that night and that orgasm, even orgasms at her own hands have just been small shocks of residual pleasure in comparison and it's not even for lack of trying either; she had teased and rubbed and fucked herself into a frenzy in the shower this morning, holding onto the embers of pleasure until her arm had ached and her heart had raced yet when she had finally collapsed against the cold shower wall, it was to a small shudder of gratification and a clenching low in her stomach that reminded her more of longing than of fulfillment.

She had ended up at the bar not too long after that, feeling not quite herself, and now she's here, on her knees, face buried in a pillow realizing just how fucking much she needs Holly to fuck some assurance into her, to prove to her that she's not suddenly damaged by one earth-shattering orgasm.

"Please," she groans, rocking her hips into the feeling of Holly's questing tongue. Holly presses harder at the plea, slipping lower until she's inside Santana, her tongue curling against the clenching of Santana's inner walls.

Santana lets go of a low growl, warmth spreading and settling alongside her skin like a second layer.

She needs more and she says as much, turning her head a bit so the plea can echo from her core and seep from her lips and into the sex scented air.

Holly holds her hips still and delves deeper, her fingers splaying across skin that has reddened from being spanked. The lingering sting of it blazes beneath the subtle touch and Santana can't suppress the sharp gasp that bubbles from her throat because of it.

Exertion laps at the backs of her knees, makes the grasp she has on herself weaken. If she were in her right mind, she'd probably be embarrassed by her raw need; if she were in her right mind, she'd probably be embarrassed by needing this, but her mind is hazy with pleasure, occupied with the faint burn blazing under her skin and she just needs this so fucking badly.

"Spank me,"

A hand comes down against Santana's skin before she can even anticipate it and she moans into the pillow, relishing in the twinge of pain that disintegrates into sparks of pleasure.

Another plea sits on the tip of her tongue but Holly is quicker, bringing her hand down again against supple flesh so hard that the sound of skin on skin resounds and masks the cry of pleasure that tears from Santana's throat.

Holly's tongue flicks against her clit, her hand stinging sore skin until Santana's orgasm rushes through her.

It's not the orgasm that Santana is yearning—it's not the blinding, earth-shattering orgasm that had clouded her mind and left her feeling not quite whole— but it's exactly what she's seeking; it's shuddering beneath the soft body of a hot girl—woman— and feeling suddenly lighter in the midst of all this heaviness that has been overtaking her lately.

It's not exactly her usual come and go, but it's an experience and when she flips Holly over and Holly moans for more even when Santana already has four fingers curled inside her, well, that's definitely an experience too.

Ok, so, Santana's still here which she's generally so not ok with, but Holly has this huge, expensive shower and this eased nonchalance about random hook-ups so when she offers to let Santana use said shower—because she knows the passenger showers are nothing but gentle mists of water that turn cool quicker than winter nights in Ohio—Santana lets the prospect of actual hot water overwrite her innate post-random-hook-up wiring that usually dictates she run, run, run and run some more.

Holly showers first because they both agree that showering together would be weird so Santana waits, listening to constant melodious spray of the shower in the other room while she busies herself by being nosy and glancing over all the frames that are scattered over the place.

She glances over framed magazine and newspaper reviews of Holly's shows and even reads over particularly acclaimed ones. She gets a brief insight into Holly Holiday through pictures; she sees pictures of her when she was a kid, sees her progression right into adulthood and oddly enough whilst there are plenty of pictures of Holly with other people, none of the faces are reoccurring—Santana can't pinpoint any siblings or best friends or a possible ex-lover or anything like that so she moves on, continuing her snooping.

She's reading over a diploma when Holly reenters the room.

Holly laughs—she sounds genuinely amused—when she sees what Santana is looking at.

"Yes, I went to an all-girls college," she reveals, chuckling as she runs a towel through her damp hair.

Santana smirks.

"That explains a lot," she jokes, reading over the fine cursive print of the document. "You have a master's degree," she notes, "That's pretty impressive,"

Holly makes a sound that could be agreement, could be diffidence—Santana's not sure what the latter sounds like anymore; she obviously hangs out with too many music majors.

"I wanted to be a teacher," Holly admits and Santana nods because that makes sense and she'd usually leave it at that but she's kind of curious now.

"Why didn't you?" she asks. "Become a teacher?"

Holly shrugs, probably more nonchalant than she should be considering how she's gazing through Santana and right at the framed diploma in her hands.

"I got engaged right out of graduate school," she explains. "To an aspiring doctor. He was finishing up his residency at the great Johns Hopkins Children's Center. I breezed through a job interview at a local high school. The night before I was set to start the job, I packed up all my things while he was working late and I left; no note, no explanation; I just left."

"Why?" Santana asks, confused. She hadn't pegged Holly as the unrealistic waiting-for-a-fucking-fairytale type; a stable job, a spouse with a regular, fucking fantastic paycheck,—she's the daughter of a doctor; she would know—that's the real fairytale; that's as close as anyone can get; true love and other fanciful shit like that be damned, she'll never understand how someone can leave stability—she'll never understand how her mother had so easily traded in an MD and 2.5 kids for waitressing and 'I'll-call-again-when-I-have-enough-change-for-the-payphone-love-you-bye.' It just doesn't make any sense to her.

Holly sighs and Santana has to wonder if it even makes sense to her.

Maybe it's a bug, like a contagious brain infection of some sort that some women get when they're bored.

Whatever it is, Santana's happy to say that she's immune.

"I felt like I was suffocating," Holly finally says, and Santana detects some feigned bravado in her tone. "Every day I felt like there was a little less air around me and I just knew I wouldn't be able to settle down. I couldn't wake up next to the same man every morning; I couldn't do the same things and see the same faces every single day. Just the thought of it made me feel sick," she explains and Santana almost feels like there's a little less air around her now. "So I got up one night and I left," Holly finishes, shrugging like it's the simplest thing in the world but it isn't simple; it's restlessness, it's boredom; it's the reason why they're both here right now; the very same reason why Santana's never had an actual steady girlfriend.

Ok, so maybe there's a helluva a lot of less air around her.

"But you wanted to teach?" she asks, suddenly desperate to understand even though she thinks she may already understand; she may understand too much.

A sudden coldness creeps into her system, making her feel so heavy that she's almost sure she's sinking. She watches Holly closely, sees as she nods and she's hardly comforted by how solemn her features have turned.

"I wanted freedom more,"

And that's something Santana's not immune to. Fuck, that's something Santana's already caught. She's already wriggled her way from the giant iron-clad grip of commitment too many times to count but she's never thought of her elusiveness as a threat to her stability until now and it stings in way she's not entirely prepared for.

She wants to ask so many questions. She wants to ask Holly if she loved him—her former fiancé—or if she regrets it or even if she'd do it again, but the words get caught up in her throat so she forces nonchalance instead.

"Coulda been a substitute teacher or something," she says, replacing the diploma on the mantel. "I mean," she lets a predatory smirk settle on her lips; trying to get back to normal even though she so suddenly feels anything but. "You sure taught me a lot," she jokes, easing past Holly and dashing into the built-in bathroom.

The hot water doesn't burn away the sudden coldness.

At least this walk of shame is made less shameful by the fact that she doesn't even smell like sex and alcohol anymore. She is kind of walking funny though—the brush of cotton stings almost as much as Holly's hand did—but she's already formulating hundreds of excuses to explain her slight limp anyway.

She realizes she's not going to have to use even one of them when she spots Puck leaning smugly against her room door, smirking knowingly.

"Damn, Santana," he says when she's within earshot and Santana suddenly feels stupid for thinking she could deceive her friends. Of course Puckwould know; why wouldn't he? Santana had let it slip to Tina that she was going to head out to the bar when she had left this morning and Tina, who worries far too much, had probably gotten Puck to follow her. He probably saw her leave with Holly and has been camped out at her door for ages just waiting to accost her for details of the encounter. "I thought older women was my thing,"

"Really?" Santana doesn't mean to sound as angry as she does but harshness seems to bubble from the pits of her stomach and tumble from her lips. "Because I thought fucking scared little virgins raw was your thing,"

She doesn't mean to yell at him, especially about that—they've already talked about that; he was tipsy, she was tipsy, he had no condom, he's Puck for Christ's sake so he went for it anyway, Santana really can't blame him for that— but suddenly, there's just so much pent up anger burning through her and Puck is just right there; Puck, who is probably the biggest man slut in Ohio, Puck, who probably has more commitment issues than she and Holly Holiday combined; Puck who still dated Lauren fucking Zizes—who Santana hates, hates, hates—on and off for two whole fucking years and would probably go right back to if she ever transferred back to Ohio State.

Fucking Puck who she's not really even close to mad at but she just can't contain this sadness that is so suddenly gripping at her and it's just so easy to let it manifest itself as anger.

"Fuck you, Lopez," Puck replies, thoroughly unfazed by the actual anger Santana is radiating; Santana deflates a bit at his refusing to rise to her bait. "I told you; there was just something about her,"

If by something he means that yeah, she was totally gayer Kurt's wardrobe then she's inclined to agree and she almost says as much but she bites her tongue, unwilling to let her snappiness get the best of her.

"Yeah, well you better hope you didn't give her anything," she says, slipping into her room and holding the door open for Puck to follow. "You better hope she didn't give you anything," she amends quickly. She may have had a little moment of sincerity with that blonde and she may currently have the bitchiness of a thousand of her high school selves bottled up inside her, but Puck has had her back since she met him and what he did may have been stupid but her allegiance is to him and she's not likely to forget that.

"She really was a virgin though," he says as she rifles through her suitcase looking for something clean to put on.

"Not the only way you can contract stuff, Puckerman," she murmurs, trying her best to distract herself from the frantic clawing at her insides trying to get her attention to tell her words she's not ready to hear. She briefly registers Puck mentioning something about how the nurse at the clinic loves him—which, ewww, because she's like sixty—but when she looks up, Puck is closer, like invading her fucking personal space closer.

He's looking at her, worry that doesn't suit his handsome features etching into the lines of his face making him seem as heavy as she feels. His calloused fingers clutch at her cheek, forcing her to look at him so he can look through her and for a second she thinks he's seriously gonna break brocode and ask her what's wrong—because he knows something is wrong, he's making that clear now—but he lets a soft smile tug at his lips and then his hands are off of her and rifling through the clothes in her suitcase with her.

"Jeez, Lopez," he mutters and even though there's laugher in his voice, Santana can still feel the gentleness of his touch—like she could break—and she's marginally worried about what he has to say next. "Lemme guess! Holiday really was a drag queen and she must have slipped her dick into your ass to make you this bitchy," he jokes and Santana laughs both relieved and amused as she reaches out to punch him in his stomach.

"You wish Puckerman!" she says, a smile biting into her lips despite herself. "She was all woman! One hundred percent all hot, tight, perfect woman," she teases.

"Damn!" he pats her on the back but she feels more weight to his touch than the usual congratulations-for-another-good-fuck. "I've missed you, Lopez! You've been so busy getting laid that I've been missing my wingwoman and there's this cute Spanish girl that tans by the pool every day! She doesn't speak a lick of English so I need you to use that bilingual thing you do and get me on that, pronto!"

By the time Puck is winking at her, hand low on the waist of said girl who happened to speak Portuguese, not Spanish,—fucking Puck and his generalizations— Santana feels less weighty but more desperate than ever to find this blonde who is causing her all this trouble.

"I give up," Santana huffs, complaining for complaint's sake even though she knows Mercedes is only barely listening to her; Mercedes only ever barely listens to her; it's kind of a cornerstone of their friendship.

"I mean, we've got three days left!" And counting, still, she feels no closer to finding this blonde than she did when she was not trying to find her/him.

"I've gone through—well, you don't even want to know what I've been through," Seriously, she almost tried it with Mrs. Ex-Schuster; that's what she's been through. Really, if she's meant to find her mystery blonde, she's pretty sure fate would have stepped in already or something.

"I mean, what are the chances that I—" look up and see the most gorgeous blonde she has ever laid her eyes on? Pretty fucking high, apparently!

"Jesus Christ," she murmurs and of course Mercedes, who wakes up at the ass crack of dawn every Sunday and "accidently" bangs cupboards in a last ditch attempt to wake someone up to go to church with her, but goes alone each and every Sunday regardless, would hear that part, but Santana hardly cares about the glare that is being sent her way, not when she's staring at smooth, pale legs that lead up to the perfect curve of hips and the slight ridges of muscles surfacing on a flawlessly flat abdomen and—fuck, blondie is smiling, a bright, knowing smile right in Santana's direction.

"Jesus," Santana hisses again and she seriously means it this time, like this has to be some kind of divine intervention or something because the blonde—seriously, the most gorgeous girl Santana has ever seen— is gesturing her over, smiling like she knows her, and fuck it, if this is really her then Santana might have to go to church with Mercedes next Sunday, the early sermon and everything.

"Are you gonna go over there or what?" Mercedes asks, finally clueing into what has Santana being even more offensive than usual.

"I—" Yes, of course she's going to go over there, except, dammit, maybe God is actually punishing her because why today? Why today when she pulled on some sweats and a tank top and didn't even brush her hair? Seriously, this is so fucking unfair. "I look a mess,"

Mercedes rolls her eyes.

"Girl, I'm gonna say this once and if you ever repeat it, I will deny, deny, deny, but, Santana, you never look a mess,"

"Awww, Whezzy!" Santana gushes, but Mercedes just rolls her eyes at her again.

"Just go get the girl," she groans but Santana can tell that what she really means is 'I really hope that this is the girl so you can stop whoring yourself out to every blonde who looks in your direction.' Santana secretly appreciates the concern in her intended meaning, not that she'd tell her that; that's kinda another foundation of their friendship.

"Alright," she sends up a quick prayer to whoever may be listening. "I'm going,"

Santana is rarely nervous when approaching anyone but her stomach is doing this funny thing where it feels like it might drop and take flight at the exact same time and she almost has it in her mind to abort mission, turn around, go back to Mercedes and pretend like she had some sudden burst of clarity and realized that this definitely couldn't be the chick but her body is drawn forward even as her mind retreats.

Up close, Santana has no real words to describe this girl but beautiful. She has this grace about her that Santana would liken to a model or a beauty queen or if she wants to get super cheesy then a gazelle or something but apparently as indicated by the golden nametag tacked onto the edge of her bikini top, she's some kind of crew on the ship which is pretty lackluster with a face and body like that.

Fuck, which is pretty lackluster with a smile like that.

Seriously, Santana feels like she's burning under the intensity of it. She even forgets that she's supposed to be like saying words until the corner of the girl's eyes crinkle softly in confusion and then hundreds of words—cute, pretty, beautiful, where the fuck have you been for the past few days?—come rushing to mind but none of them will rush past her lips.

"Hi," does finally make it past her lips though and the way the girl's whole body seems to light up makes Santana want to formulate enough words for her to keep some of that light for herself. She actually manages to look past the gentle swell of fantastically smooth cleavage to process the words printed on the blonde's nametag which seriously takes some willpower that she wasn't sure she even really possessed but apparently she does and she's suddenly really fucking glad she does because Brittany—it suits her, Santana thinks—practically beams when Santana says her name and even if Brittany isn't the blonde Santana is looking for, well, fuck it, now she is, because Santana is kind of known for having a one-track mind anyway and that track has suddenly taken a hazardous detour to destination: Brittany's pants—or her very skimpy bikini—and Santana's not sure she'll be able to get off board until she gets into them. If making her smile like that is key to that goal, then Santana will say her name a million times if she has to—preferably breathlessly while pressed against defined muscle sheathed by the pale, soft skin that Santana's desperate to reach out to touch.

"I didn't think you'd remember my name," Brittany reveals and Santana kind of thought that her glancing at Brittany's nametag was kind of obvious—what with the effort it took not to linger on her breasts too long— but she's not above taking credit where it isn't due especially after that smile she received. Or fuck it, especially since that means—well, that means that she should know Brittany's name, or at least, she should have at one point gotten Brittany's name in a situation where she was likely to forget Brittany's name and honestly, it's very unlikely that Santana would forget Brittany's name—seriously, she's fucking hot—unless she was—

"I mean, you were pretty drunk," Brittany adds and Santana resists the urge to do something seriously lame like do a happy dance or pat her own goddamn self on the back. Seriously, where is Puck when she needs him? She knows that Mercedes is watching but Mercedes is probably the straightest girl she knows which means she'll tell their friends that Brittany is pretty, which she is, but she's also like a fucking goddess and Santana wants all the credit she deserves for (hopefully) bagging a serious hottie while drunk.

It's pretty bittersweet though because if she did in fact have sex with Brittany, well, Brittany is hot as fuck so that's a fantastic thing, but, Brittany is hot as fuck and Santana doesn't even remember sleeping with her and that sucks hardcore.

"Sorry about that," Brittany continues and Santana's eyebrows skyrocket on her forehead, suddenly afraid that she had accidently verbalized her thoughts. She's pretty sure 'sorry, I don't remember having sex with you, that is if you really are the person that I had sex with, although I really hope you are because you're really hot' isn't the best way to get herself (or re-get herself) into Brittany's pants.

"You being that drunk," Brittany clarifies which only makes Santana more confused because why would Brittany apologize for Santana's reckless excessive drinking? As much as Santana would love to blame other people for her problems, that one is all her. "I figured that if I kept buying you drinks then you'd stay with me for longer,"



Well, there goes a chunk of time that she absolutely has no recollection of. She does recall a lot of drinks being bought for her but not a single one by someone as beautiful as Brittany.

Damn, she must have been really drunk by the time Brittany came along, like seriously stupid drunk; God, embarrassing drunk even. She can just imagine herself a sloppy, slurring mess trying to woo Brittany despite her obvious intoxication. God, the things she must have said; she thinks she ought to apologize but she's not even sure what for. At least Brittany had wanted to stay with her for longer though so she must not have been terrible company. Still, she feels the need to repent for her drunkenness somehow to at least prove she's not a complete bumbling idiot so she puts on her best charming smile, ready to get her flirt on.

"I would have stayed with you regardless," she says and she finds that she actually means it too; she's at a sort of ease here with Brittany, not feeling the usual assertive buzz she feels when she's with a girl she's trying to have sex with but feeling relaxed, like she's with a friend—an extraordinarily hot friend, but a friend nonetheless.

"Really?" Brittany asks.

"Mmmhmm," Santana affirms. "For as long as you wanted," she says, smiling big. "I never say no to a pretty girl and you are by far the prettiest I've seen,"

Jeez, she sounds like Puck—she's pretty sure she has heard Puck use the exact same line— but Brittany is smiling, chuckling actually, like she's really amused and she probably is, after all, that line was about a million levels of cheesy.

"Funny," Brittany says, smiling bright enough to set blaze to the entire universe. "You said the exact same thing last night,"

Oh God, embarrassing; she's gotta stop hanging around Puck so much.

"Did I? Well, did I also tell you that your smile is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen?"

"Actually, yes,"

Ok, so she seriously needs to stop hanging out with Puck so much!

"Damn. Well, I'm exhausting all my lines here,"

Brittany laughs, low and deep, and when Santana blinks, Brittany is suddenly close enough that Santana can differentiate between the shades of blue speckling her irises.

"Good thing I've already had sex with you then, huh?"

Well, BINGO! Jack-fucking-pot! Santana feels like she's won six lotteries; she could cry from relief or better yet take Brittany right here and now and relive this experience she's been so desperate to remember.

She does neither. In fact, her body decides to stay infuriatingly still as Brittany stalks closer until their hips are pressed together and her breath brushes so close to Santana's ear that Santana can actually feel it hitch.

"And," Brittany sweeps Santana's hair off of her neck, allowing the warmth of her breath to travel along expanses of skin. "I really want to do it again,"

"Yeah?" Santana asks, chest suddenly feeling the lightest it has in days.

"Yeah," Brittany affirms, her hands falling heavy on Santana's hips.

Apparently, Santana never says no to a pretty girl and she sure as fuck isn't going to start now.

"Is there anything else I said while drunk that I might need to know about?" Santana asks, arching into a body that feels familiar yet not quite familiar enough all at once.

Her tank top has risen up enough for her to feel the cool surface of the wall behind her but Brittany's hands are warm and wandering and it feels—Well, it feels like this has happened before.

She wonders if this is how it happened; if this was the wall that Brittany had pressed her against or if Brittany's hands were this warm then when the alcohol had already made her body burn hot and her head fuzzy.

She's as desperate to get the original night back as she is to get this one started and she's pretty desperate to get this one started. There's something magnetic about Brittany, something that draws Santana in and keeps her there, anxiously anticipating every soft press of fingertips that seem to seep beneath the barrier of her skin and fill up her insides until she's drowning in pure want.

"Well," Brittany's voice is rough, less bubbly and more here than Santana remembers it being before; the sheer implication behind the change is enough to make Santana's knees weak. "You said something like, "you're so fucking hot,"' she murmurs against Santana's shoulder, amusement bubbling from her throat even though lust has already seized her vocal cords. "And there was a lot of "please don't stop" and—"

"I get it," Santana says, chuckling despite herself; evidently alcohol doesn't like her as much as she likes it. "I'm not really an eloquent drunk, I guess," she jokes.

"No," Brittany agrees. "But big words confuse me anyway,"

Well, short and concise;Santana can definitely do that.

Fuck, with Brittany's hands inching their way up her abdomen, she's sure that Brittany's not really helpful to her devising any soliloquies anyway.

Not that she'd waste any breath on soliloquies, not when she's found the perfect balance between maintaining life and maintaining that brilliant dizzying sensation that skirts through her when she presses her lips against Brittany's. It's surreal how soft Brittany's lips are and how smoothly Santana's tongue glides across the contours of her mouth, teasing and tasting her until their breaths are collectively ragged and their tongues have long given up dueling in favor of dancing.

The knot fastening Brittany's bikini top slips away beneath Santana's fingertips until she can tug the material off and let her palms roam uninterrupted up the blueprint of a delicately muscled back. She drags her fingers across skin, mapping leisurely paths up Brittany's sides and against the ridges between well-defined muscles surfaced on abdomen. When Brittany's breath hitches, her lungs momentarily stilling to give way to a marvelously drawn out moan, Santana feels it; her stomach clenches and her skin tingles and fuck, she doesn't remember the last time she's been this wet.

She has no qualms about looking this time so she takes her time in her appraisal of the very topless Brittany, taking in the soft blush of her cheeks, the vulnerable dips of her neck and throat, the way her lip quivers as she sinks her teeth into it and the way her muscles tense and relax like she's trying to get a grip on her growing arousal although she gets a grip on Santana instead, her hands dropping to Santana's hips and clutching hard, fingernails biting into skin in a way that Santana finds entirely too hot.

Brittany's chest heaves when Santana brushes her fingertips across the underside of her breasts and when she cups them, testing the weight in her palms, the fit is fucking fantastic. Her hands frame supple flesh perfectly and she squeezes in delight, sinking her fingers into the curves of Brittany's breasts and feeling her nipples harden beneath the touch, flesh rippling beneath her fingertips like water beneath the weight of a well thrown stone.

God, Santana's suddenly overwhelmed with the urge to touch Brittany everywhere just to see the responses she'll garner but everywhere is so damn perfect that she hardly knows where to start.

Brittany makes the decision for her, pulling her so completely against her so quickly that her breath leaves her as their bodies collide but that doesn't stop Santana from kissing her back when their lips meet and this time, she takes her in with a renewed vigor, kissing hard and fast and honestly kind of messily but Brittany doesn't seem to mind; she smiles against Santana's lips, nipping playfully at her bottom lip and coaxing Santana's tongue into her restless dance until Santana is dazed from the combination of lust and breathlessness.

"God," The breathlessness doesn't last long and her lips soon find a shallow slope at the base of Brittany's neck where her heated murmurs graze across the glistening evidence of her kisses. "I want you so much,"

"Yeah?" Brittany asks, arching her neck as Santana continues nipping across her throat, suddenly fascinated by the reddened tint of the skin beneath her mouth. "How do you want me?"

Fuck, now that's just not fair at all; the way Brittany's breath shortens and her voice lowers just—fuck.; every way, any way, six ways from Sunday, Santana doesn't even care right now; she just wants her, all of her, now.

She drags her lips across Brittany's collarbone, sucking delicately at the salty-sweet flesh and when Brittany moans, hips bucking powerfully enough for Santana to feel the embers of her arousal flare, that does it.

"The bed," she finally decides, her voice sounding rough even to her own ears. "Get on the bed,"

Brittany hums her approval, detaching herself from Santana in a way that leaves Santana feeling suddenly cold but the way Brittany moves, effortlessly sexy, laying herself out on the bed, completely exposed beneath Santana's gaze, well, that image heats Santana right back up.

She quickly rids herself of her tank top and sweatpants and is suddenly grateful for the fact that all of her underwear could very well be from the front page of a Victoria Secret's catalog because the way Brittany looks at her, appreciation clear in the way her cheeks redden and she catches her bottom lip between her teeth, feels like a caress in itself.

She takes her time with her bra, teasing the lace straps off of her shoulders and thoroughly enjoying the way Brittany appears enthralled by the movement, eyes raking over every bit of skin Santana slowly reveals until the she finally unclasps the garment and lets it fall to the ground, the sound of it hitting the ground completely masked by Brittany's rapt gasp.

"Come here," Brittany rasps, reaching for Santana's hand to tug her against her until they're fit snugly, skin against skin. The new position puts Brittany at an unusual disadvantage height wise with Santana looming over her from between her legs, but Brittany puts her position to good use, lips skating over Santana's tight abs and up to her chest.

"You're beautiful," she whispers against skin, eyes dark and breath shoddy. It's something Santana hears thrown around often, from people with their faces in her tits and their minds in her pants but Brittany's looking at her face; her tits are dangerously close to Brittany's face, so close that Santana can feel her breath ghost across the underside of her breast but she is holding Santana's gaze, eyes soft with startling sincerity. Santana is both unused to and disconcerted by the way her heart races at the declaration so she averts her eyes quickly, suddenly glad that she was beyond oblivious drunk when she had first encountered Brittany because she's prone to bouts of overwhelming emotion in her early stages of drunkenness and she's sure her fragile, self-pitying drunk self wouldn't have fared well against this unusually delicate level of attention being paid to her. Fuck, her sober self isn't faring well against it either but Brittany is relentless in her rapt attention, chin pressing gently against her breastbone, gaze unwavering until Santana reestablishes eye contact.

"You are," she breathes into skin, peppering the flesh beneath her lips with butterfly kisses. "So beautiful,"

Santana really wants to deny it, or thank her, or tell her she's much more beautiful, but the words stick to her throat and eventually all that leaves her is a gasp when Brittany turns her head and takes her achingly taut nipple into her warm mouth, drawing her tongue over the sensitive flesh and pulling Santana closer so she can have access to more of her. And fuck it, she can have all of her if she wants; for a mouth like that Santana would sell herself to the devil and thoroughly enjoy every sinful caress that skillful tongue would have to offer.

And fuck is she enjoying Brittany's mouth.

Her stomach twists when Brittany's lips skim delicately across her breastbone and she can't help but curve into the blonde, body suddenly weak under the subtle weight of lips that know her body far too well.

Christ, Brittany is wet, so fucking wet that Santana can feel the heavy warmth against her knee when she presses into her. She slips further into the feeling, tensing her thigh against the friction of Brittany's bikini bottoms and gasping at the way they cling to her skin, slickened by the pure arousal beneath.

"Fuck, Brittany," she husks, palms pushing lightly against strong shoulders. She just needs to have her so badly. "Lay back,"

Brittany falls softly backwards against the mattress and Santana follows her easily, swooping in to capture her lips in a frenzied kiss while her hands make progress with unknotting the ties of Brittany's bikini bottoms.

They fall away and Santana tugs the material from between their bodies, letting it drop carelessly to the floor as she slips a firm thigh between strong legs.

Brittany reacts instantly, tearing her lips away from Santana's to release a ragged moan.

She is so fucking ready for this; Santana can feel the need radiating off of her, hips pressing so hard that Santana can feel the slickness spread against her skin. She wants to give her what she wants—anything she wants—but she's at a disadvantage here not exactly remembering having sex with her before and while she knows she can get her off—duh, sex is like in the list of top five things Santana can do best—she wants to do more than that; she wants to make Brittany's body and mind as hazy as Brittany had made hers; as hazy as her mind is getting just thinking about this orgasm that she can't even entirely remember.

She glides her thigh upwards, rocking into the motion so that Brittany really feels it and responds in kind, arching her hips to prolong the elusive flickers of pleasure that spark from the skin on skin contact.

Santana blazes a hot path across Brittany's neck, tongue darting out to trace imaginative patterns into skin and when she presses a kiss to the skin behind Brittany's earlobe, Brittany trembles beneath her, moaning openly into the charged air.

"Tell me," Santana breathes against her ear. "Tell me what you want,"

"I—," Brittany's voice is as strained as her body, breath as taut as her bowed back. Her palms slide down Santana's back and push at her underwear until Santana helps her drag them off, the last layer of clothing between them completely forgotten as it hits the ground.

"Yes," Brittany groans, eyes fluttering shut as she pulls Santana more firmly into her; she rocks her hips against the length of the strong thigh between her legs, her clit throbbing as she moves against soft skin already slickened by her arousal. "Just—"she tugs Santana into her, manipulates limbs and movement until Santana is straddling her thigh, their pleasure blending which each movement.

Santana's upper body strength doesn't stay with her for long amidst the heady friction of tangled, bounding limbs but when she drops from hovering over Brittany to pressing her body so fully against her that she can feel the blonde's heartbeat in her chest like it is her own, Brittany hardly seems to mind; she sinks her fingers into the curve of Santana's ass, immersing her completely into this haze of sinking into each other.

When she thrusts particularly effectively, Santana can feel Brittany feel it; it's oddly amazing the way she can feel the air being drawn into Brittany's lungs as her abs tightens beneath her and it's pretty fucking fantastic the way Brittany's moans ricochet off of skin before they reach her eardrums and make her push even harder to hear those muffled sounds again.

Exertion laps at her muscles, threatens to slow down the pace of their mutual triumph, but Santana is far less concerned with how her muscles will ache soon and far more interested in the heat that spreads against her thigh and how much she wants to touch—to feel—that slickness around her fingers.

Fuck, it's intoxicating, more so than any alcohol she's ever tasted; the way the scent of sex traps them and the way Brittany's body strains against her and makes her want so much more and nothing more at the same time. God, she wants to feel Brittany everywhere, to taste her everywhere, but Brittany's so close already; Santana can feel the tension in the tight arch of her back and the fading trembles of strong legs and wandering hands.

Brittany's whole body is reaching for her, trying to drag her into this vacuum of wanting and Santana goes willingly, her muscles winding, pulsing, searching, aching for this release that is dependent solely on the body beneath her.

Her heart pounds against her chest, loud enough that it rings in her ears and strong enough that her skin scorches beneath the rush of blood beating against her veins. She's so fucking close; her whole being feels like it's diffusing pleasure right to her center, she's that fucking close.

"Jesus," she pants against the curve of Brittany's neck, lips grazing skin slightly salted by a light sheen of sweat. She grips at the white sheets next to scattered strands of blonde hair, her other hand dipping to Brittany's hip to grip skin, pulling Brittany against her every push.

"Yes!" Brittany gasps, movements sharper and way more concentrated as she gets closer and closer. "Keep—" She arches desperately, skin dragging smoothly against skin, betraying the urgency behind each thrust of her hips. What is lost in the movement strains through Brittany's voice, pulling at her vocal cords so the gruffness of her each and every utterance is etched in heady desperation. "Just don't stop!"

Santana's not sure she could stop if she wanted to but she really doesn't fucking want to; she pushes harder, buoyed by the tension between them, until Brittany finally tenses harshly against her, clinging tightly until she dissolves into tremors, taking Santana right over that blinding edge with her.

Funnily enough, even as her orgasm crashes through her—it is every bit the orgasm she has been craving—she still finds herself far more absorbed in Brittany's release, taking her in in all her orgasmic glory and moving gentler against her as she comes down from her high with an airy contented sigh.

When she finally regains some sense of herself, Santana rolls off of the blonde, refilling her lungs with deep, even breaths and staring at the unfocused white ceiling.

Her skin still tingles beneath a layer of sweat and her muscles feel as heavy as her heaving chest but for the first time since her little drunken escapade, she kind of feels like herself again.

Well, at least she does for a little while.

There is a reason why Santana usually has a no-sex-at-any-place-where-she's-staying rule; she likes a quick getaway. More often than not, she utilizes that quick getaway and gets the fuck out of there before any questions are asked but this is her room and while this could probably fly while she was drunk, she's hardcore sober right now and suffocating under the gentlest contact of skin on skin from Brittany who has decided to frame herself against Santana's back, pressed so close Santana's sure she can feel her inside as well as out.

The last person Santana cuddled with was Puck and that turned out way more humorous than sweet; this, Santana thinks, could turn out disastrous.

"Hey," Brittany's voice reaches her ears sounding distant and sated, kind of like how Santana should feel right now if she hadn't been jolted from her post-orgasmic calm by this cuddling thing.

"Yeah?" Santana asks, trying her best not to sound as choked as she feels.

"Did you fall?" Brittany asks, fingers ghosting across Santana's side in a way that would probably feel nice under different, less awkward, they-totally-didn't-just-have-sex circumstances.

"Hmm?" Santana responds, not quite knowing where Brittany is going with that statement but kinda hoping Brittany would get going after that statement.

"You're kinda bruised," Brittany informs her, fingertips dancing along skin.

"Oh," Panic blazes through Santana's chest although she's not completely sure why; bruises can come from anywhere and she's not even ashamed of where these ones came from, it's just, well, 'Oh yeah, well, I was trying to find you and I had this brilliant plan of sleeping with every blonde I came across until I found you and I happened to just sleep with this one blonde woman who had a spanking kink which I really kind of enjoyed but that doesn't matter now because I've found you and now that I've had sex with you, could you like maybe leave, please?' even sounds bad in her own head and contrary to popular belief, most of the time Santana doesn't actually set out to hurt people but she's pretty sure vocalizing all of that will cause some kind of upset. Lying is probably her best bet in this situation.

"Yeah," she murmurs. "I fell,"

"That sucks," Brittany presses even closer, so close that Santana's sure that the sigh she involuntarily releases is her lungs' very own protest for some space. "I'm sorry," Brittany hums, brushing her lips against Santana's shoulder so softly that Santana's not even sure it can be called a kiss. That is definitely enough to make the panic that settled in her chest spread through her so quickly that it's a wonder she doesn't jerk away from the contact or even glow red with the warning sign that her brain is giving her. It's not even that Brittany's done anything wrong except care and fuck, she barely knows her; Santana doesn't remember the last time someone actually cared about her "falling" since maybe her childhood. Her mother used to worry so much back then; just a scratch and she would fuss until her dad would take a look at it and assure her that her baby wouldn't die; if her mom ever saw these bruises, she'd probably tell her she was better off dead than letting a woman sodomize like this, as if being gay wasn't demoralizing enough.

Fuck, her eyes are already prickling with tears that she's already spent too much time crying and if she didn't need her space before then fuck, she definitely needs it now. Stupid divergent feelings!

Words tickle her tongue, piercing, scathing ones that she'd usually not hesitate to spew but she can't seem to force them past her lips. She reminds herself that Brittany's done nothing wrong, but that's never really stopped her from tearing into someone before. She supposes that it's really just because with the little room Brittany has left between them, she's left a world of room for herself to be hurt. She barely knows Santana—she really doesn't know her at all—but here she is soothing her from an imaginary fall, leaving herself completely open to rejection.

Santana wonders how many people have abused that kind of kindness before but that kind of thinking only makes her feel kinda sick because she knows she's gonna be one of the assholes who does it and that fact makes her need her space more than ever.

"Weren't you working?" She asks suddenly and it clearly isn't the cleverest or the harshest thing she's said to get someone away from her but it's what comes to mind and it seems to work because Brittany sighs and puts just enough space between them that Santana can turn in her arms and see the soft frown that overwhelms her features.

Well, fuck, she wasn't expecting that. That may as well have been the nastiest thing she's ever said with the reaction she's getting.

"I—" she kind of wants to apologize for making her sad, but then again, she's really not sure what she's apologizing for; she supposes it wouldn't actually hurt to ask. "Did you have a bad day at work or something?"

"No," Brittany sighs and Santana swears her frown actually gets deeper. Fuck, maybe she's even worse at this not hurting people thing than she originally thought she was which fucking sucks because she knows she's just hardcore bad at cheering people up.

Hopefully she won't have to attempt to do that.

"Ok," She says slowly, very clear in her confusion.

"Well, yeah, I guess," Brittany concedes with another sigh. "It's just I'm part of this dance troupe—" she begins, biting her bottom lip nervously, like she's not sure if she wants to continue but Santana urges her on with a nod. "Or an entertainment troupe really, because we sing and dance and stuff and we do a show here every night. It's not like Bryan Ryan big or anything but it's always worked for us and people seem to enjoy it. Except now, my boss, Sue, has made it her goal to crush every other show on the ship which sucks because I like everybody here and I really don't want to have to compete with them but Sue says to get the edge over them, we have to intimate them with our greatness. Her first step was to get the people on the ship to like us better, so we're supposed to be out on the deck, talking and stuff except she told me I should just pretend that I don't speak English to spare everyone the "horrors of seeing how their tax dollars have been funneled into a failed American education system—"'

"Wait, your boss actually said that to you?" Santana asks, annoyance flaring in her chest. She's not sure why she even takes offense to that; if anyone has being rude, degrading and offensive down to a fucking T, it's her. She's torn numerous people down with her words and not once—ok, maybe once—has she felt bad about it yet here she is, angered because some woman she doesn't even know insulted a girl she's had sex with. She doesn't know what it is about Brittany; maybe it goes back to the her leaving herself so open to being hurt thing; it's just too easy; so easy that Santana couldn't even do it when Brittany was suffocating her with her kindness. Santana's not sure how anyone else could do it.

"Sue has always been mean," Brittany explains. "I guess she just doesn't get enough hugs or something. I'm usually not really bothered by it really; I mean, I'm not even like the other girls, I only do the spring break cruise anyway but I guess I'm just tired of people calling me stupid all the time,"

"I—" Honestly, Santana wants to offer to execute a hit on that woman for saying something like that to her, but this clearly isn't her fight; if anything, Brittany seems more saddened than actually angry so Santana swallows back the sudden wave of protectiveness that comes over her.

"I don't think you're stupid," she admits instead and she finds that she actually really means it. Sure, Brittany doesn't quite have a way with words and she seems almost agonizingly naïve but it makes her aggravatingly easy to be around; even now with the instinct to run buzzing through Santana's veins, she's still here, with Brittany's arm wrapped loosely around her waist, talking to her about her boss, like this is completely normal. It's not normal. Honestly, with Santana's resolve, if she really wanted to get Brittany away from her, then Brittany would be gone already, probably crying, ages ago, but she's not and Santana has no real reason to justify that except for the fact that Brittany is annoyingly not annoying to her. She kind of likes being around her actually.

"I like hearing you talk,"

"Yeah?" Brittany asks, smiling brilliantly.

She rolls over smoothly so she's hovering over Santana, lips so teasingly close that Santana can feel her breath.

She definitely likes where this is going.

Her body stirs with arousal so quickly that it's almost dizzying and she's overwhelmed with that need to touch all over again.

"Yes," she affirms, pushing up to attach their lips.

She decides that she really, really likes hearing Brittany talk when she rocked to earthshattering orgasm with Brittany's fingers inside her and Brittany's voice in her ear telling her how sexy she is when she's riding her fingers.

Something feels off. Like, other than the fact that Santana's just waking up—seriously, she doesn't really fall asleep right after sex ever—there's just something that doesn't feel quite right.

It's probably because Brittany continued to suffocate her with her friendliness even during her unusual nap.

Or because Brittany's gone.

Wait. Fuck!

Santana shoots up in the bed so quickly that it makes her head spin only to find Brittany getting dressed.

"Whoa!" Brittany soothes her fingertips across Santana's ankle. "Hey. Sorry, I tried not to wake you," she says, tying the second string of her bikini bottoms.

Yeah, sure she did; Santana's sure she tried to be as quiet as possible so she could sneak out before she woke without leaving a fucking number or anything.

She's not sure why that stings her so much; she's done it countless times before; she guesses she just wasn't expecting it is all, not after the way Brittany seemed to so genuinely care.

Fuck, she could probably get an Oscar after that performance. Fuck it, it's not like she wanted her to stay or anything. Why would she want that?

"Could you tie me up?" Brittany asks, turning her back so Santana can tie the strings on her bikini top.

It's not disappointment that burns Santana's chest; well, maybe it is a little; she just really wanted to fuck Brittany again—seriously "tying her up" gives Santana all sorts of ideas— is all before she fades off into obscurity among the ships' other blondes.

"Yeah." She swallows hard, tugging the strings of Brittany's bikini top perhaps a little bit too hard. Probably a lot too hard judging by the small squeak Brittany makes. "Whatever."

"Are you ok?" Brittany asks when Santana finally manages to knot the strings without choking her.

"Yeah. Why wouldn't I be?"

"I dunno. I—" Brittany shrugs, turning to face her. "I gotta go to work," she smiles, but it's hesitant, nothing like the dazzling smile she unleashed on Santana before. "Like real work. The actual show," she clarifies. "You should come," there's so much uncertainty in her voice that Santana doesn't really know what to make of it. "I mean, you don't have to if you don't want to, of course, but we're performing in the studio at 9 and we're really good! I'm kinda the best; like dancing is one of the few things that I actually am good at. So I would really like it if you came and watched me dance,"

"Really?" Santana asks and when her heart hammers against her chest this time, it definitely isn't hope or anything like that.

"Really." Brittany affirms and her smile really is dazzling this time; all of her seems to light up because of it.

"Ok then," Santana says, feeling suddenly inexplicably breathless.

"Ok," Brittany agrees, bottom lip trapped between her teeth. "I better go then. Sue will kill me if I'm late,"

"Alright," Santana nods, unable to stop the smile that spreads across her face; she's not acting like a love-struck school girl; she's absolutely not!

"Alright," Brittany settles, pecking Santana on the lips and bounding out of the door before Santana can even process it.

When she does finally process it, sometime between trying on the fourth outfit and the seventeenth, she can't help but wonder what she's gotten herself into.

She's in awe.

Seriously, there is no other way to describe it but awe. Brittany really wasn't kidding when she said her show was good.

When a group of girls in really short shorts lead by no other than represso the lesbo herself rushed the stage, Santana thought "interesting" and then of course a billion gay jokes rushed through her mind, but apart from that, she also predicted that the show would be a campy, scary teenage girl wasteland, every hormonal teenage boys' fantasy type thing, which it was, but she also witnessed them execute and stick perfect bow-n-arrows—she was a cheerleader, she knows that hard—while continuing to sing on-pitch to some Katy Perry song and if that wasn't enough, Brittany really was fucking amazing. Like even when Berry had passively-aggressively complimented represso's voice (and her skin; seriously if Santana cared about anyone's sex life but her own, she'd find a way to lock them in a closet together), she really couldn't hide how impressed she was by Brittany's dancing.

The way she moves, like seriously, even on a stage surrounded by twenty or so fairly attractive girls—which Puck got a rise out of (literally)—Santana couldn't help but be drawn to her. It's like every time she moves, every time she rolls her hips, extends a leg, fuck, even something as simple as curling her lips into a smile, she just throws all of herself behind each small action until it all just seamlessly morphs into something so beautiful and so tremendous that Santana still can't really wrap her mind around it.

When Brittany dances, it's like she's giving herself—all of herself – to the audience, like she's giving herself to Santana.

Santana almost wants to give something back; anything really because she's not sure her words can express just how fucking good Brittany is at what she does. If she could, she'd get her some flowers—isn't that like post-show etiquette or something? It's really the least she could do after a performance like that, but she's on a cruise ship in the middle of the night so flowers are pretty much out of the question.

Or maybe not.

"Hey Rachel," she nudges the shorter girl in the side. "Do you have that notepad you keep in your bag?"

"Santana, I have no id—"

"The one you practice your autograph on?" Santana emphasizes, ignoring the embarrassment that floods Rachel's face because seriously, she has no time for Berry being all bashful right now. "I need a few sheets of paper,"

Rachel reluctantly supplies the sheets of paper, eyeing her intently like she expects Santana to tell her what she needs them for.

As if.

"Thanks Berry," she smiles, tight-lipped, paying little attention to the look of dejection Berry shoots her for not making her privy to her plans.

"I'm gonna hang around here a little longer. I'll catch up to you guys later,"

She waits until Rachel is completely out of sight before she puts her plan into action.

It takes almost a billion attempts—she really hasn't done this in forever— but she finally manages to fold the papers until she has something that vaguely resembles a flower. It's not like fantastic or anything and she contemplates just throwing it away at least a hundred times before she decides to just go with it.

She thinks it's probably borderline—full-blown—stalker-ish to be waiting outside the back entrance of the studio for Brittany to emerge but apparently Brittany doesn't think so—or she does think so and she's into that sort of thing—because she barrels into Santana as soon as she sees her, hugging her so tightly that Santana's really fucking glad she has quick reflexes or else her paper flower would have been crushed between them.

"I'm glad you decided to come,"

"I'm really glad I did too," She admits and it's true even despite the fact that her friends had given her complete hell throughout the show about how clearly into this girl she is.

"You were amazing," she gushes. "Like really amazing, Brittany! I mean, I wanted to, you know, get you something after such a great performance but I couldn't really think of anything—" Man, she's really glad that she has an out for this blushing thing or else she'd be blazing red. "So, I made you a flower," Fuck, she feels kind of stupid now, standing in front of a girl who's hot enough to be a fucking supermodel, presenting a gift that looks like a kindergartener made it.

"Wow," Brittany smiles so brightly that Santana kind of has to wonder if it's supposed to feel this condescending because there's just no way a paper flower should make anyone that happy. Nevertheless, Brittany holds the flower delicately between her fingertips, beaming like she's just received gold.

"This is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me," she says quietly, tucking the rolled paper stem behind her ear so the stark white of the paper contrasts sharply against vibrant strands of blonde hair.

On any other person, Santana's sure it would look ridiculous; on Brittany, it seems to work.

"I'm sure it isn't the nicest thing," Santana backpedals, even though Brittany's happiness seems to be contagious because she can't seem to stop the smile that tugs on her lips.

"It really is," Brittany says, doing the absolute strangest thing and catching Santana's pinkie with her own so they're linked.

Honestly, Santana is kinda filled with the need to do a million nice things for her and then Brittany pulls her against her and kisses her; then she's overwhelmed with the urge to start with one very specific nice thing.

"Yes!" Brittany hisses, stifling the volume of her sounds by biting hard on the side of her thumb while she tangles the fingers of her other hand through Santana's hair, tugging her closer.

If the way Brittany's chest heaves or the way her hips—clearly not only made for dancing—roll, searching for more contact, are any indication, then she's very appreciative of this very specific nice thing which is fucking fantastic because fuck, if this was Santana's daily good deed, then she'd be like tied with the fucking Pope by now or something.

She rolls her tongue against Brittany's clit, enjoying the way Brittany's back arches, her whole body swift and graceful in her pursuit of prolonged pleasure. Santana's heard sex be compared to dancing like thousands of times—fuck, she's even done it before— but she hadn't truly gotten it until now, until images of Brittany on a stage float across her mind while her fingertips bite into supple thighs, stilling restless hips as she presses her lips against slick folds.

She hums, all wet mouth against wet skin, savoring the unique musky-sweet scent and flavor of the girl beneath her.

Apparently, performing turns Brittany on even more than Santana does because damn, Santana remembers her being wet earlier, now she's absolutely dripping. She dips her tongue into warm wetness, meeting resistance alongside tight hot walls but absolutely no resistance from Brittany who jerks her hips, letting a deep strangled moan resonate against her palm.

Santana flattens her tongue and sinks in deeper; this time, Brittany's moan slices right through the vocal barrier she's created for herself.

"I am gonna come really really fast if you keep doing that," She husks, hips arched, searching.

Santana really doesn't mind how quickly she comes because she has every intention to make her come again and again and again.

She slides her tongue out of Brittany and dips back in just as quickly, flicking her tongue against sensitive flesh.

Brittany's fingernails graze at her scalp, fingertips playing with strands of hair even as she drags Santana closer, fucking her mouth with thrusting hips.

Damn, Brittany really wasn't kidding about that her coming really quickly thing; Santana can already feel her inner walls clenching and her thighs shaking.

Her moans are uninhibited now, one hand mussing sheets, the other mussing hair and Santana can tell she is finely straddling that edge of orgasm.

She straightens her tongue, lets Brittany dictate movement with her hips while she hooks an arm under the writhing blonde, pressing her thumb against skin still slick from her teasing.

A few tight circles on her clit and Brittany comes undone against her, shuddering into an oblivion until she crashes back down against the mattress, breathing raggedly.

"Wow," she breathes, voice dreamy and eyes still tightly closed.

Santana hums her agreement, slipping her tongue out of Brittany but nowhere near done with her.

She grazes her stilled thumb softly across Brittany's clit and Brittany's jerks instantly, eyes flying open.

"Santana!" she whines.

"Hmm?" Santana plays innocent, pressing a kiss high against the blonde's inner thigh. She presses a bit harder with her thumb and Brittany shudders, much to Santana's delight.

"Sensitive?" she asks, smirking. She breathes a stream of warm air direct against the sensitive nub, feeling as the residual pleasure shoots through Brittany.

She blows air across her until the pleasure blazes anew, until the fingers that had gone slack in her hair grasp and hips arch and Brittany's biting into her bottom lip so hard that it's plausible she may bleed.

"Santana," There's a plea in the way she purrs Santana's name this time; she drags out the syllables the way Santana's dragging out her pleasure.

"Mmhmm?" She asks, lips so close to Brittany's clit that it's hard not to call her utterance a kiss.

"I—" Brittany flails. "Please,"

Well, since she asked super nicely and Santana really couldn't resist much longer even if she tried, she presses her lips tenderly against Brittany's clit once, twice before taking it between her lips, engulfing sensitive flesh in the warm vacuum of her mouth.

Brittany arches into her instantly, coiling tightly under the pleasure.

She's close; Santana can feel it in the quiver of her thighs, she can hear it in the strain of her voice, she can see it in clenched fists and firmly clamped eyelids; clearly, Brittany is nothing if not expressive. Even though she's all sporadic breaths and panted sighs, the taut curve of her back feels like voiceless verses, and her hips scream pleas against Santana's palms; pleas that Santana answers with actions of her own, grasping Brittany's hips and tugging hard until strong legs are tossed over her shoulders and she's got nothing but a mouthful of a writhing Brittany. She presses firm against the skin beneath her fingertips, pulling Brittany as she pushes, letting the momentum press her tongue harder against sensitive flesh.

Fuck, it's kind of incredible how beautifully Brittany comes apart beneath her.

Her breath grows heavy and cuts into a soft startled sigh while her back bows, eager to soak in as much pleasure as possible before she crumbles back to the surface, skin glistening with sweat and limbs shaky from the strain.

Santana can feel the blonde trembling against her; she can feel the pleasure as it drips off of her and she can't help it really, she doesn't even know why, but she just needs this to last.

Brittany's still slowly riding out her orgasm when Santana thrusts a middle finger into her.

Brittany gasps— a small surprised breathy exhale— even as her body responds; hot, pliant walls clenching hard around the intruding digit.

Santana lets her lips skim upwards, nipping at the dips sharply defined muscle create against a flat abdomen while she pushes deeper, curling her finger to press harder against flesh.

She swirls her tongue high across the indents sectioning ribs and slips another finger into Brittany, letting bucking hips aid her in thrusting deeper into the warmth that grips at her fingers.

She can feel the reverberation of Brittany's moan when her lips press across the blonde's throat. She kisses across a tightly clenched jaw until the muscles relax beneath her lips, completely contrasting the desperation lined in delicate features.

She pushes harder, curling and twisting her fingers easily against the slickness that has accumulated around them.

Brittany cries out in pleasure, hips straining beneath the press of Santana's. She's close; she's been wavering on the edge of that precipice ever since she was pushed over the first time and then the second and Santana knows exactly what to do to bring her crashing down off of the edge of the third.

"You know," Santana presses a kiss right behind her earlobe, voice a breathy whisper next to the blonde's ear. "Watching you dance tonight," she searches with her fingers, pressing hard against that spot that makes Brittany's breath hitch. "God, you were so beautiful," Brittany whines into the curve of Santana's neck, tugging with her hands so they're fit tightly; so the only interruption between them is the constant movement of Santana's hand. "You were so fucking sexy," her words almost sound slurred, like she's drunk on the captivating feel of Brittany. She kinda probably is. She most definitely wouldn't mind if she was. "The way you move—all I could think about was doing this," she admits, feeling Brittany clench around her fingers. "All I could think about was being inside you like this,"

Brittany's moan is barely audible as she absolutely shatters beneath the pleasure, but her body jerks and she contracts around Santana's fingers tellingly.

"Wow," she breathes shakily, fingers moving between their bodies to daintily grasp at Santana's wrist. Santana smirks against her neck, knowing full and well that she's been caught in her intent to draw another orgasm from the drained blonde. "That was—" Brittany shakes her head, seemingly at a loss for words. "Wow," she says again, lips curling into a soft smile. "But I can't—not again,"

Santana chuckles throatily, withdrawing her fingers from the blonde once her body has restored itself to a state of calm.

Brittany's chest and neck is flushed a deep red and Santana can't resist the urge to kiss along the skin until she finally presses a chaste kiss to Brittany's lips.

Brittany's whole face brightens from the force of her grin even though her eyes are droopy and even her heartbeat seems to lay the beat for the softest lullaby.

"You should go to sleep," Santana murmurs, pressing her lips to Brittany's cheek.

"But I really wanna do you too," Brittany says, pouting adorably as she slides her fingertips down Santana's back.

Santana laughs, capturing Brittany's hand in her own before it can complete its descent.

"Sleep first,"

Brittany nods her agreement, tugging on Santana's hand so their fingers intertwine.

"Will you stay?" she asks, hopefully; her other hand resting low on Santana's back, almost trapping her into staying right here on top of her.

Just about everything inside Santana is urging her to say no; she wants to run; she wants to detangle her limbs from the blonde's, go back to her room, maybe even joke with Puck about her numbers rising, but Brittany is looking at her—really looking at her— tired blue eyes startlingly clear and Santana just can't do it.

"Yea," she says softly, swallowing against the rising bile in her throat. "I'll stay,"

Brittany smiles, manipulating limbs until Santana's on her side and Brittany's curled delicately around her, heartbeat pounding into her back.

The room lulls into a soft calm, their breaths and heartbeats combining to create a sort of melody and Santana does the only thing she can think of in a situation like this.

She hums.

And then she sings.

She sings until the breath that wisps across her neck evens and the heartbeat stops pounding against her and starts gently drumming.

She's almost positive that Brittany has fallen asleep by the time she stops singing and she feels her own eyes start to drop shut when lips press softly against her shoulder.

"You're voice is beautiful," Brittany whispers earnestly, kissing her shoulder again. "Just like you,"

Brittany must have been super serious about that doing her too part, because the hand that skirts down her back carries intent with it and Santana's single most thought when Brittany slides two fingers into her and uses the momentum from her hips to barrel into her hard is that she'd be dangerous with a strap-on. Fuck, she'd be pretty lethal riding Santana's strap-on; Santana's almost overwhelmed with dread because she'll never get to experience it.

When Brittany presses butterfly kisses against her shoulder as she comes down from her orgasmic high, Santana's pretty sure it really is dread that makes her chest clench painfully.

Santana runs her fingers through the strands of soft blonde hair splayed across her chest. She massages Brittany's scalp with her fingertips, smiling when the blonde sighs contently against her skin.

They've pretty much been in bed all day. Ok, a majority of the day at least. They did manage to get the important stuff done like shower, eat—Santana even texted her friends so they know she isn't dead—but somehow they also managed to keep finding their way right back here, tangled into a pile of naked, sweaty limbs.

It's strangely peaceful but like all things peaceful in Santana's life, she knows it won't last for long.

She sighs, letting her fingers slip out of Brittany's hair and sweep fleetingly across her neck.

"Don't you work tonight?" she asks, fingertips stroking down Brittany's spine. She had made sure, on one of her very brief departures from the bed, to check the ship's daily schedule and had made it a priority of hers to go to Brittany's show again. Seriously, if it ends similarly to last night, then Santana is all for it. Brittany's taste still lingers in her mouth and fuck, she'd be happy to repeat the performance until it lingers forever.

"Nope," Brittany answers though, turning her head so her lips soothe over dark bruises already left by her mouth.

Santana could easily just let herself sink into the distracting gentleness of Brittany's lip's caress but something's off. It's not like Brittany's lying or anything; it's just that Santana's completely positive that when she checked the schedule, Brittany's troupe had been scheduled to perform tonight. Maybe Brittany's forgotten the date or something; lying in bed together all day had of course led to various conversations and Santana clearly remembers Brittany admitting that she's pretty horrible at keeping track of dates although she's pretty awesome at keeping track of holidays; seriously, Santana didn't even know what Ides of March was, let alone that it's today.

It's pretty weird that Brittany would remember that some obscure holiday falls on today but not remember that it's March 15th. If it were anybody else, Santana would probably call bullshit but it's not anyone else, it's Brittany and if there's anything Santana has learned about Brittany, it's that she's in this sort of world of her own; it's like she's grounded in this unique, serene place just kinda floating above everyone else. Santana thinks that maybe the longer she lies here with her, the closer she'll get to even grazing the very edge of that place. Hell, she's still kinda just leaping to touch it but she still feels like she's in one of the calmest states she's ever been in, right here, fingertips dancing along the bumps of Brittany's vertebrae on regular old March 15th where Brittany will probably realize she has to work soon.

Like real soon.

Brittany's told her horror stories about her boss, Sue; the last thing Santana wants is for Brittany to show up late.

"Are you sure? I'm pretty sure the schedule said you guys were performing tonight," Santana broaches.

"We are," Brittany admits, running her palms leisurely up Santana's sides. "I'm just not. I never do the last show," she explains, which is weird because Santana knows that in most performances, the first show and the last show are considered the most important so she doesn't get why they'd not have their best dancer dance at the last show.

"How comes?" she asks, hoping that the explanation isn't another injustice of that Sue woman because Santana's already considering hunting her down and shoving her foot down her throat.

Brittany just shrugs nonchalantly.

"I'm usually gone," she says, which really isn't much of an explanation at all because Santana feels even more confused now than before.

"Gone where?" she asks.

"I only do the spring break cruise," Ok, Santana vaguely remembers Brittany saying that before but it's still not making much sense and Brittany seems to get that because she elaborates. "I'm usually off the ship,"

"Oh," Santana murmurs; well that makes sense although, actually, it really still doesn't make much sense. She sits up a bit, so Brittany's not resting completely on top of her anymore which is probably more helpful to her thinking.

"So, wait. Where do you live?" she asks, suddenly eager to understand; she hadn't really thought about it when Brittany first said it but clearly if Brittany only does this specific cruise, then she must have a life somewhere, another job, a family; Santana suddenly wants to know everything.

Brittany follows suit, sitting up so she's next to Santana, leaning lightly against the headboard.

She shrugs.

"I don't live anywhere,"

Maybe all the sex has delayed Santana's brain because she's seriously just not getting it.

"But you said you only do this once a year?"

Brittany nods.

"I do." She purses her lips and for the first time since they've met, Santana notes that Brittany seems nervous; closed off even. She's not even really sure how to react to it, but her body reacts first anyway, palm soothing across a bare shoulder. Brittany relaxes into the touch but she doesn't look at her, she stares straight ahead at the wall. "It's not anything bad," she starts and Santana nods, smoothing her palm down Brittany's arm until she continues.

"It's just—every year on the second to last day of the cruise, I count until the 5th stop, sometimes I get lost and it turns out to be the 7th or the 19th or whatever, and then I get off. What makes this spring break cruise so popular is because it changes each year, stops are added, stops are dropped. It's different every single year,"

"Wow, so you go to a random place, and then what?"

"I find somewhere to stay, find work, settle down for a year,"

"That's—" Santana doesn't even know what it is; it's, not what she expected, she supposes.

"Insane?" Brittany supplies, a touch of sadness coloring her tone, like it's something she hears often, too often probably from the same people who are quick to call her stupid without even trying to understand her.

Santana shrugs. It's a lot of things but it's not insane; it's—

"Eventful," she settles for and if there were a right answer, she supposes that was it because Brittany beams, lighting up like a firework display on the fourth of July. She kisses Santana, lips soft and insistent; it'd be easy to get lost in the kiss—it'd be so easy to get lost in Brittany again— but what they were talking about seems to hit Santana full force and her chest seizes.

"Britt?" she presses her palms to Brittany's shoulders, preventing any distractions in the form of kisses that could very well render her speechless.


"Today is the second to last day of the cruise,"

Brittany sighs, a pout tugging at her lips.

"I know. I figured there won't be too much harm getting off somewhere on the last day," she admits, gently cupping Santana's jaw. There's a deep intensity in Brittany's eyes, bright blue irises swimming with a sort of sincerity as she holds fast to Santana's gaze. "I didn't want to leave you yet,"

It has be karma, Santana supposes, for all those beds she's practically broken her neck to get out of, the one she wants to stay in comes complete with a dangerously ticking countdown.

She doesn't want to leave Brittany yet either; she has surprisingly quickly become accustomed to those soft penetrating stares and smooth skin and being wrapped up in something so beyond herself that she can't even describe it. She's become accustomed to that flutter in her chest when Brittany smiles and even to that pang of protectiveness that accompanies most of their interaction.

Fuck, maybe Brittany has really ruined her because she seriously can't even imagine going back home and falling back into her usual routine of one night stands with girls whose names she didn't even care enough about to get. She just can't imagine Brittany falling into a category with any of the girls she's had sex with and she seriously can't imagine joking with Puck about any of her interactions with Brittany.

It's both weird and thrilling and completely bittersweet because it's pretty much over. They were doomed from the very beginning, from even before Santana can remember.

"I—" She doesn't know what to say nor does she have a word to describe what she's feeling; there's just something magnetic about Brittany, something that's pulling Santana even in though she knows she should be stumbling backward.

"What about the last stop?"

She's lost her mind. If she hasn't lost it, she's losing it.


"Miami," Clearly, her mind is really way out there in the water now. She knows it's way too fast, but she can't stop herself; she needs to at least have tried. "That's the last stop," she clarifies. "That's where I'm getting off and then my friends and I are hopping on a bus back to Ohio. You could come. I share an apartment with some friends, they wouldn't mind you staying with us,"

Well, clearly Santana's life isn't some cheesy romantic comedy because Brittany seriously doesn't look exited by the proposal; fuck, Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigl and the likes would be on her metaphorical dick by now, but Brittany's apprehensive, gazing through her like she can somehow read her intentions.

"I dunno, Santana," she puts words to the uneasiness creasing the corners of her lips and eyes. "I mean, I like you. I really do!" she admits, pulling Santana's hands into her lap. Santana wants to recoil—she's never done well with rejection—but Brittany holds on, rubbing circles with her thumbs into the backs of Santana's hands.

"Don't do that!" Brittany pleads when Santana tries to tug away again.

"What?" Santana asks, voice rough with rising bitterness. Clearly, it was a stupid idea asking Brittany to come with her; she should have known better than to have treated this as anything but sex.

For some reason, because clearly her brain likes fucking with her, her eyes sting with impending tears but there is no way on Earth she is going to just sit here and cry on Brittany's shoulder so when tugs this time, she manages to break from Brittany's grasp and is scanning the floor for her dress within seconds.

The dress—a vibrant purple with shimmering stripes—is easy to find, her underwear, not so much. She thinks about just leaving without them but she's not gonna give Brittany that satisfaction. She's already lost her dignity here once; she's not about to lose it twice.

"Santana," Brittany sighs, sounding sad and helpless and everything she has no fucking right to be when this is her fault.

"Please listen to me," she grasps Santana's arm, pleading with her eyes and hands and voice. "Please, can we just talk about this?"

"What is there to talk about?" Santana snaps which would frighten most into withdrawing but Brittany grasps tighter, forcing Santana closer.

"I didn't say no, Santana," she argues softly.

"But you didn't say yes either,"

Brittany sighs, fingers skimming skin until she's loosely gripping Santana's wrist. Santana realizes that she could easily break out of the weakened hold but Brittany traps her with her eyes, leaving her helplessly staring at swirled patterns in blue irises, her anger quickly dissipating.

"I'm asking if it's enough," Brittany murmurs, soft enough that Santana has to lean in to hear it.

"So, we like each other. Is it enough?"

Santana wants to say for sure that it is but she honestly doesn't know; she's so far out of her depth here that she feels like she's drowning and it really doesn't help that she's certain that the deep blue of Brittany's eyes are worth drowning in.

She feels like she's risking everything here. Ok, so clearly not everything but her friends are going to have a field day about her actually bringing a girl home, she's pretty sure some U-Haul jokes will be made, Berry will probably be smug as fuck all whilst making grand, fanciful implications about the nature of her relationship with Brittany and all of that is clearly annoying as fuck but Santana's more than willing to go through all of that if Brittany says yes; she just can't understand why Brittany's so hesitant to agree.

"What do you have to lose?" she asks, holding fast to Brittany's gaze. "If you don't like it, you don't have to stay,"

"Is that all of it?"

Santana leans against the doorway watching as Brittany slides the zip closed on her suitcase.

She has two suitcases now; a bag she came here with—her whole life in just one bag—and a new bag—a bag indicative of the life she has here, the life with Santana and all her friends—their friends now since Brittany just seemed to fit in among them like she belonged all along; a piece of a puzzle none of them realized they were missing.

The zip closes, a resolute clink as the two meet, and Brittany looks up, meeting her gaze.

"That's all of it," she affirms.

Santana sighs.

Brittany flops down on her suitcase, arms outstretched, calling, and Santana goes willingly until she's wrapped in Brittany's embrace, inhaling the fruity scent of her shampoo and sighing into the curve of her neck.

"It's just four months," Brittany murmurs into her hair, pressing her lips to the top of Santana's head. "And I have to go. Q says she really needs some time off and Sue says she won't have a job when she gets back unless she finds a replacement for herself," Santana nods; she's not happy about it but she understands and hopefully that'll be enough to drag her through the next four months.

Brittany exhales, her breath tussling Santana's hair.

"It's gonna be weird," she admits.

"What? Being on the ship when it isn't Spring Break?"

"Yeah, that too," Brittany nods. "But Q told me everything has been changing on the ship in last few months. I've been doing this yearly since I was 16 and every year, everything is usually pretty close to the same but now it's only been like seven months and Holly Holiday has quit to start teaching and April wrote this musical that is crazy huge on Broadway and she dragged Bryan Ryan along to star in it. Even Sam, this guy who works in the kitchen who I used to goof around with all the time, actually navigates the ship now. Between you and me, I think he must have slept his way to the position because—" she cuts herself off, shaking her head softly.

"Sorry, I'm talking about all these people who you have no idea about,"

"It's cool," In fact, Santana knows exactly how Brittany feels; in the past few months, everything around here has been changing too. Like, seriously, Kurt moved out and into a one bedroom with Blaine so they have this spare room that nobody is crazy enough to rent and Puck has been acting super weird, like he picked up two extra job as well as classes and then last week quit both jobs and decided to fuck the rest of the semester to "go traveling." Even Mercedes has been acting all secretive, sneaking out at night and God, it looks like with Brittany gone, Rachel Berry is going to be her one constant over the next few months. She shudders at the mere thought of it, hugging her girlfriend tighter.

"I'm gonna miss you Britt-Britt,"

"I know. I'll call like every single day," she assures. "Sometimes twice,"

"I know I'm being stupid—" Santana presses her forehead against Brittany's pulse point, squeezing her eyes shut against what she knows is irrational insecurity. "But you are coming back right?" she asks desperately.

"This isn't just your way of leaving because you're too nice to tell me you're not happy with me?"

"San," Brittany grips her shoulders, putting space between them so their gazes lock. "I love it here. I love that Rachel wakes everybody up in morning when she sings in the shower and I love that Mike lets me help teach his dance classes and that Mr. Schue lets me help choreograph you guys' dance routines. I love that Rachel and Finn drama is sometimes better than what's on TV and that Kurt and Blaine have so little drama that they should be on TV. I've never really felt at home anywhere like I do when I'm here and even if all of that were different, I'd still come back because you're here," she runs her fingertips across Santana's jaw, touch as gentle and insistent as her words. "Because what I love most about being here is you, Santana. I love you so of course I'll be back, if you want me back,"

Santana's heart thuds, seemingly doing all sorts of dangerous leaps against her chest while her stomach does even more dangerous plummets.

She thinks she should probably be terrified or overwhelmed or something of the sort because Brittany just told her that she loves her, instead, she's just brimming with the urge to kiss the lips that declaration fell so casually from and so she does.

She seals her own murmured declarations of love to Brittany's lips with her own, kissing her intently until even her thoughts seem to sink into their love-filled haze. Eventually Brittany breaks their kiss, smiling amusedly against Santana's lips.

"I don't wanna miss my bus," she explains.

Santana grin, stealing another kiss from protesting lips.

"You won't be late if you let me drive you to the bus stop,"

"Nice try! Besides, Rachel can see over the windshield; I've seen her do it. So you can stay here and study," she places a lingering kiss to the corner of Santana's mouth.

"Four months and I'll be back,"

She is back. With two bags, and two rays of sunshine hair?

Ok, so that's new.

"Hey guys!" She bounds into the apartment exactly four months later, filling the space with her heaps of energy like she never left. "I want you guys to meet my friend Q!"


Santana really should have connected those dots; Q = Quinn = represso the lesbo herself, who is currently standing in their living room gazing timidly at the floor. She apparently hasn't draped herself in rainbows and proclaimed her gayness to the world, so Santana was right, but she does look different somehow; she looks older than Santana remembers, fuller in her hips and cheeks, but way sadder.

"Quinn, this is Santana," Brittany introduces and Santana outstretches her arm to shake Quinn's hand. It's probably better to start anew now that she knows Quinn and Brittany are good friends.

Quinn smiles politely at her although there's terror in her eyes, like she half expects Santana to just start blabbing her secret out of nowhere.

Please, she's not that mean.

"And this is Puck," Brittany continues, pointing to Puck sitting on the couch.

Santana is half expecting to have to cause some type of diversion to expel the awkward tension she expects but there is none; Quinn smiles politely at Puck and Puck nods his head in acknowledgement and there is absolutely none of that we've slept together once tension that she assumes there would be; instead, there is a look of mutual understanding, like two people who have had to reach some kind of grand compromise. Hell, maybe he really did like her and she came out to him or something. Maybe that's why he's been super emo since he came back from "travelling" yesterday. Like seriously, he had come back looking so mopey that Santana had no choice but to break bro-code and ask him if he was alright and even then he just nudged her with his shoulder and said something like "the world isn't all it's cracked up to be, Lopez," and then spent the next hour or so with his guitar on the couch singing some rock song about some Bette or Betsy or Beth or something.

She supposes she can break bro-code one last time and ask him about it later.

"Puck lives a couple doors down with Mike, Artie and Finn," Brittany explains. "Q's looking to settle down somewhere and well, I know we have the one spare room since Kurt moved out,"

"I have up to three months' rent in cash available right now," Quinn offers and Santana really wasn't expecting that but this could work.

They've each had to be putting in a bit more rent each month to cover the loss of Kurt so clearly another roommate would be welcomed. That, and, everyone around here is so used to Santana by now that it is virtually impossible to get under their skin anymore and Santana seriously kind of misses being yelled at for eating all the Cheerios before morning rolls around and something about Quinn just seems like she'd be bothered like hell by that.

"Perfect!" Santana agrees, "We just have to clear it with Ber—,"

As if on cue—because of course she's never one to miss a cue—Rachel comes bustling through the front door looking frazzled and then perfectly not frazzled within seconds once she realizes there's company.

Usually, Santana would be completely annoyed with Rachel's habit of just popping up whenever she's even almost mentioned but Quinn's face when she sees her is priceless. She's a tragic mix of completely horrified and intrigued and hell, if this goes through, Santana's gonna exploit that like a motherfucker!

"Rachel, this is Britt's friend, Quinn," she introduces, probably a bit too cheerily judging by the way Puck's eyebrows skyrocket. "She's looking to move into Kurt's old room!"

"Oh!" Rachel perks up immediately. "Fantastic! Any friend of Brittany's is a friend of ours," she shakes Quinn's hand and seriously, Quinn looks about ready to bolt. "I actually remember you, Quinn!" she exclaims. "From Brittany's pop group on the cruise. I never forget a good voice, although, I must admit you were sharp at times but that's nothing some good vocal training can't work out. I've had years of training myself! Here, let me show you to your room! It's right next to mine, and you'll be sharing a bathroom with Mercedes and myself!"

Santana watches, grinning, as Rachel ushers Quinn to the other side of the apartment.

Hell, maybe represso actually has a chance here. Rachel really does seem to have taken an immediate liking to her, or at least to talking her head off, and Finn is on one of his indecisive "I love you, Rachel, but let's just be friends," stints again. If Quinn shoots, she just might hit it and eventually Finn would get over it. Fuck, Finn might fall for blondie too and then they can have some kind of weird threeway—actually, ewwwww no, Santana sincerely hopes that doesn't happen; she actually likes being able to digest her food. The Hobbit and Represso the Lesbo would be sickening enough although Berry's ex-boyfriend, St. James, has been sniffing around again and fuck, anything is better than restarting that disaster. If Rachel goes down that route again, Santana might have to kill her and St. James and then off herself as well just to avoid the jail time. Or maybe she could kill them both and frame Finn. She doesn't really have much time to think about how that would work because Brittany finally rushes into her arms, hugging her with enough force that it should probably be hard to breathe if her lungs weren't otherwise busy reacquainting themselves with being filled with so much Brittany.

"I missed you!" Brittany breathes against her hair, swaying slightly in her arms.

Santana chuckles against her neck, swaying along with her.

"I missed you more!"

Puck clears his throat of obvious laughter.

"You two could, you know, forget I'm here and show each other just how much you've missed each other!"

Santana rolls her eyes—clearly he's back to his usual self—and tugs Brittany into her room to do just that.

"Are you nervous?"

"A little," Santana admits, snuggling closer to tangle herself in Brittany's gloriously lean and gloriously naked limbs. This being back on a cruise ship thing is so reminiscent of their first time—or their second first time because two and a half years later and Santana still doesn't remember the first—that they really couldn't help but recreate some of the finer details which of course includes a repeat performance of that staying in bed all day thing they did.

It's nice being wrapped up in Brittany like this. It's nice and distracting but not nearly distracting enough to stop the tension looming over this "vacation."

Ok, so maybe Santana's more than "a little" nervous, but she's pretty sure she has every right to be. As destination anywhere draws closer, the weight of the decision they're about to make settles against her chest and her nervousness seems to spread as outright panic.

"Britt, we're leaving our futures up to where a cruise ship just so happens to stop,"

"Yea," Brittany agrees, fingertips soothing gently across Santana's back. She's so nonchalant about it, so carefree and easily adaptable that Santana seriously wishes that her calm could somehow be transmitted to her; clearly it can't be because even Brittany's soft caress isn't stopping the erratic beating of her heart.

"Britt, this is—"


It's a lot of things; naïve being the first that pops into Santana's mind, but it's something Brittany's done before, more than once even, and despite her doubts, Santana trusts Brittany. She knows that wherever they just so happen to get off, Brittany will adapt easily and motivate her into doing the same. Fuck, she's pretty sure the ship could somehow make its way to Timbuktu and they'd find a hut to live in on the desert and the sand would make Brittany happy and Brittany would make her happy and as long as they'd be together, she'd not regret the decision for a moment. So, it's not really insane or anything; it's—

"Eventful," she decides.

Santana squeezes her eyes closed, letting Brittany's hands on her shoulders guide her forward. She's resigned herself to sucking it up no matter where it is they've gotten off, but still, her heart is threatening to liquefy and spill out of her ribcage and her stomach has plummeted so many times she's sure it's gone.

She can't look.

She seriously can't look.

"San," Brittany's voice reaches her ears, sounding distant amongst the waves crashing against the dock. She can hear footsteps rushing around her but Brittany's hands remain on her shoulders, grounding her. "You speak Spanish, right, San?"

Oh God, it's Mexico! It's gotta be Mexico! She spent four years in college getting a degree and she's going to end up as a stripper.

It's so typical of her life.

Or, fuck, what if it's Puerto Rico? She loves her aunt probably more than anyone else in her family but God, if she has to hear her "hija, why don't you ever date Puerto Rican girls? Dios, you're just like tú padre," speech one more time, she'll probably shoot herself.

Fuck, the anticipation is killing her, prodding and poking until she feels like she's withering under the pressure.

She opens her eyes so slowly that the sign is blurry but it doesn't stay that way for too long and soon, she can clearly make out the Welcome to—


"Britt!" she spins in Brittany's arms so quickly that she almost topples them both over, but Brittany's balance is impeccable and she keeps them both upright even as Santana flings herself into her arms.

"This is—" opportune, fortunate, perfect, she doesn't even know the word to describe it, but happiness bubbles through her and she can't help by grip Brittany tighter.

"I told you number 5 is always the way to go," Brittany beams and Santana doesn't even have it in her to tell her that they really got off at number 6; it doesn't matter. "I guess you really like it here then?"

Santana nods.

"I've always kind of wanted to move to California ever since I was little," she admits, although, the prospect—the reality—of moving to California with Brittany is better than anything she could have ever imagined.

"But Britt," something occurs suddenly. "I'm pretty sure a good majority of Cali speak English,"

Brittany laughs, squeezing her hand gently.

"I know that, silly!"

"Then why'd you ask if I spoke Spanish?"

"I've always wanted to order Mexican food in Spanish,"

Logically, they should be apartment hunting or hotel hunting or something, after all, they've got nowhere to stay and the majority of their stuff is back in Ohio, packed in boxes, with Sharpies sitting on top and Puck on speed dial, waiting for them to give him an address to send it all too but instead of caring about all that, they're sitting outside a taco bell sharing a chalupa and even the most logical part of Santana's brain finds this perfect.

She nudges Brittany with her shoulder, unable to keep the smile off of her face.

"You know we could have done this back in Ohio, right?"

"Yeah," Brittany agrees. "But what are the chances of us actually running into someone who speaks Spanish at a Taco Bell where you live in Ohio?"

Santana chuckles, leaning her head against Brittany's shoulder.

"You're right," she murmurs, settling her hands on the asphalt and watching as an airplane soars across the clear early evening sky.

"You know I lived in Argentina once," Brittany breaks their silence after a moment.


She seriously learns something new about Brittany every day.

Brittany nods.

"I was sixteen. I just started working for Sue and I was on the ship for three weeks and I started to get really restless so when the ship stopped, I got off and there I was in Argentina. I kind of got lost, which is why I didn't make it back to the ship and when I called Sue, she was so mad that she just left me there. She came back a year later, found me working in an animal shelter, took me back on the ship; I got off somewhere new a week later,"

"Wow!" Santana breathes, seriously amazed. Part of her kind of wants to be mad at Sue, like she usually is when Brittany mentions her name, but Brittany's told her how hard it was for her when she dropped out of school and emancipated her parents and well, since she credits Sue with her survival, Santana kind of finds it hard to hate her nowadays. Still, leaving her to fend for herself in a foreign country; that's about a million levels of cruel.

"How was it, not knowing the language and all?"

"It was kind of hard. I mean, cats kind of sound the same most of the time and sometimes I really think they talked about me behind my back but it was alright I guess,"

Santana laughs, trailing her hand down Brittany's arm.

"I meant Spanish, Britt. Not knowing Spanish,"

"Oh!" Brittany shrugs. "Well, that was easy! Everyone speaks the same language really. It's not what they say; it's how they say it,"

"Yeah?" Santana asks, clutching Brittany's hand in her own. "What do you think we're unconsciously saying right now?"

Brittany purses her lips, gazing at her thoughtfully.

"We're saying that we're completely in love and," her nose scrunches adorably. "probably a bit still hungry,"

Santana chuckles, clearly amused.

"I'd say that was accurate," she agrees, leaning forward to press her lips to Brittany's cheek. "How about now?" she asks, placing another kiss to the side of Brittany's lips.

"What am I saying now?"

"You're saying that we should totally find a hotel so you can have your wicked way with me,"

Santana grins, swiftly getting to her feet and pulling Brittany up with her.

"Also, very accurate,"

There are some things that Brittany is just a lot better at than Santana is; if Santana had to make a list, comforting people would probably be number one and packing would be a close second.

It's not that Santana doesn't like to pack—actually it's just that she really doesn't like to pack so when the need arises, she leaves all the packing up to Brittany which has worked great so far, however; when she sees Brittany sneak past her with the suitcase they keep under the bed in the spare room, she gets worried and she can't help but get off of the couch and follow Brittany and the bag she's pulling right into their bedroom.

She realizes that her worry is totally justified when she sees two completely full suitcases and a shit ton of more stuff on the bed that she presumes is about to go into the third suitcase.

"Britt Britt?" she sneaks behind her, wrapping her arms around a slender waist.


"Why are you packing so much? It's our honeymoon; we won't be wearing clothes for most of it,"

"I've never been to Greece, Santana. I want to see everywhere," Brittany reasons, twirling Santana so she's facing her.

If anyone had told her when she was busy booking her epic Spring Break cruise in her sophomore year of college that this is where she would be six years later, she'd probably have laughed hysterically, yet here she is, six years later in California arguing with her wife about how much they need to pack for their honeymoon.

Santana's never really been accustomed to anything in life being this easy but everything about her and Brittany is just that.


She even thought that the transition to California would be much harder but with Brittany's patience and her determination, things started falling into place within weeks of them getting off of that cruise. Her business degree and musical experience landed her a paid internship at a record label almost instantly and that experience landed her a job at the same company and before she even knew it, her sharp instincts eventually landed her her very own branch of the record label which was successful almost immediately since her first signing was Puck and Puck never seems to lose his edge with the ladies.

Brittany's love of travel led her to aircrew training which Santana must admit, scared the fucking life out of her, especially when Brittany began bringing home training books on "Surviving in the Desert" and "Emergency Landing Procedures" but Brittany had calmed her with surprisingly reasonable statistics and once she learned that Brittany would be flying charter, she started worrying about touchy-feely, testosterone-driven male athletes and how many hands she would have to track down to break instead. So far, she's had no problems—at least none that Brittany has told her about— and Britt's job does pretty much offer them some sweet deals, like free travel, which means they can visit Quinn and Rachel and Kurt and Blaine and Mercedes in New York pretty often, as well as Mike and Tina in Miami and Finn in New Orleans and her aunt in Puerto Rico who has taken to giving her the "Hija, you're lucky you didn't marry a Puerto Rican girl; you'd get no peace! I don't know anyone who can chill you out as much as Brittany does," talk every time they visit her.

Sometimes—usually when they're tangled together in bed, both thrumming from that good kind of exhaustion—she even convinces Brittany to use her pull to print her some faux plane tickets to Alabama which she sends to Rachel and Quinn because, funny story, Santana seriously wasn't imagining that weird tension between Puck and Quinn when Quinn came back; in fact, Quinn popped out Puck's demon spawn and they decided to give the baby up for adoption to another one of the ships' performers, Shelby Cochran, who turned out to be Rachel's biological mother, so Rachel and Quinn are like pseudo-related and also fucking like rabbits or "engaged" as they like to call it and Santana never really gets tired of fucking with Quinn.

She also never gets tired of fucking Brittany, which is something she plans to do to an excessive degree—even for them—on their honeymoon, once she convinces Brittany to lighten their travel load.

"We can see plenty of Greece without taking out whole lives with us, Britt,"

Seriously, they can see the hotel lobby, and the hotel bed, and the hotel shower, and fuck, they might even become very acquainted with the hotel room floor.

"You promise?" Brittany asks, grinning so sweetly that Santana knows she'd never be able to say no, even if it means she's going to be dragged to every beach, restaurant and monument in the whole country.

She sighs.

"I promise, Britt," she agrees, catching Brittany's pinkie with her own and squeezing gently.

Funnily enough, her honeymoon turns out to be a bit of a blur. All she remembers is sunshine blonde hair and a stream of orgasms so powerful, they knocked her planet back into orbit.

The End.

Wow! That was long! If you're still here, review please =) or you can hit me up at my Tumblr: downlikeyourinternet (dot) tumblr (dot) com