One of the things that Brittany and Santana figured out together when they were kids is that bananas taste better sliced—it's just a fact, they can't say why. So now they stand in Brittany's kitchen, sharing one banana between them, Santana with a knife in her hand. Two days have passed since school let out for the summer, and everything seems kinda perfect, really: the banana slices, them.
Ever since Nationals, Brittany feels this sloppy, careless adoration every time she even looks at Santana.
Brittany spent the whole last day of school catching glances of Santana in class and during passing time in the hallways and smiling at her like a dope. And when Santana asked Brittany about "you and I" by the lockers? Brittany felt dizzy with the cuteness—the hopelessness—of her, because, really, Santana? Really?
It almost ended in a kiss.
Instead, it ended in Santana calling Brittany smart and another rush of mad devotion surging up through Brittany's heart, her blood, everything inside of her, all the way to the surface, until her ears turned pink and she felt bashful-brilliant-so in love. And when they left school later that day, it did end in kisses… like a lot, a lot of them in the driveway outside Santana's house. Brittany counted every one, giddy with this reckless trust, as Santana twice told her "I love you" and Brittany said it back both times.
Standing on the front stoop, rifling through her purse for the house key, Santana even called Brittany "babe," as if it were an everyday thing, as if it were just easy. And when Brittany thought about how maybe it could be—an everyday thing, easy—her heart almost beat right out of her chest. Everything in her was just Santana, Santana, Santana.
But sometimes it doesn't even have to be that, all romantic and big.
It can just be them, too.
Like right now, Brittany just watches Santana slice the banana on a cutting board on the kitchen island and she feels punch drunk, like she couldn't possibly think any more of Santana.
Of course she can, though.
And she does.
Santana makes these clever, even dices through the fruit, creating little off-white coins with sand-dollar seedlets in the middles and Brittany can't help but think that Santana is pretty much amazing. To keep herself from leaning over and kissing Santana right here—they can't because Brittany's sister is home and she has this obnoxious habit of turning up at the wrong time for everything—Brittany takes one of the banana slices from the board and says, "Have you ever noticed that banana Laffy Taffy doesn't taste like real bananas?"
Santana smiles and takes a banana slice of her own. She talks with her mouth full. "Yeah, it tastes weird. Have you ever noticed that the jokes on the Laffy Taffy wrappers aren't funny?"
"Yeah, they are—they're so dumb, it's funny."
Santana finishes cutting the banana and the last slice hangs off the blade of her knife, perfectly smooth on one side and sticky enough to catch; Santana licks it away, absentminded, before pushing Brittany's half of the bananas towards her on the board with the flat of the knife. Brittany melts inside.
They both pluck banana slices from the board and take small pleasure in mashing the coins with their tongues against the roofs of their mouths. When Santana gestures towards the fridge, mumbling gibberish around a mouthful of banana, Brittany understands right away. She nods enthusiastically and Santana turns and opens the fridge to get them some milk. Brittany can't help but stare at Santana as she moves, retrieving the milk carton from behind the mayonnaise jar on the second shelf with one hand before kicking the fridge door shut with her foot.
Santana knows where everything is in the Pierce house, so when she finds that there are no clean cups in the top cupboard, she immediately checks behind the little door under the counter and, sure enough, finds some kiddie glasses with googly-eyed puppies and clowns painted on the sides. She waggles her eyebrows at Brittany suggestively as she fills them like they're wine goblets or something, and Brittany thinks she might just die from being too happy. She might just die from loving Santana so much.
About the time that Brittany realizes that she's grinning at Santana, Santana realizes it, too.
"What?" Santana says amusedly, setting the kiddie glasses down on the island. In middle school, when Santana would catch Brittany staring her, she would always act a little angry about it, but now her voice sounds soft and she wears the beginnings of a smile. When Brittany doesn't answer right away, Santana honest-to-god checks over her shoulder, as if there's something wonderful behind her attracting Brittany's attention instead of—you know—her.
Brittany laughs, embarrassed that Santana caught her staring, even though… well, you know.
"Oh my god, I have such a big crush on you!" Brittany blurts out, giggling, and hides her face in her hands to block out her self-consciousness.
When she looks up, she catches a tinge of worry cross Santana's face, fast like a rabbit darting over an open field. "But I thought you said you...," Santana starts, and Brittany can see Santana thinking about what Brittany told her at the lockers the other day and in the driveway after school and before they said goodbye last night, panicked that Brittany somehow means to downplay it.
"Oh, that, too!" Brittany says quickly, reassuring her. "So much… I just mean… God, you're cute." After a long pause, both of them grinning, Brittany whispers, "I love you," conspiratorially.
Santana never really blushes, but Brittany sees her, breathless, and knows that there's heat rising to her cheeks. She looks more like the old Santana—healthier and not so green around the face—but also less like the old Santana—softer and less gun shy—than she did three weeks ago, before the prom, when things were still so shaky. Santana mouths back, "Love you, too," and grins like someone just gave her a really awesome present.
"Oh!" Brittany says. She reaches across the island, extending a pinky finger to Santana, who accepts it. "Come on." Brittany grabs the last two banana slices, popping one in her mouth and handing the other to Santana, who follows her around the island.
"BrittBritt, where are we going?" Santana asks as they stumble out of the kitchen.
"Just wait," Brittany says, and Santana does; she's a lot more patient than some people give her credit for.
Just as they round the banister and start climbing the stairs to the second floor, Brittany's sister appears from the hallway, stopping at the landing. "What are you two smiling at?" she asks, eyeing Brittany and Santana warily. She has that suspicious tone in her voice that means she wants to tattle on them. They haven't done anything wrong, though.
"Your face," says Santana.
"Your mom," says Brittany.
They skitter up the stairs in socks, slipping on the floorboards, leaving Brittany's sister behind.
"My mom is your mom!" she yells after Brittany, pouting.
"That's what you think!" Brittany and Santana yell back in unison, erupting into a fit of giggles. Brittany gives Santana's pinky finger a squeeze.
"God, you two are so immature!"
It's almost a shame that they don't stop to see her face, but they have something better to do.
They clatter down the hallway, reckless in their rush, their free hands brushing up against the walls, their feet falling imprecisely, here on the rug, there on the bare boards. As they turn into Brittany's open bedroom, Brittany glances up at the framed photograph hanging on the wall beside her door: it shows Brittany, age eleven, in a blue corduroy jacket and dangling pink plastic earrings, doing a handstand on the grass outside the old Lima Army Tank Plant on a school field trip in the fifth grade. In the bottom left corner of the picture, there's a blur—Santana's thumb.
Another surge of adoration.
"Okay," Brittany says as they come to a stop, pulling the door closed behind them, panting from running and laughing so hard. "Just a minute."
Brittany drops Santana's pinky finger and heads over to the closet without offering Santana further instruction. Santana stands awkwardly in the middle of the room, halfway between the door and the bed, unsure of how to hold herself or what to expect as Brittany starts digging through the closet's contents: two pair snagged, silky pastel point shoes; the old marble run project Brittany did in the sixth grade, paint-spattered and dusty; Brittany's motocross helmet with a long, dirty grass stain along the visor, fresh from her last race; the angular professional grade flash camera from Brittany's photography phase, which bites at Brittany's bare knuckles as she shunts it quickly aside.
And then, the thing Brittany wants to find.
"BrittBritt?" Santana says nervously, still not sure of what she's supposed to do.
Brittany emerges from the closet, paper bag in hand. Brittany thinks it's obvious what's inside the bag—the shape gives it away—but when Brittany hands it off to her, Santana holds it like a mystery, careful. "Thanks," Santana says before she even knows what it is that Brittany's given her; more sloppy, happy love bubbles up in Brittany. It shouldn't be possible for one person to be so cute.
Santana gives Brittany a tentative look and Brittany nods. "Open it," Brittany says encouragingly, and Santana does as she's told, crinkling away the wrinkled wrappings to produce Brittany's gift: a rhyming dictionary with a bright yellow and teal front cover.
Before Santana can say anything, Brittany explains, "I really liked that song you wrote for Nationals—it was super good and it meant a lot to me—and it seemed like you liked writing it. You're an awesome songwriter, San. Like, really awesome. I was gonna save this for your birthday, but I didn't want to wait, because I thought that maybe if you wanted to, you could try writing some more over the summer. Maybe if you wrote a song, I could choreograph something to it, or I dunno..." Brittany looks at Santana to gauge her reaction.
A long pause.
"You really think I'm good, Britt?" Santana asks, her voice small and crackly. She smiles like the thought never even occurred to her before and Brittany loves Santana even more for all her ridiculous uncertainty.
"Totally," Brittany says, and the next thing she knows, they're kissing.
It's a little kiss here, a little kiss there, traded back and forth between smiling lips. Santana's kisses say Thank you, thank you, thank you and Really, Britt? You're the best. Brittany's kisses say You're funny sometimes, San and You're hopeless and I love you for it.
Without breaking from their trading game, they slowly sit down on the rug, cross-legged and with their knees touching each other, Santana in jeans, Brittany in shorts. Santana sets the book beside her on the rug and keeps her hands in her lap, folded, thumbs twiddling. Brittany clasps the hem of her shorts, fingers working over the fabric. The kisses get a little deeper, a little sloppier. "You taste like sliced bananas," Brittany mumbles against Santana's lips.
Santana laughs. "Sliced bananas, Britt?" She grins goofily, looking as silly and happy as Brittany feels inside. "Mm. You do, too."
"Maybe you should write a song about it."
Brittany smiles into the last kiss. "Yeah: 'Sliced Banana Kisses.' It would probably even be better than 'My Headband.'" Then, after a beat, "Don't tell Rachel I said that, though."
Santana wears that evil look that Brittany secretly thinks might be the cutest thing in the whole world. Brittany tries not to adore it so much, but she can't help it; it's just so Santana. "Oh, I'm definitely telling Berry," Santana says, talking mean, but smile turning nice.
"San!" Brittany protests, but not too much. Really, she just leans into another kiss, and another, and another. She tilts her head and grins into Santana's cheek, pressing her lips against Santana's dimple before moving back to her mouth again. Brittany feels light and sweet and her heart beats like it knows a secret—the good kind, like she and Santana have never had before.
Santana sighs against her lips; they kiss each other silly.